Whitefriars Racing News and reports
Hansa Grand Prix 9th/10th May 2015
The first event of the elite Hansa GP 2015 series was hosted by Whitefriars Sailing Club in the Cotswold Water Park, Gloucestershire. Three separate Hansa classes were contested: Liberty, 303 and 2.3. This location is probably the best inland venue in the country and brought in competitors from all around the UK.
Conditions for the Saturday races were only just within the upper limits for racing, but on the Sunday conditions were ideal at F3-4.
Racing across all the fleets was good to watch although at times trying for some of the competitors, particularly on the Sunday. The Hansa 2.3 fleet was surprisingly short on numbers, with only two boats competing. Lindsey Burns (Frensham Pond) , the Europeans Champion got the better of Mark Collyer (Whitefriars) in all the races and won the trophy. The Hansa Liberty competition was fiercly contended with places changing throughout all the races. The local sailor David Durston (Whitefriars), managed to reach the front of the fleet by the end of all but one race when with Monique Foster (Rutland ), making her debut in the Liberty fleet, pipped David by under a foot. Monique had good strong second places throughout the event to finish in second place overall. David won the trophy. Pat Crowley (Rutland) , Tom Harper (New Forest) and Keith Harris (New Forest) were never far behind in any of the races they competed in.
The Hansa 303 (doubles) fleet racing was also extremely closely fought with three separate boats winning the three races on the Saturday. On Sunday, the result went down to the final race. The winners only became confirmed when the results were collated afterwards.
Anya de Longh and Tim Scarisbrick (Chesil ) managed two wins and a second place in the final race meant they took the trophy from James Woosnam and Steve Wooding (Frensham Pond).
A special mention is deserved by a junior, Elliot Wootley Whitefriars), who was competing in his first Hansa open event with his Grandad, Tony. After a cautious start, they improved steadily.
At a ceremony afterwards, Chris Stout (Chairman of Whitefriars Sailability) presented the prizes. Marcus Frith , the Hansa chairman, then thanked all the many helpers who had made the weekend event possible – the organisers, the race officers, the kitchen crew, the safety boat crews and the many others who helped make the event a success.
The next event in the Hansa GP 2015 is Carsington on 13th and 14th June.
Sailing is a fantastic sport for people with disabilities. It enables you to take control of the dinghy and feel independent; just enjoying the scenery, learning a new skill, or even competing in races.
Whitefriars Sailability provides the opportunity to sail for people with disabilities.
For more information please contact:
Chris Stout 07951 468934
or David Durston 07745 504482
or email either of us at email@example.com
or visit http://www.whitefriarssc.org/sailability/sailability.php
A Busy ( Moth ) Weekend at Whitefriars 28th April 2015
Once again the British Moth fleet descended onto Whitefriars SC at the Cotswold Water Park for their annual training and open weekend. The Saturday morning session comprised heavy wind tacking and gybing, and effective mark rounding. This was quite poignant this year as there was more than enough wind to make this exercise fun for the spectators. As the boats planed off into the centre of the lake there were sufficient capsizes to keep the rescue crew busy. As the boats were led round the V shape course advice given out. After the morning session on the water the sailors were in the clubhouse watching themselves before going out and trying it all over again.
Day 2 saw the fleet increase in numbers and albeit a little calmer it was also cooler. The Race Officer set a beat across the lake before taking it off to port to the corner of the lake, and then treated the fleet to a long reach diagonally across the lake , close to the clubhouse, before going across the lake once again to an area of tricky wind conditions before heading back to the leeward mark and then round again.
The fleet got away from the start line but Toby Cooper (Broxbourne) had a clean start at the committee boat end getting to the first mark in pole position. He was followed swiftly by Andy Mathews (Chew Valley) these two were not contested for their places even though two new boats from Claridge Composites were on the water for the first time. There was a battle between Abbie Freely, Tim Davison (Medley) and Robert Paynter (Medley) for third place. But with Paynter misjudging the shifts in the wind capsized leaving the door open for Freely and Davison to capitalise.
Eventually Roger Witts (Frampton on Severn) got to grips with his new steed and worked his way through the fleet and eventually took third place.
The second race was sailed, back to back with the first. With the course been slightly varied the fleet again left the starting blocks in one group and headed in the same direction as before. However the fleet positions were slightly different with Davison being briefly in the lead. This was soon taken away by Cooper who then led the way round the rest of the course. The helms of the new boats had now got to grips with their boats and started to dominate the front of the fleet. Once again the mark in that far corner became the bogey erea this time with Colin Hall (Hunts) capsizing in the same place as Paynter in the previous race.
Cooper once again finished in first place followed by Witts and Davison.
After a filling and warming lunch the depleted fleet head out to the start line for the final race. This time the tightly bunched group headed to the first mark, being led by Witts and Davison. By now the wind had decreased a little making it easier for some of the lighter helms. The fleet soon split itself into two distinct areas of completion: those at the front and those at the back, each of these providing loacal competition.
