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Report on David Rose Shield at Fleetwood for Vane 36

We had our regular early email invite from Peter Whiteside to come along on Saturday 13th Oct to sail for the Dave Rose Shield. With a mid-week glance at the weather forecast it was looking somewhat doubtful to whether it was really going to go ahead.

The wild forecast certainly didn’t let us down and sometimes you just hope the weather forecasters would get it wrong and to our favour. Moderate winds from the South and the rest of the country had been hammered from the remnants of storm Callum, which included multiple flood warnings and advice not to venture out of the house unless necessary, but that was probably elsewhere.

On arrival we only had Peter, race officer Eric and myself making just two entrants to compete. With only a couple it wasn’t going to work and it was only when John P arrived that it was able to go ahead. John wasn’t really feeling too great about sailing, but with his right hand man Darren who was going to do the strenuous part of the driving, it was all looking more likely that it would work, despite the fact that it was raining.

Radio sailing around the country was being cancelled at a couple of other locations, but the beauty with Vane sailing is there’s no radio to get wet. The boats can be as wet on the inside of the boat as much as the outside and it just doesn’t matter. No water to run down an antenna to cause havoc neither.

Waterproofs on and first up was Peter against Tony. We were reaching for both directions of the lake and both were rigged with the medium sails. John had fixed his up with the tiny C rig and was confident that we would get into bother as it looked wild outside.

Tony had – against advice – put in quite a lot of left hand steer on his vane, as he wanted the boat to come up along the near side, away from the open wind just in case it really was too much. The boat steered at about 45 degrees to the near bank, not exactly what he wanted, while by now Peter was half way down the lake cutting down the central line. A quick tweak of the sails and a twist of the vane and Tony was now up on Peter’s heels as he had started to have a bad time in the devils corner: the top part of the lake under the lee of the hotel and houses. Tony’s boat now ended up on the far bank for Peter to resume the lead and finally clinch the first beat.

The return leg went to Tony without the boat coming into either bank, maybe just maybe something in the learning process is starting to sink in now as it’s not nearly as easy to do as with a remote control in your hands.

Next up was John and Tony while it was Peters turn to sit one out, although he did man one of the banks. Tony’s boat was a lot more mid-lake this time after adjustment, but it was chasing John’s boat with the little sails. Near the top end both yachts came into the bank, but it was Darren’s repeated hit-the-boat-with-the-stick as opposed to pole-it-off-nicely that got him disqualified. It’s not really fair when you’re told how to do it correctly after you’ve messed it up big time, but it certainly helps you remember for future events and it’s all good fun.

The return leg went to Tony for a well-earned couple of points straight down the lake, while Darren looked as though he hadn’t even let John’s boat go on its journey. Back down the bottom of the lake his boat had come in and the fatal mistake of twisting the vane the wrong way with the wrong hand had him virtually stay put. He was definitely learning the hard way.

The last two boats and it was Peter and John with Tony on a bye to help out. Darren did John proud and beat the club champion to the top end. John was instructing Darren to remember those great settings and angles for the next time. The return leg was a winner again for team John and this had now put him in second place on the score board.

A half hour lunch break was called and to have a good think to whether we really wanted a second round in the afternoon as some of us were wetter than wet. A bit of a mixed reaction to returning to the inclement weather decided in favour for calling it a day, as it was still tipping it down and it was in for the day.

Tony got the honours for the day and he must have felt guilty in not having a second round in the afternoon for some points for others in catch up, but every dog has it’s day and it beats being pointless for once.

We got wet but it certainly wasn’t cold. There was a warm breeze and apparently the warmest day in October on record. Our next outing without radio is at the end of the month with the Marblehead class.


1. Tony Wilson, 7 pts
2. John Plant, 5 pts
3. Peter Whiteside, 3 pts

For photos of event see the same report on the Yachts and Yachting site below:

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