Wednesday Evening Blog

Welcome to the 2019 Wednesday Evening Series. Joe’s blog is back!

12th June

What a cracking warm summer’s evening sailing we all had! F3 bright blue skies, not a cloud in sight. We couldn’t ask for more.

Unfortunately many of you must have been on holiday as the turnout was a little disappointing considering the conditions.

Due to only four boats in the Fast fleet and three in the Slow Double fleet we can only pay out on the first two in the Fast Fleet and the winners in the Slow Double fleet. I hope this does not bust your coupons.


Fast Fleet.

1st            Andy Johnson & Duncan Simmonds         RS400

2nd          Guy & Sarah Humphrey                          RS400

Slow Double

1st           Nigel & Fiona Denchfield               LARK

Slow Single Fleet

1st Dan Wigmore              PHANTOM

2nd Neil Washington        D-ZERO

3rd Dave Goudie               SOLO

5th June

When I arrived at the club I said to myself ‘go home’, but Neil Washington persuaded me to change my mind. I just knew that this was going to be an ‘R.WHITES’ night. The breeze was definitely not FRESH!

If you have ever drifted around the lake for hours to then find you were OCS while Neil cut and ran after 20 minutes then swanned about the dingy park with a pint of 1664 in his paw, I think I would have been well within my rights to have the dog! Not to mention a rather smug Peter Gee.

Anyone sailing a SOLO or a LARK were quite happy as they seem go as fast in 0.03 knts as they do in 10knts.

I would like to give Alaster Gray a special mention as he has taken to sailing togged up in a smart blazer and strides, setting standards that we should all aspire to!


Fast Fleet.

1st            Guy & Sarah Humphrey             RS400

2nd          Graham Timms                         RS600

3rd           David Papworth & Mike Wallis    49er

Slow Double

1st           Nigel & Fiona Denchfield            LARK

2nd          Ian Bryant & Steve Connolly        LARK

3rd           Jonathan & Trish Knight             FF

Slow Single Fleet

1st Ewan Birkin-Walls          SOLO

2nd Dave Lucas                   SOLO

3rd Mark Rushton                SOLO

29th May

Once the rain abated we had a super evening race, all be it a tad shifty up near the windward mark, in F3/F4 at times. The highlight was a thrilling reach across the bottom of the course.

The fast fleet was extremely well represented and especially by those odd things with two floating devices attached. Even so a boat beat them all by a staggering 20 seconds.

It was also good to see a flock of Larks appear in the slow double fleet and a Wayfarer no less.

The Slow Single fleet was a bit depleted this week as the rain gets right into the bones of the Solo sailors. Mind you Simon Dabson showed us all how to sail the first upwind leg.

The other things worthy of note. The resident lorry driver downed a couple of extra choccy bars and swapped his Laser for his dad’s boat and scored a bullet. One word of warning. Peter Saxton seems to have remembered how to operate a Laser. Don’t let me tell you I told you so!


Fast Fleet.

1st            Peter & James Curtis          RS500

2nd          Christian Marsh                 SPITFIRE Spi S/H

3rd           Alistair Farman                  RS600

Slow Double

1st           Geoff Floyd & Colin Gilbert         FF

2nd          Nigel Cady & Ken Norris             FF

3rd           Beven & Beven                           WAYFARER

Slow Single Fleet

1st Dan Wigmore              PHANTOM

2nd Colin Glover               D-ZERO

3rd Peter Saxton                LASER

22nd May

Not a lot to say about this week apart from well over 50 strange people drifted around the lake for an hour. In these conditions you need to be exceptionally skilful, in the right boat or a sneaky beaky.

Duncan Simmons and Andy Johnson have the skill set and the conditions must have suited the RS400.

The Flying Fifteen was and is the boat of choice in the slow double fleet and when Alaster turns up Gordon has no more excuses. In the slow single fleet Ewan Birkin-Walls, David Williams and Alisdair James showed, not for the first time how to sail fast in very light airs.

The sneaky beaky was Neil Washington who locked 31 people in the toilets to take advantage of a space  in what was going to be a demanding rescue boat and score an excellent average points. If only I had seen this opportunity!


Fast Fleet.

1st            Duncan Simmonds & Andy Johnson         RS400

2nd          Marc Walford & Alan Cooke                    RS400

3rd           Guy Humphrey                                       RS600

Slow Double

1st           Nigel Cady & Ken Norris                 FF

2nd          Jonathan & Trish Knight                  FF

3rd           Gordon Oscroft & Alaster Gray       FF

Slow Single Fleet

1st Ewan Birkin-Walls         SOLO

2nd David Williams            LASER

3rd Alisdair James              SOLO

15th May

What a beautiful summer’s evening sailing was enjoyed by over 50 competitors. On arrival we had a Steady F3; unfortunately the wind dropped to F2 which Neil Washington pointed out would be a thinking man’s race. That counted me out!  Certainly carrying a bit too much timber was not going to help on a day like this.

Fortunately the breeze held up and if you looked hard enough pressure could be found off to the left or was it Right? RS locked out the top three in the fast fleet as conditions didn’t suit the Cats at all. Similarly it must have been perfect conditions for Flying Fifteens as they took all three places in the Slow Double fleet.

Ewan Birkin Walls and Dave Lucas battled it out in the Slow Single fleet with Ewan managing to hold Dave off at the line.

We are struggling to fill the duty slots and at the moment we have no one on rescue this coming Wednesday. Please help if you can.


Fast Fleet.

