The Indian Summer series begins…

October 6th, 2015 No comments

The Garmin Hamble Winter Series started on Sunday in unseasonal warmth and with a 10-17 knot breeze. And best of all, the Impala class is the biggest One Design fleet in the event! Thanks to Hamo Thornycroft / for the pics.

Results:Screen shot 2015-10-05 at 08.16.53

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Cracking Cowes Week 2015

August 24th, 2015 No comments

11866404_1005419286148473_3326498251579056852_nA great total of 10 Impalas made it to Cowes Week this year for a week of very mixed racing conditions that warranted kedging, dodging the shallows, powered-up in 20 knots and plenty of torrential rain and thunder and lightning!

After a week of close racing and some split-second finishes, Magic, chartered for the week by the Smith, Dallas and Richards families, finished 2nd in IRC6 to take the first Impala place, chased by Polly in 3rd. Two Frank was 7th, with Trudi 9th, Uproar 14th, Curved Air 17th, Voodoo 20th, Spectrum 22nd and Burhou 25th. In the Cruiser Divison B class, Wild Craic was 22nd.


Full results are here on the cowes week site

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Strong Impala entry for Cowes Week!

July 31st, 2015 No comments

Screen shot 2015-07-31 at 13.54.158 Impalas have entered Cowes Week this year – the racing should be close and exciting!

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Dun Laoghaire regatta 2015

July 14th, 2015 No comments

11742759_10153405511349675_2367059565288499406_nRichard Harding writes from Dublin: ‘The 6th, bi-annual, Dun Laoghaire regatta took place from the 9th to the 12th July. There were over 400 boats competing in a wide range of classes form dinghies to offshore cruisers, and the Impala class was represented by Bambi, GBR 9612, which is now based in Dun Laoghaire, under the ownership of Richard Harding.

A scratch crew of local sailors, and imported Impala specialists (Ben and Steph from Polly) assembled and final preparations were made on the Thursday morning prior to the regatta commencing on Thursday afternoon. Racing was held in Dublin Bay on the North and Central race courses. The first two days were windy and sunny with frequent gusts of 35 knots and lots of thrills and spills – evident from the fact that the Dun Laoghaire lifeboat was called out three times. In Class 4, the leaderboard was dominated by Quarter Tonners with Cri Cri (Paul Colton) and Starflash (John Simms) leading after Quest, another Quarter Tonner, and pre regatta favourite, lost her rig. Bambi recorded 6, 4, 4 as the smaller boats hung in incredibly well both upwind and downwind.

Saturday and Sunday were a little lighter with 10-15 knots. Bambi executed a port end flyer in the first race on Saturday and was never headed to take line honours and first on IRC. However the second race of the day produced a disappointing 8th when the middle of the second beat provided no insurance against a big shift to the left.

As Sunday dawned, the Saturday night party was only just concluding and a number of fuzzy heads took to the water for the final race. Bambi lay 4th, 3 points behind DI-RICH, a GK24 from Liverpool, and two points ahead of Stargazer, a Grand Soleil 34 from Arran. Another good start and a safe first beat helped Bambi round the windward mark first, from Cri Cri, who already secured first place overall. Bambi and Cri Cri battled it out for nearly two hours in perfect conditions with 10 knots and flat seas. Unfortunately Bambi finally let Cri Cri out of her clutches and finished second, just 14 seconds behind on corrected time. The upside was that DI-RICH only managed 5th, allowing Bambi to take third overall on count back thanks to the victory in race four.

The prize giving was a rather damp affair, but an Abba tribute band and the customary Guinness ensured that party continued till the last. All in all, it was an incredibly enjoyable regatta with great competition, good winds, easy access to the race tracks, and all the hospitality that the Irish have become famous for. It could only have been improved by the addition of a few more Impalas!

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Round the Island race 2015 results

June 28th, 2015 No comments
Polly prepares for a tack off Fort Victoria (c) Dermod O'Malley

Polly prepares for a tack off Fort Victoria (c) Dermod O’Malley

Barney Smith writes: ‘Imptish went round the Island on Saturday along with nine other Impala’s, the biggest class entry for several years. It was a great day. Sunny, windy, and glorious sailing. More of you need to be on the startline next year! The date is Saturday 2nd July 2016. Put it in your diary.

