The first day of racing on the Celebration weekend saw Colin Smith and his son James fittingly win the Paul Smith trophy in the Albacore.
Sunday's racing was epic. Only 6 Lasers and at times only 4 but the competition was enthralling in extremely gusty conditions. Colin Smith, who had won the Paul Smith race the day before in the Albacore, decided to sit out the first race. All competitors sailed Radial rigged boats and in races 2 and 3 Colin gave a master class performance in Laser sailing. Everyone who sailed did themselves proud and capsizes were the order of the day. Ben Skull eventually won the Jim Newbury trophy which is very apt as Jim taught him to sail when he was a youngster at the club.
Dai Griffiths (Sunday's RO on the right in the right image)
Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th June is the Herne Bay SC Celebration weekend, a time to remember the lives of past members of the sailing club. There will be a series of five races with two on Saturday and three on Sunday.
Saturday 15th June
1130 Race 1 Paul Smith Pursuit Race
Race 2 handicap race with first placed person winning the Colin Sproxton trophy
Sunday 16th June
Jim Newbery memorial race
1200 Race 3 (or as soon as possible thereafter depending on when the Saxon Shore half marathon runners have cleared the promenade)
Depending on the wind, lunch will be either after race 3 or 4.
Come and enjoy a great weekend. The bar and galley will be open.
Congratulations to Herne Bay Sailing Club member David Hogben, who has been named on the Queen's Birthday Honours List 2019. He has been awarded the British Empire Medal for his contribution to the community of Herne Bay.
David has been instrumental in developing opportunities for local people of all ages to get involved with sailing through successfully winning grant funding to purchase a range of training dinghies and sailing clothing, and a large Sport England Inspired Facilities grant to build a new boat shed. He has also been involved helping to run Herne Bay Sailing Club for much of the last 20 years and is a RYA Powerboat Instructor. He held the position of Commodore from 2008-11, has been Vice-Commodore since 2011 and also shares responsibility for overseeing the good condition of the fabric of the clubhouse.
In addition, having spent most of his working career in London, David is the trustee of two charities in the City. The Sir John Cass’s Foundation is a 300 year old charity providing educational opportunities for disadvantaged young people, where David has been particularly involved in setting up an outdoor learning facility in the Brecon Beacons and working with the prison service to provide training and a career path for young offenders. His other charity, HQS Wellington, is a WW2 convoy escort moored at Temple Steps, which also works with young people, providing a hands-on opportunity to learn not only about the convoy system and the War in the Atlantic, but also world trade and an introduction to navigation and the career options available in the marine world.
David is on the right in the photograph.
In a bid to coerce keen volunteers to help safety boat activities, a cunning plan was formulated to offer some race day assistance in order to build skills and confidence.
However, you know when you offer to mentor someone for their first time as safety boat lead and it turns into the busiest day you have ever had on the water with 5 boats to tow ashore and approx 25,000 capsizes...
Many thanks to Tony Smith for stepping forward to do an extra turn as Officer Of the Day so that everyone could enjoy racing. The conditions were brilliant and much fun was had by all involved.
On the prom winds felt light and the sea looked deceptively flat, but once out past the pole it was clear that there was at least a solid F3 from the SSW with some interesting gusts. I say clear, but with three people, two giant Volvo marks, one yellow pillar and buckets of ground tackle, the view was occasionally a little obscured.
The course was laid under Tony's direction and with 25 mins to spare before the race start, there was time to do a little more familiarisation with Humber. A few fast runs between different parts of the course to get a feel for the waves, then a bit of practice with close manoeuvring around the buoys to help judge wind and tide.
Soon the first race was under way and from the speed of the boats as they rounded SP1 and spinnakers started to pop up, we could see it was going to be an exciting afternoon just keeping track of all twelve!
Sam and Michael were literally flying as the 29er skimmed the waves with the two 2000s following at a good pace. Of the two, Laurie's boat was a little quieter, unable to match the excited shrieks from number 2041 which was almost blown over by a sudden gust as they approached the gybe mark, despite dumping a lot of power from the kite. I believe they decided to retire at the end of the first lap.
With Humber sitting just off the gybe mark we patiently waited for the approaching fleet of Lasers to show off their downwind skills, Colin S made it look effortless as he took the turn and dashed off East, and then the fun began.
One by one, at random points on the course, sails were being swapped for dagger boards. With Barry and I spotting, we had Chris zooming all over the place to check on people. As if that wasn't enough, we were also positioning ourselves to discourage personal water craft, and to motoring check on an errant water ski boat in the centre of the course that turned out to be dealing with a minor injury (and was very apologetic for their location!).
After a few more upsidedownings, we saw the RS600 heading to the beach near Coastwatch and tip over in the shallows. A check with the RO confirmed that Steve was dropping his sails and walking the boat back to the club.
At some point it should be noted that one race finished and another one started, but from our perspective there was little impact on our workload, or the ongoing 'hands on' training
I think Chris and Barry both gained some good experience, recovering people and (boat) parts from the water, plus righting, rigging and towing a variety of boats and the general management of a safe sailing area.
Boats returned to shore:
Laser with broken tiller extension.
Laser with tired crew.
6ft plastic bathtub tender who had dropped anchor at the windward mark due to mechanical issues (very much like a no petrol sort of problem).
420 with tired crew who were fighting to get back up wind & tide.
Merlin Rocket with broken rudder.
Due to the number of other boats still capsizing on the course, we could not tow the Rocket in immediately, so we passed over a spare radio and lifted the crew off to allow the helm to continue practising his 'Seamanship Skills' and rudderless sailing while the race was finishing. It was a brave effort, but with the strength of the wind and speed the tide was running he would likely have made it to the beach somewhere near Minnis.
We returned to meet him again some distance ENE of the dolphin and made began the slow tow home after he had finished dropping his sails.
In all, a great afternoon of racing (although I have no idea who finished in what positions) and a great session for the PB team, and great feedback from the sailors we were supporting !
With a forecast for a sunny day and 8-10mph wind from the SW, all was looking promising for Saturday's Cadet session (as long as parents remembered to bring industrial quantities of sun cream!).
After a bit of boat prep and a short briefing, we soon had power boats in the water and were busy getting the young people afloat.
A Vision and a Wayfarer were launched so that the less experienced young people could get direct supervision from instructors, while four more-competent cadets headed out in single handers to be coached from the water.
This turned out to be trickier than we had hoped due to the wind dropping off rapidly, possibly due to a sea breeze working against the predicted wind, or perhaps someone had just knocked the weather dice over.
Whatever the reason, it made for some very challenging sailing to keep ahead of the fast running tide. At times boats would be moving quickly in good wind, but only 20 metres away others were becalmed and drifting backwards.
Frustrating conditions, but taken in good spirits by the cadets, and a good opportunity to build light wind skills.
When asked 'Which way is the wind coming from?' the only answer we could give was 'Look at your sail, the wind is different for everyone!'
Many thanks to Ben G, instructors and the cadet team for running the day.
Lastly, a special welcome/thanks/congratulations to Adrian P for power boat assistance with his spangly RYA Safety Boat qualification. We look forward to having you on board for more cadet sessions and especially for club week!
It was typical weather for the annual Humphries and Allan cups raced by the cadets in that it was really rather windy. Only three brave youngsters took to the water and the race was eventually abandoned due to strong wind causing two of the three entrants to retire. Duty bodies for the day were Dai, Simon, Colin P & John O.
Due to low water, the morning's safety and coach team decided to leave Humber anchored and everyone went ashore for a quick lunch.
As the wind was picking up in the afternoon, Ben hopped in with Colin as safety in Humber, with Andrew (an evil minor) and Ian took Viking to provide 'additional assistance' if required to ferry stuff ashore or pick up a grown up crew if needed.
Additional assistance was required. There were 10 boats on the water with many capsizes, occasionally two at once, and 4 boats retired, Will returned to shore with dismembered boat towed by Humber with Viking taking the mast/sail, safely secured by the minor.
Of all the boats there were only two that did not capsize, Laurie's 2k and Scarlette in her Topper. Well almost, Scarlette eventually took a brief dip near the end of the last race.
During the day the evil minor did an adequate job of noticing capsizing boats, holding the painter of a capsized boat, and unhooking Victoria's tangled mainsheet. Note added by editor: well done Andrew!
A cracking afternoon on the water, with a lot happy sailors !