Greta Plowman, 99¾ not out!

Greta Plowman, in ‘Sea Urchin’ (W1981)

“My wonderful grandmother Greta Plowman will turn 100 this May!

Back in the 1970’s she and my grandfather Piers built and then sailed their wooden Wayfarer ‘Sea Urchin’ (W1981) along the canals of England, the coast of Britain and as their confidence grew, the Friesian and Baltic coasts.

I grew up hearing stories about being quarantined in Gdynia harbour during the Solidarity strike; of Sea Urchin being stoved-in by a large cruiser in a tiny Dutch harbour; hitching a ride back to England on a Polish freighter; and of nearly sinking in Jack Sound, off Skomer, when wind against tide created ferocious overfalls! They were contemporaries and friends of the Dyes but mostly favoured a gentler style of cruising!

Greta may have aged since those adventures but this has not dimmed her sense of fun and adventure. In her 99th year she has just tried indoor climbing for the very first time. Sea Urchin (W1981), who incidentally is celebrating her 60th birthday this year, is still going strong too and is being sailed by the third and fourth generation of Plowmans.

I am looking for any Wayfarer Association members who may have known Greta as we are hoping to bring together friends from her past and we would very much like to recognise and incorporate her sailing achievements into her 100th birthday celebrations in May.

If anyone remembers her fondly and would like to attend please do get in touch [[email protected]]. Equally if you have anyone has any photos of her, Piers, or ‘Sea Urchin’ I would be hugely grateful if you would be willingly to share these.”

-Fay Kenworthy (Greta’s granddaughter)

Revised NoR for NC & Tr Series Races

A minor amendment has been issued to the Notice of Race document for the National Circuit and Travellers’ Series 2019, which now includes paragraphs 14 and 15 (rights, copyright, data protection). The updated document can be found here.

Classified Ad Shenanigans

More foolishness recently from would-be scammers in response to our classified ads, regrettably. Advertisers, please ignore any approaches from someone using the email address [email protected] – any contact would probably be counter-productive.

– Web Team

RYA Dinghy Show Promo Video

The RYA has recently released a promotional video which you can access via this link. The show itself is of course on the 2nd/3rd March at Alexandra Palace, London.

UKWA members will be aware that our AGM is to be held on Saturday 2nd March at the same venue, at 4pm. More details via the top menu, AGM button.

CraftInsure National Circuit and Travellers’ Series 2019 – amended Notice of Race

An amended version of the Notice of Race for the Craftinsure National Circuit and Travellers’ Series 2019 has been published and is available on the websiteThere is no change to the events but simply an addition to the supporters of the end of season prize draw. P & B have come onboard and will be donating a couple of great prizes (a holdall and a mast bag have been discussed). more

Cruising Conference Nearly Full!

Please note that there are only four places remaining at this year’s Cruising Conference (as of Tuesday 5th). We’ll start a waiting list once the last few places are taken, but obviously it’s best to book now rather than take a chance…

Internationals Bookings Page Now Live

Members planning to attend this summer’s Internationals in Ireland may be interested to know that the booking section on the Greystones Sailing Club website (linked here) is now live.

Entry forms can be downloaded from here on the UKWA site by following this link (opens in new tab). more

Ullswater Dates Confirmed

Image links to event pageWe can now confirm dates for this year’s Family Gathering at Ullswater. They are the 4th to the 10th August. This is slightly earlier than usual, preceding Ullswater Yacht Club’s Family Week so that those who wish to stay on longer can do so. We will be sending out booking forms just as soon as we have amended pricing. As per last year, tents can stay on the UYC site, whilst camper vans will be able to use the facilities at Cross Dormont, over the road from the club with its spectacular views over the lake.

To help improve communication this year, we have set up a public Facebook page to keep everyone up to date. Please do follow us and share our page, linked here.

We would also like to use the FB page to share videos and pictures from the Gathering and helpful tips for new sailors. If you have anything from previous years we would love to display them. more

Twin Spinnaker Poles Video

A link to a video showing the use of twin spinnaker poles and guys on a Wayfarer has recently been added to the Racing Videos section of the website.

The page currently lists 8 videos, all relevant to Wayfarer sailing.

2019 AGM documentation

In anticipation of our 61st Annual General Meeting, the 2018 minutes, 2019 agenda, Treasurer’s Report, nominees’ CVs, voting slips and UKWA subscription renewal forms are all now available (via the ‘AGM’ button on the main menu).

The AGM itself is to be held during the RYA Dinghy Show, Room Palm Court 5, Alexandra Palace, London, on Saturday 2 March, doors open: 15.30 hrs, meeting begins: 16.00 hrs. Please do join us on the day, especially if you are attending the Dinghy Show. If you are a member and would like a hard copy posted to you (or if you know of such a person), please send an A4 large letter SAE to: Sarah Burgess, UKWA, PO Box 10687, Colchester, CO5 8XJ

Watermouth Bay & Lundy Rally date change

Please note that the date of the Watermouth Bay/Lundy rally has been changed – it will now take place on the weekend of 6/7/8 September. Apologies for any inconvenience.

