Our front page Fat Boy picture spawned a nostalgia thread so we’re bringing you another golden oldie. In 1985, the Royal Ocean Racing Club and the Royal Thames Yacht Club agreed to sponsor a new One Design for offshore racing and commissioned top yacht designers to put forward ideas. The designers proposals were put to some of top yachtsmen and the decision was made to adopt a design by David Thomas. The Sigma 38 became extremely popular and Marine Projects built a total of 124 yachts and Northshore Yachts built the last one in 1993. Large fleets were established all over Britain and a Class Association was established in 1988.
Many rule changes have been made, to keep the fleet competitive, and Sigma 38s are still often the largest one design entry in major events like the Fastnet Race and the most represented production boat at events like Cork and Cowes Weeks.
This year’s JPMorgan Round the Island race will see the Sigma 38 Offshore One Design Class Association coming of age, with an expected massive entry of British and overseas boats and post race birthday celebrations at the Max Aitken Museum in Cowes. As well as the designer David Thomas, leading lights in the world of international yacht racing are expected to attend and join in a series of fun events over the weekend to mark the occasion. This great action shot is from David Harding and there are more Sigma 38 pix here.