The eventual winner of the race was Witts followed by Davison and Mathews. Photos link
Torbay Sailing Week
Royal Torbay YC was my childhood club and I’ve been hankering to take the Stratos down since we bought her. We decided to attend only a week before the regatta started so had to get planning (entry is online and easy), lucky for me I had parents on hand to provide accommodation/support and a keen son Luke who came to help out with some post race video debrief, what goes around comes around! Most importantly Roy was available so the team was complete.
Torbay Week kicks off over August Bank holiday weekend, I wanted to get to the Bay on the Friday evening - risky leaving Chippenham at 1730 I know but we got away with it arriving quayside just after 2000. We dropped the boat off at the quayside which has controlled entry and a chain to secure the boat to, time for a quick pint before turning in.
There is very little free car parking near Torquay Harbour best policy we found was £21 (ouch!) for three days so worth remembering to bring plenty of change on day one. Register and setup was leisurely given that the first race was midday. We were racing in the Asymetric series 1 with RS 200 and RS 400s mainly local RTYC boats.
Race area for dinghies was 3/4 mile from the harbour mouth towards Paignton. There are a number of valleys funnelling NW 10-15knts into Torbay resulting in shifty (up to 20deg) conditions. We managed to keep the RS200s behind us and we felt we’d sailed OK. Once in the club we were very pleased to find we’d won both races (by seconds)! Beer tasted good that evening as I bumped in to a number of old friends.
Sunday morning dawned with no wind postponing racing for an hour. We started in an 8kt Westerly which died on us during the final run - 3rd place. Next race more stable pressure but not so in direction resulted in a couple of difficulties on the beats – 2nd place. Final two races felt more settled and stable (8-10kts) resulted in two more firsts leaving us needing one more second next day to secure the series.
Monday came together with a predicted low pressure system which continued to build. RS200/RS400s were struggling with breakages/capsizes – it was windy, one RS400 managed to make the final start. We felt in control throughout, good crew work really helps in these conditions. The final race was finished after just one lap due to the conditions (>25knts), a string of three firsts helped us to a clean score after two discards were applied (1,1,3,2,1,1,1,1,1).
Final word: the Junior fleet in Torbay has grown beyond recognition since “my day”, thirty junior boats were sailing Torbay Week and older teenagers were racing six 29ers (lots of fun). Anyone thinking of venturing off the lake to Torbay would find plenty of friendly support, let me know and I’d be happy to provide contacts.
4 hour Race
A perfect warm and sunny September day showed off the club and location to the best advantage for the second open day. However the light to absent wind and the presence of copious weed made a four hour race unattractive with only 10 intrepid entries and three dropping out before the finish. Congratulations to all who took part and particularly to those that persevered for the full 4 hours. The lead was fiercely contested throughout the race by the laser of George and William Hopes and the laser of Martin Yeomans with only a five second average corrected lap time difference. (The 30 second enforced stop each hour for those not sailing as a team made all the difference). The Versa team of Alistair Baird, Hazel Parks and Derek Butterworth also held the lead briefly into the third hour until Derek was becalmed for an extended period and decided to retire. Ben and Bea Jefferis took third place in a Laser radial. Credit also goes to Nathan Perks who sailed the full four hours in a Topper and to Wolly Merchant and Pat Ward in a QBA. Full Results were
Steve Marlow, Race Officer
Minisail National Championships 2014
WHITEFRIARS Sailing Club in the Cotswold Water Park hosted a very international Minisail National Championships over the weekend of July 5/6 and despite competition from Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands it produced a home grown winner in Rupert Whelan of the host club.
Whelan just got the the better of Jonathan Bomford from Cornwall and Frans Stoop from Holland to take top prize in the 15-strong field. The Minisail is a sailing surfboard, the predecessor of today’s windsurfers, designed more than 50 years ago, and making a bit of a comeback.
The sunshine on Saturday’s race coaching day was punctuated in the morning by heavy, squally showers, but by the afternoon conditions were perfect for learning how to sail fast. Sunday – race day – saw the fleet out in perfect sunshine, but in winds ranging from nothing to those strong enough to blow the minisail completely flat.
In the first two races, Whelan came out ahead. The third race saw a huge squall come through, and Bomford's rudder snapped in two, ending his race. Every boat apart from Whelan's capsized, with Tom Moore from Southampton recovering to take second place.
The fourth race saw a depleted fleet, and the boats struggling to sail through the weed which the storm had brought to the surface.
Whelan extricated himself first to take the win and become Minisail National Champion.
Huge thanks must go to the race team at Whitefriars, led by Simon Clark, and to the kitchen staff, led by Kathryn Whelan, who put on some great meals over the weekend.
RESULTS: 1, Rupert Whelan (Whitefriars); 2, Jonathan Bomford (Mylor, Cornwall); 3, Frans Stoop (Holland); 4, David Argles (Southampton); 5, Tom Moore (Southampton); 6, Ronny De Guyter (Belgium); 7, Julian Niedermaier (Germany); 8, Rob Baker (Sandwell Valley); 9, Paul Rogers (Sandwell Valley); 10, Gill Dyer (Sandwell Valley); 11, Chris Gilchrist (Sandwell Valley); 12, Dean Martin (Belgium).
