2019 National Championship Entries - Last Date

Photograph by and copyright © of Chas Brown

Report by Kenny Brown

Training day

Adam Bowers of ABC kicked off the proceedings at Sheppey. With boats rigged and ready to go,  Adam presented the outline for the day – short windward/leeward courses,  repeated starts.
His focus was on communication between front and back ends of boat, his mantra the constant feeding information of what was going on outside of the boat, in what he described as “Circles of  Awareness”  (those who partook in the training can be easily spotted with hands to 12 o’clock moving in a downward circular motion while mouthing the mantra “circles of awareness” in a near cultish fashion!)

The sessions afloat gave crews the opportunity to experience the current at Sheppey which was considerable as we were on spring tides.  Otherwise perfect conditions with lots of sunshine and a good breeze. The short legs and closely matched fleet kept the boats packed together adding to the excitement, presenting opportunities and threats, continuously keeping all of us on our toes - this is exactly what provides the best of training.

Adam  delivered this with all his usual passion and enthusiasm.

I know for certain that several teams made the decision to come to Sheppey because AB was to be our Coach, and the event was made all the more successful due to the Training day.

The club made an extra effort to cater for the needs of the fleet – Sue, Haley & Abbie slaved in the Kitchen on the Friday providing the usual bacon butties, lunch and evening meal – pasta bake and of course Sue’s now famous cauliflower soup.

WS Open  Saturday R1,R2,R3

The gods really were on our side, the sun was out and a lovely 15 knots of breeze awaited.

Chris and I were the first boat to launch (some achievement in itself).

My aim was to sail the reaching legs to confirm that they were 3 sailable hopefully giving the fleet exactly what they want …. The reaches were indeed pretty much spot on.

11 boats lined up for the first start, breeze was coming off the land .The windward mark approx ¼ mile off the shoreline, gusts and lulls increasing toward the mark. The current at about 3 knots running left to right was of great significance.

Boats came off the line in good order, clearing out to the right hand side. A long port hitch to collect current required careful judgement to avoid over standing, however  Sheppey being bounded on three sides, transits were easy to come by.

The fleet rounded tightly bunched, the breeze had shifted, and the heavier crews had more success holding their kites while the rest of us struggled. The usual attack-defend pattern emerged and then was exaggerated by gusts and lulls some of which formed into streaks.

The gybe mark afforded several place changes, some gained from an inside track, some gained from a wider approach, some lost due to missing the current, some lost to boat handling, while others just lost – being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The second reach was a little broader and still affected by the streaks of gusts and lulls saw big gains and losses, giving in the mean and gusts a blistering three sailer.

Boats settled into the second beat following the shifts while edging toward the right hand side. A difficult decision trying to balance shortest distance, tacking frequency and greatest current while trying to avoid inevitable holes.

The same potential gains and losses were apparent on the run, consolidation of position being difficult to achieve - point at the boat ahead hopefully accelerate in the gusts as close to the rhumb line. It was only at the final leeward mark that positions could be secured, even then opportunities did emerge - spotting the favoured end, favoured tack and accounting for current all contributed to tens  ,interesting and exciting end to R1.Terry Curtis, Alex Willis and Mike Atkinson taking 1st,2nd,3rd respectively with George/Will Odling 4th.


Conditions remained much the same for both remaining races, though current was becoming less important.

However results for R2 did not reflect R1. Terry experiencing rudder trouble gained 10 points. Mike Atkinson & Richard Bowers sailed without incident, settled in and got the bullet. George and Will improved on their previous 4th to snatch up 2 points, with Pete Lloyd and Tim Bowden in the Mk V – OMG (or perhaps now a more descriptive name ….”Frankenstein’s Monster”) getting the third gun.


R3 witnessed a gear failure ticket being called for Mike and Richard…..12 points. A degree of consistency was coming to the fore, Terry returned with a second bullet, Alex & Nick another second, Pete & Tim another 3rd with George and Will a further  4th. Kenny could be seen encouraging Chris in the cultish mantra!

So with the first day’s racing concluded Terry held a 2 point cushion in 1st, in 2nd Alex/Nick tied on 4 points with Mike/Richard (discard in Alex’s favour) 3rd  position tied points George/Will against  Pete/Tim.

Going into day two would prove to be a tense affair… forecast was to moderate, a relief to some. Current would remain strategically significant. However the test to come in the following hours of the Saturday evening might be the undoing of many in true Sheppey fashion.

Papa Snitzels German UmpahPah band

Preceding the introduction of the band, attention was drawn to several items that had been placed on each of the tables. These materials were to be used to test the creative / problem solving skills. The tables’ efforts were then judged at the intermission……… participants then got creative while tucking into dinner.

The band struck up a knee slapping rhythm, the bands gruppen fuhrer demonstrated the associated moves the audience looked on with some trepidation, eventually with a degree of coercion two parallel lines formed up to follow the lead of Papa Snitzel …… ”Hands clap clap “ “knees clap clap” right ankle clap clap “ “left ankle clap clap” this was repeated the pace accelerated to then finish with a toast. Variations on this continued through the evening.

Come the intermission, the audience were asked to select a member of each table to form a panel of judges for the creative efforts while they were making their deliberations the audience’s attention was drawn to a serious matter ….. the evening’s entertainment had repeatedly advertised as a themed event …. lederhosen was expected to be worn, some people had made an effort, others were conspicuous in shorts and t shirt. To make amends each table was requested to nominate one person to take a forfeit. I’m not at liberty to reveal details of what ensued but would like to thank Janet Shenton, Deanna Morton,Tim Bowden for putting themselves forward without coercion …. truly honourable people. In addition Andy & Chris after much pressure reluctantly came forward…. what great sports.
The judges returned with their decision … a very difficult call as there were some fantastic entries from across the ages prizes were duly awarded.

