YPSS & Training – Saturday June 16

It was the June Sailing course last Saturday and once again the winds arrived. Boo Hiss. We had 2 trainees on the course, Richard and Bob. We gave them the usual ride in the Wayfarer before the wind got up but unfortunately it was far too windy for beginners. We managed to get them sailing on Sunday but time and energy ran out on us. We are hoping to finish this course on Wednesday evening, wind allowing. I know you will all make them welcome at our club.
Young People’s Saturday Sailing (YPSS) brought the return of Marcus and Laurie with Dad Rob. Eve who also has been doing exams has also returned and was on safety boat duties on Sunday. Welcome back everyone. We decided to practise a racing course and everyone was asked to stay up at the top of the pond by buoys 1, 2 and 3. Of course this did not happen as everyone ended up sailing at the bottom of the pond. As it was windy we put 2 safety boats on. We rounded everyone up and brought them back to shore. Stuart set a rather complicated course and we raced. Everyone sailed exceptionally well considering the wind strength. There were a few rocky moments but most stayed upright. Laurie was in his Topper Byte. The Byte is quite a small boat with what seems a rather large sail. The prize for the best capsize went to him with what was the most spectacular ‘Death Roll’ I have seen all year. Marcus in his Pico showed everyone the way home. 8 boats were racing. We had 5 Picos out, 2 Lasers and the Byte. We also welcomed a new young lady called Emily who sailed with Emma. Emily did not seem bothered about the strong winds and near capsize and thoroughly enjoyed the sailing. Emily, it’s not always so windy. Many thanks as always to all our volunteers; Henry and Phil in the Tornado, Steve in the Orange boat with me, Stuart who runs the racing and more importantly makes the tea!!.
See you next week . Let’s hope the wind abates a little.

Wednesday Dinghy Series – 13 June

Well, the evening before the gales struck brought rather different conditions from the previous Sunday, but yet more of the same and with a stronger wind. The direction shifted to the more usual westerly, with a predicted F4/5 headline dropping back at the start and returning in the 2nd lap, but still gusty and carrying deceptive shifts, particularly under the dam wall. So a course that included gybes at 2, 3 and 4 would always be fun, and just for good measure there were 2 more gybes at 1 & 6! Thanks, ODs.
7 dinghies assembled on the start line including Phil & Dennis Hopley (Sprint 15), although the jury at Cat i‘ th’ Well decided that releasing the traveller might have helped a terminal nosedive and an early, cold bath. However Team Cable (RS200) was delighted to have stayed upright for the duration.
Yet another clean start- When did we last have a recall? Are we all too conservative? – saw the lead dinghies in close-quarters battle until the wind picked up a notch, when Dave Walker’s Sprint headed off into the distance, but in the end only far enough to secure a 4th place. Although racing was tight the boats were reasonably spaced out on the water, making it tricky to judge how well each helm was doing compared to his rival. By the end Mike Palmer (Supernova) had done enough to take first place, followed by Kevin Holmes (Streaker) who managed to keep Kevin Brennan (Laser Radial) at bay, KB blaming an over-strenuous walk earlier in the day. Bless.
Thanks once again to joint ODs Ben Tunnacliffe & Sarah Scott, and to safety boat crew Graham Norton and the ubiquitous Nick Fenn. Overall series rsults can be found here.