Sailability Taster : the rugby crowd 18th June 2014
I’m not barking mad!
It has taken 9 years to hopefully finally dispel the belief amongst my wheelchair rugby teammates that I am in fact barking mad. The main reason for this belief is, I think, because I go sailing. This might seem perfectly reasonable as a pastime to most people, but I sustained quite a high level spinal injury 15 years ago. This means that I have no hand function, limited arm strength, no balance or core strength, no temperature control, I can’t swim, and I float the wrong way up. So why on earth would I want to sit in a tiny dinghy, getting cold and wet, at the mercy of the wind?
Yesterday, Whitefriars Sailability Group ran a taster session for 8 members of the two wheelchair rugby teams that I am involved with: The South Wales Pirates, and a new team which has recently set up in Gloucester. Nobody had sailed before, and everyone was quite nervous about how it would work in their disabled state. Fortunately, Hansa, RS, and Bristol Sailability lent the club boats with suitable adaptations to meet the variety of needs of the sailors. Some required supportive seating, electric winches for adjusting the sails, and servo-assisted steering. Others lacked confidence and were reassured by having an instructor in the boat with them. A few were able to cope in a Wayfarer without any adaptations. We were blessed with a warm, sunny day, and a moderate wind; making it a perfect day for sailing. Everybody came off the water buzzing after the morning session, and after chatting and enjoying a lakeside bbq, they were all keen to go out for another try. I’m quite sure we’ll see a few of the novices again to join the club and hone their skills. One has already signed up for another go next week at our Wednesday Sailability sessions.
This is why I fell in love with sailing. Even people with the most profound disabilities can adapt a boat to suit their needs; giving them complete control and independence; even using blow-suck controls. There is no reason why with the right equipment in place that anybody with a disability cannot compete at any level, be it class racing against others in the same kind of boat, Paralympics, or even against able-bodied sailors at your local club. Whitefriars are an integrated club, and encourage people with disabilities to get fully involved with the main club for racing and socially. Equally if racing is not for you, it is fantastic to enjoy the independence of being in complete control of a boat by yourself, and to enjoy the Cotswold scenery and wildlife. It is also a fantastic sport that families can do together.
Hopefully, everybody now gets why I love sailing. At least on one count, I think I’ve proved I’m not mad!
(thanks for posting Dave - Alistair)
Hansa Open 14th May
Whitefriars Lake in Wiltshire is probably one of the best venues on the Traveller Trophy circuit. It has very good facilities for disabled/less able and the able bodied sailors.
The Traveller Trophy meeting at Whitefriars was well supported with 12 visiting Hansa boats. The weather was good with force 3 north westerly wind and warm sunshine all day. Four classes of Hansa boat competed for individual trophies. For the Hansa Liberty had a fleet of five; the Hansa 303 single handed had a fleet of five; the Hansa double handed had a fleet of two; and the Hansa 2.3 was uncontested with only one boat on the water. The racing in the Liberties and the 303 single handers was very competitive and at times quite 'fierce'.
The Hansa 2.3 trophy went to Lindsay Burns (Frensham Pond SC) who sailed the only boat in this class. Lindsay started the first race even though she was not feeling well. She did not complete the course for race 1 nor did she start the second race due to sickness, but completed the third and fourth races.
The Hansa 303 double handed trophy went to Peter and Peta Etherton (Frensham Pond SC) who won all four races on the day with Leslie Philip and Hugh Lansdowne (Tideway SC) in second place overall. Peter got well ahead in the first race with Leslie finishing a good distance back. The second, third and fourth races were much closer but Peter was able to pip Leslie in these contests.
The Hansa 303 single handed races were strongly contested between Paul Phillips, Tess Watkiss, and James Woosnam all from Frensham Pond SC with the first three races all finishing in that order. However in race 4 the results changed with Tess gaining a well deserved victory, James in second and Hurricane Hadley (New Forest SC) pressing them hard to gain third. Paul Phillips won the trophy with Tess in second.
T he Liberty racing was much more open with no clear leader for the trophy at the start of the fourth race. Local sailor, David Durston (Whitefriars SC) gained a significant lead on the first lap of the first race but was slowly pegged back by Simon Harle (Rutland SC) on the second lap. David could not keep his lead and finished a close second to Simon. Tom Harper(New Forest SC) recovered from a poor start and finished third. The second race was closely fought with battle commencing before the start, where Simon earned himself a disqualification for a Port-Starboard infringement. Ric Cassel (Swarkstone SC) got a good clean start and went on to lead the whole race with Vince Barton (New Forest SC) following him across the finish line. Race 3 was led from start to finish by Tom, with David finishing second. The last race gave David a victory and made him overall winner, Vince crossed the line in second place and Tom finished third. Overall second and third had to be determined by 'countback' with Vince claiming second and Tom, third.
Prizes were awarded by Whitefriars Sailing Club Vice commodore Alistair Baird.
