Shearwater Catamaran 2011 Results

 

Shearwater TT at Stone Sailing Club

by Malcolm Greenhill 18-19 June 2011

 

Murray Greenhill sailed Shearwater 'Dilligaf' to win his first TT event at Stone. Here are his thoughts...

WOWEEE!!!! What a weekend! 

 

Firstly I would like to congratulate everyone who made it through the wind and rain on the motorways to get there. The only way I managed it was to follow the wonky trailer board of 'Simply Red' through the spray off the road.

The Shearwater family spirit was evident almost immediately as Friday evening began. We were sitting in the bar having a nice pint when a completely saturated Alan Howland entered the bar requesting all hands on deck to assist Rob and Angie in assembling their tent in what seemed to be a monsoon. 

Soon there were 8 or more fully saturated people and one assembled tent. Great success!!

Saturday morning soon arrived with lots of rain, a steady force 5 breeze and 30+ knot gusts. This was the start of a very interesting day on the water.

The first race began with a fairly crowded start line with both Shearwaters and Spitfires starting together. On this lap we could all see the windward mark and started heading towards it. Alex and father Greg Wilcox on 'Foreigner' were the only boat to dare hoist the spinnaker on the reach which gave them a huge boost. They soon regretted their decision after the gybe when one of the larger gusts of the day forced them into such a violent pitchpole that their starboard hull snapped in half in front of the main beam, only being held together by the deck.

Thankfully both helm and crew were ok and the boat was escorted back to the beach by two safety boats. We all hope that 'Foreigner' will be repaired to sail another day.

We soon came to the beginning of the second lap and as we passed the committee boat we were struck by the most severe weather I have ever sailed in. The wind strength increased to 30+ knots with a downpour of rain which appeared to be coming at us sideways, stinging our faces and reducing visibility to a few yards. These conditions lasted for almost 15 minutes until the black clouds above had passed. A few boats later told me they survived by sitting in irons while two boats were blown over. 

I looked for the windward mark but I could not see it for the life of me. All I could see was the sail of 'Ruby', crewed by Roger Crooks and daughter Anna Alan, just ahead of me half way up the windward leg; so they became my bearing. Soon we were at the windward mark and hot on their tail. 

On the downwind leg 'Ruby' seemed to be pulling away from us so I asked my crew Nick Bristow, who was on a Shearwater for his first time that day, if he was feeling crazy. He replied yes so we hoisted the spinnaker. With some great spinnaker control, we soon sailed past 'Ruby' to take the gun at the line. 

The second race was slightly delayed as two of our three safety boats were still carrying Foreigner back to the beach and the committee boat deemed it unsafe to start the race in those conditions with only one safety boat available.

Once we were underway, it seemed the fleet were a bit over-excited which resulted in a general recall. The conditions were similar to race 1 but with smaller gusts and less rain. 

The whole fleet were extremely close throughout the entire race which lead to some great close racing in tricky conditions. I don’t really remember much about the second race because I was so busy trying to get past people, especially 'Carbon Footprint' who was just in front of me all the way round. 

Race three soon began and the weather turned again shortly after the start. More gusts around the 30 knot mark came blasting through which led to a few torn mainsails and capsizes, and the loss of my brand new carbon fibre spinnaker pole with custom fittings that I had only just finished that morning. DOH! Oh well, that’s racing.

Just like the first race, the huge gusts played right into our hands. 'Carbon footprint' crewed by Shaun Allen and Claire Robinson were in front me of from the off and at one point it seemed like I was catching them but then they pulled away again. Throughout the entire race it seemed as if we had a giant bungee chord between us but in the end 'Carbon Footprint' took the gun.

On the Saturday night we had our usual disco party but this time it was a themed night. The theme was “School days” due to Claire Robinson starting her new job as a School Headmistress (congratulations again Claire). The disco was run by two lovely Stone sailing club local lasses and we all had an amazing night. Thanks go to them.

All too soon, after just a few hours sleep we all emerged from our various accommodation to another windy day. I think the thought going through everyone’s minds was “oh please not again” as we were all in a lot of pain from the day before. To our relief, the race Officer Wendy had picked up on the moans and groans and also decided the conditions were too challenging to run with the amount of safety cover that was on offer to us on the day due to club racing.

This weekend is certainly one I will not forget. Not only because it was my first TT win as a helm but also because of the company, entertainment, weather and also that we brought a number of great new people into the fleet, including my crew for the weekend Nick Bristow.

