Despite weather challenges and several of the normal touring suspects waiting on new boats, the first UK Flying Fifteen open meeting of the year was a great success, with visitors from Parkstone, Chew Valley, Hayling Island and Dun Laoghaire coming to Datchet. Racing on Saturday was abandoned due to a complete lack of wind which brought the benefit of time for our Irish visitors to watch the 6-Nations rugby – and made it easy for the English travellers to decide to come for the day on Sunday.
Sunday brought winds of force 3-4 and sun! The race team managed to fit in 4 races on a nice large course, and the windshifts provided a good test to sort out the fleet. Charles Apthorp/ Alan Green regained the Mercedes Trophy, with Ian Cadwallader/ Dave Sweet second and John Hanson/ Helen Seldon third. The full result are available by clicking here
A huge thank you to all our visitors for travelling vast distances and/ or setting very early alarms, and to the race team for their excellent management of the day.
See you all next year – or on the circuit
(DWSC FF fleet Captain)
I have at last managed to upload the Notices of Race for the MidWinter Champs (FF Midwinter 2016 NoR) and the Mercedes Trophy (Mercedes Trophy 2016 NoR) to the new Datchet Water SC website.
This year we have decided to make the competition for the Winter Champs the four February Sundays of the DWSC Winter Warm Up to avoid the impact of one day’s bad weather – which seems to have plagued us in recent years. Hopefully this works for more people than it doesn’t! The SI’s for this will be the same as those for the Winter Warm Up which will be published in due course.
The Mercedes Trophy is back to its normal slot of the weekend after the Dinghy Show (12th and 13th March) – timed to give you all the chance to have a bit of a thrash on flat water before the Inland Champs. The Sailing Instructions for the Mercedes are also available online (Mercedes Trophy 2016 SI’s).
There is a £130 package for anyone wanting to sail at the club for Q1’16 which gives free entry to the MidWinter Championship, discounted members’ entry to the Mercedes Trophy Open Meeting and boat parking/ club sailing for the whole of Q1
Hopefully we’ll see lots of you at these events
Have a very happy Christmas and a (not too) merry New Year in the meantime
FF Race Review Sunday 15th March
Sunday morning greeted the club sailors with a 12-15 knot ENE and an icy chill in the air so it was a hardy fleet which put to the water. At least thankfully for the crews the threatened rain held off.
The course was set with a castle end start. Once over the start line the tactics saw the lead boats making a course behind the pier towards the windward mark.
From there it’s was a steady reach with kites around the gybe mark and back to the leeward mark. As with the previous weeks a well-planned course was apparent making for some fast laps.
At the windward mark of second lap the standings were as follows
Brett Dingwall and Jonathan Clark (confusingly borrowing Charles’s 3957 sails!) from John Hanson & Helen Hepworth (3954) who were just edging out Dominick and David Hume in (3559) with Stephen Hopson & Robert Simmons 4029, holding off Mike Clapp and Trevor Brant (3427) and Mervyn Wright and George Caspall (3904), nursing a broken kicker.
On the final lap the boats were spread out just a little further with the main battle taking place for 4th and 5th. The pace remained fast with the last lap the quickest of the three.
The race finished in the same order as had been held throughout. With Brett and Jonathan (3957) taking the win from John & Helen (3954) who after a race long tussle just pipped the Humes (3559) for second place.
The cloud cover remained 100% but the rain still held off and the wind just dipped a knot or two for the second race.
This time around the racing was even more clinical with Mervyn and George pushing the front three all the way round.
After the first lap it was again Brett and Jonathan (3957) leading from Dominick and David (3559) who were just holding off John and Helen (3954)
The first two laps saw very close racing for 2nd, 3rd and 4th positions. On the return of the second lap the front four displayed different tactics with 3957 & 3954 heading round to the starboard starboard of the tower and 3559 & 3904 heading port of it. The decision of the boats going to starboard paid off with John & Helen 3954, rounding the mark ahead of Dominick & David 3559 but only just! Mervyn & George closely following in 3904
The final leg saw some fast steady racing with the boats finishing in the following order 3957, 3954, 3559, 3904, 4029 and 3427 with four minutes between first and last.
Charles and his various crews currently lead the series from John and Helen leaving one race left of the winter series to decide the final positions.
For last Sunday and series results please use the following link
To re-iterate on that note next weekend will be the last practice run before the Mercedes Open which is the following weekend 28th / 29th March
The event is running a couple of weeks later than last year and we have already had entries from Parkstone and Chew. It would be great to see all the “Fifteen FF’s” in the current series along with visitor entries on the start line a week on Saturday!
