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Boat classes

We have class racing for the Merlin Rocket, International OK, Wayfarer and Thames A Rater classes, plus a Handicap Class of mainly Solos, RS Aero, Phantom and National 12 dinghies. For younger sailors, the Topper and RS Feva classes are used.

Merlin Rocket

The Merlin Rocket is the ultimate hiking dinghy for two people. It has been refined over 70 years of development and is now an extremely modern class providing excellent racing throughout the UK. At 14ft by 7ft 2ins, the modern boats are very wide compared to other classes, giving maximum righting moment when hiking, without needing a trapeze.

Upper Thames has a large and active Merlin Rocket Fleet with a with range of abilities and many of the Merlins are sailed by ever changing combinations of family members.

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International OK

The OK dinghy is a single-handed dinghy, 4 m long with a single 8.5 square meter sail mounted on an unstayed mast on a 72 kg hull that is home built or professionally built of wood, grp or composite.

The OK has been around since 1957 and the fleet at UTSC started to form in 1976. By 1978 the fleet had reached 10 in number and moved to have its own class racing and trophies. There is OK class racing throughout the year with 4 seasonal racing series, some decided using personal handicaps to assist less experienced helms. In addition, there are numerous handicap events throughout the year.

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The Wayfarer dinghy was designed by Ian Proctor in 1957 and in the subsequent 60+ years has acquired an unrivalled reputation as a tough and seaworthy cruising dinghy, yet at the same time being responsive and rewarding to race. There is probably no other centreboard boat in the world which combines these qualities as happily; it is this great versatility that makes her so outstanding as a racing and cruising boat.

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Thames A Rater

The Thames A Rater is one of the oldest boat classes still racing and is unique to the River Thames.

Wooden boats carry 385 sqft of sail and the newer ones 350 sqft which reduces the need for handicapping. Masts, usually carbon, are about 43' tall and the mainsail is fully battened. The result is a boat which is stunning to look at, huge fun to sail and very quick. There is nothing faster or more enjoyable on the river.

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UTSC welcomes sailors of all types of dinghy and the Handicap Fleet is the home for the "orphans" in the club, sailors who have boats that are not part of the sailing classes that have regular class racing starts (Merlins, Wayfarers OKs and A Raters).

The make up of the fleet are boats that members have brought with them when they joined the club, or have found a boat that suits them better than the main classes that are sailed at the club. Several are owned by sailors who also have a boat in one of the main racing classes.

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Last updated 23:01 on 16 February 2024

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