 

Overall Results:

1st - 2003 - Dilligaf - Murray Greenhill & Nick Bristow

2nd - 1996 - Ruby - Roger Crooks & Anna Alan

3rd - 2006 - Alley Cat - Alan Howland & Rob Britton

4th - 2008 - Shear Flambouyance - Darren Tulley & Catherine Howland

5th - 2007 - Simsek - Nigel Stuart & Sarah Stuart

6th - 1990 - Simply Red - Peter Sharrod & Richard Playford

7th - 1999 - Carbon Footprint - Shaun Allen & Claire Robinson

8th - 2002 - China Crisis - Robert Hamilton & Tayla Playford

9th - 2004 - UFO - Grace Williams & Del Williams

10th - 1988 - Foreigner - Alex Wilcox & Greg Wilcox

11th - 1984 - Orwell - Richard Hill & Holy Brady

12th - 1985 - Coeur De Verre - Judith Ross & Robin De Vries

 

Shearwater TT at Hastings & St Leonard's Sailing Club

by Shaun Allen 2-3 July 2011

 

11 boats gathered at Hastings & St.Leonards Sailing Club, for the third Travellers Trophy meeting of the season. A light South Easterly accompanied the first race, with Nigel and Sarah Stuart on Simsek establishing an early lead, and first to the windward mark. This was eroded in subsequent laps by the pack, led by Alan Howland and Rob Brittan on Alley Cat. But Simsek held their nerve to take the gun.

Race 2 saw a diminishing breeze and strengthening ebb tide, requiring a careful inshore beat amongst the groins. Alley Cat had established a modest lead by the second lap, which they maintained to the gun, despite consistent pressure from Nick Elliot and Anna Allen on Cajensa.

Race 3 brought no change to conditions, with Simsek and Cajensa away from the Line first. Shaun Allen and Claire Robinson on Carbon Footprint leading the pack, with Simsek and local sailors Murray Greenhill and Louise Cully on Diligaf constantly challenging for third place, but the order remained till the final gun.

Saturday evening was filled with lively entertainment, and excellent hospitality. All taking place beneath the seafront promenade, in a unique subterranean Club house, that is the home of Hastings & St. Leonards S.C.

Sunday morning awoke with a steady Force 2-3 from the South-west, which did much to clear some heads! A busy start saw Cajensa break away from the pack, to seaward and in clear air. First to the windward mark they were closely followed by Carbon Footprint, Alley Cat and local sailors Barry Duck and John Wiseman on New Flame, and fellow locals Rob Hamilton and Taylor Playford on China Crisis, vying with Grace and Derek Williams on UFO. Cajensa held the lead to the final gun, despite numerous challenges.

The concluding Race 5 of the event began again with the pack sailing in close company. Carbon Footprint was first around the windward mark, and maintained the lead until the second beat. After which Simsek pulled ahead, closely followed by Alley Cat and Cajensa. The new order remaining until the final gun.

A big thanks to Hastings for a superbly run event, in blazing sunshine, crystal blue water, and ordering in the wind for the Sunday.

 

Overall Results:

1st - 2006 - A. Howland & R. Brittan

2nd - 1976 - N. Elliot  &  A. Allen

3rd - 2003 - N. Stuart & S. Stuart

4th - 1999 - S. Allen & C. Robinson

5th - 2003 - M. Greenhill & L. Cully

 

Shearwater TT at Canvey Island Yacht Club

by Shaun Allen 30-31 July 2011

 

As the majority of the fleet made it's way to the Island Yacht Club on Canvey Island, few had little perception of what to expect and indeed for most, a visit to the birth place of the Shearwater at the G Prout and Sons works was their first visit to this Thames Estuary island. But immediately on arrival the warm greeting by club members, the smart, spacious club house was but a forerunner to the amazing show IYS were about to put on for the benefit of all visitors to their Cat Open.

As tents were put up, vans and mobile homes arrived, boats were being rigged, the galley and bar were open and in a very short time the whole Club site became a hive of industry absolutely buzzing with enthusiasm. The only thing that seemed to be missing was the sea – we could see ships in the distance and Southend pier – but where was the wet stuff that we rely on ?!

The next morning our query was answered as the rising tide finally surmounted the mud flats and suddenly the sea shore took on a completely new appearance, but in view of the fairly early start of 11.45 AM there was little time for observation. After a hearty breakfast, courtesy of the Galley, boats were made ready for launching into the inshore shallows. 

Even at this point there was little in the way of wind and most boats were to be seen paddling out towards the start area. With three races scheduled for Saturday it was clear that the Race Officer was in for a difficult time – competitors included! As the fleet made it`s various ways up the first beat it became abundantly clear that there was no right or wrong way to go but simply to make the best of what ever bit of breeze came your way – even if it was in a totally different direction to other boats only a few metres away. But whilst continuously changing direction there was just enough wind to provide propulsion resulting in rapid changes in position throughout the fleet but at the gun it was Dion and Anna in Take Five taking line honours.