So please dust off the covers and get that final series result and practice in before the main event.
FF Race Review Sunday 08th March
After the weather imposed break and Dinghy Show duties of the previous week it was a welcome return to both Sunday morning racing and warmer weather! A solid fleet of nine FF’s put out to the water along with the rest of the club fleet, guests and the CAT Spitfire series.
With Simon Kneller and Dave Lucas (4024) returning to the club and Mike Firth and Phil Tinsley back in Firths Folly (3888) a tight race was anticipated.
A firm but not too cold westerly was blowing in across the lake. With a prompt start from the Club end, the FF’s divided into two groups each proposing “they” knew the quickest way to the Windward mark with several boats working a starboard tack towards the wall with the rest heading out towards the middle.
The mark was rounded in close procession with Charles Apthorp and Adrian Simpson (3957), Simon and Dave, Mervyn and George (3904) and John and Helen (3954) the front runners.
The wing mark was set to give a close reach (at least to stay upwind of a tower) up to the gybe mark which saw the Kites raised in a way more akin to asymmetrical fleet!
The wind died for the front runners, collapsing the fleet at the gybe mark but with front positions having been held steady some fierce racing was played out for the middle and rear positions.
Mike and Phil battling it out Mike & Ian (3427), Hopson and Utter (4029) and Roger & Richard (3642)
As with the reach, the race team had carefully positioned a tower dead centre of the beat between the mark and the start leaving some tactical decisions for the crews to make.
The run was fairly true downwind giving a split of the fleet to port or starboard.
The final leg was completed in similar fashion to the first with a few gusts picking up in patches.
Another tight beat to the leeward mark with the Kite poles close on the Halyard meant for two fast legs to the finish with 3957 pipping 3954 and 4024 with not more than a boat length between them and the rest of the fleet not far behind.
The second race proved to be even closer than the first with all the boats finishing within four minutes this turned into one of the closest of the series and saw some thrilling racing however at the start this didn’t seem the way it was going to go!
Two or three boats had to tack to avoid an early start forcing them to go round before crossing the line.
This didn’t split the fleet too much however and a slight shift and increase in wind brought the crew bottoms someway out over the side as they headed up to the mark. This time all the boats finding a good breeze in the centre or over towards the wall.
Again the race around the mark saw judgement pay off for Charles and Adrian (3957) racing tightly with Simon and Dave (4024).
The boats rounding the windward mark in even closer procession than in race one. This time with the wind further forward a very fast reach to the gybe mark was possible with some strong gusts assisting on the way
Charles and Adrian took the win ahead of Simon and Dave with an increased length of half a boat between the two!
For Sunday’s and the series results please see the following link
The Merc Open is at the end of the month 28th / 29th March it would be great to see the “Fifteen FF’s” in the current series along with visitor entries on the start line and see if we can push the field well beyond last year’s 18 boats.
So with warmer temperatures and two weeks left of the winter series, now is the time to uncover the boats and get the practice in..!!
3 weeks to the Mercedes Open at Datchet (28/29 March)
We’re looking forward to welcoming you to the Mercedes Open at Datchet Water SC on 28th/ 29th March. We’ve slipped it back a few weeks this year (into Spring) so there’s no excuse for those of you who “don’t do Winter sailing”!
It’s a great chance to sharpen your tactics ahead of the Inland Championships at Bewl – and those travelling from afar are welcome to leave their boats at Datchet for the week (let me know if you’d like to do so).
The Notice of Race (http://www.dwsc.co.uk/UKFFA%20Mercedes%20Trophy%202015%20NoR.pdf) and Sailing Instructions (http://www.dwsc.co.uk/UKFFA%20Mercedes%20Trophy%20Open%202015%20SIs.pdf) can be found on the club and UKFFA websites
See you in 3 weeks
(email@example.com; 07768 921576)
The path to the 2015 Worlds started at the Midwinters this weekend!!
It was a “bit of a day”, weather-wise, at Datchet for the Midwinters today. We all drove through snow to arrive at a green and pleasant Datchet Reservoir! It was even a tad mild (4 degrees or so) versus forecast and the wind, at least at the outset, was not looking like the promised howler. That arrived mid racing ! By the time the fleet made it shore some honking gusts were beginning to pass through.
We had 11 boats at the slip – one had to turn back for family reasons, so then there were 10 braving the conditions. PRO Phil Tinsley laid on a ‘Sprint’ style series – five windward leeward races of around 40 minutes each – with thankfully fast turnarounds.
It turned out to be a very close racing at the top – with Charles Apthorp and Alan Green just taking it by one point from Simon Kneller and Dave Lucas.
