Recent News and upcoming events
We are very excited to be able to offer the new Spinlock Rig Sense Gauge. Available from CatParts here 09074
As every sailor knows, rig set up is key to performance on the race course and it doesn’t matter whether you are on a Formula 18, F16 or one design Dart18. Being able to repeat favourite rig settings for differing conditions throughout the season is even more important. Until now sailors had to rely on basic tools which often left them frustrated with inconsistency for critical rig measurements.
Spinlock Rig-Sense is a new rig tuning tool developed for consistent and repeatable measurement of loads on wire and fibre. Compact, durable, lightweight and easy to handle, Rig-Sense uses a composite leaf spring that is calibrated to output repeatable tensile load readings to a direct linear scale in Kgs, rather than having to check and calculate loads on a complicated set of tables.
With Rig-Sense you can quickly and reliably take your readings to compare and adjust if needed against base settings, before heading out on the water.
Designed for 2-5mm wire and fibre cable Rig-Sense accurately displays rig loads on a clear, simple and durable etched display, ensuring teams can tune their rig with confidence. Due to its innovative design and use of materials such as stainless steel for the contact points and composite leaf spring, Rig Sense can be taken from boat to boat and loaned to others, confident in being able to share repeatable rig settings.
Spinlock CEO Chris Hill comments ‘Rig-Sense’ joins our growing Sense Range of data measuring tools. Sailors are becoming much more interested in measuring and capturing data to aid their performance, learning from time on the water to help improve long term performance. Rig-Sense offers a big improvement to the measurement of rig tension, making it simpler and easier for the sailor, and now coupled with the Rig-Sense App comes the ability to share and export data for later analysis with your team or sharing knowledge within a class’.
The free Rig-Sense App, available for both iOS and Android, allows users to work efficiently with their gauge, storing and managing the data on smart phones and tablets. Using the Rig-Sense app you can record data of critical settings to ensure repeatable race settings over differing conditions. Create your own custom templates to compile data for a range of boats or classes, add images and share and export data for later analysis with your class.
Near the end of 2014 sailing season Ysella was experiencing a few centreboard problems when lowering her centreboard. Unless released from nearly fully raised, the centreboard would not fully rotated into the down position. Winter came
and Ysella got her winter cover on and all thoughts of sorting the issue
2015 arrived and it was time to take the covers off and get things in order for a
great year of sailing and racing in Falmouth Harbour. Ysella is based at
Mylor harbour and sails off a mooring just in front of Restronguet Sailing
Club. She races with the Mylor Yacht Club on Friday evening when ever her
family owners are at home and is also used to provide RYA keel boat courses and
sessions for Shrimper owners who want to improve their Shrimper sailing
/seamanship or Shrimper racing skills.
Start of the season and back on the mooring , Ysella look picture perfect ,
but of course the centreboard problem had not gone away and if anything it
was worse. A quick inspection of the winch wire and wheel, having removed
the cabin step, confirmed that was not the problem. A bit of Shrimper
webpage investigation throw up a number of possible issues the worst being
contraction of the centreboard box due to the original ballast corroding and
Nothing for it but to recover her on the road trailer and take a look.
Windsport’s mighty micro tractor makes recovering Shrimpers onto a trailer
or trolley an simple slipway process but to remove the centreboard called
for bringing in the big guns, and using a tele-handler she was lifted and
chocked so her centreboard removal could take place .
On inspection the problem was simple, over the years the galvanising had
corroded or been worn away creating large rust areas that were expanding and
pressing against the side of the box.
Solution ? service the centreboard and make it good for the next 30 years,
clean the centreboard casing and while at it replace the centreboard pivot
bolt and hoist wire / rope.
With the centreboard transported down to the workshop we set about removing
the rust, preparing the cleaned surface and applying a rust inhibitor . To
do a comprehensive job we also removed the packing pads screwed either side
of the centreboard plate designed to reduce centreboard rocking and also the
stop pad on the leading edge which absorbs the plate when hitting the front
of the centreboard box. The screws had been in there a long time so it took
some doing and a couple of them needed to be drilled out and re-threaded.
