WAYFARER EUROS 2021 POSTPONED
Medway YC is obviously disappointed not to be hosting the regatta but postponing it until travel is less restricted and the virus is better controlled/more people have been vaccinated was the only sensible decision in all the circumstances.
This decision only affects the European Championships. The UK National Championships which were to be held alongside the Euros will be going ahead as planned from 5-8 August.
If you are planning to enter the Nationals but haven’t yet done so could you please email the UKWA Racing Secretary, Tim Townsend at [email@example.com] so that the organisers at Medway YC can have a better idea of numbers.
UK Nationals – Medway YC 5-8 Aug (NB – not now the Europeans)
All the necessary documents, online entry and a paper form (if required) can be found on the Medway YC website, linked here (opens in a new browser tab, where appropriate).
Easterns Champs at Waldringfield 10/11 July (Report)
After a long delay and more cups of tea than the average Wayfarer sailor can cope with, our PRO somewhat reluctantly ventured out in the committee boat to test the conditions. Us locals, seeing the concerned faces of our visitors, said something to the effect of “Don’t worry he won’t take us out in this – he’ll be back soon enough” which was a good way of guaranteeing the postponement flag came down as we were called to the start area towards the Tips. So the only race on Saturday got away at the first time of asking into a fickle fair tide beat followed by some painfully slow reaches and runs back against the tide where you could just about get the spinnaker to set but it certainly paid to sail extra distance to tuck in out of the tide. As it happens it was a good decision to take us racing – a two way tussle for the lead took place between Mike MacNamara and Simon Townsend and Andrew and Tom Wilson with the former eventually prevailing to set the (perhaps predictable) form book for the weekend. That was it as far as sailing on Saturday was concerned, but a good barbecue under the gazebos to avoid the rain, followed by some fine local Adnams kept visitors from pitching their tents until it was probably rather darker than they might have earlier planned.
Fortunately Sunday dawned beautiful – wall to wall sunshine was back and some nice clouds bubbling up inland as a sign that the sea breeze was coming. As the morning progressed the sunshine disappeared again but not before a reasonable SE breeze had filled in – maybe 10 knots but shifter than a shifty thing as Waldringfield is famed for.
Races 2 and 3 saw some very difficult beats against the tide to a Pink windward mark in the Galleons area but oh how the wind seemed to head and die as we tacked out from the bank towards the mark in the stronger tide leaving us stranded in the middle….well that’s what it felt like to us, but somehow Mike Mac and Simon seemed to sniggle their way around the mark unhindered in each race and so pull out a decent lead to take 2 more bullets. The beats were very tricky indeed – sometimes (in fact most of the times) it paid nicely to short tack up the Waldringfield shore but then just occasionally (and often enough to tempt some of us) taking a lift out into the adverse tide paid dividends provided the wind gods looked favourably and gave you a nice big header to tack on. Whatever the Wilsons bagged two more seconds but were chased hard by Roger Challis and Mark Johnston in race 2 and Neil Collingridge and Anne Spalding in race 3. The mental torment of playing snakes and ladders was mercifully relieved by the PRO giving us a short break ashore for some lunch before heading out for one final race.
Mike Mac and Simon had wrapped things up nicely by now with 3 firsts and clearly not enough time to get more than race in before the cut off to get us home to watch the football – we should have not bothered of course! But Mike and Simon, as successful as they are, sail for the sheer fun of it and so led off the fleet for a final race around a slightly wonky trapezoid incorporating Waldringfield’s half submerged island. The Deben was wonderfully full, as was the sun which had come back out to play and we didn’t have to do all that tiresome short tacking as by now the tide was on the turn. This time Mike and Simon and Neil and Anne pulled out a good sized lead on the rest of the fleet (some of whom parked up on the aforementioned half submerged island) but try as they might Neil and Anne couldn’t find a way past. Rarely more than a few boat lengths apart and after some hectic gybing antics going into the final leeward, Mike and Simon held on to make it a clean sweep of victories for the weekend. We tried but it wasn’t enough!
So that was that. Tea and prizegiving – Mike and Simon went off with armfuls of excellent silverware which dates right back to the Wayfarer’s early days in the late 50’s. Andrew and Tom Wilson secured second overall and Neil and Anne were third and won the first Waldringfield boat trophy. Matthew Lake and Rachel Parkinson won the prize for first classic Wayfarer and Liz Feibusch and Will Cleverley took home the trophy for first female helm. Mike Mac, who’s funnily enough pretty good at it by now, gave the traditional winners’ “Thank-you” speech to the various people from Waldringfield and the Club who pulled together for another excellent event.