Special thanks must go to the Rescue Team, the Race Team and of course, the caterers!!
Things are hotting up for the Midwinter Championship and social at Datchet on 31st January. The water is at the brim, we have new changing rooms, a new caterer and new double glazing! Most importantly though, we have some hot names coming to sail and the biggest name of them all coming to join us for an evening talking about sailing. That would include the current European Champion, a former World Champion and a former National Champion – and the recent recipient of the RYA Lifetime Achievement Award, Rod Carr CBE.
In case you missed the earlier announcement, Notice of Race is on the DWSC website with a link on the UKFFA fixtures calendar for what is the first in a series of events to prepare for the season.
As you will see in the NoR, the last start will not be after 3.15pm so we should be getting off the water about 4 o’clock and packed/ changed by 5. Our caterer is cooking a big pot of chilli so people can grab a plate and a drink for the prize giving and the ‘structured chat’ with Rod, with mingling thereafter (timings may vary!).
Any questions email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07768 921576
Start your season at the MidWinter Championships
The Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions for the UKFFA MidWinter Championships on 31st January 2015 are now on the Datchet Water SC website and have also been added to the UKFFA permanent calendar. This will be a ‘sprint style’ format to get as many races into the day as possible
The competition will be followed by a social event – which is also open to those who don’t want to sail during the day. Rod Carr – former British Olympic sailing and RYA supremo – has very kindly agreed to join us for a ‘conversation with structure’ over a beer – ranging across the Olympics, the UK Sailing Scene, UK Sport and even sailing rules/ self-policing.
DWSC is also offering packages for the MidWinters in combination with the Winter Warm Up (every Sunday in February) and The Mercedes Trophy Open Meeting (28th/ 29th March) so you can sail against some pretty serious competition while leaving your boat in one place. Details of this package are in the attached flyer and are in the MidWintter Championship NoR
Mervyn Wright (DWSC FF fleet Vice Captain)
p.s. if you could let me know as early as possible if you plan to attend the evening with Rod Carr, it would help us to plan for catering provision
Datchet Race Report Sunday 2nd November
Having had 9 crews out the previous Sunday, 7 crews braved the lashing rain to rig for this Sunday’s racing, including 2 newcomers using Mervyn Wright’s boat 3536 as he was the Race Officer for the day. After a slightly delayed start whilst the Race Officers organised the racing areas for both the club sailing and the Cat End of Season races, the first race got underway on a long starboard-rounding course.
Sadly, 3954 (John Hanson and Helen Selden) were so keen to get underway they were a little early for the start and had to go back, ending up getting over the start second from last. 4011 (Richard Jones and Howard Shawyer) and 3888 (mike Firth and Phil Tinsley) led most of the fleet out left whilst 3954 slowly reeled them in playing the shifts up the middle of the course, so that they were 2nd going around the top mark with 3888 leading and 4011 in 3rd. Despite their best efforts 4011 couldn’t overtake 3954 over the next two reaches and so the order remained the same going into the second lap. At this point 3954 seemed to find an extra gear and managed to overtake 3888 on the beat and extend their lead for the rest of the race, taking the gun. 3888 tried valiantly to retain second but on the last gybe mark, 4011 overtook them to take 2nd. 3427 (Mike Clapp and Ian Klyne) came in fourth, followed by 3521 (Trevor Brant and John Watling), 3536 and 3562.
Unfortunately, Phil Tinsley (in 3888) couldn’t carry on for the second race due to a bad back, and so the fleet was now 6 for the second race. Our star guests, Alastair and Ben from Australia, were trying out the Flying Fifteen loan program – and helm and crew in 3536 swapped over for this race whilst FF Fleet Captain, Mervyn Wright,shortened the first beat before setting the fleet off. Again, ever eager to get racing, 3954 (Hanson and Selden) were over the line at the start with 3536 and so both had to go back and try again. In this time 4011 took a commanding lead, but were eventually overhauled by 3954 on the third beat. 3427 did very well taking third over the line and 3536 managed 4th in this race.
Due to a large RS End of Season event at Datchet this coming weekend, there will be no club racing, so the fleet will be re-convening on 16th November for the next round in the autumn series.
John Hanson tells me there is no racing in Cowes today, so he has won with a day in hand!!
Not the most informative website ever – but in a wonderful 17c barn there are some gems – N12 AND Enterprise number 1’s but best of all a Flying 10!
A little beauty she is too ….
Phil Tinsley, Datchet Water SC
And for the Bewl Valley members, have you seen the transom?? Does anyone from Bewl have any background on this?? Ed.