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25/10/2019 start time revision

Please note change of start time for last Candlelight race.

Please note change of start time for last Candlelight race 25/10/2019 from 17:00 to 16:30 due to concerns over the amount of daylight. New start time is now shown in V3 of racing program available on racing docs page.

Sid Dollery’s avatar 15-Oct-2019 By Sid Dollery in Sailing & racing

Victory Class prize giving


John Perry   “Yacht, boat and launch builder; hollow spar, oar, scull and block maker; ecclesiastical joiner and pattern maker”

It is with great sadness that I have to pass on the news that local boatbuilder John Perry passed away at the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth, on Sunday 29thSeptember. He was 83.

Many of the Victory Class will know John as the builder of four Victory Class dayboats in the 1980s that not only were immaculate examples of the art of boatbuilding, but also helped drive a resurgence in the class at the time. The first of those, Z69 Zinnia, built for Jeremy Lear and launched in 1983, is a multiple Cowes Week winning boat, and Z70 Unity, Z71 Christina and Z72 Zingara also remain active boats in the class. John went on to maintain many Victorys for Class boat owners over the years.

Those in Old Portsmouth will also remember John as a well known and much liked local, always found in his trademark white overalls and with one of a succession of black Labradors alongside. John and his dog added to the character of the area on their trips around the Camber and along Feltham Row outside their French Street workshop, where John was often found chatting alongside the railings and inspecting the boats in the Camber.

A master of his craft, John spent his life in Portsmouth, starting his 6 year apprenticeship with boatbuilder Harry Feltham in Bath Square in January 1951 at the age of 15. John was well known and highly respected for the sheer quality of the boats he produced, especially amongst the Portsmouth and Solent sailing communities. He made his name building Folkboats and small yachts, initially in Cosham on Ports Creek, before building Victorys in the 1980s. John also built the XOD ‘Judy’, X191, in 1991.

From the building of one of those Victorys for the Spraggs family came the idea and a commission to build a replica of the 18thcentury naval gig that had carried Captain Arthur Phillip ashore at Sydney Cove in 1788, the start of the colonisation and founding of modern Australia. Presented by the City of Portsmouth to the City of Sydney as part of the Australian Bicentennial celebrations in 1988, the gig took centre stage in some of the events, and is now on display in the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney. John also had to play his part in the presentation, and met the Duke of Edinburgh, having swapped his white overalls for a blazer purchased especially for the occasion, with typical attention to quality, from naval outfitters Gieves & Hawkes.

John did things his way, never compromising on quality for the sake of schedule, a frustration for some of his customers until they received the finished result. It says much for John that many of those customers became friends and many have supported him in recent years.

John is now reunited with his last dog Sam, hopefully in a place where plane blades are always sharp, wood is knot free, and boat owners always recognise the wisdom of Boat Builders.

Geoff Dixon

Geoff Dixon’s avatar 02-Oct-2019 By Geoff Dixon in Sailing & racing

Race Report from Thursday 5th September

The last Thursday race of the season!!!!!

After the unfortunate accident between a large red fishing boat and Rosina, our trusty committee vessel was out of action. Stretch (from Z57) was thankfully able to bring his RIB over. Wiith lots of gaffer tape to form flagstaffs our committee boat was ready and subsequently anchored off Vail Williams with an orange laid mark as the pin end of the line.

Crewed by Ben (mini Stretch) and Martin (also Z57 crew).

Five Victorys took to the water to soak up some of the end of the summer sunshine (Z77, Z76, Z74, Z71 and Z54). An optimistic course was set

KB p

laid mark p


The start was at 1835 with a strong tide pushed us away from the line and 10-8kts which was slowly dying. The whole race was a game of snake and ladders with lots of wind shifts (up to 50 degrees!) but Z74 led with everyone else fighting for second place.

Two laps were completed but the race was shortened on the next upwind at KB.

The positions were-


Congrats to Z74 on winning the last Thursday race !

Thank you to Stretch, Martin and Ben for your dynamic OOD duties.

The next race is tomorrow for the Poona followed by the last race on a Tuesday, the 10th September, start time is 1815.

See you on the water!


Zoe Whittaker’s avatar 06-Sep-2019 By Zoe Whittaker in Sailing & racing

​For Sale – Half Share in Z72 Zingara - £4995.00

​​Zingara was built in 1990 and was the last of the prestigious wooden Perry victories to have been built. Zingara is in excellent condition and has been fitted out to a high standard. The sails are still competitive but are getting on a bit, so the boat would benefit from a new suit at some time in the future. She comes complete with trolley, outboard and tender although the latter is subject to separate agreement. Interested parties should contact Sid Dollery 07740 774731 or Andrew Thomas 07831 865093.