We were up and out of the river early to spend the pre-start period admiring the big boats in the sunshine. Eleanora was just lovely (google her)…maybe next year….once fully awake our 12 year old first time RTI crew member seemed to be impressed!
From our perspective the start was a bit of a shambles  eventually setting off a good 100m behind most of class 3 and therefore tacking all the way to the Needles in dirty air with a big focus on avoiding unpredictable course alterations and random shouts from bigger boats! The less said about the new hole in the no1 genoa the better but top tip 1 from me to Impala crew, please remember to skirt before you wind!
We’d recovered sufficiently by Goose Rock to enjoy a calm passage through Varvassi “gap” without another boat near us. The usual warning shouts from the lifeboats and ribs were conspicuous by their absence as was the regular sight of a big boat or two parked on a rock or wreck to guide the way.
The Needles to St Cats stretch was a lot of fun, surfing down waves at up to 10 knots chasing Polly who’d pulled out a bit of a lead on the initial beat, interspersed with a long debate on how far to go offshore. Then it all went a bit wrong as we turned dead downwind at the lighthouse for the leg to Dunnose. Memories have been wiped by now but I am told there were two nasty broaches and several messy gybes. At least one crew member threatened to resign  Top tip no 2, release six inches of pole downhaul before gybing in 20 to 25 knots, we didn’t…and it doesn’t end well….
Despite our mishaps we were a bit closer to Polly by the time we turned for Bembridge. As usual we set up to be on the inside at the bouy making our intentions very clear to the group of boats on the outside. We stayed very high on the reach to the Ryde Sands to keep clear wind, in the process missing at least one photo opportunity, and then skirted the Seaview exclusion zone with inches to spare. Next up was the tacking battle that is Ryde Sands. Just one sighting of 0.0 on the depth sounder this year and some great work by the crew to pull us back to within metres of Pollys transom on the exit. Top tip no 3 – start the tack on 3m as you go in, by the time you’ve tacked the depth will be less than 0.5 but should be above 0.0!
After that it was a drag race to the finish and we somehow found an extra gear – it must have been the extra round from the hungry box – and passed Polly to reach Old Castle Point a couple of hundred metres ahead. As always we stayed (very) close inshore navigating through the knocks and windless patches and so only having to do two short tacks to make the finish line just behind the much smaller Woof  or K9 – great match between sail number and boat name! – who ended up third overall and a couple of minutes in front of Polly.
Round the Island is an awesome day and has become the highlight of Imptish’s year. I can only encourage the rest of you to come along. There’s plenty of advice available on how to get the best out of the race. So please contact Ben Meakins or myself if you’re interested and we’ll persuade you to be on the startline in 2016!
Impala extracted results:
Screen shot 2015-06-28 at 21.36.53
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Impala Nationals 2015 results are in!

June 23rd, 2015 No comments

The 2015 Impala Nationals at CCYC in Cowes saw some incredibly close racing, with 6 different winners in 8 races leaving the final results table undecided until the very end of the event.

14 boats made the trip to Cowes from as far away as the river Severn and one crew from the Clyde, to race in wind conditions that ranged from 5 to 25 knots over the weekend.

Saturday saw a steady 8-15 knots, and the race team fitted in two windward-leeward races and a longer round-the-cans race. Olly Love and Samantha Flint’s Two Frank showed that a long and hard training programme had paid off, scoring two firsts and a fourth to top the results. Barney Smith’s Imptish was not far behind, with two seconds and a third. Rocker, which had just emerged from the paint shed and made the trip from Thornbury SC, finished off the podium after day 1 with a seventh, a first and a fifth.

Ashore, the rain held off to allow the class to enjoy a potent rum party, supported this year by Later on, the club hosted a barbeque and showcased some impressive design skills in the inaugural Impala gutter boat championships, which saw just as much competitive spirit as the racing on the water! Firebird, who couldn’t come to the nationals after losing her mast earlier in the year, made up for their disappointment by winning, with Magic 2nd and Polly 3rd.

Back on the water on Sunday morning with a few sore heads thanks to the rum party the night before, the conditions provided a gentle start, but built to 25 knots at the finish of the second race, as three Impalas, charging downwind under spinnaker within a few inches of each other encountered a cruising boat stuck in irons and drifting sideways through the short finish line. Thankfully collision was avoided and as the wind built the final race provided some awesome surfing conditions and double-figure boat speeds in the large swell.

Two Frank again showed their mettle, scoring 3,2,1, with Imptish close behind, scoring 1,3,4. In third was Polly, scoring 6,1,2. At this point Two Frank stayed on top of the leaderboard but were just within Imptish’s reach, setting up a close challenge for the final day. The rest of the fleet were also close on points, with overall positions changing after every race.

Back ashore, crews licked their wounds and recovered enough to enjoy a meal and live band at CCYC, with some impressive dancing moves ‘til late in the night.

Monday dawned with pouring rain, but it soon petered out save for a few showers to allow some great racing. Some large shifts, especially in race 2, allowed crews with their eyes out of the boat to make huge gains on the fleet. Class newcomers Uproar had an amazing day, winning the first race and finishing second to Philip McDanell’s newly re-painted Trudi in the final race of the day.

