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yachter G ins 5 0 t h a nniversa ry Celebration

GINS’ TONIC 50 Golden Years on the River

Spring 2014

INSIDE: Wedding Venue • Tall Ships • Buying Dilemma • Seine Cruising • Brittany Tour Racing Reports • Cruising • Caribbean Venture • Regalia • Photo Contest Ferry Dental Centre, Ferry House, Canute Road, SO14 3FJ 023 8033 2255

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CONTENTS yachter Commodore’s Charity 5

Commodore: Wing Commander Gordon Agnew, BA, RAF (rtd) Editor: Michael Ford Telephone (01794) 323 577 Email Deputy editor: Contributors: Christine Agnew Martin Alexander Nikki Curwen Adam Greig Richard House Maggie Lund Tim Octon Maggie Puleston Gary Stocks John Strudwick

Margaret Whyte Advertising: Sales manager: Damien Du Vivier Pinnacle Group T: 08707 707 765 E: W:



Angela Rice



News and features Joining RSYC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Tour du Finistère . . . . . . . . . . 15 Horse & Pig Racing . . . . . . . . 21 Wyldwind . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 RYA Training . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Profile: Nike Curwen . . . . . . . . 44 Caribbean Adventure . . . . . . . 46 Paris and Beyond 39

Layout and Design:

Regular columns

Production and Printing: Production manager: Michael Brooks Pinnacle Group E: W:

Commodore’s Letter . . . . . . . . . 4 Club News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Racing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 New Members . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Bulletin Board . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Social Scene . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Cruising . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

Sian Collins E:

Published by: The Royal Southampton Yacht Club Ltd 1 Channel Way, Ocean Village Southampton SO14 3QF Telephone (023) 8022 3352 Fax: (023) 8033 0613 Email: Website:

Cadets 35

Gins Clubhouse St Leonards, Beaulieu Telephone (01590) 616213 Fax (01590) 616327

Cover photo: Jewel in the Crown, Gins. Photo by Lesley Hinde

Flashback to 1964 27-27

Bottom photos, right: Flashback 1964. Photos courtesy Southern Daily Echo

yachter Spring 2014



s I write this, my first Yachter article as Commodore, I’m very aware of the affect that the severe winds and the almost continuous heavy rain has had on everyone over the last few months. From those who have been inundated by flood, tide and sewage to those who haven’t been able to get out of their homes. From those who have lost the majority of their house contents and are looking at months of drying out, to those who have friends and family who have also been badly affected and suffered damage. Our Clubhouses, likewise, have not been spared, the roof and wall leaks at Ocean Village and the complete swamping of Gins to a depth of a half a metre, together with the total disruption of the dinghy park access path during the storm surges, are proof of that. May I wish everyone a swift end to their personal traumas and hopefully a drier year ahead? Notwithstanding the weather, it has been very rewarding to see the support for the New Year Ball, Burn’s Night, Chinese New Year and the Race Night together with the first of the 50th Anniversary ‘dos’ at Gins with the Cruisers’ Supper and Talk at the beginning of February. Michael and the staff were ready to receive everyone






Exciting programme ahead

although ‘downstairs’ was still in the ‘just dry and ready to plaster and re-tile’ stage. The programme for the Club’s year is very exciting and we can all look forward to a varied and busy season whether we cruise, sail dinghies, race, handle remote control yachts, socialize, train or do every one of these different things throughout the year. The Executive Committee continues to examine all aspects of our business in order to keep our costs low and our income high. So, the recent application to allow the Club to conduct marriages; as well as being a successful wedding venue; will enable us to gain more income from that source. The members’ interests will always take priority and wherever possible these external events will be held during the quieter periods of Club usage, and should not restrict the use of the Club to members. A positive result here would allow us to stabilize subscriptions and review those concessions we already have in place. However, it has been brought to my attention that there is some discord within the Club membership over the use of the Club by guests. The content of Rule 24 Guests may well permit up to six visits a year by a non member, however, the spirit of that rule was meant to encourage

non members to become members after a total of six visits, not repeated visits year after year on a regular basis. Club members want to be welcoming but even a tacit acceptance by the Club of these guests, especially partners, is seen by some as devaluing the status of membership. The additional amount payable to change a single membership into a joint membership is only £103 a year, equivalent to 28p per day or a small glass of wine per week and the more partners and guests who become members the less will be the need to increase subscriptions. Finally, I’d like to thank everyone who has signed up for the 50/50 Club Draw, the successor to the 500 Club Draw, in support of the Tall Ships Youth Trust, this year’s Commodore’s Charity. The subscription is £5 each month by direct debit and the monthly prize is half of the donations for that month. The draw for the 50/50 prize will take place at 9 pm on the last Wednesday night of each month during the newly instigated Games Night, and will be conducted live using FiFi, our new ‘pet’ random number programme. So, come along to the Games Night for fun playing darts, backgammon, chess, carpet bowling or whatever game is available and join a convivial and relaxing evening with friends. I wish you all a very enjoyable and successful 2014 and, to our sailors, fair weather, fair winds and safe harbours.

Gordon Agnew Commodore

Burn’s Night 4

yachter Spring 2014


Commodore’s Charity T

he Royal Southampton is to support the Tall Ships Youth Trust as its official charity for the next two years. The Trust was nominated by Commodore Gordon Agnew when he was elected at the Club’s annual general meeting last November, but by practice, support begins with the start of the new year. The Commodore’s choice of the Tall Ships Youth Trust will support its work dedicated to the personal development of young people aged 16 to 25 through the crewing of tall ships. It also works to promote sail training around the world. The Trust, formerly known as the Sail Training Association, and based in Portsmouth, owns and operates the two mast brig, Stavros S Niarchos and four 72 ft Challenger class racing yachts. The Club’s support comes through events both on and off the water, and the newly revamped 50/50 Club, till earlier this year known as the Commodore’s 500 Club. In its time as the 500 Club it has provided generous support for the

Ellen MacArthur Trust, Jubilee Sailing Trust, Marie Curie Cancer Care’s sailing activities, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and most recently Toe In The Water, the joint services rehabilitation charity devoted to supporting severely wounded servicemen and women. The Tall Ships Youth Trust which will benefit has achieved remarkable success in training young people in seamanship since its foundation in 1956 and more than 100,000 trainees have sailed on its fleet which in itself has travelled more than 1.8 million nautical miles. Its vessels are the current brig, Stavros S Niarchos, the four 22m ocean-going Challenger Yachts built and used for Sir Chay Blyth’s round the world Challenge series in 2001/2 and 2004/5 series, a 19m Catamaran and before them, a 60m brig Prince William and two 37m schooners Malcolm Miller and Sir Winston Churchill. Around 70 per cent of the young people sailing with the Trust are disadvantaged or disabled. • See our feature on the first major fund raising event, Page 21.

