Article by Pete Mallaband
The Osprey Class will be holding the 60th National Championships at Poole this year from August 10th to 13th. On show will be the full age range of boats, but unlike most classes – it won’t necessarily be a shiny new one that wins!
Photograph courtesy of Mike Rice
The first boat entered is Osprey 73 - photographs by David Downs.
As far as records show, this boat was registered in 1956 and may have been built even before that! This is being carefully restored at the time of writing, but we’re assured it should be ready for the first start! Don’t ask how old the helm is – or is soon to be – 60 seems to be a recurring theme!!!
The second boat entered is Osprey 1365 – a shiny brand new Mk5 registered a full 60 years later. Pretty much the same hull shape, and basic details, just different building materials and inside layout.
There is absolutely no guarantee as to which of these two boats will be ahead at the final day of reckoning! At the recent Midland and Welsh Championships at Blithfield Sailing Club, the 3rd prize crew sailed a 40 year old boat in a fleet of 18 boats, including some that arrived with the wrapping paper still intact!
It is planned this year to have a ‘Historic’ presentation by one of the earliest Osprey sailors at the club during the Nationals, hopefully on the Thursday night. More details of this to come shortly, but anyone who has ever sailed one of these lovely boats will find some of the historic information really interesting.
The Osprey class owes a great deal for its longevity to its enthusiastic members and also its sponsors. There are many prizes on offer to encourage all levels of sailor to venture down to Poole. As well as the National Champion trophy, there are at least 10 more trophies awaiting a good home for everything from the first original Mk2 Osprey through to being the last boat to finish every race, with loads in between for young and also old!
The current list of sponsors for the Osprey Nationals include: Hartley Boats/ North Sails, Allen, Clamcleat, Marlow Ropes, Rain and Sun Covers and Seasure. So there will be a bountiful supply of goodies, as well as the silverware.
The following companies have kindly agreed to support the event and the Osprey Class Association gratefully acknowledge their support.
There will be a buddy system available for those that want it, (the author for one!) to help those at the tail end of the fleet to pick up useful information from those at the front. If the weather is good, it is planned to have a couple of post-race dinghy park chats where those of us at the back can pick the brains from one of the front end sailors about what they did that day and how they set up their boat. If it’s raining then this discussion will obviously have to take place in the bar!!
Also check out the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/ospreyclass/
The Notice of Race, Entry Form and Parent/Guardian Declaration are available in PDF format.
Enter on or before 30th June for the special discounted rate and entry into a draw fro a brand new North Sails genoa kindly donated jointly by North Sails & Hartley Boats.