I am very grateful to the Royal Fowey Yacht Club and to Marcus Lewis for the following history of the Troy Class.
Troys are a major part of the sailing heritage of Fowey and Class rules prescribe that Troys must be built on the Fowey estuary.
Archie Watty, a local Boatbuilder, designed the “New 18ft Class” specifically for racing in Fowey harbour. He built the First, for Sir Charles Hanson (a former Lord Mayor of London) in the winter of 1928/29. The Second being completed in time for the 1929 racing season, when they raced in the Handicap Class. So much interest was shown in these new boats that by the spring of 1930 there were 6 boats on the starting line.
Named after Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch’s Fowey-based "Troy Town" novels, these 18 ft 3/4 decked keelboats, of traditional carvel construction have 30ft tall masts supporting nearly 300sq ft of sail intended to catch any zephyrs of wind amongst the surrounding hills - which makes for exciting racing whenever there is a fresh breeze! They have 16cwt of lead keel bolted externally to prevent them capsizing!
By 1939 eleven boats had been built, the Troy Owners Association had been formed, and the Troys were racing in their own class. Originally Gunter rigged, the boats were altered to Bermudan rig within a couple of years; and then in 1936, on the advice of the Kings Sailing Master, Sir Philip Hunloke, the length of the boom and therefore the sail area were reduced, but in a fresh breeze, there is still a feeling of being over canvassed! The class rules forbid the use of metal spars, so wood is the order of the day, and with no backstay, mast breakages are not uncommon.
Of the 28 boats built since 1929, 25 survive in racing condition and many race every Wednesday evening and Saturday afternoon during the season. The class has experienced a recent upsurge in popularity and six new boats have been built since 2004 with T28, the most recent addition to the fleet, being launched in April 2009. The very early boats were given girls names and then the tradition became for them to be named after gemstones. The latest addition to the fleet, Red Beryl (T28) has a foot in each camp!
|1929||1||Mid Blue||Jocelyn||S. Wilkinson|
|1935||9||Pale Blue||Maid of Foye IV||Allen Toms|
|1937||11||Mid Green||Jade||John Burford|
|1947||14||Pale Blue||Crystal||John Barwell|
|1947||15||Light Grey||Black Diamond||Peter Benton|
|1948||16||Turquoise||Aquamarine||A. Alexander, I. Madgwick|
|1969||18||Oxford Blue||Zircon||Dave Barnett|
|1989||20||Varnished||Maid of Polruan||Allen Toms|
|1990||21||Pearl White||Brilliant||Brian Appleton|
|2008||27||Pale Green||Helen||John Barwell|
|2009||28||Pink||Red Beryl||Robert Davis|