Progress with the new hull
The National 18 Class Association has now appointed White Formula (WF) as the sole builder for the new Morrison designed National 18 hull. Largely thanks to the Royal Cork Yacht Club, the Class Association, and White Formula, the Funds have been raised to build the moulds for the new hull. Rather than use the prototype, Odyssey, as the plug, new plugs for the moulds are being built [see photos below of the hull plug]. This way Odyssey will not be damaged, giving her a sale value for the Class and we can continue to use her to show and market the new boat; we will also get a much better finish for the moulds. WF aim to get the moulds completed by the year end; a fully fitted new boat ready for test sailing by the beginning of February; and then a ready to sail boat on the stand at the London Dinghy Show. To this end, WF are working hard to complete the hull plug by the week ending 24th October, complete the hull mould by 31st October and lay up the first hull on 4th/5th November.
Background and cooperation with White Formula
White Formula is a family owned boat builder based at Brightlingsea, Essex. Brightlingsea itself has a long history of boat building and a long association with the J-Class. The White family themselves also have a track record of racing success through three generations. The yard has a good track record for building performance race dinghies, catamarans, and day boats. In addition to building the hulls they are able to build the foils, carbon fibre masts, road trailers and launching trolleys and assist the Association in procuring good value packages for fittings, sails, and covers. Please look at their website www.whiteformula.com Julian Berney has agreed to be the liaison contact between the Class Association and White Formula.
Thoughts on selling older boats
With 12 deposits paid for new boats, all of which are planned to be delivered by the end of May 2015 in time for next year’s season and championships, there will be a number of older boats available to buy. Clearly owners are free to sell privately but the Class is looking to manage this transition in order to maintain good racing and the spirit of our class. To that end the Class and some of its owners would welcome an approach from a club or a group of sailors who would like to acquire a small fleet of 18s to either start or build a fleet of 18s at a good entry price level. Could readers consider this and make suggestions to the President or the Vice-Presidents?
Keeping the spirit of the class together
Maintaining the spirit of the Class is an essential part of the change programme that has been clearly presented by the Class Association. At present the Championships already have three distinct classes – the Classics, Pen-Ultimates, and Ultimates. This system, or something close to it, will continue in the future so that, as today, there will be good and vibrant racing for people at all stages in the development of the Class. Needless to say that at local club level handicap racing is likely to prevail. Most people who travel to regattas want both good racing and to have a good time. No-one can deny that the National 18s have both!
Plans for sailing events
The Irish have a high concentration of boats at or near Cork, and the Scots at Findhorn. The English fleet is a pretty disparate fleet despite the number of boats at Tamesis and the classic fleet at Bosham. Plans are being put in place for the English boats to sail in 2 or 3 open events before the National Championships so that they is a better opportunity to tune up and sail against more 18s. Jessica Berney has undertaken to arrange these events in England and will contact owners.
Plans are also being formulated to enter Odyssey in the winter Sailjuice series between end of November and beginning February. Details of the events and the venues in England can be seen on www.sailjuiceseries.com . Anyone wishing to sail on Odyssey at these events please contact Jeremy Vines.
Boat show progress
The London Dinghy Show is on 28th Feb to 1st March 2015. The first new and ready to sail Morrison designed National 18 will be on display. Jeremy and Max Vines are coordinating our efforts at the show. They will need to call on a number of people to attend the stand, be able to show people the boat, and be able to answer questions. By then we will have a sheet of FAQs and an explanation of the change programme to brief people. The stand will look great with videos, photographs, and drawings of the boat. Any suggestions please contact Jeremy and Max.
Kieran Dwyer has kindly volunteered to take control and keep the Class Association website up to date. As with any website he needs interesting news and information. Please get in touch with him with your news, views, events, and gossip (within reason please).
Yachts and Yachting has published a Test Report which is well worth reading if you have not already seen it. It is very positive and hopefully will have started to develop interest in the boat. The report prepared in the summer can be forwarded to anyone interested in seeing it.