Howlett Trophy at Kensington

DAVE WIGGINS visits the V.M.Y.G. in July 2008

Mrs J. Howlett presents the premier award of the day to winner David Bell and his yacht Philippa as V.M.Y.G. Chairman Russell Potts looks on.

On July 6th the Vintage Model Yacht Group (, held a vintage sailing day on the Round Pond in Kensington Gardens, courtesy of the home club, the Model Yacht Sailing Association ( Having reported this event in recent years this magazine was invited to attend again and so off I went. Id like to emphasise that the V.M.Y.G. does welcome everyone to its events, including those with interests in all sorts of vintage marine model and not just sailing craft, although it is of course primarily a model yacht club.

A little wrecked motorboat

Being interested in old wooden kits, I spotted a most interesting small 1950s motor cruiser nestling amongst a few yachts being offered for sale by Martin Bandey who of all things happens to be a professional yacht broker. A couple of us conferred and decided she was an old Yeoman kit. Then someone else offered the opinion; that she looked just like a little Wavemaster. I had not noticed that and she certainly does, although as far as I know, H.M.M. (and Aerokits) designer Les Rowell had nothing to do with designing for Yeoman (A.A. Hales). However a few hours research that same evening soon turned up a link, as Hales advertised both Yeoman kits and Rowells Wavemaster/Spraymaster/Fisherman trio during the mid-fifties, so it is possible. The boat, to be discussed further in my own column in due course, is actually a 20 inch loa ply and hardwood Yeoman Minx introduced in 1956. At the price being quoted I wish now that Id bought her. She was in very rough order, but not beyond re-skinning.

The Howlett Trophy for yacht restoration

The main award competed for on the day was the Howlett Trophy. This is basically an award for the best restored model and it was presented by Mrs J. Howlett in memory of her late husband who was a noted restorer of model yachts. This years winner was Mr David Bell with a truly lovely restoration of Philippa. Runner up was Mr Alistair Roach.

At the Round Pond

The day before (not attended by your columnist), had seen 10 Rater vane racing on the lake with Robin Redhead sailing Daddy Longlegs winning from a fleet of five. The Sunday racing was for r/c, but the event was abandoned early by Race Officer Gareth Morgan, due to high winds and rain squalls. I managed to get just enough pictures beforehand, but anyone who knows the Round Pond will agree that its no place to be in rough weather. Of course, after we all withdrew the sun came out - what else! Anyway, I think thats quite enough chat as there is limited space this issue, so let us allocate as much of it as possible to the pictures.

(V.M.Y.G. Membership Secretary is Mark Petrushkin, tel: 02084 529463, email: There is a full programme of events around the UK Editor)