Dying Breeze for 2019 John Ashley - Willcocks family sweep the board

A gentle North to North Easterly breeze greeted the 13 mixed-handicap competitors for Clevedon Sailing Club’s annual John Ashley long-distance race. The course tests the crews’ abilities far out into the channel, where the tidal stream is greater, and even more so in light winds. Apart from needing boat speed; good timing, applying local tide knowledge and sometimes a dose of luck are what each crew is striving for. None such for Warren-Cox’s single-handed attempt in a Mirror, unfortunately suffering gear failure on the slip.

The wind direction meant race officer Sarah Hotchkiss set a windward first leg to Avon Buoy, the familiar green shipping channel marker opposite Walton Castle. The next two legs would be downwind; via Clevedon Buoy, the black and yellow cardinal mark about 2 miles out from Clevedon and then to the finish of the 7 mile course in the bay.

The Clevedon start line in this wind direction needs precise timing so that tide does not carry you over before the start gun. This fate befell the Willcocks twins’ 29xx and the Wayfarer of Turner/Turner/Elliott. Both had to return so as to start and thread their way through a beleaguered second wave of starters, who had suffered bad air and poor positioning and were still struggling to get going. Even before the end of the pier had been reached, the fleet had been split into two distinct groups, an initially subtle but later painfully felt gap. The ‘lucky’ early wave now cashed in on the last bit of breeze, to get most of the way around the counter-tide legs of the course before it became very light. This left the second wave between Avon and Clevedon buoys with much less pressure and sailing against the more swiftly moving current with some boats eventually going backwards.

Among the front-runners were Elliott/Fairhurst in an RS200, who had started impeccably, now finished fourth. Credit to the two visiting crews from Portishead YSC; a family affair, with twins Anthony and James taking first place and parents Andrea and Andy the second in a Fireball. The twins recovered their position, despite effectively starting later with the second wave . Third place went to the ever-consistent Martin Gibson in a Laser, whose well-judged start line position meant he was in with the very much advantaged head starters.

1st - Anthony & James Willcocks (29erXX)

1st - Anthony & James Willcocks (29erXX)

2nd - Andy & Andrea Willcocks (Fireball)

2nd - Andy & Andrea Willcocks (Fireball)

3rd - Martin Gibson (Laser)

3rd - Martin Gibson (Laser)

Laser Open 2019

Six brave competitors took part in this years Laser Open meeting at Clevedon SC comprising of four visitors and two local sailors, in the challenging westerly force 5 gusting 6 wind.

Race officer Ian Hotchkiss set an M shaped course in Clevedon bay which gave two beats, two exciting beam reaches with two gybe marks and a Broad reach back across the bay.

In the lead up to Race one Safety boat skipper Mike Batchelor and Crew Gary Buffery and Andy Summerell were kept busy dealing with multiple capsizes, but all the racers managed to stay upright for the start. John Ling from Bartley Sailing Club quickly established a good lead followed by local sailors Rhys Davies and Martin Gibson. At the end of the first lap Davies elected to tack round at the second gybe mark which allowed Gibson to move into second. Not far behind were Mike Dyer and Graham Royce from Bowmoor Sailing Club. On lap two Davies Suffered a broken toe strap and Tiller extension and was forced to retire. Ling won the race followed by Gibson Dyer and Royce.

In Race two Royce decided he’d had enough fun for one day and came ashore. Leaving the rest to battle it out in the now increasing Force 6 breeze. Once again Ling got off to a good start closely followed by Gibson and Dyer these positions remained unchanged for the rest of the race.

Dyer decided he’d had enough after Race two, which left Ling and Gibson to contest the final race. Ling again quickly established a good lead which he held to the finish.

Overall results:

1st John Ling Bartley SC.

2nd Martin Gibson Clevedon SC.

3rd Mike Dyer Bowmoor SC.

John Ling enjoying the Clevedon Chop

John Ling enjoying the Clevedon Chop

Regatta - Sunday 12 May 2019

Fortunately the weather forecast for this year's Regatta turned out to be incorrect and instead of the windless day expected conditions were good with a force 3 North Easterly wind and bright sunshine. 14 crews turned out to take part including one visitor from Portishead sailing club.

