The Redwing Tradition Thrives in the SW
The Redwing is a boat with its near 80-year-old roots firmly planted in the South West. Designer Uffa Fox was approached by Looe Sailing Club’s Commodore, Wilfred Neale in the 1930’s with the brief to build an affordable vessel that was tough enough to cope with the ‘occasionally’ rough seas along the South Cornish coast. Since then this ‘fibreglass-free’ fleet has grown and expanded to other clubs in the South West and beyond to the likes of Hartlepool, Shropshire and Essex.
The Redwing is a 14ft boat of clinker construction, characterised in its early days by a heavy iron centreplate that would provide additional stability. Modern Redwing design now allows for the use of a wooden centreboard, and a trapeze was adopted in the 1970’s to overcome the loss of stability that the old 125pound piece of iron would provide.
Otherwise the design of the Redwing has changed very little over the years, which is of great testament to the work of Uffa Fox, Wilfred Neale and the growing number of Redwing sailors who have been taken in by this beautiful craft. Older boats continue to compete at the head of the fleet, with 2017 National Championships proving to be a fine example of this.
2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the Redwing Championships in North Devon. The Nationals are being held in Instow at North Devon Yacht Club, who alongside Looe SC and the Scilly Isles, is a Redwing Institution! So far the championships are incredibly competitive, with four different boats winning the first five races. In true Redwing tradition, it looks the overall championship will come down to a fight between the NDYC and Looe sailors for the honours.