Gale-force winds forced organisers to cancel racing but celebrations continued ashore

Britain’s

influential yacht designer David Thomas was celebrated in style at a Royal

Southern Yacht Club dinner packed with family, friends and many of those who

have taken to the water in one of his boats. 

A ferocious forecast put paid to any chance of racing in the David

Thomas regatta at the weekend, but participants still enjoyed an evening of entertainment.

David

was lauded by numerous speakers for the pleasure his many and various designs

have provided over a career spanning half a century. The evening marked David’s

25th year as a member of the Royal Southern.

The

main speaker was PBO contributor Peter Poland, a long-standing friend of

David’s, who built many of his designs as co-owner of Hunter Boats. 

He

said: ‘David has an instinctive understanding of what sailors want – he has

been the Pied Piper of yacht designers, that’s his secret.

‘People

from all divisions of sailing have sailed out on a David Thomas design. They

will go on for ever.

‘He

is also responsible for the largest one-design fleet in Round the Island Race

history, 105 Sigma 33s, a record that will never be beaten.’

Among

the attendees were Runar Steinsen and friends from Iceland.

Earlier

in the day, race officials were forced to cancel the planned racing due to the

gale force winds. Sunday’s parade of sail also fell foul of the conditions.

The

intention is for those who entered to be given free entry to the July Regatta

on 12-13 July with prizes awarded from extracted results. It is further planned

that the Solent Snooker race event will be held on 19-20 July.

www.royal-southern.co.uk

Pictures: David Thomas and Jonty Sherwill; and David Thomas. Credit Michael Austen