Race Officer Andy Black set a rectangular course in the bay with a short beat to the Pier mark followed by a reach out to sea, a run against the tide before reaching back to the shore and beating back to the start line. Mark Elliot and Andy Preston (RS200) got off to flying start to the first mark but was quickly overhauled on the first reach by visitor Andy Willcocks (Solo) and Martin Gibson (Laser). Conditions suited the Laser and Gibson was clear ahead by the first seamark and remained in pole position until the end of the 3 lap race. Willcocks made good speed up the beats but was unable to close the gap sufficiently to take first place on corrected time. The Lasers of Stuart Turner and George Knight (Radial) took 3rd and 4th places.

Race 2 followed a similar pattern with Gibson narrowly beating Willcocks by 18 seconds per lap and Turner and Knight once again in 3rd and 4th.

By the start of race 3 the tide had just changed and the wind was beginning to decrease. The course had been changed to a triangle omitting one of the reaches. Willcock once again got off to a cracking start closely followed by Robin Goff and Evie Gribbon (Graduate). The first reach enabled Gibson to catch Willcocks overtaking him at the gybe mark. With the tide now ebbing the favoured course for the beat back to the start line was no longer tacking out to sea and instead keeping close inshore out of the tide. After 2 laps Gibson was unable to pull out enough lead to stay ahead of Willcocks on corrected time, Goff and Gribbin took 3rd with Turner relegated to 4th and Knight to 5th.

Overall results were:

Slow Handicap

1st - Amie Turner and Rachael Elliot (RS Feva)

Fast Handicap

1st - Martin Gibson (Laser), 2nd - Andy Willcocks (Solo), 3rd - Stuart Turner (Laser)

First Cadets - (Slow fleet) Amie Turner and Rachael Elliot, (Fast fleet) George Knight

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George Knight

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Rachael Elliot & Amy Turner


Stuart Turner

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Andy Willcocks


Martin Gibson

Autumn Trophy - Sunday 16th September 2018

Despite the forecast for very strong winds and heavy rain, eleven boats lined up at the start line for this years Autumn Trophy at Clevedon Sailing Club on Sunday 16th September. Conditions proved to be challenging with a gusty southerly force 4 wind, but the rain held off to make for a great day of sailing.

Race Officer Cordelia Twigge set a large figure of eight course in the bay. Unusually the first two legs were off wind starting towards the pier but with a long beat from the first seamark to the Pumphouse mark off the lake. Two reaching legs followed back to the start of the next lap with some fast and furious planning once the wind had picked up for the final 2 races. The fleet consisted of five laser radials and six double handed dinghies including a rare appearance from messers Hotchkiss and Black in the 505.

A total of three races were run with close competition between between Martin Gibson in his Laser and the Tasar sailed by Anthony Rees with Kevin Watts, Rachel Elliot with Stuart Turner did well in the Club’s training Vision but unfortunately lost out on the planning legs. However at least they stayed upright leaving the safety boat free to attend various capsizes by other competitors.

At the end of the three races, and with handicaps taken into account, the results were -

1st Martin Gibson 2nd Anthony Rees and Kevin Watts 3rd Rachel Elliot and Stuart Turner


Channel Race - Saturday 21st July 2018

The annual tradition of sailing up channel to Denny Island (just off Avonmouth) managed to take place despite a very light wind forecast. This race is a test of the sailors skill at judging the time it takes to round Denny Isalnd as the tide turns therefore taking advantage of the flood tide on the way and ebb tide on the way back, and being able to sail in changing conditions as the race can take between 3 to 4 hours.

With sailors choosing when to start, the RS200 of Mark Elliot and Andy Preston was first away followed 5 minutes later by Martin and Ella Gibson in their Tasar. With the light NE wind building a little they soon disappeared up channel out of sight. The 3 Lasers of Stuart Turner, Trevor Baker and Chris Parry were next away delaying slightly longer and finally the RS Vision helmed by Seamus Ryan with his wife Gill and Nathan Compton on board.

The light winds on the trip to Denny Island meant that little advantage was gained by anyone as all were taken by the tide, and with the wind dying to nothing off Portishead there was a risk that the Lasers would not get to Denny Island before the tide turned. The RS200 rounded Denny first before the tide turned meaning that they had to punch some tide returning for a while in the light winds. So the rounding of Denny was a procession in the same order as started except for the RS Vision which was not able to make it in time and the last Laser of Chris Parry just getting round.