Chris Stout ( from Y&Y)
2000 Class Warm Up Weekend 12-13 April 2014
For many years the club has regularly hosted an Open gathering of the 2000 class (formerly the Laser 2000) in April each year. This event, known as the Whitefriars Warm Up, follows a well established format under which the first day is devoted to training, followed by 3 races on day two. The 2014 occasion attracted 13 boats for one part or another of the programme on 12 and 13 April, with visiting boats from as far afield as Plymouth, Rutland and Grafham, in addition to 3 from South Wales and boats from the “home team”. The coaching, under the leadership of Helen and Andrew Phillips of Cardiff Bay Yacht Club, concentrated on the key performance factors of a good start and upwind speed, with the practice given spice by a stiff and gusty breeze under grey skies. The experts (mainly our visitors, sadly) quickly shook out any winter rust while less experienced helms and crews progressed up a rewarding learning curve. Whitefriars participants on the Saturday included Will Hopes with dad as a more or less obedient crew, Pat Green and Simon Radford (possibly a less obedient crew), Tom and Matthew Andrews, and Charles Freeman with George Nuttall as crew. The last of those combos claimed the prize for the most improved boat with a total age of 140 years or more!
Sunday was blessed by blue skies, warmer temperatures, and a lighter but generally decent wind for racing, albeit with plenty of the shifts and variations that we know and love. A couple of the boats which had attended the training were unable to join the Sunday fleet, but the competition was boosted by new arrivals, giving eleven on the start line. In particular the home contingent was glad to be joined by Jeremy and Susie Boddington who were using a boat kindly made available by Ian Bartlett. Racing was dominated by Natalie Roach of the Royal Navy Sailing Association, fully supported by her experienced crew, Alex Pickles ; these two took first place in each of the three races. James and Jenny Macgregor of Grafham Water had the consistency to take second place, and last year’s winners Jeremy and Susie Boddington (WFSC) recovered from a poor first race to take third place overall by a narrow squeak from Chris and Gill Jordan (Burghfield).
Lunches provided by Steve James and all those who helped with the catering were hugely appreciated. The afternoon ended in bright sunshine with a sparkling breeze. Tea and cake were consumed with relish at the end of each day and the indications were that a good time was had by all.
Lightning 368 & British Moths 3rd & 4th April 2014
In reverse to the normal way of doing things, I really need to start this report with a thank you or two. Firstly, for his sterling work on behalf of both the Lightning and Moth fleets on the Saturday coaching day, John Mills, our safety boat driver, who spent many hours out on the water, happy to do all that was asked of him, and still smiling at the end.
Secondly, to Simon Clark and his team for running the Sunday racing, getting 3 starts off cleanly in gusty conditions, and mostly for keeping the races fairly short! Finally, and most importantly, to Nigel Potter and his small band of helpers. Nigel spent the whole weekend at the club, cooking, serving and cleaning up, and without him, the weekend would have been a much less happy event.
And so to the sailing. On Saturday 5 April, Paul White and Robbie Claridge put on a coaching master class. The wind was perfect, with enough to get planning but not so much that survival was all we could think about. Concentrating mainly on starting and the 1st beat, they were able to raise the game of almost everyone on the water. Now we have to see if we can remember it all!
Sunday dawned in less inviting mood. Those who had camped reported being woken in the night by huge gusts, as they tried to snuggle down deeper into their sleeping bags, and skies were leaden and the mood apprehensive as boats got rigged. The first race lived up to those fears for some, with squalls blowing through which flattened one or two and left many others in pure "survival mode".
However, the front of the fleet as usual took it in their stride, at least almost! Matt Hopkins took an early lead, only to land in the drink on the 1st gybe. From there, it was a 4 horse race, with Paul White, Richard Palmer, Simon Hopkins and Alex Baxter fighting it out, in the end finishing in that order, with Matt Hopkins fighting back to 5th.
Races 2 and 3 were sailed in slightly more benign conditions, but still with huge gusts blowing across the course. With a couple of drop-outs from the original 15, the 2nd race saw Alex Baxter take an early lead, just ahead of Richard Palmer. However, Paul White showed incredible boat speed to not only catch up, but pull well ahead of everyone for another win. Obviously he didn't teach us everything he knows the day before! Matt, Simon and Rupert Whelan were in a chasing pack, sailing hard, when a huge gust ripped Matt's control line cleats clean out of the boat. The man who had fitted them, Simon, Matt's dad, overtook his son to take 4th, while Matt's day had ended.
The 3rd race saw the tightest battles not for 1st place, but for 3rd and for 6th. Alex and Simon had an epic battle, with Simon's extra experience (and weight?) winning out on the line to take 3rd, while Bryan Westley had 6th sewn up until the last beat, when Chris Abela, who had been snapping at his heels most of the race, and Simon Claridge, who put on an amazing finishing sprint, pipped him on the line.
Overall, Paul took the win from Richard, with Simon in 3rd and Alex in 4th. Alex was 1st junior, showing most of the adults a clean pair of heels.
Battle lines are now drawn for the rest of the season. Can Paul carry on his winning ways for a 3rd year? Can Bryan get his revenge on Chris and Simon? Can Matt stop his boat exploding? Will Emma and Tony get to finish a race? All will be revealed in the next episode, at Oxford SC on 3 May.
