Author Archives: Steve

Laser Cup and Summer Series – 19th June 2022

9 Lasers including 3 Radials lined up to compete in the Laser Cup, which might be a record, with an Enterprise and a Topper to make up the numbers. The wind was a fickle and gusty northeasterly and as Danny and Steve lined up at the favoured end, the wind backed and sent those at the other end of the line flying. Andrew was first to the first mark but Danny had recovered well to round in second with Pete in third and Steve in 4th. By the third leg the wind had picked up and the Lasers were flying. Andrew, well ahead by now, was the first to sail into a hole in the wind at the third mark and after a series of huge wind shifts Steve emerged in the lead with Danny second and Andrew third.

These three pulled away from the rest but on the third lap Danny made the best of the shifty beat and pulled ahead of Steve to win the race and the Laser Cup. Behind was more or less carnage but I will leave those involved to relive their capsizes in the comments section.

Andrew made a quick pitstop to sail his catamaran in the second race. The wind increased and the field was reduced with some notable absences (where did you go Robin and Pete?). Danny led from the start with Steve in second but Carmel was close behind and might have caught the leaders on handicap, but the wind increased further and the full rigs pulled away. There was a time when Steve would have had the advantage in the stronger wind, but Danny couldn’t be caught.

He now has what looks like an unassailable lead in the series, but we have the rest of the Summer to go and Neil hasn’t even started. With no discards at this point Robin is in 2nd and Andrew in his cat is third. In the slow fleet Dan leads in his Enterprise, with Alun 2nd and Carmel 3rd.


Summer Series – 5th June 2022

A record 9 boats took to the water on the coldest day so far in June for the annual Round the Island (Sully Island) race. The flukey offshore wind kept the boats together along the shore, but Steve and Andrew in the faster boats pulled away slowly. Once round the island in the stronger wind they sprinted away and were neck and neck after one lap so were sent round again. The slower boats were finished after the customary single lap with Danny and Robin in a strong position. Steve pulled ahead of Andrew after his slow tack and was convincingly ahead going round the end of the island, but the wind had backed and Steve had to drop his spinnaker early allowing Andrew to catch up. On handicap Danny finished first to win the Commodore’s Plate, with Robin in second and Andrew third.

OOD Neil set the second race in the bay with a long spinnaker reach for the faster boats. Steve streaked ahead, but when the results were calculated he only managed a third behind Danny and Robin who lead the series at the end of the first day. The series runs until the end of August so it’s still all to play for.


Early Bird Finale – 22nd May 2022

There was lots of sun but no wind when the sailors turned up today. As befitted the final race of the season 8 boats competed for the series prizes with Danny and Andrew E making strenuous efforts to rearrange other commitments to make an appearance in order to qualify in the series. Series leader Neil was missing as was Nick Speller, leading the slow fleet, who needed the points to qualify.

By the time the boats launched, a tidy F3-4 had set in from the south-west. Nigel’s small course was expanded to suit, but Steve in his RS700 still managed 5 laps in under 40 minutes. Even so he was behind all 4 Lasers on handicap with Danny well ahead, Andrew just getting the better of Jake after close racing throughout, and Robin in 4th.

As the wind had swung to the west, NIgel reversed the course and extended the run for Steve in the second race to give him a chance to make the most of his spinnaker and he pulled ahead promisingly on the first beat along the shore in very shifty winds. With Danny capsizing after catching his buoyancy aid on a tack all seemed to be going well for the RS700 until a big windshift and capsize at the first mark letting all the Lasers past. Passing Lasers on a spinnaker reach is a challenge, but after nearly capsizing on Andrew and Danny Steve managed to pull ahead; by then he had lost too much time. Other capsizes followed – Andrew and Basil – and the final result was almost a repeat of the first race but with Jake in 2nd, well ahead of Andrew in 3rd. Special mention must go to Basil who finished two races for the first time in a creditable 8th place.

Two firsts gave Danny the series win with Neil dropping to 2nd and Andrew taking 3rd place ahead of Robin. In the slow fleet no one managed to sail the 9 races out of 20 required to qualify so no prizes there. But a challenge to all the novices out there. If any one person had started 9 races they would have been crowned the Slow Fleet Winner and been awarded a £20 Force 4 voucher. £15 and £10 vouchers are also up for grabs for the second and third places, so turn up and win! Next Sunday is a Down Channel Cruise and the Summer Series starts the week after with a race round Sully Island.


