Maldon Chronicle published Burnham Week regatta to celebrate 80 years of sailing vessels

WITH Britain’s biggest annual regatta starting today, one sailor is celebrating 80 years since his grandfather put Burnham on the sailing map.

Will Dallimore, 54, has always lived in Burnham and has sailed the Royal Burnham One Design Boats since he was just three.

  1. SPEEDY: Bluebell sailing on the River Crouch

    SPEEDY: Bluebell sailing on the River Crouch

  2. RACING man: Will Dallimore, waving, in his boat Mandarin on the River Crouch

His grandfather, Norman Dallimore designed the new class of racing boat, which made Burnham famous in the sailing world, enabling more people to get out onto the water.

And with Burnham Week now here, the entire fleet of boats is planning the biggest celebration of its 80th birthday yet.

The father-of-three said: “I think the Royal Burnham One Design boats helped Burnham become a hub for sailing. My grandfather was commissioned to make boats which were less expensive and more accessible to members of the public soon after he moved to Burnham in 1918.

“And that’s what he did. The boats are very successful in racing and are suitable for all ages, from 18 to 80 years-old.”

Built in 1932, Norman oversaw the building of 23 boats which have always been kept and raced in Burnham.

“Unfortunately, we have lost two over the years – one to a fire and one sunk,” said Mr Dallimore, who is a member of the Royal Burnham Yacht Club, the organisers of Burnham Week.

Certain boats’ birthdays have already been celebrated this year, with owners making a special cocktail in the colour of their vessel and wearing that colour too.

The former merchant navy recruit, Mr Dallimore said: “The climax of the celebrations will be throughout Burnham Week. Everyone who is involved in the club will be there.”

Burnham Week is a celebration of the sailing culture at the riverside town.

Starting this Saturday, the longest running UK regatta runs for eight days and involves a number of prizes for different classes.

“We have had a big surge in interest in the boats this year,” said Mr Dallimore.

“All of the boats are kept in Burnham, although obviously some of the owners live in London or further afield.”

The Royal Burnham Yacht Club commissioned the building of the boats, which cost just £120 when they were first constructed.

On Sunday, the club is hosting a special dinner to celebrate the fleet’s 80th birthday.

If you would like more information on the boats or Burnham Week, call the Royal Burnham Yacht Club on 01621 782044 or go to burnhamweek.org.uk


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