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)

Categories: Class Association, Nationals Tags:


July 14th, 2014 No comments

Here is a guide to help measure your boat.

Impala Measurement Guide

Impala Check List v4 2014

Impala Mk2Rudder-231013



Read all about it!

June 23rd, 2014 No comments

Y&Y test imageIn case you missed Yachts and Yachting magazine’s very complimentary boat test on the Impala in their May 2014 issue, you can now download the full feature here!

Click on the image to the left to read what Rupert Holmes had to say after a sail of John McQuillan’s Happy on a cold day in Poole Harbour earlier this year!

Categories: Class Association Tags:

The longest day!

June 23rd, 2014 No comments

Screen shot 2014-06-23 at 10.11.40Well done to all the Impalas who made it round the island in very little breeze on saturday. Imptish sailed a blinding race to finish 8th overall in IRC, with Firebird in 18th, Polly in 45th, Scallywag in 85th and Curved Air in 121st. Luckily it was the longest day! Report below from Imptish; ‘

8 Impala’s had a go at the 2014 Round the Island Race on Saturday. We started in the ‘Turquoise’ IRC group at 0730, the third and last start for the 500 IRC boats. There were also around 1100 other boats competing, including a couple of foiling catamarans on which most of the pre-race publicity focused. The pre-race publicity also focused on the ‘poor’ forecast of very little breeze. However it was sunny!

The beat to the Needles was rather slow as the forecast SE turned into 6 knots of breeze from the W. Imptish, Scallyway, Cheeky Monkey, Polly and Firebird we spotted at various points near the front of the Impala fleet. By the Needles Imptish had eeked out a small lead over Scallyway with most Impalas choosing the inshore passage between the rock and the wreck, both of which were helpfully signposted by boats stuck on the top of them…

The trip down the back of the island was rather calm, most drifted for 90 minutes off St Cats, and the main choices were a) when to have lunch, b) how much suncream to (re) apply, and c) whether to go inshore or offshore. Imptish tacked offshore at St Cats and made a break for it, eventually hooking into a 10 knot South Westerly for the leg to Bembridge. After Bembridge we headed inshore over Ryde Sands ( 0.0m under the keel) before meeting some arguing sea breezes off Ryde. For most this led to a frustrating couple of hours covering the last 4 miles to the finish…which was reached at 1835 by Imptish (11 hours 5 minutes after the start), 1900 by Firebird, 1920 by Polly, 1941 by Scallywag and 1959 by Curved Air. Trudi, Cheeky Monkey and Burhou sadly didn’t make it round. For reference Polly and Imptish got round in just over 8 hours last year, and the aforementioned foiling catamarans took over 8 and half hours!

On IRC the Imptish crew were stunned to come 8th overall on handicap and Firebird were in the top 20 (18th overall). Ben Ainslie (another major feature of the pre-race publicity) was 335th overall. Over half of the large fleet failed to make it round. 


Categories: Race Reports, South Coast Tags:

Firebird does the singlehanded RTI!

June 10th, 2014 No comments

Screen shot 2014-06-10 at 10.39.26Congratulations to Peter Norman, owner of Firebird, who finished the Round the Island Solo on 26th April in a very creditable position.

He writes: ‘Fresh southerly winds were forecast all day for a clockwise rounding of the island amongst a fleet of varied boats from a quarter tonner to J/122.

I decided on the no.3 to use on the furler, not having gone solo before I wasn’t keen on doing a tack change, at the 7am start it seemed the wrong sail for a close reach in the gusty wind off the island, losing out on a bit of distance to other boats but a nice reach on flat water.

That changed at Bembridge ledge when wind increased for a tight fetch to Dunnose in 30 knots wind against tide, the tiller pilot couldn’t cope and tacked the boat 3 times while putting a reef in, but in the waves the boat struggled to drive forward. The no.3 then turned out to be right, as the pilot would not allow me to change sail if I wanted. Around Dunnose it got very rough, I kept inshore trying to keep out of the worst waves past Ventnor but the waves still filled up the cockpit several times.

The beam reach down Freshwater Bay was just too tight for the spinnaker in 25kts true, nobody flew kites. Then it was a daunting prospect of rounding the needles on an outgoing spring tide with the swell, I went in quite close, had to gybe in the huge waves, just after hitting 15 knots down a wave which was awesome. Then a struggle in the lee of the cliffs to drive against the tide and slow progress into the Solent. I couldnt quite catch the Contessa ahead but caught up a good few minutes on it.

Firebird fnished in 8 hours, about 20 mins off the pace 6th in class and 18th out of 25. The overall winner being a Hanse 291 sailed well by David Cowell.

Great fun day out, followed by a superb meal in ISC and a slight hangover on Sunday. This event is on my calendar for next year! A better tillerpilot needed for next year!

Will be doing the Island Double too in July, any takers?

Peter Norman

Firebird 9545


Categories: Race Reports, South Coast Tags:

JOG Weymouth – a weekend of extremes!