The wind started to pick up and changed direction through 180° to SW and ended up at about F3. This meant that the sailors now could really affect their position as the wind over tide condition produces a short steep wave in the Bristol Channel requiring some skill to keep the boat moving. The Gibson’s Tasar was soon passed The RS200 of Elliot and Preston and was the first boat back through the finish line just on 3 hours duration. The Lasers couldn’t catch either the Tasar or RS200 on the water but did close the gap sufficiently to be quicker on corrected handicap.

The final Result - Stuart Turner (Laser) first; Trevor Baker (Laser) second and Martin & Ella Gibson (Tasar) third.

Channel race.jpg

Regatta - Saturday 9th June 2018

The sun shone for this year's Clevedon Regatta and after a run of weekends with too little or too much wind there was a reasonable NE light breeze. Race Officer Tony Cherry set a figure of eight course for the first race and the boats got away with a clean start towards the Pier before a long broad reach to the first seamark. Robin Goff (D Zero) took the lead from the start closely followed by Martin Gibson (Laser). The long offwind legs suited Ian Hotchkiss and Andy Black (505) with their large spinnaker eventually overtaking Gibson to finish second over the water but well down the fleet on handicap. The course was changed for race 2 to a 'P' shape with a dead run along the shore from the Bandstand to Pumphouse marks before beating back towards the Pier. Once again Goff, Hotchkiss/Black and Gibson lead the fleet followed Chris cooper (Laser), Mark and Rachael Elliott (RS200) and Stuart and Amy Turner and Mike Mcgloughlin and Trevor Baker (Visions). The wind picked up towards the end of the race 2 but unfortunately dropped during race 3 which saw another course change to a rectangular in the bay. Once again Goff and Gibson lead the fleet but with long beats back along the shore against the tide, which had changed, the D Zero steadily pulled away to open up commanding lead.

Overall results on corrected time -

1st - Robin Goff (D Zero) 2nd Martin Gibson (Laser) 3rd - Chris Cooper (Laser)

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Winners from left to right: Martin Gibson, Robin Goff and Chris Cooper

Winners from left to right: Martin Gibson, Robin Goff and Chris Cooper

Easter Bonnet - Sunday 8th April 2018

Ten sailors took part in this year’s Easter Bonnet in still wintery feeling weather. It is nice that three of these were Cadets.

The 2 - 5 Knots of wind did not look inviting but the flat seas with minimal neap tide enabled racing to start and the wind filled in a little more so 3 races were completed.

Some close racing took place with the Vision of Amy and father Stuart swapping places for 1st or 2nd over the water with Chris’ Laser. The rest of the fleet were having similar fun between other Lasers a 420 and the 2nd Club Vision sailed by Cadets George and Monty - taking 3rd place in the 1st race - just to show that the Visons can be competitive. 

Easter eggs for prizes went to:

1st - Amy and Stuart Turner (Vision)

2nd - Chris Cooper (Laser)

3rd Seamus Ryan (Laser)


Channel Race 2017

Another year, another classic Clevedon Channel Race!  Race Officer Andy Black set the usual course but with a short beat to the Bandstand before heading for the Avon buoy, Denny Isle, Newcombe buoy and back to the finish. Approx 12 miles in a straight line but  longer given the return leg was a beat. Competitors choose their own start time aiming to  round of the rocky outcrop at high water. First away was Seamus Ryan sailing the race for the first time in a Laser followed by two 420's and a visiting Kestrel. Last to leave was the Tasar of Benedict Whybrow.

Most of the boats took about an hour to complete the run to Denny; that was the easy bit. Rounding Denny most of the fleet began the long beat back with the first tack heading for Avonmouth. The backmarkers were split at Newcombe due to the arrival of a large car carrier negotiating the buoy in the opposite direction and the wind increased in excess of force 4 sat the same time. It was a very long beat back with a steep choppy sea taking at least an hour and a half for most boats.

Crews were glad to retire to clubhouse to relieve their aching legs while the final results were worked out on handicap.