Classified Ads – Caution

Recently there was yet a further round of unwelcome activity in response to classified ads on our website. It was Andree Attwenger, again – ignore him!

Also, if you have been contacted by someone with the email address [email protected] please do not reply – he is not a genuine buyer.

International Rally update

Please note that the page with details of this year’s International Rally has recently been tweaked – to reflect the current level of demand vs. the number of places available. (There is very limited space on this rally!)

UKWA Annual General Meeting 2019

Come and join us at our 61st Annual General Meeting held during the RYA Dinghy Show, Room Palm Court 5, Alexandra Palace, London, on Saturday 2 March.

Doors open: 15.30 hrs Meeting begins: 16.00 hrs.

Full agenda and other details have now been published. more

Cruising Conference 2019

Details and application forms for the 2019 UKWA Cruising Conference are now available here.

It’s a popular event – get your application in early!

Wayfarer Class Racing Review 2018

(Article by Tim Townsend, originally published on

60th Anniversary Wayfarer Nationals at Castle Cove © Richard White

2018 has seen another good year of racing for the Wayfarer Class. The programme included class racing at several large and well established summer regattas as well as a wide ranging schedule of domestic championships and open meetings headlined by the 60th Anniversary National Championships which were hosted by Castle Cove SC during the first weekend of June. more

2019 Racing Calendar

An amended Racing Calendar for 2019 has been posted here. Changes include the new Wilsonian River Challenge at Wilsonian SC on 1/2 June and an open meeting for the Harris Bowl at Hickling Broad SC on 12th October.

The Wilsonian River Challenge is a new event and forms part of the Great British Sailing Challenge – essentially a year round extension of the SailJuice Winter Series, which has been running for the last decade. More details of the GBSC can be found here. We understand the Wilsonian River Challenge will take the place of the annual Medway Dinghy Regatta (which has been deleted from the Racing Calendar) and is likely to be well supported by Wayfarers because of the Wilsonian SC’s own Wayfarers and the fleet at nearby Medway YC.

The open meeting at Hickling Broad SC is a one day event which was run for the first time in 2018. If you are keen to compete in an open meeting and come from the Broads area or East Anglia or don’t feel you are ready yet for the National Circuit Series I would commend this event to you. In 2018 it was friendly, relaxed, and was sailed on a beautiful nature reserve – what’s not to like?

(The National Circuit and Travellers Series events are highlighted in yellow on the racing calendar).

-Tim Townsend

RYA Dinghy Show 2019 – UKWA members’ discount

Logged-in UKWA members will be able to see (below the RYA banner) a paragraph giving details of how to obtain a 10% discount off the price of tickets for the 2019 Dinghy Show (which coincides with our AGM):-

W198 Nipegegi – Round Britain 2019

Will Hodshon and Richard Mitchel are attempting to be the first ever team to circumnavigate mainland Britain non-stop and unassisted in an open sailing dinghy, and in the process they’re also hoping to beat the outright fastest open sailing dinghy round Britain record.

Their vessel of choice is of course a Wayfarer and they are working very hard on their beloved MK1 ‘Nipegegi’ W198 over the winter, with the hope of her emerging in the spring like a new boat and ready for further trials before Will and Rich’s provisional start date of the 7th June 2019.

If you’d like to find more about the project check out their website at – it’s full of content detailing all aspects of the attempt, including their 1/5 round Britain summer trial and a link to their new tracking site containing the finalised round Britain route, which incidentally is also the outline of their logo.

While wishing Will and Rich every success  with their circumnavigation, the UKWA wishes to emphasise the degree of difficulty envisaged in this trip and to remind non Wayfarer sailing people who may visit our website not to expect to be able to just buy a Wayfarer and do the same trip.

2018 Season Finale at Bough Beech SC

Wayfarer Finale at Bough Beech decides Craftinsure National Circuit Series © Tim Townsend

The Wayfarer Finale sailed at Bough Beech SC over the weekend of 10/11 November 2018 proved to be a fitting end to the UKWA’s racing programme for the year. Eighteen teams congregated in the dinghy park on Saturday morning just in time for rain to ease. The forecast was for a SSW breeze on both days, perfect for the orientation of the lake; at 16-25 mph on Saturday and 18-30 mph on Sunday. In the event the wind was lighter than forecast on both days although there were some juicy gusts on Sunday which troubled a few boats.

The open meeting was billed as the winner-takes-all shootout to decide the Craftinsure National Circuit Series between Andrew and Tom Wilson who had led the series for many months and Michael McNamara and Simon Townsend, the only crew with a chance of catching them. As usual, a strong fleet had assembled at Bough Beech and there were several boats looking to win the open meeting if not the overall series. Andrew and Tom did all they could. They led the fleet at the first mark in all four races. However, the gods conspired against them and eventually it was Michael and Simon who enjoyed a clean sweep of wins and with them victory in the open meeting and in the National Circuit Series. more

Bough Beech Finale – interim summary

Saturday night at Bough Beech saw heavy rain and the promise of stronger winds for Sunday. There was a bit of drama during racing. McNamara/Townsend won race 3 from the Wilsons which sewed up the meeting. Dave Roberts contrived to crash into the BBSC new committee boat which was at anchor. Race 4 saw the strongest winds of the weekend which involved a rain squall during one of the beats (which did for Mark and Jane Lee who went for a swim and for Andrew Wilson who fell out of his boat closely followed by his broken tiller extension) and a meaty and extended gust during one of the runs (I sat absolutely still and prayed it would finish before I had to stand up and take down the spinnaker….it did).

