Recent News and upcoming events
The 2015 Grafham Catamaran Open, saw success for the latest boats supplied by Windsport to the Dart 18 and Sprint 15 catamaran classes.
Mike Gomme crewed by Sarah Stones was sailing his new Dart18 catamaran, supplied by licensed manufacture Windsport in the last few months, took line honours in the Dart 18 Inland championships while Stuart Snell in his Sprint 15 catamaran lead the fleet of 29 other Sprint 15 class sailors to a win the Sprint 15 Inland championships.
Windsport took over the production of both classes a few years ago and have steadily re-established all the supply and production back in the UK after the previous manufacture moved supply elsewhere. The quality and attention to detail of these “production one design” catamarans is key to their success and whilst there are many used and second hand boats on the markets there is no doubt as with anything supplied new you get the best of what is available to race with when new.
There is no better time to join these great catamaran class fleets, invest in a full race spec boat and kick off the 2016 sailing season with a fast boat and fast sailing.
Link to Yachts and Yachting Dart 18 Report -here
For more information contact Windsport:- email@example.com +44 (0) 1326 376191
Six teams from the UK Dart 18 class association were the fortunate winners of the Windsport sponsored Dart 18 coaching weekend this October
Blue skies, and soft winds greeted the teams as they rolled into the Windsport coaching centre based at Mylor Harbour , near Falmouth. A warm welcome was laid on by the Windsport hosts in preparation for two days of intense coach training along with near perfect conditions. The weather forecast did just what it said it would do, starting with a flat calm on the first morning building to a gentle breeze by the end of the day .
By the time the shore based activity and discussion was completed , followed by a Rib ride lunch to St Mawes, the wind had started to fill. It was just perfect for putting into practise those light wind techniques that had been talked about earlier in the day . The squad sailed late into the afternoon with just enough time to debrief pack boats away and head down to the local hostelry at the harbour to share a evening meal while England did its best to stay in the Rugby World Cup.
Sunday morning was an early start with boats launched and heading out to the training area by 9.30am and a fresh breeze greeted them, blowing in from the sea. The building swell soon had teams developing their techniques and skills as the coaching exercises became even more challenging. The squad headed out towards the bay with challenging waves keeping everyone on their toes as they went through both upwind and downwind drills and with both tactics and boat speed being paramount to their growing awareness
With boats to load onto trailers and many teams having 300 + miles to travel home everyone was on their way by 4.00pm, tired but challenged. Windsport performance coach Brian Phipps said,” The measurement of a successful coaching session lays with the teams response, but my plan is always to send teams away , with a shared experience of things they want to work on, techniques they had not considered and exercises that have raised their game + a lot of fun in the process”.
The UK Dart 18 catamaran class is one, if not the best, supported dinghy / catamaran classes in the UK.
There are not many classes that can boost a support program as comprehensive as that enjoyed by the Dart 18 sailors in the UK.
The manufacture Windsport recognise the importance of making sure Dart 18 sailors have the best support to keep them sailing. Working with the UK Dart18 Class Association (UKIDA) Brian Phipps and his team provide an annual support package that reaches all Dart sailors .
From their base at Mylor near Falmouth Windsport provide a first class online replacement parts service, alongside a personable technical support line via phone , email and other social media.
Windsport support 80% of Dart 18 sailing events , with a comprehensive spares and technical support trailer and work shop, making sure sailors enjoy their weekends racing.
The two day sponsored coaching weekend hosted at the Windsport training centre provides one of the best training locations in the UK with a wide variety of sailing conditions supported by great coaching equipment and expertise.
To be part of this exciting program , buy yourself a Dart and join the UK Dart18 Class Association (UKIDA) in 2016.
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.