News 2014 Season

Hampton Merlin Rocket Open meeting Saturday 18th/Sunday 19th October 2014

It would be fair to say that river sailing can be a fickle mistress. Some days she can punish us with hours of fruitless beating against the current, such has been the lot for the Hampton Merlin Rocket meeting competitors for the last two years. This year she treated us to two days of sparkling sailing conditions.

Saturday’s vintage open was sailed in a brisk southerly which veered into the south west during the day. Giving us a tight fetch and a broad reach up and down the river. Following Hampton Sailing Club Vintage Open 2014a short delay the duty team got the fifteen vintage Merlin Rockets started, Rob Wilder and Alex Warren in their Passing cloud design soon found the front followed by John and Deirdre Bell in their mkIX. Phil Dalby and Ben Harridge, also in a mkIX, were slow getting started but soon surged into the lead, which they held until the end. Wilder and Bell were never far behind, allowing them both to finish ahead of Dalby on corrected time.

In the last race   there was some excitement for the spectators as Dana and Matthew had a wobbly downwind leg wind leg, with the boat broaching one way and then the other Dana dived/fell out of the back of the boat and Matthew managed to escape capsize and recover Dana

After a delicious lunch of lasagne, the teams once more took to the water

Once the sailing was got out of the way, 57 people settled down to some serious alcohol consumption which helped down the excellent curry from Hampton Tandoori. A large quantity of dark and stormy was seen off over the course of the evening, leading to questionable dancing and the near crushing of the day’s winning crew.

A few foggy heads greeted the morning; they were soon cleared by the strengthening south westerly breeze. The vintage boats which had survived the onslaught of yesterday were joined by 9 modern boats, swelling the fleet to 18. The wind direction was perfect for our reach giving us a windward- leeward, only getting a bit tricky at the bottom of the course, where it’s affected by Garrick’s Ait.

The first race got away first time, with Rob Wilder, today crewed by Joe McLaughlin, Hampton Sailing Club Merlin Open 2014battling with John and Deirdre Bell and Fran Gifford who was lucky enough to have Alex Warren today. Phil Dalby and Maria Gray had been slow out of the trap but came through with pace. Dalby and Wilder traded the lead for a couple of laps until wilder had problems launching his kite, followed by one of his mainsheet blocks coming adrift, allowing Dalby to get away. Dalby’s lead was significant when he took a swim on a big gust. This left Wilder to take the win, followed by Bell and then Gifford.

Race 2 followed lunch, during which the breeze had been steadily increasing. It was at this point that we found the wind strength where the modern Winder boats could stretch away from the classics. Gifford soon built up an unassailable lead, followed by Tim Harridge and Dave Reid. Phil Dalby only started to catch up towards the end as the wind dropped off a little.

After 2 races, there were 4 teams who could win the open by taking the last race.

As we had a cuppa between races, the wind appeared to be dropping. When we launched, Hampton Sailing Club Merlin Open 2014it came back up with a vengeance. This time John Bell sneaked super crew Richard Parslow into his boat, who howled his way up the first beat. John was probably too scared to do anything but win the race, which he did, clinching the open meeting. Gifford had to go back at the start, she made a valiant come back, getting up to second for a short time, but she couldn’t hang on and finished 5th, to place her 3rd overall. Dalby had a terrible first beat, but got the bit between his teeth and worked his way through the fleet, getting close to Bell at the end, 2nd left him languishing in 4th place for the day. Wilder had a steady race to finish 3rd, which was enough to give him 2nd overall.

