Please select your home edition
Edition
Hyde Sails 2017 Dinghy Show

Squib 50th Anniversary Nationals Runners & Riders at Lendy Cowes Week

by Vincent Delany 3 Aug 15:00 BST 4-11 August 2018
Squibs racing at Cowes © Steve Baker

Winning the Squib Nationals is never easy. Winning in any 100 boat fleet takes special qualities, particularly in Cowes. This observer has been involved with the Squib fleet for over ten years and has a good knowledge of the scene. Undoubtedly, the winner of the Squib Championship will come from the elite end of the fleet, from a team which acknowledges that crewing a Squib is not a physical endeavour, it is a mental one.

This year the East Coast Championship was won by Nigel and Jack Grogan from Burnham in No. 105 'Helmut Shoing II.' They have great tactical skill and, being sailmakers, are experts in changing gear as conditions change with their Hyde Sails. I believe their greatest strength is in wind strengths between 9 and 16 knots. However, I would ask the question, is their starting ability enough to get them into the front row of every start?

The local Royal Victoria YC team of Stu Rix and Steve Warren-Smith in the 50 year old No. 13, 'Aquabat' have won Cowes Week, but have never won a Squib National Championship, but they have got progressively closer over the past few years. I believe that their skill of starting in big fleets in Cowes, and their local knowledge could take them to the top.

Never to be overlooked is many times Squib champions, Josh Metcalf and Mark Hogan in No. 136, 'Ric O'Shea.' Like Warren-Smith, here, the boat owner is crewing, and the helmsman is just the guy who looks at the tell-tales! Josh and Mark with their Batt sails excel in strong winds, particularly over 20 knots. Is this the weather we can expect as a high pressure weather system approaches.

Last year in Holyhead, joint winner, who lost out on the countback was sailmaker Dick Batt and Pam Phelan from Batt Sails in the oldest Squib afloat, No. 11, 'Squib'. This team could rise to the top if the wind strength does not rise above 14 knots. Dick won this championship previously, in the days when he had long hair and bell-bottom trousers!

Not to be forgotten is dark horse Colm Dunne from Kinsale, Ireland who last weekend won the Irish East Coast Championship in No. 134, 'Allegro'. Colm seems to prefer a good breeze, and the huge 100 boat fleet might not suit him. Will his lack of experience in Cowes be a problem to him?

The Squib Class have approved Rondar as their new boat builder. Paul Young from that company will be sailing in one of the new self-draining boats, no. 901, 'Shy Talk.' Does he have the ability to win. Many Squib owners will be watching this space. My belief is that the self-draining qualities of the boat are more significant in exposed locations such as Abersoch or Lowestoft.

Paul Young and Rondar have recently competed a 'hybrid' Squib which involves putting the self-draining cockpit into an existing hull. David Lloyd's No. 33 'Incendio' is the first boat to be completed, and race results this year show her to be quicker than previously.

In conclusion, I think we can expect different race winners in each of the races, so consistency in achieving top eight placings will be vital, and the avoidance of OCSs. The wind strength may well be a significant factor, because stronger winds bring different boats to the top. Will we have a surprise winner, probably not!

Related Articles

National Squib Irish Championship preview
Entries from far and wide for event in Dun Laoghaire This event takes place in the Royal Irish Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire over the weekend of 17-19 August 2018. Eighteen entries have been received from far and wide, including one from the UK. Posted on 17 Aug
2018 Lendy Cowes Week overall
A return to gentle conditions with a light southerly breeze The final day of Lendy Cowes Week saw a return to gentle conditions, with starts taking place in a light southerly breeze that gradually built to an unsteady 8-12 knots in the early afternoon. Posted on 12 Aug
2018 Lendy Cowes Week day 6
Plenty of challenging tactical decisions for the navigators A combination of light and shifty north-westerly winds of 6-12 knots and strong tides provided a day of close racing and gave navigators plenty of challenging tactical decisions on day six of Lendy Cowes Week. Posted on 9 Aug
2018 Lendy Cowes Week day 5
Gusts nearing 25 knots in the early afternoon A change in the weather today gave a cooler and windier day, with gusts nearing 25 knots in the early afternoon. Thousands of sailors came ashore sporting big grins after an energetic day that saw many thrills and spills on the downwind legs. Posted on 8 Aug
2018 Lendy Cowes Week day 4
Wild fluctuations in the wind with some gusts over 20 knots on Ladies Day After a relaxed morning waiting for a breeze to build, teams at Lendy Cowes Week were thoroughly tested today by a series of wild fluctuations in the wind that accompanied short showers that passed over the race area this afternoon. Posted on 7 Aug
2018 Lendy Cowes Week day 3
A classic sea breeze day Competitors enjoyed a fabulous classic sea breeze day, after a long postponement while race officials waited for the wind to arrive. They were rewarded with a stable 10-15 knot south westerly breeze on another warm and almost cloudless day. Posted on 6 Aug
2018 Lendy Cowes Week day 2
Family Day deliveres stunning conditions Family Day at Lendy Cowes Week delivered stunning conditions with unbroken sun and a solid east south-easterly breeze of 9-12 knots. The best winds of the day were predicted to be in the eastern Solent, so all classes started towards the east. Posted on 5 Aug
2018 Lendy Cowes Week day 1
A gloriously sunny and tactically challenging day The opening day of Lendy Cowes Week delivered a gloriously sunny and tactically challenging day of racing for the 35 classes taking part. Posted on 4 Aug
Squib class hit 100 entries!
For 50th Anniversary Nationals at Lendy Cowes Week The Squib class reached the symbolic one hundred entries today, making it easily the biggest class at Lendy Cowes Week. Posted on 1 Aug
Squib East Coast of Ireland Championship
A growing fleet at Howth This Squib 50th Anniversary event was held in Howth, Co. Dublin which was, at one time, the largest Squib fleet in the country with forty Squibs. Having declined to a handful of Squibs in 2012, this North Dublin Club can now boast a growing fleet. Posted on 30 Jul