Get married at Ocean Village


oyal Southampton’s Ocean Village clubhouse overlooking the marina has long been a favoured venue for wedding receptions… but in a new plan the Club has been licensed to host entire marriage ceremonies as well. The Club has officially been awarded a licence for the Ocean Village premises for civil marriage or partnership ceremonies for the next three years. The ceremony itself has to be conducted by a Southampton registrar but it means that the entire ceremony as well as a reception can be held

in the Club’s idyllic waterfront surroundings.The ceremonies may be held in a variety of rooms, although primarily it will be the Admiral’s Room, Trafalgar Room and the lounge. Club manager, Gary Stocks said “We are very pleased we can now add this to the wedding reception package we already offer.” Sarah Lamb, daughter of the past Commodore Susan Lamb and husband Rob, held her reception at Ocean Village when she married Christopher Rowe, in March 2012. yachter Spring 2014






Joining the RSYC I

t has never been more straightforward to become a Member of the Royal Southampton. Our new Membership offers provide for three different categories -

committee member, use the ‘Belted Crest’ insignia, apply for a warrant to fly the defaced blue ensign on their boat and benefit from reciprocal arrangements with other clubs.

Full Membership

Introductory Membership

With no joining fee to pay, you can become a full Member if

This is limited to a maximum of 12 months, after which we hope introductory members will choose to become full members. No proposer or formal interview is required. Payment is by monthly direct debit.

Affiliate Membership

3) you pay the relevant fee, according to the payment option you choose.

The whole range of privileges of full membership will not apply, but Introductory Members may fly the Club burgee, are entitled to the 15 per cent members’ discount on food and beverages and free parking in the Ocean Village and Gins Club car parks.

This enables local business people to use the facilities of our Clubhouses, including bars, restaurant and room hire. Affiliates are personal members who are employees or directors of the business or organisation which proposes them. Fees are substantially discounted, but access to the clubhouses is restricted to specific weekday hours. Benefits are as for Introductory Membership, apart from free parking.

Full Members are entitled immediately to all privileges of the Club, including the right to vote at general meetings, seek election as a Flag Officer or

Both the Full and the Introductory Membership offers family or single options; special rates are offered to those under 30 years of age.

Membership packs for all categories with full information on fees, payment options and benefits are available from the Ocean Village Clubhouse office.

1) you submit an application, signed by a Proposer and Seconder who are Members of the Club. 2) you have attended a meeting for a briefing on the Club, when you can also discuss how you might wish to make the most of your membership and

Lifetime commitment to sailing


artin Atchley who passed away in December was a keen yacht racer with the Club and sailed his boat Empathy based in Ocean Village until a few months before his death. He was 82.

Death of Alan Cunliffe


lan Cunliffe, a popular member of the restaurant staff at Ocean Village clubhouse died following a road accident in February and is sadly missed by staff and members alike Aged 70, he lived at Chilworth, Southampton and is remembered as a ‘cheeky Liverpudlian’ who was a popular waiter in the restaurant who despite having suffered a few health issues in the past, including the loss of an eye, still had a cheerful word for diners and visitors to the Club. He had been a member of staff for just over ten years and died following an accident with a car while crossing the road near his home in the Avenue at Southampton. The funeral was at West End, Southampton.

He had a long association with the Club which stemmed from a lifelong passion for the sea and sailing, which began during his National Service in the Royal Navy during 1955 and 1956, when he spent time in Hong Kong and Japan, where he developed his love of sailing. This was to last a lifetime. Later, when in his mid 20s, and in the Royal Navy Voluntary Reserve, in April 1969, he was on one of two minesweepers that escorted Robin Knox-Johnston in his yacht Suhaili into Falmouth harbour as Sir Robin, as he was to become, completed the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race as the first person to sail single handed and non-stop around the world. Martin sailed various boats until in 1990 he bought a Beneteau 285, Empathy, which he sailed from Ocean Village in Southampton until shortly before his death. He kept a long list of contact details of people he knew from all of his interests and always managed to muster a full racing crew for the Royal Southampton Yacht Club’s

Thursday evening races in which he participated from 1993 until 2007, whatever the weather. He was a member of the Club from 1992 and never failed to turn out whatever the weather and never minded if he won or was last – it was just good to turn out. He also spent a number of years on various committees, including membership and the racing committees. His commitment was recognised when he became the inaugural winner of RSYC’s Half Nelson trophy awarded to acknowledge racing dedication by a club member, whether or not they were the winning boat. In his professional life he was with IBM from 1963 until his retirement in 1994 working in the company’s Patents department, although later worked mostly on IBM’s trademark portfolio, at one time handling applications and registrations for the IBM trademark in over 100 countries in Europe, Middle East and Africa. He moved with his wife Judy to Winchester when he joined IBM. •H  is son Julian is now selling Martin’s boat and details can be obtained from the editor/sailing secretary. yachter Spring 2014



Racing at RSYC

Frostbite Series

New Captain of Racing, Richard House, takes a retrospective view of the finale of last year’s racing programme and looks forward to a feature packed racing season ahead.

Wrapping up last year’s racing


ince the last Yachter was published in the autumn, Bob Trimble has been elected as Rear Commodore Sailing and I have taken over as Captain of Racing. Bob’s act is going to be hard to follow but I am sure, with the committed teams and sponsors that we have and the new racing formats, that 2014 will be another successful year.

The numbers of races held was marginally down in 2013 which was a great result given that numbers generally were down elsewhere. We hope to build on this in 2014 and attract new racers.

The Corona Extra Double Handed Series concluded with a successful prize giving. Trophies were presented by Mike Golding OBE who also launched our new initiatives for the 2014 Double Handed racing; more of which later. In the Main Series:Juliette with Jerry Freeman and Stephen Earl took IRC Class 1 and the Dark and Stormy Trophy. Mike Saqui and Dan Fox’s Edith won the IRC Class 2 and the Cobbald Roach Salver. Amy Lou with Gary Heward and Russell Hawkins took the RSYC Class 3 and the Brazier Trophy. Our Commodore Gordon Agnew with Simon Pickess in Aquarius Ventures won RSYC Class 4 and the Lorne Curry Cup. Tim Wilson and Simon Forbes in Cold Fusion Reloaded won the Mutihull Class.


Mike Golding presents Jerry Freeman with the Dark and Stormy trophy

Turning to Fully Crewed Racing, the RNLI Charity Race moved from its traditional finish off Yarmouth to Gins. The event and the David Shorman Trophy were won by Ross Appleby’s Scarlet Oyster and around £2,300 was raised for the Yarmouth Lifeboat. The Winter Series followed with stronger winds and cold after the balmy summer heatwave but 20 boats battled it out. In Class 1 it was a close run thing but Kevin Barry’s Morpheus took the Hull Hampshire Trophy and triumphed over Mike Garvey’s Magec by just one point with all to play for in the final race. In Class 2, Ian Townend’s Jammin shot away from the pack to take a convincing Series win and the Lains Lake Trophy albeit with co-owner John Cooper away on the ARC. Lastly it was the Charity Pursuit held on a cold grey day but the crews dressed in fancy dress to keep warm and £500 was raised for the past Commodore’s Charity “Toe in the Water.” Steve Bromley’s Aneet Djin won Class 3 and the Price Waterhouse Trophy. John Codnor’s Shamm took Class 4 and the Southampton Globe Trophy. yachter Spring 2014

continued on page 11 9

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he 2013 Fully Crewed Prize Giving was held in February 2014, which gave everyone a chance to get over their Christmas indulgences. Sixty attended and the prizes were presented by Round The World record holder Brian Thompson.

