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 4th place in JOG Nab Tower race



Magic followed up her second place in the opening JOG race of the season with a strong fourth in Saturday's Nab Tower race. With 23 boats entered, the JOG points system awarded 840 points for fourth and the result represents Magic's second JOG tankard in two races.


After a windless start and a very light opening two hours, Magic had worked her way from the back of the fleet to the very front but then chased a patch of breeze to the east whilst the new wind filled in from the South West. This left the team behind much of the fleet but still in a reasonable position on handicap.

A strong performance under a violent squall on the leg from the Nab Tower to the Winner cardinal buoy off of Hayling Island saw Magic break away from a group of Impalas and make inroads towards the front. In a building wind it was then a beat back to Cowes to finish within fifteen minutes of the line honours boats and within sight of most of the fleet.





After a beautiful, if truncated, start to the JOG Offshore Series on Good Friday, the 2016 Inshore Championship gets underway this Saturday with a reported eighty boats entered in the Nab Tower Race sponsored by Universal Safety.


After a strong second place in class 6 for the JOG Round the Island Race Magic will be hoping to be among the front runners for the Nab Tower but this will be tough in a class that includes Giovani Belgrano’s Whooper and Toby Gorman’s Stan the Boat, both of who between them won Cowes Week, Round the Island and the JOG Inshore Series in 2015.


The race gets under way at 0800 off Cowes and should be completed in mid afternoon with results to follow on the JOG website.








No Cherbourg but strong start to 2016


The 2016 JOG season got off to an unexpected start on Good Friday. The fleet, including Magic, was scheduled to head to Cherbourg for the opening races of the Offshore Series, however fearsome forecasts for the latter part of the weekend lead the committee to cancel the trip in favour of a 60 mile circumnavigation of the Isle of Wight (via Bembridge Ledge and Bridge Buoy in that order).


Magic secured a strong start and probably lead on handicap for the first third of the race before fellow Impala Two Frank slipped by into the lead off Dunnose Point. Racing remained close but Frank held on for the win with Magic in a strong second.


Full results can be found here. A fuller report will follow on the blog page shortly.







2016 Impala Nationals


The 2016 Impala Nationals will be held in Brixham from 15th to 17th July 2016 and run by Brixham Yacht Club.


The planning starts here and will probably involve entering the JOG Cowes-Darmouth race which is set for Friday 24th June.









Magic wins 2015 JOG Cowes-Poole Race




Magic has won class six in JOG's Doyle Sails Cowes to Poole Race. Despite a relatively inexperienced crew, force 7 winds and massive seas, Magic overcame a poor start to complete the fifty mile course from Cowes to Poole via Bembridge Ledge and St Catherine’s point in eight hours and twenty one minutes.



With plenty of tide running, George Beevor opted for a conservative start and perhaps over did it, crossing the line after most of the fleet for the close reach to the forts between Portsmouth and Seaview.



Whilst Magic peeled up from a #2 genoa to a heavy #1, leading boats Moondog and Raffles decided they could carry their spinnakers and although this took them a little north of the rhumb line, the pair had opened out a considerable lead by the time the fleet passed Ryde. Further back, Alchemist and Dogmatix went for reaching kites but did not pull away.  Stan the Boat however started late but caught up with an impressive spinnaker reach.



No sooner had he completed the first peel of the day, bowman Tommaso Comelli has to start planning the second. Dropping to the #3 whilst rounding No Mans Land Fort turned out to be a good call. Now rather more on the wind, Magic had all the power she needed from a number three jib and made good inroads into the leaders on this leg. At Bembridge Ledge buoy, the majority of the fleet hardened up and headed toward Sandown Bay on starboard whilst Magic tacked back into the shallows over the ledge itself. After a nervous few moments looking at the echo sounder plummet and passing the waves breaking on the rocks by only a boat length or two, the little red Impala re-joined the fleet right among the leaders and so commenced a short tacking duel along the foot of culver cliffs.



The headsail team of Alan Keating, and first time sailor David Garner proceeded to grind through more tacks than they could count as Magic hugged the shore and what little tidal relief there was. With class five now coming through, Magic traded tacks with Swan 38 Xara and Sigma 38 With Alacrity, as well as most of class six in an intense period in which the wind built. Sandown Bay afforded a little more relief and here the fleet split, some choosing a direct route across the bay whilst Moondog and Magic headed towards the beach in company with class four’s Pincer Movement and Just So.



By the time Dunnose Point was on the beam, the class had spread sufficiently that it was not clear at all where Magic stood. What was clear however was that she was now sailing in a force seven with steep breaking waves that seemed to tower above her deck. Helm and co-skipper, Olly Buse somehow managed to pilot a course up and down these behemoths without falling off too many. By the time Magic approached St Catherine’s Point it appeared that Stan the Boat and Alchemist were not too far ahead but Raffles, Moondog and the others were nowhere to be seen. From that point onwards, the task was to cover Stan the Boat for four hours. She never managed to pull out of sight.



After a short period of respite off the south west coast of the Isle of Wight, the strong wind over tide conditions in the Needles Channel threw up a different sort of shorter but more frequent waves. All members of the crew struggled to retain any food they had consumed and bruises were fast developing on pressure points. Only mainsheet trimmer Susan Smillie, on only her second racing weekend, managed to brave going down below to obtain water, food and cigarettes as required, though it might have been more efficient to throw any food directly into the sea.



After what seemed like an eternal battering, conditions in Poole Bay seemed relatively benign. Despite the wind still averaging over twenty knots, the flat water was blessed relief. Two tacks were required to make the finish line and as the stop-watch went on when Stan the Boat was seen to pass the committee boat, Magic tacked onto the layline. Five minutes later she crossed the line and made for the harbour entrance with an exhausted but smiling crew having genuinely no idea of the whereabouts of the rest of the fleet. Little did they know that most of them were a significant distance behind and none were so far ahead as to take victory.



In one of the toughest JOG races in memory, the lightest boat in the fleet (and the second shortest) took victory with an inexperienced crew. George and Olly are very grateful to and very proud of each and every one of them.


Having spent the vast majority of the race from Cowes to Poole sailing hard on the wind, competitors on the JOG Poole to Cowes Race could reasonably have expected an easier time of it on the way home. In fairness the wind strength mercifully dropped but the direction backed through over a hundred degrees meaning that the race started with another beat to be followed by a fetch.


After the exhausting win the day before, Magic were without Alan Keating for the trip back.


Another poor start saw the Impala at the back of the fleet as it passed Bournemouth’s seafront but she gradually clawed her way back towards mid fleet and made suitable inroads on the leaders in a fitful breeze. As Hengistbury Head came abeam, the decision was taken to tack offshore towards stronger winds and this paid off.  Those boats who stayed closer to the rhumb line were left behind and by the time North Head came within view, Magic was in splendid isolation.


Unfortunately the tide turned shortly after Magic entered the Solent whilst the lead boats had already had fifteen minutes or twenty minutes fair tide. Combining with the wind strength dropping to little more than 6kts, this meant that barring big errors, the leaders could not be caught but on the other hand, it also made it likely that those boats behind would struggle to get through Hurst Narrows.


After an interesting sneak along the Island shore, past Newtown Creek and Gurnard Bay, Magic finished fifth on the water and fifth on handicap, twenty five minutes behind Alchemist in fourth and fifteen minutes ahead of Cheeky Monkey in sixth.


