OCTOBER 2013 - RYA ERIC TWINAME YOUTH & JUNIOR TEAM RACING CHAMPIONSHIPS
This event was held again at Oxford Sailing Club, Farmoor Reservoir, on 20th/21st October. Dubbed as the world's biggest team racing event it commenced with a southerly 10-12 knots of wind on the opening day of the regatta, allowing for the 24 Junior (under 16) teams to complete 120 races while the Youths (under 19) teams competing raced 130. Unfortunately the weather deteriorated on the second day and the event had to be abandoned during the semi-final stages, resulting in the final standings from the round robin stages. Youth winners by some margin were 'Team Oracle' and the Junior winners were 'The Flying Spinnakers', both of these teams being south coast based.
For 2014 this event will be held on 18/19th October at Oxford Sailing Club.
A 4th 25-boat scheme was launched earlier in the year and is now complete, with the 100th boat in
this scheme being purchased by Chew Valley Lake Sailing Club, as per their announcement below:
The RYA South West Zone were the winners as day two of the 2013 RYA Eric Twiname Championships came to a close on Rutland Water on Sunday 12 May. Having endured fickle winds, strong gusts and driving rain on day one of the regatta yesterday, the concluding day of the championships brought with it far more favourable conditions for the 268 competitors at the event, with spells of sunshine and an average 12-14 knots. As a result the days full complement of three races took place allowing for some swapping of places at the top of the fleets and the RYA South West Zone to clinch the prestigious Eric Twiname Shield.
The RYA South Zone won the Eric Twiname Dinghy Trophy, awarded to the Zone performing best from the top two dinghy classes out of the three, whilst the South East Zone wrested the Eric Twiname Windsurfing Trophy out of the grasp of last year's winner the North Zone, awarded to the Zone scoring best from two of the four windsurfing classes.
With the long-standing and on-going support of the Eric Twiname Trust, the event is free to enter with all of the costs associated with the running of the regatta met by the RYA and the Trust.
For the full set of results from each class and for more information on the RYA Eric Twiname Championships please visit the event website at www.ryaracingevents.org.uk. For 2014 this event will be held on 10/11th May at Rutland Sailing Club.
OCTOBER 2012 - GREAT SOUTH RUN in Portsmouth
George Reed, the son of one of our trustees, John Reed, successfully completed the 10-mile Great South Run held in Portsmouth on 28th October 2012 in the very creditable time of 1 hour, 13 minutes and 12 seconds, some 7 minutes under his target time. In doing so, George has helped to raise over £1,500, including Gift Aid, for the Trust. The trustees are most grateful to George for his efforts and indeed to all those who supported him with such generous donations.
If anyone would still like to contribute to this fund raising effort, George's JustGiving web page is still open and can be accessed on www.justgiving.com/George-ReedET.
CHANGE OF CHARITABLE TRUST TITLE
In October 2010 the Trust’s name was shortened by the omission of the word ‘Memorial’ so that it now more simply reads "The Eric Twiname Trust". This amendment was instigated after consultation with and acceptance by the Charity Commission, and their Central Register now reflects this update.
FIREFLY NO.1 - 'FE'
This historic dinghy has been on loan to, and displayed by, the National Maritime Museum Cornwall for a number of years now. In October 2010 the owners, Graham Henderson, Max Evans, Vivien Wilson and David White, agreed to transfer ownership in perpetuity to the Museum with the proviso that a donation be given by the Museum to The Eric Twiname Trust in lieu of any specific sale charge. The trustees are indebted to Fe's previous owners and to the Museum for their very kind generosity and are proud to be associated with this remarkable dinghy which occupies such an important part in the history of dinghy design development.
The Firefly's origin goes back to 1938 when the sailing clubs of Oxford and Cambridge Universities asked Uffa Fox to design a dinghy similar to the National 12, but a one-design and more suitable for team racing. The resultant design, to be known as Sea Swallow, was completed in 1939, just as the second World War commenced, and as a result it was shelved.
At about the same time a director of the Fairey Aviation Company, Colin Chichester-Smith, was developing plans to mass produce a sailing dinghy employing the same methods used to construct wartime aircraft such as the Mosquito and the Horsa Glider. The process was known as hot moulding which consisted of gluing veneers of timber together on a shaped mould, and curing the assembly using electrically heated bands which held everything in place. The resulting laminated plies were very stiff, strong, waterproof and highly resistant to rot.
In 1946 Uffa Fox was asked by Chichester-Smith, together with Stewart Morris, to design a one-design twelve foot dinghy. Charles Currey was also moving to Fairey to develop the marine section at the Hamble factory. Uffa Fox dusted off the Sea Swallow design and replaced it with the name Firefly, so named after the Fairey Firefly, a Second World War-era carrier-borne fighter and anti-submarine aircraft used by the Fleet Air Arm.
The mass production techniques were refined with the hulls and decks now moulded separately from pre-cut parts on assembly lines. The assembled hulls were placed in autoclaves where they were heated and pressurised. Once the deck was fitted the completed dinghy was strong enough not to need any additional frames. It was also completely leak-free. Early boats were built from laminates of birch ply, left over from the stocks used to build Horsa gliders. The mast, built by Reynolds, was aluminium alloy with the top section made from spruce.
On Sunday May 5th, 1946, the final race for the Henley Challenge Cup was sailed in cold conditions with a strong north easterly wind which capsized several boats. It was a good opportunity to test the prototype of the Firefly Class, which was making its first public appearance, and racing against a fleet of National Twelves. Sailed by renowned dinghy sailor Charles Currey, who was competing against the likes of Beecher Moore and Jack Holt and sailing the Firefly for the first time, Currey and his crew put up a great performance and came second.
A number of modifications have been made to the class over the years including construction in GRP in 1968, and the introduction of a one piece rotating mast by Proctors in 1970. Despite the introduction of plastics to replace ply moulded boats, it is a testament to their build quality that there are still many wooden boats racing regularly.
The Firefly was one of the first production dinghies ever built in large numbers, long before the days of glass reinforced plastic boats, and there is no doubt that it put dinghy sailing within financial reach of many people - the initial cost of a boat was £65. The first four were bought by Sir
Geoffrey Loules, Commodore of Itchenor Sailing Club, and he named them Fe, Fi, Fo and Fum respectively. The boat was also considered to be sufficiently competitive enough to be selected for the single handed class in the 1948 Olympics, although it was replaced in 1952 by the Finn.
Fe can be viewed in Falmouth at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall, the website for which is www.nnmc.co.uk and telephone number 01326 313388.
Eric Twiname was a great Firefly enthusiast and raced them regularly in team racing competitions, as well as at the annual Firefly National Championship where he consistently finished well, including once winning the coveted Sir Ralph Gore trophy.