Last updated - 04 October 2005


The URRY Family

Boats & Sailors


A page reserved for those of us with a passion for the sea, 
a love of boats, 
or just a passing curiosity...

For the latter group I hasten to add that this page is not intended as a show of wealth but rather  to convince you that sailing is no longer the reserve of the wealthy. The boats featured on this page range in value from the price of a bicycle to that of a small house on the Isle of Wight.  

Clicking on the small photos will give access to bigger pictures.  If you have any other, or better  pictures of  family boats or sailors (anywhere) which you would like to share, please send them to me for inclusion. Mistakes are bound to be made so please be patient and inform me.


"Joan" - Cowes 1920  - Off Osborne Castle, beating  past Cowes Roads against a gentle sou'wester. Owned and helmed by Rodney Frank Bastiani Urry with his eldest son, Sydney Ralph Bastiani Urry (aged eight) as crew. This photo was taken during Cowes Week and this explains the presence of some large yachts and the warship which is guarding the Royal Yacht "Victoria & Albert" anchored further inshore. 

Closer inspection will also reveal that the "Joan" is equipped with a roller reefing foresail based on a hollow bamboo spar with a drum to enable inboard reefing lines. Proof enough that roller reefing for headsails is not a recent development...  

"Betty"  - Christchurch c1916  -  sailing down through Steep Banks in Christchurch harbour with Rene Urry (Rodney's first wife) at the helm, proving that the girls can do it too.  The number on the bow is a compulsory small craft registration number used in the UK during the first world war. Betty

"A Lovely Lady"

Cape Town  - 1942

Pauline KAHN née URRY was taking time off as a medical student in Cape Town when this photo was taken.

..."I was boarding with a family whose father was a yachtsman. That was a small boat probably a dinghy and we were sailing on a lake."

Pauline is now living out her retirement in England and enjoying her family's sailing from a distance.

"Lucy" - Newport, Isle of Wight, c1985  - Norman Kenneth Bastiani Urry (with the yellow trousers)  during one of his last cruises. Despite the passion of his parents (above) he didn't get seriously involved in sailing until relatively late in life. Norm's daughter Valerie (in the cockpit) carries on the tradition and has kept the boat. Norm's elder brother Bill, is standing next to him here with one of his boats behind. 

"Jubilo" - Cowes  1973  - Sydney Ralph Bastiani Urry (Capt. MN Ret'd) invariably known as "Bill" built this Sparkman & Stephens centreboard yawl on retirement, as his final boat. However, there were at least a dozen more before he died almost 30 years later! Only a few days before his death my father  purchased his final and 45th boat. This last boat  passed on to his grandson, Christian Williams, who continues to maintain family traditions and runs the company Heritage Marine based near La Rochelle in France. Jubilo

"Golden Hind Yachts" - Dorset 2002  - Mark Urry, the son of Capt. Robert R. Urry (R.A.M.C Ret'd), is another keen sailor who uses his retirement from building Concordes and Hovercraft to build 'Golden Hind' Yachts (also the name of his company) at Winfrith Newburgh in Dorset, UK.

"Slipaway" - Emsworth  - David Urry (brother of Bill, Norm, & Colin)  slips away cruising whenever he can during the summer and in the winter he has a slip to bring his boat up to his house to play with. David and his brother Colin used to be better known in the world of championship class dinghy racing and, as may be judged from the set of the sails, the enclosed picture is of a sister ship until David sends me something more appropriate! Sister Ship

Similar vessel Rival 32 - Greek Islands  - David's brother Colin Urry spends most of the year cruising around the Mediterranean in the Rival 32 that he built for himself. Still an inveterate pot-hunter, on the rare occasions when he's at home, Colin is usually be found racing his "M" class model yacht in the Winter series on the Emsworth Mill pond.

Mumm 30 Class - Emsworth   - Martin Urry (son of Colin) has been campaigning on Robin Fielder's "Warp Factor VI" a Mumm 30 which is doing it's best to clean up around the Solent. Ever eager to sail on different boats, Martin is also crewing a Farr 40 so perhaps one day he'll meet up with "War Games" in Australia.
Warp factor (left) on her way to a victory at Key West 2002
Photo: Ocean Images

R Class "Subwoofer" R Class - New Zealand  1996  - Chris Urry campaigned one of these typically Southern Hemisphere hot-rods to fame in the New Zealand national championships.