Our thanks go to the race officers for their work over the weekend and to Doyle Sails for sponsoring Saturday’s race.



 Magic sixth in 2015 Impala Nationals



A difficult last day saw Magic fall back to a still creditable sixth place in the Impala Nationals. Having made a promising start to the regatta, going 6,5,4 on day one and opened day two with a second, Magic could not maintain the form but can be very pleased with sixth overall.


Congratulations go to Samantha Flint, Oliver Love and the crew of Two Frank. Two years of hard work and putting in the time on the water have come to fruition and they are now crowned National Champions.



A full report is at Yachts and Yachting.






The 2015 Impala Nationals are very nearly upon us. For the first time in her current ownership, Magic will be competing in her home waters on the Solent. This year the Championship is being hosted by Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club and commences 20th June for three days.


Magic’s crew for 2015 retains four members of the 2014 crew from Weymouth and indeed the successful 2013 team who picked up fourth place and best newcomer in Weymouth in 2013. George and Olly have of course taken part both the previous years and so have headsail trimmer Sarah McColl and bowman Will Waddington. The crew will be completed this year by Alan Keating and Johannes Schiff with the latter being replaced by Lottie Harland on for the closing day on Monday 22nd.


The full Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions can be found here at the Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club website whilst Yachts & Yachting have run a light hearted preview on their own page.




 A brutal start and a frustrating result



After nearly a year out of passage racing, Magic returned to the JOG fold on Saturday with the Nab Tower Race. Racing in class six, the start was scheduled for 0730. The forecast was for a sunny day with around 16kts, gusting a little more from the east. In the event the wind speed at start time was well over 30kts and with that opposing a strong spring tide, the sea state was, by Solent standards, appalling. Later classes reported less wind and a calmer sea and it is perhaps ironic that it was the small boats who got the worst of the conditions.


Of the other Impalas entered, Aiden Barr’s withdrew Cheeky Monkey quite reasonably leaving whilst Sam Flint and Oliver Love were the next to withdraw from the ring. Starting the race with the fleet, they took a sharp right into Cowes after the gun and promptly retired in favour of a nice breakfast.



Magic was subject to an individual recall but with all the crew including George Beevor unable to leave the rail, unfortunately nobody was able to hear the call. Unsurprisingly in such circumstances, Magic set off among the front runners, passing two Laser 28s and a She 36 during the beat down to Ryde. The seastate was brutal and the gusts continued in the thirties.



The crew, which included Trudy Willows for the first time in her first outing in over two years as well as a guest appearance from Voodoo’s Pete Rouse retained their humour if not their breakfasts.



A close reach back to the Solent allowed some respite and by the time the leaders bore away at Horse Sand Fort the seastate had calmed as the tide was now with the wind which was down in the teens. Magic finished sixth but after the imposition of a time penalty for being OCS she was reduced down to ninth.  






Magic secure second place in Frostbite Series


MRT have started the year with a strong second place in IRC class 2 of the Doyle Sails Frostbite Series run by the Royal Southampton Yacht Club. Whilst the series was dominated by fellow Impala Two Frank, who took an impressive seven wins from ten races, Magic were comfortably in second despite having used the series mainly to blood new crew members.


The full series results can be found on the Royal Southampton's wesbite.


After a short break, the summer's passage racing season get's under way on 18th April with JOG's Nab Tower Race.


Magic up to second



Magic moved into second place on the Doyle Sails Frostbite Series on Sunday (1st March) with two second places out of two races. Fellow Impala Two Frank retained top spot winning both races.



In strong winds and on a course with as many reaches as runs or beats, both Impala’s led from start to finish in both races.



With four races left, Magic sits four points behind. There is everything left to sail for during the remainder of the series.


Full details of the results can be found at the Royal Southampton Yacht Club's website.


Hamo Thornycroft has taken some excellent photos during the series, proofs of which can be found at his website




Another strong performance from a new crew



MRT consolidated a promising start to the Doyle Sails Frostbite Series with a solid fourth and a creditable second in races 5 & 6 on Sunday 15th February.


With races 3 and 4 having been cancelled due to poor weather two weeks previously, Magic’s new crew members were still very much finding their feet. This week saw three debutants with Vicky Skinner, Lottie Harland and Alexander Ahmann all sailing an Impala for the first time with Johannes Schiff taking only his second trip. Regular bowman Tommaso Comelli joined the owners to complete a seven crew line-up.

A strong start in clean air in the middle of the line was made in the first race as Magic hedged her bets up the centre of the course. Unfortunately it turned out that the right was favoured and although the class converged towards the starboard lay line, the Impala got caught in a luffing duel with Mustang 30 Erik the Red allowing Trickster (Sigma 33) and Two Frank (Impala 28) to get ahead. In very light conditions Magic made great gains on the right hand side of the run, briefly passing Two Frank and Erik the Red before heading straight into a hole from which there appeared no escape. Whilst inroads were made during the remainder of the race, with some surprisingly good crew-work at the marks, the gap was too much to make up and Magic took fourth place.


The wind remained rather shifty but mercifully at least filled in for the second start. Magic skilfully nailed a committee boat end start and tacked on the line to head into clean air whilst the fleet headed to the other side of the beat. Two Frank fought to break clear but by the time she had done, Magic was well ahead, joining the faster rated Trickster and Erik the Red in a close mark rounding. The fleet stayed close together on what was now a quartering reach back to the ODM with the two Impalas close behind the leading pair (and comfortably ahead on handicap).


Two Frank’s hoist had been quicker than Magic’s and this bought her an important few boat-lengths lead. At the leeward mark, Erik the Red and Trickster collided taking the pressure off the Impala’s. Two Frank got away cleanly and seemed to avoid a large wash from a marauding gin palace to establish a lead that never came under threat. Magic held off a strong challenge on the final downwind leg from Erik the Red to take second place on the water and confirm an Impala 1-2 in handicap as well.






A winning start



Whilst the official results will have to wait until all boats in the class have received their 2015 IRC ratings, Magic’s crew can be very pleased with their day’s work with a likely win in the second race of the Doyle Sails Frostbite Series.



With a couple of new faces and plenty of changes in position, together with the effects of early season rust, it was perhaps understandable that despite an excellent start, the opening race of the day was a little challenging, finishing a minute and 44 seconds behind fellow Impala Two Frank for a probably fifth place in shifty and variable conditions.



The second race however was impressively smooth, with headsail trimmers and Magic debutants Alan Keating and Johannes Schiff settling in quickly. Boatspeed was impressive throughout and Magic led the field including faster rated boats such as Erik the Red (Mustang 30 mkII) and Trickster (Sigma 33) around the windward mark. Whilst the lead was traded with the Sigma for the remainder of the race, Trickster only established a firm lead on the final run and could not open up sufficient gap to save her time, taking line honours be just 31 seconds. With faster rated boats such as Erik the Red and Two Frank behind her on the water, the key times are those of Glass Onion (six minutes behind) and Applejack (over sixteen minutes back) which should be enough in a forty minute race.



With further crew changes coming over the next few weeks, it is more a matter of enjoying the victory rather than setting down a precedent for the rest of the series but all the crew can be pleased with the start to the season.



Racing continues in two weeks time with races three and four.