Gareth Penn’s avatar 10-Jul-2019 By Gareth Penn in For sale

Victory Class social events Cowes Week 2019

​Don’t miss out on some fantastic events!

Billy Mulvin (23.12.1935 - 2.06.2019)

​​ Many of you will already have heard the sad news that Billy Mulvin passed away last weekend. Billy was a long standing member of the Class sailing on Shearwater for over forty years.

He was brought up in Dublin and moved to the UK in his early 20s having graduated from the Dental School at Trinity College and set up home in Cosham with his late wife, Sheila. He was a passionate sportsman playing rugby for Portsmouth as well as being selected for Hampshire. Retiring from rugby he sailed with his old team mates, Ian Mead and Ged Grieve in Shearwater for nearly fifty years. Billy brought his ‘work-hard’ ‘play-hard’ approach to sailing, especially Cowes Week. As well as loving the racing at Cowes, Billy fully embraced the social side where the trio were early adopters of the Royal Corinthian for the week, a legacy that lives on with the Class to this day. Many of you will recall the late night games of ‘Bomber Command’. This always culminated in a port engine fire having to be put out by a soda syphon. The port engine was usually an X-Boat sailor! How Billy and his team mates ever sailed the next day remains a mystery to many.

Despite their ’tiredness’ the following day they often found themselves with a gun. Their success was in no small part due to Billy’s trimming skills and strength on the long spinnaker legs which remain a feature at Cowes. Upwind Billy was adept at keeping his cigarette alight in all weathers. He even managed to keep the ember burning on his Marlboro one day after falling into the Camber!

Aside from the Victory Class, Billy sailed in a number of IOR boats over the years including with Adlard Coles whose books many of you will have read. Billy was unfortunate to be the first person to be rescued in the tragic 1979 Fastnet Race while sailing with fellow PSC member, Tony Lloyd. Their boat, Camargue, capsized in heavy seas in the St George’s Channel. Many will have seen the news footage of the crew being winched into the Culdrose helicopter and Billy’s subsequent appearance on ‘This is your Life’!

Billy was a life-long sportsman playing golf and squash. The latter probably longer than was sensible. He also had many interests which included history and archaeology and was a volunteer for the Probation Service.

Billy leaves children Siobhan, Neil and Jo. His funeral is at 11am on Thursday 13th June at St Thomas’s Roman Catholic Church in Emsworth and afterwards at the Slipper Sailing Club.

Russell Mead

Gareth Penn’s avatar 10-Jun-2019 By Gareth Penn in

​Tuesday 7th May Race Report

​A strange wind direction…. north easterly led officer of the day Ron Fidler (Z53) to set course 16… i think everyone needed to check their course cards as its a rarely (ever?) used course! So to remind you-

Wall start


VW s

KB s


SS (suffolk sails) s

VW s


Finish at SS

Boats on the startline were 57, 70, 71, 74, 75, 76, 78, 80, unfortunately Z68 broke their tiller and didn’t start the race. The first leg was a reach to PSC, the majority of the fleet started at the Suffolk Sails end of the line with their spinnakers up.

The fleet split at PSC with Z75 leading the pack towards the Isle of Wight, whilst Z57 took a gaggle of Victorys to the edge of the channel. The wind was gusty with a sea state reminiscent of Cowes week, if only it was a little warmer!

Z75 led around the first windward mark (VW) down the gybe mark (KB) followed swiftly by Z71 and Z76. Kites had to be dropped at PSC for the very tight reach/near beat to PSC.

Z75 continued their lead at Suffolk Sails and up to Vail Williams for a second time, whilst the rest of the pack fought for the other places.

Downwind from VW to PSC there were a few gybe battles to try and gain places, however coming into PSC Z76 pipped Z71 followed by Z57 sneaking in before the finish.

Take home from the race- when in doubt definitely put you jacket on, the waves are wetter than they look …

The results-

Z75, 76, 57, 71, 70, 80, 78, 74. Congrats to Z75 on their win!

Thank you to OOD Ron Fidler.

The next race is tonight, Thursday 9th May and then Saturday 11th May. See you on the water!

Zoe, Z71

Zoe Whittaker’s avatar 09-May-2019 By Zoe Whittaker in

Prizegiving 2018

​​Some very happy people at last nights Victory Class Prizegiving at the RNC/RAYC. Overall Cowes Week winners Max and Scam from Zinnia, and the man who walked away with most of the rest of the silverware, Jim Downing, Z78 Ziva, also with the Captains decanter for all his support to the class over the last year.

Geoff Dixon’s avatar 18-Nov-2018 By Geoff Dixon in Social
Gareth Penn’s avatar 07-Jun-2018 By Gareth Penn in Sailing & racing