Early Bird Series – 15th May 2022

Some confusion ensued on the off of race one today, the lights were out, yet there was a minute to go! Fortunately the sailors managed an “all clear” and were headed close hauled for the first mark. Andy thought he’d hit the jackpot and was making it in one tack, but it wasn’t quite to be. A short tack later and Robin was on his heels. The Topaz too was hot on their heels, and maybe Nick thought he’d have those lasers with a broad reach and spinnaker, but alas it didn’t quite untangle.

And so it was for the duration of the race, with the lasers clustered and boats just about changing places by making different courses rather than becoming strung out. Carmel’s Radial was almost keeping pace and for a moment downwind there was almost opportunity to call for water on Robin at the mark. But while those two tangled Andy swooped wide on port and off he went surfing a wave, the Radial in pursuit. Andy made the right decision, keeping away from the shore, and crossed the line ahead.

The Topaz took Andy’s quicker line and again Nick was in the mix, but Alun in a chasing laser having practiced man overboard drills all morning was now showing signs he wanted to test the safety crew… Or perhaps the water was particularly pleasant for swimming lessons?

Needless to say with a solid start for all in race two (we won’t mention Robin was over), Alun decided to really test our mettle- by spinning on a dime, he went from downwind back up wind through the fleet. “I’ve lost control!” was his plaintive bleat, while bearing down to T-bone the Topaz and Robin’s Laser! The boats separated, with a crash gybe by Robin looking almost intentional, all evaded the wayward laser- Beware those who sail her, that pesky lip on the transom will grab your main sheet at every opportunity.

And so it was 5 boats were whittled down to four. The Radial had the advantage, avoiding the wayward laser, it had just pulled away downwind, but pride comes before a fall, and a spectacular one it was.  A lolloping laser dead downwind and sailing by the lee was no match for a wave side on and over it went, windward side to turtle.  Carmel’s head popped up at the transom, to the view of three more making haste to get away. From there it was a well fought battle by all to hold their place, but who was it that won in handicap? It was just too close to call…

Thanks to the Patrol Boat crew and especially Dave Turner on the water and with the trollies.


Early Bird Series – 8th May 2022

A lot of sun and not much wind, but a record number – 8 boats – racing (plus one cruising). Jake had a lightening start and streaked ahead sitting on the foredeck of the Laser, where no one older than 30 dare sit. He left Danny, Andrew and Neil fighting for 2nd place, far behind, and Steve messing things up sailing in amongst them, unable to sail the RS700 anything like as fast as his handicap would expect. Surprisingly the race went to 2 laps and, after an incredibly close last mark, Andrew emerged ahead and finished 2nd followed by Danny and Neil who failed in his attempt to squeeze inside the others at the last mark.

The second race promised less and delivered. Jake didn’t quite streak as far ahead as in the first race, largely because he had been told that it was against Laser class rules to be in front of the mast (a sensible rule in the opinion of the over 30s). As the wind dropped half of the sailors decided not to risk sunburn and dehydration and retired and as the wind dropped further and the back tide increased, Patrick in the Race Office decided enough was enough and shortened the course to one lap. Steve regained some dignity by finishing first on the water (but last on handicap) and Jake again took the honours ahead of Neil and Laurence.

Danny still leads the series but on OOD duty next week and unsure of whether he can come the week after, his place is in jeopardy. Neil in second has plenty of results but Andrew in 3rd has sailed his last race in the series and will lose it all if all scheduled races are sailed. Behind, Steve and Robin tie on points and could still end up in the prizes. It’s not so much about who wins the next races, but who turns up!


Early Bird Series – 1st May 2022

A wet morning with a SSW F3-4 breeze. A more pleasant wind direction, but less pleasant weather with rain instead of the sun which we’ve had the last few weeks. 5 boats again with 2 Lasers (but Neil and Andrew E instead of Danny and Andy T), a Topaz, a Comet and an RS700.

Andrew was off to a flying start forcing Neil and Steve to crash tack (Steve into the start mark), Steve also hit the first mark and after doing all the turns was half way to the 3rd mark before managing to overtake Andrew. Neil spent the race trying in vain to catch Andrew who held on to finish 1st with Neil 2nd and Steve 3rd on handicap. Lawrence and Teilo battled it out for 4th and 5th in the Comet and Topaz.