Next up are the Wayfarer Europeans and Nationals at Medway Yacht Club in mid-August. The fleet always gets a cracking welcome at this long-time Wayfarer stronghold and there’s plenty of optimism than numbers of entries will continue to rise as the fleet emerges from its enforced hibernation.
NB – results table included with this report on Racing Results page (linked here)
Battle of the Hikers – July 24th & 25th Rutland Sailing Club
We’ve come up with what we believe should be an innovative and hopefully a thoroughly enjoyable event, by the end of which, we hope to determine exactly who is:
- The Singlehanded Champion of the Hikers
- The Doublehanded Champion of the Hikers
No foils, no keels, no trapeze and no sliding seats. Hikers only (PY: 940 – 1210) and we’d be grateful if you could promote this event to the members of the Wayfarer Class Association.
We now have the entry form up and running on the web:
Many thanks and great sailing!
–Simon Stonehouse, Rutland Sailing Club Sailing Committee Member.
Southern Area Championship at Shoreham Sailing Club – Report
A premium selection of Wayfarers arrived at Shoreham, expecting the usual huge waves. These included Michael McNamara/Simon Townsend and Andrew Wilson, fresh from their tussle at the Westerns at Arun YC.
Owing to an unexplained broken toe incident, Andrew’s usual crew, son Tom, was replaced by his brother Martin, on a transfer from the RS400 fleet. Other contenders arrived from Swarkestone, Maldon and Bough Beech, with local Shoreham boys Bill Whitney/John Shelton joining the fray.
Saturday turned out to be a damp squib, with a light easterly, and a humongous 6.6 metre tide, which was bound to upset things. Race officer Megan Pascoe took us well out to sea, and in the first race, McNamara/Townsend hit the front, followed by Whitney/Shelton and the Wilsons, and the order remained until the last reach, when the Shoreham crew attempted a high-scoring windward bag spinnaker launch, which inevitably ended in tears, allowing the Wilsons through to second place.
With the wind dropping and a big shift out to sea, the same trio were seen to be at the front, but on arriving at the first leeward mark, the wind dropped, and a frantic and gripping drift against the tide ensued. The Wilsons maintained their lead, and an impressive drifting performance by Martyn Hare/Steve Perkins from Blackwater SC took them past McNamara to claim second place. The race committee had by that time filled their bucket with sufficient mackerel, so the fleet was towed back into the harbour....read more
With the prospect of four races on Sunday, the crews stocked up on bangers and mash from the elite catering crew, and Ivan kept the bar stocked. You can never have enough carbs.
The diet obviously awakened the Shoreham weather god from his slumber, and Sunday dawned with a brisk north-easterly 4 gusting 5 – that’s more like Wayfarer weather!
In the first race of the day, a good tussle was had up the beat, with the Wilsons rounding first, choosing to wait until there was consensus on hoisting the kite. McNamara started the invidious trend from second place, forcing the rest of the fleet to give it a go – we were racing after all. With the gusts and waves, it was a tough business, but McNamara pulled through, followed by the Wilsons and Whitney/Shelton.
The wind moderated slightly for race four, and the Wilsons hit the front and extended their lead throughout the race, coming in ahead of McNamara/ Townsend, while the Shoreham heavies were trying another unusual high-risk move, involving a spinnaker, the leeward mark, and another boat which may or may not have been on port (or maybe starboard), which let a delighted Dave Roberts/Mike Bryant from Bough Beech through to snag third place at the last minute.
The wind backed to the left, and after the marks had been efficiently moved by the race team, it was away, and again the Wilsons showed impressive speed to stay ahead for the bulk of the race. Could this at last have been Andrew’s chance to beat his nemesis? Well, probably not by going to the wing mark, instead of down the last run, and McNamara lived up to his boat name by poaching the win, and sealing the championship. Third place was a tussle between Roberts and Whitney with the latter stealing the biscuits at the last mark.
Not vintage Shoreham conditions, but the racing was great, and the race committee, helped out by William Warren and Chris Handel, was a well-oiled machine. Not forgetting thanks to the rescue boat crews and onshore trolley dollies, who all added to a successful event.
- 1st 10648 The Poacher Michael McNamara/Simon Townsend (Rollesby Broad SC) 5pts
- 2nd 11093 Restless Andrew Wilson/Martin Wilson (Datchet Water SC) 6pts
- 3rd 10688 Big Dipper Bill Whitney/John Shelton (Shoreham SC) 13pts
2021 Western Area Championship – Report
When I was a nipper, every racing day was a champagne sailing day. The warming sun always shone and was high in the sky. The water sparkled. The sea breeze checked in like clockwork. It may be that is just a rose tinted memory. However, in times of need, I would sail in less than perfect conditions if I must.