Optimist Class - New Zealand   2001 Charles Urry seems to be setting himself up as a future sailing star and has already been acclaimed and honoured by his local Yacht Club. Another club member sailing in the same class is Maddy Urry who already has an impressive list of trophies and represents admirably the feminine sailors of the family. The Optimist class is  probably one of the largest classes in the world and competition in this class is therefore at a very high standard. The success of these two sailors is consequently highly merited. Bravo! 

NB. The animated image shown here was too good to miss and I'm indebted to the New Zealand Optimist Class Association on whose web page I found it.



NZ Starlings

Starling Class  - New Zealand 2001 - Hannah Urry is in there somewhere and, going by reputation, it won't be at the back!

"War Games" - Adelaide, South Australia  - Traditionally, sailors have usually been poor swimmers but here's an exception! David Urry  is an Olympic medallist in swimming and was  the Australian National Swimming Coach in the 70's. He is still one of the principal promoters of that sport in Australia and runs a nationwide family business known as 'State Swim'. This training organization may be reached at  Not content to have excelled in one sport David is also renowned as one of Australia's top campaigners in the very exclusive and highly competitive International Farr 40 Class. 

Farr 40

Etchells 22 "Kestrel" (photo of sistership) - Hong Kong 1999  - Richard Urry seems to have been racing his Etchells 22 with success with the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club. As can be seen from the photo, the Etchells is one of the best looking and most popular keelboats around. Unfortunately they are still very rare here in Europe where we're still racing mostly Solings or Dragons.

Unfortunately Richard left us recently in December 2004. He had recently retired to his home in Clarke's Spring, Tring, Herts., and will be sadly missed by his wife Anne, his daughter Louise, and his son Simon Urry M.B.E.

"Caledonia" - Breton Bay, Maryland, USA  2005  - Don and Madeleine Hurry sailing their 15' West Wight Potter. This boat, now popular in the US was originally designed and built in Totland Bay on the Isle of Wight  Despite the spelling (or misspelling) of his name, Lieutenant Commander Francis Donelin Hurry (US Navy ret'd) believes that his maritime origins also go back to the Island.

"Alma"  - Atlantic 2004 - Robert "Hugh" Urry and his wife Christobel, have just completed another trip from Cape Town to the Caribbean via St. Helena island and Brazil. This their third Atlantic crossing and a great achievement for a retired couple of whom we should all be rather proud. Their boat is a comfortable 'Victory 40' but even that can appear very small on such a big ocean! Hugh is a grandson of the famous South African banker, Robert Bradshaw Clarke Urry. Many thanks to their daughter Penny Pullan née Urry who keeps me up to date with their news.

See map

and finally, a few of mine...

I've been sailing from my earliest years and have been involved in boats all my life. My career has been spent almost entirely in the marine business and since early days crewing my uncle's 12MJ I've maintained a keen interest in racing. Nonetheless,  I'm always ready to sneak off cruising and, in reality, my sort of boating is any sort of boating! 

I have owned many boats of all sizes and here is a small but memorable selection

Orange Amphipie "Orange Amphibie" - Isle de Groix , South Brittany. 1977  - Very shy, but winning the first "Micro Cup"; and this was work!  At the time I was employed by the French boat builder, EDEL, and this boat's racing reputation needed a boost. Proportionally not unlike her skipper, this Edel 5 had a beam of 2m45 for an overall  length of only 5m45 ! Despite the rude comments of the day, the boat remains popular and by present standards looks much slimmer.

"Triple S" - Christchurch, UK.  1971  - This, my only power boat, almost got me disinherited; but at 23 fast boats are fun. She was a Taylor 66 built in Spain and powered by two 6cyl Volvo engines.  Triple S

 "Capriccio" - Golfe de Morbihan, France 2004  - My present boat is a Contest 29, built in Holland and designed by Dick Zaal.  

"Nancy Wong" - Quiberon Bay, South Brittany 1984  - Well, there has to be a reward for those who managed to make it to the end of the page!  This was a comparison test for autopilots; the one on the right was my favourite but I found the others quite useful. 


No clicking now !!!          

X Rated

Other Sailing Members...

There must be more of you out there?  If you have any other, or better  pictures of  family boats or sailors (anywhere) which you would like to share, please send them to me for inclusion. Mistakes are bound to be made so please be patient and inform me.

NB Many thanks to those of you who  have kindly supplied  illustrations or information for this page. Should any photo be appearing here against the author's will or  contrary to any copyright laws, please inform me and the offending picture will be removed immediately.

On this page there are probably a few errors to be rectified and boats to be added. Your feedback will help! 

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