Squib class steals the show at Cowes Week

Photo Credits: Rick Tomlinson and Getty Images

Saturday 9th August saw the conclusion of the Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week 2014, with reflections on a week of mixed weather conditions.

Champagne sailing conditions started the week with sunshine and a great breeze but this was followed by much lighter conditions resulting in disappointing abandonments for some on Thursday and for all classes on Friday.

For those that raced on the final Saturday though, there was a welcome return of good breeze and sun providing some fantastic conditions for the last day of racing.

Photo Credits: Rick Tomlinson and Getty Images

Consistent performances throughout the Week rewarded the East Coast Squib, Lady Penelope, raced by Malcolm Hutchings and Andy Ramsey, with victory for the second year running, cleaning up in the Squib Class, White Group, and taking away the coveted overall winner’s trophy at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week once again.
The Squib class was sporting a very healthy fleet at this year’s regatta with entries having grown by over 20%. The class had boats representing 10 Clubs from around the country (and France) with 70% of these raced by families and 25% with an under 25 year-old on board at some point during the week.

Approaching its 40th anniversary, the Squib is a 19ft keelboat designed by Oliver Lee and has quietly become one of the most popular classes in the UK.
Almost 850 Squibs have been built in the 39 years since the prototype was launched in 1968, and class builders Parker Yachts build a dozen new boats each year.

The association has over 600 active members, sailing in 23 fleets throughout Great Britain — from the South Coast to Scotland — as well as a further five fleets in Northern Ireland and Eire.
Why is the Squib so enduringly popular? ‘It’s an affordable, low maintenance, closely matched one design class and only needs two people to race, so there are no hassles with organising crew.

Photo Credits: Rick Tomlinson and Getty Images

In the late 1960s the Squib was very much a state-of-the-art design, with a short low-centre of gravity keel and high aspect ratio rudder set well aft. Flat aft sections promote surfing in moderate conditions. The boat’s light displacement offered good light weather performance and allowed it to be towed by almost any car. Heavy weather performance was also good — a 50 per cent ballast ratio, with much of that weight in a bulb at the bottom of the keel, gives the ability to keep sailing even in Force 6-7 conditions.

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