  2015 Doyle Sails Frostbite Series



Subject to weather conditions, Magic kicks off the 2015 sailing season this Sunday with the first two races of the Doyle Sails Frostbite Series hosted and organised by Royal Southampton Yacht Club.



The series comprises twelve races with two racers per day every other Sunday. With plenty of changes in crew, the series will be a good preparation for the year ahead with short sharp races and plenty or mark roundings. At least one other Impala, Two Frank, is also entered.



Results will be available shortly after racing on the RSYC website and reports will appear on the on this site.



 2015 Impala Nationals



The 2015 Impala Nationals will be held in Cowes from Saturday 20th to Monday 22nd June 2015.


The event will return to the Solent for the first time since 2011 with Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club hosting the event. Boats will be based at Shepherds Wharf Marine in West Cowes.


With eight boats now based in Hamble together with two in Cowes and a smattering around the region from Poole to Chichester it is hoped that a bumper turn out will be boosted by boats visiting from farther afield to take advantage of the event coinciding with the Round the Island Race and David Thomas Regatta, both of which take place the following weekend.



Magic bows out of 2014 Garmin Hambel Winter Series in third place



Magic concluded her 2014 programme with a third and fourth place in the Hamble Winter Series last Sunday (26th October).



Two close races in blustery conditions saw four different leaders on the water at various points throughout the day, including Magic who led the first race for much of the first beat being overstanding the mark.


Polly won both races once again with Two Frank in second. Magic and Imptish shared a third and a fourth each. The results leave Magic in third place of the series with four races to go, however she is not competing in the remaining races.



Thoughts now turn to the 2015 season. With the local Impala fleet continuing to grow in the Solent and the 2015 Nationals expected to be in Cowes, it looks an exciting year ahead.



Our thanks go to all the crew who have sailed on the boat during 2014 and we look forward to seeing you again next year.



A Force 6-7 for the Winter Series helps Magic to 2nd


Magic continued a solid Garmin Hamble Winter Series performance with a 2nd place (in the Impala class, 5th in IRC4) in this weekend’s only race. With 22kts already blowing and more forecast, the race committee decided that one race would be enough for the day but set a longer course than expected. As it turned out, the wind rose through 25kts and up to 30 before the day was out, making it hard work for helms and trimmers and a thoroughly wet day all round.



With a number of bigger but not necessarily much quicker boats in the IRC class, clean air was hard to find off the start line. Magic’s tactician George Beevor managed to bag the committee boat end of the line and tack away early, initially separating from the fleet, the remainder of whom went hard left. Whilst there probably was more wind to the left, the clean air paid off. Eventually the other leading Impalas, Polly, Two Frank and Imptish tacked off and on the first cross, only Polly was narrowly in front. The gaps varied throughout the remainder of the beat but the order at the first mark stayed the same, Polly rounding comfortably in front, Magic second with Imptish and Two Frank close behind.


The close reach that followed was something of a drag race with each boat threatening a charge but then being pegged back as a competitor surfed off another wave however life got really interesting, and challenging, on the first downwind leg. Magic went for a bare-away set whilst the majority chose to gybe set. This initially paid but with the wind now a steady 27kts, the gybe went badly resulting in a spinnaker wrapped around the forestay. Each boat was having their problems and once the kite was back up and set, Magic had taken out a huge lead on Imptish and Two Frank with Polly only just ahead. Both had passed a number of apparently much faster IRC boats in the process.



A conservative early douse at the mark by Magic allowed Polly to surge ahead and so at the next windward mark the latter rounded comfortably in front. This time, Magic opted not to hoist the kite but instead polled out the J3.5 headsail allowing her to sail far deeper than the competition but maintaining a steady 7.5 knots. Thus she passed Polly on the water, albeit briefly and Polly re-established a three or four boat length lead by the time she dropped her spinnaker.



Polly’s lead was drawn out over the following beat and she again went for a kite as Magic stayed ‘white sails only’ for the final run. With the run not being quite so deep, this paid off and by the finish the lead had lengthened to two minutes and five seconds. Imptish and Two Frank both suffered whilst trying to make up ground on the final run and thus Imptish came in a further two minutes and five seconds later and Two Frank was just shy of three minutes after her. Voodoo secured fifth from Vlad the Impala in sixth. Curved Air took the day off.



The crew of Olly Bewes (helm & co-skipper), Claudia Rimmington (main) Emma Vale (headsails) Sarah McColl (headsails) George Beevor (pit & co-skipper) and Tommaso Commeli (bow) retured to the bar, soaked, exhausted but smiling. Magic’s final race entry of 2014 comes in next week’s Winter Series races before the crew pack it in for the year, though doubtless many of them will turn up on other boats as the series continues throughout November.



David Thomas - 1932 - 2014


It is with great sadness that everyone concerned with Magic received the news of the death of her designer, David Thomas on Monday 13th October 2014.  



David was a long term friend and colleague of Hedley Bewes having collaborated on a number of designs, most famously the legendary Hamble based dinghy, the Foxer, the first of which was sailed by Magic’s co-owner Olly Bewes. Olly then went on to have a successful association with another of Thomas’ designs in his Sonata High Note. George Beevor came into sailing on big boats but admits he only really learned to race when he started sailing the David Thomas designed Hunter 707 in 2006. He later joined Olly on High Note before the pair purchased Magic in 2012.


David Thomas’ designs have been prominent in the Solent and across the globe, including Sigmas, Elizabethans, Hunters and the first generation of Chay Blyth’s Challenge 67s, still the largest one design. All these designs shared the common theme of being quick, well-mannered sea boats which gave owners exactly what they wanted. It is no coincidence that so many went on to establish large one-design fleets that are still competing today.


David Thomas and family sailing Trudi


David was also a superb sailor having many successes in many of the classes that he designed himself including the Sonata, Sigma 33, Elizabethan 30 and of course the Impala which he named Trudi after his wife.



We are all grateful to David, not only for designing us this fantastic boat to go sailing on, but for the input he has had via Hedley. He has generously given his time to advise us, most recently reassuring us after the heavy grounding at Cowes Week 2014.






Short handed Magic still competitive in Hamble Winter Series


Magic went into the second day of the Hamble Winter Series last Sunday with a crew of just four after the late withdrawal of Sarah McColl due to illness but still managed to put in a creditable performance in variable wind.



Another poor start in the opening race was soon overcome and the final run of the race saw Polly, Two Frank, Imptish and Magic all abreast across the course. That turned out to be the finishing order of the front four Impalas but with just seconds between them.



In the second race, a more aggressive approach at the start looked to be paying off until Magic was called OCS and had to return over the line and restart. Despite that, she worked her way back through the fleet and managed another fourth, this time 34 seconds behind Imptish.



Unfortunately, this weekend’s Doyles Sails One Design Championship will not include an Impala class due to a lack of entrants however there should be a strong class entry for the Winter Series races on Sunday.




Promising start to Hamble Winter Series



The opening day of the 2014 Hamble Winter Series dawned cold and still. The river steamed with early morning mist below a clear sky. Lovely conditions for walking a dog but rather two windless for yacht racing.




Crews arrived to find AP over #1 flying at Hamble River Sailing Club meaning at least an hours postponement. In the end only one race was possible but credit must go to the race management team who kept the faith as regattas around the Solent were canned for the day. In truth, after two hours at anchor, many crews had lost the hunger for racing and some heads were already in the bar as racing got under way in little over 5kts of breeze.




