The Bembridge Redwing yacht is a class with impeccable sailing credentials, and a reputation for lively sailing and design innovation. It was originally designed by Charles Nicholson in 1896 and the first fourteen Redwings were raced in the 1897 season. The Class continued to race at Bembridge until 1937 when the owners asked Charles Nicholson to the original design for a maximum of 20 new boats.
Sixteen of the new wooden boats were built by Camper and Nicholson Ltd. and these were raced for the 1938 season. Three more boats were built after the War, the last of these in 1950. In the mid 1980s, it was decided that additional boats should be built to the same design in GRP and the GRP prototype was launched in 1987.
Whilst the Bembridge Redwing Class Rules decree that the hull deck and certain fittings must be One Design and the sail area must not exceed 200 sq ft, owners are free to experiment with certain aspects of sail design. The distinctive red sails remain, but recent decades have seen some interesting innovations. These have included the ‘swing rig’ developed by John Cleave and the modern high aspect rig developed by Vernon Stratton, both of these in the 1980s.