1st            Peter & James Curtis         RS500

2nd          Alistair Farman                 RS600

3rd           Guy & Sarah Humphrey    RS600

Slow Double

1st           Geoff Floyd & Colin Gilbert      FF

2nd          Jonathan & Trish Knight           FF

3rd           Barry & Katy Wyatt                  FF

Slow Single Fleet

1st Ewan Birkin-Walls       SOLO

2nd Dave Lucas               SOLO

3rd Robbie MacDonald    LASER

8th May

Driving over to the club from Cambridge in the afternoon it was raining proper Sticklebacks! I thought this would put many off but we still had a turnout of over 40. Our esteemed leader gave me some lame excuse that he was in Saffron Walden watching the Spice Girls in concert.

With only a gentle breeze, Nigel set an interesting course which became even more so when shortly before the start a huge right hand shift occurred. Not wishing to chase the wind he went into the start sequence undeterred. This resulted in three big hitters being adjudged OCS.

Staying clear of the port end mayhem, myself and a few others benefited as the building breeze came in from the right. Happy days for once! If only the race was a one lap sprint it would have been me on top of the podium. Alas Joel, Neil and Colin swallowed me up and spat me out over the following two laps.

Dave Philpott pipped Tim into first place in the Flying Fifteen fleet by 0.0001 of a second. Tim was not a happy bunny.


Fast Fleet.

1st            Peter & James Curtis                                 RS500

2nd          John Reynolds & David Marchant              4000

3rd           Guy Humphrey                                         RS600

Slow Double

1st           David Philpott & John Forsdike      FF

2nd          Tim O’Brian & Susie Sontag          FF

3rd           Geoff Floyd & Colin Gilbert          FF

Slow Single Fleet

1st Joel Walker                D-ZERO

2nd Neil Washington        D-ZERO

3rd Colin Glover              D-ZERO

1st May

Over 50 turned out and what a night for the under 50’s in the slow single fleet. We had 12 boats in the Fast fleet, 11 in the Slow double and 28 in the single fleet. On arriving it looked quite calm but come 7pm we had a steady F4 increasing to at least F4-1/2+

Frank set the course in the middle of the lake with two fantastic reaches. I should know by now that a slimming world salad lunch is just not enough for days like these. Lisa and her girls provide a super tasty hot curry, all be it 4 hours too late.


Fast Fleet.

1st            Peter & James Curtis       RS500

2nd          Stuart Snell                     SPRINT 15

3rd           Alistair Farman               RS600

Slow Double

1st           Geoff Floyd & Colin Gilbert       FF

2nd          Jonathan & Trish Knight             FF

3rd           Dave Philpott & John Forsdike    FF

Slow Single Fleet

1st Neil Washington         D-ZERO

2nd Ewan Birkin-Walls      SOLO

3rd Daniel Wigmore         LASER

24th April 2019

Titled ‘don’t mention L’

Incredibly 48 turned out this week. F4 gusty and shifty conditions made this a challenge at times. Steve James and one or two others kept Peter Saxton busy in the rescue boat.

The race officer for the evening was Dave Philpott aka evil little monkey. Setting an M shaped course with Lambda as the top mark made life a trifle awkward. Within 30m of the buoy I had to tack 109 times! I think ^ should only be used for leeward marks in future. In all honesty despite ^ it was good to have a different shaped course and the reaches were terrific.

Young Alexander Maclay, gaining his first bullet of the series has become a very talented sailor and for sure will be in the final shake up.


Fast Fleet.

1st           Stuart Snell                     SPRINT 15

2nd          Peter & James Curtis       RS500

3rd           Alistair Farman              RS600

Slow Double

1st           Les Rant & Susie Sontag  FF

2nd          Barry & Katy Wyatt          FF

3rd           Geoff Floyd & Gilbert     FF

Slow Single Fleet

1st Alexander Maclay                    TOPPER

2nd Joel Walker                            D-ZERO

3rd Daniel Wigmore                      LASER

17th April

This week was all about our development squad, ‘TEAM GRAFHAM’. This was their first experience of racing in the Wednesday evening series. The sun had his hat on and the wind strength was around F2.

Five took part and enjoyed some very close racing.

Matthew Donley

Lloyd Bigger

Owen Pope

Adele Burbidge

Josh Donley

We must thank Mandy and her team for giving up many spare hours coaching most weekends and she must feel very proud of these young boys and girls.

This is exciting times for our junior members and it will be fascinating watching their progression over the coming months.

10th April 2019

The Wednesday evening series sprang into action with a NE F4. This certainly blew a few cobwebs away and exposed some rusty techniques. I noticed a couple of capsized chaps before the start and one numpty even let go of his tiller on the start line inducing minor chaos (sorry about that)!

As is now the customary tradition, Ann and her trusted team of Barry and Steve managed the first race of the series. They were a bit trigger happy with the hooter according to Robin. Personally I didn’t notice as I was too busy apologising to Dave Williams at the time.

Officially 45 boats made it in time which is a great effort.

Neil Klabe was first of the ten entries in the fast fleet which he won by the considerable margin of eleven minutes, quite impressive.

Five FF and a solo Lark entered the Slow Double fleet. Talking of Solos they seem to be the single handed Flying Fifteen as several ex FF sailors have moved over to give Ewan some serious competition amongst the Slow single fleet.

The long range forecast looks great for the next five months so we should see record turn outs this year!



1  Neil Klabe                                           A CLASS CLASSIC

2  Stuart Snell                                          SPRINT 15

3  John Reynolds & Dave Marchant          4000


1  Nigel Cady & Ken Norris            FF

2  Jonathan & Trish Knight             FF

3  Dave Philpott & ??                     FF


1  Joel Walker                    D-ZERO

2  Dan Wigmore                LASER

3  Dave Maclay                  LASER