The 98-year-old historic Solent Sunbeam class has welcomed its newest addition to the fleet with the launch of a new boat at Itchenor.
This is the eleventh GRP Solent Sunbeam to be commissioned in this competitive and growing classic keelboat fleet, which is based at Itchenor Sailing Club.
The owners of V72, Adrian and Nikki Edwards have named her Serendipity, in keeping with the tradition of having names ending in ‘y’. Nikki explained that she first saw a Solent Sunbeam whilst sailing around Chichester Harbour last year with her husband Adrian. It passed close-by and Nikki was so captivated by her beautiful lines that she turned to her husband to ask if they could have one.
After two trial sails, a purchase was agreed and the hull was moulded on the Isle of Wight and the yacht finished by wooden boat specialists, Haines Boatyard at Itchenor.
Adrian is an experienced racer and is looking forward to the challenge of racing in the fleet, having competed in a variety of dinghies and keelboats over the years, most recently in the Victory Class in Portsmouth. Interestingly, the Victory Class is another local, classic design which has also embraced wooden and GRP boats racing on an equal basis.
More than 30 Solent Sunbeams regularly sail from Itchenor Sailing Club, ranging from 98 years in age to several new GRP and newly epoxied yachts. Newcomers to the class are welcomed to the fleet with tips and advice on ownership, rig set-up and maintenance freely available from the long-standing owners and enthusiasts.