To seal the surface we applied two layers of epoxy with a roller rubbing
down between each layers to level off some of the hollows and bumps.
Final application was two coats of white antifouling which should keep us
going for a number of years.
Working both sides of the plate means two application sessions for every
action, but it also allowed us to apply two layers on the edges as a bonus!
With the protection bit done it was question of replacing the side packing
pieces and shock absorber pad on the leading edge.
The pivot bolt had a plastic insert that looked a bit worn so we replaced
that as well before lining everything up to go back into the box
The centreboard box itself was inspected and the obligatory barnacles
removed while the internal surfaces were given two coatings of anti-fouling
as far up as we could reach.
Replacing the centreboard was not quite as easy as removal ! the use of a
vehicle jack and careful manipulation soon had the pivot bolt hole lined up
and the new bolt and rubber seals inserted and tightened up.
By choice we have gone for a dyneema hoisting line rather than the original
1 x 19 stainless steel wire which showed signs of breaking up where it
wound around the hoisting spindle.
All good and the keel support chocks are removed the trailer is placed back
under the hull ready for lowering and relaunch.
With the cabin step replaced we were ready for relaunch and trial sail.
Ysella’s centreboard problems have now been sorted and she is as good as
ever. The sailing season has been great and the racing has been fun.
Soon Ysella will be recovered permanently onto her trailer, washed down
ready for her winter cover and storage at the Windsport boat storage
facility alongside a number of her sister Shrimpers who sail in the area.
Lesson learnt, when a job needs doing get on with it rather than hoping it
will go away!!
Brian and Cookie Phipps
Shrimper 298 Ysella ( Cornish girls name meaning Modest)
After a good Day 1 start by the Team the event progressed as Brian Reports:
Tough day in the office for us today .
The wind filled in to get the fleet on the water and it did not take long to reach the sailing area downwind with 4kt + current under us all.
Race 1 showed great promise, having tacked out of the tide and calling a great windward mark lay line. Rounding 3rd we were on a roll to hit the gate in a close second. Team went right to get out of the tide , lead boat went right . Wind shifted half way up the beat from 240 to 210 we got screwed over but still managed a 2nd
Race 2 and whilst we missed a few of the tricks we held a 3rd place , but we needed to close down the Thailand team if we can.
Race 3 and things go a bit pair shaped, a confrontation at the windward mark with the other Hong Kong boat unsettles us we miss more than a few tricks as we settle back into the race.
Finish a disappointing 8th and after a long day on the water have a protest against us from the windward mark incident.
The team are clear in their minds their manoeuvre was all good , attend the protest meeting and deliver their side to the jury. All good the jury actually saw the incident on the water and agreed no rule was broken, all we have to do now is put the boat back on the track and do what we have been doing in all the other races!
They say” it is not over until the fat lady sings”, which relates to a large lady singing a closing song at the end of a music hall / theatre evening and so it is with the final days of the ISAF Qingdao World Cup sailors on the Nacra course .
With individual teams results mounting up and the opportunity to improve your position in the fleet reducing , things happen .
For the HK team Ting/Choi they found themselves on the end of what appeared to be a team race event with the china teams.
Some see it differently of course, but jury has made a clear warning to all.
Despite the challenge the team fought back found some space on the first leg of the last race of the day to lead out with Singapore finishing 1st and HK 2nd and closing the gap between 3rd and 2nd place over all.
So we go into the medal race with all boats on double points and a short two lap course. Forecast looks light, we hope the medal race will take place and we can haul ourselves back into at least second position.
Coaches briefing 9.30am , boat inspection 11.00am, race time 12.00am. here goes.
Race took place in light wind and a racing tide same for all the fleets . HK team took a stb line start and went right with the tide under them. Few minutes after the start what wind there was started to fill from the left , team fought back to gain some spaces but the overall position was just out of reach on double points.
