Bewl Inlands !!

The 2015 Inland Championship was held over the Saturday and Sunday of the Easter weekend at Bewl Valley Sailing Club in Kent, organised by BVSC Fleet Captain Jim Vince.

Weather-wise it turned out to be very much a game of two halves with strong and fiercely gusting north-easterlies on the Saturday and very light airs on the Sunday when the starts were delayed to try and achieve a the 5 knot minimum wind speed for racing.

18 boats competed, 10 from the home club and visitors from as far away as Cornwall and Belgium.
Three races were run on the Saturday and Race Officer Jeff Warley opted for a triangle/sausage course with a major course change necessary between races 1 & 2, due to a huge wind shift.

Jeremy Davy and Martin Huett from Draycote Water won two of the races on Saturday, with Alan Bax and Paul Busby from Hayling Island the third. On Sunday the first race was won by Jeremy Davy and Martin Huett, the second by John Hanson and Helen Selden from Datchet Water.

On the Saturday evening a two course meal was served with free beer for all competitors.

Overall winners as follows:
1. Jeremy Davy and Martin Huett from Draycote Water

2. Alan Bax and Paul Busby from Hayling Island

3. John Hanson and Helen Selden from Datchet Water

First Bewl boat was sailed by Michael Blacklee and his son James.

Click here to see the full results

Grafham Inlands – Full Report ….!!

2014 Flying Fifteen Inland Championships at Grafham Water Sailing Club

21st-22nd June

Written by Barry Wyatt

41 Flying Fifteens made the journey to Grafham Water SC for the inland championships over the weekend of 21st – 22nd June, despite the slightly poor forecast; visitors came from all over the UK including Scotland, the Lake District, South & East Coasts, The North East & The South West, to this great inland sailing venue.

On Saturday morning, the fleet was greeted by bright sunshine and a sparkling breeze from the north-west: unfortunately, this died on cue at mid-day never to return in any meaningful sense.. With the light winds, a breeze swinging through as much as 60-degrees and wind holes were everywhere this was going to be a tricky day. The weekend became a frustrating experience for the race team lead by Peter Saxton and the competitors alike. With light breezes Windward-leeward courses were clearly going to be the order of the day and it rapidly became clear that the plan to sail four races on Saturday was likely to prove over-ambitious; indeed through the afternoon the mark layers probably burned off more calories than the FF crews in their frantic attempts to keep up with the wind shifts!

On the start line, the fleet lived up to expectations, forcing several re-starts before the PRO lost patience, dug out the black flag and restored a semblance of order. The first successful start got away after a delay of around 30 minutes: the lead boats split, with some looking for breeze towards the centre of the lake and other trying their hand along the north shore. The left-hand contingent was looking good until confronted by one of those Grafham headers. In the end, there appeared to be little to choose between the two tactics when the leaders finally reached the windward mark. Meanwhile, the remainder of the fleet was strung out along the lake and, by the time the leaders were approaching the downwind gate, there were boats still beating into negligible wind.

The race was correctly abandoned and the fleet settled down to a long wait for more stable conditions, these arrived around 3:00 (two hours after the scheduled start). A two lap race was indicated and started with initial boats coming off the pin end and heading left looking quite good, however in the swinging breeze those coming up the mid to right of the beat made the most of the shifts to get up the short beat and around the windward mark. A light touch on the spinnaker was required for the first downwind leg but with the breeze holding the windward mark was shifted further up wind. The next beat saw the fleet split left and right but there were big gains to be found up the middle a few boats profited well from this. It was unfortunate but the wind dropped further which made the run a tense affair however at the leeward gate and subsequent finish the order was Goacher/Evans, McKee/Smith, Apthorp/Clark. The race team then waited patiently while the breeze swung between north and west, occasionally gusting to the dizzy heights of 4 knots: after the best part of an hour of this, the PRO displayed ‘N’ over ‘A’ and everyone headed gratefully for the clubhouse.

On Sunday, conditions were even less conducive to racing and the decision to call matters to a halt was relatively straightforward and taken sufficiently quickly to allow visitors to attend prize giving and to get on the road shortly after mid-day. As a result the championship was decided on the one race, as per association championship regulations. So the final order for the weekend was Steve Goacher & Phil Evans (Royal Windermere) Dave McKee & Maf Smith (Dovestone) were second and Charles Apthorp & Jonathan Clark (HISC) third. Prizes were awarded to the first six boats, together with the winner of the Classic Fleet (Neil Barthlomey & Emma Brown), 1st lady (Ros Coleman) and 1st GWSC boat (Simon Kneller & Dave Lucas). Download full results here.

It was generally recognised that, in the circumstances, the PRO did well to complete the one race: indeed, the race team was praised for their great efforts to get sailing under way, for their professionalism and for the good communication with the competitors. The facilities offered by the host club (not least its ease of access) were much appreciated, as were the social arrangements, including the Saturday evening barbecue.



2014 Championship Events Calendar Update…..!!

We now have the date for the Scottish Championships so the “2014 Championship Event Dates” blog from October 6th has been updated.  Click here to see the revised version.

The BIFFA Fixtures list is being updated accordingly.

We also now have the NOR for the 2014 Europeans – click here to download it.

There is a page dedicated to to the Mallorca Europeans on the Spanish website.  Click here to see it.

Championship Events 2014

Championship Events 2014

FFNatsFri 024crlrYou will see that the Fixture List now has almost the full line up for the Championship events next year. We start with the Mid Winter Championship at Datchet on February 1st and this time it will be a one day event. There will then be time for early season tuning up at Datchet’s Winter Warm Up and the Bewl Valley open meeting plus, no doubt, some others before the Southerns at Hayling Island. This is being combined with Haylings’s 60th anniversary of the Bulwark Trophy which is being held over the Bank Holiday weekend 24th – 26th May. Next up will be the Inlands which will be hosted by Grafham on 21st/22nd June, always a popular venue and well attended.

The Nationals will be a four day event from Saturday 5th to Tuesday 8th July and will be hosted by Parkstone YC. This will mean that the Nationals will have been held at a Southern venue for two years running and the background to this is that Parkstone are keen to host this event but were unable, at this time, to commit to doing so in 2015 as there is the possibility that they will then be in the process of major building works on their clubhouse. Because of this uncertainty, we have been pleased to go with the suggestion that they hold the Nationals next year instead. After that, we will revert to alternating between Northern and Southern venues. A short event of four days was decided on as there will also next year be the European Championship in Majorca. The dates for this are 14th to 19th September.

The Northern Championship will be held at Bassenthwaite on 23rd & 24th August so there will be plenty of time to pack up the boats and get them down to the Med.  Then up to Loch Lomond SC who are running the Scottish Championship on the weekend of 4th & 5th October.

Michael Kilbee