Now here's some nostalgia.... kindly sent in by Ian Stephen.

'An average of about 250 boats started every day this year and there was a total of 1750 starters between 3 and 10 September.

The pattern of the racing was the same as before except that some of the restricted dinghy classes were much smaller than in previous years. To compensate, however, several of the one design classes were greater in numbers and the racing in the classes for the larger keel boats was both keener and better supported.

The climax of the week for the larger yachts is the Town Cup on the second Saturday when the A and BI Classes combine for what is always a long course with no time limit. Capella of Burnham (W. H. Hawkins) won the Town Cup by five minutes from Fidelis (F. J. Welch) with Whirlwind (R. S. Wilkins) third, only 8 seconds behind.

Capella of Burnham was launched earlier this year by R. J. Prior and is built to Buchanan's "Vashti" design. Fidelis, designed by and built for her present owner in 1931, also did outstandingly well; she was in the first four on every day and was sailed with a calm efficiency which was a joy to watch. Whirlwind, the third prize winner in the Town Cup, had had a wonderfully successful week with five firsts, a second and a third in A Class.

She is a nearly new yacht built by Tucker Brown to Holman's design and is a near sister to Clair de Lune although with a masthead rig and slightly longer ends. She was sailed for most of the week by A. E. Bird. Her closest rival in A Class was Firecrest (L. T. Daniels), a powerful, beamy masthead sloop designed by Buchanan, which had a prize every day but one.

A Class were the first away each day but their starts were comparatively leisurely affairs when compared with those of BI Class which followed them. Whirlwind, in A Class, was twice the first over by a long margin although she, herself, was 30 seconds late. In contrast the BI fleet usually started more like dinghies with one or two over and a bunch on the line within two or three seconds. The sister ships, Jabula (W. H. Gough-Cooper and J. Boardman) and Vashti (J. M. Laing) did well and the slightly smaller Aelfwyn (W. J. C. Stanley, sailed by Mr. and Mrs. Buchanan) was also well up in the fleet, but none of these could get near to Capella of Burnham and Fidelis.

After the two large classes had started the new Stella O.D. fleet came to the line. Last year a new Holman designed sloop Stella was launched by Tucker Brown's two days before the week and took seven firsts in a row. One year later, twenty-four yachts have been built and another twenty-four are on order, which must be about the quickest growth of a keel-boat class in history. Fourteen starters came to the line in this new class, which is strictly controlled, and the places were well spread. Starlight of Mersea (R. Hill) did best with three firsts and three seconds but she did not have things all her own way by any means and several of the local boats were hard on her heels. Whirlwind II (R. S. Wilkins) which was sailed by several different people during the week, did well, and Starshell, owned by the designer of the class, C. R. Holman, had a first, a second, a third and two fourths.'

Yachting World
Burnham Week 1961