Menacing skies…

November 18th, 2014 No comments

Screen shot 2014-11-17 at 12.57.04A blustery day on week  6 of the Garmin Hamble Winter Series. Very close racing this week, with lots of bigger boats to contend with. Polly was first Impala, beaten on the water and handicap by 1/4 tonner Flashheart. Two Frank was 2nd and Imptish 3rd.

Thanks to Ross Elliston on the committee boat for the pic!

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7 things you might not know about the Impala

November 13th, 2014 No comments

Unknown7 things you might not know about the Impala… by Peter Poland

1. Why is the Impala narrower than the Hydro and other similar length Half Tonners of its era?
Because the original Hunter factory doors were only 9’3″ wide and Hunter’s Derek Chardin said it would cost too much to widen the hole and get new roller doors. So the Impala hull has a beam that just fitted through!

2. Which was they first Impala to be launched and why?
The second hull, C Cee (now Polly) because Tim Harrison finished his kit boat before the factory finished the prototype.

3. Why does the Impala keel have a lead shoe?
Because the RORC changed the CGF aspect of the IOR rule after the boat was launched and the handicap went up without added ballast.

4. When was the last Impala class live crab race across a hotel’s dining room floor?
At the Weymouth Nationals in 1982.

5. What did Sven King also design; as well as the winged bulbed Impala keel development he fitted to Burhou?
The original Range Rover.

6. How far was the works Impala ‘Trudi‘ from the RYS finishing line at Cowes Week when the mast fell down in the famous ‘gale race?
20 yards (or thereabouts)

7. Where is the largest Impala fleet outside the UK?
Hong Kong.

The 2015 Nationals will be sailed in Cowes!

November 13th, 2014 No comments

cowesNATSCalling all Impala sailors! The 2015 Impala National Championships will be held at Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club from Saturday 20th – Monday 22nd June 2015. That’s the weekend before the Round the Island Race (27th June) and David Thomas Regatta (28th June) – so travelling boats get 3 events for one trip!

The format will be similar to 2014, with short sharp races and a longer round the cans race held over three days. The entry fee will include mooring in Shepherd’s Wharf Marina, a 1 minute stroll from the club, and we’ll have a good range of social events once again.

Travelling bursaries, trailer storage and reduced lift in/lift outs will be available on the mainland for boats coming by road. Put it in your diaries now! Will we see you there?

Costs, deals for lifts and more will be available in the coming weeks.

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We’re back!

November 13th, 2014 No comments

Great news – the website is back up and runniLARGExp_W3NXr0ng! Apologies for the radio silence as we recovered from a major hack.

Keep checking back to find out the exciting news for 2015!



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Come and race at Hamble this Autumn!

October 2nd, 2014 No comments

Hamble Winter Series 2013The Garmin Hamble Winter Series starts this Sunday, and 6 Impalas are entered for the series and for the Hamble One Design Championships weekend on 18-19th October. Magic, Two Frank, Polly, Imptish, Vlad the Impala and Curved Air will be racing.

It’s not too late to come and join them – we’re especially looking for entries for the Hamble One Design Champs on 18-19th October (we’re just doing the 2nd weekend). Entry is free if you’re already racing in the Winter Series, or is £25 if just entering the OD champs. for more details

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October 1st, 2014 No comments


Impala One graces the cover of Ahoy ! once again.

Followed by a Ruffian 23 and a Pandora Int,  Impala One rounds Kowloon Bay mark onto a tight reach to the finish

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Cowes week update…

August 4th, 2014 No comments

6 Impalas are currently competing in Cowes Week – Trudi, Magic, Scallywag, Two Frank, Burhou and Voodoo. Scallywag, putting a good end to her summer on the South Coast, leads by 2 points after 2 races, with Two Frank snapping at her heels.

Full extracted results can be found on the Cowes Week website!

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Impala Nationals 2014 report

July 29th, 2014 No comments

What a weekend! The wind gods disregarded all available forecasts, which with days to go were predicting a millpond for all three days of the Impala nationals, to deliver Caribbean sailing conditions in Weymouth Bay.

This was the Impala class’s 35th Anniversary championships, and boats travelled from the Solent, Brixham, Saltash, Poole, Chichester and as far as Mersea Island on the East Coast and Flushing in the west to take part.

Race officer Derek Abbott and his team delivered some outstanding racing in tricky conditions. Friday hosted two races. The first, sailed in 8-10 knots gave an indication of how close the racing would be, as boats throughout the fleet changed positions multiple times before the finish. Darren Stansbury and Iain Gray on Maverick won the first race, with Olly Love and Sam Flint on Two Frank in second. The second race was in around 10-12 knots and was won by Matt and Michelle Dodd on Fearnought, with the Meakins’ and Cudmores on Polly 2nd. Ashore, the fleet decamped to Weymouth beach for a swim to cool down before the now infamous pontoon rum party, this year sponsored by Doyle Sails.

