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Chris Bentley

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About Chris Bentley

  • Rank
    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 23/10/1949

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  • Interests
    Racing Sonatas! Running an 1886 Vintage Dutch Barge. Buying a suitable yacht to cruise Europe and beyond. Enjoying my Bus Pass to access London music from rock to blues to country, from 1960 onwards.

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  • Boat name
    BFG (Ex Chrysalis) Grietje, 23m Tjalk

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About Me

Why BFG?  Sonata 8114 started life as Lazy Daysie which didn't chime with me when I bought her in 1980 something, so she became Chrysalis and a bit later, got painted Black. Some three years ago I needed to change the name again and, as the boat was that colour, and I had scored the dubiuos accolade of two 'over the line when the Black Flag is up' starts in successive National Champs, the abbreviation used on race results 'BFG' seemed to fit. It may also have had something to do with my sons' preoccupation with Johnny Depp at the time. I don't know if anyone else has owned the same Sonata for longer than me, but after all this time I still think its the best 'bangs for bucks' boat ever.

I had that idea firmly in mind when I started the Medway Sonata Class in the 80's by deviously adding half a dozen Limbo 6.6s to the four or five Sonatas we had gathered on the river in order to force the Medway Yacht Club to give us a "Class" start. We raced boat for boat very competitively for about 5 years. One by one the Limbos dropped out and the Sonatas grew. Today we have the largest fleet in the world at 30 boats racing plus others cruising.

I tend to sail BFG to most race events. This year (2009) we put nearly 400 sea miles in getting to the RTI, Poole Nationals, back to Medway Regatta and up to Burnham-on-Crouch. 2010 will be more about land miles as even I baulk at the sea route to Scotland in such a tiddly little boat. Not that the boat wouldn't manage it, a six hundred mile beat is now beyond this old pensioner. My current ambition is to try, with all of your help, to trace every single Sonata ever built including the one which was (is)? home to a family of 12 in Hong Kong's typhoon harbour - its true, I saw it for myself in 1990 when I went to take part in the Sonata 'World' Championships. We own an iconic class of yacht which was built to last for ever. Lets give it the respect it deserves and make it an even healthier Class for the next generation!

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