Dinghy Racing – 3rd Sunday Series

Winds of 30 knots plus, curtailed the last Sunday of the 3rd Dinghy Series, leaving Kevin Holmes as overall series champ with Tim Hartley second and Ben Tunnacliffe third. Well done, again, Kevin Holmes. Full results can be viewed here.
The series saw a healthy entry of 30 helms, boding well for the Winter Series which starts next Sunday, October 29. Despite its name, this series of 2 races a day, starting at 13.00, provides good end of season racing. So, see you all there.

MP rescued from our water!

Our Corporate Member, the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority, use our water for crew training. On October 13th they gave a private demonstration of some of the new powerboats, flood response vehicles and protective kit used for flood rescues in which they have recently invested £500,000. The weather was dour with wind SW 4–5, occasional drizzle or rain and breaking waves. There were about forty people at the club including the Chief Fire Officer with many of his senior staff, the Chair of the Fire Authority councillor Judith Hughes, Halifax MP Holly Lynch (Lab), about 15 boat crew, a reporter and cameraman from BBC Look North who had been allotted 1¾ minutes of screen time. Holly had volunteered to be put in the water to be rescued suitably wearing one of their new dry suits. When edited, the shot from the shore was too small so the cameramen went in another rib to get closer. The MP was put back in the water and re-rescued. The action was transmitted but the club was not shown or mentioned. George Carter, Sue and John Lamb and myself attended to open the club, provide and get information and serve drinks. More information can be found here.
Richard Redman

3rd Sunday Series – October 8

After a blowy day last Sunday, more clement conditions tempted seventeen dinghies (and a lone “stealth” windsurfer) for the seventh day of the 3rd Sunday Series. Competitors enjoyed close racing with none of the previous week’s drama. Along with several spectators, it was busy day at the club, providing an enjoyable day for all. There are just two Sundays left in the series so do come along. The series results so far can be viewed here.
With Wednesday night racing now having finished, there will be a social get together at the Cat i’th Well (or however it’s spelt) pub on the second and fourth Wednesday evening of each month throughout the winter, from 20.30, the first one being this Wednesday October 11. Numbers vary but there is always someone there to talk sailing with.

Fun Day – Sept 23

Twelve Young People along with various parents and club members took to the water on Saturday for the annual Fun Day and BBQ and the last day for Saturdays for 2017.
The wind for once was behaving itself and we were able to run games on the water. Large balls, small balls, blow up animals, crocodiles, dolphins and a killer whale were thrown out to be collected by the boats. A lot of excellent sailing took place in catching these and a little swimming was involved!!. The next game had a variation. Everyone sailing was given a balloon. They had to collect all the balls etc and sail back with the balloons still blown up. I suspect a little cheating went on when Laurie and Eve arrived back with the blow up dolphin and crocodile deflated ( so it would stay in the boat)! Various plastic bags were spotted to collect the balls in.
I was not on the water but was told that one of the funniest moments was when Nathan capsized the Laser and all the balls fell out, disaster! It appears Nathan righted the Laser , collected all the balls up, threw them back in the boat and then climbed in, just as the young people were closing in like Exocet missiles to nick them all.
Dinghies put away we moved inside to build model boats. Charles just arrived just in time to judge the best boats. Eve created rather a strange boat shaped like Bourg Cube ( Star Trek for those in the know). It said on it use your imagination. It took a lot of imagination to turn it into a boat but who am I to question why. We then moved outside to launch the boats. Most floated, some upside down. I think the best design was from Nick who brought one he had made earlier. It had a glass bottom and it was still intact when we rescued the boats from the North bank on Sunday. If you would like your boat back they are on the table in the club house. Not sure what happened to Laurie and Marcus’s very elaborate catamaran. I think it has sunk because we could not find it.
Simon fired up the BBQ and everyone tucked in. There were various competitions in the club house; name my cats which Emma and Gaynor both got correct. The rather large duck which belongs to Sarah needed a name, Bill Holms won this competition naming the duck Daphne! Bethan, Katie’s sister, created a wonderful picture of a boat and we had to pin the lady on it. The one nearest the rudder won and the winner was Eve.
We then had prize giving. Marcus was the overall winner of all our races over the last 5 months adults and children together. The adult winner was Steve H. Fergus was the joint winner (with Marcus) of the Young People’s races. Well done to everyone who raced
I would just like to thank everyone that supported this Fun Day. It was an excellent day; the safety boat crews of Steve D, Nick, John and George; Simon for sourcing and cooking the food, and especially Karen who worked tirelessly behind the counter serving the food.
And a very large thank you to all the adults and parents who have assisted with the Young People’s Sailing throughout the Summer, especially Stuart for setting our courses. Without you all we could not function.
We start Young Peoples sailing again May 2018. Until then, Happy Sailing, Sue