The close battle at the top of the fleet would continue throughout the weekend, with Maverick and Fearnought always within one point of each other. Saturday dawned with a millpond and blistering heat, and many competitors wondered if racing would happen at all. But the race team were confident, and, true to their predictions, the wind filled in right on cue at 1230. Three races were sailed in 10-16 knots. Matt and Michelle Dodd’s Fearnought won the first race, with arch-rivals Maverick edging the next two races to again leave them 1 point ahead of Fearnought that evening. Polly scored two thirds and a fourth, pursued hard by Poole Impalas Happy and Firebird.

GAP Communications sponsored the 35th Anniversary Dinner at the Weymouth Pavillion on Saturday evening, where on-the-water rivalries were transferred to the land in an ultra-competitive games night.

Sunday, despite a forecast for more wind, in fact saw lighter airs, leading many of the fleet who had added rig tension that morning scrambling to slacken the shrouds off before the start in 8 knots of breeze. A shifty and patchy breeze meant that huge gains and losses were there for the taking on both runs and beats.

Fearnought won the first race, which put them on equal points with Maverick, taking the battle for 1st place down to the last race. It wasn’t until the final beat of the final race of the championships that Maverick secured the title by a point, covering Fearnought all the way to the finish. Polly scored 3rd in the first race and an 8th in the second, which was enough to secure her 3rd place, while Barney Smith’s Imptish gained 4 places with a good performance on Sunday, edging ahead of Happy on countback.

With birthday cake ashore at the Royal Dorset YC, the prizegiving was a generous affair, thanks to support from Doyle Sails, Spinlock, Lewmar, One Sails, North Sails and Nix Digital.

1st went to Maverick, with Fearnought 2nd and Polly 3rd. Best improver went to Peter Norman’s Firebird, who finished 11th last year and 6th this time around.

Furthest travelled went to Julian Lord’s Scallywag, while Stuart Higgins received a ‘Longest-serving owner’ award, having owned Flushing-based Atalanta since 1990. Pip and Pete Rouse on Voodoo received the ‘family boat’ award in their first nationals, having bought the boat only weeks ago.


Thanks go to all competitors in this competitive yet ultra-friendly class, and to the organisers who made the event so successful. We’ll see you next year!

Full results:

Place Points Name Owner Club R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7
1 6 Maverick D Stansbury and Iain Gray Saltash Sailing Club 1 -4 -2 1 1 2 1
2 7 Fearnought Matt & Michelle Dodd Brixham -5 1 1 -2 2 1 2
3 15 Polly Meakins and Cudmore Hamble River SC -6 2 3 3 4 3 -8
4 24 Imptish Barney Smith/Graham Tullett Hamble River SC 3 3 -10 -8 8 7 3
5 24 Happy john mc quillan Poole Yacht Club (13/DSQ) 6 5 5 3 -10 5
6 25 Firebird Peter Norman Parkstone Yacht Club -9 -8 8 4 5 4 4
7 27 Scallywag Julian Lord West Mersea YC -8 -7 4 6 6 5 6
8 34 Two Frank Olly Love & Sam Flint Hamble River Sailing Club 2 -9 6 9 -10 8 9
9 34 Trudi Philip McDanell Itchenor SC -10 5 -9 7 9 6 7
10 37 Magic Olly Bewes & George Beevor Royal Southern YC 4 -11 7 10 7 9 -11
11 49 Atalanta Stuart Higgins Flushing 7 10 -12 -11 11 11 10
12 58 Voodoo Pete & Pip Rouse WSC 11 -12 11 -12 12 12 12
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Day one…

July 25th, 2014 No comments

Here are the provisional results for day one of the Impala Nationals.

The race committee fitted in two races in a caribbean 8-10 knots of breeze. Short courses gave some extremely close racing, and afterwards most of the fleet headed for Weymouth Beach for a swim!

Maverick won the first race, while Fearnought won the second. Maverick is currently winning overall by one point, ahead of Fearnought in 2nd and Imptish, also with 6 points, in 3rd. Polly lies in 4th with 8 points and Two Frank is in 5th with 11.

