Wayfarer Southern Area Championship 2017

Held 9th & 10th September, Datchet Water Sailing Club

(l-r) Mike Becket (DWSC Commodore) presents the Wayfarer Southern Area Championship trophy to Jamie Lea and Len Jones © Tony Cooper

Three visiting teams from as far away as Canterbury and Derby joined the growing local fleet at Datchet Water Sailing Club to compete for the Southern Area Championship. Several of the usual travellers were unavailable for a variety of reasons, but Michael McNamara made the long journey from Norfolk just to return the trophies, while David Roberts also popped in for a tea and a chat before racing began.

The weather forecast was suitably autumnal with the threat of rain on Saturday and a westerly 13-18 knots, while Sunday was predicted to be very blustery with gusts in excess of 25 knots (and increasing) in the early afternoon. In the event we had 8-15 knots on Saturday, accompanied by sun, rain and thunder. Sunday was only a little windier, and the strongest gusts and steady rain only arrived as we were all safely ashore and de-rigging our boats. Water levels in the reservoir were very low which meant that wind shadows from the wall were more extensive than usual.

The event was shared with the K1 National Championships and a Flying Fifteen Open Meeting so there were plenty of boats on the race course.

Racing started after a short delay on Saturday with three races back to back on a classic triangle/sausage course. The pattern for the weekend’s racing was set early on with Len Jones and Jamie Lea taking an early lead followed by Andrew and Tom Wilson. Racing behind these two was close with several place changes before Derek Lambert and Oliver Gore Lawrenson got the nod for third.

The second race of the day was again led from the start by Jones/Lea, although positions at the windward mark were close with Lambert/Lawrenson and the Wilsons close behind. Jones/Lea led from start to finish with the Wilsons finishing second and the Tim and Jacqueline Townsend just pipping Lambert/Lawrenson for third.

By the time the third race started the wind had increased and there was sporadic rain and claps of thunder. This time Jones/Lea and the Wilsons exchanged positions a few times during the race before Jones/Lea pulled clear to take their third win of the day. The Townsends finished third in this race too, a comfortable distance in front of the pack.

Sunday dawned with the promise of more wind than the previous day. There was more wind, true, but not as much as forecast, and the fleet generally coped well with the slightly tougher conditions. Although Jones/Lea had dominated the first day’s results, they could still theoretically be beaten if the Wilsons won all of Sunday’s races. Andrew and Tom did their very best to beat the odds by enjoying a very close fourth race with Jones/Lea; the lead changed hands several times and at the finish it was the Wilsons who took their first win of the weekend. Tony Cooper and Neil Hume got their best result of the weekend holding off the Townsends to claim third place. After a distinctly average (for them) first day this also saw a resurgence of form from Nigel and Michael O’Donnell until they had a brief inversion just after the second gybe mark while lying fifth.

The fifth race was also a humdinger. The Townsends were OCS (and took nearly two minutes to extricate themselves and return to the start!). However, at the front, it was Jones/Lea and the Wilsons going at it hammer and tongs, once again exchanging the lead several times. In the closing stages of the race the Wilsons held a slim lead but they were unable to hold off the series leaders who took a narrow win and, with it, the Championship. Lambert/Lawrenson took third in this race and went into the final race with one foot on the third step of the podium.

With the runners up spot guaranteed the Wilsons exchanged positions for the final race of the event. Rumour has it that Jones/Lea also intended to swap positions in the boat but abandoned the project after an adverse risk assessment! The race began with a general recall, but got away cleanly at the second time of asking. Jones/Lea took an early lead and led throughout. The Wilsons proved it’s all about the team (not just the helm) by taking the runners up spot from the Townsends. The O’Donnells planed across the finish line in fourth place for their best result of the weekend as the wind started to build inexorably.

Overall Jones/Lea dominated the weekend’s racing, winning five of the races, although often only after tussles with the Wilsons who secured a comfortable second place. The Townsends’ third place in the final race was enough to see them step onto the podium at the end.

This was the sixth event of the Craftinsure National Circuit and Travellers Series for the UK Wayfarer Class and the results mean that the Wilsons continue to lead although Jones/Lea have closed the gap to 0.5 points, with just two events to go. Bill Whitney and Lisa Whitney/John Shelton lie in third place but the Townsends move up to fourth overall.

Datchet Water SC put on a good event, with excellent race management and lots of assistance on the shore from students of Brunel University who helped launch and recover the boats. Club Commodore, Mike Becket, presented the prizes. Thanks to all of them, and also to Neil Hume who provided much of the material for this report.

Pos Sail No Helm Crew Club R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 Pts
1st 11067 Len Jones Jamie Lea Medway YC -1 1 1 -2 1 1 4
2nd 11093 Andrew Wilson Tom Wilson Datchet Water SC -2 -2 2 1 2 2 7
3rd 11012 Tim Townsend Jacqueline Townsend Medway YC -6 3 3 4 -6 3 13
4th 10828 Derek Lambert Oliver Gore Lawrenson Datchet Water SC 3 4 4 -7 3 -7 14
5th 10921 Tony Cooper Neil Hume Datchet Water SC 4 -5 -6 3 4 5 16
6th 10984 Nick Harris Luke Howells Datchet Water SC -7 -6 5 5 5 6 21
7th 11189 Nigel O’Donnell Michael O’Donnell Swarkestone SC 5 7 -8 -8 8 4 24
8th 9416 Scott Hamilton Bob Maddox Datchet Water SC -8 -8 7 6 7 8 28
9th 8454 Matthew Hodges Laura Hodges Datchet Water SC 9 9 (DNF) 9 -10 9 36
10th 1 Simon Etter Sue Risbridger Datchet Water SC (DNC) (DNC) DNC 10 9 10 40