After a break of almost two months in which most of her crew had been away sailing high performance A-symetric boats, mainly offshore, Magic appeared to be suffering from some rusty sailing and got a little too far from the start line before a lull on the four minute signal caused her to be embarrassingly late for the start.


Polly, Voodoo and Imptish got away well with Two Frank in hot pursuit. Vlad the Impala, in her first race after a major refit was also slow off the line and Magic made up on place almost immediately, crossing well ahead on the first cross. After hanging well right in search of clean air, Magic also picked off Voodoo early on and made up plenty of ground on Curved Air and Imptish in the run into the windward mark. A smart hoist allowed Magic to nip inside Imptish and work her way into fourth behind Polly, Two Frank and Curved Air. Whilst the initial plan had been to gybe early and head left, the lanes opened up to the right and by the first leeward mark Magic had also passed Curved Air to sit in third.




The following three legs, one to windward, a reciprocal to leeward and a spinnaker reach to the finish were pretty much processional. The gap to Two Frank was closed but not nearly enough. Polly took the victory from Two Frank with Magic maintaining a shrinking lead over Imptish to retain third.


In the end, after the poor start, the crew work was pretty spotless with Tommaso Commeli looking as if he had never been away from the bow despite not having sailed on the boat since May. Excellent trim from Emma Vale and Sarah McColl, particularly down wind, defied Magic’s reputation for under performing in light airs and clearly the afterguard’s ability to find clean air on a congested race course contributed to the rescuing of a good result from an unpromising start.



The race was dual scored on IRC where Magic came sixth out of twelve starters.




Magic ready for Weymouth return


The waiting is almost over for the Impala fleet's return to Weymouth for the 35th National Championship. After last year's successful event the class opted to return to Dorset's Olympic venue for their big anniversary to take advantage of it's being a good midway point between the Devon and Solent fleets as well as the excellent sailing waters, not to mention the warm welcome of the hosts at Weymouth Keelboat Championships.



A full preview has been written up on the Yachts&Yachting website with Magic joint 4th in the betting, ironic or perhaps sensible after last week's joint fourth in the IRC small boat regatta and of course fourth place in JOG and the Nationals last year. The competition will be tough but the team are well prepared to finally break the top three.



Regular updates will be on the Magic Facebook page with daily reports on the Impala28 website.



IRC Small Boat Regatta 2014


For the third year in a row, the Saturday of the IRC Small Boat Regatta, hosted by the Royal Air Force Yacht Club, bought challenging conditions, though happily in an improvement on 2013. This year saw a full three races sailed for both classes, one windward/leeward, one triangle/sausage and one round the cans courses were used, all in 20 knots + from the SW.



Without a #2 headsail, Magic struggled in Class One and the issues were aggravated when one end of the spinnaker pole gave in. A quick jury rig allowed the jib to be poled out but there was no way to fly a spinnaker as the winds got lighter through the afternoon.  A fifth and two fourths were disappointing but perhaps not bad results in the circumstances. James Morland’s quarter tonner Menace dominated proceedings as they handled the conditions best and bagged three bullets ahead of Tom Hill’s beautiful quarter Runaway Bus who were second in each race. Oliver Love and Sam Flint headed the Impala challenge completing the top three on each occasion.


A soaked fleet retired to the RAFYC, hosting this year’s event, to dry off and exchange the stories of their day over supper.


In contrast, Sunday dawned bright with a light WNW breeze. Aiden Barr of Cheeky Monkey, not competing this weekend, was kind enough to lend Magic a spinnaker pole for the day however the opening windward leeward race was a disappointment with Magic well off the pace and 6th in the results.


After a better stated to the second race, Magic was leading on handicap in the approach to the first windward mark however she then fell back on a race of more reaches than upwind or downwind legs. Another fourth place saw Magic tied on points in fourth in class with Barney Smith and Graham Tullett’s Imptish, however the latter’s third place in the final  race gave them the edge leaving Magic in fifth.



Once again the prize giving at the RAFYC was well attended, with engraved glassware and wine being awarded. The Spinlock prize to mark the 30th anniversary of the IRC rating system was given to Kathy and Rupert Smalley for having the oldest continuous IRC handicap in the fleet for their famous Laser 28 The Flying Fish.




IRC Small Boat Regatta 2014

Magic’s 2014 season really hots up this weekend with the first of two major championships to be sailed this July. The IRC Small Boat Regatta, this year hosted by the RAF Yacht Club kicks off on 5th July ahead of the Impala Nationals at the end of the month.





The SBR is intended to be formed of five races over two days on the Hill Head Plateau. The event has attracted a strong field of smaller IRC boats including a good turn out from the Hamble Impala fleet and quarter tonners from all parts of the Solent.




Despite being more than half way through the year, the event will be the first time Magic has lined up against the other Impala’s in a ‘round the cans race since her fourth place at last year’s Impala Nationals. The core of that crew remain with Olly Bewes and George Beevor being joined by stalwart trimmer Will Roper and bowman Will Waddington. Emma Vale will be trimming with just one newbie to the boat, Clare Spratt.




Check the MRT Facebook page for results throughout the weekend and a full report will appear here early next week.





Royal Southern Hamble - Poole Race report


Magic secured third place in the Royal Southern’s Hamble-Poole race on Saturday 14th June 2014. Racing in a more relaxed fashion than they might in JOG races, Olly & George were joined by regular Emma Vale and new-racers Keira Huber and Joe Bear for the 27 mile jaunt to Dorset in a race that happily contrasted sharply with last year’s brutal JOG race to the same destination on a rather longer course which had seen the team take second place to briefly go top of last year’s inshore series.


The gate start was a new experience for the team, indeed tactician George Beevor claims never to have seen one before but this didn’t seem to have too much ill effect as the red Impala got away first in a fleet of rather larger boats. The brief fetch from Royal Southern buoy to Meon saw only two boats, J133 Jump and Lis and Robbie Robinson’s Beneteau First 35 Hot Rats pass her before the spinnaker hoist for what looked set to be a long run to the finish.


With the wind petering out and coming back in intermittently, the lead boats, which by now included Magic’s namesake, the Elan 40 of Graham Nixon, never got out of sight as tidal strategy played as big a part as boat-speed in the light airs.


An hour in to the race, a ninety degree wind shift meant the end of the spinnaker for now and a fine reach in a north westerly wind followed through the Hurst narrows and out over the northern edge of the Shingles Bank. As the wind died once again in Christchurch Bay, Magic began to make gains on the boats in front and nearly caught her larger namesake before the sea breeze kicked in at 1400.


From there it was a fetch to the Poole entrance before a tack South to take the penultimate mark, Poole Number 1 Buoy a few hundred yards from the finish. Amazingly, having calculated themselves that they needed to beat Magic by an hour on the water, Hot Rats managed to record a time of exactly one hour quicker than the Impala, to the second! This in fact meant they took second place by a comfortable fifteen minutes.


Having reached the mark in a little over four hours and twenty minutes, the failing breeze combined with strong tide to rob Magic of any hope of a win, running the final leg in over half an hour with the spinnaker struggling to fill. However that could not detract from a cracking day on the water and nor did it stop the traditional party, starting on the pontoons at Poole Quay Boat Haven and moving on via a pub to the da Vinchi’s Italian restaurant, a regular haunt.



