Bartley Sailing Club Blog
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Practice, practice, practice... that's what it's all about. So, having only sailed together for the last few months (and never on the sea), Richard and I headed for the one day event at Portchester on 14th May.
The entry list had been steadily growing over the previous two weeks, and when we entered 32 RS400's were headed for the coast with sunshine & winde forecast a plenty.... a little too much for me if I'm honest.
Our journey started, a little too casually, at 8am yesterday...and ended in blind panic arriving at 11:30am for a 12pm briefing & a 12:30 start.... all before we'd put the boat together, fixed the spinnaker cleat & got changed.... Something had to give, and unfortunately, the customary bacon sandwich & cup of tea gave way to a Bounty & a swig of Fanta.
The good people of Portchester sailing club did their very best to help us all get on the water promptly, and with some trepidation, we launched into a good 20+ knots breeze. I have to admit to feeling particularly nervous at this point, I don't handle the heavier stuff particularly well - google apocolyptic conditions at the Steve Nicholson trophy and you'll understand why, but as the opening line says, practice, practice, practice.
For the first race, we roamed a little too far away from the start line, and without any timings just about made it - Not a great start, but we were under way. The pressure was on the left of the course, we were about two thirds of the way down the fleet & with 20 boats rounding the windward mark to port... made for an interesting approach for us back markers, lots of tiller movement usually preceeded by lots of shouting. And so having rounded the windward mark we start our downwind leg... I'm not really sure whether or not it was an advantage being that far back, but with the breeze still building, what lay in front was something akin to carnage, at the gybe mark there were 400's aplenty upside down. No such drama for us, made a nervous gybe, and managed to creep back up to 16th for the first race.
The second race was a little more entertaining - nailed the start, held our lane, and came into the windward mark in 5th (I think).... a little misunderstanding between crew & helm resulted in our only capsize of the day. The rest of that race is a bit of a blur, we recovered, overtook a few boats, had a storming last reach before overtaking more boats right before the finish line - and rather surprisingly finished 8th.
By now, the fleet was a little decimated, some retired wounded, others majestic in their victory - Russ & Penny Clark were simply untouchable. Feeling pretty exhausted, we started the last race of the day, hoping for only two laps! The RO duly delivered, and without much incident, we replicated our race 2 performance, coming in 8th.
Overall, we finished 10th - which, I think it's fair to say we're both very happy with. We found out afterwards that the breeze peeked at 28 knots, and down wind, it's probably the quickest I've been in a 400. We had a couple of hairy moments, when the kite gybes and the main doesn't, it usually spells disaster, but both times we recovered. Nerves aside, we had a great day, so a big thanks to the good people of Portchester for putting on a wonderful event - the afternoon tea post racing was well received.
Looking for to Hayling Island in June!
Also a big thank you to Ann Kelly… again for taking on the role of organising our team and getting those keen members engaged for the day.
Our efforts haven’t gone unnoticed as Bartley SC was aired on TV Made In Birmingham now available on catchup later today if you missed it https://www.madeinbirmingham.tv/catchup/?c=lifestyle&p=x4ugxs
Guy Mason and I were so proud of Bartley Sailing club members efforts and results we have created for the RYA West Midlands, a great job - well done.
By way of final feedback from our day…
PBTO figures faithfully kept by our star greeter – Maisy, shows 44 brand new people attending (24 adults and 20 children) and 41 having a sailing trip including so top Fireball guys. Whilst this may not seem massive it is good to have so much interest in Bartley’s local sailing community. We also had approx 10 other people who simply came down and watched from the shores!.
The team headed by Ann Kelly worked so hard along with 12 others who tirelessly focused all day to make it a great success. Working together so hard as a team to get the youth K2o out on the day was also an achievement.
We had lots of SUP’s (paddle boarders) out with Katie & her Supper friends doing a great job. Ed Bader, Caroline, Nigel and Nick went sailing with some first timers. Huw Davies was a bid support all day. Dave Jones took the helm of the powerboats and some joy rides to get people out on the water. Dan our club Bosun ensured we were all fuelled up and ready. Claire got some windsurfers on the water and Rachel and Cia kept us all feed and watered and Simon helped with the preparation beforehand.
Hopefully this will lead to two or three people signing up for the beginners course especially Rob and Niall who were on duty all day are going to join the improvers sessions on a Wednesday night.
