Six National 18’s were entered for this year’s competition – a good turnout considering the weather forecast, extremely light winds and a flat calm, algae covered course, which made for challenging conditions across the three races. There was plenty of spirited sailing nonetheless, with a close field across the day, even if, at times, it was difficult to keep one’s concentration on the downwind drift!
All honours for the day went to 374 Zephyr ,helmed by Henry Defries, with his crew Carolyne Vines who claimed first place in all three races – 2nd and 3rd places were closely fought for, with 400 Odyssey helmed by Peter Impey and Paul Nebel taking 2nd on the water and 3rd handicapped, and 266 Genevieve helmed by Charles Fox with Robert Blakebrough, 3rd on the water and 2nd handicapped. All in all, an excellent days sailing.
My thanks to our Commodore Chris Pollard for the data collection and calculations, to OOD Peter Johnson Assistant Hugh McLaughlin and Patrol Boat driver Malcolm Warner. Thanks also to Nicky Johnson and the catering team – Jo, Lauren and Josefine for their help and sustenance across the day.
Cover Photo Stewart Colley
Maddison Trophy – first on the water
1st 374 Zephyr Henry Defries and Carolyne Vines
2nd 400 Odyssey Peter Impey and Paul Nebel
3rd 266 Genevieve Charles Fox and Robert Blakebrough
Eighteen Cup – Handicap
1st Zephyr Henry Defries and Carolyne Vines
2nd 266 Genevieve Charles Fox and Robert Blakebrough
Sailjuice is the joining into a points series of seven of the big Winter dinghy regattas. All inland, the biggest is the ‘Bloody Mary’ at the Queen Mary reservoir in Staines and this attracts around 300 entries. These events can be tough, but very often the wind and weather is not as bad as predicted and the sailing can be glorious.
The Tamesis N18s have been active and with some distinction. Matt Jones, Kaan Yargici, Dana Church and Joe sailed at the Bloody Mary and the ‘Oxford Blue’ in their lovely dark red ‘Optimus Prime’. Ollie Houseman and Jeremy Vines were sailing ‘Second Chance’, loaned by the N18 builders White Formula, and competed at the Bloody Mary, at Rutland Tiger Trophy and the Oxford Blue. At this latter event there were in fact four N18s and three finished in the first 20 overall out of over 153 starters.
Best of all in the series was ‘Hurricane’ (pictured above), loaned by Ollie and Jeremy to a trio from Staunton Harold SC in the Midlands, They competed in six events, won two of them and finished second overall. Over 500 boats took part in one or more event and over 30 classes were represented.
Hurricane is for sale and it would be great if she stayed in Tamesis. Meanwhile Ollie, Jeremy and Steve Watton nearly have a new boat which will be the 25th Ultra built by White Formula. She will be ‘launched’ at the Dinghy Show next weekend. Name and colours are under wraps till then.
An excellent day’s sailing was held in bright sunshine and fickle, light wind when an almost-record of eleven N18s took part in the 2018 Inlands at Tamesis. Race Officer Peter Mason set in front of the clubhouse two short courses that needed no dog-legs to provide at random beats, reaches and runs (with flat bits in between). Yet despite the challenges the fleet coped well with few boats parked other than momentarily.
Some great new Morrison hardware graced the proceedings, 400 Odyssey (Tamesis club boat sailed by David and Max Vines), 401 Hurricane (Ollie Houseman, Anne Bayne) and 421 Optimus Prime (Kaan Yargici and Matt P-J) always in the top five except in race one when Prime was delayed and missed the start. But Prime in her first season looked splendid and pulled up to second in race 2 showing promise for her planned touring race season.
Big surprise (not of course to those sailing her) was Barney Smith’s 369 Goose that had laid static ashore for a year and generously loaned to expert Merlin sailors John Adams and Rupert Fletcher. Goose shot almost to the front of the fleet, often with 348 Antedote (Chris Pollard, Caroline Stilwell) on her heels keeping close company with the new Morrisons.
Welcome new owners in established Tamesis boats were Henry Defries with Chris Taggart in former N18 class captain Ian Burnett’s 374 Zephyr, and Garrie Mallen who with Jeremy Vines in 375 Rhapsody placed 5th and 6th in races 1 and 2 steered by Garrie on his first outing at the helm – high quality guidance makes a difference. One over the Eight returned to play, turning in a competent performance with Merlin sailors Ken Duffel (who won the Adelaide Cup in the N18 Orion) and Joe Woods, plus Ken’s grandson Matt Valentine (also an Adelaide Cup winner).
The day was rounded off with an early supper and prizegiving, dinner laid on by the house catering team under R/C House Nicky Johnson and team leader Jo Carstens.
A great effort by Tammy member Ollie Houseman to trail 401 Hurricane all the way over from Bristol for the event and we now expect this re-established event to bring back next year more of the class from other clubs. We will be ready!
