Wednesday Evening Blog

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

Final Series Results

Best sailor new to the series

D-Zero 110 Joel Walker


1st Slow Single D-Zero 110 Joel Walker

2nd Slow Single Phantom 1457 Dan Wigmore

3rd Slow Single D-Zero 71 Neil Washington


1st RS500 659 Peter Curtis James Curtis

2nd Sprint 15 2022 Stuart Snell

3rd RS400 563 Guy Humphrey Sarah Humphrey

Slow Double

1st Flying 15 3794 Dave Philpott John Forsdike

2nd Flying 15 3827 Geoff Floyd Colin Gilbert

3rd Lark 2459 Nigel Denchfield Fiona Denchfield

Slow Single

1st D-Zero 110 Joel Walker

2nd Solo 5827 Ewan Birkin-Walls

2nd Phantom 1457 Dan Wigmore

1st Team Grafham

Topper 10024 Adele Burbidge

Special slow boat junior prize to 36th Slow Single

Topper 47801 Alexander Maclay

28th August

With only the Pursuit race left we come to the end of this years Wednesday evening series.

Despite no one taking it seriously and with over 180 members taking part the Wednesday evening series is arguably the Blue Riband event in our racing calendar.

The Fast fleet was won by our new RS500 world champions, Peter and James Curtis.

It could not have been any closer in deciding the winners of the Slow Double fleet. With steel determination, luck, years and years of experience plus the intervention of God, one second was just enough to secure victory for the cunning Dave Philpott & John Forsdike over Geoff Floyd and Colin Gilbert.

This years slow single fleet was won by new member Joel Walker who left everyone for dead in most races.

Until next April, adios amigos….

21st August

Firstly I must apologise for the delay in writing up this weeks report. This was due in part to a rare stewards’ enquiry into the slow single fleet’s results. After a general recall some of the fleet started on 12 while others on 15. Ian and myself are to blame for this unfortunate situation as the SIs differed on the printed sheet in the wet bar stating four starts to include a start for the Team Grafham Sailors while on the web site it stated only three starts.

I should have noticed this and I am therefore accountable, so if any of you kind hearted lovely people feel I need to buy you a drink as a small gesture of good will to compensate for this minor error then please let me know in person between 18.30 and 18.12 tomorrow evening.

As for the sailing that evening I can’t remember that much about it.



1st Peter Curtis                                        RS300

2nd Mandy French & Mandy Sweet           K6

3rd Kevin Cummerson                            SPITFIRE Spi S/H


1st Dave Philpott & John Forsdike           FF

2nd Jonathan & Trish Knight                  FF

3rd G.Wadeley & A.Tasker                    FF


1st Joel Walker                   D-ZERO

2nd Dan Wigmore              PHANTOM

3rd  Adam Miles                 D-ZERO

14th August

Yet another super evening’s sailing with a decent F4 decreasing to F3 southerly breeze. Surely not again!

If there wasn’t bucket loads of water filling up the K6 Matt and Mandy would for sure have finished first in the fast fleet by a country mile. Similarly had Tim O’Brian not tried to dispose of his crew, by dropping his tiller he also would have had at least a podium finish.

As for the slow single fleet a second hoot went out and the appropriate flag was displayed for the thirteen boats OCS. I was therefor confident of my first bullet of the series. Can you imagine how I felt when the results were published to see not one counting OCS!!  There must be some sort of conspiracy amongst the fleet. There is no other explanation.

I havn’t a scooby what went on the fast fleet.



1st Alistair Farman            RS600

2nd Will Smith                  NACRA 17

3rd Stewart Smith             NACRA 16


1st Les Rant & Susie Sontag          FF

2nd Bob Gatton & Jim Coates       FF

3RD Jonathan & Trish Knight         FF


1st Joel Walker        D-ZERO

2nd Phil Bevan         LASER

3RD Colin Glover     D-ZERO

7th August

A great evening’s sailing with a decent F4-F3 WSW breeze.

Apart from that it was a fairly incident free race apart from Paul Murphy bagging his first bullet of the series and he would kill me if I failed to mention it. Robin Annett put his Laser in the path of a D-Zero or the other way round, oh and Tim O’Brian made an appearance for the first time since the beginning of May, no doubt with some lame excuse.


Now for the results.