Young People’s Saturday Sailing – Sept 16

We hit a record high last Saturday with 18 sailing boats on the water. It was rather crowded on the launching ramp. 10 Young People came to sail along with 11 adults. It was so good to see so many people enjoying the water. It was about a force 3 with the wind coming from the North west gradually moving around to the North east, which made for a rather a cold wind. Undaunted, Stuart set the race and 18 boats started. Eve was the first Young Person to finish, followed by Marcus and 3rd was Emma. The first adult to finish was Brendan in the Contender. Some of our Young people had never seen a Contender before so were very impressed. Harry a word of warning, you are too small to sail a Contender. Maybe Brendan might take you out for a ride in it. The 2nd adult to finish was Steve in the Streaker and 3rd was Ian in the Topaz. Well done to everyone as it was not an easy course. Stuart did shorten it to 3 laps though. Best capsize went to Nathan who appeared to suddenly find himself sitting under the sail. Very elegant Nathan. I know the feeling!! As we started to pack up we had a hail stone shower which was quite spectacular. This year I think we have have every type of weather except snow. Let’s hope for nice weather next Saturday when we have the Fun Day and BBQ. This will be the last Saturday of 2017. All club members and their families welcome. Please come and join us . There will be on the water games if it’s not too windy and on shore activities and the prize giving. Something for everyone I hope. Please let either me know or Simon Hustler if you are coming. We need numbers for the BBQ please. Many thanks to John and Ben for the safety boat and as always Stuart for being the OD and Simon for helping.
Happy Sailing, Sue

Young People’s Saturday Sailing – Sept 9

Well, I will stop moaning about the wind after watching hurricane Irma hitting the west coast of Florida. Scary winds. I think we have problems with the wind on Saturdays, but it’s nothing in comparison. Last Saturday was surprisingly good. I thought we would be blown out but we had a really good afternoon with light winds and sunshine, and then stronger winds with very dark clouds and rain followed by light winds. It was very changeable. Impossible to know whether to reef the sails or not. Harry reefed his sails on the Topper to begin with and then came in when the winds lightened and changed to a full sail. After tea break the dark clouds rolled in so he reefed it for the race, only to find himself frustrated at the back of the fleet with a small sail when the wind disappeared. Harry, sometimes this happens. We welcomed Isabel and her Mum and sister. Isabel went out in the Mirror with Henry and thoroughly enjoyed herself. Stuart set a course and 6 boats set off. Fergus in his Laser beat us all. Well done. Second was Henry and Isabel, third was Emily with me in the Topper, 4th was Robert, Fergus’s Dad in the Pico, 5th was Paul, Harry’s Dad in the Pico and last but not least in a Topper with a very small sail was Harry. Disaster struck when the Mirror rudder fell apart but in true engineering spirit Ben mended it with a hammer which goes with the popular saying ‘If in doubt hit it with a big hammer’. Thank you Ben. Thanks as always to the Safety Boat Crew, this week Stephen and John and to Stuart for being our OD. Please don’t forget the Fun Day and BBQ Saturday 23rd Sept which is open to all members and familys. A message will be issued very soon for numbers. See you all next week.
PS The weather is starting to get a bit colder so don’t forget to bring warm jumpers, hat and gloves to wear as extra when sailing.

Fun Day

Saturday 23rd September is the final day for Young People’s Saturday Sailing for this year. We have a ‘Fun Day’ on the last day where we do silly games, competitions, races and prize giving, etc. We hope that the wind is kind to us so we can run this on the water but a shore based program is also being planned, just in case. This year we are inviting anyone that sails on Sundays to join us. As per last year, Simon is going to finish the afternoon with a BBQ. Food will be for sale at reasonable prices so you do not have to bring your own. Please could you let Simon Hustler or Sue Lamb know if you will be attending the BBQ. We need numbers please. Also let us know if you are a vegetarian.
See you there. Sue Lamb

Dinghy Racing – Autumn arrives

Well, that begins to feel like the end of another year, with the final race of 2nd Wednesday Series taking place in the gloom of a very cool autumnal evening (Sept 6). Seems to me that if we are to enjoy what our usual Indian Summer this month we’d better head to Delhi. And not the Caribbean. Seven dinghies lined up for the start, by then only one of these on its side, although its former helm William Holms could be seen floating spread-eagled, Michelin Man style, some distance away from his Laser that, at least, had the sense to head back to the pontoon. Meanwhile Andrew Swift surprised everyone, including himself, as he hammered up to the line into a non-existent gap with timing that was almost impeccable save 2 seconds, just allowing him to nick Kevin Holmes’ rudder on the way past.
In the F3/4 NW wind Dave Walker headed off into the distance, the stronger breeze ideally suiting the Sprint, much to the chagrin of Cox team Charles Watson and Ian Meek, although they had little time to reflect as the newer racers, and of course Henry Goodman, kept them busy throughout. No2 seemed particularly tiresome, as did the run down to No1, but both Andrew Swift and Nathan Lucas coped extremely well in the difficult conditions although, wisely, Nathan is sticking with his safety helmet for a while longer: good decision. Meanwhile Kevin Holmes and Your Correspondent took up the cudgels as we had throughout the Series, with both contriving to hit different course marks at one time or another, so cancelling out each other’s penalty. As the race finished Dave Walker (Sprint) had lapped all bar one, and took top spot. Second was Kevin Holmes (Streaker), less than 2 seconds per lap clear of Mike Palmer (Supernova: the trial of Sunday’s 3rd race in a Laser Radial still a sensitive matter), but having done enough to clinch the Series (overall series results here).
The following Sunday (Sept 10) saw the third day of the 3rd Series (are you keeping up?) with an accurate forecast of bluster and cold keeping numbers down. Sadly, our top racing correspondent (MP) suffered a dismasting before the start of the first race. The rest of the attendees fought on with Ben Tunnacliffe in his Sprint taking the day’s honours followed by Tim Hartley in a Laser radial and Dave Walker in another Sprint. Many thanks to the safety boat crew for keeping cheery despite the cool conditions.
Wednesday report, Author Mike Palmer – Sunday report, Robin Boardman