So off to the prize ceremony, 3rd place over all, congratulations to Singapore and there coach Toni they sailed an almost perfect event and deserved there slot at the Olympics , our HK team wish them well.
The boat is being loaded in the container bound for Hong Kong, I am winging my way back to Sunny Cornwall UK and Choi and Ting are going to take a few days well-earned rest.
Thx to all the teams supporters and sponsors and the Hong Kong Sports Institute for supporting them at this event .
Highest placed HK finishing boat with more to come!
Brian has been in Qingdao for over two weeks now working hard with his Hong Kong Team, Ting and Choi. In his latest report back he gives us an insight into their training and we also have the results from the first days racing which certainly indicate that the hard work pays dividends.:
The HK team, Choi and Ting, are now well into their daily training schedule only compromised by any changes in the daily weather. Typically the last few days have been sunny with winds moving intermittently right during the day and increasing until about 5.00pm when, with the sun going down, it drops away. Like all locations ‘never say always’ and yesterday brought a small low pressure, some rain accompanied by 20kts of breeze from the east.
The team took a day off from the water to rest muscles and limbs, but not a day off on the boat work front, with many small jobs to do and things to check.
Today, Saturday, we are back on the case and with a forecasted 23 kts of breeze it could be fun. All the Nacra 17 teams are now here and the ISAF organisation will be arriving over the next few days .
For us these last few days are our final preparations before the first races of the ISAF World Cup event.
Well the windy sailing day turned into a no sailing day with 33kts across the bay and no one , apart from a few windsurfers hitting the water.
A further inspection of a hull that was taking in water showed up a crack forward of the front beam along the keel-line an area that could be easily compressed and very soft. Drastic action required so with the help of the local coach contacts, a borrowed grinder, resin and everything else to do repairs we set about fixing a problem that it appears numerous others have faced with their Nacra 17 hulls. A few hours later the best fix we can make on location is done and a flow coat of gelcoat is applied to the surface of the repair. Tomorrow we will cut it back and make good.
It is tomorrow already! The day is bright and sunny with a perfect 8-9kts training breeze. Boat sorted and ready to go the HK team Ting & Choi hit the water and start with some pace / tuning comparison with other teams, Bulgaria and Thailand followed by some fleet starting and short course racing where boat handling and instant decision making was everything.
Back to the beach and with everything recorded it was get pack up for the day and look forward to registration tomorrow.
After day one of the event with three races under their belt they have sailed consistently with two seconds and a third.
Day dawns , sun is out and the breeze is there it is just the wrong direction!
Team Hong Kong is up for it – the boat is on the ramp and ready to go. Currently just waiting for the on shore postponement to come down.
Off we go – out the race are about 4 miles away, a bit like Weymouth without the wind and the sea!
The ISAF Race team have trouble setting the line with current overwind so it is a lot of hanging around for me on the coach boat , but more importantly for the team .
Race one gets under way, the team do well and get around the Windward mark in the top 3 and finish up 2nd with the Singapore team just in front.
A few boat adjustments, something to eat and drink, a coach chat before the wind is swinging right and the race team make some adjustments .
2nd start and we get screwed over on the line and forced out the wrong sid , rounding the windward mark in the middle of the pack. Fighting hard they take every opportunity like their life depends on it (which it sort of does) and they claw back to finish third .
Final race of the day, tide has turned and is fast pushing against us upwind.
Team get away to an OK start and keep the pressure on the lead boat to finish second
So results 2, 3 2 , which is a good start but we are looking for some wins!
Early days but Singapore has set the bar and everyone else will have to step up to it including ourselves.
Follow Choi and Ting’s results here: http://www.sailing.org/worldcup/results/
Launch and Recovery Service – Winterisation – Maintenance and Anti-fouling
As per previous years Windsport can offer a tailor made service to winterise and store you shrimper this winter as well as undertake repairs, maintenance, valeting and antifouling.
