Mercedes Open at Datchet

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

Mervyn Wright
(DWSC FF fleet Captain)

Waples Wines Northern Travellers – Round 4….!!

Waples Wines LogoThe fourth event in the Waples Wines sponsored Northern Travellers Series has now been completed. Bassenthwaite in the northern lakes was host. The forecast for both days was horrendous with heavy rain and winds gusting at close to 40 mph predicted. This no doubt had an effect on the entry. There were however15 boats entered and all but 1 sailed.

On Saturday the wind was very squally and difficult to read however on Sunday this had moderated a bit and the sky’s were lighter. It was still a stiff sail. In addition to the on the water heroics, competitors were treated to the usual Bass welcome that included the pie and peas supper and an excellent wine and cheese quiz. Who would ever want to eat cheese with mustard seeds in it!!!!

Following this year’s format competitors were treated to two evening presentations . First up was Crewing legend Phil Evans who lead a discussion on spinnaker flying. Remember on a run to run gybe not to pull down the twinning line too far as otherwise it makes the spinny collapse and the helm look useless. There were other gems , but you had to be there. The second talk was from the equally legendary Steve Goacher who explain how best to find the wind and use it. This promoted discussion and guidance on the use of the compass for upwind sailing. Both talks were well received and appreciated.

The overall open result went to the Dovestone duo of Andy McKee and Rich Jones, after removing the 3 teams not eligible for the series the results were a win for Simon Longstaff and Jon Denwood of the host club.

The series now moves towards the final event at Burton Sailing club near Derby on the 26th/27th September.

There are 8 boats that so far have completed the qualifying number of Opens (2). Mike Moore and Michaela Sheard head the table on 4 points followed by the Silver boat of Colin Pierce and Mandy Thackray on 5 points. Whilst 4 classics have sailed so far none have done 2 events, so there will be opportunities for any of these than go to Burton. The current series positions are attached.

Click here for results


David McKee

Waples Wines Northern Travellers – Round Up after 3 Events…!!

Waples Wines Northern Travellers Series Roundup.

Waples Wines LogoThe third event in this series for Flying Fifteens was sailed this weekend at Ogston Sailing Club near chesterfield. The change in dates had caused some confusion however in the end the competitors experienced two days of close racing and camaraderie . Saturday produced light and testing winds with constant rain. After two races the competitors voted with their feet and packed up, so the 3rd race was postponed to Sunday morning. An enjoyable evening was enhanced by the excellent meal provided by Jon and Julia ward of the host club. On Sunday the weather was considerably brighter however the winds were still light and fluky. Clear winners were Jon and Julia of the host club, with a consistent performance at the front. Mike Moore and Michaela Sheard from Bassenthwaite put in a very consistent series for second place and Colin Pierce and Mandy Thackray from Dovestone in their silver fully deserved their 3rd.

In the series so far 29 boats have competed, of these 3 are classics, 5 silvers and 21 Open boats. The competitors have represented 12 clubs which is a good cross-section of the northern fleets.

We now have 5 boats that have completed the 2 event qualification, the present series leaders are Colin Pierce and Mandy Thackray from Dovestone in 3391. There are still two events to come and all is to play for. The next event is at Bassenthwaite on the 18th/19th July. This always proves a good social and sailing event.

Click here to download a PDF file of the results

Waples Wines - round 3 2015 Sheet1

Waples Wines Northern Travellers Update….!!

Waples Wines LogoThe second event of the series was run by Royal Windermere Yacht Club last weekend alongside the Northern championships. The event provided two days of interesting sailing in good weather conditions. On Saturday competitors sailed in the Southern section of the lake and experienced lightish shifting conditions and on Sunday in the northern section of the lake in windier conditions. With good courses and a super-efficient race team allied to the usual welcome at the club this was an enjoyable event for competitors and support teams.

Waples Wines F15 GBR4033-4
After 2 events it is too early to judge who the leaders will be however setting out their stall early we already have one qualified team, previous winner Andy Goddard and son Tom from Dovestone. Currently Colin Pierce and Mandy Thackray lie first Silver and Rod Rowlands and David Hill lead the Classics. All is however still to play for. A total of 24 eligible entrants from 8 clubs have taken part in the series so far. The next event is at Ogston near Chesterfield on the 13th and 14th June. This is a good event where competitors will be made very welcome and camping is available at the club for those so inclined.