Magic enters RSrnYC Poole & Back race weekend.


Magic returns to racing action this weekend in the Royal Southern Yacht Club’s Poole & Back races, part of their six race passage race series. Unlike the JOG Poole Double in September, the race there takes a more direct route and there is only one IRC class meaning that the team will be racing against new opponents and much faster rivals on handicap as well as old rivals such as Imperator, and Curved Air (who won the recent Yarmouth-Hamble race in the same series).


Check out the Magic Facebook page for updates and a report will appear here next week.






After a frustrating, if not entirely unsuccessful start to the season, matters really hot up over the next couple of months with the two big regattas of the year getting closer all the time.


Firstly the IRC Small Boat Regatta (think IRC Nationals for smaller boats) takes place at the RAF Yacht Club Hamble on 5th & 6th July followed by the 35th Impala Nationals from 25th to 27th July in Weymouth.


Full details can be found at the following links:




   Sun, sea and frustration


Glorious sunshine, superb company and a thoroughly enjoyable run ashore in the pretty harbour of Yarmouth meant that the weekend of 17th & 18th May 2014 was very nearly perfect for MRT. Sadly the only bit that was lacking was the yacht racing.


As forecast Saturday dawned with little breeze and plenty of tide and whilst Class 6 got to the start area in plenty of time for their 1000 start, it was no great surprise to see the AP go up and, sadly, stay a couple of hours. Once the tide had turned, the class got away with a clean start.


Magic again was away strongly and kept pace with the leaders on a breathless day. The trim team of Will Roper, Beverley Smith and Claudia Rimmington working constantly to eek out any tiny puff to maximum efficiency. Tommaso Commeli danced around the bow with the smooth efficiency of a ballerina for gybe after gybe and the teamwork was a joy to behold.


Anyone keeping an ear on the VHF would have heard that Peter Chatres and the team back in Cowes were having great trouble getting the following starts away but just as the wind filled in in the Western Solent, racing was abandoned for the day with a request that all vessels make their way to Yarmouth.


At the time of the abandonment, three boats could claim to be winning on handicap. Fellow Impala Two Frank had made good progress along the island shore whilst the quarter tonner Menace was a little in front. Magic co-skipper George Beevor felt that the team were slightly closer to Yarmouth than Two Frank and were close enough to Menace on handicap but certainly all three boats could feel hard done to. Unfortunately, the Racing Rules of Sailing do not allow for racing to be abandoned for some classes and not others unless at least one boat in the class racing has already finished. It was a reasonable prospect that the first finisher would have been five hours from the finish at that point and it was simply not practical to keep trying to start the others, or leave them under an AP for that period. Even if they had, there would have been nobody in Yarmouth to finish them!



The traditional run ashore in Yarmouth with friends old and new was as good fun as ever and there were a few sore heads on Sunday morning when racing got under way with a lovely ten knot breeze and bright sunshine. Sadly it was not to be Magic’s day.


Whilst the crew did all that could have been asked of them, the boat was badly off the pace allowing even H-boat Cloud Nine to sail over the top of them and off over the horizon. A full investigation into the problem will not be possible until the tides and time allow for Magic to be taken out of the water, it could simply be a very mucky bottom or it is possible that weed has become entangled somewhere out of reach.


Whilst the owners and crew returned to Hamble frustrated, with such wonderful weather and wonderful company it was hard to be too disappointed with a weekend that had almost everything.





Sarah wins again!


Congratulations to MRT member Sarah McColl who retained her title as the women's Harken Grinding Champion at the X-yachts Solent Cup over the bank holiday weekend. Sarah was crewing on Xcitable who missed out on retaining the trophy that they won at the Royal Southern in 2013 however Sarah retained her personal crown against stiff competion at the Royal Yacht Squadron.





The tightest of finishes to the Spring Series


In the end, class 2 or the RSYC Harken Spring Series came down to a straight shoot out on the last race between two rather different David Thomas designed, Hunter built boats.



Impala Magic had started the series strongly with a brace of wins in the opening races with 707 Storm Crow second on each occasion. The following Sunday Glass Onion won the first race with Magic second and Storm Crow down in fourth. Magic then secured the win in the second race whilst again the other Hunter was down in fourth. The MYC based crew of Storm Crow then got off the mark in races six and seven with two narrow wins to close the gap with Magic, perhaps jaded from the previous day’s JOG race, in second for both races. On the penultimate Sunday of the series Magic’s engine failure left the door open for Storm Crow to take the lead which she duly did with two wins. After comparing discards, the title was to come down to the final races yesterday (Sunday 27th April).



The day started with strong winds in the period before the start with boats feeling overpowered. The crew of Magic however sensed the wind dropping first and changed down to their #1 headsail whilst Storm Crow started with a reef. The gamble paid off and on what was effectively a windward leeward course; the slower rated Magic rounded the first mark second on the water. Initially they tried to use their greater downwind sail area to cover Storm Crow however the smaller more modern boat is far fast when reaching and so they were able to protect comfortably. This took them right and with the wind backing left Storm Crow needing a gybe to make the mark whereas Magic, as is often the case with Impala’s, able to retain her slower downwind speed on a more direct course. Whilst Storm Crow was once again leading around the mark, she certainly wasn’t saving her time.



The 707 was able to stretch out a small lead on the second lap but with Magic maintaining a loose cover it was never enough and Magic took the victory with Whacky Racer coming through to take second for the third race in a row.



Magic was now back in the lead of the series but it was by a single point. The scoring system made this a last race shoot out. Magic laid a trap for Storm Crow at the start of the second race, coming from deep as the opposition reached in from the right. Initially it looked as if the timing was a little off and Storm Crow appeared to be escaping until Chris Burbidge’s Domaine, a quicker Class One boat and fellow LLYC member, filled the gap. Magic was able to push Domaine up and in so doing Domaine put Storm Crow over the line. All looked sweet as Magic bore away for speed and leapt forward at the gun. Whether the committee needed to call a general recall was a moot point. Storm Crow was certainly over, perhaps Jos and Domaine were too. In any event, the flag went up and the advantage was lost.



In the new pre-start, Storm Crow determined not to get caught again and went off to the left, initially looking as if they were going to attempt a port flyer which would have been ambitious with three class one boats sharing the start line. Magic maintained a tight cover and Storm Crow threw in their lot, came back and tacked late for the line in the dirt from those class one boats and with Magic slightly ahead and to leeward.



The right hand side of the beat looked favoured however the Storm Crow headed left and Magic maintained her tight cover, once again rounding the windward mark close behind her rival. A long run from the Netley shore right up to Hythe followed. Storm crow went hot, seemingly to sail a faster angle and whilst Magic initially tried to cover, she eventually put in two more gybes to maintain a more direct course. This would have worked as the pair again rounded close to each other but, not for the first time this series, the Magic crew could not get the headsail to stay in the luff groove leading to a very late spinnaker drop and rounding the mark with only one sail. It seemed to take an age to fix and by the time the Impala was up to speed, Storm Crow had sped into a seemingly unassailable lead. Covering was no longer an option and Magic went left where she found stronger breeze. Eventually the difference between the two boats was closed to just 35 seconds on corrected time (fifteen on IRC) but Storm Crow and the Solent Lostbuoys syndicate who own her took the title by a single point on club class and on count-back in the IRC class.


