Lapwing1Description Two man dinghy
Class status Local one design
Length 13 feet
Aldeburgh handicap 1314
Number of boats in fleet 63




Lapwings at Aldeburgh

Lapwings are 12’6” clinker two person dinghies, built to be sailed on the River Alde.  They were designed by Morgan Giles, and the first one was made in 1947.  The fleet then expanded rapidly, with many Lapwings built throughout the 1950s and 1960s, but new ones continued to be made until the early 1990s.   About 77 have been built in total, of either larch or  mahogany.   A number of Lapwings — including Lapwing number 1 — have been in the same ownership since they were first launched.
Nearly 30 boats are currently actively sailed on the Alde.  There is weekly racing on a Wednesday night from May to October as well as individual cup races, for the Little Garrett Cup, the Acheson Trophy and the Silver Lapwing Trophy.  The Lapwing World Championship is held over a weekend in July or August, when Lapwings compete for the Margaret Tudor Bowl.  Lapwings also have their own start in the Regatta.  However, many Lapwing owners prefer cruising to racing, and it is the ideal boat for this, being perfect to take a picnic up to Little Japan or down to Orford for tea.  This year, monthly Lapwing class cruises have been inaugurated.
Lapwings have two rigs.  The larger, white sails are used by adults, and the smaller red sails are the junior and youth rig, though in strong winds lighter adults sometimes use the red sails.  Junior Lapwings were for many years the only boat available for younger sailors, and junior racing was very competitive.  However, there has been a decline in Junior Lapwings since the early 1990s, and in recent years very few have been sailed.   But this summer, a new Junior Lapwing Sailing Weekend was inaugurated with great success, and eleven Junior Lapwings were raced and cruised and rowed with enjoyment and enthusiasm by children more used to Oppies and Teras. We are hoping to build on this success next year, repeat the Junior Weekend, and inaugurate a Junior Lapwing Start in the Junior Regatta.
The Lapwing class is very friendly and other Lapwing sailors will always help you launch and bring your boat up the slipway.  Anyone, or any families, who are thinking of buying a Lapwing and joining the fleet  should get in touch with the Class Captains, who may well know of boats for sale.  You will be buying, at the same time, a piece of Aldeburgh history, and a hugely enjoyable boat in which you can experience both racing excitement and the joy of simply messing about on the river.
The class captains are Lucy Vinten Mattich and Fiona Lewington
The PY number for the white sails is 1314, for the red ones it is 1384.
The Lapwing Class website can be found at

Jlapwing Jlapwing2 Lapwing1 lapwing2