1st Martin Gibson (Laser Radial)

2nd Stuart Turner (Laser Radial)

3rd Robin Goff (D Zero)

Boats approaching Denny Island

Boats approaching Denny Island

John Ashley - Sunday 2nd July 2017

The 2017 John Ashley Long Distance race took place on Sunday 2nd July. The weather was bright and sunny with wind speeds of 4 knots. Race officer Mark Houle set a challenging course, heading first to the Bandstand buoy, then out to the Clevedon buoy, up the channel to the Avon buoy and back to the Pier.  A total of 13 boats were at the start line, with visitors from other clubs taking on the challenge of sailing at Clevedon.

Immediately the Willcocks twins in their Fireball took a 720 penalty for hitting another boat, although they quickly raced to catch up with the fleet. Heading out towards the Clevedon mark, the fleet initially stayed together but several capsized in the difficult conditions. Offshore the wind was picking up, and large waves were making life tough for the sailors. Both of the rescue boats were kept busy responding to capsizes. The three race leaders, a Contender, a Tasar and the Fireball surged ahead, and after the first lap the decision was made to allow only these boats to complete a second lap. In total 6 boats completed a single lap, as the others were forced to retire. 

The building wind speeds meant that the boats that completed a second lap benefited from improved average lap times. The race was won for the second year running by James and Anthony Willcocks, in their Fireball. Although Paul Hield crossed the line second in his Contender, he was pipped to second on the handicap by Anthony Rees and Kevin Watts in the Tasar.

Winners - James and Anthony Willcocks (Fireball)

Winners - James and Anthony Willcocks (Fireball)

2nd - Anthony Rees and Kevin Watts (Tasar)

2nd - Anthony Rees and Kevin Watts (Tasar)

3rd - Paul Hield (Contender)

3rd - Paul Hield (Contender)

D Zero/Laser Open - Saturday 3rd June 2017

Champagne sailing conditions greeted visitors who travelled from Netley, Cransley, Emsworth, Hitchin, Bartley, Bowmoor and as far away as Yorkshire. OOD Ian Hotchkiss set an Olympic style triangle sausage course in the bay, with a beat along the shore to Wains Hill against a South Westerly force 2 - 3 increasing to 3-4 breeze.

D Zero race one saw current National Champion Ian Morgan and local sailor Robin Goff get off the line well, short tacking inshore to stay out of the tide. Goff’s good start was short lived however as by the windward mark he’d dropped to 5th and it was Morgan, David Valentine, Tom Southwell and Steve Bolland who lead the way to the gybe mark, with Gordon Stewart and Nigel Austin bringing up the rear. Lap two saw Valentine drop to 4th but he was passed on the last run by Goff. Up front it was Morgan who took the gun with Southwell 2nd and Bolland 3rd.

By the start of race two the wind strength had increased to 4 gusting 5 and again Morgan showed the rest of the fleet a clean pair of heels up the first beat, opening up a sizeable lead by the windward mark, with Bolland & Southwell in 2nd & 3rd. These positions remained unchanged for the rest of the race, followed by Goff, Valantine, Stewart & Austin.

Goff decided he’d had enough excitement for one day and decided to sit out race 3, but was soon joined by Morgan who retired just after the start with a broken Cunningham line. This left Southwell and Bolland to fight it out for the win, with Southwell doing just enough in what was a very close race to claim line honours. Austin sailed well in the testing conditions to come in 3rd with Valentine close behind and Stewart 5th following a capsize.

The Laser fleet of 12 boats got away to a clean start first time and saw some close tacking up the shore to stay out of the adverse tide. This inevitably led to 'close encounters' as boats passed ahead of each other. Local sailor Martin Gibson lead at the first mark closely followed by John Lapes. These 2 led for the rest of the lap but Lapes slowly fell back and was overtaken by Tim Keighley and John Ling. Gibsonled to the end of the 2 lap Olympic course with Ling second and Keigley third.

The wind had increased by the start of race 2 and after a good start Ling established a good lead on Keighley and the rest of the fleet. Lapes managed the increased wind strength and large waves without difficulty to take third place.

The tide had changed by race 3 with the advantage out to sea rather than hugging the coastline. The bigwaves and force 4 wind saw some exciting off wind sailing and a few capsizes. Ling once again led away from the start line followed by Keighley and Stuart Turner sailing with the smaller but more manageable Radial rig. With the tide change many of the leading boats overstood the first windward mark allowing Gibson to slip into fourth place and eventual overhaul Turner on the last run before the finish.