Position Merlin Open Competitors Boat No. Race1 Race2 Race3 Points
1 John & Deirdre Bell 1201 2 4 1 3
2 Rob Wilder & Joe McLaughlin 1097 1 5 3 4
3 Fran Gifford &  Alex Warren 3676 3 1 5 4
4 Phil Dalby & Ben Harridge 1761 5 3 2 5
5 Tim Harridge & Dave Reid 3690 4 2 DNF 6
6 Mathew Peregrine Jones & Dana Church 3411 6 9 4 10
7 Alex Jackson & Claudia Wheeler/ Lucy Cooper 3643 10 6 7 13
8 Richard & Peter Page 1222 8 7 DNF 15
9 Stuart & Imogen Jenkins 3560 7 8 DNC 15
10 Charles Anderson & Annie 3706 11 10 6 16
11 Alex Jones & James Warren 3627 9 11 8 17
12 Andrew & Ellie Mills 3511 15 13 9 22
13 Kevin & Sadie Anderson 1631 12 DNC 10 22
14 Sel Shah & Alex 1189 18 15 11 26
15 John & Harry Steward 3682 14 12 DNC 26
16 Hywel Bowen- Perkins & George Thomas 3347 13 14 DNC 27
17 John Hollands & Colin Goodwin 3589 17 16 DNF 33
18 Steve & Sue Harridge 3341 16 DNC DNF 35

After the prize giving for the open meeting, the prizes for the Merlin Rocket Thames series were awarded. Fran and Alex’s 3rd place had been enough to give them over all victory for the season.

Hampton is a small river club that relies on its membership at events like this, thanks to all the members volunteering and making this a highly enjoyable weekend for competitors and spectators alike. Vintage Open Gallery and Open Gallery.

October 2014: Six of our teenagers successfully complete RYA Dinghy Course.
Thanks to Stuart Jenkins for arranging discounted RYA Dinghy Courses with Thames Young Mariners for HSC.

In October six of our teenagers successfully completed the first course to be run for HSC, they achieved the following awards:
HSC Funday 3 - 29

Jon Tweedie-Smith           RYA Dinghy Stage 3
Imogen Jenkins                RYA Dinghy Stage 3
Oliver Jenkins                   RYA Dinghy Stage 3
Francesca Jenkins           RYA Dinghy Stage 3
Jemima Hogg-Andrews   RYA Dinghy Stage 2
Emily Varga                     RYA Dinghy Stage 2

In addition to these awards Lucy Cooper successfully passed her RYA Dinghy Stage 4 and her Advanced Seamanship modules.

Well done.

21st September 2014: James Linney sails in Barts Bash as part of his ‘Olympic Challenge’
P1010765On Sunday 21st September James Linney was a guest at Hampton Sailing Club where he completed a sailing race as part of his Olympic Challenge. He crewed for Keith McArthur the GP14 fleet captain, sail number 13065, in the Bart’s Bash race and finished 15th out of 26 boats. James was so inspired by the London 2012 Olympics and after attending the final day of the athletics didn’t want the experience to end. He decided to set his own Olympic Challenge to participate in each of the official 41 Summer Olympic Sports that are featured in the 2016 Rio Games. By participate he means that he has either learned an aspect of the sport or taken part in a competition – be it at local, regional or national level. This was his 24th completed challenge and you can follow James sporting progress on his website. Well done to James for raising £350 for the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation.


James has now enrolled on a high board diving course, just a 1 meter board to start! and also a rowing course which will soon take his completed sports total to 26. We would like to wish James good luck in all his future events.

James would like to thank Hampton Sailing Club especially Keith for allowing him to complete his sailing challenge.

7th September 2014: HSC GP Open
15 boats attended the Open Meeting, with competitors  from Frensham Pond, Tollesbury, and Papercourt Sailing Clubs. The Open Meeting was also included as a race in the G.P. Association Travellers Trophy.  As can be the case at Hampton, the winds were extremely light and the race was therefore postponed for 30 minutes.  Due to the tricky conditions a short course was laid by the duty officer, and although the line was rather crowded it did turn out a leisurely start requiring no recalls or 720’s.  After an extremely slow race the 1st boat over the line was boat no. 13866 sailed by Richard Ham.


