The 50th anniversary of Folkboat Week took place in challenging conditions in the Solent. Hosted by the Royal Solent Yacht Club (RSYC) in Yarmouth, and proudly sponsored by Lymington Yacht Haven, the event is a popular end-of-season regatta for the Folkboat fleet in Yarmouth and Lymington.
Despite the frequent and heavy rain combined with strong winds, the record fleet of 57 boats still completed 6 days of racing with Jeremy Austin's Tak winning the overall and Matthew Jones' Crackerjack taking the Lymington Yacht Haven Trophy.
See the full race results and photos courtesy of the RSYC.
Extracts from the Folkboat Ditty, written by Christine Hartley-Webster from SY Columbine
The weather here's been really s****y,
And detrimental to my ditty.
Forgive me if it seems too long
And some facts may be slightly wrong.
In 1966, the fleet
Decided that it wouldn't meet
In Cowes, they wanted somewhere new.
Robin and Tom set sail and flew
To find a friendly sailing club
Just not too far from inn and pub.
The RSYC suited well
With staff and friendly clientele.
And so, for 50 years they've hosted
Folkboat Week- the best, we boasted.
In Yarmouth Harbour boats are gleaming
Varnish glowing, faces beaming.
There's Jaramas and Genefrede,
All pristine with no sign of weed.
And Lady Linda, YSA too
And Carlinetta's honey hue.
Sunday dawned with growling thunder.
Torrential rain that caused some wonder.
But Folkboat spirits still ran high,
As lightening scored across the sky.
Although the sail past was quite damp.
Enthusiasm couldn't cramp.
We dipped our ensigns, faced the pier
And doffed our caps and raised a cheer.
But Nimble, coming up the rear
Ran out of petrol at the pier.
With face quite red and locks all dank
Poor Jacky had to fill the tank!
The harbour, Monday, had strong wind.
The boats were on the pontoons pinned.
The entrance, full of waves and foam-
So we decided to stay home.
Folkboats were dancing, pulling tight,
To motor out was quite a fight.
Our club served up a super roast,
We sat there, snug and warm as toast.
And washed it down with smooth red wine.
The world was good and we felt fine.
Watched Sally win a Ladies Race
And Genefrede get her first place.
And little Harry got a win
And kissed our Pauline on the chin.
Stralende led the whole race through,
Their helm called Josh, knows what to do.
We thought, how great, cos they'll sort out
The usual top three, there's no doubt.
Then one boat who'll be nameless now,
Hit poor Finvara with her bow-
And sheared the rudder off the boat
Away downtide they saw it float.
Finvara had run out of luck
Another voice cried out 'Oh F....dear!
I must congrat the CROs
Who work so hard as all here knows.
Nine starts, the sausage races had.
They all seem knackered now, how sad.
The wind blew hard, the tide was strong
And Folkboats rocked and rolled along.
The leeward Mark heard yells for water
But none was given as it aughter.
One boat on port hit Pilgrim- crack,
Then for a second go- came back,
And clipped her neatly on the stern.
Some helmsmen here just do not learn-
That hitting sponsors isn't wise,
And may lead them to their demise.
But in the bar Sally was smiling
She said 'they're sweet lads- and retiring.'
Today we woke to calm and sun
At last, we thought, this could be fun.
The sea was flat, the weather fine,
And Marksman cast a fishing line.
And caught three mackerel while they waited
For starting times were long debated.
All tacked and yelled and called for space
And several grounded in one place,
Durns Point, against the tide, was grim.
Each boat thought they would not give in.
Two boats went through it- not allowed
There'll be a protest, it was vowed.
Madelene sailed slickly 'gainst the tide
And didn't cross the other side.
He judged it right and got first gun-
She was that day, the only one!
The sailing this year's been so tough
I think I've really had enough.
We'll miss the hospitality
We've had from the RSYC.
Those roasted dinners, wine and beer
Please raise a glass and give a cheer.
Next year do vow to come and greet,
All 57 in the fleet.
(Photo credits: Paul Brown, RSYC)