Full report now live…

-Tim Townsend

Day 1 at the Bough Beech Finale

The weather at Bough Beech didn’t turn out quite as forecast. The direction was right allowing two races on a trapezoid course with a long beat and run but the wind strength was not as strong as forecast, probably peaking at 17-18mph and averaging 12-15mph. 18 boats came to the start line. The Wilsons crossed the finish line at the end of race 1 to the sound of silence handing the win to Mike McNamara and Simon Townsend. McNamara/Townsend won the second race too but were pushed all the way by a clutch of boats led by the Wilsons, Bill Whitney and John Shelton, and Guy Marks and Mel Titmus.

Top six at the end of the first day:
1st McNamara/Townsend, (2 points)
2nd Martin and Donna Rouse-Collen 8)
3rd Marks/Titmus (8)
4th Whitney/Shelton (9)
5th Brian Lamb/Sam Pygall (10)
6th Richard Stone/Catherine Gore (12)

The Wilsons are languishing in an unaccustomed 11th overall but two great results tomorrow could still see them in with a chance of victory.

-Tim Townsend

Wayfarer Open (The Finale) at Bough Beech SC (preview)

Craftinsure Wayfarer 2017 Finale at Bough Beech © Martyn Smith

With apologies to John Clare for ruining his perfectly good poem about Autumn! more

Bough Beech SC Craftinsure NCS Season Finale

Please find linked here the NoR for the season-ending Craftinsure National Circuit Series event number 8 to be held at Bough Beech SC on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th November 2018.

(The document should begin downloading automatically if you click on the blue linked text).

Craftinsure National Circuit Round 7 at Swarkstone SC (report)

Wayfarers at Swarkestone © Tim Hand

A small but select fleet of Wayfarers sailors met at Swarkestone SC, just south of Derby, for their inaugural Wayfarer Open Meeting over the weekend of 6/7 October 2018. This was also event seven of the Craftinsure National Circuit and Travellers Series.

The wind was cold and from the North (not the best direction for the lake). It was also very wet, both the journey and rigging the boat. The good news is that the wind was not as venomous as forecast and the welcome was warm.

The course to be sailed was an upside down W with a shortish beat in the best wind on the lake from the start and included a long reach along the south shore where judicious use of the spinnaker would sometimes pay off.

Three races were sailed on Saturday afternoon, all won by the Wilsons. Brian Lamb/Sam Pygall lay second overnight with Mike and Carl Weighill in third. Second to fifth places were close overnight, so all was to play for with two races scheduled for Sunday.

The fleet enjoyed a very good meal, free beer and live music in the clubhouse on Saturday evening before dispersing to their various camper vans, motorhomes and hotels. more

International Rally, September 2018 (report)

Wayfarer International Rally on the Norfolk Broads © Terry Cook

Wayfarer International Rally on the Norfolk Broads © Terry Cook

Report by Merrin Froggett:-

Wayfarer sailors from eight nations gathered in Norfolk last week for the Wayfarer International Rally 2018. Organiser and UK Wayfarer International Committee representative, Ralph Roberts, saw his target of 100 participants exceeded as 114 people took to the water in the fleet of 40 Wayfarers, one Norfolk half-decker and a cruiser making this the biggest ever Wayfarer International Rally.

It was a fitting climax to the season in which the centenary of designer Ian Proctor is being celebrated coinciding with the 60th anniversary of his design for the Wayfarer.

Sailors from USA, Canada, Netherlands, Denmark, Poland and France joined with those from Ireland and the UK to experience the wetland habitat of the Norfolk Broads. The fleet relished the challenges presented by sailing twisting, narrow and reed lined rivers, tidal flows, low bridges, river traffic and sudden wind gusts between trees and buildings. more

Southern Area Championship at Medway Yacht Club

Wayfarer Southern Areas at Medway YC © Richard Janulewicz /

Wayfarer Southern Areas at Medway YC © Richard Janulewicz /

For a good championship, you need some help from nature and fortunately, the weather was fair on the river Medway over the weekend of the 8-9th September for the Wayfarer Southern Area Championships hosted by the Medway Yacht Club and forming part of the Craftinsure National Circuit and Travellers Series.

Few boats had registered by the preceding week but by the Saturday morning, 22 had entered the event with a strong competitive fleet with missing only the current European and National Champion, Michael McNamara who was already committed to a local Wayfarer Rally in Norfolk.

Saturday dawned with bright skies and a WSW wind of between 10-18mph. Jamie Blair, the Race Officer and his team set a course in Long Reach past the site of the old and now demolished Kingsnorth Power Station. more