A welcome break for lunch and then the 2nd race was under way with no improvement at all in the wind conditions, this race was eventually won by Phil Chambers sailing boat 8no. 14001 crewed Timmy Parker.  So, all was up for grabs in the last race.   Against all expectations the wind picked up to what Hampton sailors might term as a light breeze, which resulted in a win for boat no 13866, so the overall results were 1st 13866 Richard Ham, Tollesbury Sailing Club, 2nd 14020  David Innes, Frensham Pond Sailing Club, 3rd 10737 Kevin Anderson crewed by Madeleine Anderson, H.S.C,4th 14035 John Hollands crewed by Alison Hollands, H.S.C. The GP14 Open Gallery is now available.

9-11th September 2014: Police Sport UK (PSUK) National Dinghy Sailing Championships. Hosted by Avon & Somerset Constabulary.
Hampton Sailing Clubs Enterprise Fleet Captain Phillip Chambers crewed for David Thompson this week at the Police National Dinghy Championships finishing 5th overall and winning the Seagull Trophy. Well done to Phill. Stuart Jenkins dropped in for Race 4 on a borrowed Solo. Link to PSUK Photo Gallery.

Winners of the Seagull Trophy - David Thompson and Phillip Chambers

Winners of the Seagull Trophy – David Thompson and Phillip Chambers

The Dinghy Championships saw 19 entries. There were notable absences this year. It was thought that among other influences, such a number was also reflective of the lack of new blood coming through; something that appears to affect other sports within the PSUK. Half the helms were retired or close to retirement.

So the three races comprising the normal first day of the Dinghy Championship were compressed into an afternoon’s sailing making 5 races in one day for some competitors. However, conditions continued similar to the morning’s weather with rather light winds that required little physical effort, but rather more strategic thought as the upwind legs remained something of a gamble. With the wind direction’s continual changes, one person’s good thinking became another’s ‘bad luck’.

The first start got away with the usual suspects making the running at the head of the fleet. Last year’s championship winner, Frances Gifford (Merlin Rocket) and the runner-up, Simon Hawkes (this year with the D-One) were joined by Rob Jones (D-One) well ahead of the rest of the fleet. Of the rest, Tony Hyland managed to negotiate the beats successfully as did David Thompson sailing with Phil Chambers in an Enterprise. Pete Muggleton & Jerry Summers’ Fireball struggled to get away in the light conditions but had their best result in this race. It was a long race with the last finisher taking nearly 80 minutes to complete the 2 laps. Rob Jones looked like having mastered the D-One already and sailed well to gain first place, 25 seconds ahead of Gifford on corrected time with Hawkes third.

The second race followed and developed similarly. The wind shifts were no help to some and Jones eventually fell away although still well ahead of the main fleet whereas Hyland this time, finished well ahead of his main challenger on the water, Ken Daniels (Finn). On corrected time it was Hawkes first, Gifford 15 seconds behind and Hyland third. Of the rest, Bob Trevis & Rich Bates had their best result in the Laser 2000 from Sussex.

Race Three; also back-to-back. Conditions had hardly changed – the wind a touch more positive but the same old wind shifts causing problems, particularly near the windward mark. At the start, a traffic jam at the boat end of the start line caught out Gifford who quickly recovered to pursue the D-Ones. A solid start by Nick Mason (Phantom), Malcolm Dykes & Angi Mastropietro in the A&S Bahia also Jeff Hines & Barbara Bradley in the Comet Trio threatened to change the order of things but guessing the tacks correctly remained a formidable challenge. The result of this race became crucial as the championship developed between the main contenders. On corrected time Jones just managed to secure another win by just 5 seconds with Gifford second and Mason a well deserved third.

Day Three arrived and the championship schedule had caught up with itself. Two races back-to-back in light conditions once more. There were clouds about that just might have produced altered conditions but apart from the odd gust, little changed and the correct tacks remained all important.