Both boats return to action in the David Thomas Regatta hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club on 10th May. This is likely to be Magic’s only home event of the season and will also see her come up against other Impala’s in round the cans action for the first time since her fourth place at the 2013 Nationals.


Full results can be found on the RSYC website


Magic's co-skippers George Beevor and Olly Bewes would like to extend their thanks to the race committee of the Royal Southampton for running the series as well as to Emma Vale, Sarah McColl, Tommaso Commeli, Nick Cherrill, Claudia Rimmington, Audrey Knight, Will Waddington and Will Roper for making this a successful and exciting start to the season.









A tight finish?


Magic enters the final day of the RSYC Harken Spring Series this Sunday (27th April) with her fate very much in her own hands.


If, as seems likely the series goes the full ten races, three discards will be used by each boat making it very tight between her and Hunter 707 Storm Crow sailed by the Solent Lost Buoys syndicate. However complex the math, the fact remains that if either boat can secure two wins over the other on Sunday, they should take the title.


Check the RSYC website on Sunday afternoon for updates.



A brace of 2nds for Magic in the

RSYC Harken Spring Series 


Magic retained her lead in the Harken Spring Series on Sunday (6th April) with two second places in blustery conditions in Southampton Water. With many of the crew fatigued after the previous day’s JOG race, there was good humour on-board but perhaps not the usual level of pre-race enthusiasm in thick rain, mist and a building wind. However, once racing however got underway the adrenaline kicked in and an aggressive start saw Whacky Racer pushed off the line as the team secured the pin end. Sadly a lapse in concentration shortly after led to Magic having to take penalty turns after a port/starboard incident with Glass Onion. This allowed the Hunter 707 Storm Crow to establish a lead that she was never to give up.



The south westerly wind direction meant that race committee had little option but to set a course of rather short legs meaning there was plenty of action. In gusts of nearly 30 knots, caution paid as Magic and Storm Crow kept the spinnakers in their bags and sailed away from the rest of the fleet, however after seven legs Magic had made only slight inroads into the lead and had to settle for second place.


Whacky Racer again suffered on the start line of race two, this time in an upwind broach as another ferocious gust coincided with the gun. Initially Magic sailed into the lead as Storm Crow seemed unable to shake off a cover from Glass Onion. Once free however she was able to sail to her handicap to lead win just 17 seconds on corrected time using the RSYC Club Handicap or just one second if you prefer IRC.


The results leave the two rather different Hunter build David Thomas designs both in contention as the series moves into it’s latter stages. Magic sits on 9 points to ahead of Storm Crow’s 11, however after discards it’ll be rather closer so there is everything to sail for in the remaining four races.


Our thanks go to the race committee from the Royal Southampton who have sat out some truly awful weather on Hound on Sunday mornings for our benefit. Hopefully in the coming weeks they can be rewarded by rather more benign conditions.


Full results and standings can be found on the RSYC website here.





Frustration at the start of the 2014 JOG campaign



After a blazing return to racing in the Harken Spring Series, Magic opened her 2014 JOG campaign with a frustrating 8th place from 22 starters in Saturday’s Nab Tower Race, however there were plenty of positives to take away from the performance if not the placing as no fewer than thirteen boats were within ten minutes of second place at the end of a race of around five hours.






In such a large class, which included a number of boats in excess of thirty five feet, clean air was key and Magic’s afterguard of Olly Bewes (helm) George Beevor (tactician) and Will Roper (crew boss) managed to find this in most instances, especially off the start line where an aggressive inshore reach was rewarded initially. Of course the pay off for this was a light patch off Norris which allowed fellow Impala Two Frank to close the gap which had initially been over a hundred yards down to just a few boat lengths. That gap stretched and closed repeatedly on the drag race down to the forts. Those boats with code zeros and a-sails who initially got ahead were clawed back in by the Impala’s meaning that they rounded the forts in company with some rather faster (on handicap) competitors including Toby Gorman’s Sigma 33 Stan the Boat which took last years Hamble Winter Series by storm and currently leads the Warsash Spring Series class 4.




All but two boats chose a tight angle away from the fort to take account of the lateral tide nearer the tower however Magic went lower to separate from the bigger boats and wind shadows as well as to take advantage of the north south tide in the main fairway. Initially this paid off and substantial gap was opened out however the team were perhaps guilty of getting a little greedy and sailed too free in the latter part of the leg allowing those boats with a more conservative strategy to close the gap. Two Frank made it to the mark first but Magic stole through the inside in the confused seas around the base of the tower.




Once again, strategies diverged with Magic now sailing a hotter angle toward the tidal relief off Bembridge before hoisting for a tight spinnaker reach to the fort which was held superbly by the trim team of Will Roper (main), Ed Hillier and Will Waddington (sharing kite trim)  whilst those symmetric boats sailing a more direct route struggled with the shyer reaching angle. Again this strategy worked with Magic now comfortably in front of those boats of similar (and in some cases greater) handicap that she had rounded the forts with however once again, greed got the better of her and after a smart from she sailed into the hole in the lee of the fort, wallowing minimal breeze with Menace as the funnelling tide held her in place. This broadcast the correct strategy loud and clear to the following boats who literally sailed around the two red hulls. Two Frank established a lead here that she was never to concede.




To compound the error, it was now clear that Magic’s genoa halyard was stuck hard in the sheave with the halyard tension all wrong. Whilst the boatspeed remained respectable, the sail shape was all wrong, as observed by trimmers from passing class three boats, one of whom made a point to enquire in the evening at the King and Queen in Hamble as to whom had been responsible for it’s set up.




We shall never know if the strategy of sailing further, following the three meter contour for further tidal relief might have worked if that sail shape had been correct, but it certainly did allow for another very satisfying spinnaker reach from Peel Wreck buoy back up to the main channel in which the gap on the boats ahead was greatly reduced before another very impressive drop just as the angle became too shy. Indeed bowman Tommaso Comelli can be very satisfied with his days work on the foredeck.




In the end though, the damage had been done and Magic finished just a little to far behind Two Frank who claimed seventh place from her rival by just seven seconds on handicap. The team were just forty seconds off of sixth and less than two hundred seconds of fourth, demonstrating not only how close the racing is in the class, but just how small errors will cost you dearly at this level.




The team did have the consolation of being the leading Lloyd’s of London boat. Shaytana scratched prior to the start but Magic beat both Stan the Boat and Chris Burbidge’s Domaine who finished twelfth and tenth respectively.




Full results can be found at the JOG website.




After a good night out in Hamble with fellow crews, the team were required to pick themselves  up for two further races on Sunday in the Harken Spring Series. A full report to follow.







Another successful day on the water


Magic consolidated her successful start to the RSYC Harken Spring Series with a second and another line honours victory on the second day of the competition.


Another day of stiff weather meant it was the #3 headsail once again on the flat water off Netley. Magic started the first race impressively by managing to put Glass Onion on the wrong side of the committee boat and secure that end of the line to herself allowing an early tack into what little tide was available in the main channel. More importantly she was able to tack away into clean air, away from the bigger class one boats. The lead was held on what was effectively a triangle course and whilst the run was not entirely without sail handling issues, Magic ended the first downwind leg still leading on the water from the Hunter 707 Storm Crow.


