Scilly’s Redwing Sailors Do Well In Championships

redwing championships 2014Isles of Scilly sailors did well in this year’s Redwing Championships, held in Brittany for the first time.

Three of the iconic red-sailed vessels were entered from the islands, with Keith and Ned Buchanan coming third overall in their newly built boat, Shag. They also picked up a trophy for winning one of the six races.

Carol and Jake Buchanan came tenth in the Venus, with Carol picking up the Ladies Trophy for the highest placed helmswoman.

Keith said the event, held at the start of September at Plerin sur Mer in the Bay of St Brieuc, was “incredibly well organised” with the French turning out to be excellent hosts for the week.

He says there’s a growing interest in the traditional wooden sailing dinghies in France and Keith even took an old boat ‘Flair’ that needs renovation over to the host club as a gift.

They seem to suit the French well says Keith, with the boats being so pretty and good to sail.

He says there’s now a good circuit for the championships, which will move between Scilly, St Brieuc, Tenby and Looe every four years.

The islands will next host the event in 2016.

Keith says he’s pleased how redwings have taken off in Scilly  – there was just one here three years ago, and now there are eighteen.

He says there are quite a few redwings that need renovation, with councillor and former doctor Adrian Davis being the latest islander to take on a project, with the ‘Cherokee.’

There are also two redwings on St Agnes now.

Around 240 of the type were built, starting in the 1930’s, but a lot have been destroyed or rotted away. Keith estimates there are about 60 known boats, with about 20 or 30 still out there, waiting to be found.

That means there’s still plenty of scope for the fleet to grow, in addition to new boats being built to the original designs.

Keith says the Redwing Championships have a long way to go to match Gig Weekend. But he says with a redwing, you’re not just buying a boat, but buying into a great social club.