Race Four got away on a large triangular course. During the race the wind direction changed distinctly and The Merlin was caught out together with Hawkes in the D-One. Meanwhile Jones got it right and made for another 1st place. Second was the Enterprise with Dave Thompson at the helm and Phill Chambers crewing. Hyland was third in the Laser.

Phill crewing at PSUK Crew Valley

Phill crewing at PSUK Crew Valley

After moving the buoys for an altering wind direction the fleet faced another triangular course comprising the beat and two broad reaches. With cloud developing further, an increase in wind strength and even the odd spot of precipitation, Race Five start promised well but the wind soon began to fade with just the odd gust promising a change – which never happened. For the 4 lap race the majority of boats took over the hour to complete in the increasingly light conditions. Nevertheless, the championships had been completed with every race run. The first 5 places in the race reflected their eventual overall positions with Jones first, Gifford second, Hawkes third, Hyland fourth and Thompson fifth. Sixth was Daniels who had his best result in the Finn whereas Geoff Norman (Notts) struggled this year to make his mark; it was definitely not Contender weather.

Prizes were presented by Avon’s ACC, Louisa Rolfe. Congratulations to Rob Jones (Hampshire), winner of this year’s Dinghy Championship and also to Allan Marsh winner of both the Laser and the Singlehanded Championship.

Congratulations also to the Avon & Somerset team who put on another splendid event and can now recover before setting up their Open regatta for next year… Many hands made light work of every facet of the running of the event from reception at the club entrance gate to the final clearing up in the clubhouse after competitors had departed.

Police Nationals 2014 – Dinghy Championships
Chew Valley Lake Sailing Club
Results are final as of 20:04 on September 11, 2014 – Overall
Sailed: 5, Discards: 1, To count: 4, Rating system: PY, Entries: 19, Scoring system: Default scoring system

Rank PY Class Sail No Helm Crew Force R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 Total Nett
1st 959 D-One 131 Rob Jones Hampshire 1.0 (5.0) 1.0 1.0 1.0 9.0 4.0
2nd 990 Merlin Rocket 3676 Fran Gifford Pete Walker Metropolitan 2.0 2.0 2.0 (8.0) 2.0 16.0 8.0
3rd 959 D-One 140 Simon Hawkes Avon & Somerset 3.0 1.0 4.0 (6.0) 3.0 17.0 11.0
4th 1117 Laser 201362 Tony Hyland Metropolitan 4.0 3.0 (5.0) 3.0 4.0 19.0 14.0
5th 1141 Enterprise 23218 David Thompson Philip Chambers Metropolitan 5.0 4.0 (7.0) 2.0 5.0 23.0 16.0
6th 1015 Phantom 1386 Nick Mason Metropolitan 7.0 7.0 3.0 4.0 (8.0) 29.0 21.0
7th 1117 Laser 5 Richard Sivers Northamptonshire 6.0 6.0 6.0 5.0 (7.0) 30.0 23.0
8th 1064 Finn 26 Ken Daniels Metropolitan 8.0 (9.0) 8.0 7.0 6.0 38.0 29.0
9th 1126 Laser 2000 2129 Robert Trevis Richard Bates Sussex (11.0) 8.0 9.0 10.0 11.0 49.0 38.0
10th 1111 Comet Trio 379 Jeff Hines Barbara Bradley Avon & Somerset (12.0) 10.0 11.0 9.0 9.0 51.0 39.0
11th 1117 Laser 139724 Mark Rolfe Avon & Somerset 10.0 12.0 10.0 (15.0) 10.0 57.0 42.0
12th 969 Fireball 14659 Pete Muggleton Jerry Summers Leicestershire 9.0 13.0 (15.0) 14.0 14.0 65.0 50.0
13th 953 RS400 1063 Tony Onions Derek Renton Leicestershire 13.0 14.0 13.0 13.0 (15.0) 68.0 53.0
14th 1111 Comet Trio 378 Jim Shaw Shirley Eden Avon & Somerset (20.0 DNF) 11.0 14.0 17.0 13.0 75.0 55.0
15th 1111 Bahia 880 Malcolm Dykes Angi Mastropietro Avon & Somerset 14.0 15.0 12.0 (16.0) 16.0 73.0 57.0
16th 991 Contender 2405 Geoff Norman Nottinghamshire (20.0 DNS) 20.0 DNS 20.0 DNS 12.0 12.0 84.0 64.0
17th 1318 Laser Pico blue Gary Dark Avon & Somerset 15.0 17.0 17.0 (18.0) 17.0 84.0 66.0
18th 1142 RS Vision 255 Jeff Stratford Alan Holbrook  Avon & Somerset 16.0 16.0 16.0 (20.0 DNS) 20.0 DNS 88.0 68.0
19th 1171 Solo 4069 Stuart Jenkins Metropolitan (20.0 DNS) 20.0 DNS 20.0 DNS 11.0 20.0 DNS 91.0 71.0


