It will not have escaped many that the Sail Division of Eastleigh and District Model Boat Club has been actively racing with all four classes, for several weeks now. Having agreed COVID19 safe space arrangements with the Borough Council, the racing restarted with relatively minor restrictions, and we have had some wonderful racing with RMs, IOMs, DF95s and DF65s during this period.
Regrettably we have had to confine our racing to members only, particularly at first when we were the only club operating, but it is brilliant to see adjacent clubs beginning to race again as well.
We have been able to race almost as normal whilst maintaining the rules around COVID19. Our biggest challenge has been the large number of casual visitors in the Park, who as usual, take a close interest in the sailing. Although we put up a small sign about social distancing, it is not wholly effective with the general public, but this is the situation everywhere. On the other hand it is wonderful to have some level of normality in the park.
So, racing is happening on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday mornings, as in the Club calendar on the website. New members are very welcome, to either the Sail Division at Lakeside or the Scale Division at Highbridge Pond. Just come along and say hello, or send an email.
I am delighted to say that with the recent Government relaxations to COVID19 arrangements, the Eastleigh Borough Council are allowing us to restart yacht racing at Lakeside.
Our first day of sailing will be Sunday morning, 31 May, racing Dragon Flite 95s.
The following week will be Dragon Force 65s on Wednesday mornings, International One Metres on Friday morning, and Marbleheads on the Sunday 7 June.
Non members will be very welcome, if you contact John Arrow (firstname.lastname@example.org)in advance, and join the Club either on arrival, or beforehand. Sorry, this is important for insurance, and so that you can have a copy of the Safe Space Plan.
This racing will be for Club members, applying agreed ‘COVID19 Safe Safe Space’ arrangements. Club members will be covered by a very sound Club insurance, even though the MYA insurance seems unlikely to apply at the moment.
Despite the threat of wet weather, the overnight rain stopped in the early morning and almost held off until we had finished our social morning.
We had a good turnout of Scale and Sail members, with some impressive scale boats and mainly DF65s, so there was some relaxed racing, a lot of chatter, and yet still some of the usual morning race atmosphere. However, we could have done with a little more breeze – hey a typical morning – leading to one Scale member commenting on how exhausting the sailing is.
I wasn’t there, I am very very sad to say, but by all accounts it was a great morning of RM racing. During the morning, there was one race, arranged seemingly impromptu, where every single yacht was an RM built by Chris Wilson, our Sail Captain and routinely our Race Officer. That is quite an achievement, and as we know, they are all very competitive boats.
Here are some photos taken by Mark Robinson, who was otherwise competing with his RM STARK. From left to right Julyan Richardson, Maurice Clayton,Peter Luk,Chris Wilson,Brian Quinn,Brian Wade,John Bennet. Mark Robinson took the picture. Thank you Mark.
Seeing all these Marbleheads together in this way is a strong reminder of how much we owe Chris Wilson, for the work that he has done in the past, and continues to do. We would probably not have a Sail Division if it was not for Chris. Sorry for any embarrassment Chris – it needs to be said!
What a great morning, with 9 boats on the water, the most Marbleheads that we have had on the water for some time. With the strong, teasing breeze, getting stronger through the morning, it was a sound reminder of how wonderful these yachts are. Such exciting racing.
Although there were 9 of us, Chris Averis’s Paradox (107) had winch problems, which turned him in to a spectator, and I (44) always knew that I had to pace myself with ‘good old’ sciatica, so I took several breaks to take a few photos, hence the blog. Sometimes I can take the odd photo when racing, but not today!
John Bennett(14) took the prize, with Chris Wilson(6) second, and Barry White(57) third. However, this top three hides some good performances, and a lot of good tactics on the downwind legs as well as the beats. There is one photo here that illustrates the wide upwind options, and the speed of everything. But there wasn’t one boat on boat penalty, I don’t think. These photos were all taken from one heat.
The six Marbleheads on the water enjoyed some good racing with a variable breeze from the SW to W. When I dig the score sheet out of the car and send the scan to John B, no doubt we will hear the final result for the whole year, but for today, Chris W clearly dominated today, winning most of the races.
Chris Averis has been a member of the Club in the past, and has been a regular spectator in the last few months. He now has his Marblehead ready to race, and is working on his One Metre. He intends to join for 2019, if he hasn’t done so already. Welcome Chris.
As you will have heard, we plan to adopt the Dragon Flite 95, and start racing on alternate Sundays, from march 2019. This is very much a trial, but the DF95 is becoming established around the Country, and is very popular as another restricted class yacht.
Some members will not have seen a DF95, so here is a photo of mine, alongside my DF65. Although racing will not start until March, I hope to bring my ’95’ to Lakeside, most Wednesdays, for a bit of casual sailing on the side, to make sure it is working OK. Anyone who is interested in the DF95 will be welcome to try mine out.