The Windsport “winter storage and service” is specifically for owners of dinghies / catamarans and boats on trailers. Situated right beside the water with slipway launch and recovery access we offer boat-standing and limited under-cover boat storage.
Our storage areas provide access to water and electricity, enabling customers to work on their craft during the winter, a dedicated car park area and technical support.
Special Shrimper Winter Storage Package
Available 1 October 2015 – 31 March 2016 (inclusive) ONLY
Shrimper OPEN – STANDING £495.00
Shrimper UNDER-COVER STANDING £595.00
Price includes 1 car park pass, access to water and electricity for light hand tools
(no permanent hook up available).
PULL OUT Service (October – December) £85
Windsport are happy to recover your boat on its trailer at the end of the season using our 4-wheel drive and park it in the storage area, pull out includes a fresh water trailer pressure wash off. We welcome owners to be present during pull out but alternative arrangement can be made with the Windsport team.
Hull Pressure Wash £85
You may decide to ask Windsport to pressure wash your hull to remove excess weed and grime before storing for the winter – we are happy to do this – please call and make arrangements.
Lowering masts and spars , rigging winter covers , winter maintenance, engine service, trailer service and valeting can be arranged, Windsport work closely with a number of small businesses offering these services – please discuss your winter requirements with the Windsport team who will be happy to help you.
SPRING HAS SPRUNG (February – March)
Hull polish for the go faster look! £195
Launch Service (as for Pull Out, boat launch and trailer wash down) £ 85
Summer trailer storage available April – September 2016 £250
Anti-fouling and other services available – Windsport (01326 376191)
If you are interested in any of these services please download our simple sign up form
Windsport coaching is out in China over the next few weeks in the run up to the last ISAF World Cup Event of the year.
The venue is Qingdao – host venue to the 2008 Olympics sailing event. Whilst Windsport coaching has been to Hong Kong many times this is the first time in China and it brings its own challenges , not least understanding what is going on and organising things.
Having got over the jet lag , it was day one to check out the chartered coaching rib, the venue and sailing waters before getting into the nuts a bolts of preparing for a major event.
The weather to start has so far been warm and moist but with some wind. The venue has changed somewhat from the 2008 Olympic venue , the buildings are still there and they still say Olympic theatre, museum, etc, but what they host is very different including dinosaurs. The actual sailing facility is a small part of the large harbour which hosts a marina full of tourist style semi sailing charter boats that will take you for your first sailing experience for a few hundred Yen, eat your heart out picture!
The China Nacra teams are already here training with Mitch Booth and my Hong Kong sailing teams boat has just arrived in a container so step one is boat build up and go sailing.
The next day started with a trip to a local Chinese tool store (a Windsport favourite) to try and buy a set of taps that cleaned up the beam bolt hole threads in the HK race boat hulls. You might think Nacra hulls use metric threads on their beam inserts but if so you are wrong and the Chinese tool store only understand metric M10 as the closest fit.
Put plan B in motion! use a good bolt with thread with a lot of grease and careful use clean the threads in the hull insert.
Job done and we are back in business or so we thought until a bolt sheared in the beam box.
Time to put that project down and hit the water which is now 20 its and a big swell is running just out of the harbour.
Rig the training boat and Once tuned, the HK team Ting and Choi, head out for our training session and some practise races . 10 minutes later we are back in the harbour! Why is it that the N17 mainsail always fails in the same place in the panel close to the head, I have seen it so many times and you would of thought by now they would of found a solution and recalled those sails that have the problem!
Either way back to the beach change sails and back out on the water, in the rain. By now the wind has swung 65 degrees , dropped and we are left training in light breeze, ripping tide and huge swell, nothing like yesterday’s sun and 7kts of breeze.
Nothing wasted , the team worked hard to keep the boat moving in these tricky conditions with just enough daylight to get back the beach (which is a floating pontoon) get the sheared off bolt extracted and the race boat finally bolted up.
A taxing day for the team that did not go as planned , but hey tomorrow is another day!
Onwards and upwards.
