The Portsmouth Harbour Racing and Sailing Association chose to follow the Bembridge Sailing Club one-design but with some minor modifications to the hull and some major modifications to the gaff rig. This design was at the time thought to be fast enough to give good sport, safe enough for novices and also had some capacity for sleeping aboard even if under an impromptu tent. There were several of the ex-Bembridge boats harboured at Portsmouth Harbour and the new design was such that the boats could be used in all types of weather and sea conditions of a normal solent season and were capable of being produced at a moderate price. In particular the boats were affordable by members of the three services.
The result of the planning and design teams was a 20ft 9in long boat with beam of 5ft 10in, draft 2ft 6in, carrying 195sq. ft of sail and with half a ton of ballast on the keel.
The new Victory Class, as it became known, was accepted by the Solent Classes Racing Association which allocated the letter "Z" as its sail mark. (In Gibraltar however the sail mark is the letter "V"). New victories could only be built by approved builders to the official templates and were open for measurement by the official measurers throughout construction. The Victory Class was subject to some strict rules, in particular, boats could not race as Victory yachts unless owned by members of the class. Spinnakers were introduced in 1935 but it was agreed that they could be prohibited in a race on the initiative of the class captain and subject to mutual agreement.
The first Victory race at Portsmouth was won by Commander Denham in Z 12 "Waterwitch" which took the presidents shield for the top scoring boat in the 1934 season. This boat was not however raced during the 1935 season after which she was sold to the Royal Artillery Yacht Club and used by a series of owners thereafter. After being laid up in Portsmouth in the late 1970's she was sold to the Gibraltar fleet in the early 1980's.
There has been a Victory fleet at Gibraltar since the 1940's. Of the 32 boats numbered Z 6 to Z 37 built before the war, three (two immediately on being built) were shipped to Gibraltar before the war and nine after the war. Of Victory boats build after the war numbered Z 38 to Z 69, eleven (five immediately on being built) were shipped to Gibraltar. The total number of Victories arriving at Gibraltar was therefore 23.
In 1969 the running backstays which were inclined to be a nuisance to set up when changing tacks were replaced by standing backstays. At first these could not be adjusted during racing but were subsequently modified to be freely adjustable. To make this change possible the main boom had to be shortened, the main sail slightly cut down and the foresail enlarged to compensate. This change has not however been adopted by the Gibraltar fleet.
The Victories in Gibraltar have a season spanning from the end of April to the end of October and of late due to the manufacture of higher quality paints The Royal Gibraltar Yacht Club's class rules prohibit any of the Victories being slipped during the racing season unless emergency repairs are required in which case racing penalties may be imposed by the Sailing Committee.
In an attempt to further standardise the class the Sailing Committee at The Royal Gibraltar Yacht Club has in recent years:-
1. Individually weighed the fleet and introduced a low limit weight for the class which has required some of the lighter boats to carry some extra ballast.
2. standardised the purchase of sails by using only one supplier and regulating the frequency of purchases.
These steps to further standardise the Victory class in Gibraltar were introduced given that the class owners have always been keen to see that the fleet remains a strict one design so that racing may be on level terms. To this end the class rules and the specifications of boats and sails have been strictly controlled and only altered with the consent of the majority of the Victory owners.