Please select your home edition
Edition
Ovington Boats - VX One

Wanderer Inland Championship at Bewl Sailing Association

by Adam Wickenden, Mike Hamilton & Philip Meadowcroft 20 Sep 2017 12:11 BST 16-17 September 2017

Well, it looked good mid-week. A nice 7-11 knots on both days was forecast. Then as the high pressure starts to build, the forecast drops each time you look at it. Still there might be something.

So with that in mind 11 Wanderers gathered at Bewl Water for their Inlands on 16th and 17th September. Some arrived Friday for a briefing on start line tactics for those who had not raced before and helpful rigging tips from Steve Blake of Hartley Boats. Oh – and Bewl seemed a little short of water. But not so low that you couldn't sail a Flying Fifteen, but lower than we'd seen it before.

Saturday dawned sunny and a bit windless. But as the morning progressed some breeze appeared – along with cumulus clouds that promised puffs, but also rain. Enough to sail, but also conditions that make things a bit shifty.

Race Officer Mark Munday set a figure of 8 course; a longish beat, reach, gybe, close reach, gybe, reach. Enough for the spinnaker on the two broad reaches. The windward mark was left to starboard – not ideal, but you have to from time to time on a lake to keep the course where the wind is expected.

Start goes off first time. Not unusual in the Wanderer – in fact when the RO went through the start flags for the newer racers it was pointed out that the last time the class had seen the Black Flag was at Lyme Regis – in 2001!!

Paul Yeadon crewed by Liz North in 1626 gets off to a good start, along with Philip Meadowcroft crewed by Adam Wickenden in 1541 and Mike Hamilton crewed by Dave Bardwell in 1004. The wind is shifty – head for pressure is the answer. Gusts form from left or right, but not down the middle, where they tend to cancel each other out. About half way up the first beat the fleet spy Mike Hamilton and Dave Bardwell hoisting their spinnaker. "Wow – big windshift there" we think. Alas no – they'd simply mistaken the second gybe mark for the windward mark. Here we must point out that Bewl Sailing Association have cunningly camouflaged their inflatable pillar marks to match the gravel and sand shoreline.

But local knowledge becomes important – Tim Last went right towards the dam wall, and was then able to sail in on a large gust that ended up freeing him enough that he could fetch the mark. Meadowcroft follows him, then Yeadon. Tim, unaccustomed to this position, turns to the second placed boat behind him and asks "What do I do now?"!

Spinnakers down at the gybe, then a close reach, followed by a third, broad reach where the spinnaker could be used again. All the while Philip Meadowcroft maintains and protects a decent lead for the rest of the race whilst Mike Hamilton recovers well from his navigation issues and gets back to second place. Paul Yeadon is third. By the end the clouds are building and the wind fills and backs – enough in fact that some of the fleet had to tack to make the second gybe mark. The fleet finishes and sails back in a decent breeze....... and quite heavy rain. At which point – during the lunch break– the wind dies completely.

Racing binned for the day – so in the social tradition of the Wanderer fleet thoughts turned to what to do for the rest of the afternoon. Maybe hire some canoes and kayaks ? Or how about trying Stand up Paddleboarding. (Posted on You Tube this could have earned quite a bit of money for Bart's Bash). Unfortunately Philip Meadowcroft pre-empted us – and produced a boules set for a fleet competition. Now, I know the idea of boules is you can play anywhere – but the ground we picked was a bit too sloping, if you got it wrong the ball would roll back down to your feet. The trick was to land it on the nearest mole hill. Paul Yeadon and Liz North roundly thrashed everyone!

During Saturday evening most of the Wanderer fleet enjoyed a top-class roast supper, preceded by a trout salad, and followed by a fine rhubarb/apple crumble.

Sunday – Bart's Bash day. First race we sail as Bart's was a Handicap combining with the local Bewl SA Flying Fifteens and a Vago, along with Mariners of Bewl's Challengers, Hansas and an RS Venture. There is wind, more than we expected, and it is steady(ish). The game is still, however, to avoid the holes.

Race Officer Martin Brooking, assisted by Jo Mayes, sets a simple triangle. The start sees Gavin Barr and Mark Skipper collect a 720 off of Mike Hamilton, although we suspect the presence of a Flying Fifteen might have had something to do with it. Meadowcroft and Wickenden round first, emerging from the middle of the Fifteens, followed by Paul Yeadon and then Mike Hamilton. Short spinnaker reach, gybe under the race hut, then a broader reach to the downwind mark.

On lap 2 Yeadon passes Meadowcroft on the second reach with spinnaker up. These two have pulled away from rest of the Wanderer fleet, and are snapping at the heels of Flying Fifteens. Meadowcroft gets the lead back on the third beat. Richard Lewis and Neil Bridge give Mike Hamilton a fright and slip ahead but calm is restored after Lewis suffers spinnaker problems. Up front, big holes on the fourth beat allow Yeadon to regain the lead, and both Barr and Hamilton, who changed places several times. start to catch up rather worryingly. Fortunately they park in a hole at the gybe mark on the fourth lap, allowing the front two some comfort. Hamilton enjoys a lively lift on the final leg and keeps ahead of Barr. At the finish, the Flying Fifteens arrive first as Yeadon and North beat Meadowcroft and Wickenden in the Wanderer feet, but it is good enough for these first two Wanderers to take first and second place in the Bart's Bash handicap race.