Photo Credit: Lloyds Images/DPPI

Other winners were:Frostbite Series Class 1 – Simon Henning’s Alice

– the Pierhead Trophy

Frostbite Series Class 2 – Colin Woodruff ’s Blazer

– the Vice Commodores Challenge Cup

Frostbite Class 3 –

Andrew Campbell’s Faze 3

– the Test Trophy

Spring Series Class 1 –

Clemency Ives’ Jos of Hamble

– the Channel Cleat

Spring Series Class 2 –

Oliver Love’s Two Frank

– The Halmatic Bell

Clarkson Cup Class 1 –

Edward Leask’s Magical Mystery Tour

– the Clarkson Cup

Clarkson Cup Class 2 –

Mike Bridge’s Elaine

– The Arthur Gale Trophy

Clarkson Cup Class 3 –

Oliver Love’s Two Frank

– The Beaufort Trophy

Twilight Series Class 1 –

Tim Octon’s Njos

– The Shamrock Block

Twilight Series Class 2 – Jacob McKenzie, Costa Corbari and James Gate’s Glass Onion

– The Hound Trophy

Summer Series Class 1 – Mike Garvey’s Magec

– The Shamrock Winch

Summer Series Class 2 – Costa Corbari and James Gate’s Glass Onion

– The Hythe Cup

The RNLI Charity Race, Winter Series and Charity Pursuit winners were as reported on page 9. There were two merit awards presented; the first, the Half Nelson Award to Andrew Campbell for his 166 races entered, enthusiastic participation in everything and considerable help behind the scenes. The second, the Wanderer Trophy, to Tim Octon for the campaigning of Njos in the Tour du Finistère coming fourth in class and the first British boat.

Frostbite Series

yachter Spring 2014


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Eric the Red

Exciting New Plans for 2014 RSYC racing


he 2014 Doyle Sails’ Frostbite Series is underway with the first of our new initiatives in conjunction with IRC Spinlock, offering discounted IRC fees. We welcome Doyle Sails’ continued participation particularly as they have been sponsors for the past five years. Currently 32 boats are racing although the weather has recently been conspiring against us.

There is a new sponsor, Harken, for the ten-race Harken Spring Series which starts on Sunday, March 23. Harken has donated lots of worthwhile prizes which are not just for the winners. Full details are available on our circulated race poster and website. We elected to freshen our successful Double Handed Series with the addition of a new Alongshore Series. In particular these day races cater for those whose work prevents them for doing offshore events and the races are each coupled with a finish rendezvous at a Solent venue.

The Alongshore Series is part of our overall main Double Handed Series again sponsored by Molson Coors, branded as the Sharp’s Doom Bar Double Handed Series. We also increased the number of discards allowable, recognising that this gives more flexibility to competitors. And now a first: RSYC is running the first RSYC Spinlock IRC Double Handed IRC National Championship which is somewhat of a coup for us. This comprises two Solent races on Saturday, June 28 followed by the Sharp’s Doom Bar Nab Tower Double Race on the Sunday. For non-IRC boats these will comprise the RSYC Double Handed Club Championship. These three races will also be part of the overall main Double Handed Series and included in the main series entry fee. The last of our new initiatives is to merge the old Twilight and Summer Series into one 15 race series called the Evening Series. This now incorporates six discards, recognising the need for some lucky souls to be able to take more or longer summer holidays. There is also the difficulty for some in attracting crew for this Series due to the need to get on the

water for a 19.15 start. Recognising this, we are starting a white sails only double handed class for this Series. So no excuses now! The Radio Control Yacht Section, under Eddie Hill, also has an initiative introducing the Dragonforce 65 as a starter yacht. A number of members have bought these and attended a successful workshop at Ocean Village, finishing the boats and then sailing them in the pool. A programme of similar support workshops and sample races has been arranged throughout the year. Full details of all the events are on our website. We cannot run the racing without the dedicated race management volunteers. Thanks to all of them for their support. If any members would like to sample race management please do get in touch. You do not need to have any previous knowledge or experience and the team is friendly and welcoming. I hope to see you out there on the water. Richard House RSYC Captain of Racing yachter Spring 2014


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Don’t come to France to win, just have a great time… The Tour du Finistère is one France’s most spectacular race events integrating six races in a week long sailing celebration, while exploring the dramatic coast of Brittany and RSYC members, husband and wife, Tim and Nicky Octon say that anyone who takes part in the 235 mile event each August will be well rewarded with a super and challenging week’s sailing. Tim logs their experience in last year’s tour.

The seed was first sown in 2012 when we went looking for a 2013 adventure…


he Tourduf course is about 235 miles in total around Britanny from Roscoff to Concarneau via stops in L’Aber Benoit, L’Aber Ildut, Lesconil and Douarnenez.

Planning is always the hardest part of any event so getting the logistics right was a priority. Some top tips to start: 1. Find some sailors…The crew was agreed and finalised as six in total (one to a bunk is always a good way to start.) 2. Sort out the small matter of delivering the boat to and from the event (Tim, Alan and Sarah sorted) 3. F  ind some shore crew. Great for topping up the stores and booking hotels for when you get in soaking wet and dog tired. (Accommodation for shore crew needs to be considered, as it’s not always available. Take a tent as back up and learn how to turn the car alarm off overnight!) 4. Your entrance fee of 450 Euros covers not only race fees but all moorings and water taxis for the week (they stop at 1am sharp), a T-Shirt for each crew member, some interesting food samples, dinner on five nights, several drinks receptions and some top quality entertainment with excellent live music at all venues. 5. Get a French rating certificate (next year this event will be run under IRC). The fee for this was waived for UK boats. 6. Make the most of the supermarkets in Roscoff as the first two stop are idyllic, but a long way from a shop! 7. Perhaps most importantly, before the off an excellent Rum bar in Roscoff was frequented by many of the competing crews to get into the spirit (literally!) before the start. Try the mojitos. Day 1 - 1st Leg Roscoff to L’Aber Benoit (34 miles) The forecast was strong to very strong! The start was a mile beat with a port round mark, a short spinnaker run under heavy-weather kite, round Ile de Batz then we started the course proper, which was a series of legs that followed the rather beautiful Northern Brittany coastline. The race was finished off with a beat where the main halyard broke in 42knt gusts with approximately one mile left into the finish. Luckily the main flaked itself nicely on the boom, meaning only a couple of sail ties were needed to keep it under control. We finished under the No 3 jib alone (with no drop in speed) and on corrected time were awarded a creditable second out of a class of 15 boats. With no engine at the finish we fetched into the harbour under jib where we hit the sandy bottom a couple of times at low speed, but with a heel on we were home, if not quite dry. A friendly rescue boat help get us tied to two buoys fore and aft and then others rafted up alongside us.