Summary overall results
Place Points Sail No Name Owner Club Race 1 Race 2
25 Jul 25 Jul
1 5 9599 Maverick D Stansbury and Iain Gray Saltash Sailing Club 1 4
2 6 9571 Fearnought Matt & Michelle Dodd Brixham 5 1
3 6 9616 Imptish Barney Smith/Graham Tullett Hamble River SC 3 3
4 8 9500 Polly Meakins and Cudmore Hamble River SC 6 2
5 11 9519 Two Frank Olly Love & Sam Flint Hamble River Sailing Club 2 9
6 15 9579 Magic Olly Bewes & George Beevor Royal Southern YC 4 11
7 15 9501 Trudi Philip McDanell Itchenor SC 10 5
8 15 9595 Scallywag Julian Lord West Mersea YC 8 7
9 17 9518 Happy john mc quillan Poole Yacht Club 11 6
10 17 9567 Atalanta Stuart Higgins Flushing 7 10
11 17 9545 Firebird Peter Norman Parkstone Yacht Club 9 8
12 24 9573 Voodoo Pete & Pip Rouse WSC 12 12

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July 14th, 2014 No comments

Important – 35th Impala Nationals – Weymouth – Friday 25th to Sunday 27th July

It’s less than two weeks to go to the 2014 Nationals Championships. If you’ve already entered, please read on for two things you need to do before you arrive.
If you haven’t entered go to NOW and register!
A couple of boats are still looking for crew so if you have any spare please email Barney Smith and he’ll put you in touch with the owners.

Before boats arrive in Weymouth you ALL need to do the following:

1.       Order Dinner tickets
The class dinner will be held on Saturday night at Weymouth Pavilion which is a short walk from where we will be moored. Tickets are £25 per head which includes a glass of bucks fizz on arrival. Timings are 1900 arrival for eating at 1930. This should be a fantastic event and it would be great to see everyone there. Speeches have been promised (they will be short!).
By Friday 18th July – that is the end of this week – all competitors must let Samantha Flint (Email: know what they want to eat, preferably by boat (i.e. 6 tickets each) and also send payment for your tickets. This can be done by cheque or by BACS transfer to the Impala Class Association.
The menu choice is

Starter – Tomato & basil soup with parmesan croutons, or Classic prawn cocktail with marie rose sauce, or Dorset pate served with onion marmalade & rocket salad

Main – Roast topside of beef with red wine gravy, or Roast pork with cider & thyme gravy, or Gammon ham with parsley sauce, or Red onion & goats cheese tart. All served with roasted rosemary & garlic new potatoes and seasonal vegetables

Desserts – Eton mess with raspberry coulis, or Fresh fruit salad, or Treacle tart
Coffee & mints

2.       Prepare for measurement and scrutineering

Class measurement secretary Olly Love has prepared two documents to help everyone make sure that all our boats comply with the class rules. The first document is a checklist for your boat with a list of corrector weights that must be carried if certain items are missing, the second is a simple measurement guide. The aim of the class is to provide cheap, equitable racing for all. Boats will be inspected in Weymouth but please remember that whilst we aim to keep improving rule observance across the class (something we have been working on for the last three years) the overriding aim is to make sure we all go sailing in a fair and even manner.

If you have any questions about measurement and scrutineering issues please email Olly at The Impala Class rule are here

Final Sailing and Social details

Sponsors – We’re pleased to announce that, in addition to all the other sponsors previously announced, Doyle Sails have come on board as one of the major sponsors. GAP Communications, Nix Digital, One Sails, Lewmar, Spinlock and North Sails are also supporting the event.

Every crew member will get an anniversary mug and throughout the event we’ll be awarding daily prizes to the winners and also to those further down the fleet.  The pontoon drinks party being held on Friday evening will now be sponsored by Doyle Sails.

Sailing – 7 races are planned over the three days. The NOR is on the Weymouth Regatta website, Sailing Instructions will be made available next week. The competitors briefing will be held at the Royal Dorset Yacht Club at 2100 on Thursday 24th July. If you need to eat that night the Yacht Club will be serving food.

Social events – In addition to the Saturday night dinner we will be holding a pontoon party on Friday evening (sponsored by Doyle Sails), followed by food at Weymouth Sailing Club and a ‘Games’ night. We’ll be selling tickets for the Friday food at the briefing on Thursday night. The main prize giving will take place on Sunday after racing and we plan to have a special Anniversary Birthday cake which will need to be eaten before we all set off home!

Photos – Over the weekend we will have a photographer on the water. He will make available all his images on CDs for a price of £10 per boat.

Mooring – The entry fee includes 3 nights mooring in the Cove, less than 3 minute walk from shops, cafes, self catering houses, B&Bs and pubs and Royal Dorset YC and Weymouth SC which will be our base clubs for the regatta. The harbour Master has agreed to offer discounted berthing to those boats wishing to take more than the 3 nights.

It’s going to be a fantastic event, make sure you’re there!

Barney Smith (35th Nationals Organiser)

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