The racing season so far – Spring 2014

As the hot weather arrives and the evenings get longer, the first part of the racing season has drawn to a close with the running of the Spring regatta following the conclusion of the Spring series; whilst the Twilight series on Wednesday evenings is getting in to full swing.

Numbers have been good with 47 boat and helm combinations competing in the Spring series, 28 in the Twilight series so far and, 14 and 17 respectively in the PY pursuit regatta and Spring regatta. There have also been quite a few new faces joining in with the racing, with some of them already proving to be very competitive.

However, the burning question on everybody’s lips is can anybody beat Dave Turtle in his Streaker? Despite proving he is only human in the first race of the Spring regatta when he capsized on the first lap, he recovered to win the event and add it to the PY pursuit regatta and the Spring series which he had already claimed. He also holds a slender lead in the club champion standings just ahead of last year’s champion Ron King in his Solo. Is Dave Shotwick’s own answer to Ben Ainslie or does his boat’s name “The Bombay Bandit” explain it all?

Also following on from his success last season Kieran Lewis in his Optimist won the Spring series personal handicap. With youth on his side he can only go from strength to strength, so those of us of more advanced years better try harder while we still have a chance of winning! Maybe this is the reason a growing number of keen racers have been upgrading to newer boats.

Full results can be found on the results page.

It’s not to late to join in the racing on a Sunday or Wednesday, so come on down! There is always friendly advise available from the regular racers for those of you who have not raced before, and it is a good way to improve your sailing skills even if you’re not at the sharp end of the fleet.

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.