The oldest boat sailing at Skandia Cowes Week this year is a true classic 06/8/07 has spied some beautiful boats on the Solent this week. From the six-and-a-half metre Hunter Sonatas toICAP Leopardthere are some first-rate examples of boat design on display, including the oldest boat competing this year – a classic – the Clyde Linear 30Mikado. Built in 1904, it’s celebrating its 103rd birthday this year, and its 6th year racing at Skandia Cowes Week.

The boat was designed and built by William Fife (or Fife III), one of the premier yacht designers of the day, at Fairlie on the Clyde. Originally a Gaff Cutter, Mikado was converted in 1924 into a cruiser racer with a Bermundan rig, like so many gaffs at that time. The boat enjoyed further restoration between 1993 and 1995, but it wasn’t until 1999 that she was racing again – making her Cowes debut in 2002.

Mikado ended up taking second place in class seven that year, with three firsts and four line honours, and took second once again in 2003, 2004 and 2005. This year, in class eight, Mikado’s already making waves finishing eighth on the first day of racing, and taking first place yesterday after a memorable sail. Her owner, Michael Briggs told us: “It’s wonderful to be sailingMikado. She’s the greatest lady, who enjoys a good race now and again.”

If you’d like to find out more about Skandia Cowes Week’s oldest boat, visit the Classic Yacht Club website here.

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