We also won a wager with Claire, one of our new French friends, with a finish time of 4 Hours and 27 minutes (against a predicted time of 4 hours 30 minutes) but we still gave some beer to Claire, Vincent and the rest of the crew on Goldfrap as they had none - this was the start of our entente cordial. Day 2 - 2nd Leg L’Aber Benoit to L’Aber Ildut (32 miles) Team NJOS were woken by the daily visit of the “bateau a pain” selling croissant, pain au chocolate and baguettes (all very civilised and something that should definitely be introduced in the Solent). This formed the staple for our breakfast and lunch every day. We started the leg with a “start Anglaise” described by the French as a reaching start reminiscent of JOG and Cowes week starts Under a No 3 Jib and full main. A Pogo 30 to seaward of NJOS hit an isolated rock (be careful, there are rather a lot of these) and retired from the event. As the wind died up the first beat we changed to the No 1 jib (never easy with hanks) but thanks to deft work

by the bow Becky and her No 1 helper Timmy H we only lost approximately three minutes on the water. Eventually we made the windward mark and started the run into the finish. It was the first time we were able to use the new kites in race conditions and we were rewarded with the most iconic picture I have had of the boat to date. Result for the day - a creditable fourth. (Now just remember you don’t come to France to win, just have a great time, and we most certainly were). Day 3 - Day Off. (0 miles, several Rums) Tuesday we were confined to port due to bad weather. The forecast didn’t drop below 24 Knots on the nose, poor visibility and torrential rain for most of the day. There were several 24 footers doing the event so prudence was the name of the game. This was the first day that has been lost due to weather in the history of the event and unfortunately also resulted in the loss of the scheduled day of windwardleeward bay racing (“course banane”) in Douarnenez. continued on page 17 yachter Spring 2014


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The transport to and from the shore came from the local fishermen, sculling with a single paddle in traditional dinghies and the local economy enjoyed a massive injection as the whole fleet entertained themselves in the two local bars with much merriment, moule frites, swapping of crew t-shirts (Jude who is that in your team T-Shirt) and hearty singing of sea shanties. “Qu’allons-nous faire avec le pirate ivre” being the French favourite for some inexplicable reason…. Day 4 - 3rd Leg L’Aber Ildut to Douarnenez (35 miles) Nicky Octon’s 21st (again) Birthday. Up goes the special birthday flag and alongside comes the Baguette boat (still novel and very welcome). A true windward start and the racing was mostly upwind with three legs that were not broad enough for any of the downwind sails, although in true NJOS style we did try on each and every leg (RIP the reaching kite, not the best present for the sail making birthday girl, but we didn’t tell her until we had to). At lunchtime we whipped out the red chequered table cloth accompanied by the mandatory glass of red (“well we are in France”) and excellent dried ham, pate and goats cheese baguettes mmmm. We undertook an Archambolt with a lovely grey jumper displayed on board and then promptly picked up a massive clump of weed, coincidentally the speed dropped with Timmy H driving by over a knot. We are now very experienced in back-downs under sail. This took two attempts but was certainly worth it and the target speeds were back in no time.

Nicky’s birthday continued ashore with NJOS dressed up to the nines with birthday balloons and bunting which both bemused and beguiled our French friends. An excellent birthday supper was taken at the boutique hotel Clos de Vallombreuse: highly recommended for the food, although by midnight the staff seemed rather keen for us to finish our revelry. Day 5 - 4th Leg Douarnenez to Lesconsil (106 miles) Everyone climbed back on board for the overnight adventure, by far the hardest race of the tour. The start was just after lunch with a beat out of the bay to the Pointe du Ras, followed by a 25 mile beam reach to a point just off Lesconsil then the real fun started which was short course racing, kicking in after the sun went down with legs of approximately eight miles each around the Ile du Loc’h complete with mesmerising phosphorescence and dolphins. All the marks were cardinals and we had to pick our way round them and other boats which were racing different courses (some sans nav lights) and through the fleets of fishing vessels that were lit up as if they were expecting Santa. We crossed the finish line at about 7am and headed straight to bed after beer and sandwiches. The boat was soaking wet but it wasn’t going to stop weary sailors sleeping. Before lunch we dried the boat out and got her ready for sailing for the final leg to Concarneau the following day. A rather leisurely lunch was taken one of the harbourside restaurants. Most of the fishy fare looked like it had just leapt off the boats in the harbour. There were piles of crevettes, crabs hanging over the

side of plates, crawling shell fish, all washed down with some of the Loire valley’s best- yum! The evening’s entertainment was cut short as a huge storm swept through the event village which was a shame as the Spanish salsa/funk band was hopping. So the more reserved headed for comfy hotels (booked by the ever diligent and forward-thinking shore support team of Alan and Ildi) leaving the more adventurous to play a game of hat, jumper and boat swapping where I am led to believe fun was had by all. Day 6 - 5th Leg Lesconsil to Concarneau (28 miles) What an amazing day. This leg was mostly downwind in sunshine in a solid force 3-4. Finally the real champagne sailing we had been promised. After several spinnaker packs by the expert Nicky, we finished under our pirate kite in the historic and picturesque town of Concarneau. The prize giving was a noisy affair held on a stage in the quay in the centre of town with a drinks party following. To my surprise, they announced NJOS as the top British boat and called us on stage, loaded us with gifts and then gave me the microphone. My heart skipped a beat. Here was my chance: “Bonjour Je m’appelle Tim Ma Femme Nicky et moi habite en Southampton notre bateau cest un Corby 35 il a vingt ans… then I dropped into Franglais and eventually into English to say a “Grand Merci” to Loic and his team for supporting us through the week. A kiss with Loic got the biggest cheer of the day. Be warned, the French kiss a lot…. yachter Spring 2014

continued on page 19 17

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RACING Le Summary A truly fantastic week was had by all. Fourth in class, First British Boat, testing navigation, the most amazing sailing scenery with dramatic lighthouses and beautiful coastlines and most of all a warm welcome from the locals that was second to none. (NB It may have helped that 66 per cent of our crew were girls. Hence the quick learning of “Ma Femme”!).

For the return trip to Blighty, we did the 275 miles in one hit as the forecast, although strong, was from the South and apart from the initial beat out from Concarneau the wind was behind the beam for the rest of the trip which was completed in 40 hours giving an average boat speed of 7 kts and a top speed of 15.4 kts (well done Sarah). All fairly good for just white sails.

Anyone looking for something a bit different and a challenge should join us this year. The dates for 2014 are August 4 - 9 and the course is Roscoff to Port la Forêt. Put it in your diary and make an effort to go. You will be well rewarded with a super week’s sailing and JOG week 2014 finishing in St Peter Port would make a great feeder for the start in Roscoff.

Breathing new life into Tourduf


Tim Octon Nicky Octon Jude Perrot Sarah McColl Becky Dunn Tim Hare

The six day Tour du Finistère à la Voile is already taking shape for its 29th edition from August 4 to 9, which organisers say will breathe new life into the event and adopt a range of brand new features, with the hope of attracting more entries from English yachtsmen and women.