D Zero Results

1st Ian Morgan (Hillhead SC)  

2nd Tom Southwell (Hillhead SC) 

3rd Steve Bolland (BC YC)


Laser Results

1st John Ling (Bartley SC)

2nd Martin Gibson (Clevedon SC)

3rd Tim Keighley (West Riding SC)

Town Plate 2017 - Sunday 21st May 2017

Clevedon Sailing Club’s Town Plate race was held in glorious sunshine but light winds with twelve competitors. The annual event‘s sponsors are the town council, who engrave the names of the winners on the handsome silver platters. The structure of the day is a two hour long pursuit race where faster boats start times are staggered according to their handicap and would theoretically have caught everyone else up by the time has elapsed.  Therefore, after two hours, the boat that is leading has won. 

The first starters of Laser Radials and Solos enjoyed sufficient breeze on the first leg past Wains Hill. By the time they had turned out towards the middle of the estuary and the distant sea-mark, the later starters were struggling in wind that had turned light and patchy. However, last starters East in a Phantom and the Willcocks’ in a Fireball, patiently ‘picked off’ the boats that lay ahead of them. Meanwhile Goff in his D-Zero was doing the same from a mid-fleet start and was eventually ahead of all the other boats at the finish to take the title. The efforts of East were rewarded with second place and Andy & Andrea Willcocks of Portishead YSC came third.

1st Robin Goff (D-Zero)

2nd Alex East (Phantom)

3rd Andy & Andrea Willcocks (Fireball)

Easter Bonnet 2017

After 4 dismal weekends of either too much or too little wind Clevedon Sailing Club's season finally got under way on Easter Monday although conditions once again turned out to be far from ideal. 16 boats started the first race with a light northerly wind and sunshine. At the end of the first lap the slower handicap boats of Sarah Hotchkiss (Solo) and Paul Sheldon (Laser) were not far behind the faster handicap boats and looked well set up to take the leading places. However as the wind strength continued to drop they struggled to complete lap 2 while the faster boats of Robin Goff (D Zero) and Martin and Ella Gibson (Tasar) managed to reach the finishing line.

OOD Paul Hield reversed the course direction for race 2 so that if necessary boats could take advantage of the lesser tide along the shore once the tide turned. The race started in very little wind and most of the fleet retired at the first mark while Goff and Gibson crawled slowly out to the sea mark followed by Sheldon and Hotchkiss. The faster boats managed to reach the Pump house mark before the now ebbing tide built up much speed but the slow boats, now becalmed out at sea, gave up and also retired. The race was finished after 1 lap with Goff taking the gun.

Overall Results

1st R Goff (D Zero)

2nd Martin and Ella Gibson (Tasar)

3rd Paul Sheldon (Laser)

Boats struggle to make progress during Clevedon's Easter Bonnet Race

Boats struggle to make progress during Clevedon's Easter Bonnet Race

Christmas Events at Clevedon Sailing Club

The aptly named Lunatics Races are the last sailing event in Clevedon SC's 2016 racing programme. With the imminent threat of a gale most competitors were put off taking part but 5 boats lined up to launch although only 3 braved the testing launching conditions. Race officer Sarah Hotchkiss set a small triangular course with the first upwind leg towards Wains Hill. The strong winds suited Martin and Ella Gibson (Tasar) who took first place over the water in both short races. A capsize in the first race put Phil Isaac (Phantom) behind Stuart Turner (Laser Radial) overall. After some drama on the slip recovering dinghies and the safety boat in big waves competitors retreated to clubhouse for warmth and sustenance.

Prizes were also awarded for the Winter Series which was completed the weekend before.

1st - Robin Goff (D Zero)

2nd - Martin Gibson (Laser)

3rd - Phil Isaac (Phantom)

To round off the festivities the annual Paper Boat Race was held on Boxing Day. Conditions were ideal with a stiff westerly breeze and sunshine. Nine boats started but most capsized or sank shortly after the start. One boat was disqualified for outside assistance from a passing seagull looking for food leaving only one boat which finished in fine style crossing the marine lake in record time. For the second year running Billy Summers took the prize; with a little help from dad, Jon.

