Please select your home edition
CoastWaterSports 2014
Product Feature
Passage 3 Layer Jacket
Passage 3 Layer Jacket

Marblehead Vane Championships at Fleetwood Model Yacht Club

by Tony Wilson 4 Jun 10:48 BST 21-22 May 2022
Marblehead Vane Championships at Fleetwood © Tony Wilson

Anyone can sail a boat using radio gear, but try without. The thumb twiddling with a vane boat seems to be all hands on the deck, rather than on a trusty transmitter. Peter Whiteside had posted out an invitation length and breadth of the country and we had a good 14 entrants.

On these two man at a time races, you can't sail against yourself, so we had 13 races each drawn up on the cards. One to wind for a 3 point win and 2 points if successful returning on the run.

A slightly delayed start, but boats were soon heading west against a 14 MPH wind coming WSW from the far log cabin. By 12:00 we had completed one entry on our score cards with 2 boats sunk and one stuck at the finishing end. Somehow Alan Bell's 'Witchcraft' had disappeared off radar just leaving a pennant size portion of sail visible for recovery and Richard Ennis's victory 2 points over David Geldard also hit the southern depths. Fancy being beaten by a sunken boat.

A quick reminder from Derek about sealing our deck covers and it was off again to racing. 1:30 ish and we had our lunch break. With having completed 3 full races, Derek was now able to sort out from some points, the Team of Two's (ToT's) From an available 15 points, poor individuals were partnered up with stronger long standing members. Most teams were in that area or thereabouts given a point here or there. It was now up to the weaker Skippers to take advantage and pull their fingers out to boost their end team score. Maybe.

A few of the Skippers had decided to down sail size, while others were not bashed enough and braced the challenging wind. Some are still physically able to sprint to the far end, if needs be before the dreaded thump if nobody is around.

By the end of Saturday at about 18:30 we had 7 results on the cards after any resails, making Sunday hopefully slightly shorter, for if the weather would turn for the worse..

On to Sunday now for more of the same, although an hour earlier. The wind had as forecast moved anticlockwise, but not quite as much as feared. Derek was observing that a 40 degree setting might be favourite to reach down to the far end and again it was 3 points out and 2 points back.

We had done ourselves the massive favour in having the long day on Saturday and it eases the journey home with the earlier finish. The Bell's continued on their great performance after the early baptism and the Jones were also again on track after only slightly struggling in the morning.

Damian and Gareth had tied on points by the end of the first day and throughout, but at some time, they still must sail against each other.

It was great to have Martin Roberts along for some golden tips, along with others that are gifted with this vast accumulation of years worth of Vane knowledge. For us Newbies to the game, just a few morsels of information each time helps to build our appreciation to how little we actually know, but we might eventually get there.

The wind remained sort of constant and we were able to finish on time just before 3pm. The feared rain had stayed away until we were packing up and done.


1 Vintage - Witchcraft 'Rena Pat' Alan Bell 48 pts
2 Classic - 'Skippy' Gareth Jones 44 pts
3 Classic - Bloodaxe 'Gizum' Damian Akroyd 44pts
4 Classic - ' Mirage ' David Geldard 39 pts
Team of two - Alan Bell and Keith Wiseman 80 pts

All in all a great weekend. Much learned and nice to hear pleasant comments from the eldery passers by, like 'it brings back childhood memories'.

When folk ask Derek.... 'How does this work' or 'what makes them sail' his reply.... 'Magic'

Related Articles

Scrutton Cup to be raced at Fleetwood
The titans of model yacht racing will do battle for the 99-year-old trophy The titans of model yacht racing will do battle for the 99 year old Scrutton Cup at Fleetwood from Sunday 31st July to Fri 5th Aug. Racing Vane A class model yachts, they will attempt to win this almost 100 year old trophy, as so many have before them. Posted on 25 Jul
RC Laser Summer Series at Fleetwood week 2
Father's Day depletes the fleet for the Harrowside Trophy With just 2 replies as a 'Yes' to Elizabeth's sailing request, it was looking pretty grim and highly unlikely to whether we would be sailing, on what looked to be a reasonably good day. Posted on 21 Jun
Scottish District 2022 Travellers 2 at Buchanness
Strong winds ease as the day goes on Eight skippers from various club across Scotland entered the event. They represented, in the west Paisley MYC, in the east Kinghorn RSC and Tayside RSC in the northeast Aberdeen MYC and Buchanness RYC. Posted on 19 Jun
RC Laser Queen's Jubilee event at Fleetwood
Traditional dishes for the celebration lunch Fresh Smoked Salmon delicacies, Coronation Chicken sandwiches and Victoria Sponge. Just some of the vast array of treats for our Jubilee Celebration lunch, though ready for later. Posted on 7 Jun
RC Laser Summer Series at Fleetwood week 1
Skippers greeted with not a ripple on the water With an awkward wind, from somewhere North ish, we were greeted with not a ripple on the water. By about 11:00 we had a light wind drift in, as a fleet of 8 skippers slowly readied their boats for a hopeful day of racing. Posted on 3 Jun
Marblehead Mermaid Trophy at Guildford
43rd running of the event, and 90th anniversary for the club The club and the Marblehead class both started in 1932 and this event on 28th May was the celebration of the 90th Anniversary in almost perfect conditions. The light variable northerly 'A' rig breeze blew straight down the lake. Posted on 2 Jun
M&S District Marblehead Championship at Abbey Mead
Absolutely everything that you might dream of in a radio racing This event showed Guildford Model Yacht Club's sailing water at Abbey Meads Lake at its best with the wind blowing from the north north-east straight down the lake. Posted on 9 May
UK IOM National Championship
57 entries from the UK and 8 from overseas race at Castle Semple Loch Hosted by the MYA Scottish District at Castle Semple Loch, there were 65 entries comprising 57 from the UK and eight overseas (four from Sweden and one each from Ireland, Norway, Turkey and the USA). Posted on 6 May
RC Laser Spring Series at Fleetwood week 4
Fleet depleted by IOM Nationals, leaving only 4 for series final With a big handful of our Fleetwood Skippers headed north of the border to Sunny Scotland for the IOM Nationals, we were left with just 4 brave soldiers to make best of the last Laser outing of the Spring series. Posted on 4 May
RC Laser Spring Series at Fleetwood week 3
With no breakdowns or mishaps, the fleet complete the magic 16 races With 8 skippers in attendance bright and early, all were ready for a great day of racing with dry conditions. Posted on 2 May