Crazy Sheppey Raffle

Apart from all of this fun and frolics we had one last offering  the “Crazy Sheppey Raffle” brain child of Lee Marriot. Unfortunately I can’t expand with further details for contractual reasons. But can reveal at this time the “Crazy Sheppey Raffle“ is coming to the Nationals details TBA.

Day Two

Alex and Nick could see the possibility of an overall win in their grasp. Terry  was regretting the visit to Tantra (night club) after the beer ran out. Kenny was trying to remove mascara from the previous evening. Mike Atkinson  was attempting to reconcile the substantial investment he had made in the “Crazy Sheppey Raffle” against the quality and quantity of the prizes he had accumulated. Andy was trying to convince Basher that his prize did in fact have some merit 2013-2016 rules book though out of date, the rules relating to boats coming together remain unchanged!

Race 4

R4 was programmed for an 11.00 start but it was apparent that there would be insufficient water. A 1 hour postponement was suggested. This was fortunate for Nick Willis (Alex had broken her dad) as he could nurse an injured knee.

R4 Boats got away to another clean start. Alex and Nick elected for the port end, coming in on a flyer. Current was negligible so the initial advantage paid off,  rounding the top mark with a comfortable distance on Terry and Mikey and the rest of the fleet. Alex received the first gun, Terry 2nd with Pete and Tim 3rd .Terry’s lead was diminished by one point, Alex and Nick ever pressing. Mike/Richard holding 3rd O/A with a 4th.George/Will close behind in 4th.

Race 5

On to R5. Adam had introduced on Friday the notion of ”Circles of awareness” Terry was regrettably absent from that presentation. Perhaps local knowledge and an understanding of how much flow there is had an impact on what was to follow. Bias switched to the committee boat end, the fleet banged right as early as possible – except three boats Kenny / Chris , Russ/Lee,  Alex/Nick. The Sheppey boats rounded  1-2 with Alex in 3rd pos.

Kenny managed to hold 1st position before ceding to Russ and Alex at the leeward mark. Alex and Nick pressured Russ to gain another win, Terry meanwhile managed to gain fourth. Tim and Pete getting a 3rd.

Race 6

Alex and Nick now had a two point clear lead,  they all but had the event in their hands. Another Bias toward the committee boat end, this time though a general recall was forced.

Under a black flag boats edge toward the line in the dying seconds, as the fleet clears off the line once again the two Sheppey boats pick the pin end and carry a starboard tack to the lay line, which, once again pays off at least for the first round. Terry worked up through the fleet to eventually take the bullet with Russ 2nd George and Will carrying through to third.

Alex and Nick from a very strong position found themselves buried in a hole which proved irrecoverable in Alex’s words “it was like a game of snakes and ladders, and we managed to find all the snakes”. Perhaps we’ll see Nick, arms at 12 O’clock, sweeping down in a circular motion reciting the mantra “Circles of awareness”….. go on make Adam proud.

My thanks to all who made the trip to Sheppey and made it the wonderful event it was. Looking forward to doing it all again next year

Overall Results

Sailed: 6, Discards: 1, To count: 5, Entries: 11, Scoring system: Appendix A
Rank SailNo Boat Name Builder Materials Version Helm Gender Crew Gender Club R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 Total Nett
1 1234   Jeff Hewitt Wood
MkIII Terry Curtis   Mike Greig   Castle Cove SC 1.0 (10.0) 1.0 2.0 4.0 1.0 19.0 9.0
2 1291 Waimanu Porter Brothers GRP
MkIII Alex Willis F Nick Willis   Keilder Water SC
Hayling Island SC
2.0 5.0 2.0 1.0 1.0 (6.0) 17.0 11.0
3 1085 Infidel W McCutcheon Wood
MkIII George Odling   Harry Odling   Plymouth University SC 4.0 2.0 4.0 3.0 (7.0) 3.0 23.0 16.0
4 1298 Barking Mad Andy Barker Wood
MkIII Michael Atkinson   Richard Bowers   Poole YC 3.0 1.0 (DNF [12.0]) 4.0 6.0 4.0 30.0 18.0
5 1341 Stylo Hartley Laminates GRP
MkIV Russel Wheeler   Lee Marriott   Isle of Sheppey SC (6.0) 4.0 6.0 6.0 2.0 2.0 26.0 20.0
6 1362 OMG Hartley Laminates GRP
MkV Pete Lloyd   Tim Bowden   Weymouth SC (DNC [12.0]) 3.0 3.0 5.0 3.0 DNF [12.0] 38.0 26.0
7 1338 Curved Air Hartley Laminates GRP
MkIV Ken Brown   Chris Butters   Isle of Sheppey SC 5.0 7.0 (8.0) 8.0 5.0 5.0 38.0 30.0
8 13xx         John Shenton   Steve Offer   Wilsonian SC 7.0 6.0 5.0 7.0 (9.0) 7.0 41.0 32.0
9 1312 Bakers Dozen Hartley Laminates GRP
MkIV Mike Murray   Pam Murray F Tata Steel SC 8.0 8.0 (9.0) 9.0 8.0 8.0 50.0 41.0
10 1326 Shameless Hartley Laminates GRP
MkIV Mike Stace   Deanna Morton F Tenby SC (DNC [12.0]) 9.0 7.0 DNC [12.0] DNC [12.0] DNC [12.0] 64.0 52.0
11 1373   Hartley Laminates GRP
MkV Richard Marshall   Andy Edmonds   Poole YC (DNF [12.0]) DNF [12.0] DNC [12.0] DNC [12.0] DNC [12.0] DNC [12.0] 72.0 60.0

Scoring codes used

Code Description Points
DNC Did not come to the starting area 12
DNF Started but did not finish 12



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