Tamesis Club’s new National 18 is now alive! Matt and I went to White Formula UK Ltd in Brightlingsea on Saturday morning to receive her, and then Matt and Pete Impey sailed her round to West Mersea Yacht Club so that the three of us could sail her in this week’s National 18 Championships (I had the pleasure of driving the trailer round).
Optimus Prime is N18 number 421 (prime number?!) and is co-owned by me and Matt. She will likely be based at Tamesis for the time being, with occasional expeditions to open meetings and sailing hot spots.
We’re having a brilliant time here in West Mersea, and we have fantastic hosts in West Mersea Yacht Club (who’ve been hugely welcoming). Their bar certainly seems happy to receive us.
The racing has been ‘champagne’ like so far, with remarkably warm water – I thought the water was supposed to be very cold here?! – excellent sea breeze, and close finishes, although Matt, Pete and I are currently caressing the back of the fleet as a way of being fair on all the others(!).
Pete’s now done his middleman duty, and we’ve Stewart Colley joining us for Wednesday’s sailing, then Matt’s friend Joe for Thursday and Friday.
If you’re passing West Mersea swing by. It’s like the Caribbean here currently, although with a lot of extra sea weed.
Will provide more pictures next week.
Optimus Prime was given a short naming ceremony on Wednesday Night before the Class Dinner. Optimus was taken onto the club lawn and our Commodore did the christening followed by a few words from Kaan and Matt.
It was another fantastic National 18 Open at Blackwater Sailing Club this weekend, with a hot five way N18 Ultra battle for the coveted “National 18 English Trophy”.
Matt, Pete Impey, and I were hoping it was going to be a 6 way battle, but alas Tamesis Club’s latest N18 – 421 Optimus Prime – was not quite out of the builders in time to join in. That said, Matt got a middleman place on 417 Second Chance, and I got a bit of time on 401 Hurricane on the Sunday with Olly and Steve. It was also blowing pretty hard on the Saturday so perhaps getting a new boat and immediately smashing it in to the shallow waters of the Blackwater probably wouldn’t have been a great idea.
The racing was excellent with strong winds and an ever shifting tide providing plenty of opportunities to get ahead of the other boats. For instance, on the Saturday we all watched in awe from the committee boat as Jess Berney quickly gained several places by going up on to the plane while sailing close to the wind on the downwind leg to race past the others. However, the strong winds made for excellent viewing in the third race as Jess (in Panther) jibed and then capsized, only for Olly, Steve, and Jeremy to then jibe and capsize a few seconds later! This allowed 417 Second Chance to take over having chosen to drop their spinnaker before all of their jibes. That was wise and got them the win in the last race that day.
Although Olly, Steve, and Jeremy had recorded two wins on the Saturday, Sunday was still a challenge, and with only two races to battle it out. Panther won the first race with Hurricane coming second and for the second race Hurricane slipped back to fourth with Second Chance hauling in Panther to take the win. However, will all points, wins, and capsizes accounted for, Hurricane took the least points with Olly, Steve, and Jeremy duly picking up the trophy.
The weather, wind, and temperature were perfect, with Blackwater SC playing excellent hosts once more – and you really won’t get a bigger and better BBQ anywhere (apart from perhaps at a Tamesis Club open day!).
Thanks to Sheena and Juilan Berney for being such great hosts and ensuring a great turnout and great event.
We hope to get even more N18s to Blackwater SC again soon, and of course for next year’s Open.
Lastly, remember it’s the National 18 Champs at West Mersea starting from Sunday 15th July. Do come by to see the racing and of course enjoy the evenings 🙂
The Adelaide Cup was donated to Tamesis in the early 1960s by the great nephew of the original winner, and has been sailed for by the National 18’ fleet ever since.
This year’s event was a quieter affair than in previous years, but the competition was no less fierce.
The course was laid in front of the club as it was felt that the wind was too fluky to go further. The day started with bright sunshine. The wind direction was predominantly north easterly with some patches of lovely fast sailing accompanied by some rather large holes.
Charles Fox crewed by Robert Blakebrough in Geniveve and Alan Green crewed by Beatrice Russ in Orion sparred closely in the first race, but Charles was first over the finish line. Orion was over the line in the second race and never really caught up. The third race took place after lunch, by which time the wind had dropped again and the sun had disappeared. The race was shortened to one round. Geniveve had a convincing lead, but Orion was able to catch her at the top mark, and got past to take the winning gun.
Many thanks to OOD David Baker assisted by Jim Green and Carolyne Vines.
Photos by Jim Green
Tamesis Anchor – on the water, and Adelaide Cup – handicap
Nat 18 401 Hurricane sailed by Olly Houseman and Jeremy Vines had two firsts, one fourth and one eighth in the Handicap Fleet at Hayling Island Sailing Club Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th May which placed them as 2nd overall.
A full report on the National 18 Championship at Hayling Island SC from Monday 24 to Friday 28 July can be seen on both the HISC website at www.hisc.co.uk and on the Yachts and Yachting website at www.yachtsandyachting.com. Both have photos of the racing and full results.