1st August 2014: Hampton Sailing Club host the Marine Policing Unit
On Friday 1st August Hampton Sailing Club hosted a community engagement day for the Marine Policing Unit.

Hampton Sailing Club - Police Dive Team retrieve objects at the bottom of Thames around clubhouse

Around 50 members and guests enjoyed a talk on the role of the Marine Policing Unit and saw the Police Dive Team in action retrieving a number of long lost items that had been dropped from the clubhouse and decking including a 1920’s iron!!!

One of the last patrol boats on this stretch of the Thames was on show at the club. Recent cut backs have meant the police patrol boats have been cut from 6 boats to 1 covering 48 miles of the Thames. The children certainly enjoyed sitting at the wheel and having a tour of the boat.

Whilst having lunch the ever vigilant police team noticed a power boat had stalled near the Middlesex Bank and everyone watched the Unit in action towing the boat and occupants safely back to the clubhouse.

A number of local marine businesses had the opportunity to sign up to Marine Watch and to get their property security marked free of charge.

We would like to thank the Marine Policing Unit for a brilliant morning and to HSC members for providing a fantastic BBQ.

6 – 11 July 2014: Merlin Rockets at Salcombe Week. 
Check out Lizzy’s blog on Salcombe and the picture gallery.

Hampton Sailing Club at Merlin Rocket Week Salcombe

Hampton Sailing Club participate in Merlin Rocket Week at Salcombe

Hampton sailing club at Salcombe week for Merlin Rockets

Phil Dalby (HSC) crewing for Tom Stewart finishes third

Final Positions for HSC Members:

Posn No. Helm/Crew              R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 R10 R11 R12 Pts
3 3733 Tom Stewart/Phil Dalby 3 1 [7] 4 1 6 15
32 3652 John Bell/Olivia Bell 19 19 9 [21] 19 13 79
37 3643 Tim Harridge/Andrea Ralph 21 [25] 20 22 9 21 93
64 3647 Hywel Bowen Perkins/tbc 25 [35] 25 30 30 33 143
70 3706 Kevin Anderson/Sadie Anderson [39] 31 28 28 35 37 159
71 3729 Jon Turner/Richard Parslow 127 12 19 3 8 169
86 3697 Richard Page/Lizzy Dalby 39 [46] 41 36 41 41 198
91 3600 Stuart Jenkins/Imogen Jenkins 45 34 45 [62] 40 43 207
92 3589 John Hollands/Ellen Cooper 50 51 41 [62] 34 32 208
93 3511 Andrew Mills/Ellie Mills 42 38 46 43 [47] 40 209
104 3569 Duncan Bell/Alex Oxley 50 47 47 32 [64] 61 237
121 3354 Nigel Cooper 127 127 56 64 127 501
124 3354 Charles Anderson 63 127 127 127 127 571

21 & 22 June 2014: 70th Anniversary Regatta. Click here for Photo Gallery
Last weekend Hampton Sailing Club celebrated 70 years of sailing on the Hampton Reach of The River Thames at our annual regatta. The club started without a clubhouse in the second world war with a few boats racing for a pot of paint, sadly only two of the original members are still with us. Peter Heath our club president and founder member was with us to cut the 70th anniversary cake.