Shore Support Alan W Smith Ildi Pelikan

Web Site Video Clip

The plans see Tourduf opening its doors to the IRC big boats which organisers anticipate will further extend the invitation to participate to England, as well as integrate the UNCL-run championships in the English Channel

and the Atlantic coast. Setting sail from Roscoff bound for Port-la-Forêt, the Tour will make a stopover in Aber Wrac’h, Camaretsur-Mer and Douarnenez. The general outline of the event and course around Finistere will remain the same: great inshore races (three coastal courses ranging between 30 and 40 miles, two windward-leeward courses and a night race spanning around 100 miles) complemented by some fabulous festivities every evening in each of the stopover ports to round off the day in style.

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yachter Spring 2014



New Members T

he RSYC welcomes the following new members since the last issue. We look forward to seeing them at both Clubhouses and to meeting them at events both on and off the water






Tom Haycock

North Warnborough



Patricia Seitz




Derek & Helen Antrobus




Peter Vernon & Nicola Thickpenny




Nigel & Fiona Winsor




Andrey & Natalia Yakunin


Lady Mariposa


Phil Downes




Anne Hock




Nigel & Julia Palmour




Cathy Pickering

Virginia Water

Change of Pace

Ocean Village

John Thornton




Toby Hellard Timm




Adrian & Clare Parker




David Oates




Dick Mayon-White


Blue Wing


Andy & Marianne Forbes




Keith & Terri Spiller




Patrick Hanratty




Holly Janaway




Ed & Cate Bell


Mary Rose Tudor


Waterside Properties




Patrick Wake




Phil & Debbie McGowan




Johanna Hjalmarsson & Andrea Lista




Robert & Alison Miles


Blue Tango


Sue Watson




Robert Stevens




Justin White




Paul Brennan




Edward & Jill Pedley



Southampton Dry Stack

Chris & Charlotte Treacher


Wise Words

Ocean Village

Pierre Moll


Gone Fishin’

Ocean Village

David Price & Vikki Bailey




Antony Kerton




Clark Sirl




Paul & Ros Wood




John Skipper


Magewind of Roke


Eva Koutoumanou




Peter & Jane Best


Honey Bee


Paul Ferris




Nigel Kiernan & Breeda O’Sullivan




Brian & Loretto Linehan




Graham & Helen Clarke

Barton on Sea

Four Top


Allan Gibson




Bonnie Wheeler




Adam & Amanda Gibbon


Pochard 111

Bucklers Hard

Patricia Thatcher




Tami Smith-Daniels




Gemma Town




yachter Spring 2014


Fun racing for the Commodore’s Charity By practice, the Club’s favoured charity is designated by the incoming Commodore and takes effect with the start of the new year. The Club’s support comes through events both on and off the water, and the newly revamped 50/50 Club, but as Christine Agnew discovered, fund raising has gained a fresh impetus


he first charity event of the year rejoiced in the unusual title of a ‘horse and pig race night’, but what an unqualified success it turned out to be. It was all in support of the Commodore’s nominated charity, The Tall Ships Youth Trust, and while intended as an evening of lighthearted fun there was a chance for members to test their “betting skills on horses, pigs and jockeys.” All the racing was by video on screen and brought a fresh twist to charity support at Ocean Village, which so far this year has been primarily through the once-a-month 50/50 Club, renamed from the old Commodore’s 500 Club. In that members subscribe to a monthly draw, now firmly fixed on the last Wednesday of the month, and stand the chance of winning a handsome cash prize while the Tall Ships Youth Trust gains an equal amount from the subscribed proceeds. But the race night gave a fresh dimension to support for the charity. It began with a drinks reception in the Admirals Room at Ocean

Village, providing the opportunity for new members who have joined the club in the last year to meet Flag Officers and members of the various committees and learn more of the Club and its activities. There was also a video showing some of the principal events. The real fun of the evening came after the reception where the race night began in earnest. Horses were bought and dual forecast bets made ready for the racing to start. The Commodore, Gordon Agnew, and Maggie Lund, the Club’s director of entertainment, provided a formal welcome and introduced the charity. Three races took place, followed by a delicious light supper, and then four more races before the famous Pig Race. Pigs were auctioned off for between £35 and £85, and did those pigs fly? The evening raised over £1,200. What a success for our Charity, and a very successful social event, giving our members a chance to meet new friends and touch base with old ones. What a wonderful and generous group of members we have.

Big smile for Graham Tracey whose syndicate won £200 The winning syndicate led by member Graham Tracey scooped a winning prize of £200 - well done Graham. Many thanks to all of those who bought the pigs for their support and the other syndicates for their bidding. Special thanks go to the race sponsors, some of whom could not be there on the night - James Hanratty, for the James Hanratty Challenge and the James Hanratty Bowl; Charles Daly, for the Charles Daly Chalice; Mike Ambrose, for the Celebration Cup; Marife Rivas, for the Itchen Marine Gold Cup; Caron Mouland for Steve’s Memorial Cup and Gordon Agnew for the Commodore’s Cup. The Commodore also gave thanks to Ted Stacey, Susan Lamb, Peter Stuckey, Peter Armitage, Alan Taylor, Rod Waller and Sten Goransson for donations. And if you missed the race evening, the last Wednesday of the month functions also promise something different, while still supporting the Tall Ships Youth Trust. Maggie Lund says they are intended as an evening of fun and friendship - happy hour, supper, games and the monthly 50/50 Club Draw - a chance to get together, meeting with new and old friends. “Come along to the whole evening or to any part of the evening’s programme. Or simply just for a drink and the Lucky Draw by the Commodore.”

yachter Spring 2014


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Secretary’s Bulletin Board S

pring will see the opening of Gins from Wednesday to Sunday with a new exciting menu and a dedicated bosun service every day we are open (please check the website and or handbook for full details).

Ocean Village also has a new menu ready for the lighter and hopefully hotter and drier days and evenings, so please come along and enjoy the offering at both sites. We have seen varying success of Club functions in terms of attendance and I would be interested to understand members’ wishes in this area, to allow organising committees and our staff to best plan and provide for your needs. Please contact me on either at or phone 02380 210870 or indeed discuss with me on your next visit. I would also like to take this opportunity to remind members of the following:

Social Events There are times when the booking of social events would seem to be confusing for both members and staff alike and of course mistakes are made. Members with mess accounts with a credit facility can book and have their account debited with the costs of the event, but we cannot accept booking on behalf of other members without their permission to charge their account. Members without a credit facility must pay at the time of booking. All members can have a credit facility by providing a Direct Debit for payment collection.

Club Secretary and Manager, Gary Stocks highlights current developments

Guests Members are respectively reminded of the rules concerning the use of either clubhouse by guests. The executive are currently reviewing these rules but at present, Rule 24 remains extant and as such should be adhered too. We have had concerns raised by members and have had incidents where this rule has not been followed.

Birthday Wine Vouchers Birthday vouchers are a concession provided to Club members by the Marketing and Membership Sub-Committee and offer a bottle of wine from our Crew selection (This can be upgraded with payment of the difference).