Bartley SC Sailing Committee Chairman
Thank you all so very much for helping make the event a success. Everyone worked so hard and worked together as a team to get K2o completed as well as PTBO. Overcome rigging issues and petrol requirements, extra duty help for the visitors sailing trips “ just in case” – as well kitting everyone out, directing to boats and general safety. Also our volunteer helms and folks generally chatting about the club. Katie & her Supp friends doing a great job with the paddle boarders. Perhaps we should a K2o for paddle boarders! (and we all want a go now) Claire with our windsurfers. Rachel and Cia (sorry if spelt wrong) keeping us feed and watered and Simon with the preparation beforehand.
The club should be very proud of its helpers. A great job well done.
A brief summary of PBTO figures faithfully kept by our star meeter and greeter – Maisy, shows 42 attending (22 adults and 20 children) and 38 having a sailing trip.
So if you were feeling tired you have every right to be.
Hopefully this will lead to two or three signing up for the beginners course and Rob and Niall who were on duty are going to join the improvers sessions on a Wednesday night.
Thank you again
Not long now till PUSH the BOAT OUT day at Bartley SC (Sat 13th May)
This year PTBO at Bartley SC is looking to get even more people out on the water and experiencing the joy of sailing!
- Evening racing
Sadly there has been a dramatic decline in Thursday night attendance sailing to the point where only couple of boats are turning up. Unfortunately this is not economical for the club as each time it’s open we incur staff and associated running costs. It is proposed that the Thursday night sailors could amalgamate with Tuesday night from next week. In order to not disturb the single handers the 400 fleet will have a start at 18.55 and will self-manage their course and finish. The menagerie fleet that can also sail will start with the 400,s.
We are planning that whilst a windward leeward course sits better with them they will use the top and bottom marks only this way courses for the single handers will remain unaffected with their normal variation.
This is not intended to disrupt existing sailor’s enjoyment but merely to facilitate sailing for all. We hope this will be accepted by the membership as a necessary and viable solution that should also help a more sociable club nights and less demand on the number of duties carried out from Tuesday sailors. Results will be calculated at the end.
BARTLEY S.C. Ltd
To all Members,
The AGM date has been set for the Saturday 6th May 2017.
The meeting will start as soon as practical after the days Club racing.
Attached are the Company Accounts for year to Oct 31 2016
The forecasts looking great for tonight & for the weekend..... Why not come along this evening and join us for a sail !
A bumper fleet of 30 RS400's turned out for this years round of the RS Sprints at Rutland. For the uninitiated, the Sprints is a one off event comprising 12 short 20 minute races over the course of the weekend.
By my reckoning (and I'm bound to have missed some), this year's stellar entry list comprised 3 x national champions past & present, 4 x sprint champions past & present, the current winter champion..... and not forgetting the odd Olympian..... No pressure then!
Bartley SC always attend well at the Sprints, and this year was no exception with 6 boats travelling. So on Saturday in most un-Rutland like conditions (sub 20 knots) we all launched into virtually no breeze..... subsequently developing into no breeze at all! After roughly 2 hours a float, a more Rutland like 15 knots blew through (blew through being the operative words), settling down into the forecast 7-8 knots... and eventually we managed to get away. Stars of the first race were undoubtedly Wayne & Gareth, tacking off quickly, they rounded the windward mark well ahead of the fleet, eventually finishing 2nd in that race.
Such were the conditions, that consistency was always going to be the key... Unfortunately, not many of us were consistent - all Bartley boats (I think) posting a top 5 finish in the qualifiers, but not in each race. Our intrepid & blurry eyed team assembled Sunday morning, genuinely not knowing which fleet they'd be sailing in (Gold, Silve or Bronze). In the end only our most recent Sprint champs Messrs Knight & Knight made the cut for the Gold fleet.
Sunday's racing proved to be equally as tricky if not more so, the wind had shifted around to the West and at best again was only the forecast 6-7 knots..... After our alloted 6 races, Bartleys sailers finished.... Knight/Knight 7th Gold fleet, Downing/McDonnell 3rd Silver Fleet, Ashwell/Cliff 7th Silver fleet, Hancox/Blakemore 8th Silver fleet, Eaves/Pace 10th Silver fleet.... and in their first 400 event Chris & Claire Bownes won the Bronze fleet - well done guys.
A special mention should go to Caroline & Jason for providing the pre race entertainment on Saturday morning..... who else would turn up for an event & decide to change their pole line......preparation, preparation, preparation!!
All in all a great weekend... looking forward to the next traveller