New Year Pursuit Race Sunday 7th Jan 2018

The first event of the New Year or is it the last of the old? Either way the day was very cold with a biting and blustery East wind scudding down the lake. Wind Guru said 16 knots gusting 30 and I had no reason to doubt their accuracy.
A pursuit race is the very opposite of a normal fleet race. Instead of all the boats starting together and getting further apart, they all start at different times dependent on their allocated handicap. The slowest boat starts first and the fastest go last so that in a perfect world after the set time they should all be level. Or to look at it another way all the boats are chasing the lead boat hence it is “a pursuit race”!
Fifteen boats signed on for the race. They ranged from an Optimist through to a pair of Laser 2000s with everything else in between.  I promptly set about working out their start times and set a suitably long if somewhat complicated course. I thought 60 minutes was enough for the competitors given the conditions. The race was to start from the end of the far jetty and the race would finish wherever they were frozen in time and in what order the boats were at exactly 60 minutes after the first start.
The Clubhouse was packed with spectators, chairs lined up and a glass of mulled wine in hand. What could possibly be better than armchair sailing on a cold and very windy midwinter day like this!
Anna Edmonds, age 11 set off first in her Oppy, fighting her way down the lake against the vicious easterly gusts. I was glad I had insisted on mark 9 to starboard as a limit mark on the way out as she was making a lot of leeway and I did nor want the rescue boat following competitors into the shallows. Next to go was Sophie Larkin in her Topper, last minute boat setup on the jetty then she was off. Next to go were the the Fevas and the Miracles. Then the Laser 4.7, Comets, Magno, Solo, Radial and finally after 20 minutes the L2000s. All got away without incident.
The gusts did not let up. Anna capsized towards the end of her first lap and retired. Sophie was leading briefly but Bob Dodds had been fast from the start and had her in his sights. Jeff Smith was also sailing well and chasing Bob.
There were plenty of incidents and capsizes and a few more retirements but I could see that those taking part were enjoying the challenge. I focussed on the timing and the three lead boats as the clock ticked down…..
60 minutes, the whistle went and all headed boats ashore.

Everyone gathered afterwards back in the Clubhouse. Mulled wine and an alcohol free alternative were provided courtesy of Caroline and Adrian.

The awards were as follows:

1st    Bob Dodds         Comet
2nd    Jeff Smith         Comet
3rd    Sophie Larkin     Topper

Bravest Sailor on the day    Anna Edmonds Optimist

Best silly Hat of the Day    Mark Feltham

All in all a successful and enjoyable event. Thanks to the Safety Boat crew and Race team and to everyone who helped on the day.

Donal Roche RO.

Topper Open

Three videos of the Topper Open at the inks below:
Some still images here:

Team Racing at Bough Beech

 CMYC Race Team

On Saturday 11th March, 6 Juniors and 6 adult sailors from Crawley Mariners met at Bough Beech for the WKSSA fun team racing. WKSSA stands for Weald of Kent and Sussex Sailing Association.

The day started off with a briefing that explained about the course and the races. After, we had a team discussion about tactics and became familiar with the boats. I was quite excited as I’ve never been to Bough Beech or sailed in a Firefly before!

I was lucky enough to crew for Angus and apart from having fun he helped me as the Firefly has a different set up to the Feva, he also taught me how to roll tack, he assured me I wasn’t going to fall out of the boat!!!  

It was a slow start for the races as we were waiting for the fog to lift, we had light winds for most of the day.  Angus and I were able to practice tacking and jibing and getting used to sailing with each other.

We all managed to complete16 races throughout the day. We all did really well and Crawley Mariners Juniors came first and received a box of chocolates each.

The sun was out for most of the day so we all sat outside and had our lunch together.
It was lovely to have people come from our club to see us and support us.

I had an amazing day, thank you so much to Donal for organising the event.               Maria Townsend


the 8th January was sheduled for the Mariners Annual Pursuit Race and yours truly was conscripted as race officer. Quite a few Mariners were already thronging the Clubhouse when I arrived, no doubt attracted by the promise of mulled wine and mince pies rather than any thought of sailing. Hedgecourt lake was shrouded in mist, glassy and still. The forecast was for winds of 1 knot or less, direction variable. The reality no wind at all. Into the bin went the carefully prepared tables of start times and handicaps.

Mariners are a resourceful lot so having given up on sailing we organised two teams. The Blue team   led by Dan Gibson was pitted against the Red team led by George Colcombe. The Task was to get your team of five motley Mariners from the Western jetty to the Eastern jetty and back. The mode of transport was one Oppy and two paddles. What I had thought initially might make for some innocent diversion soon turned into a no quarters given combatative contact sport. The assorted crew sported a selection of bizzare headgear in preparation for the Funny Hat Competition later.

The racing was close throughout. The Red team eventually scraped home first looking exhausted.

Allan Pemberton won the Funny Hat competition giving a passable impression of Sideshow Bob of Simpsons fame. I will never see him in quite the same light again. Luke won the Junior hat competition and well deserved.

Funny Hat Competitors

We then retired to the Clubhouse for some Mulled wine and a selection of snacks prepared by Caroline and Adrian. Thanks to everyone who helped to make the day such a success.


Keen competition