Race 2 started with Teilo daring a port flyer that didn’t quite pay off, but the first 4 boats closely following from the line with Lawrence holding a port tack. This saw him making gains upwind, which the whole fleet took advantage of on their second laps. Steve was quicker to pull into the lead this time. The lasers were again very evenly matched with Andrew slightly ahead at first, but in heading towards the windward mark he chose to go up the middle and Neil was able to make the gains he needed to finally make it past, and had a solid lead at that point which Andrew just couldn’t eat into.

The Topaz had some trouble making it round the windward mark with the tide hampering efforts several times. This allowed The Comet to pull away for a finish that was heating up the heels of the two lasers. Steve on the wire with his kite was pulling ahead of the lasers but as the wind swung more to the south-west he couldn’t make the marks; it wasn’t to be a spinnaker finish and again he finished 3rd on handicap behind Neil in 1st and Andrew 2nd.

Overall Danny remains in the lead in the series, followed by Neil and Andrew.


Early Bird Series – 24th April 2022

Another gusty offshore northeasterly (how I wish for a nice southwesterly), but with sun and 5 boats (two each of Lasers and Topazs and one RS700). Andrew E set a good square course which gave Steve a chance to fly his spinnaker on two of the legs. It wasn’t enough for him to reel in Danny though (the RS700 needs to lap the Lasers within 3 Laser laps to win) but he lapped the other boats to finish 2nd, with Teilo in his Topaz in 3rd.

Andrew adjusted the course for the second lap which helped Andy T move up from 5th to 3rd in his Laser. Danny, despite a capsize, again finished first, further ahead of Steve with Nick and Teilo in 4th and 5th.

The overall results are all going Danny’s way. Neil is still in 2nd but as Andrew was in the Patrol Boat he slips to 5th with not enough results, leaving Robin in 3rd and Andy 4th.


Early Bird Series – 17th April 2022

Sun and an easterly force 4 awaited the small band of sailors who could tear themselves away from the Easter eggs. Steve and Nigel set a large rectangular course giving Nick in his Topaz Race no excuse not to fly his spinnaker. He did, and although, after a closeish first leg Neil pulled away, Nick stayed in touch and was only 40 seconds back on handicap at the end. Nick and Alun had a close race on the water and only seconds separated them at the finish, with Nick ahead, but Alun needs more time on the water to master his new(ish) boat.

Neil was sent round for an extra lap to try to tire him out before the second race and Alun in his Laser put in a flyer of a port tack start to threaten to take an early lead and show he had already mastered the boat, but Neil again pulled away. Alun stayed well ahead of Nick this time to beat him on handicap, but Neil held on to win.

Danny still leads, but if he misses any more races will be down the pan. Neil is a strong second with Andrew Evans in 3rd (again needing to race next week to stay there) and Robin in 4th with plenty of races in hand ready to move up to 2nd.


Early Bird Series – 10th April 2022

Nigel set a large square course in a fresh south-easterly breeze using the Barry Pin as a gybe. Pete found the run difficult, but the wind swung a little further south for the second race so he did better. Andrew fell in and you want to see the photo of Robin’s smile as he passed him.

The discards have kicked in this week, with Danny going to the top despite being missing. Andrew and Neil are both on 5 points but Neil gets the second place because he beat Andrew in the last race sailed. Robin has slipped to 4th, but has sailed all the races so should get a prize for that!


Early Bird Series – 3rd April 2022

On arrival at 0900 we had no wind and the tide was on the turn. Eventually around 1000 the breeze started to fill in from the SE. With no tractor (away being fixed) and not enough racers, the small rescue boat was launched manned by Pete Wells and Andy Fung. Six boats launched: 5 Lasers (4 full rig and one Radial) and Lawrence in the Comet. Due to the light breeze a smallest triangle course was set. Danny pulled away and was followed by Robin and Andrew. Andy had tiller problems and had to return to slipway to change his tiller.

Second race saw the breeze increase to steady force two. Once again Danny established an early lead and continued on to win the race. Robin and Andrew battled it out for second place with Andrew overtaking in the last lap to take second position. Andy continued to have tiller problems requiring assistance from the rescue boat.
During the final stages of the second race the sun went in so all crews were glad to get back for a warm shower.

Overall Robin still leads the series, but when the discards kick in next week Danny, with four firsts, will be clearly in the lead. Something must be done!