1st Christian Mash                                   SPRINT 15

2nd Stuart Snell                                        SPRINT 15

3rd John Reynolds & David Marchant        4000


1st Dave Philpott & John Forsdike             FF

2nd Tim O’Brian & Andy Clayton              FF

3rd Gordon Oscroft & Alaster Gray          FF


13th Jon Quick                    LASER

14th  Peter Guttridge          LASER

15th Chris Clarke                LASER 4.7

31st July

The signs were there when I saw Robin Annett pull into the car park. Peter Saxton would say the breeze was freshening, David Goudie would say it was blowing a hoolie and many would say it was blowing old boots! Whatever your preference it was definitely strong enough to blow Peter Gee’s syrup off!

I bailed out at the second of the three gybe marks when the risk versus reward tipped over the edge. For sure better men and women than me were finding it a brute at times with several going for a swim.

37 went out and 35 completed the race. Hats off to the 35.



1st Will Smith & John Sweet         FORMULA 18

2nd Frank Sandells                     SPRINT 15

3rd Neil Klabe                            A CLASS CLASSIC


1st Dave Philpott & John Forsdike              FF

2nd Geoff Floyd & Colin Gilbert                FF

3RD Bob Gatton & Jim Coates                   FF

4th Ian Bryant & Steve Connolly                LARK


1st Joel Walker                 D-ZERO

2nd Phil Beven                  LASER

3rd Robin Annett               LASER

24th July

Firstly I must apologise for not writing up a report on last weeks frolics but I have been away for two weeks in the warm sunshine. Mind you nobody said anything which could suggest my absence was not entirely missed. (And the mystery guest blogger also apologises for having been very late with the report).

As for this week, at 18.45 we had a lovely NW breeze and at 19.00 we had not a lot! This made the starts a tad tricky!

There were mistakes a plenty in the slow single fleet and it was refreshing to see some doing penalty turns without being asked. We should all remember that the sport at club level is meant to be self-policed.

Matt French wanted to borrow some sunscreen off Mandy, or was it rouge? Now that was a mistake! I personally didn’t think it was worth a mention, but Mandy insisted.

As for the racing. For many of us it was difficult to find clear air and get our tubs moving while others made it look as simple as picking up the tube labelled sunscreen.

In the slow double fleet Nigel finished a full 2-1/2 minutes behind Jonathan yet their corrected time was exactly the same. Just think what would have been if you had spotted the left shift up the first beat a second earlier.

With five weeks to go its still all to play for whether you are hoping to be in the top three or top 25.



1st Guy & Sarah Humphrey            RS400

2nd Peter & James Curtis                RS500

3rd Andy Johnson & Alan Cooke    RS400


1st Dave Philpott & John Forsdike  FF

2nd Nigel & Fiona Denchfield        LARK

2nd Jonathan & Trish Knight          FF


1st Joel Walker                    D-ZERO

2nd Colin Glover                 D-ZERO

3rd Daniel Wigmore            PHANTOM

17th July

As Joe is still away your mystery guest blogger had to rely on quotes from representatives of the three fleets in the bar afterwards.

Fast Fleet: “The Chief Instructor in a K6 was robbed”

Slow Double: “The Lark was beaten by Barry in a FF because the wind didn’t die soon enough”

Slow Single: “The Laser fleet are unhappy because they can’t win anymore”

Other quotes were unprintable.


Fast Fleet

1st    Peter Curtis                                       RS300

2nd  Andy Johnson & Duncan Simmonds    RS400

3rd John Reynolds & David Marchant          4000

Slow Double

1st    Barry & Katy Wyatt                     FF

2nd  Nigel & Fiona Denchfield            Lark

3rd   Dave Philpott & John Forsdyke    FF

Slow Single

1st    Dan Wigmore                Phantom

2nd  Ewan Birkin-Walls          Solo

3rd   Ben Stevens                   D-Zero

10th July

Starting in a F2 and dying to almost nothing, this is the point in the series where final series positions are starting to crystalise. The Fast Fleet is pretty much sewn up, with Peter and James Curtis scoring almost a clean sweep of firsts. Peter said “with the wind dying it became very tactical with places changing on the final run as the sailors looked for the puffs of breeze”.