The lead was increased on the next beat and Magic rounded the windward mark for the second time looking favourite to repeat the previous Sunday’s line honours victories. Unfortunately the #3 kept leaping out of the foil during the rehoist meaning that Magic was forced to complete the hook finish under only one sail allowing Storm Crow and Whacky Racer to pass them on the water and Glass Onion to catch right up. The lead was sufficient however that the leading pair could not save their time and Glass Onion took the win comfortably with Magic hanging on for second place. Protests flew around all over the place after disputes about which boats had sailed the course but none were directed at Magic and all were eventually withdrawn.


The second race, on a similar but slightly longer course was altogether smoother for the team although as with the second race last week, she did find herself penned in the dirty air from class 1 boats trying to get out to a band of wind on the left. The rest of class two, having been slower off the line switched to the right hand side of the beat and initially drew out a lead. The front three boats passed the windward mark together and Magic did well to keep pace with the planing boats on the downwind leg. The second beat however saw Magic create a lead which she was to hold all the way to the finish despite a strong comeback from Whacky Racer in the closing stages.


The team now sit on 5 points, clear at the front of the Series with six races still to sail.




Sail No

Race 1

Race 2

Race 3

Race 4











Wacky Racer III








Glass Onion








Storm Crow








Fusion III

















The team return to action on Saturday for the start of the JOG Offshore Yacht Racing Championship inshore series for the first passage race of 2014. In a packed weekend there are then two Harken Spring Series races on the Sunday too.





Magic opens the season with a perfect start


On a day that did little to contradict Jim Saltonstall’s claim that yacht racing is the most challenging sport in the world, Magic came through the malevolent conditions to record two race wins with line honours on the opening day of the Royal Southampton Yacht Club’s Harken Spring Series.


Before racing commenced for the day, wind speed at Dock Head was six knots gusting twelve, promising calm conditions for what was to be the first race of the season for most competitors, however by the start it was blowing a steady nineteen knots from the north with bowman Tommaso Comelli being given rather short notice to get the number three up and ready to race.


With a relatively small number of entrants the two classes were merged making for a busy start but with excellent work from headsail trimmers Sarah McColl and Claudia Rimmington, Magic nailed the committee boat end allowing her to tack away from the dirty air of the bigger class one boats and establish a lead that she was never to give up in the opening race, leading from start to finish despite being rated as the slowest boat out on the water in the fleet.


At the windward mark the Impala rounded just ahead of another David Thomas Hunter design, the 707 Storm Crow belonging to Philip Proctor, however the ‘seven oh’s’ downwind performance is legendary and with both boats opting not to fly spinnakers whilst several class one competitors ahead struggled to keep their boat’s under the rig. Storm Crow took several boat lengths out of the lead between there and the gybe mark off the Netley shore. After the turn though, Magic went direct for the leeward mark whilst the pursuer hugged the shore; the larger boat re-established a comfortable lead which was maintained to the finish after a short but gusty beat.


Line honours in the opening race of the year was a truly magical moment for a team that has often been among the front runners but hitherto failed to bring home a first prize.


 With the wind now steadily over 24kts the race committee must have considered canning the second race but rightly persisted, again starting the two classes together. This time Magic went for the pin end in the hope of avoiding the larger boats but Mike Garvey’s X362 Magec and Andrew Campbell’s Bavaria 44 Face Three also opted to go that way, pinning Magic into a pocket from which it took time to break free. Patience, combined with plenty of breeze out to the left, paid off and the team found clean air in the puffs on the western side of Southampton Water, however it was necessary to make up ground on Storm Crow and Richard House’s Laser 28 Whacky Racer. The Laser was slowly reeled in but by the windward mark, Storm Crow had consolidated her advantage and rounded well ahead.


 A false lull at the mark tempted both Whacky Racer and Storm Crow to hoist their spinnakers and both headed inshore and out of the tide whilst Magic opted for a more direct route with main sheet trimmer Will Roper summoning all his strength in ‘human poling’ the goose-winged jib. The direct route initially made gains but Whacky Racer had certainly made gains in the building wind. Suddenly a 34 knot gust rolled down the course any wiped out the fleet. Magic, still white sails only, recovered far faster than the knocked down Whacky Racer and moved back into second on the water as Storm Crow’s crew struggled to recover their kite.


The wind remained at a steady thirty knots around the bottom mark and all of helm and co-skipper Olly Bewes’ heavy weather skills came to the fore as the final beat commenced. Tacking early and ignoring any tidal benefits in the main channel, Magic made huge gains on a port lift and passed not only Storm Crow, but several class one boats before tacking to take the line and line honours on starboard to double the achievement on a perfect start to the season.   


Racing resumes on Saturday 29th March. Full results can be found at the Royal Southampton Yacht Club's wesbite.








Not long now...



Sunday 23rd March sees the start of RSYC Spring Series and Magic’s return to competitive action for the first time since the JOG Eastern Approaches Race in early October.

A diverse fleet will gather for the off on Sunday with two races per day scheduled for Sunday mornings between now and the end of April.







2014 Finn Trophy moved to 20th September


As with last year, the 2014 Finn Trophy will not form part of the Island Sailing Club's Nab Tower Race after all due to the lack of an available venue for such large numbers for the prize giving and dinner post race.


The team race between Lloyds of London Yacht Club, the Stock Exchange Sailing Association and the Baltic Exchange Sailing Association will now take place on Saturday 20th September 2014.





Winter Update


It's a quiet time of year here at Magic Towers but whilst there is not much news to report, plenty is going on behind the scenes to ensure that we hit the ground running when the season starts in March. Whilst last summer's refit means that our winter work is less busy than others there is still plenty to do (please get in touch if you can help out at the weekends).  We're also putting together crew-rostas for the season with places filling up rapidly.

One bit of news is that Magic features heavily on the Impala's 'five reasons to buy an Impala in 2014' poster. The top photo shows her leading the fleet during the 2013 nationals in Weymouth whilst the bottom one has her moored by her bow and stern anchor in a Norwegian fijord where she visited twice with her previous owners. See how many Magicians you can spot in the other photos.


The poster is obviously working, there are going to be no fewer than six Impalas sailing out of Hamble River Sailing Club in 2014 with another couple on the river too. It's not too late to come and join in with plenty of boats currently for sale including the brilliantly named 'Vlad the Impala' and the 2011 Nationals winner Patriot Games. Check out the Impala CA website, get a boat and get on the water.


Also, whilst you're here, check out our new 'Crew  Locker' page via the links above and meet some of the people who crew on Magic regularly.









  Impala Nationals 2014



After a successful 2013 event in the Olympic venue of Weymouth, the Impala class association have now confirmed that they will return to the Dorset resort for the 2014 version of the event. Magic will of course be looking to repeat and maybe even improve on last years successful showing. More news will follow as arrangements firm up.











Magic takes 4th in JOG Inshore Championship


 At the end of a long, hard, at times even brutal season, Magic has finished fourth in the JOG Inshore Series.


Saturday’s final round, the Eastern Approaches Race saw the team slip to a disappointing ninth place in light, flukey winds and strong tides. The result was discarded however with five of the eight races to count towards the inshore Championship which like the final race was won by fellow Impala ‘Polly’ owned by Ben Meakins and Adrian Cudmore.



In less than five knots of wind and with over two knots of tide running over the line, Magic engineered the best start and was away with the kite flying well before the bulk of the fleet had turned back to the line.

