Sunbeams have been racing in the port since 1924. The first race took place at Flushing on Saturday May 31st, with six boats. One of those six won its class in a recent Falmouth Sailing Week.
The Sunbeam was designed in 1922 by Alfred Westmancott. In all some 55 boats have been built, and currently 26 are in the Falmouth area.
In 1923 the Solent Cruising and Racing Association in February 1923 allotted the letter V to the class. Flushing uses the same letter on its club burgee, but the Club was founded in 1921, and it is not known when the burgee was adopted. Our records are hazy. Some say that the adoption of the V by the club was in recognition of the Dutch port of Vlissingen, often rendered in English as Flushing. Many Dutch engineers are reputed to have been involved in building the quays and sea walls in Flushing.
An idocycracy of the class is that the boats mostly end in the letter ‘y’. The founders of the new Sunbeam Class had understood the new design would be called the ‘Y’ class and so declared that all the yachts should have names ending in ‘y’. When it came to receiving the sail insignia it turned out to be ‘V’ instead of ‘Y’ but the name rule had already been made so many of the fleet still have names ending in ‘y’ (source). This tradition was maintained with the recently built Sunbeams.
The first race of Sunbeams in Falmouth took place at FSC on May 31st 1924 at 1410. The Silver Sunbeam race takes place around this date each year. Six of the seven new boats took part having been delivered to the Docks a day or two before by railway from the Isle of Wight. The seven owners drew lots to decide who would receive which boat. According to the race report only two of the boats had been able to stretch their new cotton sails, and they duly finished first and second.
The original boats to the Sunbeam design were ordered by owners fed up with handicap racing, and were christened Falmouth One Designs. The name was in use long after WW2. The name Sunbeam came to the fore when the joint class was established with the other fleet at Itchenor SC on Chichester Harbour.
As a one design class, handicaps do not apply to this class. However we do record finishing times, although these are seldom published.
A list of all the Sunbeams currently registered to race at FSC is available here.
The Sunbeams can be identified by their hull colours. The following chart is an approximation of the true colours.
|Dark Blue||48||Racy Lady|
V class captain: Neil Andrew