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Plas Menai 2015

Vane 36R Woods Cup Trophy at Fleetwood Model Yacht Club

by Tony Wilson on 3 Apr 1 April 2017

What no batteries? Well actually no batteries, no winch, no servo and no radio gear whatsoever. Just a gadget at the back end connected to the rudder to operate a touch as the wind veers back and forth.

Before the introduction of modern radio transmitters and receiver control, was the art of being able to control your pride and joy with just your expertise or knowledge in how to trim your boat manually.

Most of us would think that we are spoiled in being able to control our craft at free will around the pond, but actually the reverse is probably more true - the guys that are really in the know are the ones that can make yachts sail by themselves.

I've often heard somebody say of a radio boat, it's sailing fine at the moment since I haven't touched the sticks. The reason probably is that the sailing vessel has now found its own equilibrium and what we were doing prior was trying to force it away from its natural sailing course.

Saturday 1st April was no fools' day for the five skippers that entered the 36 Restricted class for vane boats. Along with 2 extra helpers and Eric Watkinson for scoring the day, so it was a goer.

The R in the class is 'Restriction'. Boat hulls are measured to fit in a box 36" x 11" x 9" to qualify.

The wind was straight down the lake which must make it easier to adjust your head into tactical fixation of your feather setting on the vane. Peter J. was struggling at first as his boat seemed to be pinching a bit too much, but got better after each race on the beat.

Peter Whiteside was doing alright and was looking good if he was to snatch the crown from Peter Jackson. Eddie accumulated a good score before lunch and was slowly easing his way up the points ladder along with John P.

Martin Pritchard the Newbie on the block was having a couple of tied up touches with other boats on the run but still easing his way into the group quite nicely.

Three races had been held before lunch in a slight drizzle, all in A rigs and then as the sun came out and also the wind picked up a touch a couple were starting see their boats struggle.

Peter Whiteside's last run was plumb perfect, right down the center line, you couldn't have steered it that good with a joystick.

It was decided after a complete round, where by each had all sailed one another to call it a day at about 2:15pm. To change suites and sail another round would have probably taken us past 6pm to finish. 3 points are given for a beat and 2 points for a run and as Peter Whiteside had accumulated the most points and couldn't be caught, he was calculated to be the winner.

The next Vane 36 R sailing is the 'Topham Cup' on Saturday 22nd April.

Overall Results:

1 Peter Whiteside
2 John Plant
3 Eddie Greenwood

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