The Contessa 26 Association is preparing to celebrating 50 years of this prize-winning pocket racer and ocean-cruiser

The Contessa 26 class association is preparing to celebrate 50 years since the first boat that became the Contessa 26 burst onto the scene in 1966.

Conceived by Jeremy Rogers as a fibreglass remake – with a few tweaks – of the Folkboat, it has much of the same pretty appearance, good sea-keeping qualities and a fair turn of speed. The design went on to enjoy racing success as well as world-wide cruising and ocean sailing.

As part of the celebrations to commemorate the history of this little yacht the UK Contessa Class Association will publish a 96-page full-colour hardback book compiled from owners’ contributions in time for the association’s AGM in Lymington on 14 November 2015 at the Royal Lymington Yacht Club.

Publication of the book has been made possible through the generosity of a bequest by the wife of former CO26 devotee Kenn Virr, who sadly passed away  in 2010,

Contessa 26 – The first 50 Years covers the early days when the trophy winning exploits of David Sadler’s Contessa of Parkstone, the forerunner to the Contessa 26, astonished the racing fraternity to the world girdling exploits of lone sailors, cruises from the Arctic to the Pacific and beyond, the important Canadian connection which led to 254 Contessas being launched into the North American market is also covered, together with the stories of incredible transatlantic single-handed passages, through to the modern Round the Island race successes and the current vibrant racing and cruising scene and a ‘where are they now’ directory of members boats.

This is the history of a truly classic yacht – with lines that continue to please the eye and never disappoints on the water.

To order your copy visit the website