After a period of over 18 months since the last UKWA Wayfarer travellers event, Covid restrictions had eased enough to allow the Western Area Championships 2021 (and Craftinsure National Circuit and Travellers event) at Arun YC on the 22nd and 23rd of May to go ahead. A number of boats had contacted the organising Club and indicated an intention to complete. After all the time waiting however it was the weather which did not play ball. With a forecast of 40+ knots on Friday and 30+ knots on Sunday, a window of opportunity appeared on Saturday and Arun YC put the word out that the event would proceed as planned....read more
In the event, the drive from East Kent to Littlehampton was wet and windy but by the time we arrived at the Club the wind was dropping even if the air was still more than damp. The Club decided to proceed with the open meeting as a one day event, sailing four races back-to-back. The weather put paid to a full attendance of boats and only seven hardy teams, from seven different clubs, signed on. The fleet was strong, however, including two of the top three boats from the International Championships in 2019.
To be fair, rigging the boat was a tad chilly. The welcome we received from the Club was warm enough, however. Rigging and struggling into rarely used sailing kit was followed by a socially distanced briefing and then off we toddled to take part in the four races off the West Sussex coast.
The wind was broadly westerly in direction. It shifted as much as 15 degrees either side of a mean which meant that the race team had to reset the course between each race, but they did that as quickly as they could so hanging around between races was kept to a minimum. The wind strength varied between 5 and 20+ knots during the day but typically was 10 to 15 knots. We had rain, we had icy rain, and we had a sky which ranged in colour from grey to leaden. I don’t remember seeing any sun and the water didn’t sparkle. The conditions were a challenge as they changed all the time. At the windward mark in one race the wind was so soft the boats were hardly moving. On the other hand, at times we were able to have a blasting three sail reach, planing across the waves.
With a small fleet, general recalls were never going to happen. In fact there was only one overenthusiastic dunderhead who was OCS in any of the races; but that is all right, I enjoy peeling off back to the start line and playing catch up.
In each race, the fleet effectively split itself in two parts. Michael McNamara and Simon Townsend and Andrew and Tom Wilson were generally at the front while the rest of the fleet raced as a separate group, a respectful distance behind the leaders. David Roberts and Mike Bryant and the Townsends did manage to keep up with the leading pair from time to time but were unable to sustain the same pace as the leaders for a whole race.
Michael and Simon won races 1 and 2 with the Wilsons runners up in each. In race 3, the Wilsons led at the first windward mark and maintained their lead throughout setting up a winner takes all final race. In the event, Michael and Simon led at the first mark of race 4 and maintained their lead until Andrew and Tom capsized at the final gybe mark, thereby securing the win they needed to take the event overall.
David and Mike pipped the Townsends for third place overall. Locals, Paul Hughes and Mark Nicholls, finished fifth on count back from John Goudie and Sam Boniface. The fleet was propped up by Nigel and Belinda O’Donnell who capsized during race 2 and retired with dignity to the bar.
Apart from those who towed their boats to Littlehampton behind their country cottages and planned to stay overnight, the rest of us went home after the prize-giving and fish and chip supper. Many thanks to David Robinson and all at Arun YC for putting on the event in difficult circumstances. Thanks also to Paisley Thompson and her team for setting good courses and running the racing so efficiently. Congratulations to Michael and Simon for becoming the Wayfarer Western Area Champions once again.
In the end, it wasn’t champagne sailing as I remember it, but it was racing, close racing at that, and it was good to be back.
1st, Michael McNamara and Simon Townsend, 10648 (RBSC) 3pts
2nd, Andrew and Tom Wilson, 11093 (DWSC) 5pts
3rd, David Roberts and Mike Bryant, 10673 (BBSC) 9pts
4th, Tim and Jacqueline Townsend, 11012 (MYC) 11pts
5th, Paul Hughes and Mark Nicholls, 11129 (AYC) 15pts
6th, John Goudie and Sam Boniface, 11118 (WSC) 15pts
7th, Nigel and Belinda O’Donnell, 11282 (SSC) 22pts
Chichester Harbour Race Week
After a year off due to COVID, Chichester Harbour race week is back on for 9th-13th August 2021. The regatta is one of the largest sailing dinghy regattas in the country and with many people choosing to take their holidays in the UK this year, it is expected to produce a bumper turnout of over 400 boats. Based out of Hayling Island Sailing club, there is class racing for Fireballs, Flying Fifteens, D-Zeros, Aeros, Finns, RS200s, Foiling Moths, Solos, Lasers, RS Fevas, RS Teras and RS Elites as well as fast, medium and slow handicaps. A strong fleet is also expected for the asymmetric handicap....read more
For the first time ever there is a start for cruisers racing out in the bay under national handicaps. The inter-club team trophy is keenly fought with the top 5 boats selected from each of the harbour clubs and several visiting clubs.
