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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