Itchenor, 15th September 2023 – The Solent Sunbeam Class, known for its rich history and enduring elegance, continues to flourish with the launch of the magnificent GRP Solent Sunbeam V74 Odyssey.
A Symbol of Optimism and Heritage
As she slipped into the water by Haines Boatyard at Itchenor the beloved V1 Dainty, a century-old Sunbeam, was being prepared for a grand journey to the South of France, where she will participate in the prestigious Regattes Royale and the Voile de St Tropez. This juxtaposition of tradition and innovation exemplifies the enduring appeal of the Solent Sunbeam Class.
A family affair
Odyssey was commissioned by the Taylor family, who are no strangers to the world of classic sailing. The Taylors’ passion for classic sailing extends beyond the Sunbeams, with a history that includes ownership of Swallows and XODs at Itchenor and various other classic sailboats.
Peter and Anne Taylor, both former Commodores of Itchenor Sailing Club and with extensive involvement in the Royal London Yacht Club where Peter was instrumental in creating Cowes Classic Week, are co-owners with son Sean and granddaughter Alice Taylor.
Alice had the honour of christening Odyssey with champagne over her bow, welcoming a new arrival to this classic dayboat class. Peter Taylor expressed his gratitude to John Tremlett and the Haines team for crafting a superb example of this timeless class.
GRP Boats and Wooden Boat Refurbishment
This launch also serves as a testament to the initiative of Roger Wickens, as Odyssey represents the latest in the evolution of GRP boats within the Sunbeam class. The combination of traditional craftsmanship and modern materials has resulted in a vessel that captures the essence of the past while embracing the future of sailing.
In addition to the GRP innovations, recent refurbishments of wooden boats within the class highlight the dedication of Sunbeam enthusiasts to preserve their heritage. These ongoing efforts breathe new life into classic vessels, ensuring they continue to grace the waters for generations to come.