The Yarmouth One Design Class – a classic vintage. Owners are set for Centenary celebrations in 2010

PRESS RELEASE | 15th March 2010

Issued by: Peta Stuart-Hunt | PR Works
T: 01590 679 621 E:

Little beauties

The Yarmouth One Design Class – a classic vintage
Owners are set for Centenary celebrations in 2010

The Yarmouth One Design Class, based at the Royal Solent Yacht Club in Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight, is one of the oldest and most exclusive fleets of racing keelboats still racing in the Solent.  This year sees this small, but perfectly formed class of just nine boats start its Centenary celebrations that will culminate in 2013.

The month of May marks the start of the Centenary with an official launch taking place over the early May bank holiday weekend, including an Open Day being held in Yarmouth on Sunday 2nd May.

The discussions that eventually produced the YOD Class of boats was initially instigated in 1910 by Sir Arthur Cope, RA, (1857 – 1940), a famous portrait painter of the Royal Family who was Class Captain from its foundation until 1935 and Commodore of the Solent Yacht Club from 1926 to 1934 – the Club’s Royal status wasn’t awarded until 1947.  Henry Longmore, who worked at J Samuel White’s shipyard in Cowes during the First World War, designed these pretty boats.  Of the 13 launched, Theo Smith in Yarmouth built 11 just prior to and after the First World War and two were built in the 1920s by Woodnutts at St. Helens on the Isle of Wight.

The original owners of the YOD Class were generally quite distinguished and included officers from the Army and Navy, a knight, a baronet and the first Lord Mottistone. The Class Rules reflect the social conditions of the day: ‘One paid hand is allowed, but he may not touch the tiller during a race.’

Linking the past with the present
Two YODs left the Class in the early years and two sank during racing, leaving nine surviving when the Class was disbanded in 1970.  Most of them stayed in the Solent area and thanks to the enthusiasm and perseverance of their present owners over a period of several years, they have all returned to the Royal Solent Yacht Club.

This group of highly dedicated YOD owners, now led by their Class Captain, naval architect Chris Temple, is using the Centenary to help further promote the Class and to ensure that all the existing YODs are cared for and raced from late April to late September on Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings.

There are further festivities planned to celebrate the Class formation and traditions dating back to 1910-1913. These include a private formal dinner seated at Sir Arthur Cope’s original dining table that is still in his house, The Towers, that is owned by a YOD owner and devotee of the Class. The garden is also home to the Sir Arthur Cope seat.

The YOD Class has a very active social side and the highlight of the year is the annual party held in August to raise money for charity. This takes place in the gardens of the Towers next door to the Royal Solent YC, with live music, dancing, fireworks, food and drink. The event is open to all, with tickets on sale at the door.  Last year’s party raised £14,000 for the AAIR charity, (Asthma, Allergy and Inflammation Research).  The date for this year’s event is Saturday, August 14th. It is being held in aid of Ignorance Isn’t Bliss, the prostate cancer charity founded by the late Kit Hobday.

Anyone interested in attending the Open Day on 2nd May or indeed in sailing a YOD should, in the first instance, contact the YOD Class Captain Chris Temple via email: <>.



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