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Class pages  >  Osprey

This page was written a few years ago now but has been retained for its historical significance to the Club

The Ospreys of Mount's Bay Sailing Club

The late Ian Proctor originally penned the Osprey design in the early 1950's. It was designed for the Olympic Selection Trials along with several others; two of which became the Flying Dutchman and 505 of today. Many members of MBSC felt that this boat was more suited to the varied, and often extreme weather conditions experienced in Mount's Bay than the 18 ft Jollity, another 1950's design by Uffa Fox, which was reportedly specifically designed for sailing in the bay.

Initially, ten Ospreys were ordered and in the season of 1960, 15 boats were sailing regularly at the Club. In 1959 the second Osprey National Championships were hosted by MBSC, with our own Peter Gartrell finishing runner-up. He went one better in 1960 at Stone Sailing Club to become National Champion. The 60's and early 70's were the golden age for the MBSC Osprey Fleet. During these years there were over 40 Ospreys in the club - the largest fleet in the world. The highlight was possibly in 1970. The national championships were held at Saundersfoot, with an entry of 99 boats. MBSC helms took the first five places: Ken Robertson, James Curnow, John Mathews, Ian Roxburgh and Neville Noye. In that year there were also no less than six Osprey Open Meetings held at MBSC.

MBSC Members Osprey National Championship - Roll of Honour

   Jeremy Williams    Runner up - 2007

   Lee Harvey         3rd - 2007

   Peter Greig        Champion Crew - 2006

   Andy Postle        Runner up - 1991

   Derek Cattran      Runner up - 1978
                      3rd - 1979

   James Curnow       Runner up - 1969
                      3rd - 1974, 1976

   Ken Robertson      National Champion - 1964, 1966, 1969, 1971
                      Runner up - 1970, 1974

   John Mathews       National Champion - 1968, 1970, 1972
                      Runner up - 1965
                      3rd - 1969

   Raymond Jebbett    Champion Crew - 1968, 1970, 1971, 1972

   Neville Noye       Runner up - 1966, 1967
                      3rd - 1965

   Peter Gartrell     National Champion - 1960
                      Runner up - 1959
                      3rd - 1962

MBSC has hosted the Osprey National Championships on eight occasions and holds the record for highest turnout when 123 boats competed in 1976. Despite not hosting the event since 1994, it still stands as the most popular venue for the prestigious event. 1994 marked a fantastic period for the local fleet. James Curnow, John Mathews and Raymond Jebbett were still regularly competing whilst a new Osprey generation were emerging and who continue to strive to emulate their predecessors.

From the late 90's through to 2004, the fleet was split with a newly formed Penzance fleet. Although racing in Mount's Bay did suffer over this period the class maintained its presence. The two fleets have now re-combined at MBSC and now number some 20 boats. In 2006, club racing regularly sees up to 10 boats on the water. With the merging of the two fleets has come an increased standard of competition identified at both local and national levels.

Since 1965 the most sought after domestic prize for the fleet has been the Batchelor Carmody Bowl, which is presented to the yachtsman with the highest number of points in club races for the year (with the low points scoring systems, the criteria was reconsidered appropriately). James Curnow received this award on 10 occasions between 1965 and 1977, with Des Menear also being a regular recipient taking the title on six occasions between 1992 and 1998.

2006 has seen the development and production of the Mark IV Osprey, through the investment and passion of Richard and Mark Hartley. With the new product has come undoubtedly a renewed interest in the class nationwide. It is hoped that this investment has secured the existence of the class for the foreseeable future.

2007 saw the Golden Anniversary celebrations of the work of Ian Proctor, with an event arranged by the Proctor family and the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth. The class' 50th National Championships were hosted by Porthpean Sailing Club.

Looking forward, 2009 will see the National Championships return to Mount's Bay for the first time since 1994, acknowledging both the links between the Club and Class and the return to prominence of the MBSC fleet on a national scale.


With thanks to Mr Harvey Richards.