Young People’s Saturday Sailing – Sept 02

At last, a light wind day, Yippee!! I think it’s only the third light wind Saturday we have had this year. 12 boats took to the water. It was very congested on the launching ramp. I decided we should see just how fast everyone could sail in light winds so Rob Trevor and George Carter in the safety boat were tasked with throwing a plastic duck up by number 5 mark. Everyone had sail up there and find it. It not easy finding a little plastic duck floating on our pond but amazingly whilst everyone was trying to make their boat go fast I spotted it just in front of my boat, so I grabbed it. We then spent the next 45 minutes hunting the duck. The safety boat raced from one end of the pond to the other throwing the duck out being chased by all the boats. It was fun riding on the wake of the boat until I got swamped! After tea break, Stuart set a course and 10 boats joined in the race. The winner was Henry in his Laser, Steve in the Streaker being 2nd. Third was Ben with Tom crewing in the Lark. Well done to everyone that raced. I know you are used to lots of wind, particularly Sarah who entered her first race, and finished. We welcomed Lara with her mum Jenny. Emma took her out and gave her a first lesson and whilst Emma joined in the race I took her out in the Topper. I then jumped in the safety boat and Lara was left on her own. She did really well and didn’t have a swim! Many thanks to the safety boat crew of Rob and George and to John who volunteered to be the catcher when everyone sailed back in, but he was not needed as everyone could sail in safely due to the light winds. We had no one in the fence, on the jetty or upside down – what a difference light winds make. Thanks to Stuart who set the course and Jenny who did the teas, much to Stuart’s delight as he is usually the tea maker. See most of you next week.
Happy Sailing, Sue.

Dinghy Racing – Wed August 30

Of Assorted Streakers (Pt2).
As the nights draw in and the day of the final midweek race lies just over the horizon the 2nd Wednesday Series is drawing to a fascinating climax. 27 helms have registered, although it is a moot point whether Hon Memb Sec’s inclusion, by way of 3 claims for average points for his much appreciated stand-ins but without ever sitting astride a dinghy, really counts. Nevertheless 5 helms have already qualified with another 3 able to, if they can be bothered to turn up, while the pattern of the year’s Series so far is repeating itself, with Your Correspondent snapping at the heels of Kevin Holmes who can yet grab defeat from the jaws of victory. Full results here. Next week’s race, starting at 1845, is full of promise.
In a NW gentle breeze, with gusts that would ease later, Dave Walker (Sprint) rigged with an eager anticipation that quickly evaporated on the water as he failed to make ground as the wind dropped, and chalked up a Magnificent Seventh, just behind William Holms (Radial). Tussles down the field between Andrew Swift (Radial) and Richard Redman (Streaker) resulted in a close finish, with Richard stealing 4th by a decimal point, but top spot went to Mike Palmer (Supernova) ahead of Kevin Holmes (Streaker) and Colin Vickerman (Supernova). Elsewhere progress resembled a trial of the proposed wireless “platooning” of driverless HGVs on our motorways, a train of 3 vehicles controlled by a single driver in the lead truck. Perhaps this is a model we could adopt for our less-popular racing days, for bad weather, or for a Winter Series?
The after-race de-briefing (word selected meticulously) at th’ Cat in’th Well was, dear fellow-members, an honour and a privilege to witness. From the opening welcome by Tim Hartley – later targeted by a canine that allowed him to reveal an inclination towards dogging – a proposition to Kevin Holmes of favours available if returned, matters touched upon mundane sailing issues before quickly turning to certain social media sites. Some members displayed a rather surprising depth of knowledge of their applications, others trying but failing to feign ignorance. It turns out that Henry is indeed a CNTNDR, that Andrew Swift is well-named whether afloat or with a throbbing beast between his legs – that Norton is a Classic – and that both Kevin and Richard were prescient in choosing a STRKR. We remain unsure about RBN BRDMN who, presently without sails, seems to be a floater with little sense of direction.
Many thanks to OD George Oxley, and to rescue team Chris Haywood and Peter McDonagh.
Author – Mike Palmer
(Note from webmaster to self – do not venture to’t Cat in’th Well as there, true madness lies)