Scottish Championships 2017

Left to right: Margaret & Bob Sparkes, Neil McSherry, Monica Schaefer

The Scottish Nationals took place September 2nd & 3rd in beautiful Loch Lomond in bright warm sunshine. After a slightly delayed start Saturday (waiting on wind), 2 races were run in a nice breeze, with the defending champion & visitor from Ireland – W11152 Monica Schaefer & Neil Mc Sherry – in first position overnight with 2 points, followed by W6117 Bob & Margaret Sparkes from Loch Lomond SC on 5 points, and Peter & Isla Harper on 6 points. ...read more

Southerns – Day Two

Day two at Datchet had a forecast of increasing and backing winds potentially peaking at 25 knots plus. In the event, the strongest winds held off until we were mostly ashore and the rain joined in as we were packing the boats away. There was only one inversion to report – for Nigel and Michael O’Donnell who parked their boat temporarily just after the gybe mark while they inspected the polished finish of their hull. As with Saturday the first two places were dominated by Len Jones and Jamie Lea, and Andrew and Tom Wilson. They had some good match racing. A respectful distance behind them, a number of boats had close racing with Tim and Jacqueline Townsend (especially) ruining a couple of starts by demonstrating distinctly average starting skills and then having to show some reasonable powers of recovery.

Results (top four)
1st Len Jones and Jamie Lea (MYC)- 4pts
2nd Andrew and Tom Wilson (DWSC) – 7pts
3rd Tim and Jacqueline Townsend (MYC) – 13pts
4th Derek Lambert and Oliver Gore Lawrenson (DWSC) – 14pts

Full report and results now published here and on Y&Y.com.

– Tim Townsend

2017 Racing Trophy Winners to date

Winners of this year’s racing trophies can be seen here.

There is both the SplashAway and Finale at Bough Beech still to go, where the National Circuit Champions will be decided.  Please see our racing calendar for more details.

Southerns – Day One

Day 1 at Datchet had a bit of everything; a bit of sun, a bit of rain, a bit of thunder; winds from the west or thereabouts and everything from 7-15 knots.

The turnout was a little low but several of the regular travellers were otherwise engaged.

Len Jones and Jamie Lea from Medway YC had three bullets to lead overnight followed by locals Andrew and Tom Wilson. Tim and Jacqueline Townsend from Medway YC complete the overnight podium.

Tomorrow’s forecast is for more wind….a lot more. We shall see.

– Tim Townsend

Wayfarer Easterns – Day Two

Day two at the Easterns brought slightly lighter winds, although by race 6 the winds had piped up to about 20 knots – enough to cause some to capsize.

Racing all day was very close, sometimes too close. (I always thought sailing was supposed to be a non-contact sport). ...read more

Wayfarer Easterns – Results & Full Report

The results from the 2017 Wayfarer Easterns are on the Medway Yacht Club website, linked here.

Tim Townsend’s Full Report is now on Yachts & Yachting’s website linked here.

Wayfarer Easterns – Day One

23 entries at Medway YC enjoyed three windward-leeward races in a force four south-westerly – enough to prompt a bit of swimming (not, somewhat surprisingly, Len Jones and Jamie). ...read more


Our friends at Yachts & Yachting have just published a report from the recent L’Escargot Trophy held at Aldeburgh YC, written by Olivia & Ben Davies. Why not take a look – here.


Photo c/o Sue Blessett

There was no more sailing on day three of the Nationals, so the day two results represent the final standings – Michael McNamara and Simon Townsend are therefore the 2017 UK National Champions!

Full report and more photos on Y&Y website linked here.


Another day, another weather system. Saturday brought very hot sunshine, blue skies and a one hour postponement to allow a 7-9 knot sea breeze to kick in. Because the wind forecast for Sunday was for less wind again the schedule was changed so that four races were sailed. ...read more


Day one at Arun brought sunshine and 10-15mph winds from the west as forecast (apart from a wibbly-wobbly bit of wind halfway through the second points race which turned some of the positions upside-down). ...read more


Wayfarer Inland & Junior Championships, NCS#2, 27-28 May 2017

N.B. – Tim’s full write-up is now on Yachts & Yachting’s website, linked here.

Day One in summary:-

Four races were sailed today because the forecast for Sunday is for very light winds.

Conditions for Saturday can best be described as attritional. Very gusty. Many capsizes. Lots of weed, which was frustrating for some… ...read more


William Cowper dominates at West Oxfordshire

(Also published on yachtsandyachting.com)

An encouraging fleet of 21 Wayfarers from 10 clubs met up at West Oxfordshire Sailing Club on 22nd and 23rd April for the UKWA Western Area Championships 2017 and the first event of the Craftinsure National Circuit and Travellers Series. There were new faces on the circuit as well as old faces with new boats. ...read more


2016 National Circuit Series Results


The last of the National Circuit Series events took place at Bough Beech over the weekend of November 12/13. ...read more

Congratulations to Len Jones and Jamie Lea…

Congratulations to Len Jones and Jamie Lea on winning the Finale at Bough Beech 12-13 November!

...read more

Results from The Splashaway Trophy, held at UTSC 8-9 October 2016

Warmest congratulations to Andrew Wilson and Sue Risbridger for winning the Splashaway Trophy. ...read more