It does not come supplied with the spots, you might be pleased to know!
Of course, we hope that the DF95 will attract new member a well, so please spread the word.
We had 7 boats on the water, at first, with 8 from tea break onwards, in very light wind conditions. With a long square course, there was plenty of room for tactics, specially on the long beats. One side of the lake was good for one race, and hopeless the next, so getting the right position on the start line was important. John Bennett’s full report will be on the Race Results page, but here are a few photos from one race, when I took time out – hence no ‘44’.l
Thank you everyone. As ever, a great morning’s racing, with a great team.
I am very pleased to announce that Radio Sailing Eastleigh, the Sail Division of Eastleigh and District Model Boat Club, will be adopting the Dragon Flite 95 (DF95) as one of its racing classes, from March 2019. We will continue to race One Metres, Marbleheads and Dragon Force 65s.
The DF95 is a relatively inexpensive, yet high performance radio controlled racing yacht, that is gaining popularity around the UK and abroad. We believe that it will be specially suited to racing at Eastleigh Lakeside, which is our home water.
We will also be permitting the use of the A+ rig for Dragon Force 65 racing, as of March 2019. This will give these popular yachts better performance, which should make for much more exciting racing in the light breezes that we usually experience at Eastleigh.
These yachts are an inexpensive way of getting started in radio yacht racing. However, they are not toys. Many of our top radio sailors in the Country are racing these yachts, and there are national and international events of the highest standard.
Anyone interested in trying either of these fun yachts, at Eastleigh Lakeside, or trying radio yacht racing for the first time, please contact me by email – email@example.com.
Was this the last of our summer weather? Five Marblehead sailors were at Lakeside, desperately trusting that the weather forecast would come true. It did. At 10:00-10:15, what had earlier been absolute stillness, turned in to a very useable NW to SE breeze, with a few directions in between.
With 5 boats and a variety of courses using the whole lake, and matching the backing wind, there was plenty of room for tactics.
Last Sunday, I took advantage of my slight ‘hors de combat’ – I couldn’t sail – to just take a few photos of the racing. Actually, I also tried some videos for the first time, which were OK, but then I defeated them by mistake!
I then went up to Highbridge, to catch myself another cup of tea. We put the World to rights and a took a couple of photos. Here is Jonathan Blake’s lovely steam launch. He had just replaced the engine on the back end of the boiler, but was struggling to clear a blockage in the tiny pipes.
Here are a few more racing photos, and one of a very nice destroyer and MTB.
So I had a very nice morning – thanks for the tea – though I would have liked to be racing too. Here is John Bennet’s report of the sailing that morning, where John Tufnall took first place.
The morning looked hopeful with a nice little breeze from the south, although chilly and needing a fleece for a while we soon got on the water whilst chief photographer John Arrow snapped away. Racing discipline was pretty good across the nine races with two laps of a triangular course and a tricky beat to the finish line. John Tufnall won 4 of the 9, John Bennett 3 and Chris Wilson 2.
After two discards the results are: 1st John Tufnall 12, 2nd Chris Wilson 15, 3rd John Bennett 17, 4th Julyan Richardson24, 5th Maurice Clayton 27, 6th Peter Luk 33, 7thBrian Quin 47.
Four of us met up at the Lakeside gate, on a sunny, still Sunday morning, wondering if there would be enough sailing wind, and were we really the only ones who wanted to sail today? And why? We did drive down to the Lake in the end, and in fact had a gentle, pleasant morning’s racing. We had the whole lake to ourselves until midday, so had a long unhindered course.These photos reflect the calm of the morning.
The water level has fallen appreciably, so most of the Marbleheads could not be launched from the pier. It was easy to run aground and waders were essential.
There were only 6 One Metres on the water, for racing this Sunday, in the very hot dry conditions that we are becoming increasingly used to. The breeze was fairly light, right up until we started packing up, when a mini hurricane (well not quite!) blew across the water for about 30 seconds, cocking a snook at us, to send us on our way. All the same it was a good morning of racing.
However, it is still leaving us puzzled at the low attendance level for One Metres, for this time of year. We can’t even blame the difficult Lakeside breezes, really, as we have had good conditions of late. Any suggestions, other than blaming trees, gratefully received!
There were only 6 of us on the water, for One Metre racing this morning. A little more wind would have been nice, but the weather was gorgeous, and we had 7 or 8 races, I think, and the usual silly banter, as well as some competitive racing. John Bennett will give the details – I wasn’t counting! Maurice had a small problem with his steering, which the ‘Waterside Committee’ diagnosed over tea break, and I had a hang up with my jib topping-lift caught around the shrouds, but that was easily fixed. Otherwise all was rather smooth, and almost no weed.
I did’t take any photos of the racing, as Iwas busy, but here are some photos of the tea break and the happy chaps.