Mat Ali's 2017 Race
Mat Ali has once again taken part in the Classic Channel Regatta, frequently referred to as “The Gentleman's Race” which takes place every two years starting at Dartmouth, calling in at St Peter's Port in the Channel Islands, before finishing in Paimpol, France. Mat Ali came a respectable 44th in the overall results list for the Dubarry Trophy, athough, given that this is composed from fleets sailing different courses in different wind conditions, the competitors take their placings with a pitch of sea-salt. However, Mary Watson, who's Mat Ali's custodian along with Charlie Hussey, was proud that their boat won the Dartmouth to Guernsey race in their Class 1 & 2, Division 2 fleet. She said, “This was the longest and toughest of the races during the regatta and a very pleasing result for us”.
Mat Ali is ahead of the Alan Buchanan designed Blue Saluki in this
photograph from the 2015 Classic Channel Regatta.
Mat Ali finished 28th overall, a commendable performance
against the 'built to race' Blue Saluki which came 23rd.
Mat Ali's Rich History
Mat Ali was commissioned in the early 1930s by Peter Edwards. He was the manager of the Teluk Pirah Estate in Malaysia, an oil plantation. There was an enormous tree on the land of an extremely hard oriental hardwood, Chengal. This he had cut down and milled to provide his yacht, built in 1935 by a local builder named Mat Ali. The new yacht, launched in 1936, was cruised extensively by Edwards in Malayan waters for 16 months. In May 1937 she was shipped to Port Said the and then sailed to the Helford River via the Aegean Islands, Corinth Canal, Straits of Mesina, and the French canals (Cette to Bordeaux). A log of this cruise was published in Yachting Monthly in April 1938. Edwards was invited to become a member of the prestigious Royal Cruising Club and wrote about his subsequent summer cruises in the 1938 and 1939 journals.
Mary Watson, one of her current owners, has been been in touch with a comprehensive list of past owners and she supplied the up to date photograph, above. The other owner, Charlie Hussey has blogged about Mat Ali. He's reinstated Mat Ali's shortened boom and bowsprit to their original lengths. There is a further recent photograph, taken by Robert Griffiths, in the Summer 2014 issue of The HBA Magazine.
Mat Ali Statistics
Built : 1935 by Mat Ali in Selangor, Kuala, Malaya
LOA : 31' 8"
LWL : 28' 8"
Beam : 9' 8"
Draught : 6' 1"
Displacement : 11 tons TM
Lloyd's Register : N° 157863, London
Signal Letters : MTZP
Mat Ali Custodians & Home Ports
Charlie Hussey & Mary Watson (2011-2017...) Dartmouth, England
Rob & Sue Lipsett (2009-2011) Dartmouth, England
Lee Rogers (2005-2009) Dartmouth, England
Rob & Sue Lipsett (2001-2005) Dartmouth, England
Anthony (Tony) & Christine Speed (1992-2001) Solent, England
Michael Wrightson (1983-1992) Bristol, England
Ian Hobbs (1967-1983) Hamble, England
Colin J Jeffries (1950-1967) Cornwall, England
Frank Ash Yeo (1949-1950) Cornwall, England
Owner not named in Lloyd's Registers (Used by Dutch Navy)
EJC (Peter) Edwards (1935-1940 or 1941) Malaya => Cornwall
A YM advert offering Mat Ali for sale in November 1947
The asking price was £2,420 (from another advert)
This converts to £93,170 in 2017 if inflation is allowed for
Page last updated : September 2017