The iconic Contessa 26 is half a century old this year and 20 boats have already signed up for the 50th Anniversary Rally in July

With more than 5 months still to go to the Contessa 26’s 50th Anniversary Rally in Lymington, 20 boats have signed up to attend the rally, including several famous yachts of the class. Organisers are expecting numbers of attendees to double by the time the event happens.

First to sign up amongst the Contessa 26 fleet was Chris Stevens, current owner of Rosina of Beaulieu, Jeremy Rogers’ RIR Gold Rose Bowl winning boat.

Kleine Johanna was soon added to the list by Dutch owner Rob Kolster and a Belgian entry is expected soon. Sailors are expected from as far afield as Norway and even Australia, when Nick Jaffe and Constellation arrive back from his voyage to Sydney.

Contessa 26 East Coast sailors are planning a cruise in company to the rally and will rendezvous in Ramsgate before sailing to Lymington for the event. The rally will congregate on the Dan Bran pontoon in Lymington in the western Solent, where the Contessa 26 Association will subsidise moorings.

The sailing will involved some gentle sailing to Hurst Castle and Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight, and will take in a barbeque, a formal dinner at the Royal Lymington Yacht Club, and a pub lunch on the Isle of WIght.

For those interested in the class, there is also a book to celebrate the occasion, Contessa 26 – The First 50 Years, which is available from the club secretary.