National contest for model yacht racing returns to Gosport

Putting one of the Vane 'A' Class model yachts into the water
Putting one of the Vane 'A' Class model yachts into the water
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  • Gosport hosted the annual model yacht races for Vane A-class yachts
  • Twenty competitors from around the UK are taking part
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MODEL yachts were put through their paces at an annual race event.

The Gosport Model Yacht and Boat Club hosted the national championship for the Vane A-class yachts, organised by the Model Yacht Association.

We have people come from across the country to take part and there is even a family from The Netherlands who come every year.

Chris Durant

The week-long racing, held on the boating lake at Walpole Park, will see 20 competitors race each other with a winner named on Friday.

Commodore of the club Chris Durant said: ‘This event is always fantastic and it is great to see some great yachts on the lake.

‘We hold this every other year and the lake at Walpole Park is just perfect for it.

‘We have people come from across the country to take part and there is even a family from the Netherlands who come every year.

‘It is a big event and people have to rely solely on the wind to help them win.’

The hand-crafted yachts can be up to six-feet tall and are steered using a vane on the rear.

Once on the lake, the competitors have to use the wind to power their boats and cannot steer them from shore. If they reach the sides of the lake, the vane has to be repositioned so they can restart.

Alan Bell, from Anglesey in Wales, has been attending the Gosport race since 1962.

He said: ‘I have always been into boats as my grandmother’s brother worked in the dockyard in Portsmouth. I would visit him and see all the boats; it was fantastic.

‘I enjoy making things so this race puts two passions together. Gosport is a great location for it.’

Martin Roberts travelled from Birkenhead to take part. He added: ‘This racing is a niche because there is no remote-control. Some people spend a whole year preparing for these races.’