After 8 races and 6 different race winners, Two Frank finished first overall after a masterful performance that saw them in bed asleep by 10pm each day. Imptish was second overall, with Polly third. Trudi made a spectacular leap up the results table after a successful final day to come in 4th, with Rocker in fifth and Magic in sixth.

The furthest travelled trophy and best newcomer trophies went to Rocker. Best improver went to Trudi, while Cheeky Monkey’s 12-year old bowman Felix Barr took the youngest crewmember award. Voodoo, who sailed the final day just two-up took a ‘short-crewed’ prize, while Ian McDonald’s newly relocated Happy won first Scottish boat. Prizes were supplied by, One Sails, GAP communications, Doyle Sails, Banks Sails, Force 4 Chandlery, Lewmar, Ronstan and Hyde Sails – our thanks to them for their kind support.

Thanks also go to Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club for an amazing and friendly venue, to the race team for some excellent racing, to the class committee for their organisation and to the competitors who made the event such fun on and off the water.

Next year’s venue is yet to be decided – but we can look forward to a bumper entry as the buzz around the class grows. Come and join us!

More photos (185 in total) are available for purchase in high resolution for a bargain price of £30 per boat! Make sure to contact the Class Association to receive your CD (

Full results:


Pos Boat name 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Points
1 Two Frank 1 (4) 1 3 2 1 2 3 13
2 Imptish 3 2 2 1 3 4 (5) 4 19
3 Polly 4 (6) 3 6 1 2 4 6 26
4 Trudi 5 3 6 5 (9) 7 3 1 30
5 Rocker 7 1 5 4 6 3 (10) 5 31
6 Magic 6 5 4 2 7 6 8 (10) 38
7 Uproar (11) 7 11 9 4 9 1 2 43
8 Nyala 2 (9) 8 8 5 5 7 9 44
9 Vlad the Impala 8 8 7 7 8 (10) 5 8 51
10 Happy 9 10 9 11 dnf 12 11 7 69
11 Curved Air 12 13 10 10 13 8 dnc dnc 81
12 Hound Dog 10 11 dnf 14 12 11 12 12 82
13 Cheeky Monkey (14) 14 13 12 10 14 9 11 83
14 Voodoo (13) 12 12 13 11 13 13 13 87


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The real race of the nationals…

June 18th, 2015 No comments

gutterboat1 gutterboat2The REAL race of the Impala nationals will take place ashore! At registration each crew will be issued with a kit of parts to design and build a boat to race down a length of guttering, with drinks, clothing and other great prizes to win… The race will take place at the BBQ on Saturday night – get designing!

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Looking good!

June 17th, 2015 No comments
with two days to go before the nationals, another boat emerges gleaming from the paint shed and hits the road en route to Cowes - looking good!

With two days to go before the nationals, Rocker emerges gleaming from the paint shed and hits the road en route to Cowes – looking good!

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Important: Amendment to sailing instructions!

June 16th, 2015 No comments

-signal-flag-letter-l-limaNationals competitors please note – Flag L is flying from CCYC indicating that there is an amendment to the sailing instructions regarding courses and mark lists – please download the file and read it along with the sailing instructions – please click this link:


You can download these marks as a .gpx file straight to your GPS from the SCRA website.

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Nationals: What you need to do…

June 15th, 2015 No comments

It’s not long now – looking forward to seeing you all in Cowes on Friday evening!

Here’s what you need to do:
1. Download and read the Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions.
2. Upon arrival, please call Shepards Wharf on VHF Ch. 80, tell them your boat name and that you’re here for the Impala nationals and they’ll assign you a berth. Please let us know today what time you expect to arrive on Friday – we need to let the marina know. 3. Registration is open from 18:00 to 22:00 on Friday at Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club and 08:00 to 09:00 on Saturday 20th June.4. There will be a briefing at 0800 on Saturday at CCYC. First warning signal is at 1025 on each day.

5. At registration, you’ll need to pay for your dinner tickets, so bring your chequebook or cash please if you haven’t already transferred the money by BACS.

6. The dress code for Sunday night is smart casual.

7. You need to let us know any dietary requirements by the end of today as we are being chased hard by the club. 

8. Scrutineering – we will be doing some scrutineering during the event – each boat will be given another boat  to check. Rules were sent out last week.

9. The skipper needs to be a member of the class association to race. If you haven’t already, please download the form from and email it to Sam.

And finally, thanks to, GAP Communications and Dimension Polyant, as well as Banks Sails and One Sails for their support of the event. If your company would like to donate any prizes or provide any sponsorship, it would be much appreciated.

SO – fingers to reply buttons please – email

1. Dietary requirements for your crew
2. ETA on Friday

All the best

Ben and Steph.


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