What can we say but finally the sun is shining and there is solid breeze – The Boat parking and car park are working well despite the inclement weather. Once again our location is offering an amazing venue for any active class association who wants to run their championship!
Keep up to date with the event and results on the Restronguet Sailing Club website and Facebook page.
Once again our roving Windsport Support Team gives us their own impression of the Dart National Championships held at Felixstowe Ferry Sailing Club
The Windsport Dart 18 event support road train rolled into Felixstowe Ferry SC car park late Wednesday night after our 8 hour journey from sunny Windsport in Cornwall ( I lie it was raining and misty when we left , but a balmy evening when we arrived) the doors were opened up with boats being rigged all around.
Day one saw a light-ish breeze on a tide working against the upwind leg and a short chop, so tricky to keep the speed on. The experienced Dart 18 sailors found the pace with Dave and Louise posting two safe 1st positons and other long term Dart sailors filling in the other top ten places.
The Windsport event trailer was busy first thing while scrutineering took place, not with anything major, but a good opportunity for sailors to get their boats sorted. All credit to Joe franks who sailed the first two races with a bridle chain plate held on by 2mm of s/s attached (see pic) and Matt with the “green machine” that he has lovingly restored and slowly replacing everything that can be replaced!
Day two and a bit more wind and just enough for some to trapeze with a tide under the fleet as they arrive at the start line . A couple of general recalls while the fleet get sorted and then two races with a solid breeze up the last windward leg of the day to get everyone out on a trapeze for a quick airing. Well done to Paul Wakelin , sailing single handed, who recorded a 1st and a 2nd great sailing from a single-hander and we hope to see more like him in the future, watch out Paul Chatfield the single handers are on your case !!!
Big thx to the UKIDA committee, following the AGM. Sailors please note, YOUR committee do a huge amount over the year to provide you with events and sailing, turning up to the AGM is at best the opportunity to voice your thoughts and at the least an opportunity to thank that voluntary team who work so hard for you and your class.
The UKIDA committee provided the entertainment with a games night of silly and skilful games, like shooting golf balls, rowing races, limbo dancing and two person wellie walking. All good fun, a few pounds raised for the class and some very worthy winners. Sorry to say the Windsport team did not win the rowing race by quite a few seconds! Pic attached thx to Dan Tubert.
Day 3 ,
Ok now up to date, sitting here in glorious sunshine with a sea breeze that is starting to build. A 1 hour postponement is up which is always good for Windsport business as sailors fiddle with their boats and find things they need or should change. So far so good, whatever a sailor has wanted to replace on his boat we have been able to supply along with technical support and a bit of on shore coaching to encourage sailors towards improved results.
The protest by OCS boats against the race officer has been sorted and the fleet are leaving the beach as the tide floods into the river.
Ok , catch up on yesterday, similar breeze to the previous two days , light weights on the wire by the second race heavier teams wishing they were on the wire and trying!
Windsport support trailer open all day to keep the fleet on the water and make sure no one missed the second race .
Bit of drama on the water when two boats got tangled up resulting in Mike Gomme getting a bang on the head and taking in some sea water. No big boat damage and a day in bed for Mike as recommended by the ambulance team. Good news for Mike because he got average points for the rest of the racing without hoisting a sail!
So now we are on the last day, breeze is up, well up, may be too much up and the fleet are on a 1 hour postponement while the race team wait to see what the next hour or so brings . Hope full they will get a race in for the teams that like a bit of breeze but we will see.
I the mean time the Windsport event support team have posted the sail numbers of those boats that need to settle their Windsport event accounts and hopefully that will all be tied up before the boats leave the beach.
In the meantime a picture of chilling out time after the 70’s music ad fancy dress evening, eat your heart out ABBA.
Ok , the weather did not play ball for the Dart18 Nationals fleet and the final days racing was cancelled due to the strong winds.
Very worthy winners Dave and Louise Roberts stepped up to take the winner’s trophy with Paul Wakelin (singlehanded) second and David Lloyd/Eloise Knott in third.