Click here to download a pdf to print

WWNT Update June 2015 Sheet1

Southerns at Burnham ….!!


Once all the boats were rigged the Burnham hospitality kicked in with free bacon rolls and coffee together with the sponsored polo tops being handed out before the briefing. Then to the racing…
Race One
Conditions could be described as ‘fresh’ with a gusty force 5/6 over a strong tide, the result being waves – which took a few by surprise. The tide initially took Charles by surprise in the first start as he popped out of the blocks just a little early while Mervyn Wright was having the other problem – trying to get back to the start! The waves on the first triangle contradicted the customary river tactic of running to the shore to get out of the tide on the reach back to the leeward mark, instead the waves in the middle of the river paid handsomely and fun was had by all after the first lap. There was some confusion over the number of laps – the PRO had displayed correctly but with flags so the chandlery was busy that night! The first three were Greg Wells, Chris Waples then Steve Goacher being crewed by Tim Harper.
Race Two
After a delay while the mark layers went to locate more ground tackle, the course was lengthened considerably to take advantage of the perfect easterly breeze for a long beat. That change in the length together with a different style of wave as the course took on more of the river, allowed for other boats to come to the fore. There were numerous place changes throughout and a real bunching at the end of lap 3. The Race Officer had put up No 4 (it was No 3 for the first race), so a few had to regroup quickly to keep their positions. The race finished – Steve Goacher in first place, then Hamish McKay with Greg Wells third. A glorious two mile run back to the marina through the moorings and the oncoming racing one design fleets on the river, kept everyone amused.

The customary beer from the back of the car for all, then off to more drinks (it just happened to coincide with Justin’s brother hosting a drinks’ party for the RCYC one design boat celebrating their 80th year) followed by supper at the Club. At some point in the evening Peter Bannister took it upon himself to toast the Class so fun was had by all.
Race Three
The wind was a just a little less maybe force 4/5, and from a different direction, so the water was flatter – would this change the boats at the top? Hamish MacKay, crewed by Andrew Lawson, took full advantage of another long beat. Who was it that said Burnham couldn’t have a beat with a Southerly? The River Crouch actually meets the River Roach that runs North to South, so perfect! MacKay and Goacher had a close battle, with Steve just taking line honours and Charles Apthorp coming third.
Race Four
Edwin Buckley, the PRO, moved the course around a bit for this race, creating different angles of attack. McKay and Goacher again rounded 1&2 at the first rounding of the windward mark and repeated as in Race 3 with a gybe set only to turn directly into a strong current. Charles and Justin sneaked off to the east shore and stole a march, leaving MacKay and Goacher desperately trying to soak down to the shore. By the third lap on the last run, Goacher with 100 yds to go, sneaked ahead leaving Charles 2nd and Justin 3rd.
Race Five
At this point the tide turned. For many this had gone unnoticed or the possible effects unnoticed. The River Roach takes on a different approach on an ebb tide, and by the second lap, those led by Justin almost caught the leading pack – if they had been nearer to begin with it might have helped some might say! The final places were the very consistent boats of Goacher from MacKay with Charles in 3rd.
To conclude, although a seemingly low turn-out, the boats came from eight clubs, the racing was very tight and of high quality and good fun, with a excellent ‘crac’ ashore. What did everyone miss? A brilliant weekend of championship racing in challenging conditions on an interesting stretch of water that rewarded thought – another time more boats could and should come along…
The final positions were:-

  1. Steve Goacher & Tim Harper – Southern Champions
  2. Hamish MacKay & Andrew Lawson
  3. Charles Apthorp & Alan Green

Top girl was Amanda Waples crewing Justin coming 6th.

A huge mention and thank you to the sponsors of the polo shirts, Phil Evans Sailing Services, Goacher Sails, Waples Wines, and Allen Brothers (who also provided hats for all, and the spot prizes too).
Click here for the full results
Justin Waples