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!

Categories: Race Reports, South Coast Tags:

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
Categories: Nationals Tags:

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

Categories: Nationals Tags:


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: