Shearwater Catamaran 2005 Results


Shearwater National Champioships at Netley Sailing Club

by Shaun Allen 31 July - 5 August 2005


The 49th Shearwater Nationals were hosted by Netley Sailing Club, from Sunday 31st July to Friday 5th August. 22 boats traveled to Victoria Country Park, to find the Club nestled within, and excellent sailing on Southampton Water.

The competition traditionally begins with a Practice Rate on the Sunday, and the Fleet were met with sunshine and a light South-Westerly. The defending National Champions, Alan Howland and Jenny Allen on "Alley Cat", followed Nigel Stuart and Bonnie Crooks on "Simsek" away from a busy line. By the first leeward mark "Alley Cat" had overhauled "Simsek", the latter having then to defend their position against Daniel and Amy Tindale on "Think Pink". The second beat favored staying close to the shore, and "Think Pink" capitalised on this, going into second place at the end of the second lap. "Alley Cat" and "Think Pink" pulled slowly away from the fleet, battling with each other until the final gun, "Alley Cat" winning with a fifty second margin.

The first Championship Race began after a short break ashore. The breeze maintained its direction and strength, and Roger Crooks and Anna Allen on "Ruby" were first away from the Line, and lead the Fleet for the first lap. "Alley Cat" and "Think Pink" guided the rest of the Fleet to a busy windward mark rounding. Beginning the downwind leg "Ruby" had fallen back to fifth with "Think Pink" showing superior speed off the wind, closely followed by "Alley Cat", Geoff and Jack Tindale in "Dilligaf" and the Allen Brothers, Shaun and Dion on "Take5". The second beat rewarded those staying away from the shore, and "Alley Cat" led around the windward mark. "Think Pink" found a lifting breeze on the third lap to recover first position, and develop a one minute lead over the subsequent three laps to take the gun.

Monday dawned with watery sunshine, and little else. As with the nearby Cowes Week Competition, sailing was eventually cancelled for the day, thus allowing the social proceedings an early start and lively evening. The second Championship Race was postponed until the Wednesday, and the schedule resumed on Tuesday. Race three began in a very light South-Westerly, and strong ebb tide. "Think Pink" was first away, with "Dilligaf" and "Simsek" tacking quickly to the shore, "Think Pink" covering but in tide, narrowly leading around the first windward mark. "Ruby" followed "Simsek" into the leeward mark and had taken third place by the end of the beat. This order remained at the front, "Think Pink" securing victory over "Dilligaf" by 36 seconds.

Race Four commenced after lunch, and in a slightly increasing breeze. First of the line was "Dilligaf" with "Think Pink", "Alley Cat" and Roger Brown and Derek Clark on "New Dawn" in close company. The variable breeze and strengthening tide allowed for many minor place changes, but "Think Pink" followed by "Dilligaf" and then "Alley Cat" maintained their order until the final gun. 

Wednesday brought the anticipated increase in wind strength, and Race Five began in a steady Force Three. "Dilligaf" took an early lead from the line, chased by "Think Pink" and "Take5" in to a very busy windward mark. "Think Pink" taking the lead on the first reach. Many hoisted spinnakers on this leg to be caught by powerful gusts, "Alley Cat" and "Ruby" both taking a swim each side of the Wing Mark. With the increasing wind strength and ebbing tide the majority of the fleet could be found "rock-hoping" on the beat, with some unfortunate results! "Think Pink" and "Take5" exchanged positions through out the race, and pulled further away form the pack. "Think Pink" eventually taking victory by two minutes.

The postponed second Championship race was run in the afternoon, after some light refreshment ashore. The wind, with increasing strength, veered shortly before the start to create a considerable Port biased. "Dilligaf" and "Simsek" anticipated the change, and cleared the Line on Port, while the rest of the Pack struggled to cross on Starboard. "Take5" emerged from the ensuing melee, and made use of a slackening tide and greater wind strength off-shore. By the windward mark "Dilligaf" rounded first, closely followed by "Take5", "Think Pink" and then "Simsek". "Dilligaf" held the lead on the two down-wind reaches, before being overhauled by "Take5" on the second beat, the latter reveling in the heavier wind conditions, and establishing a two minute lead over "Dilligaf" to eventually win the race.

Thursday brought moderation to the wind strength, despite a night spent re-securing canvas in the Camp site! Race Six began in gentle conditions and no clear leader from the start line. By the windward mark "Think Pink" had established a two boat lead over "Alley Cat", who was closely pursued by "New Dawn" and "Take5". The two lead boats quickly consolidated their positions, while "New Dawn" and "Take5" vied for third. "Simsek" led the pack battling with "Dilligaf" and Derek and Grace Williams on "UFO", followed by "Ruby" and Judith Joplin and Jo Hill on “Coeur de Vere”. "Think Pink" maintained an impressive lead to take first position at the gun from "Alley Cat" by just over two minutes. "Take5" narrowly beating "New Dawn" for third position.

After the now traditional, and very civilized break for lunch, Race Severn was conducted in a similar but consistent South-Westerly breeze. A busy start line saw "Think Pink" marginally ahead of "Alley Cat" and "Simsek". These two continued to battle with "Dilligaf", "UFO" and "Take5" for the minor placing, while "Think Pink" built an increasing lead. By the final lap "Simsek" had slipped to fourth, just behind "Dilligaf". "Alley Cat" eventually took second place, being just over four minutes behind the winner

Friday brought the final Championship Race, and a return to Wednesday's strong wind conditions. "Take5" emerged quickly from the start closely followed by "Think Pink". The two boats made efficient use of wind and tide to develop an impressive lead at the end of the first beat. "Think Pink" capitalised in the gusty down-wind reaches to turn first at the leeward mark. "Take5" in pursuit broke a bridal wire and was forced to retire, being quickly overtaken by "Dilligaf" and "New Dawn", both fighting for second place. As the wind diminished during the third and penultimate lap "Dilligaf" was able to pull away and secure second place behind "Think Pink".

The "Shearwater Spirit" prevailed through out the week, with assistance, equipment and advice provided to all, by fellow competitors. Despite the battles at the front of the Fleet, there were no lesser competitions through out the running order. The enthusiasm showed extended beyond the water, to an equally busy social schedule, Shearwaters and Organisers alike. An extremely hospitable Sailing Club, and equally professional Race Officer provided for a memorable UK Championships. Daniel and Amy Tindale were worthy victors, showing consistent ability through out the week, against stiff competition and a variety of conditions. Special thanks go to our Sponsors, for their support and provision of prizes. In particular Yachts & Yachting, Marinepool, Red Insurance, Marlow Ropes and White Sails.


Overall Results:

1st - 1999 - Think Pink - Daniel Tindale & Amy Tindale - Stone S.C. 

2nd - 2003 - Dilligaf - Geoff Tindale & Jack Tindale - Stone S.C 

3rd - 2006 - Alley Cat - Alan Howland & Jenny Allen - RYA 

4th - 2005 - Take5 - Shaun Allen & Dion Allen - Felixstowe Ferry 

5th - 2007 - Simsek - Nigel Stuart & Bonnie Crooks - RYA 


Shearwater TT at Shearwater Sailing Club

by Derek Williams 7-8 May 2005


16 Shearwaters arrived at one of their favourite venues for the first of the 2005 TT series. The club, though small is always friendly and welcoming. Sailing at this venue has to be completed two hours either side of high water which leaves little leeway should the weather prove unfavourable as it did on Saturday morning with average wind speeds of 22 knots and gusts nearer 30.

Shearwaters perform well in stronger winds and we did not hesitate when the club laid the course. 14 Cats took to the water and crossed the start line all thinking that the wind would ease as the race progressed but all 14 were wrong, the wind strength increased and one by one they returned to shore many being knocked down more than once by violent gusts.

Only 5 boats finished the first race and I think they deserve a special mention: Take 5, Think pink, New Flame, Space Odyssey and Freebird.With Genesis always in contention.

The second race of the day was abandoned as gusts of 45 knots roared across the water from the North East flattening boats and tents alike. The one good thing about an abandoned race is that it leaves more time to fix boats and drink! To be an accomplished Shearwater sailor you need to excel in both of these disciplines.

Sunday arrived bright and clear with the winds averaging 18 knots and the sea dead flat.

All 16 boats went out for the two back to back races in near perfect Shearwater conditions. The racing, as ever was very close throughout the fleet with all boats contesting a better position as they sped across the finishing line.

The final positions for the TT saw Think Pink first followed by Take 5, Genesis, Space Odyssey and UFO. 

Roll on Pagham!


Overall Results:


1st - Think Pink - Dan Tindale & Amy Tindale - Stone 

2nd - Take 5 - Shaun Allen & Dion Allen - Felixstow Ferry 

3rd - Genesis - Jamie Farnborough & Alex Slay - Hastings 

4th - Space Odyssey - John Hill & Clifford Hill - Stone

5th - UFO - Derek Williams & Grace Williams - Stone