Vane A - Sue Brown

Vane A – Sue Brown

Final report in from Mervyn Cook

Congratulations go to David and Margaret Bell who won this year’s Championship and the Scrutton Cup. They sailed a home-built super-light Simpson boat in conditions which, at times, were more like Fleetwood than Gosport!  Congratulations also go to Derek Priestley and John Brooks for winning the ‘Auld Mug’ of the Vane A Championship, the Yachting Monthly Cup on Wednesday.

Friday’s forecast was for more normal ‘Gosport’ weather, warm, light to moderate breeze and for once a westerly which, in general, gave an almost true beat.  By the afternoon there was enough breeze for some to make the prudent choice of smaller spinnakers.  It couldn’t have been better conditions for deciding the eventual winner.

David and Margaret Bell started the day with a single point lead from Nigel Sharp.  The next four boats of Shaun and Graham Wyeth, Dave Geldard and C.J Vice, Jacque Cook and Eric Meighen, and Lewis Wyeth and Ray Baker were all within ten points of the first place.  With the potential for twenty more points to be won over the day, it was all to play for.

David and Margaret, the eventual winners, scored just enough to stay ahead with 12 points.  Nigel had a disappointing day to score only 5, dropping to third overall.  Shaun and Graham made a heroic final effort scoring 18 points, to bring them up to second place.  Lewis and Ray also fought back with 16 points, giving them fourth overall, and Alan Bell showed his mettle with 13 points, bringing him up to fifth, just in front of Jacque Cook and Eric Meighen.  Peter Fothergill and Andy Fernie also had a better day with 13 points, bringing them up to seventh place.

The Johnnies Cup for most points to windward was won by Shaun and Graham, the Wing and Wing for downwind legs was taken by David and Margaret.  Lewis Wyeth won the Dennis Lippett Trophy for the first junior competitor and the Little Portugal Cup for the first skipper who has not previously won a national event was won by Nigel Sharp.  The Neptune Trophy for the highest scoring team drawn from club teams was won by Gosport team of Shaun, Graham, Peter, Andy and Lewis and Ray.  Robert Bell, Lewis and Ray, Peter and Andy won the TOT’s trophy for a team of three drawn at random. Finally, the Four Candles Trophy for the Choppa race was won by Sam Roberts.

The mix of designs at the top of the fleet showed just how successful this ninety-three year old formula remains.  David and Margaret’s Lightening design is a lightweight, round to flat sectioned boat with lots of sail.  Shaun’s second place Hollom Sir Ivor 52 design is some ten pounds heavier and V’d in section.  Third place Nigel’s boat is a traditional, heavy VC2 design by Bill Sykes.   Lewis’s recent Hollom Sea The Stars design is a very deep V medium weight hull.  Alan, in 5th place, raced a Lightening from the same mould as the winners and in 6th place was another, older, Lightening.   The racing was very close and final positions remained open until re-sails were completed and allowances made for byes.

Special mentions must go to the following: the Bell family for building and fettling three superb racing A’s in just a few months; Lewis Wyeth, who at 13 sailed with a level head and formidable skill, has shown that he will be a worthy champion of the future; Jacque Cook, sailing in her first Vane A Championship who became, on the third day, the first lady ever to lead the event;  Dave Geldard, and Nigel Sharp, for digging their boats out of storage after decades, and showing some of the younger designs and skippers the way round the lake.

Nearly seventy people sat down to eat and drink at the prize-giving dinner, which this year was held at The Hornet Services Sailing Club.  It was a glittering candle lit event, organised by Andy Fernie.  The prizes were awarded by Gosport’s President Robert Hobbs,

The Vane A Championship is a unique event.  It is magnificent, frustrating, heroic, exhausting, exhilarating, spectacular, historic, ultra-modern, competitive, intense, and just the best test of model yacht design.  To paraphrase Charles Dickens ‘it brings out the best in people, and occasionally, it brings out the not so good in people’.  But we’ve got to make sure this event continues to thrive, and to reach its centenary in 2023.

The week is a challenge to organise, and almost as tiring for the race team as for the competitors! The club team were superb. It was a real club community event with volunteers from the four radio fleets as well as the vane fleets. Their contribution was recognised by all competitors at the dinner and by many specific comments to the organisers.