New menus on offer at Ocean Village and Gins

This committee has recently had agreement to extend the period of validity of these vouchers and they now last for a three month period from the date of issue and may be used with any two course meal (Starter/Main or Main/Starter) from the restaurant menu or carvery. They may not be used for events or for choices from the specials menu and will not be accepted outside of these parameters.

yachter Spring 2014


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The upper bridge deck also has a great dance floor/ networking area with another bar. It is a versatile area that can be closed to the elements or opened up in the summer months to give a stunning platform from which to enjoy the ever changing panorama. There is also an open separate aft deck for great close up photos of sail racing events. The mixed ambiance of soft wood tones blended with the nautical essence & plenty of polished brass oozes throughout this family run ship of character. You are guaranteed fantastic value for money with plenty of quality thrown in & the perfect setting for guests!

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SOCIAL SCENE SOCIAL SCENE by Maggie Lund - Director Maggie Lund

Social Scene in a Gins Anniversary Year

r spirits Keep warm and dry and keep you ge Villa high, by coming into the Ocean enjoy will you re and Gins clubhouses whe its spir r you re whe and a warm welcome of n ctio sele e hug the by d lifte will be place. events and activities now taking yone. ever for ng ethi There really is som been has me ram prog A very busy and exciting at rest inte and nt yme enjo organised for your has h whic , 2014 ut ugho thro ge Villa Ocean se of already started with a six week cour Robbie lous Fabu a ses, Scottish Dancing Clas er dinn id’s Cup and e’s ntin Vale t, Burns Nigh ese Chin a and once again by huge demand, year of the New Year party, celebrating the new to Teddy ing danc and t nigh t grea a horse, with Massiah. Something new and different has been form of introduced at Ocean Village, in the ing on even draw y luck a monthly games and ughout thro th mon each of ay nesd the last Wed getClub t the year, will be the date for a grea py Hap with t star will together. Each month, it then es, wish one if er supp Hour, a bistro style ction of from 7.45pm, onwards, a great sele fun and for out table and floor games are set board! dart a even e’s ther entertainment. Yes, the is t nigh ’ bers The highlight of this mem 0 50/5 d title ly new the of monthly lucky draw

of Entertainment.

roadA fun Halloween night and an antique “tickets” and ber Charity Club, at 9pm. So buy, your Octo for ned plan show have been and come (with Maggie Puleston in the office) November. er. winn y along. You may be the next luck ember and 50/50 I’ll let you into a wee glimpse of Dec The more members who buy into this 2014 of off ding g e alon the roun Charity, the higher the prize. Do com y evening. fun and xed December 13 - a gala Christmas part rela t, grea a y enjo and ball ay” man “Hog Year ity char December 31 - a New The first of the 2014 Commodore’s y 2014 a earl e e quit plac it’s e, took Well folks, you have to agre events, a horse and pig race, y at Gins, Ships programme both at OV, but especiall in March with proceeds to The Tall we rest, inte ’s yone ever for ng ethi st. with som Youth Tru Spring hope. Tuesday, April 1 is the date for our ome t moment welc are s ladie all n whe , heon lunc There again, if all you want, is a quie Ladies’ twohave es, ious hous delic a or two, just come into the club from 12noon for 12.30pm, for ker daily spea t the gues read a by bar, the wed a drink or coffee at course luncheon, follo ct your newspapers or sit, unwind and colle @ £18pp out to the ing look st an whil be bit, will , wee a 7pm ghts from thou 12 Saturday, April t on the hot Italian glorious views of boats bobbing abou “Italian” themed night for £21pp. A the and s bird of ds and ns soun the ratio only deco water, with supper will be served, Italian ze. bree the e in ts thos all mas for the of So, er. ing clink an Italian musician/sing check t is the one Oh, and whilst there, don’t forget to who love anything Italian, this even . t wish even an you out the posters on display, book for you. Dress in Italian colours if on” t’s “wha gned desi fun and pick up the newly Friday, June 20 will be a casual and . programmes “ABBA” supper disco night . at t even light high a is 26 July ay, Saturd mer OV, with an organised pre-Cowes Sum On” at’s “Wh the h Ball at £35pp. Watc latest news, posters and e-bulletins for the updates. new The autumn brings even more and nners activities, such as a professional begi on ce men com will se bridge ten week cour to ’ thro run and 30 er emb Tuesday, Sept December 2. lodge Names are already being listed, so a it’s e, your interest and book your plac e. gam great but challenging Bubbly welcome for the Commodore’s wife, Christine.


GINS in 2014 in early Gins Clubhouse opened its door and talk, per sup February, with a fabulous of the e spit in d, nde atte which was well ed. inde s soul e brav very , ther wea stormy versary Gins will be celebrating its 50th anni full very and zing ama an this year, with May thro’ anniversary programme, starting in ers, post s, new the to October, so do watch . mes ram prog bulletins and versary Saturday, May 10 is the special anni day, when a semi-formal anniversary dinner will take place, marking this prestigious occasion. Reception drinks at 7pm, followed by the threecourse anniversary dinner with wine and port. Dress: lounge suit/reefer. Tickets £50pp. tly limited to 60 guests stric be will t This even h this to ensure the very best service, whic to book l ntia esse is y event deserves. It reall dy. alrea ed book have y man early, and



8 - Beer From Friday to Sunday, June 6 to Festival Hog Roast. Saturday, June 7 sees a Cruisers’ rty. Due Saturday, June 21 - Caribbean pa the fun of date the , river the to the closure of this to ged chan been has y Part n Caribbea t buffe n bbea Saturday for a delicious Cari 95pp £29. : and dancing. Cost 27 Saturday and Sunday, July 26 and full a with end week is the family activities ughout thro e plac g takin ts even of programme BBQ. and ping the weekend, with overnight cam end. week this for We do need lots of helpers the list Please contact Alexia in the office for slot. ing help your and book g special There is much more, with these bein Forest New a even is e Ther ts. even s highlight 9. ust Aug Ramble and Ride planned for , after a Looking ahead to the end of the year “Boxing 2013 hugely popular and well attended a after te, esta lieu Day walk” around the Beau of end the k mar may it like s bacon butty, look 2014 also. I sign Well folks, that’s all for now. Before t 2014 grea a all you wish to like ld off, I wou

re and throughout both on the water and asho events, club of ty varie the to all you to welcome all or some. , in all A huge “thank you” goes to all the staff ort, help supp d inue cont r thei for nts, rtme depa ht to work and hard work, dedication and delig ible. poss gs thin with, making all ng and Assuring you at all times of interesti ys on alwa eye an with e, great events to com quality on eye an ntly, orta imp e mor costs, but n and catio and high standards, expertise, dedi value for money. I would like to see all new members h is encouraged and invited to events, whic e shak C, RSY the t abou a great way to learn and ore mod Com our know to get and hands “join the Flag Officers, make new friends and family.” ome new It always delights me to greet and welc members. the events! The higher the numbers, the cheaper for? ing So, what are you wait Maggie Lund Director of Entertainment

yachter Spring 2014



Gins reaches a Golden Milestone By Michael Ford, editor


oday it is regarded as the jewel in the Royal Southampton Yacht Club’s crown, yet if planners had had their way 52 years ago, Gins might never have happened. Back then, the yacht club was ready to begin work on building the Gins clubhouse and see plans for its first base actually on the waterfront come to fruition with planning permission to go ahead on the three acre site fronting the river at Gins Reaches safely in place. Or so it was thought. Hampshire County Council actually revoked planning permission it had given a year earlier in the face of a barrage of objections which did not begin to arrive until a full 12 months after planners had given their initial

Fortunately, a government inspector who conducted an investigation and

Hence construction started, culminating in a grand opening of the £25,000 Gins clubhouse on Saturday, May 9, 1964. Yacht club officials had already scoured the Solent coastline in search of a suitable place for the clubhouse and were convinced that the Gins site could not be bettered and had the support of Lord Montagu and his Beaulieu estate who readily made the land available for the new clubhouse.

Da ly Echo

from the columns of the Southern Daily Echo, May 11, 1964

‘Speaking at the opening on Saturday of the Royal Southampton Yacht Club’s new £25,000 sailing centre on the Beaulieu River, Mr John Hickman, chairman of the Club sailing committee said there had been applications for membership from more than 100 yachtsmen and dinghy sailors wanting to make use of the new facilities.

Sailing Club, whose headquarters are a short distance from the new premises, Lord Montagu said he looked forward to a revival of small boat racing on the river between the two clubs. Inter club racing had lapsed since the war.

and Mrs Brandt.

Plans in Hand

Rivers like the Beaulieu were becoming increasingly important with greater industrialisation in Britain - “Without which we must admit we could not survive as a nation” - and traditional centres of sailing were becoming rare. Lord Montagu welcomed a pledge voiced on behalf of the club by Mr Hickman that members would play their part in preserving the beauty and character of the river.

The clubhouse opened by Lady Montagu of Beaulieu is extra to the club’s headquarters in Northlands Road, Southampton. Situated on a bend of the river at Gins Reach it commands a fine few of several miles of the Solent. The clubhouse itself is luxuriously appointed with changing rooms, kitchen and a store for boat’s gear. A 270ft pier and a pontoon allow access to the water at all states of the tide. At either end of the pontoon are ramps to allow for the launching and hauling out of sailing dinghies and yacht’s tenders. With Lady Montagu at the opening was Lord Montagu who, as owner of the river, welcomed the Royal Southampton Yacht Club to the site. As Commodore of the Beaulieu River


Then there was another suggestion, reported in the columns of the Southern Daily Echo at the time, that the proposed clubhouse could become no more than a gin palace for a bunch of hard-drinking, cigar-pulling and non yachting folk to enter the sacred precincts of a privileged yacht club.

heard evidence from all sides could see no justification for the council to revoke plans it had originally agreed in May 1960, and over-ruled objections made at a public inquiry into the proposals held at Lyndhurst in October 1962.

FLASHBACK… To the opening ceremony…

Photos courtesy Southern Daily Echo

approval to the plan. They came voicing fears of the planned clubhouse destroying the character of the Beaulieu river, its presence likely to create congestion on the river itself and at least one suggestion that even many yachtsmen did not favour it. One objector called on club members to vote against building the clubhouse.

yachter Spring 2014

Referring to plans for small boat racing, Mr Hickman said applications were in hand for the laying of course marks in the river. A starter box would control races. In recognition of the support given to the club by Lord Montagu in its efforts to secure waterside premises on the river, Mr Dudley Pitt, the chairman of committees, presented him and Lady Montagu with honorary life membership of the club. Present for the ceremony were the Mayor and Mayoress of Southampton, Alderman Ronald Pugh and Councillor Mrs Elinor Pugh. Mrs Billmeir, widow of the club’s late commodore, Mr J A Billmeir CBE, under whose leadership club officers planned the development at Gins Farm, the Rear Commodore, Mr Ivor Creek and Mrs Creek, cup bearer Mr Keith Buckett and Mrs Buckett, Mrs Hickman; treasurer Mr H T Dees and Mrs Dees, and the architect Mr J Brandt


Lord Montagu said it had been the policy of his family over many years to keep the Beaulieu River as unspoiled as possible.” I intend to carry on this aim as long as I am the owner.” he promised.

The ceremony with the cutting of a ribbon across the clubroom doorway by Lady Montagu using gilt scissors was watched by a large gathering of club members and guests and included a large sprinkling of well-known yachting personalities. Commodore Mr W R Clarkson introduced Lord and Lady Montagu to the chief guests and later referred to the “trials and tribulations” which had been faced by the club in creating the premises.’

ON THE RIVER The opening itself by the then Lady Montagu was a milestone for the club, and far from being opposed by yachtsmen as had been suggested, club officials were soon reporting potential new members were queuing up to join and by opening day there were at least 100 new members anxious to specifically be part of the new club base on the river. Over the intervening 50 years members and visiting yachtsmen have been assured of a warm and friendly welcome from the staff at Gins Clubhouse, which is regarded as being

Respected venue


ver the years Gins has continued to receive universal compliments from Club members and visitors and its popularity continues to grow. More than 100 members have their boats moored nearby on the



WO major developments at Gins have brought royal visitors to the clubhouse – in 2004 it was HRH the Princess Royal who formally opened a major redevelopment project and in 2012 the Admiral of the Club, HRH Prince Michael of Kent, was there to open newly extended pontoon facilities.

The Princess Royal flew in by helicopter from Cowes to unveil the £230,000 modernisation and refurbishment project which was the first major development at the clubhouse since its opening, and the Admiral who arrived by car but left by harbour launch from the extended pontoon he had just opened. The 2004 redevelopment received the royal seal of approval from the Princess in her capacity as patron of the Royal Yachting Association’s Sailability, the UK charity for disabled sailing and the official charity of the RYA. At the time, the redevelopment at Gins included fresh facilities for

a more intimate sailing club than the Club headquarters in Ocean Village because it lies in the heart of the New Forest on the shore of the Beaulieu River. Gins itself has become a magnet for visiting yachtsmen from nearby Solent clubs as well as RSYC members. Initially there were no plans for a restaurant, yet today the first floor Gins bar, restaurant and terrace offer a tranquil atmosphere and superb views across the salt marshes to the Isle of Wight. Visitors to Club events, the Sunday carvery, dinner with family or friends Beaulieu River and other Club members whose boats are moored further afield visit regularly and are able to moor on the Club’s pontoon or on the river on buoys nearby, to come ashore for refreshment or a meal, or simply to join in the fun at one of the many social gatherings and events held at Gins during the sailing season.

- or for a private or business function, can be confident of a very special and satisfying experience in an unrivalled setting. The recently extended walk ashore pontoon, with built in access for disabled sailors, a river pontoon, moorings, bosun service and excellent showers and changing facilities, Gins has become a sailor’s haven. It is also the heart of the Club’s cadet sailing training activities and the newly formed remote controlled model yachting section. The Club’s Bosun, John Bird, is on hand with the Club Dory, to bring members ashore and return them later. It is a regular and well-liked destination venue for yachtsmen and women from other Solent area sailing and yacht clubs.

disabled sailors and resulted in the Club and clubhouse being awarded the privilege of RYA Sailability Foundation status. The Admiral’s visit 18 months ago was the culmination of further development which extended the pontoon and brought further benefits for disabled sailors. The 2004 programme at the clubhouse itself saw a major transformation to provide better facilities for sailing members, while the restaurant, bar and kitchen were modernised and extended. The cost, like the original construction, was primarily met from the club’s own resources but there was a valuable contribution from RYA Sailability through a monetary grant as well as the award of Foundation status, in recognition of the disabled facilities included in the development. Further development to the kitchen and bar followed.