1. Paul White
2. Richard Palmer
3. Simon Hopkins
4. Alex Baxter
5. Rupert Whelan
6. Chris Abela
7. Simon Claridge
8. Bryan Westley
9. Sue Thomas
10. Mat Cooper
11. Matt Hopkins
12. Mark Godden
13. Andy Cooper
14. Emma Dodd
15. Tony Hudson
British Moths at Whitefriars SC, 1st and 2nd June 2013
Wow, what a weekend!
The British Moths came back to Whitefriars for their annual away weekend, running 2 Opens, one on the Saturday and one on the Sunday. This year they shared the Saturday with the Lightning 368 class, and it made for a very merry day indeed. Whitefriars has no Moths of their own, but enjoys hosting the class each year.
There were a fair few nervous looking faces in the dinghy park whilst rigging. The sun was bright, but British Moths can be very flighty when the breeze kicks in – the huge sail and short hull make for an exciting ride.
However, the 15 visiting sailors were soon ready for the off, and showed throughout the 3 races that British Moths really aren’t just for ultra-light wind days on the river.A Moth planing the whole length of the lake, bow way in the air, just the last bit of rocker left in the water, spray everywhere, is quite a sight to behold. Put 15 of them in close proximity, and you can understand why this class has been capturing the imagination since 1932!
The racing was tight at the top, but the massively experienced Toby Cooper, despite nursing a damaged arm, was able to fight off all challengers, showing amazing skill in reading the shifting, gusting winds. Andy Matthews and Roger Witts took the other placings.
After the sailing finished, a prize giving with plenty of cake was followed by one of Abby Freeley’s special barbeques, with home-made burgers and salads enjoyed by all. Re-hydration being the name of the game these days after hard exercise, several bottles of wine were enjoyed with the food!
Sunday dawned sunny, and to the relief of at least some of the fleet, the wind had dropped to the perfect “thinking Sailor’s” breeze.
3 races were run alongside the club racing, and occasionally a little fast thinking, good humour and understanding was needed as the fleets crossed to ensure both sets of races could happen smoothly.
In the morning race the lighter winds kept the fleet even closer than on Saturday, with some different faces seen near the front. Georgia Honey showed early promise before dropping back, but Abby Freeley was able to take a well-deserved 3rd place behind the more usual front runners, Toby Cooper and Roger Witts.
The afternoon races saw more spreading of the fleet, as the more wily sailors took advantage of the massive wind shifts to shorten the distance sailed. Toby Cooper took the 2nd race, and Roger Witts the 3rd, after a titanic battle with Tony Latham.
The Gyro Trophy, one of the oldest cups in sailing, was presented to Toby Cooper by Tim Hopes, Commodore of Whitefriars sailing club.
The club is looking forward to seeing the Moths again next year, hopefully in the company of the Lightning 368’s once more.
More information about these fun, responsive little boats can be found at www.britishmoth.co.uk.
report by Rupert Whelan
Lightning 368’s at Whitefriars Sailing Club, 1st June 2013
Whitefriars SC on the Cotswold Water Park played host to the Lightning 368 class when they came to visit for the 1st time, in a joint event with the British Moth class.
10 visiting helms, wearing shorts and T shirts, joined the 2 local Lightning sailors in discovering that whilst the sun was out, the wind was up, with white horses galloping across the lake, making wetsuits the sensible option. Sue Thomas was glad she had brought her Small Rig option with her!
Once bacon sandwiches had been consumed, the racing got under way. The morning race was dominated by Paul White, who won with a good leg to spare despite testing out the water on a gybe. Adam Styles chased hard, and Rupert Whelan showed that his aft mainsheet experiment wasn’t completely daft, coming a very close 3rd,. Sue showed that a smaller sail can be fast for a light weight by grabbing 4th. Star of the race, though, was Junior sailor Charlie Whelan, who despite being several stone lighter than some, still managed to be 3rd to the 1st mark, and on for a 4th place finish until a swim lost him 3 places.
Rupert and Charlie Whelan are the latest in a long line of father and son teams in the fleet. Simon and Adam Styles were also out at Whitefriars, and 2 other pairings regularly compete.
A hot lunch of epic proportions was provided by the incredibly hard working catering team, using the newly built kitchen the club has invested in.
The 2nd race followed a similar pattern to the 1st, with Paul not only winning, but capsizing twice, just to prove how hard he was trying! A tiring fleet chased in his wake, with Adam again taking 2nd.
With the meeting already won, perhaps Paul was pushing less hard in the 3rd race, but he actually allowed Adam and Rupert to get ahead of him! However, superb down wind speed saw him close up and overtake right at the very last mark for a clean sweep of wins, with Adam a few feet behind and Rupert 20 yards further back.
All in all, another great day of sailing, racing and socializing from the Lightning 368 class. For more info about them, go to www.lightning368.org. For more information about Whitefriars, a friendly, relaxed club in beautiful, natural surroundings, pop over to www.whitefriarssc.org.
Whitefriars Lightning Open Results 1/6/13
1 Paul White 406
2 Adam Styles 236
3 Rupert Whelan 74
4 Sue Thomas 410
5 Simon Styles 292
6 Bryan Westley 82
7 Charlie Whelan 130
8 Lee Bratley 409
9 Wayne Jenner 407
10 Tony Hudson 45
11 Emma Dodds 101
12 Chris Potts 284
report by Rupert Whelan
More Phantom fun
from Simon Clarke
Off to Island Barn Sailing Club, formerly known as Walton on Thames, but as it is a reservoir it always had an odd name but ... there are no barns or islands ..?
Phantom packed up Friday and sat nav primed. Set off late again but computer says I'll be there by 10. Down M4, Bracknell M3 and past Kempton race course and into a housing estate. It's 10.18 and first race is 11.00. Rig with help from the crowd and get towed up to the club. Yes - the club is on the reservoir wall some 50 feet above car park! 122 acres of concrete bowl lit by glorious sunshine and freshened by 15-20 knots. Change, launch down the wall and set off, having missed the briefing and breakfast.
Shifts abound and race officer takes his time but we finally get off. Great close racing on triangle & sausage courses with places changes because of shifts and the odd spill by others. Finish 6th of 12 but tack off before the finish line and drop a place. Lesson 1 - go to the briefing or read the instructions !!
Second race more of the same and 5th.
In for lunch and tea. Hunger satisfied but Lesson 2: get there for the bacon.
Third race going well until the outhaul breaks. Try to beat in 15 knots with an ever baggier sail - not a great idea so drop main, tie off outhaul and carry on. Get back to 8th.
Final race and nail second beat and have some storming reaches and runs and finish 5th again.
Back in and get the boat lowered down the slope and pack up in the sunshine. Prize giving and a cream tea.
Overall 6th. Great day sailing and good value for the £15. Nice to see massive shifts elsewhere too.
Phantom Open at Bowmoor 1st June 2013
Here were go again - plan is to go to Bowmoor, enter their Phantom Open and drift round in the forecasted 8 knots. Have a late evening meeting with the Chairman of South Cerney Angling Club and so a little slow Saturday morning. Arrive at Bowmoor to find 8 others from all over the south of the UK. Rig, change and await the very brief briefing.
Launch straight off the bank (no padded jetties here!!). It is now sunny and blowing 15 knots - nice. Reach across the lake and capsize next to their best sailor, who comments !!
Usual countdown and we're off. Everyone's a little keen and a hole opens up at the favoured end, pop through and tack off onto port. Windward mark approaches and I'm second by 3 boat lengths. Wish I had the map from the sailing instructions. Short reach, careful gybe, long run, less cautious gybe and another reach sees the end of lap 1, still 2nd. Repeat 3 times and the chasing pack getting close. "S" flag up and finish 2nd by a boat length with a respectable gap to the chasers.
Get a little carried away with the dizzy heights of success and am over the line. Dip back and go off on Port again. 4th by a short head at the windward mark. Same course and the same result finish 4th.
Back in for lunch, pre ordered so ready on return with a nice cup of tea. Sit in the sunshine and natter. A little less wind as we relaunch, more wet feet.
Change in course and even more flukey winds. Whitefriar's not the only place to suffer 70 degree shifts. 3rd race and sail like an elephant - not getting any of the shifts right. Follow the leading group round and finish 6th.
Final race and desperate not to finish the sequence 2,4,6, ?
Good start but the shifts are all over the place and no one is getting them right. Tight at the top mark but an extra tack needed and 7th. That 8th place looms large. Round and round, gain 2 places but can't get past Olly (Federation winner) who clings on by a few yards so 5th. Back in and pack up.
Pipped into 5th by Olly on discard and countback. Very tight to finish on joint 11 points after 3 races.
Great time had by all in good conditions with well run races.
Simon Clark - Phantom 1209 , National 3413 and front end Dart 7959
Comet, Duo and Versa National Championships
Cotswold Sailing Club 27th / 28th May 2013
A competitors view - Alistair Baird
The Combined Comet Class Association, that includes Duos, Versas and Trios is struggling to maintain independence with an aging ownership, but the Comet Association ( that's the single handed boat, not unlike a Laser ) is going strong and had 29 entries to their own championship event.
There were 6 Versas and 3 Duos at the start line on a gloriously sunny Sunday but the wind was light and variable for race one. I positioned myself badly and ended up windward of a Duo on the line and, unable to luff up any higher, a very minor contact was inevitable… or so I was informed. The obligatory two turns meant I was 100m behind the pack as we approached the windward mark, so I had everything to gain. The very light winds plagued everyone's tactics and with so many boats on the water it was impossible to tell where I had finished at the line but I was annoyed at my bad start.
Lunchtime was a very sociable affair with so many competitors catching up on old friendships that no one objected to an hour and a half break before two back-to-back races after lunch. The wind had improved, blowing a steady 6-10 mph and I chose a favourable port-handed start to the windward mark but still a handful of boats beat me to the turn. The wind was perfect and with favourable lifts and lucky tacks I was able to work my way past a leading Versa on the beats and used a couple of overlaps to gain places on Duos at the marks. By the last lap there was only a Comet ahead of me who had done well to break away from the pack and we crossed the line only a few seconds apart.
