The 120th season for the YOD class has passed, with 9 boats (4 of which were celebrating their 120th Birthdays) on the water at one time or another. Unfortunately, Sinner didn’t make it into the harbour this year, along with Lady Lena, Saint and Yoyo who are still on sabbatical.
Of the boats in the water, Ditherumpop was back looking resplendent with her new teak decking, whilst Patience made a welcome return to the harbour under the stewardship of John Rix’s grandsons Robbie and Harry. The boat was sailed at various times of the season by Robbie, Lawrence Wride, Tim Jones and David Podmore, winning the Centenary Series and the Chambers Rose Bowl, for third place overall for the season.
The Blackie team were a little slow out of the blocks, waiting until Regatta week to get up to speed and then winning both the Coastal and Spoon Series. Mona, along with several guest helms, including Gerard Dyson and Tony Saltonstall showed the fleet a clean pair of heels for the majority of the season, claiming the Shield, Blyth and Austerfield Series along with the most 1st Places and The Rix Trophy for Best Overall performance for the season.
Tito II made a welcome appearance for Regatta Week before Simon and Toby were undone by a “dodgy prawn”, whilst an untimely harvest left Robin and Fred steering Combine Harvesters rather than Jesta for the week. This for the first time for many years, left the competition for “The Smyth Prize” (aka “The Stiffy Hughes Tankard”) wide open, though it was eventually claimed by Joca, crewed most ably by Steve Stanton, enjoying his first Regatta week for a long time on the other side of the rubbing strip!
At the front, Iolanthe, with Rob Gray accompanied this year by John and (his God Daughter) Katie Greenwood, kept the Blackie boys honest right up to the last race. Ultimately Blackie took the Royal Princess Parade Cup as overall winner, whilst Yilt just pipped Mona, helmed by the ever-honourable Neil Paveley, to third position.
Racing numbers were reduced during the week with the demise of Ditherumpop and Jesta, both experiencing mast damage and having to retire, which was a great loss to the fleet.
The YOD fleet also performed strongly in other areas of the week, with Lucy Eggleston winning the Ladies race sailing Yilt and Robbie Rix the Cadet Race, sailing Patience.
A highlight for the Class must be the number of cadets that participated and enjoyed the YOD fleet this year, with the next generation of the Blyth, Eggleston, Jones, Martin, Podmore, Rix, Smyth, Waine and Williams families all making their mark during the year.
2018 was a good year for the YOD’s and there are signs that 2019 will be even more fun. Indeed, it is rumoured that with all the “youth” appearing the current “lad” of the fleet Mark Eggleston (aged 51.) might be able to find and train a suitable apprentice to take over his duties of cleaning the YOD bottoms at the start of each Regatta Week!
Paul Waine, Class Captain December 2018.