To try to cope with the shifting conditions the Race Officer and his team made valiant efforts to reconfigure the course and off we went again but the inconsistency of the breeze remained. With only one lap of the windward/leeward course taking the best part of an hour for the leading boats the second race was concluded after only one lap but in this instance line honours were taken by Nick and Kerry in Cajensa et al after a fine display of tactical sailing. 

With available water time running out the RO wisely decided to delay Race Three until the next day and the fleet headed home mid afternoon for an early start on the evening`s entertainment. Such was the generosity of the IYS that the entry fee, a modest £30 per boat, not only included a Hog Roast meal for both helm and crew – but a bottle of wine as well – and live entertainment throughout the evening.

Even the young ones were well catered for throughout the weekend with a Bouncy Castle ! It can be well imagined that with excellent company and a fine meal it wasn`t long before the Shearwater propensity for partying kicked in and a superb evening followed.

Sunday dawned bright ,sunny – and a sea breeze ! The RO had declared his intention to try for three races whereupon Mother Nature responded accordingly by slowly building to a good F3 to F4 at times. What pleasure ensued – lively breeze, glorious sunshine and tight racing throughout the fleet. 

By now a group of boats hotly contesting the lead was developing with Cajensa et al, Sim Sek, Take 5 and Alley Cat all vying for pole position but with the likes of Ruby, UFO, Dilligaf, and Airflow snapping at their heels. All three races were completed in time to get back to shore while there was still water – and the promise of a free Bar-B-Q for all whist de-rigging and packing up.All in all a superbly organised event, and an incredibly hospitable Club.

 

Overall Results:

1st - Alley Cat - Allan Howland & Rob Britten

2nd - Simsek - Nigel Stuart & Sarah Stuart 

3rd - Carbon Footprint - Shaun Allen & Claire Robinson

4th - Cajensa - Nick Elliot & Kerry Elliot

 

Shearwater National Championships at Yaverland Sailing Club

by Shaun Allen 14-19 August 2011

 

The 55th annual National Championships for the Shearwater Catamaran Class took place at Yaverland Sailing Club on the Isle of Wight from 14th-19th of August. The event was part of the Isle of Wight Catamaran Festival, incorporating both Hurricane and F18 Catamaran Nationals, sponsored by Wildwind Sailing Holidays, Towergate Insurance, Harken and Wight Link Ferries.

The Championships began on Sunday 14th of August with a Practice Race, which was incorporated into the Sandown Sailing Regatta, running concurrently over the weekend. This was won in convincing style by the Class Chairman Nigel Stuart, and his wife Sarah on Simsek. The subsequently awarded Trophy for the Race was bigger than the World Cup, and because of its value could not be removed from Yaverland Sailing Club, but provided excellent photo opportunities when awarded.

The Competition proper began with Race 1 on the Monday morning, with 17 boats starting in a fresh South Westerly. Simsek lead to the Windward mark, overtaken by Shaun Allen and Clair Robinson on Carbon Footprint (Felixstowe Ferry S.C), closely followed by Dion and Anna Allen on Take5. The order remained the same until the final beat to the finish line, when Take5 overhaul Carbon Footprint to take the win.

After a short respite for lunch Race 2 began in similar conditions. Ben and Jamie Farnborough on Genesis taking an early lead, with Alan Howland and Rob Britton on Alley Cat leading the pack. Carbon Footprint broke free of the pack to close on the leaders, overhauling Alley Cat and Genesis on the final lap, to take the win.

Tuesday brought a lighter westerly breeze, Race 3 saw the Fleet in close company until the second beat, with Genesis breaking way from the pack, followed by Simsek, Alley Cat, and Darren Tully and Catherine Howland on Shearflamboyance leading the pack. Carbon Footprint was closed out at the start, but managed to work up the Fleet to take second place behind Genesis.

Race 4 started in an increasing South Westerly, with Genesis establishing an early lead, closely followed by Carbon Footprint. The two pulling away from the pack, lead by Murray Greenhill and Louise Curry on Dilligaf. Although there was many changes to the minor places, Genesis maintained the lead until the final gun, followed by Carbon Footprint.

Wednesday morning began with a light North Westerly, and Roger Crooks and Bonnie Lloyd on Ruby establishing and early and commanding lead in Race 5, followed by Alley Cat and Grace and Derek Williams on UFO. Being on equal points overnight, Genesis and Carbon Footprint matched raced each other about the course, while Alley Cat was able to overhaul Ruby to take the win, closely followed by Take5.

Thursday brought a strong South Westerly, which continued to increase all day. Race 6 brought a crowded start line, but Carbon Footprint was able to find a gap and cross at speed. Establishing a commanding lead, and clear air, which was maintained to the final gun. Genesis leading the pack home.

Race 7 began after lunch in marginal conditions, a few taking an early swim in the increasingly blustery conditions, and heavy swell. Genesis took the lead from Carbon Footprint at the end of the first beat, the latter covering the Fleet for the remainder of the race. Alley Cat leading the rest of the pack home in challenging conditions.

Friday began with Carbon Footprint the overnight leader, but only one point ahead of Genesis. Race 8 started in a fresh South Westerly, with Carbon Footprint first to the windward mark, they being quickly overhauled by Simsek on the second beat, but with Genesis caught in traffic further down the Fleet. As Carbon Footprint tacked to make the windward mark, the helm slipped of the trapeze hook, and the boat capsized. They quickly righted the boat to recover a 7th position, and maintain a 1 point advantage over Genesis, to win the National Championships for the second year running.

The 55th Championship was significant in so much as there was no clear winner until the final Race. The same applied to all the final places, which is a testament to the close racing across the Fleet. In addition, facilities and sailing area at Yaverland Sailing Club are superb, and the organisation of the event by Ian Molyneaux and all at Yaverland Sailing Club was exemplary. As was the professionalism of the Race Officers, Peter and Carole-Anne Poecock.

Bringing together three Catamaran Classes to host a combined National Championships was an inspired and superb advert for Catamaran Sailing.

 

Overall Results:

1st - Shaun Allen & Claire Robinson

2nd - Ben Farnborough & Jamie Farnborough

3rd - Alan Howland & Rob Britton

4th - Nigel Stuart & Sarah Stuart

5th - Roger Crooks & Bonie Lloyd

 

Shearwater TT at Worthing Sailing Club

by Derek Williams 10-11 September 2011

 

I was amazed to see that 11 Shearwaters arrived at Worthing Sailing Club from far and wide over the weekend of the 10th and 11th of September.

This on the face of it doesn’t appear to be something to be amazed about, but and it’s a big but. When your sailing Cats on the open ocean and you’ve been hearing all week that the tail end of a hurricane will be hitting the South coast at the same time as your sailing event the normal decision is to stay at home. 

The Shearwater fleet though is different. We have such a strong bond of friendship gained through sailing together over the years and its that that gives us the impetus to make the journey, hoping that we will get some sailing in but not minding too much if we didn’t sail at all. 

Worthing is a good club, from the moment we stepped into the bar and was asked “how much do you think we should charge for a pint of beer” I knew that we were in for a good weekend.

Contrary to the doom and gloom being forecast by all and sundry the weather was almost perfect. We had a 2 -3 blowing from the S/W in good sunshine with three races scheduled back to back. We were sharing the event with Dart 18’s and it was decided that we would have a windward / leeward course on Saturday with triangles and sausages on the Sunday. 

Chris our race officer sorted the course quickly and we were away almost on time. This set the scene for a good days racing.

All three starts had a bit of port bias and three or four cats had a go with varying degrees of success. The windward mark was a long way off and the wind shifts made each beat interesting. Greg and Alex on Foreigner, deeply disappointed that it wasn’t blowing sailed really well all day as did Darren and Catherine on Shear flamboyance. Roger and Dion sailing on Ruby always a threat crept over the line.....just in front Nigel and Sandy on Simsek and Janet and Rob on Alley Cat. 

The second race again was very tight but Shaun and Claire on Carbon Footprint got away leaving Nick and Kerry on Cajensa and Grace and myself on UFO to swap places with Ruby, Alley cat and Simsek.

As usual no place in a Shearwater race is given up easily and Barry and John on New Flame was fighting off Murray and Lou on Diligaf (who by the way did not break anything) as well as Nick and Chris on Cosmic Shear.

Carbon footprint won the last race of the day with the rest of the fleet swapping places at every opportunity.

The club put on a fantastic spread for us all and dancing to live music finished off a very good day for both Shearwaters and Dart sailors alike.

I woke on Sunday snuggled up in my campervan to the ominous boom of a large shore break and to the wind desperately trying to rip my drying wet suit from the line outside. I knew then that the racing would be binned and turned over for a bit of extra sleep.

The racing was officially cancelled at 10 am and we spent a nice morning packing away in very blustery conditions.

 

Overall Results:

1st - Shaun and Claire

2nd - Nigel and Sandy

3rd - Janet and Rob