It's easy to tell if you're first over the line but it was a long wait for everyone else to finish, particularly when my bottle of water was sitting in my car! The Versas and Duos were started first again on the third race of the day and again the wind suited me perfectly. I ducked over the start line next to the committee boat and was on track to make the windward mark on a starboard fetch. I say 'on track' because a few yards short, a Duo on port tack cut ahead of me: lots of hails and my first 'Protest' call! I had to tack off to avoid a collision and another Duo slipped through. I was not a happy bunny: but that's sailing and the offender did his turns. It didn't matter that the other Duo maintained a lead on me because they were in a separate competition and a leading boat is so useful to give forewarning of wind-shifts. The two of us had a good-natured duel out in front and it was almost disappointing to cross the finish line and end one of the best days sailing I've had in along time.
Cotswold put on a fine BBQ in the evening and the results posted: I was third place in the first race and the two firsts put me in a good position for Monday.
Oh - the weather!! Monday was due to be more windy and as I drove to the lake I was puzzling whether I might need to reef. As I pulled up at the gate I was greeted by white horses on the water and my heart sank: I would have to reef and the two-man crews would have the advantage. The wind was 20mph with gusts on top and if it had been a regular club race, I wouldn't have bothered to venture out, because the boat takes such a battering and sailing reefed in a race is like boxing one-handed. Even rigging the boat on the beach was a battle and the water was very choppy. I can't remember too much of the first race except I was over-powered a number of times, shipped lots of water and watched the other three boats drawing ahead at every turn, but so long as I finished I was going to be fourth!
Had I known the scoring was going to be best of three races, I wouldn't have gone out for the final race, but there was just a chance one of the other two boats might retire and I could snatch victory. However, the Gary Young father/son team are made of sterner stuff and whilst everyone was battling the conditions, they drove home their advantage. A freak gust caught me on a gybe and spilled me into the water. The boat inverted as I scrambled through the rigging to the high side and it seemed to take forever for the sail to emerge from the depths. By the time I righted the boat she had picked up a huge lump of gunk over the now-bent windex, so to add insult to injury, I now had bits of Cotswold weed dropping on my head. It seemed a sensible time to retire - it was obvious the other crews were very able and unlikely to quit when victory was in sight.
The final tally put me in second place by one point, which I thought was a fair result, given the conditions: the Young team showed how to win the long game! The safety boats had been kept very busy on Monday but the whole event had been very well organised between CSC and the Comet Association and it was a really sociable occasion.
May 11/12 Feva race/train weekend at Oxford
A first for the Juniors section, a first use of the stacking trailer and a new experience for 3 of the 4 attending juniors.
Charlie, Josh, Will and Finlay took part the RS Feva Open Race day held at Oxford SC at Farmoor Reservoir on Saturday 11th May. Not only was this their first RS Feva Open race event, it was also the first ‘away race’ for the Juniors. The four raced in a field of 10 RS Fevas, some crews with Nationals experience. Mixed in were separate race starts for 20 Tera Sports and Tera Pros, making the start lines very ‘busy’. Each race was 4 laps of a windward/leeward course, the afternoons races being back-to-back. Launching and landing was made more difficult with the strong winds blowing onto the sloping lee shore of the reservoir.
The weather started out blustery with average wind speeds of 25-30mph and big swings which deteriorated during the day to eventually peak at a recorded speed of 54 mph during the third race; at that point, with a large percentage of the boats on the water turtled, racing was cancelled.
The boys managed 2 complete races each, with the third abandoned mid-race. Each race had 10 boats per class (3 classes)
Charlie and Will came fourth; Josh and Finlay took fifth position. All 4 were very pleased with their results although Charlie thought he’d maybe done enough swimming for the day. Speaking with Finlay after the event, he’d really enjoyed his first exposure to real racing. From the body language and smiles from the other 3 boys at the end of session, I think that was a feeling shared.
Charlie and Josh followed up the next day at Oxford SC in similar gusty conditions for an RS-organized Feva training event led by Robert Baddeley, a former RS Feva champion.
Simon Clarke recounts the Dart 18 meet at Mumbles Yacht Club May, 2013
Get up early drive down through drizzle to Mumbles Y C , meet my helm (Mike Jones - former WSC member) with a new Dart 18. The new boat is lovely, with crispy sails and one colour, unlike the old repaired one. Do paperwork, change and rig boat, followed by a briefing ... usual promise of swift starts, wind, sunshine and happiness.
Yacht club is situated under a cliff so it's difficult to judge wind strength but forecast isfor 15 knots - great. Launch from the slipway & drift out of lee of the cliffs and find at least 15 knots. Bash around while OOD points, radios and whatever else he needed to do for an hour !!