Dinghy Racing – Sunday Series 1 – June 10

This being the final race of the 1st Sunday Series a good turnout was expected from those needing to improve their attendance, much to the annoyance of our Honorary Keeper of the Results Steve Hill, lamenting that the arrival of one or two faces was sure to push him out of his 4th ranking by the end of the day. (Find out now with the Series’ results).
This was yet another Sunday with the promise (or threat) of light winds from the more challenging east, and even as dinghies were being rigged the wind was shifting from SE to NE and back again: well I say wind, but in reality it was more a gasping wheeze on the shore, although on the water there were some interesting dark patterns. One such shift hit the fleet of 9 as it lined up for Race 1: most helms saw it coming but sadly not Colin Vickerman, whose preparations were interrupted as he cooled off in the water while recovering his Streaker. The fleet quickly split into 2, the leaders completing 3 laps to the remainder’s 2, although confusion at the end of Lap 2 did result in 2 boats failing to finish. Despite the Supernovas of Ben Holden and Mike Palmer crossing first in close succession their lead was not enough to prevent the following pair, Kevin Holmes (Streaker) and Adam North (Laser Radial), taking honours, but all participants struggled at times with shifts that were generally unreadable, with headers abounding to catch out the unwary.
For the second race on a revised course 14 dinghies headed off but racing followed the same pattern, the leaders managing 3 full laps but this time ending much closer, with Mike Palmer taking the win ahead of Ben Holden and Kevin Holmes who were separated by just 0.7 secs/lap.
Race 3 also followed a different course, trying to stay one step ahead of the conditions, but the helms were still battling with some very tricky shifts, although overall the wind had filled in a little so the racing was a little more enjoyable. Kevin returned to his winning ways, although Mike & Ben continued their close-quarters racing, finishing 8 seconds apart with Mike taking 2nd place by a short nose.
As well as the usual suspects we had a couple of Miracles on the water, George Carter & Sue & John Lamb battling closely during the afternoon, with honours just about even.
Thanks go to Robin Boardman as OD, and to Nathan Lucas and Brendan Briggs basking on safety boat.
Author Mike Palmer
PS – See below, one of our new families passing by the OD’s box. They may poo on our jetty but we do share our water with them.

Wednesday Series – 6 June 2018

Another delightful summer’s evening brought a double-digit field to the start line, and together with an experimental evening training session and new member Phil Hopley and son aboard a Sprint 15 the pond was quite busy. The light N/NE wind is a delight for some but for others, say those of a larger frame or having more hulls than is strictly necessary, these conditions are not ideal. Nevertheless Charles Watson was keen to try out his Sprint with new DX rig, and I suspect we won’t see a lot of him bar spray when the autumn winds come. As it was he managed to complete the full course just ahead of Brendan Briggs’ Contender, although handicaps pushed them both well down the field. In a long race, taking advantage of the extended summer light, a couple of backmarkers retired early, but throughout Ben Holden (Supernova) and Robin Boardman (Laser) were nip and tuck, although in the final lap some fickle winds and adverse shifts slowed down Your Correspondent who was in pole position from early on, allowing Robin to take 1st place by a small margin, followed by Mike Palmer & Ben.
With more than a little irony in his voice Brendan congratulated Your Correspondent on having managed to follow the published course, for a change. He may come to regret that…
And once again we saw new blood on the water – not literally – as the end of the football season heralds the start of the sailing season for Sam Holden, who stuck with it all the way around and almost managed to keep his Dad from overtaking him on the final lap. Well done, Sam, and hopefully we’ll see you next week.
Thanks once again to OD George Oxley, and to safety boat crew Matt Hartley & Nick Fenn who were little troubled.

Sunday Dinghy Racing – June 3

As the drought continued, one of the best turn-outs of the season so far found up to 18 dinghies lining up to enjoy a warm afternoon in a gentle, if at times unpredictable, north westerly F2-F3. The standard course for the 1st race saw a long drag to the windward mark at No5, although as the target neared there were some very tricky gusts and shifts to catch out the unwary. Likewise the “best” course proved difficult to find at times, occasionally catching out even the most experienced sailors as they looked for any advantage in the crowded fleet.
In these conditions it was always going to be difficult to beat the light-wind specialists, although a batch of 3 Streakers set out with high hopes along with a brace of Supernovas, Your Correspondent having been accused – unfairly he thinks – of misguiding Tony Burnett on how correctly to set up his rig. The reason for Tony’s lacklustre performance must have been the sheer volume of reservoir carried inside the hull of #452. In fairness the dinghy stayed upright all afternoon, as did all the other competitors, although not all stayed dry: Rob Trevor’s dismount from Laser to jetty was not witnessed by many, but he did commit the cardinal mistake of explaining his error within hearing of the wrong person. Evidently, before stepping off the deck to tie up to the jetty it is wise to untie the painter from around the mast.
Race 1 saw good close-quarter racing throughout between Kevin Holmes (Streaker) and Team Holden (Ben & Sam) in the RS200, eventually crossing the line 5 seconds apart to take the first two places, just ahead of Mike Palmer’s Supernova that headed the field home on the water. At the other end the Sprints struggled badly, the light winds favouring the mono-hulls.
The second race, displaying a complete lack of imagination, ended up with the same result, although entirely as a result of Your Correspondent’s munificence in taking the wrong turning at No8, thereby seizing defeat from the jaws of victory, having held an apparently unassailable lead in the closing stages of the final lap. However the starting line offered an unusual challenge to one sailor who, waiting for the start gun on the pin end, was confronted by an unknown – except to its helm! – Laser crossing the line in the wrong direction. On port. Never a dull moment at Warley Moor. And it was good to see some new blood on the starting line, with Rob Trevor & his son Laurie graduating from Saturday sailing to Sunday Series racing, and both showing potential.
The final race saw a dozen competitors lining up. From the start line the fleet divided, with most heading towards the centre of the pond and what seemed to be cleaner wind, while a group of 3 stayed on the bank, taking advantage of shifts to make steady progress towards No6. This may have been the better tactic since those 3 – Mike Palmer, Kevin Holmes and Tim Hartley (Laser Radial) eventually took the podium positions in that order, followed by Team Holden and then, an unusual sight at the Club, a double-hander piloted by Henry Goodman and Steve Tunnacliffe in the Club Wayfarer. It seems that Tim’s replacement mast took a little time to bed in, as his placings improved from 5th to 4th, and finally a third. If only we’d sailed twice more!
Thanks go to Colin Vickerman as OD, ably assisted by George Oxley, and to Charles & Stuart Watson on safety boat.

