Title ID 6969Collection ID709
Title[Camper and Nicholsons Launch; Sailing]
Date[ca. 1936]
CollectionSussex gentleman and keen yachtsman
Genre/TypeAmateurIndependent AmateurNon-fictionActuality/Factual
ThemeFamily Life Transport
KeywordsBuildings Boats Harbours Ships Water Transport
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionContact Screen Archive South East for details
CameraContact Screen Archive South East for details
FormatBlack & White Silent
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


This film shows views of the Camper and Nicholsons shipyard at Gosport, adjacent to the Ratsey and Lapthorn Sailmakers; launching a vessel into the Solent. The second part of the film shows various yacht classes - 'J' 'X', 'W' and '12'-metre, racing on the Solent.


This film opens with views of the Camper and Nicholsons yard at Gosport adjacent to the Ratsey and Lapthorn Sailmakers. A yacht is shown being launched (?) as other spectators view from smaller vessels on the water and crowds line the harbour wall. As the hull of the yacht hits the water, a large bow-wave forces the rowers in the smaller boats to row quickly. The yacht's crew raise the ships signal flags upon landing in the water.

The second part (dark shots) opens with mixed views of various class 'W' & '12-metre' sailing yachts at sea and in close up. A portrait close-up of two 12-metre yacht (12/K2) (12/K4) opens the next sequence with several W-class yachts under full sail on the water. Mixed views of a harbour follow, with buildings and factories in the background (?). The camera focuses on a smaller vessel in the foreground as it moves into the harbour (?). Several men are on deck dressed in white uniforms, the vessel has no sail or mast. This is followed by wide views of the hull of a J-Class (?) yacht being guided on the water. A Royal Naval vessel is seen in the background (?).

The final sequence features several X-class yachts (X/20) and (X/56) under sail on the water to close the film.

Contextual information

Camper and Nicholsons built four J-class yachts, three of which raced in the America's Cup. All designed by Charles Nicholson, the first was Shamrock V for 1930 race, funded by retailer Sir Thomas Lipton. The second was Velsheda commissioned for Woolworths magnate William Lawrence Stephenson, but was not used as a Cup challenger.[13] The third and fourth boats were funded by pioneer aviation entrepreneur Sir Thomas Sopwith. Sopwith had had his private yachts built by C&N, including M.Y. Vita and her sisters.[14] Having bought Shamrock V on the death of Lipton in 1931,[15] he returned to the yard to have Charles Nicholson design and build the 1934 America's Cup entry Endeavour and the 1937 entry Endeavour II.