Autumn Trophy - Sunday 23rd October 2016

Sunday morning and the rerun of the Autumn Trophy a series of 3 races back to back. The conditions were challenging with a gusty easterly wind. Race 1 saw the Phantom of Phil Isaac get away in the lead only to capsize on the gybe mark, letting Martin and Ella Gibson in the Tasar take the lead, with the D-Zero of Robin Goff and the Laser of Stuart Turner hot on their heels. A few of the old sea dogs decided that the shifty gusty conditions were not for them and came ashore. Abi Ruffle in her Laser decided to come in and put the more manageable 4.7 rig on for the next races.

Race 2 and the Tasar got away in front, the Phantom unfortunately broke its kicker and had to come in for repairs leaving the Tasar and Laser an easy 1,2 with Abi Ruffle in her Laser coming in 3rd. The third race saw the Phantom back out and a good head to head race between the Phantom and Tasar took place with the Tasar coming out the victor on handicap.

Overall Results

1st Tasar – Martin and Ella Gibson

2nd Laser Radial – Stuart Turner

3rd Phantom – Phil Isaac

1st - Martin & Ella Gibson (Tasar)

1st - Martin & Ella Gibson (Tasar)

2nd - Stuart Turner (Laser Radial)

2nd - Stuart Turner (Laser Radial)

3rd - Phil Isaac (Phantom)

3rd - Phil Isaac (Phantom)

Town Plate 2016

In Pursuit of Victory

Clevedon Sailing Club welcomed over fifteen members of the Clevedon Town Council to their annual Town Plate pursuit race last Saturday (16 July).

The event saw 10 sailors face odd conditions with an inconsistent force 3 (7-10 knots/8-12 mph) and a choppy sea in this 90 minute race.

In pursuit races, boats start according to their handicap, i.e. slow boats earlier, fast boats later, with the prospect of all boats finishing at the same time. However, this is generally unlikely due to conditions on the day and the skill of the sailors, therefore the boat leading the fleet at the end of the set time is the declared the winner.

After the starting gun, Grace Cherry (Topper) was the first to cross the start line after 3 minutes however she did not fare well up the beat in this class of boat with the strong incoming tide. Shortly after, Paul Sheldon (Laser Radial) and Stuart Turner (Laser) made a better start up the beat over taking Cherry by the second mark. At 23 minutes, the three Tasars (Martin & Ella Gibson, Benedict Whybrow & Jon Summers, Richard White & Sarah Hotchkiss) started the race although the Gibsons made a quick detour to pick up their jib pole after dropping it in a tack. Phil Isaac was the last boat to start but had a difficult task ahead of him after capsizing on the start line.

Positions remained fixed for the first lap however things started to change when the wind picked up and the Tasars over took the Lasers at the start of the second. Isaac also managed to pick off White & Hotchkiss and the trailing Lasers.

The third lap started with only 18 minutes of racing remaining and the Gibsons holding a big lead over the rest of the fleet. There was however stiff competition between the Phantom and Tasar (Whybrow & Summers) sailing hard for second place when the final horn sounded.

Overall results

1st – Martin & Ella Gibson (Tasar)
2nd – Phil Isaac (Phantom)
3rd – Benedict Whybrow & Jon Summers (Tasar)

1st Cadet – Grace Cherry (Topper)

Thanks are owed to Jane Geldart, Chair of the Town Council, who presented the trophies alongside Sarah Hotchkiss (Commodore), as well as the Council for their continued support.

Ella Gibson

Tasars make a quick start around the first buoy.

Tasars make a quick start around the first buoy.

Ella Gibson, Jane Geldart, Martin Gibson and Sarah Hotchkiss.

Ella Gibson, Jane Geldart, Martin Gibson and Sarah Hotchkiss.

Phil Isaac - 2nd

Phil Isaac - 2nd

Benedict Whybrow & Jon Summers - 3rd

Benedict Whybrow & Jon Summers - 3rd

Tasar’s Windy Nationals at Whitstable

8th, 9th and 10th July 2016

Strong winds and gusts of up to 35 knots proved challenging for the 52 sailors who braved the water for the 2016 Tasar National at Whitstable Yacht Club last weekend (8-10 July). However, a little determination and a lot of impromptu on the water repairs saw 26 boats battle it out in a fast and furious weekend of sailing.

