President's Letter, July 2022
Cad on Championships, Club sailing & Regatta weeks
The sport of sailboat racing is a great leveller and I hope all the competitors at our national championships at Hayling Island went home tired, but happy. Not only was the racing close and a physical challenge, but the combination of a morning offshore northerly gradient, transitioning into an afternoon southerly sea breeze proved a real mental challenge too.
Well, the cream always rises to the top and Graham Vials & Chris Turner proved worthy winners – their scores getting better as they remembered how to sail the boat. However, each competitor had their own moment of personal victory such as Dave Lucas who, with his 18 year old son Harry in a generously borrowed boat, scored two fabulous top 3 finishes; or the ever green Nigel Buckley, a last minute stand in for Pete Bannister, showing the becalmed fleet the way to sail up the first beat – only for the race to be abandoned and re sailed. Well done to you all.
Events like this take a great deal of organising, so a special mention to Sue Bannister & Mark Nicholson for taking the lead as co-ordinators for HISC and finding the time to sail too. Mark Darling, our Race Officer and his team did extremely well, keeping calm and making some great calls in very difficult services. The use of the L flag and a blackboard to relay his thoughts was really good. I’d also like to thank Mike Kilbee, the association’s nationals co-ordinator. Mike has been the steadying hand for more national’s than I can count and is now stepping down from this role. Alastair Stevenson has kindly volunteered to take over the reins
The class trophies at the prize giving looked amazing, Bobby Salmond has spent a considerable amount of time and effort, firstly locating them and then organising their professional refurbishment. Although, I’m not too sure Ian Pinnell was very happy winning the trophy for the combined age of over 100 years for the first time !
The nationals results now complete our qualifying series for next year’s Australian worlds. Your Vice-President, Bill Chard has completed the number crunching and will act as our liaison with the organisers. The shipping cost remain similar (£10k out and £7k back) for a container of 6 boats.
The health of the class was shown over the weekend of the 18/19th June, where not only did 34 boats attend our Southern area championship at the fabulous Parkstone YC, 20 more boats went to Bassenthwaite’s Open. Add to this, fleet racing across the country in places such as Grafham, Draycot etc and I think we’re in comparatively rude health.
The class now enters its ‘Regatta Season’ with the likes of Cowes, Fed and Bass Weeks which provide great family fun and an introduction to some friendly racing. Personally speaking, both my children have very fond memories of Falmouth Week – let’s encourage everybody to get on the water. The class stays in Cowes for the classes 75thanniversary and the European Championship. There’s 60 boats already entered. So, it’s looking like the biggest 15 event of the year – there’s still time to enter.
Sailing in big fleets brings it’s own set of different challenges. Firstly, the shear number of boats on the water means boats are closer together, with an increased risk of collision – please do keep a good lookout, especially in between races when teams might switch off their concentration. The windward mark is another high risk area. Be very careful coming in on port, especially closer than 3 boat lengths (around 63 feet) off the mark – you have very little rights and there can be a lot of tide and big wind shadow too. Finally, please treat each other courteously and with respect – we’re all doing this for fun, relax and enjoy the experience.
See you on the water