Dart 18s speed up very quickly so no need to be a hero with the paintwork. Countdown and its getting windy. We're off to a perfect committee boat end flyer: no one to windward and at the right end. It's blowing 20 knots and we are flying, but where is the windward mark and lay mark? Spot something and we head off, get close and it is a collection of fishing pots - @*!@, time to turn round (quite a performance in a cat') and most of our lead is gone. Still first to the windward mark but only just. Now the technical stuff: gybing downwind to the leeward gate but we're not that good at this and we lose a place. Bang back left, up the beat and here we go again, but at least we know roughly where to go. Wind's still building and getting close to 25 knots. Repeat it again and we finish 3rd. Great first outing!
Clocked 23.1 knots during the race ...nice.
More delay and we are off again. A little late for the start for tack straight off - clear air and our own race proves quick but OOD moved windward mark and repeat of the above leaves us in 4th.
Race 3 is a repeat. Yes marks moved again and with a 5th round but getting quicker everywhere and power to 3rd. Great sail back in to Curry and Cobra, 80s cover band and 3rd overall on countback. Only cloud is the dying forecast.
early but it is still dull and not as windy. Drift out to the start and the OOD sticks to his repeated promise and bangs the race off on time. No trapezing for us, though others manage it and drift around with us, losing interest as we go. A good first beat sees us 4th with some hope, but the lightweights fly downwind and 2 places go. Get one back upwind but drop a couple floating back to leeward. Repeat another lap and its 8th. Not too bad in a drift.
Race 5 and 6 are repeats with a 10th and 9th. As we finish the sun comes out and the wind picks up, so it's now a blast around the bay and back in.
Tidy boat away and check results before a shower - 4th out of 22. Pork rolls followed by strawberries and then prizes.
Great couple of days with a warm welcome from the locals and some very quick sailing... Instow Dart open in a fortnight !!
WHITEFRIARS WARM UP 27-28 APRIL 2013
This year’s Whitefriars Warm Up for the “2000” class (previously the Laser 2000 but now made and marketed by LDC Sailing) was more of a blow-through than warm-up. Saturday’s coaching and Sunday’s racing were both blessed with about as much wind as most of the participants could handle, with the added feature of gusts which were liable to jump out at unsuspecting boats from anything up to 30 degrees away from the underlying direction. The club has hosted this successful event for many years, with the Saturday given over to beginning-of-season training, followed by some competitive but friendly racing on the Sunday. Ten boats took part on 27-28 April this year at one stage or another, with entrants from Bristol and Norfolk as well as a strong turnout of Whitefriars boats.
A specialist coach for this class, Helen Phillips, visited from Cardiff to give much appreciated training, putting boats and crews through their paces with exercises which concentrated on that vital requirement to be first off the starting line. The lesson was applied with varying degrees of success on Sunday, when the races were run in conditions which even experienced competitors described as “hard work”. Many thanks go to John Codner, the OOD for his committee boat starts and varied courses. The Notice to Race had declared that there would be 3 races with 3 to count, so the departure of long distance travellers before the final race gave the “home” sailors a distinct advantage in the day’s scoring! We may therefore be known as “the sneaky club” in future, but the result was that the “Whitefriars Warm Up Trophy” was awarded to Jeremy Boddington, crewed by his daughter Susie. Second was Rupert Whelan with Ian Bartlett as his crew. Other participants from within the club included Charlie Whelan, Pat Green, Tim and George Hopes, David and Toby Few, Colin and Liz Burgess, Sam Crawford, and Charles Freeman.
Many thanks are due to Sam Crawford for leading and coordinating the arrangements this year, and to Emma Crawford for running the registration arrangements with such efficiency.
Classic & Vintage dinghy coaching weekend at Whitefriars Sailing Club
By Rupert Whelan on 28 Mar24-25 March 2012
Preparations started for this coaching session back in the autumn, but with all the effort that was put in by the 3 class associations, there was one thing we couldn’t guarantee – the weather.
However, the sun shone brightly, the wind kicked in to a light breeze, and our visitors (who came to the Cotswolds from as far afield as York and Suffolk) were able to have a wonderful weekend of sailing and coaching. The largest fleet were the British Moths, with 15 boats turning out (though several also qualified for the CVRDA!) and 3 Minisails joined the other 8 classics.
On Saturday, the Moths were taken through their paces by Roger Witts, a very successful Moth helm, and the order of the day was a plethora of mind and body sharpening mini races. Meanwhile, John Andrews, an experienced local instructor, looked after the 2 handed boats of the classic fleet whilst Rupert Whelan took the Minisails and the other singlehanders, teaching from his Minisail Sprite. At the end of the day, the fleets all joined back together for a longer race, and the improvement in skill levels could clearly be seen.
Sunday saw a slightly smaller turn out, so Roger coached the whole group together, again concentrating on mini races, improve starting, mark rounding and tactical skills.
Given the sunshine, it was going to be hard not to enjoy the weekend of sailing, and everybody had a great time. The opportunity was also taken by many to try out new and unusual boats. I can tell you from experience that the Megabyte’s powerful rig isn’t as scary as it first looks to a small person, that the Beachcomber, which with its lateen sail ought to be on a beach in Hawaii, sails surprisingly well, and that the new John Claridge built British Moth is astonishingly quick round a small course.
Thanks to everyone who travelled to the event and to John and Roger for lending their coaching skills.