It was hot sunny weather with a high pressure giving us a light north easterly on the Saturday. Courses were set down river to a windward mark just off Garrick’s Temple, a wing mark off Garrick’s Ait and then up river to a mark just off the Surrey bank. Fleets of Merlin Rockets, Enterprises, GP14′s and various classes in the Handicap fleet making a total of 38 boats raced in this relatively short course which made for tactical racing. In the Enterprises we had Jane with Alice, Aviator with Amelia, Duncan and me and Stuart with Charlie, others are too many to mention and I hardly ever give results as they are shown elsewhere.

HogRoastRacing was followed by a jazz band and the most amazing looking roast hog which was delicious, especially the healthy crackling! The Hampton Village Fete atmosphere continued with a guess the weight of the cake competition and recognise the baby picture (all members in earlier times). Fancy dress was based on the name of your favourite boat, my favourites were ‘Rainbow Warrior’, ‘Hot Totty’, ‘Esperer’ (spelled out in English by all members of the WinnersEscargotPeerless family) and ‘Escargot’ with the most unique head gear. The latter two won deservedly. Oh and Ken and Roger won the guess the cake competition, over 20 pounds Wow! The best bit was we then all ate it.

Sunday was again hot and sunny but the light winds had veered to a southerly and at times a south westerly. This caused a complete change in courses with the windward mark up river now and the leeward marks down river In the Enterprises we were joined by Ian, Sophie and the irrepressible Ben. Winds were steadier and cleaner now making for a nice beat down river and plenty of spinnakers flying, from the Merlins, going up river. Once again the catering was splendid with the most scrumptious cakes.

All classes were won fairly conclusively by John and Livy (Merlin) Jane and Alice (Enterprise), Derek and Mary (GP14) and Hywell Junior (Handicap). Overall a very well organised and enjoyable Regatta held at a very special 70 year old.

TheCakeTo keep us in the mood a quiz question. Name the title and world famous author of a mystery novel where the guessing of the weight of a cake at a fete was crucial to the plot? Conditions apply!

A special HSC welcome back to Brian, Michaela and Christopher, brown and fit from their participation in the Atlantic Race for Cruisers.

Finally Hampton Sailing Clubs next generation of members with club president.

HSC 'The Next Generation' with Peter Heath Club President and founder member.

HSC ‘The Next Generation’ with Peter Heath Club President and founder member.

15 June 2014: Yacht Shenanigan Update – Whales and Stowaways

That's NOT what the flare is for!

That’s NOT what the flare is for!

We are now a week into our journey back to Blighty from the Azores. The first few days we enjoyed fabulous sailing before the wind died and the sun vanished. We motored and we motored in search of wind, eventually managing to sail again in a millpond sea. The still sea meant that we were easily able to spot lots of whales which appeared all around us. An enormous whale (fin whale we think) surfaced a bit too close for comfort when it came alongside; a fabulous sight, but as advised we turned the engine on to deter it especially as it was bigger than the boat! Nothing much else to report until a racing pigeon decided to hitch a lift last night for the night. Christopher spoke to him (?) and tried to feed him. Brian was flapping his arms and making strange pigeon noises to try and encourage him to flyaway. He did fly but straight into the cabin! Rescued from the washing up strainer he huddled (the pigeon not Brian!) under the solar panel for the night to keep warm. He left early this morning. Still no sight of the sun and it is very, very cold – especially at night on watch. Last bit of journey proving a bit tricky as typically, on this route, the winds are westerly and not north easterly as we are experiencing. Fortunately, the sea is still flat so we are not pounding into the waves. We didn’t have the typical weather for the ARC last year either – are the weather patterns changing Mr Tibbs? Heading for Falmouth still but depending on time of day and winds may aim straight for Plymouth.

