Cal 20 May 2015

by Peter Coy

According to the RVYC 1965 Annual there were seven Cal 20’s registered at RVYC. The following year in 1966 the Cal 20 fleet obtained its Class Charter as Fleet 13. The upcoming fiftieth anniversary of the event is hard to believe. Currently there is limited Cal 20 participation in racing compared with the past We thought that stories from the Cal 20 archives might be something to pass on via the mainsheet . In newsletters Harry Marshall wrote about the Cal 20 racing which over the years has changed but there are some things which are familiar. Harry wrote that on Saturday January15th 1977 because of the flat seas racing was for that day postponed. The seven boats at the docks went out in the pouring rain and motored over to the Oak Bay Marina for coffee. A convivial half hour was spent there, steaming gently in wet oilskins, trading friendly insults with John Watson ,Fleet Captain of RVYC.

A week later the race was rerun in a NE very erratic light breeze with a calm sea and gentle flood tide. Six boats were out enjoying a beautiful afternoon. (The marks in those days were permanent buoys scattered around the bay) On that day the course was Beach. Jemmy Jones, Cattle, Darimont, Jemmy Jones, Cattle and finish at Darimont .The time limit was two and half hours. Tarkwa was DNT. The mark Darimont was a dead hole in winter and there was a petition to have it declared hostile territory. I have forgotten where Darimont was situated. ( Can anyone remind me please. )

The following week the race was considered to be one of the best so far. Decent wind and the highest turn out. It was an encouraging sight to see eleven Cals on the start line. It could have been more if two regulars like Cec Biden who was working on night shift and Brenda Jackson who had sustained an injury with a table saw, were not out. It was a while before Brenda’s finger injures had healed sufficiently for here to return to sailing.

In the picture, copied from the RVYC 1892-1992 commemoration book, the Cal 20 , sail number 718, Windless, is still racing.


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