A new season begins …..

Sunday see’s the start of the new sailing season for those of us not brave enough to venture out during the winter months. For those intrepid souls who have, it will a chance to see if the extra practice has paid off in the first races of the year.

Many things have stayed the same for the new season, but a number have also changed on the racing front;

  • The personal handicap series will continue, however the handicaps will be adjusted after every race which should ensure that it is even more competitive than last year.
  • The Twilight series on Wednesday evenings will be extended by 2 weeks, giving a 21 race series. The start time will remain at 7:15pm with the exception of the first and last 2 races of the series, where the start time will be brought forward to 7:00pm so that the evening’s activities are completed before sunset. This will provide more opportunities to compete for those sailors who want to race but find it difficult to get to the club on a Sunday.
  • Scoring for the club champion prize will change to the cumulative points scoring system, full details of which are on the website. This gives a better balance between rewarding performance and the number of races completed, so increasing the number of possible winners.
  • The handicap and singlehanded opens will be replaced in 2014 by pursuit race regattas, with one based on the standard boat handicap and the other on personal handicaps.
  • For the club regattas, Olympic style scoring will continue to be used after being trialled in 2013, with the last of the 3 races counting for double points and being non-discardable.
  • The committee has decided to support Bart’s Bash, a world record attempt for the largest sailing race in the world, being organised by the Andrew Simpson foundation. Further details of which will be published on the website as they become available. This coincides with the Autumn Regatta, so we will be encouraging as many of you as possible to be on the water for the first race.
  • The new mark positions trialled during the Frostbite series in 2013 will be retained for the 2014 season.
  • Traditionally we have used the annually published RYA handicap numbers for calculating the race results, but for 2014 we will be using numbers specific to Shotwick determined from analysis of the results from 2012 and 2013; in line with the RYA’s recommendation that “handicaps are allocated and administered by clubs to suit their local factors”. More detail on the background to this change can be found on the website and the numbers to be used can be found further down this page.

A Racing Review

After much, often heated debate in recent years at the AGM about a third race on a Sunday, and discussions on the website forum in the lead up to this year’s AGM about other possible changes to the racing program; the committee has decide that a working group will be formed to review the topic as a whole, seeking feedback from all members and investigating possible alternatives, with a final proposal to be submitted for consideration by all the members. For the 2014 season, the race program will remain unchanged on a Sunday other than already outlined above.

So any members who are interested in being on this working group to please let Jonathan Edwards know either via the contact form on the website, or in person at the lake where he can be found on most Sundays.

2014 Club numbers

The handicap numbers to be used for the 2014 racing results are shown below. They have been aligned to the RYA published PY handicaps for 2014, with the Solo chosen as the reference boat. New classes to the club for which no club number exists will use the published RYA PY or class / manufacturers recommended number if an RYA PY is not available, until such time as sufficient data is available to issue a club number.

2014 Club numbers

PDF file: 2014 Club numbers

Jon Edwards

I started messing about in boats at school, did my National Elementary Dayboat Certificate (a predecessor of the current level 2) in 1980 and have carried on ever since. My first sail at Shotwick Lake was back in '91 and I've been a member for the majority of the years since. My boat owning history is very simple; I don't do "narrow" as testified to by an International Moth, 2 Merlin Rockets and 2 RS300's, all of which are between 6' 7" (2m) & 7' 5" (2.25m) wide! But that said I'll sail almost anything and have in most cases, including the Laser, Laser 2000, Topper, Solo, Wanderer, Albacore, Wayfarer, RS400, RS100, RS700, 59er, Pico, Laser 4000, RS Vareo, Enterprise, Scorpion ..... Racing is very much my thing in all its forms, whether it is around the cans at Shotwick, the Merlin Rocket nationals around Olympic triangle courses with 1 1/2 mile beats, the Lord Birkett on Ullswater (200 boats; 19 miles) or the Round the Isle of Sheppey race (32 miles) with the unique feature of having to capsize the boat to get it under the bridge. I've even managed to fit in team racing in Pico's too! And as I advance in age I've even ventured in to yachting, doing the round the Island race on a couple of occasions. This is an annual race around the Isle of Wight with up to 1,500 yachts of all shapes and size participating.