A good time was had by all, pity the last day was lost , but hey that is sailing.
The good news was, everyone got away a bit earlier than expected including the “Windsport event support ROADTRAIN” and with a good run we got back to Windsport Cornwall just before midnight so a few hours ahead of schedule!
Monday morning and guess what it is raining in Cornwall of all things! Time to start the off load and the checking back in of the event support stock and equipment. Meanwhile we have the 420 nationals underway from our boat park so lots happening!
Next year” 40 years” of Dart 18 national championships, his will be a BIG ONE, so hold on to your hats, plan ahead and make sure if you sail, or have ever sailed a Dart18 catamaran , you are there to share in the celebration @ Stoke Bay SC
Congratulations to all those who entered the event, as they say, everyone is a winner but there can only be one champion team.
Rest Day and Race Day 4
Ok the rest day was hot, too hot to sit in the sun, we apologise to those back at home in the English summer!
The rest day event support team opened up until midday then took a break.
Yes the part of the Windsport team (Tom P) went Kite surfing while the event support team watched and handed out a few useful tips like jump higher and oh what a crash landing!
Laura Croft was also out on her board ( well she had a long pony tail) and Tom P got a few waves from her as she passed by in the opposite direction. The shore team asked for a backie but were not successful. We failed to take pictures.
Back to work at 4.00pm and still Dart sailors asking for technical advice , replacement parts and repair jobs.
The work day ended about 7.00pm and the sailors accounts are all up to date, we just need them to pay!
So here we are Thursday and the wind has just flipped around to onshore and started to build . Will come back to you with the action later on.
Ok back on the case, after the first race . It took time for the wind to build today and the first race started in marginal trapezing mode. As it built there was light patches and some shifts so testing for all. It looks like the Windsport race team called it right and managed to hold on to the lead into the finish, but by then boats were coming ashore with collision damage and breakages so the Windsport shore team were busy back at the support trailer.
Race two got away in what is now a solid breeze moving left. Looks like the same top 1o teams are fighting it out at the front but the team in the middle of the pack are having just as much fun. Forty minutes and it will all be over for the day with stories to tell and situations to amylase .
Visit the event website for the attest results and event pictures . http://eurodart18.org/
Party to night with a Rock Band, food and a few beers so there could be a few sore heads tomorrow.
Just packing up for the day at the event support trailer, thx to all the teams that have come to settle their accounts , it makes life much easier. Few more still to go but hopefully they will pop n first thing in the morning.
The Windsport did the business with two more wins so they have won outright with a day to spare, well done team, as we have left you to it.
I think they have a plan for tomorrow along the lines of swapping crewing positions so we will how Tom P likes the front of the boat and Nikki will practise her starting !!!
Ciao for now
Brian . Windsport event support.
The final report on the Dart 18 Europen Championships came through on route – our returning Windsport Support Crew giving a little more insight into the activity that goes into the Dart 18 Catamaran Fleet. Remember next year will be 40 years since the Dart took to the water for the first time! We look forward to seeing you at next years championship.
Day 5 and onward
Well the party went on well into the night on day 4 and with Tom P and Nikki knowing they had a day to spare they did some partying along with many young Dart sailors from France , Italy, Switzerland, and the Brits.
Day 5 has been busy for “Windsport event support” and with the boats ready to leave the beach on time, we have been stuck at the trailer sorting out account payments , additional parts and other going home challenges.
So all I can tell you right now is that the Windsport race team plan to go on the water at opposite ends of the boat , I am sure they will have a good time along with the rest of the fleet.
More to follow once we get caught up.
Ok back on the case, only one race on the final day, in lightand shifty breeze with no trapezing. Nikki helmed around the course with Tom at the front crewing and finished a very credible 9th across the line, a good time was had by all with two Brits and one French in the top three of the final results. The prize- giving went off well with the ‘Union Jack’ heads above everything else. Congratulations to Tom and Nikki for a clean sweep of 8 x 1st places, discarding a 1st and a 9th against some very seasoned Dart 18 sailors with many wins under their belt.