In the Slow Double fleet Geoff and Colin scored another first, needing one more to be sure of the series. There are still opportunities in the slow single fleet as Ewan, Joel and Neil battle it out, so watch this space over the next few weeks.

This week’s Blog is by a mystery guest as Joe is away


Fast Fleet

1st    Peter Curtis & James Curtis                 RS500

2nd  Guy Humphrey & Sarah Humphrey     RS400

3rd   Andy Johnson & Duncan Simmonds    RS400

Slow Double

1st    Geoff Floyd & Colin Gilbert       FF

2nd  Graham Wadely & A Tasker      FF

3rd   David Bevan & Samuel Bevan   Wayfarer

Slow Single

1st    Joel Walker                     D-Zero

2nd  Ewan Birkin-Walls           Solo

3rd   Dan Wigmore                 Phantom

3rd July

With forecast of NE F3 I was pleasantly surprised to be greeted by an optimistic breeze across the lake. My bubble was burst when Barry Wyatt confidently predicted that it would drop right off by 7pm. Barry must know about these things as according to Bob he has been a member since 1936.

Yet this time Barry was mistaken as the wind freshened to a F3 occasionally F4 North East veering East and I am now tempted to return to test match special and that would complete the shipping forecast.

It was good to see the Flying Fifteens back in action, now that the sun was shining. Maybe rain affects the performance of this class.

Jon Sweet seems to have fully recovered from his frozen elbow and glided back to the front of the fast fleet and for the first time this season Phil Bevan was emotionally relieved as at last he scored the bullet he has craved for so so long!


Fast Fleet.

1st           Jon Sweet & Olly Dwight                     FORMULA 18

2nd          John Reynolds & David Marchant        4000

3rd           Peter & James Curtis                          RS500

Slow Double

1st           Barry & Katy Wyatt                           FF

2nd          Bob Gatton & Jim Coates                FF

3rd           Geoff Lloyd & Colin Gilbert             FF

Slow Single Fleet

1st           Phil Bevan                           LASER

2nd          Neil Washington                 D-ZERO

3rd           David Papworth                  D-ZERO

26th June

I couldn’t help but notice that a few of you lot stayed at home thinking it could be a tad breezy.

I tell you how breezy it was. Dave Williams went out with a 4.7 rig!!!! That’s how flipping nasty it was.

Mark Aldridge and Joel Walker made it look ridiculously benign, making myself and Gordon, watching from the bar feel quite inferior. Several however did go for a swim which is where I would have been had I ventured into the bowels of hell!

Nigel & Fiona were a bit miffed as I had failed to mention that they slaughtered the Flying Fifteens the week before so to make up for that I shall point out that they obtained a 3rd place this week by retiring. I must try that myself sometime.

Those who were brave enough told me that they had an absolutely cracking race and wanted to thank the CRO and his team for setting a superb course.

See you all next week.


Fast Fleet.

1st           Mark Aldridge                 SPRINT 15

2nd          Stuart Snell                     SPRINT 15

3rd           Peter & James Curtis       RS500

Slow Double

1st           Bob Gatton & Jim Coates               FF

2nd          Jim Hibbert & John Forsdike           FF

3rd           Nigel & Fiona Denchfield              RTD LARK

Slow Single Fleet

1st           Joel Walker                       D-ZERO

2nd          Daniel Wigmore                LASER

3rd           Neil Washington               D-ZERO

19th June

I can only apologise for the delay in writing up this weeks report. (And I apologise that it is even later – I was away too. Ed.)

I have been away in Weymouth competing in the D-ZERO nationals and I can only think that there must have been something odd in the water as I can’t remember all the details from last Wednesday evening. I guess from the results that the breeze was light.

I do however remember seeing Dave Philpott return after a short layoff due to a minor injury.


Fast Fleet.

1st           Peter Curtis                                            RS300

2nd          Duncan Simmonds & Andy Johnson        RS400

3rd           John Reynolds & David Marchant           4000

Slow Double

1st           Nigel & Fiona Denchfield                          LARK

2nd          Geoff Floyd & Colin Gilbert                       FF

3rd           David Philpott & John Forsdike                  FF

Slow Single Fleet

1st           Ewan Birkin Walls                SOLO

2nd          Dave Lucas                         SOLO

3rd           Dave Goudie                      SOLO

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