Sadly too few red sails on the water anywhere these days - the great Mirror Dinghy a design competition classic from the pages of the Mirror newspaper.
Bartley Sailing Club Blog
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1986 - I was sailing on a Wednesday afternoon in my games lesson from Five Ways School and the Birmingham Mail took this photo to promote sailing as an activity for the forthcoming bank holiday. Track forward 30 years and I still haven't mastered this very simple boat, but the hiking stance and sail controls have improved somewhat!
If you are not up to racing yourself then you can watch the fun on VR Inshore. The steps are listed above. The only tricky bit is finding the race you want when there are lots of custom ones taking place. The bartley races will always be x/20 where x is the number of people that joined.
There are 3 races each session so you need to select the custom race you want to watch each time. Race 1 opens 5 mins before the start time in the calendar. Then the subsequent ones are roughly 10 mins after the previous one (I usually wait until I have the same number of competitors as the previous race logged on).
So if you are not rigged in time for the 11.00 today then why not log on and watch?
Here is a snapshot of the Virtual Regatta racing on Wednesday evening, last night we got up to 16 on the start line with some great races taking place. If you need to brush up on race tactics then this is a great way to do it.
The racing starts at 18.30 tonight and then 2 sets of races on Saturday and Sunday per the calendar
Here are the scores on the doors so far. Monday was a shocker as the VR server kept crashing out so apologies to those who were frustrated by the whole affair. Tuesday evening was completely different - all 3 races went as planned (and I often put on a bonus fun race in case you hadn't noticed). The bonus race on Tuesday was in the Star class and it was hilarious as it was match racing that seemed to bring out the competitor in everyone - I have never seen such aggressive luffing downwind!
Great to see so many on the virtual water - see you tomorrow at 6.30 for the next instalment.
The results are in! I have to screen grab them quickly as once the game finishes they are lost forever. If you think they are wrong in any way then try harder next time as Race Officer's decision is final !
I have some names to put to boats but in the words of Paddy McGuiness 'let the boat see the water - single sailors reveal yourselves' by sending me your boat name and your name to so I can fill them in.
I will run the series for 20 races per class with 50% to count. Low score then countback RRS Appendix A for scoring. Series winner buys the drinks when we get back into the club :)
Next race is Monday evening at 6.30 p.m. I will open it up at 6.25. 20 participants max per race so get in early!
Virtual Regatta got off to a great start this morning with a trial to get to grips with the software and how it works in terms of logging on and race times.Thanks to all who participated and put up with the Race Officer as he ironed out a few teething problems!
This afternoon was much more slick with the 3 races running well to schedule.
All members should have received an e-mail on how to get set up and race. The times are in the calendar - join all races for the day or just pick the ones you are comfortable with.
If you didn't receive the e-mail then contact me on and I will send a copy to you.
Places are limited to 20 for each race, which has been sufficient so far - I will keep an eye on participation though and adjust if required so keep looking at the calendar on the website for updates.
Look forward to seeing you virtually on the water (P.S. a desk fan adds to the realism of the experience...)
We might be off the water but that doesn't mean we can't race whatever the weather!
One of the exciting announcements at the RYA Dinghy Show was that all RYA clubs can get a 1 year VIP pass for Virtual Regatta inshore if they applied by the 25th March. Bartley S.C. have applied to the RYA for a pass and our application is now in progress.
As soon as VR send us our pass we will be able to set up custom races for Bartley members.
If you want to get practicing then you need to log on to the website, set up your e-mail address and alias, complete the 'sailing school' activities and then complete a few practice races (click on the circular icon in the bottom left, chose your craft (49er is free) and practice on your own). That is as far as you can get until we receive our pass (unless you want to spend money but I suggest you don't) so get yourself ready to race!
I am still learning the technology but there is help on-line if you need it - here are the RYA instructions for players:
Please go to https://www.virtualregatta.com/en/inshore-game/ and then click on 'Please connect' and then 'I create my account'.
Players/racers from your club who would like to join in with your 'custom races' (once set up) must also create an account in their own name if they don't already have one (it is free to set up and play). It would be good to get them to start practicing in the races and regattas that are already set up on the game. Everyone that creates a login will automatically be entered into the GBR National Championships and World Championships too.
I will let you know as soon as we are 'live' and then we can get racing again!
Every day is a school day so they say. Rather than wallow in self pity as I can't do the sport I love just now, I decided that it was finally time to up-skill myself.
Some of you may be in the generation that remember Mr Ben on childrens TV; an adventurer who would change outfits he had seen in a shopkeeper's window ready to take on whatever the episode threw at him. It had a famous line when Mr Ben had finished his quest at the end of the show that went 'and as if by magic the shopkeeper appeared' . This was the cue that the adventure was over, Mr Ben changed back into his normal clothes and went on his way.
I am reminded of this quote as every time I tie a bowline on my boat because 'as if by magic Colin Staite appears' reminding me that a splice is twice as nice as a knot and much stronger. My staple response has been 'yes, but I have never had a rope break at the knot' to basically hide the fact that I have no clue how to splice a modern rope!
So when I was sent home from work on Tuesday for the foreseeable future I immediately invested in some fids off Amazon that arrived soon after. I unwrapped them and discovered 'everyday is a school day #2' as the instructions are in French! Not to worry - I found a Londoner and an American who could help me out on Youtube and off I went.
Rope without a core - no problem - everything in the house of this construct now has a spliced loop in it.
Rope with a core - flippin' heck - who thought that was a good idea? After 1/2 hr with skin worn thin on both hands I finally managed one rather pathetic loop and hundreds of new expletives! I think I will leave it a few days before I try to master that one...
I hope you are all well, doing whatever you are managing to do, whilst at home and are following the government guidance for the benefit of all. Keep safe and well, and I will keep sending out a blog from time to time to remind us all that there is a great stretch of water waiting for us all at the end of this.
Three of my efforts below - marks out of 10?
Hopefully you will be aware of the Coronavirus guidance provided by the government on 16th March regarding social distancing measures, preventing all unnecessary travel, avoiding pubs, clubs, theatres and other social venues, and working from home where possible. With the additional guidance for a potential 12 week isolation for groups more vulnerable to the virus starting this weekend.
We have also been reviewing the RYA stance on Covid-19 and have noted that they have cancelled all training activity and events until the end of April at a minimum.
The committee have therefore decided to suspend all club activity and close the facility until further notice. This is not a decision that we have taken lightly, however there is overwhelming evidence that this is the correct course of action at the current time.
We hope that we can rely on your support during this time and will keep members updated as and when we have any further information.
All duty crews will be reallocated to a later duty as the closure date extends past the duty date. Please keep your duty date in your diary until the date has passed though so we can start up efficiently when the time comes.
All of our partners have been informed of the situation and we will be in touch with class associations for Supernova and Merlins to discuss how they wish to proceed with the Open meetings scheduled for April (cancel or postpone).
This has been a difficult decision and it is frustrating for all of us, but safety and well-being come first so we hope you all stay safe, fit and well during this time, and lets hope it doesn't go on too long.