After lunch and the Bart's Bash prize giving the wind still looks OK - just. We set off for third race. First boat out gets to start line and the wind promptly dies. So we take a vote, and decide to bin it. Long paddle back in. This turned out to be a good idea as we were forced to take shelter from the rain during the subsequent prizegiving; better than being stuck out on the lake in the downpour and no wind.

The prize giving not only involved that at the front of the fleet, but also a number of generous prizes from Hartley Boats, Edge Sails, and Markerstudy. were handed out to boats throughout the fleet.

Special mention must be made for Anna Knight and Sue Saich. This was their first venture into a Wanderer racing event. Their enthusiasm and cheerfulness was all too evident and we hope to see more of them. Their deserved prize was free 2017/18 winter membership at Bewl.

The winners received the Dolphin Cup which had been first competed for 25 years ago when it was won, and again in 1993, by Andy Whitelock and John Starr. Sadly, earlier this month, Andy Whitelock lost his battle against a brain tumour. The runners-up were awarded the Anglo Marine Racing plate and, reflecting a fine achievement in masterminding the organisation of a happy and relaxed event, Tim Last was presented with the Betty Proctor Memorial Plate.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2Pts
11541Philip MeadowcroftAdam WickendenSalcombe YC / Henley SC123
21626Paul YeadonLiz NorthWhitstable YC314
31004Mike HamiltonDave BardwellHurst Castle SC235
41282Gavin BarrMark SkipperWhitstable YC448
51443Richard LewisNeil BridgeShoreham YC5510
61636Tim LastHilary Morris / Louise MorrisBewl SA / Medway YC7613
71099Paul CrossJeff LeyshonWhitstable YC6713
8900Ray TennantSue HumphriesBewl SA9817
91518John RenoufLouise MorrisMarlow SC10919
10998Peter CuttsCharles CuttsBewl SA8NC)20
111576Anna KnightSue SaichRye Harbour SC111021

Related Articles

Wanderer Inlands at Bewl
Eleven Wanderers make the trip Admirably hosted by members of the Bewl Sailing Association, eleven Wanderers made the trip, including one each from the Reigate and the Sheppey Sea Cadets over the weekend of 15th & 16th September. Posted on 21 Sep
Wanderer Nationals at Langstone Harbour
A comedy of errors in three races, followed by an awful lot of wind and rain Langstone Harbour – the great lake on the south coast no one knows about. Every time I tell people I'm going there they say 'Where?'. Hint – it's the sometimes wet, sometimes muddy bit you can see when you turn left off the A3M on to the M27. Posted on 6 Sep
Ian Proctor centenary celebrated today
A large part of the great golden generation of British small boat racing As the scorching sun continues to drive a bumper summer of sailing events, it is fitting that today, the 12th July, that we celebrate the centenary of the birth of one of the great architects of our sport. Posted on 12 Jul
The Man Who Designed Racehorses
The life, times, boats and innovations of Ian Proctor We turn our attention to the life, times, boats and innovations of Ian Proctor, as we celebrate his centenary in 2018. Jack Holt and Ian Proctor almost dominated small boat sailing, both in the UK and internationally, for nearly a quarter of a century. Posted on 5 Mar
A Demonstration of Design
The life, times and boats of Ian Proctor As the UK started to emerge in the early 1950s from the years of wartime austerity, the dinghy and small boat sailing scene would undergo a huge explosion, both in terms of numbers and variety. Posted on 8 Feb
Langstone Harbour Race Weekend Preview
Reverting back to favoured 3-day racing format The 9th annual Langstone Harbour Race Weekend will be taking place over the late May bank holiday, between the 26th – 29th May 2017. This year we will revert back to our favoured 3-day racing format, with 2 races each day, and 3 social events to enjoy. Posted on 4 May 2017
Wanderer Nationals at Whitstable
Back to their favourite venue again Wanderers were back yet again at Whitstable for the simple reason that it's a splendid club, challenging water, and home club for SuperWanderer veteran Gavin Barr. Posted on 8 Jun 2016
Wanderer Inlands at West Oxfordshire
Sharing the water with 13 Wayfarers Eleven Wanderers gathered at West Oxfordshire Sailing Club near Witney for the 2016 Inland Championships over the weekend of the 23rd and 24th April. The event was the first for our class at this venue. Posted on 29 Apr 2016
Wanderers at Whitstable
Not far to travel! Last weekend we arrived in Whitstable for the Wanderer Open. We had travelled about 1 mile and it turned out no-one had travelled much further! Posted on 3 Jun 2015
15% off all dinghy sails at Exe Sails
When ordered before the 5th June We have been working closely with one of our local Solo Sailors to develop our latest Laminate Solo Mainsail, incorporating some of the latest Carbon Battens into the new design. Posted on 29 May 2015