2 June 2014: Dunkirk Little Ships attend the OOstende Voor Ankoor 2014

29 May 2014:  ARC News update:

En route LisbonShenanigan arrived in Horta in the early hours (00:27) of 29th May, greeted as we came into the marina by a cacophony of congratulatory fog horns and cheers from those already there – we felt like true ocean sailors and we had just crossed the Atlantic ocean for the second time in 6 months.  We rafted up to wait for customs to open and were greeted by ‘yellow shirts’ Victor and Johnny who were waiting with welcome ice cold beers. We sat and chatted with them for a couple of hours as they waited for the next arrival.  The next afternoon we wandered around the town.  In the evening met everyone in the famous Peter Cafe Sport bar, Peters has been the bar of sailors here since 1918, before enjoying the welcome meal at Canto da Doca where we cooked our supper on hot rocks. It is tradition and brings good luck for all boats passing through Horta to paint on the marina wall.  The whole place is covered in wall and pavement paintings with names of boats and sailors who have left their ’mark’. Some marks were very simple and some very artistic.  We found a little spot near where we were rafted and Saturday morning I painted a very simple painting for us to leave our mark. Christopher was up early Saturday to go whale watching, but not before he had signed his name on our painting. A busy day. Brian and I went to the scrimshaw museum and then we all went on an island tour in the afternoon which ended at the lighthouse for the leg 2 prize giving buffet.  All boats were presented with a plaque. We finished the evening back in Peter’s and then on ‘Sea Eagle’ finally getting to bed at 3.30am – not too sensible with a 7am start for our day sail to Angra, Terceira but we made it – slipping our lines at 6.30am! Horta for us will always remain a special landmark with good memories and of course we all had to buy t-shirt souvenirs from Peter’s bar.  Fun in Terceira included a guided walking tour of the city followed by traditional bull running in the evening. I left the running to the boys and found a spot on someone’s door steps to watch! The steps were barricaded for protection from the bulls. Christopher ‘ran’ with others from the fleet, Brian decided to join me on the steps. We were very quickly and very kindly welcomed into the house and plied with food and drink while we watched the bulls. Only one injury to report – Gary from ‘Arcarius’ was tossed by the bull while he was trying to take photos! (I’m sure it’s now on YouTube) He came down with a bang and sported bandages for the rest of our stay! We continued our Azores cruise with an overnight sail to Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel. Here we re-provisioned, toured the island and had a fleet ten pin bowling evening. Friday we left for a day sail to the last of the islands Santa Maria.  Just a day here, one more guided tour and a farewell party hosted by Portos dos Azores – extremely generous amounts of food, beer and wine not to mention the ‘fire water’ shots. After joining in with local dancing we were all packed off with locally made baskets, huge loaves of bread and as much sausage as we could carry! Most of us then ‘weaved’ our way back to the marina as the effects of the fire water kicked in! (I admit I didn’t actually drink it, and was glad the next morning – always wise not to drink something that smells like it would remove nail varnish!). We had a 12.00pm start for the final leg on Sunday 8th. For us it was a morning of emotional ‘goodbyes’ – well I was alright until Joy from ‘Re-berth’ came to say her farewells! We left the marina to the sound of the local marching band who had come to see us off. Shenanigan is heading to Falmouth, as was always our intention, the rest of the fleet to Lagos, Portugal where the rally ends on 15th June.  We would have liked to have gone to Lagos but it would have been a slog back up the Portuguese coast to the UK.  We have had a fabulous time on ARC Europe.  We have met lots of fun and some very interesting and inspirational people. We hope our paths will cross with many of them in the future. Our heartfelt thanks go to Lyall and his team for making this trip from Nanny Cay to Santa Maria one never to forget.

23 May 2014: Stuart Jenkins The  HSC Commodore skippers The Metropolitan Police B Team to victory at the UK National Police Offshore Sailing Championships.
MetPoliceWinnersThe annual P.S.U.K. Offshore Sailing Championships this year took on an international flavour. The Metropolitan Police Sailing Club (M.P.S.C.) had previously taken on responsibility for staging the 2014 UK Championships. Then, during the early stages of planning this event, the club was approached and asked if they would consider staging the Worlds. Australia had previously indicated an intention to stage the Worlds but retracted their offer after not finding a suitable charter fleet.
The World Police Sailing Championships is a bi-annual event and this year was the 13th. The 2010 Worlds took place in Phuket, Thailand and the 2012 event in Hong Kong.

The M.P.S.C. Committee agreed to stage the 2014 Worlds and it was decided that the UK and Worlds could be combined and run in tandem. This meant that all UK teams taking part in the UK Championships would also be eligible to compete in the Worlds. At the close of entries twelve UK teams had entered and Switzerland, Germany, Netherlands and Hong Kong had signed up to compete in the Worlds.
The Championships were staged in the Solent and Sunsail 40 foot Beneteau fleet were chartered. The Sunsail race officer was none other than Pete Walters, retired Nottingham officer and helm of the Nottingham team that has won on numerous occasions over previous years.
Teams assembled at Port Solent on Sunday, 18th May to take over their yachts in preparation for the five day event. The foreign teams had made strenuous efforts to prepare themselves; the Hong Kong Team had chartered an identical yacht in Greece the previous week for race practice. The Swiss team had taken a two day Sunsail course in order to equip themselves to deal with the strong Solent tides, an element they were hitherto unfamiliar with.
From the Monday to Friday a total of twelve races took place, all in the Solent, except for a ‘Round the island’ race on the Thursday. Weather conditions during the week were variable with teams experiencing winds from force two to five. Thursday’s ‘Round the island’ produced some “interesting” weather with crews subjected to a violent thunder storm and hail stones whilst racing south of the island.
The UK Championships were won by The Metropolitan ‘B’ Team skippered by Stuart Jenkins. The Met team achieved no less than six wins from the twelve races. The Metropolitan ‘A’ Team were second with four wins and Hampshire were placed third overall. Full results of all races are published elsewhere on this website.
The Worlds overall positions were Met ‘B’ first, Met ‘A’ second, Switzerland third and Hong Kong fourth.
During the week yachts were berthed at The U.K. Sailing Academy in Cowes where meals and bar facilities were made available for crews. On the Tuesday evening a dinner was held at Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, Cowes. This function was attended by Sara Thornton, Thames Valley Chief Constable and chairman of the PSUK Sailing Section. The guest speaker was Nick Craig, six times winner of the Endeavour Trophy. Nick is one of the greatest amateur dinghy sailors of all time with seven world championship titles in a variety of dinghy classes attained over the past decade. The chosen charity for this year’s event was The Ellen McArthur Trust, and a short presentation was given on the work of the trust, a charity raffle run during the dinner raised £1,054.

Next year’s UK Championships will be run by Cleveland Police, no doubt using the Solent venue. The 2016 Worlds venue has yet to be decided, but Germany have already volunteered to host the 2018 Championships.

17th May 2014: Opening of the New Pontoon.
Thanks were given to Steve Harridge for project managing the construction of the new pontoon and to Sue Harridge and all club members who formed the numerous working parties to get the pontoon completed for the start of the new season.

14 May 2014: ARC News update:The ARC fleet and Shenanigan have now set sail from Bermuda to the Azores, only 1800 miles to go.

12 May 2014: Yacht Shenanigan and crew are currently in Bermuda preparing for their voyage home. Trevor and Alison managed to catch up with the crew for a last night supper at the Saint George’s Dinghy Club (see blog). They leave for the Azores on Wednesday 14th May on the ARC. Good luck to Michaela, Brian and Chris 😉