The first day of racing saw the least wind of the series and a good start for Liz and Roger Pescod who won the first race after starting 3rd off the line. Whilst Constantijn Udo and Jan Slotemaker, one of the two Dutch crews to sail in this year’s competition, managed to secure an easy win with a lead from the start in the second race.

On the second day, despite starting in 6th and lying only 3rd around the last gybe mark, strong gusts causing the two leading boats to capsize allowed Rod and Maureen Porteous time to wear round before heading down the reach to steal the win in the 3rd race. Although being one of the boats hit by the gust, impressively, Neil Spagagna and Steve Gustice managed to limp over the line to 9th position with a 45o bend in the top 3 foot of their mast.

With only 11 boats still out on the water (some without full rigs) and the wind speed continuing to increase, racing for the day was abandoned.

On the final day, the first start was brought forward to take advantage of lighter winds and the Porteous crew continued their success to take the next two races. Unfortunately, the final race had to be called off due to the repeated deterioration in conditions.

Overall results, after 5 out of the 8 races were sailed with one discard, were:

1st – Rod & Maureen Porteous

2nd - Constantijn Udo & Jan Slotemaker

3rd –Neil Spracanga & Steve Gustice

4th – Liz & Roger Pesdoc

5th – Stephen Nation & Julie Puckett

Junior Cup – Luna Schutte

Ladies Cup – Liz Pescod

Rolling Pin and Masters Plate - Rod & Maureen Porteous

Grand Masters Plate - Constantijn Udo & Jan Slotemaker

Black Horse Trophy (Club Team) - WSC

In his winner’s speech, Rod said that in spite of the tough conditions, the good courses, stiff competition and great sportsmanship from the rest of the Tasar fleet made for brilliant racing as always. Big thanks are owed to Race Officer, Tom Bruton and the rescue boat crew as well as the food and catering team and event organisers.

Sailors are now looking forward to the Tasar Nationals at Pothpean, Cornwall next year and the World Championships taking place in Gamagori, Japan in 2018.

Ella Gibson (CSC)

Race Night - Saturday 18th June 2016

The first ever race night took place last month, which was a huge success and highly enjoyable evening. Eight races took place during the night where there was the opportunity to back a horse. Be a jockey or owner, tables enjoyed a glass of Prosecco on arrival and food whilst watching the racing.

D Zero and Laser Open 2016

The Bristol channel looked like a mill pond when competitors arrived for Clevedon Sailing Club’s 2016 D Zero and Laser open race meeting. Sailors had travelled from as far away as Southampton and Northampton and were looking forward to similar challenging conditions as experienced for the 2015 meeting.

However, after a delayed start time, a gentle south westerly 5 knot breeze filled in and race officer Ian Hotchkiss set a figure of eight course in the bay. After the competitors took to the water and the preparatory signal was sounded there was a 180 degree wind shift so a running start ensued.

In the De Zero class local sailor Robin Goff made an excellent start sailing in shore to stay out of the tide. Meanwhile, Ian Morgan and Graham Cooper found extra breeze further out in the tide and led the fleet to the first mark. Goff left his transit to the first mark too late and ended up rounding last, but using his experience of the tide managed to pull back to third by the end of the first lap. Up at the front the battle for first place between Morgan and Cooper continued with multiple place changing. Cooper eventually broke away and went on to take first place with Ian close behind him. Further back in the fleet the battle for third place started. Goff had elected to stay inshore again and once more was passed by the rest of the fleet. Toby Peacock then broke away from the pack and remained unchallenged for third place. Using his skills over the tide Goff finished fourth as the wind dropped and the rest of the fleet were forced to retire.

Only nine Lasers turned out for this year’s open, less than previous years, possibly due the forecast of rain and little wind. Starting after the D Zeros the light breeze that had developed vanished and the fleet struggled against the incoming tide eventually making the windward mark set out to sea. John Ling steadily increased his lead in the trying conditions putting a considerable distance between him and the rest of the fleet. The occasional light patches of wind faded altogether leaving the majority of the fleet stationary as they approached the windward mark for the second lap. With the tide about to change there was no hope of the fleet completing the course and all boats with the exception of Ling retired. Unfortunately, Ling had been over the line at the start and was disqualified, consequently there were no finishers in the Laser class.

No other races took place due to the prevailing conditions. The results from race one therefore completed the open series.