Dinghy Racing

Dinghy Racing

The Club has a number of keen racers within its membership and promotes dinghy racing activities through a number of events:

10 Hour Relay Race – Frensham Pond Sailing Club

This event is held during a summer day at Frensham Pond Sailing Club. The race is open to teams racing the Club boats.

Match Racing – Frensham Pond Sailing Club

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We normally try to hold two series of match races, one in the spring or early summer at or near the end of the Level 1+2 course and one in the late summer after our summer camp. Both of these series use the Club boats on Frensham pond usually on a weekday evening and are open to all members. The racing is competitive, but not too serious and is an ideal introduction to club racing. Each series usually culminates in a race afternoon held at the weekend usually coinciding with a social event (Summer Social in July and the Late Summer Social in September). The races are usually held on an individual helm basis and trophies are awarded for best helm and best novice helm.

Summer Camp Regatta

A highlight of the Clubs annual camp is the Regatta, usually held sometime during the middle weekend. The day consists of races in a number of different categories. There is a handicap race open to all and a ladies helm race as well as races for the coveted ‘GP’ and ‘mirror’ trophies.

Bart’s Bash

Bart’s Bash is a charity event to raise funds the help transform the lives of young people through sailing. We are looking to put teams into the next race in the Autumn.

Winter Series – Frensham Pond Sailing Club

The club Comet Trios are available to Dinghy Section members and there are handicap series on both Saturday and Sunday.

Comet Trio Nationals

The club boats can be taken to any Comet Trio Open Meeting and Nationals. Any Comet Trio rigged as our boats are, with the sails from the standard sailmakers and just as they are can be taken to any Comet Trio event and it’s in class. That also means that you can race our Comet Trios in any handicap race as well, and it’s within class and ready to go.

Pictures of our boats at the Comet Trio Nationals in 2015 with thanks to Mike Rice.

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Round Isle of Sheppey Race Notes

A good sail is the longest dinghy race in Europe, and the notes for the race will help future explorers enter this race without making the mistakes that we made on our first year.

Recent Posts

Lymington to Newton Creek – February 2019

The forecast had held steady for several days; a F3-4 from the East for Saturday. Thursday was foggy, Jenny & Roy warned us on Friday of fog, and the BBC on Friday suggested that the wind would blow it away.
I started from home in thick fog and a bit of a heavy heart, because Ged has a long way to travel and I hoped it would be worth it. Ged trailed most of the way in bright sun, only plunging into fog at Dorchester.
In Lymington at 08:30 the sun was clear with light mist and the breeze a F3 from the East.

08:30 and the fog had lifted over the Solent

With Ged, Jim and me in the Swallow Storm 17, and Keith and Tim in their new-to-them Topper Sport 14 we left at 10:30 in a good enough breeze which held for at least 10 minutes before becoming extremely light. At the exact time of becalming, Chimet was showing F4 and Bramblemet showing a F5 from the East. We had got as far as the river entrance in 90 minutes.

Just as we launched the wind dropped

We could see zephyrs and little bits of wind as it filled in, and soon we were heading for Newton Creek, the Storm 17 pulling solidly in the breeze, full sun on our faces.

Becalmed at the entrance, while the East and Central Solent were at this moment enjoying a F4-5 from the East….
The entrance to Newton Creek, and the ebb had set in.

I’ve not been in a dayboat style boat before, and it’s a very lovely place to be; comfy cushions, a self tacking jib, great stability and excellent company. I was overwhelmed by the number of sticks and string, and it would take a little while to work out which rope did what. Ged has had Peewit for 4 years and has it mastered. 
We arrived late at the entrance to Newton Creek, the ebb had begun both in the main channel and at the entrance to the harbour itself, making it a challenge to get in. 

With the wind from the SE and the tide ripping out of Newton Creek, we had to plan carefully to get into the entrance.

By sailing very close to the shore we got out of the tide, shot the entrance accepting that we were briefly pushed into the main tidal stream, over-stood it by what looked like far too far and powered over the ebb on a close reach. It was a puzzle to solve and Jim did a great job of piloting us in, to find ourselves alone in the little lagoon on the western side of the harbour entrance.

The beautiful lagoon on the Western side of the Newton Creek entrance.

Keith had been fettling the complex set of ropes at the front of his boat, and continued to play in the main channel while we had a very quick lunch and began our return journey.
Many will recall the dramatic speed of the ebb in the Western Solent from previous excursions to Newton Creek. With an Easterly F3 we needed to reach straight across the waters heading North. We passed the big Starboard deep water channel buoy to the East, but were carried to the West of the Port mid channel marker as the ebb was full speed. The addition of a fourth sail to the Storm 17, a mizzen staysail, made a considerable difference to our speed. We all made Lymington entrance safely, landed, packed up and retired to the pub for a natter before heading home. 
It was remarkable how warm and sunny the day was, how empty Newton Creek was, and what a joy it was to be out and sailing a ~14 mile daysail in the middle of February in great company and in a lovely vessel. My thanks to Ged for offering me a crewing place and allowing me to helm his lovely vessel on the way home.

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