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.



Fabulous Photos from the Inlands….!!

It was blowing a hooley down at Chew last weekend, so you would expect the photos to be great!!!  We were fortunate enough to have Mike Rice of Fotoboat running the camera for us.  Here are my favourites.

(You can see more fabulous Fotoboat pics on the Association website gallery by clicking here)

All photos ©Mike Rice,

Flying Fifteen Inlands Chew Valley Lake SC  May 2013

Flying Fifteen Inlands Chew Valley Lake SC  May 2013

Flying Fifteen Inlands Chew Valley Lake SC  May 2013

All photos ©Mike Rice,

Goacher/Evans Win the Inlands…!!

The Flying Fifteen Inland Championship was held on May 11-12 at Chew Valley Lake. 12 home boats were joined by 23 visitors, making the biggest Open event of the year so far, despite the weather forecast predicting some very strong winds. The highly competitive fleet included current and past World, European and National Champions.

As the fleet launched for a 1pm start, and 3 scheduled races for Saturday, the wind was building steadily from the west. Race Office John Smalley and his team set a classic triangle/sausage course and the fleet got away for race 1 at the first attempt.

The left side paid on the first beat – although some boats were tempted to stay out on the left for too long and then found a port tack approach to the windward mark in this fleet wasn’t easy! At the first rounding, the local team of Ian Cadwallader and Nick Stone lead the fleet, followed by Steve Goacher and Phil Evans. The first reach was too tight for spinnakers – some hoisted after the gybe but few boats managed to carry kites all the way to the leeward mark.

On the second beat Goacher and Evans took the lead. The wind had veered by now and most boats opted for a gybe-set after the spacer mark for the run. For the second triangle, the reaches were more manageable and most of the fleet was able to carry spinnakers, especially on the broader second reach.

In the fast conditions, the 2 complete laps set by the RO were completed in around 40 minutes. Goacher and Evans held the lead to the finish, followed by Cadwallader/Stone in 2nd, with Alan Bax and James Grant in 3rd.

By now the wind had really picked up, and most of the fleet took shelter in the lee of the clubhouse for the few minutes it took to get the second race set up. The race team managed a quick turn-round, and race 2 was under way soon after the last boats had finished race 1.

Race 2 saw the strongest winds of the weekend, with 40mph recorded in some of the gusts. A third of the fleet retired, some with damage including broken masts. There were many broaches and capsizes, with even a few past championship winners seen stood on their keels at times! First place in race 2 went to Richard Lovering and Matt Alvarado, second were Greg Wells and Andrew Jameson, and third Goacher and Evans.

With the wind still very strong, and with damage sustained throughout the fleet, the Race Officer decided to postpone race 3 to the next day and sent the fleet ashore – although many had already made that decision themselves! Overnight leaders after 2 races were Steve Goacher and Phil Evans. After recovering boats, and effecting some repairs where necessary, the fleet took advantage of the Chew Galley and then the bar well into the evening.

Sunday brought much more benign conditions, and the fleet was afloat for a 1030 start, to get the remaining 3 races of the series completed before the forecast return of the strong winds mid-afternoon. The course was the same triangle/sausage configuration, with the wind still from the west but averaging around 15mph at the start of race 3.

This time the right hand side of the beat was the way to go on lap one, and some different faces were seen near the front at the first mark rounding. By the end of the race it was Bax/Grant in 1st, Wells/Jameson 2nd and Cadwallader/Stone 3rd.

Contrary to the forecast, the wind steadily decreased throughout races 4 and 5. Goacher and Evans took another 1st in race 4, the team of Jeremy Davy and Paul Busby had been moving up the fleet all weekend and took a 2nd and 1st in races 4 and 5 respectively, and Robert Hogben / Glyn Morgan made it into the top 3 with a 2nd place finish in race 5.

Overall Result:-

At the end of the event the scores were very close at the top of the fleet, with the first 5 boats all between 10 and 15 points. 2nd was decided on countback, with Richard Lovering and Matt Alvarado taking 2nd from Ian Cadwallader and Nick Stone. First overall, and the 2013 Inland Champions, were Steve Goacher and Phil Evans.

Full results can be found on the Chew Valley website, here:

Fotoboat were covering the event – You can see the photos by clicking here

Inlands at Chew – Coming Up !!!

I’d like to extend a warm invitation to all FF Blog readers, to the Inland Championship at Chew Valley on May 11th and 12th.

The Notice of Race is available on the Chew website ( – the first start is scheduled for 1300 on the 11th, so plenty of time to get here, rig and launch.

The Galley will be open throughout the weekend, with a meal after racing on Saturday night and the bar open as late as it’s needed!

Visitors are welcome to drop boats at the Club on Friday evening. If you plan to do this, or with any other queries, please contact me, Bill Chard, at or on 07901 826589.

We’re looking forward to seeing you all in a week’s time.

Bill Chard