Who's for a game of Solent Snooker in honour of legendary yacht designer David Thomas?

Entries of a variety of David Thomas-designed yachts are flowing in steadily for a new event being staged in May.

The new David Thomas Regatta is being organised by the Hamble-based Royal Southern Yacht Club (RSYC) in celebration of the yacht designer’s 25th-year as a club member.

The event, held from
9-11 May on the River Hamble, and sailors will be travelling from far afield to take part.

Jo Schauble, who plans to sail his Hunter Liberty 23-based Golden Wind
over from Germany for the great occasion, said: ‘I live on the Rhein
near Freiburg and will soon start from here and I am packing now and
preparing the boat, hoping to make it in time.

‘I am really eager to express my gratitude to David because in our Golden Wind over the years we experienced lots of joy.’

Runar H. Steinsen from Iceland says: ‘We got in contact with David in 1976 and built two 1/4 tonners of his design. Then several Delta and Horizon models were bought from Hunter Boats. In 1986, David designed us a 26ft boat with three trapezes. We built it [in plywood] and from that developed a 26ft sportsboat!

‘In 1993 we made this in fibreglass and formed the Secret 26 class…one of David’s best designs. In 2005 David designed for us a special IRC 31ft racing boat called Icecube that can do 20 knots.
‘David has been made an honorary member of the Icelandic Sailing Association. If he is being honoured at the Royal Southern, we should be there because nobody has done more for Icelandic sailing than David.’

UK entries already encompass a range of David Thomas designs including Sigmas, Hunters, Elizabethans, Quarter Tonners and Cornish Crabbers and organisers say more are always welcome.

David Thomas’ friends and fans who no longer own DT-designed yachts can still book in for the Celebration Dinner on Saturday 10 May.

The Saturday racing will be in two formats:

Racier boats can enjoy ’round the cans’ handicap racing, while those who prefer something less sporty but equally challenging can try the Hunter Association-instigated ‘Solent Snooker’.
The Solent Snooker will involve red and coloured ‘balls’, represented by racing marks situated in the central Solent. Your boat is the cue ball and you ‘pot’ a ‘ball’ by rounding it.

Start by potting a red ‘ball’ at any point on the course, then alternate with a coloured ‘ball’.

Once you have rounded a red ‘ball’, it is no longer in play for your boat. Whilst you still have other red ‘balls’ in play, coloured ‘balls’ are ‘returned to the table’ (so can be rounded again) until all the red ‘balls’ have been potted; whereupon coloured ‘balls’ must be potted in ascending order of their score; just as in table snooker.

Engines may be used up to six times for a maximum total of 30 mins. Competitors fill in the record sheet by entering the time of rounding each buoy; totting up the total score in the process.
The challenge of Solent Snooker is as much in the advance planning (studying tides etc) as in execution on the day. Detailed event instructions will be issued to entrants well in advance.

The RSYC, David Thomas and his family hope that many yachts will enter this unique event.

Overnight berthing is available on the Club’s pontoons or on Harbour Master-designated berths.

To register, or if you have any questions please contact Natalie Gray, Sailing Secretary on +44 (0) 23 8045 0302 or email: sailing@royal-southern.co.uk 

David Thomas Regatta bonanza year

In addition to the new regatta, the annual Royal
London Yacht Club-run its usual David Thomas-inspired event on Cowes on 22 June.

To find out more about the Cowes event at www.rlyc.org.uk/article/sailing/thomas


The yacht Icecube.

David Thomas,his wife Trudi and sons Richard and Peter sailing the
family Sonata Piccolo in Cowes Week in late 70s. Credit: Peter Poland