Although Polly and the faster boats got ahead, Magic traded places with Sam Flint and Oliver Love’s Two Frank in the run out of the Solent but a poor decision to drop the spinnaker for the reach to the Winner cardinal mark left the team trailing and a poor start to the beat compounded matters. They did take a considerable chunk out of the leaders in the final seven miles but it was too little too late to save the result.

Overall however, the season has been a success with fourth in JOG matching neatly the same result at the Impala Nationals. Planning is already under way for 2014 but there is still the Doyles Sails Hamble One Design Championship to compete for on 26th & 27th October.










Saturday 29th October saw the team from the Lloyds of London Yacht Club retain the Finn Trophy in changeable conditions off of Cowes. Once again, Magic in tied third place was one of the scoring boats in the IRC class along with Guy Priest’s class winner Tarka II whilst Andrew Pickergill’s Dashzani won the Cruiser Class securing the title for Lloyds in their 75th year.


The forecast rain stayed away and the fleet started to the East from the Royal Corinthian’s line. With a Swan 55 joining the club’s own Swan 53 Lutine on the line as well as Chris Wait’s Oceanis 50 Astraea, Magic felt rather small and struggled for clean air in the opening minutes of the race, however they persevered well with a reconfigured crew and passed the windward mark still in touch with many of the larger boats.


Lloyds Rear Commodore Sailing Tom Bailey had his first go on an Impala on the headsail trim with Emma Vale on main joining the crew also for the first time. Ksenia Kasko travelled from Switzerland to man the winches tacks in and there was a welcome return for Finn veteran Ed Hillier on the bow.


A pretty direct run back towards the New Forrest shore suited the Impala’s symmetric spinnaker and a number of places were made up on the run. From then on it was hard to keep track of the gaps in such a spread fleet in a busy Solent as the course went from beat to reach to beat to reach to run but the Champagne finish running past West Cowes promenade in the company of a Swan 38 and Dufour 33 ought to have been some indication of a reasonable result and so it turned out.


Olly, Ksenia & George with the Finn Trophy



The traditional dinner and prize giving in the Royal Yacht Squadron followed and credit must go to the organisers for keeping the results a secret until the official announcement at which point the celebrations really got under way.


Magic returns to the Junior Offshore Group action next week with the 26 mile Eastern Approaches Race concluding the Inshore Championship. Whilst there is only a mathematical chance of winning the title, the fight is really on for the places with Magic currently in third but needing a good result to cling on to her place in the chocolate box in which she has sat for most of the summer.






Finn Trophy 2013





Magic returns to the action this Saturday (28th September) as she joins the Lloyds of London Yacht Club team as they look to defend the Finn Trophy.



The Finn Trophy is a team event between the sailing clubs associated with London’s oldest exchanges, Lloyds of London yacht Club, The Stock Exchange Sailing Association and the Baltic Exchange Sailing Association. Magic co-skipper George Beevor has been associated with the former since 2005 and indeed first went yacht racing on Lutine in the JOG Poole race that year.



The Finn Trophy is decided upon the fastest two times in IRC and the fastest in the cruiser class for each team. In 2012, Magic was one of three boats who’s times counted towards Lloyds’ winning time along with Guy Priest & Gavin Stanley on Tarka II and the Chairman of Lloyds of London, John Nelson on Sundancer of Chichester.





Whilst all three boats will be hoping to repeat the performance which came after seven years without a win, they will be joined by plenty of other entrants including LLYC’s own beautiful Swan 53 Lutine, Chris Burbidges’ JOG regular Domaine (J32) Chris Wait’s Astraea (Oceanis 50) and Finn stalwart David Westby on Pollione (Hunter Legend).



Racing this year is hosted by the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club in Cowes and dinner and the prize giving , as is now traditional it seems, is held once again at the Royal Yacht Squadron.






A weekend of contrasts and drama



After a gruelling race of over eight hours in monstrous seas, high winds, dead calms and all stops in between, Magic briefly led the JOG Inshore Championship on Saturday night after battling to her best finish of the season, second place, in the Cowes-Poole race, sponsored by Doyles Sails. Sadly the team could not repeat the performance and a disappointing seventh in Sunday’s dramatic return to Cowes leaves the team out of contention for the title with one race remaining.



Saturday’s race began with strong tide and very little wind. The down-tide start urged caution on the fleet and Magic got away first. With so little wind to propel the boats, Magic and Raffles (2nd and 3rd in the Championship going into the weekend) were the only two boats to head to the North Channel for more tide and wind but were rewarded for their efforts by reaching the forts ahead of the class, including scratch boat, Jonathan Rolls’ Swan 38 Xara.




Light airs continued on the spinnaker reach to Bembridge Ledge and whilst Raffles got around the mark to harden up towards Sandown Bay, the wind stopped completely for a time making it a struggle to beat the tide around the buoy. Xara waited too long to drop her kite and drifted helpless to the East allowing Magic to sneak back into second on the water but the rest of the fleet to bunched up behind her, taking away all the advantage. A beat into Sandown Bay followed with most of the fleet crossing tacks at some point. Magic again separated for the fleet, perhaps realising that the tide had gone slack further out and that there was certainly better pressure away from the cliffs.



Unfortunately, the huge seas outside the bay were perhaps the wrong place for Magic to attempt her first ever sail change in anger but with the wind steadily in the upper twenties it was futile to hold the number one longer. The change did not go well and then the old sail ended up in the water. The braking effect allowed Polly to sneak past into first place on handicap and it was a lead that she was never to give up.


After four hours hard on the wind in the largest seas yet seen by the boat in her current ownership, an exhausted crew limped into Poole four hours later unsure of the result. Celebrations were perhaps muted after such a battering but 2nd place, and a brief lead of the Championship was enjoyed nonetheless and despite having a very wet boat for accommodation.



Sunday’s return leg, over a much shorter and more direct course was light by comparison. Flat water and a light breeze in Poole Bay saw Polly and Two Frank get the better of the start and Magic seemed unable to rein them in so took the gamble of gybing out into more tide and hopefully better wind offshore. It briefly paid off when at one point they got the new wind significantly ahead of the fleet but the gains were short lived and the shift that came with it led to the boats inshore being able to sail a much hotter and faster angle to the mark of the beach at North Head.



When Magic did arrive at the mark, the wind had increased and it was a tense spinnaker reach, mainly at the very edge of broaching, down to the Hurst Narrows. Whilst helm Olly Bewes and trimmers George Ellerington and Will Roper managed to wrestle control and keep the boat under the rig for the most part, the drama really stepped up when as the boat bore away in the chop in between Hurst Castle and Fort Albert, it became clear that the forestay had come away from the prow of the boat and only the wind in the sails was keeping the mast upright.



In a display of seamanship that did the co-skippers and their crew proud, there was no external panic and bowman Will Waddington was able to identify the failed part and replace it whilst the genoa halyard acted as a jury rigged forestay. Sadly though, the time lost in sailing conservatively had the final say in removing Magic from Championship contention as she slipped to seventh place on handicap. On adjusted time she was only 37 seconds from fifth and minutes from fourth which would have been sufficient to take the title fight to the last race of the season.


Huge congratulations must go to Ben Meakins and the crew of Polly who have more or less secured the title with one race to go by finishing first on Saturday and second on Sunday.


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