June 10th, 2014 No comments


Three Hamble based Impala’s rashly decided to compete in the annual JOG jaunt to Weymouth last weekend. The early weather forecasts were encouraging, 12 knots from the SE on sat to take us there, 12 knots from the SW to get us home. Lovely!
With an 0730 start from Gurnard the early alarm call was used. Cheeky Monkey got the best of a very light wind start in the 20 strong Class six with Two Frank close behind. Imptish started slowly but by Yarmouth had cunningly employed the exclusion zone of a cable laying ship to shoot to the front of the fleet. With an expectation of the wind going SE after Hurst we were all looking forward to putting our kites and being in Weymouth late afternoon for a drink before having a nice dinner.
It was at this point that the rain and wind started…
To be honest the rest of the race is rather a blur. Memory is a selective thing but this skipper recalls the following:
·         Being on the bow doing a tack change in 25 knots crashing through whitewater next to the Shingles bank
·         Coasting along in 1 knot with the light kite for a very frustrating hour
·         Wind from every point of the compass (several times)
·         3 static shocks from the rig during a very impressive lighting storm
·         Some headlands and foul tide combined with lots of tacking next to rocks – SOG became important i.e. keeping it above 1 knot!
·         Making a 156’ super yacht alter course to avoid us (he was windward boat!)
There was (a lot) more. Imptish reached the finish line at 1820 (nearly 11 hours after the start). Cheeky Monkey and Two Frank were caught in a wind hole around St Albans Head and came in a couple of hours later.  For some the late night curry house was the only option for dinner.
I would love to say that a restful night in Weymouth harbour followed, but it didn’t, as ever in Port the yachts inside you all decide to leave at different times between 0400 and 0600. The crew of Two Frank were particularly grumpy the next morning!
The trip back for most was rather boring. Most of us motored 80% of the way. This time Imptish came last, after spending two hours involved in a SAR operation after discovering an upturned kayak. Fortunately everyone is fine. Come and find me at the nationals if you want to know more!
Overall results – Class 6
Impish 2nd, Cheeky Monkey 13th, Two Frank 15th

Barney Smith

Categories: Race Reports, South Coast Tags:

Round the Island entries close on Saturday

June 6th, 2014 No comments

130002Entries for this year’s Round the Island race close at midnight on Saturday. Here’s Polly and Imptish neck-and-neck after 6 hours of racing last year.

6 Impalas (Trudi, Cheeky Monkey, Polly, Imptish, Scallywag and Burhou) are entered so far this year. Come and join in!

Categories: South Coast Tags:

Nationals Update

June 4th, 2014 No comments

DSC_703335th Impala Nationals – Weymouth – Friday 25th to Sunday 27th July

It’s less than two months to go to the 2014 Nationals Championships. We’re looking forward to having a large fleet of Impalas in Weymouth at the end of July to celebrate the classes 35th Birthday.

The organisers Weymouth Regatta can now take entries via their website Please get these in soon so we can have a good idea of the numbers for on water and social event planning. A late entry supplement will be charged after mid July.

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.

We will have our own course area, our own committee boat, 2 mark laying ribs and a top quality race officer and race management team, and our own Class rep on the committee boat to ensure fair play.

Further details of the race format can be found in the Notice of Race Seperate Sailing Instructions for the Impala fleet are being written.

The on-shore programme will include

  • Thursday 24th – evening welcome party and competitors briefing at the Royal Dorset Yacht Club – The Royal Dorset will be serving food for purchase on the night
  • Friday 25th – pontoon party followed by a BBQ (tickets to be purchased in advance) and “night in” with Games at our hosts Weymouth Sailing Club
  • Saturday 26th – 35th Anniversary Dinner at Weymouth Pavilion, hopefully with multimedia, speeches, music and dancing – Tickets will need to be purchased in advance
  • Sunday 27th – Main prize giving – Royal Dorset

Information will follow soon on ticket prices and other on-shore plans.

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

Barney Smith (35th Nationals Organiser)




Categories: Nationals Tags:

A David Thomas double

June 4th, 2014 No comments

The David Thomas regatta at the RSrnYC has been rescheduled for the 23rd August. dt regatta‘The Royal Southern Y.C. is pleased to announce that they have set a new date for this regatta, which was cancelled in May due to adverse weather. The format will be NHC racing for the racers, and Solent Snooker for the cruising section on Saturday, and an informal supper in the evening.’

Don’t forget there’s also a day of racing at the Royal London YC’s Long-running David Thomas event the day after the Round the Island race. 3 Impalas currently are planning to race in the event, which was great fun last year.

Categories: South Coast Tags:

JOG Yarmouth race

May 22nd, 2014 No comments

1506598_10100276385814644_7681812226714146590_nFive Impalas – Cheeky Monkey, Polly, Imptish, Magic and Two Frank – raced in the JOG Cowes-Yarmouth and Yarmouth-Cowes races at the weekend. Saturday’s race was postponed for a few hours, before the west-going tide produced just enough apparent wind for class 6 to drift over the line. Unfortunately the race was abandoned shortly before a SW’ly seabreeze filled in, but at least that left the afternoon to enjoy the sun in Yarmouth – although that might also explain some of the hangovers on Sunday morning.

Sunday’s return race started as a light-airs fetch, but off Gurnard a stonking 15 knot SE’ly filled in for the final two legs. Polly was first Impala, finishing 2nd overall on handicap, with Imptish in 7th, Two Frank in 9th and Cheeky Monkey in 14th. Magic retired.


A great weekend in Caribbean conditions, despite Saturday’s lack of wind. The next event is the Clarkson Cup in two weekends’ time.

Categories: Race Reports, South Coast Tags: