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Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Team Racing Development Day

28 young people were greeted by grey cloudy, breezy and cold conditions as Yeadon SC held its second team racing development day on Saturday. The day attracted sailors from across Yorkshire with strong support from Mirror Squad sailors, sailors involved in club training at Yeadon SC and at Otley SC and sailors from the Yorkshire Dales SC’s GYBE scheme. This was an introduction to Team Racing for those who have not haven’t done it before, while for those who have team raced before it was an opportunity to practice this branch of sailboat racing.

With a wide spectrum of sailing experiences within the group the teams were pre selected to try and evenly match the teams and to give a mix of experienced racers, club racers and those new to racing in each team. With a number of people new to racing taking part some of the more experienced squad sailors were appointed as team captains and we asked them to manage their team, to make sure they were around at the right time for their races, understood what was going on and were incorporated into the day’s activities. Hence it was also an exercise in working together and to mingle and mix for all the young people from a variety of clubs and sailing circles.

In addition, certain jobs to assist in the running of the day had not been manned up in advance in order that we could also include a number of the parents who had come down with the sailors and get them to be involved in running a sailing event.

With 28 sailors taking part we formed 6 two boat teams (4 or 5 people to a team) and each team raced each other in a round robin league. For those with 5 in their team the team captain had to also ensure everybody got a fair turn. The event was raced in Picos which were a great leveller for all the sailors. The boats were from the Yeadon and Otley training fleets and Yeadon members own boats as well and we are indebted to those people and to the Clubs for the use of the boats.

There was close racing all day
Everybody mucked in to get boats sorted, fuelled by bacon butties and we then held a brief introduction training session to explain about Team Racing and the Day’s programme. At the end of the session the team captains were introduced to their team and to their team colour / bib colour (which for some teams didn’t quite match – Dark blue and purple are almost the same, aren’t they ?) Then it was time to get on the water !

There was some initial teething issues first with the course and then with very enthusiastic team racing manoeuvres. The OOD team on the water sorted any confusion with the course and the team captains were reminded about giving ‘time and opportunity’ and to consider that most boats had someone new to racing in them as well so the helms had to ensure that their crews understood what was going on as well the other boat so they could react as well!

Downwind action

The OOD set a good course for team racing with a beat, broad reach, beat, run and short reach to the finish. The sailors soon got in the swing of it and good to see tactics and the rules being used to good effect in all the races. Most races were closely fought with defeat being occasionally snatched from the jaws of victory when people forgot that Picos don’t respond and accelerate like some of the race tuned boats they may normally sail !

The Beachmaster team did well keeping the teams informed on where we were in the programme and who was sailing next, or when they could have a food and warm up break in the Club House.

It was especially encouraging to see how the team captains, Ben Lulham-Robinson, Ed Grayson, Emma Grayson, Matthew Lulham-Robinson, Oli White and Will Hide took to their roles and organised their teams and generally helped things run smoothly.

In the end it was Ed’s team, sailing with Vanessa, and crews Edward, Ellie and George who came out on top with 5 wins, then Will and Oli teams tied on 3 wins with Will taking 2nd on tie break.

To finish the day off we ran a race for the team captains and their choice of crews. We formed 2 three boat teams loosely based on the final order of the main event and with 2 pairs of siblings being kept on opposite teams there was more than pride at stake ! The race didn’t disappoint and as could be predicted the sibling pairs battled for family honour all round the course. In the end the result couldn’t have been closer with the team of Will, Emma and Matthew just beating Ed, Oli and Ben by 10 pts to 11 pts.

Judging by the smiles and the chatter, all in all it was a great days sailing, racing, mixing and making new friends, enjoyed by the sailors and everybody who helped out run it, whether volunteering before hand or co-opted on the day - It looks like we will have to do it again next year !

:-) Neil and Heather - The organising team

Two cold OODs

The bacon butty team - They were great !!!

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

National 12 Open Meeting

Heavy rain did not deter a good fleet of National Twelves from launching for the National 12 Open Meeting this weekend despite some crews talking about garden centres and other less wet distractions.

Race one got underway in a North Easterly shifty breeze, two boats were recalled but local crew Neil and Katie McInnes made a clean break in N3216 to reach the first mark in the lead hotly pursued by John and Allison Cheetham (N3468) also drawing on their local knowledge then, Brian Kitching and Gale Kaye sailing N3356. Philip and Helen David in N2545 having recovered from being over the line powered their way up to the leaders and as the breeze died and returned the fleet positions were constantly changing, John and Alison were the winners with Philip and Helen close behind followed by Brian and Gale.

With the bad weather race 2 was due to run back to back with race one however the bad weather turned into horrendous weather with heavy squalls, bouncing rain and the wind doing circuits and bumps! A start was made as soon as the weather settled slightly and Brian and Gail were first to the first mark but after more major wind shifts and some confusion about the course the race was abandoned in favour of lunch.

Race 2 restarted after lunch with the wind still very light and constantly shifting direction so race officer Bill Wilson and his team opted for a shorter course and the hope that at least one leg would be a beat. Howard Chadwick made a good start on port with John and Philip further down the line but in more wind a strategy that paid off well as John took the lead. At the second mark however John stumbled during the gybe and capsized creating a hazard against the mark and allowing Howard to re take the lead closely followed by Brian and Philip. Philip took the lead for a while but John was soon back in the hunt and as Philip chose a backing shift John pulled through to lead with Howard in second, positions which they held to the end.

In race 3 John headed for an early shower with two wins in the bag and the rest of the fleet, now down to five boats went out again to yet another wind direction and another course. Neil got another excellent start and was first at the first mark with Philip second and Howard third. Philip however managed to break through and pull away leaving Neil and Howard to fight it out, seldom more than two boat lengths apart. On the last lap Howard and Vanessa managed to get an overlap on Neil and Katie at the start of the last beat and they held this position to the end.

A great days racing in atrocious conditions! Thanks are due to the race team for making the best of the constant wind changes, David Hinks for his notes for this report and especially to the catering team who kept us going with hot food and didn’t complain when we dripped water all over the clubhouse floor!

Overall Results

1st N3468 Pillow Fight John and Allison Cheetham
2nd N2545 Little Meg Philip and Helen David (Also 1st Vintage)
3rd N2266 Triarda Howard Chadwick and Vanessa Kennedy
4th N3356 Squidgy Bits Brian Kitching and Gale Kaye
5th N3216 Twice Shy Neil and Katie McInnes
6th N2359 Shotgun Angus Beyts and Patrick Gaunt
Locals Denis and Jo Beard finished a creditable seventh place in their first ever National Twelve Open Meeting having borrowed an ageing Paper Dart N2769 Barrow Boy.

Furthest travelled prize went to Angus Beyts who had come down from Scotland picking up his borrowed boat in Derbyshire and returning it before going home to Scotland, runner up was Brian Kitching who only came from Bristol.

Photo by Brian Herring “John Cheetham giving the fleet a chance”

Howard Chadwick 4-10-2010

Monday, 4 October 2010

Shorebased Sailing courses at Otley Centre - Leeds City College

If you are looking to expand your sailing knowledge, then why not take part in a shore based course at Otley College.

Courses on offer include Costal Skipper, Day Skipper and Marine Radio.

Hurry as some start in November.


Friday, 1 October 2010

Blue-green Algae Update

The blue-green algae risk is now believed to be low. The recent weather conditions should have helped reduce the amount in the water. Sailors are requested to review the situation before sailing and take precautions not to swallow the water. Sailors are also requested to avoid the concrete T jetty where the algae was last spotted as a precaution.

Please also remember to wash your hands once you leave the water. Further information on Blue-green algae can be found on this environment agency leaflet: