Race Reports - B&FYC sailors competing at various open events.

2017 British Soling Championships - Rutland Water 8-10th July

Report by Gary Richardson
The British Soling Championships kicked off on Friday 8th July with 7 Solings on the start line. This event turned out to be an ‘International Affair’ with representatives from England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Germany, Argentina, France, Australia and the United States all taking part! There was also a fairly large number of youth sailors mixed in with the ‘experienced’ sailors that have been around for a little longer than the Soling yacht itself, that as most will know, has now been around for more than 50 years!
Friday saw winds out of the WNW direction at around 5 to 10 knots oscillating up to 20 degrees. A course was set in a sausage/triangle/sausage format and a start line that was remarkably square to the median wind direction, making it pretty difficult to figure out the line bias at the ‘gun’! First out of the gate on race 1 was GBR155 (Gary Richardson, Karl Sloane and Stewart Lee) and never lost the lead through to the finish. USA853 (Matias Collins, Estanislao Bosch and Francois Gombeaud) was second after making their way past GBR47 (Rob Morris, Dominic Burk and Titus Treneman), GBR161 (Hamish Loudon, Robert Mountain and John Dinnie) and GBR144 (Matthias Noebels, Andy Ritchies and David Guite) who were 3rd, 4th and 5th respectfully. GBR129 (Joe Ironside, Harry Gilchrist and Paul Tully) and GBR127 (Steffi Brown, Joe Briars and Gareth Larkin) both crewed by young local (and very keen!) sailors brought up the rear by some margin.
The boats then came in for lunch, which was quite alien for some of the non-British participants, who had to have it explained that the British were very partial to a cup of tea in the early afternoon. This gave an opportunity early on for some handy hints to be passed on to the local boats by the more experienced Soling sailors, making a big difference to them for races 2 and 3 and an even bigger difference to them in the subsequent races on Saturday and Sunday, as more tips and tricks (and a bit of gear) were passed on. Lovely to see this attitude from all of the more experienced Soling sailors!
Races 2 and 3 on Friday were in very similar conditions to race 1 with the results very similar too. GBR155 winning all three races on Friday with USA853 in close attendance.
Saturday's races were a little more of a ‘mixed bag’ with only 2 out of the 7 boats not getting disqualified from a race for not sailing the proper course! The conditions were a couple of knots breezier than the previous day and the first course, sausage/triangle/sausage, was set. USA853 got a great start and built a good lead on the first beat and subsequent run, unfortunately they omitted to go through the start finish ‘gate’ on the 2nd windward leg per the sailing instructions, and were disqualified, leaving GBR155 with a gift of a 1st place closely followed by GBR47 and GBR161.
The ‘favour’ was returned on the second race though! After a ‘tangle’ on the start line, USA853 found themselves well down the pack and contemplating a hard race attempting to regain places! But the ‘pegging was levelled’ when 4 of the 7 boats omitting to go around the windward spreader mark that was prescribed for the windward/leeward course that the race officer had set. 3 of the boat crews admitted to forgetting about the requirement to go around the spreader mark and the crew on GBR155 admitted to not realising that the course had been changed to windward/leeward! One can draw one’s own conclusion as to which was the bigger mistake but the end result was the same, GBR161, USA853 and GBR127 registered the 1, 2, 3 in that order.
Saturday’s 3rd race was won quite emphatically by the international crew on USA853 with GBR155 second and the young crew from Southampton on GBR47 coming in third.
The fourth race was once again being dominated by USA853 until the second run when GBR155 managed to close in and pass them with a tight gybing duel as they approached the leeward mark. The favour was, once again, returned by USA853 as the boats approached the leeward mark for the third and final time. A gybing duel ensued and USA853 this time came from behind to become the victor and managing to hang on to the lead across the line after the subsequent tacking duel on the short beat to the finish. This race was applauded by both the officials on the committee boat and the spectators ashore! GBR144 managed a steadily improving and creditable 3rd.
The morning of the final day arrived with very little wind and the race officer (who had done a fine job throughout the event) managed the expectations of the fleet by explaining that we may not get enough breeze to complete either of the 2 scheduled races, but that we should go out on the course and hope for the best. After about an hour of postponements due to lack of wind and up to 180 degree shifts, the wind did fill in at around 6 knots and steadied enough to lay a course and get a race underway. GBR155 once again ‘got out of the blocks’ expediently and managed to build a big lead on the first beat. They held the lead for the subsequent run and second beat only to have their sizable lead cut to about a boat length on the second (and final) run as the wind died and the rest of the fleet brought new wind down the course, but they managed to hold on for the race and the series win.
So the club put forward and excellent showing with B&FYC sailors finishing 1st, 3rd and 5th.
A last minute draft to team USA 853 for next weeks Soling European Championships happened on the Sunday evening and a report from Robert should follow next week.
After the event sincere thanks were extended to Paul Tully from the entire fleet of sailors for his stewardship in reviving the Soling Class within the UK.
Thanks were also given to Dave Fish in appreciation of his many years of 'grass roots' support of the Soling Class within the UK. He was presented with the Soling '50 year' book which was signed by the entire fleet.

2017 Lord Birkett Memorial Trophy

Gusts, guts, shifts, lanes, port/ starboards, beer and Islands sums up the frills and spills of over 30 members of Blackpool and Fleetwood Yacht Club at the Lord Birkett Memorial Trophy Race; one of the top 10 must do Regattas in the U.K. 

Day 1 saw the longest hardest 7 miles for the 230 boats with over 460 racers of pure tactical beating; seeing Mike Preston/ Dave Manifold; Andrew Taylor and Nick Holt/ Derek Hill round in the Top 50. Sailors were rewarded with an even harder downwind leg resulting in carnage for over 30 boats capsized in the shearing gusty conditions.  Nick Holt and Derek Hill joined Swim time while Andy Taylor held on and prayed; placing Andy with an excellent 35 position and top in the Blaze class overnight. 
Peter Mountain’s smoky camp fire on Saturday night heard tales of woe, collisions, broken boats/souls, exaggerated speeds and sailing prowess; all to be repeated the next day.

Sunday lighter breeze made it easier on the aching muscles but harder on the mind with gains to be had finding the breeze and shifts.  4 club boats Rob Mountain/ Bob Johnston/ Dave Guite/ Paul Reid and Mark and Ruth Brammer in their SB20's crossed tacks many times with Gary Richardson/ Karl Sloane/ Stewart Lees in Soling GBR 155 and Mike Preston/ David Manifold in their Flying Fifteen.  Mixed in with the other 240 boats lead to friendly gestures of after you!!
Mike Preston found himself on the rocks trying to literally sail over (not round) Wall Holm Island. The crunch of hitting the wall of submerged rocks only ankle deep in water echoed down the Ullswater valley, notifying fellow club members of this error of judgement. 
Hats off goes to our youngest member Ralph Chaplin (12 years Old) with dad Adam completing the course on both days in their GP14. 
Overall Mike Preston/ David Manifold were placed a very respectable 22nd in GBR 3641 in their first Birkett experience and awarded Winners of the Flying Fifteen Class.  Nick Holt/ Derek Hill in the RS400 finished well deserved 29th after a great recovery on the 2nd day. 

Ian Turnbull from Sunderland YC in a single handed Musto Skiff won the Lord Birkett Trophy. 
Thanks goes to Tin Boat John and Ron Preston who provided rescue cover.


B&FYC Team final placings

22nd Mike Preston & David Manifold, Flying 15, 3641 (1st Flying 15)
29th Nick Holt & Derek Hill, RS400, 1155
63rd Pete MacCrystal & Keith Crebbin, GP14, 13737

75th SB20 Dave Townend, Dave Atkinson, Mark & Ruth Brammer, SB20 3095
98th Rob Mountain, David Guyte SB20, 3134
101st Peter Mountain , Flying 15, 3602
126th Andrew Taylor, Blaze 786
150th Ralph H-Chaplin & Adam Chaplin, GP14 13700
161st Steve Jones & Peter Jones, Fireball 15035

GP14 End of Season Championship 2016

The GP14 End of Season Championship was held at Royal Windermere Yacht Club on 15th-16th September 2016. Two crews from Blackpool and Fleetwood participated in the event which boasted a strong entry of 35 including the current GP14 World Champions.

Racing on the Saturday was delayed because of light winds, eventually starting mid afternoon. The race officer was however perfect in his timing, as the wind picked up just as the fleet reached the sailing area and faded to almost nothing at the end of race 2. After the racing, sailors swapped wetsuits for dinner suits and evening gowns to attend a dinner at the Lake District Boat Club.

On the Sunday the winds were stronger, not quite the F7 gusts that had been forecast, but very fluky. It was possible to be on a beat with the boat 20m away on a run and on the same heading. The event was won by current World Champions Shane McCarthy and Andy Thompson. Of the B&FYC crews, Chris and Hannah were a respectable 13th, with Adam & Ralph 34th and delighted not to be last. Ralph also won a prize for youngest helm.








Chris Robinson

Hannah Robinson




Ralph Haliburton-Chaplin

Adam Chaplin




WLYC Southport 24 Hour Race 2016

Two teams from Blackpool & Fleetwood entered this years 24 hour race at Southport, both sailing wooden GP14s.


Neil Marsden and Derek Hill, first out in the "A" boat, had an excellent start and won the Radio Merseyside cup for the fastest first 2 laps. The A team also won the following trophies, eventually finishing 4th overall :

Dog Watch Trophy (dusk race, 20:00 hours)

Stanley Leach Trophy (dawn race, 06:00 hours)

Commodores Prize (4th overall)


B&FYC B team finished 75th overall.


The event was won by South Staffs B team in a GP14, pushed hard by the South Staffs A team who found their Enterprise dinghy well suited to the light wind conditions.

Lifeboat Regatta 2016 - image gallery

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