Off the water, the regatta has become well known for its social events. This year promises a steel band and beach barbecue, beer and skittles at the beautiful old mill-house at Emsworth Slipper SC, a pub quiz at Mengeham Rythe SC, and the perennial Hayling Island Sailing Club disco.
Entries are limited to 425 boats, with online entries opening on 1st May.
Medway YC to host the Wayfarer UK National & European Championships 2021
Medway Yacht Club is delighted to be hosting the Wayfarer UK National and European Championships, 5-8 August 2021. Racing will take place on the wide stretches of the tidal River Medway below Gillingham over four days and with great social events planned for the evenings.
The Club is delighted that the event is being supported by Hartley Boats, McNamara Sails, Craftinsure, Shepherd Neame and Wayfarer Wines.
Entry to the Championships is limited to 65 boats. The Club is planning to welcome entries from Denmark, Ireland, France and the Netherlands as well as mainland UK. There is an early bird discount entry fee and a guarantee return of prepaid entry fees if the Championships are cancelled for Covid reasons....read more
The front of the fleet will be very competitive with multi-class champions in the fleet. Michael McNamara and Simon Townsend, the current, UK National, European and International Wayfarer Champions will head up the entry list. However, this is an event for all Wayfarer sailors, whatever their racing expertise or experience, and there will be prizes for silver and bronze fleet sailors as well as the perpetual trophies for race winners.
This year, there will be a new trophy presented at the UK National Championships by the Hodshon family who own the Round Britain record-breaking Wayfarer, Nipegegi. This trophy will be awarded to the crew of the best placed boat with a sail number below 10506. Nipegegi, which has won the UK National Championships several times over the years, will be back in full race trim this summer and competing at the Championships. Her crew will be hoping to be the first winner of this new trophy.
Entry to the Championships is already open. More information can be found on the event page on the Medway YC website .
The Wayfarer is the classic all round sailing dinghy from the pen of Ian Proctor. Thousands of sailors have learned to sail in a Wayfarer and it was for many years the dinghy of choice for sailing schools. The boat is cruised by enthusiasts around Europe and North America. However, in its latest form the Wayfarer has a contemporary Phil Morrison designed interior and fit-out and lends itself to being raced competitively in a wide range of conditions.
Wayfarer National and European Championships
Chichester Harbour Race Week 2021
Dates: August 9th to 13th
Venue: Hayling Island Sailing Club
Online entries are open from the 1st May, with an early-bird discount up to 30 June. In addition to the class starts listed, if there are ten or more boats entered in a class by 31 July then you will get your own class prizes.
We offer class and handicap racing – it’s a fantastic event with flat water and undisturbed wind in the beautiful surroundings of Chichester harbour. We had 310 boats and 484 competitors last time it was run. With lots of people taking their holidays in the UK it promises to be a bumper year this time around. Should the event be cancelled due to COVID restrictions, then rest assured that a full refund will be given.
It is all laid on for you, with bands, beer and skittles, pub quiz, and the infamous HISC disco.
Craftinsure National Circuit & Travellers Trophy Series 2021 NoR
2021 Racing Calendar
The racing calendar for 2021 is now posted here. There is a full and varied racing programme organised for next year, all, of course, subject to some normality returning to our lives and the success of vaccine(s) and other measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic. The racing ranges from the National/European Championships, regional Championships and National Circuit events at one end of the scale to one day relaxed open meetings and family race weeks where Wayfarers compete at the other. There should be something for everybody.
The National Circuit and Travellers Series events are marked on the calendar as NCS FW denoting an inland non-tidal venue or NCS SW denoting an event which will be held in salt water on the sea, a tidal river or estuary. The National Circuit will consist of nine events in 2021 rather than the usual eight. The extra event is to cover the possibility of an event being lost to the pandemic. The Notice of Race for the National Circuit Series will be posted on the website in the next few weeks.
The Racing Calendar is a live document so please keep an eye on it. We will add other events to it as soon as we are notified of them.
Waldringfield Sailing Club’s 2021 Centenary
In celebration the club will welcome visitors to the following:
- The Centenary Easter Egg open meeting, on Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd of April
- The Centenary Cartoon open meeting, on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th of September
John Haile, WSC Wayfarer Captain