We are all packed up loaded and about to leave 8.00pm our time, as we need to get some miles under our belt so not sure when you will get this update as we roll along!
Day 6 on the way back to Blighty.” It is never over until the fat lady sings” Well had a burst water connection that took the engine temp up to max , so had to fix on the way to the Alps, and we finally got heads down at 3.00am in the morning. Now skirting Turin and on a mission to make the Roscoff ferry with a few minutes to spare on Sunday! All good so far on day 6 of the trip home.
Sunday , just loaded on the ferry, and on our way home, Tom flew into Stanstead this morning and is doing a Windsport pick up of parts from Brightlingsea and then Southampton water.
We should all be back at Windsport for Monday morning ready to start that other work!
Windsport technical support.
This report comes from David Groom with the photo from Alan Howie Wood
For full results: http://www.sprint15.com/events/EMS/event.php?id=124
The Sprint 15 National Championships was held at Netley Sailing Club over the long weekend of the 31st July to the 1st August. The 47 Competitors included three boats from this cat-friendly club with one sailed by Luke Scott in his first ever Sprint event. Sailors came from far and wide with the visitor from Halifax being surprised to be trumped by a visitor from New York. Numbers were down due to an unfortunate need to change the date after many had made holiday plans for the year meaning the fleet just fell out of the 50 plus club for the first time in many years.
The weather was basically perfect with sunshine and sea breezes allowing champagne sailing conditions particularly on the last day and facilitating long recovery sessions on the terrace and later on into the night on the club camp site.
Day 1 dawned windless but the Race Officer, David Henshall, set a postponement expecting that wind was coming early pm. His highly efficient race team laid the marks for an initially confusing but very sensible and soon to become familiar course providing two long and three shorter beats, three runs and two reaches utilising the full width of Southampton Water when required. This was the day for the light wind experts allowing Robin Boardman and Stuart Snell to shine, closely followed by Paul Grattage sailing one of the new Sprints 15s.
Day two was more of a mix with again no wind in the morning but an increasing breeze as the races progressed. The breeze, or breezes at times, was shifting allowing tactical advantages for those who spotted them as did the tide running down the start line making it essential to avoid the multiple piles-up at the pin end. Paul Grattage and Robin Boardman dominated with Kevin Dutch, Paul Craft and Jim Bowie featuring as the wind increased. A rare error (OCS) meant Paul Grattage had not won the event by the end of day two and had to compete on the last day. One race was sensibly abandoned after the pilot of a very large container ship had panicked somewhat when confronted by what he described as hundreds of fast moving white sailing boats between him and his destination. Surprisingly some competitors were not sure what the abandonment was for!
Day three was champagne Sunday. A gentle breeze greeted the competitors and this filled into a steady south westerly three by the time they launched. This increased over the day into a boisterous four which with a meaningful chop and sunshine showed the Sprints pedigree off to the full. The heavier conditions suited those who had shone the day before with Kevin Dutch taking Race One and Paul Grattage Race Two, making Grattage National Champion for 2015 and keeping his chances for a clean sweep of 15 major events alive. Other major trophy winners included Christine Roman who took the ladies’ prize, Henry and Simon Giles who took the two up cup, Joe Baker who took the youth prize and Thorpe Bay who won the Team Trophy.
Away from the water the fleet confounded its reputation and socialised hard with the bar full each night and much talking on the terrace serenaded by live music and a sail past by three large cruise ships on the Saturday night. The Association dinner was excellently prepared and served by catering students from Eastleigh College.
Thanks to the weather gods who allowed the locals to boast it is always like this here. David Henshall and the on-the-water team Rosie Parker ( Commodore and non-stop grafter), her son Alex overall event organiser, the shoreside team, the club caterers who were there from dawn until almost dusk and Windsport for the sponsorship and event support as efficiently provided by newbie Windsport Team Member Rosie Snell.
Report by David Groom