Finally, Sue Brown has published a magnificent gallery of photographs of the event, with a link from the MYA website.  There are excellent shots of every boat.

In 2017 the Vane A Championship will be held at Fleetwood.  See you there.



Full results below:

Results on Percentage Basis allowing for Byes (if any) Windward Legs Downwind Legs
Posn Sail Skipper Pts % Posn Sail Skipper Pts % Posn Sail Skipper Pts %
1 79 David Bell

Mate Margaret Bell

  75.0 71.43 1 99 Shaun Wyeth 57.0 86.36 1 79 David Bell   30.0 71.43
2 99 Shaun Wyeth

Mate Graham Wyeth

77.0 70 2 79 David Bell   45.0 71.43 2 50 Nigel Sharp   28.0 66.67
3 50 Nigel Sharp

Mate George Sharp

  67.0 63.81 3 77 Lewis Wyeth 43.5 65.91 3 81 Robert Bell   28.0 63.64
4 77 Lewis Wyeth

Mate Ray Baker

69.5 63.18 4 42 Jacque Cook 42.0 63.64 4 49 Martin Roberts 26.0 61.9
5 80 Alan Bell

Mate David Mathers

  64.0 60.95 5 50 Nigel Sharp   39.0 61.9 5 80 Alan Bell   25.0 59.52
6 42 Jacque Cook

Mate Eric Meighen

62.0 56.36 5 80 Alan Bell   39.0 61.9 6 77 Lewis Wyeth   26.0 59.09
7 44 Peter Fothergill

Mate Andy Fernie

59.0 53.64 7 44 Peter Fothergill 39.0 59.09 7 94 Dave Geldard 24.0 54.55
8 49 Martin Roberts

Simon Clarke

56.0 53.33 8 5 Malcolm Eales 36.0 54.55 8 167 Derek Priestley/John Brooks 22.0 50
9 81 Robert Bell   58.0 52.73 9 94 Dave Geldard 33.0 50 8 97 Peter Whiteside 22.0 50
10 94 Dave Geldard

Mate CJ Vice

57.0 51.82 10 21 Rob Vice   31.5 47.73 10 45 Damian Ackroyd 20.0 45.45
11 167 Derek Priestley/John Brooks

(Joint skippers

52.0 47.27 11 49 Martin Roberts 30.0 47.62 10 25 Rob Walsh   20.0 45.45
12 5 Malcolm Eales

Mate Paul Edwards

52.0 47.27 12 167 Derek Priestley/John Brooks 30.0 45.45 10 21 Rob Vice   20.0 45.45
13 21 Rob Vice

Mate CJ Vice

  51.5 46.82 12 81 Robert Bell   30.0 45.45 10 121 Mark Dicks   20.0 45.45
14 121 Mark Dicks   50.0 45.45 12 121 Mark Dicks   30.0 45.45 10 99 Shaun Wyeth 20.0 45.45
15 97 Peter Whiteside

Mate Steve Poole

43.0 39.09 15 10 Anthony Warren 24.0 36.36 10 44 Peter Fothergill 20.0 45.45
16 25 Rob Walsh

Mate Tomas Walsh

  41.0 37.27 16 97 Peter Whiteside 21.0 31.82 10 42 Jacque Cook 20.0 45.45
17 67 Arjan van der Cingel

Mate Eric van der Cingel

35.0 31.82 16 25 Rob Walsh   21.0 31.82 17 67 Arjan van der Cingel 17.0 38.64
18 10 Anthony Warren

Mate Lester Gilbert

34.0 30.91 18 67 Arjan van der Cingel 18.0 27.27 18 5 Malcolm Eales 16.0 36.36
19 45 Damian Ackroyd

Mate John Bush

32.0 29.09 19 45 Damian Ackroyd 12.0 18.18 19 10 Anthony Warren 10.0 22.73
20 60 Ray Baker/Josh Dicks 0.0 0 20 60 Ray Baker/Josh Dicks 0.0 0 20 60 Ray Baker/Josh Dicks 0.0 0


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