YPSS – June 2nd

Another Saturday and another Young People’s Saturday Sailing (YPSS). We were hoping for light winds and nice sunshine but guess what? Low cloud. It was nice gentle force 2-3 but we could hardly see the water never mind the far bank. 3 Young People turned up along with Dads. We did a little work on the ‘No Go Zone’. (All about slices of cake). Unfortunately we didn’t have cake but maybe next week! Eventually we were able to see number 1 mark so we rigged a Topper. First of all we practised capsizing with Henry hanging onto the boat – always popular. Henry had planned the lesson about lay lines. So we talked about them. The first exercise was to sail to number 1 buoy using the lay line and then sail back to the shore and land without crashing up the bank or jumping out too soon. We then added another mark just off the end of the jetty. The objective was to sail to the new mark using lay lines, sail across to number 1, gybe round it, and then go back and stop at number 1 pretending it was the jetty! We thought we had better practise with a buoy before we start landing at the jetty or there might be a few large bangs and crashing. We saw some very nice sailing from Denis, Emily and Harry. Well Done to you all.
See you all next week, Happy Sailing, Sue

Sunday Dinghy Racing – May 27

Sunny, warm and windy at the club on Sunday – what’s not to like. The windsurfers certainly thought so with several “blasting” up and down the reservoir at great speed. Several dinghy sailors also took to the water for three races in challenging conditions, ranging from lulls of 15 knots (not much of that) to gusts of 25 knots (quite a bit of that). Robin Boardman (Laser Full) proved the most consistent on the day, posting two firsts and a second place. The Sprint 15s of Steve Tunnacliffe, Dave Walker and Charles Watson, were also at the front of the fleet, as was Tim Hartley (Laser radial) until his top mast could take no more and snapped off (see Facebook). Mike Palmer (Supernova) enjoyed the conditions as did Brendan Briggs (Contender).
There are two Sundays left in the series (full results can be viewed here)- we look forward to seeing you there.

YPSS – May 26

Five Young People and a few adults turned up on Young People’s Saturday Sailing (YPSS) but I think we all knew the outcome before we set off from home. Blown out. Too windy. Force 6, no sailing today. Boo Hiss. I suppose we knew the light winds would not last. Shame really as we had hoped to have the first race of the season. We all had a go with the anemometer (look the word up) just to make sure it was too windy and played with Katie and Bethan’s dog until someone threw the piece of rope in the water. Dog was not getting wet. Never mind, there’s always next week. Henry is going to teach everyone about lay lines. Look it up if you get chance and come prepared for the lesson. Congrats to Katie for gaining her RYA Stage 2 down at Otley. Well done.
See you all next week – Happy Sailing, Sue

New Jetty In Place

After many months of planning and a great deal of preliminary work, Monday 30th April saw the successful installation of our new floating jetty. Several club members were on hand to assist the team from Aqua-Dock to launch the pontoon and set the anchors.
The result is a very impressive structure that should serve the club for many years. The jetty was partly funded by a grant from the EON Community Fund which was administered by the Community Foundation For Calderdale.
There is still some work required to remove the remains of the old jetty but hopefully that will be completed shortly.