The royal visits are commemorated in the clubhouse by a plaque unveiled by the Princess Royal and a special board acknowledging Gins supporters who contributed to the pontoon extensions two years ago, and unveiled by the Admiral.

The catalyst for improvements to benefit disabled sailors had been the club’s hosting of the National Disabled Sailing Championships ten years earlier. yachter Spring 2014


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Buying Experience

Trials and Tribulations John and Julia Strudwick made their decision to buy a Nauticat 35 after a very rough ride from Alderney to Cherbourg across a big spring tide in September 2012. They researched exactly which boat they wanted, but as they were to discover there were many trials and tribulations to suffer. John takes up the story…


t was all going to be down to finance, and at Southampton Boat Show, the numbers that Lombard produced suggested we could really make it happen. We waited a week to get approval in principle, and then put Selene on the market, and I went to look at a few Nauticat 35s in Denmark. We of course expected to sell Selene quickly, and before the recession, this would have been so, but we soon discovered that this was quite something of a recession, and we were a little late to market. We had to take a lot less than we hoped and did not sell until the middle of February 2013. The numbers were now a lot tighter than we had expected but the recession had also hit Nauticat prices, although not as much as many other brands. However the hint of spring and a new buying season meant the market perked up, and there were only a couple of used Nauticat 35s that matched our target price in the world, and interest in them was fierce. I had my eye on one in the south of France, but by the time the proceeds of the sale of Selene hit our bank, the French voice on the phone told me it had been sold the week before. That left one in Venice and one in

Hamburg. I hastily booked flights to Venice first as that looked the better buy and also we could make it a romantic weekend for the two of us and the forecast was for sunshine. I booked last minute tickets on the Friday morning for a Saturday flight, and after paying went online to reserve seats. This required passport numbers, and after filling mine in, I grabbed Julia’s. Whoops – it had expired five days earlier and whatever you may believe, you simply cannot travel even within Europe without a passport – well certainly not through airports. It was agreed I would go as there was some urgency, and as it turned out the airline was really good and we had a romantic weekend later that year without losing out financially. (Monarch) The boat was good, but needed a lot of extras for life away from the Med, and I could not see how I could organise finances this way – better to get a boat with more already done and it soon became apparent that the Hamburg one would be a better bet. I knew they had another interested party, and although I thought this was usual sales patter, it soon became obvious that this was actually true. But they agreed I could have first refusal. I flew out a couple of days later, after

being in Venice Saturday and Sunday, so the earliest I could get to Hamburg was Tuesday. I really liked the boat and decided there and then. Once they realised I liked it, I could tell there was an issue, and the owner of the business showed me a fax from the day before – written confirmation of an offer from the other party. They said they would honour their commitment to me, but I would have to decide there and then. Wow! Well I said yes and signed a contract subject to a satisfactory survey. Things then started to move smoothly and the survey was done within a few days, and accepted by Lombard, but then we started to get a hint of what was in store. Because we were buying outside of the UK and through finance, she would have to be British registered before Lombard would actually release the money. OK – so what does this involve? Well first you have to have a tonnage survey and this together with a whole raft of forms have to be lodged with the British Registry and then they “decide” whether she can be registered or not – this is not an automatic process. We hired an expert company in Southampton that specialise in getting registration and we realised this was going to get very worrying as we were committed and had paid a deposit but might never get the finance. We paid the fee and the expert flew to Germany and did the tonnage survey. Not being able to read or pronounce the original German name of the boat, we reserved the name Wyldwind.

yachter Spring 2014

continued on page 31 29

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Buying Experience

Then we realised that as well as satisfying the Registry, Lombard were also especially “fussy” about paperwork, requiring things to be exactly so and originals of this and that and if these could not be obtained no finance. The Registry were also very strict and we soon ran into problems where original documents from 20 years ago were difficult to produce. Worse still, the original VAT invoice could not be found - we had a copy but this would not be good enough! We ended up contacting the original dealer that handled Nauticat back in 1994, and had to get the managing director to sign a document confirming the sale and the VAT amount! There were a number of other documents that had similar problems but this was by far the most worrying. We sent a scan of this signed document to Lombard and the Registry and they confirmed that this would suffice, so we looked as though we were in the final straight. By now it was into May and the sailing opportunities were flying by and we were still without a boat. So I started driving documents around the country to save time and courier cost. Everything got to the registry, and they took a week to approve things. I drove to Cardiff to collect the certificate and then took all the original paperwork to Lombard in Eastleigh. They hoped to process it by the next day and send funds over to Germany. Paying was only part of the process. We had decided to have the boat

brought over by road and had provisionally reserved a truck and driver. Later that day, Lombard phoned and said there was a problem. They had only a copy of the signed document they had the scan of, and as they did not have the original, no funds. We got on the phone to Germany, and sadly, they had relied upon the scan and had never got the original (despite me emphasising how important this was) and worse still, the original had been destroyed by the other brokers. We would have to get another version of the document, and the boss had just gone on holiday for two weeks. After much wrangling, we got Lombard to accept another officer of the company’s signature, and we got this document couriered over having missed two more provisional bookings with the truck company .

We got a slot booked after persuasion and then heard the truck had been stopped by French police and was not allowed into the port of Calais without a police escort which could not be arranged until after the bank holiday or would take at least several days. Somehow the French driver managed to get onto the ferry the next day, and at last we heard she was on the M2. We lined up the crane in Hamble but the truck arrived at 16:30 and the yard knocked off at 16:00. We had to hastily organise for it to be stored at Hamble Point and the driver was going to have to spend an extra night in his cab.

Finally the funds were transferred and then we discovered the truck company could now not do the job as the bank holiday (end of May) was coming up and Germans are not legally allowed to drive on those days; we would have to wait another week for a complete slot to drive over, get the ferry and get back in work days.

Next day at last Wyldwind was launched at Port Hamble, The guys did a good job and finished by about 16:30, and we had hoped to move the boat round to Haslar to load up and then at least sail the weekend. However, a massive storm came in and it was simply too windy for a boat we did not know, so we stayed in Hamble Point. Next day the sun came out and we decided to simply enjoy the weekend and sailed to Lymington where we met Allan and Gillian Beswick in Twister of Mersea and toasted the arrival of Wyldwind into the family.

Many phone calls later, we paid a French driver which got around the bank holiday rule and finally Wyldwind started her journey towards the UK. We now had to book a crane slot to get the boat launched and by now the racing season was well underway, leaving hardly any slots and we couldn’t guarantee an exact time.

It was quite an experience purchasing this yacht from Germany – no doubt about it! We had been without a boat for five months and had spent much more than we anticipated and worse had been through a lot of stress. However, she is a wonderful yacht and we are enjoying her immensely these days.

yachter Spring 2014


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RYA Training Days 2014 KEY:

RYA Theory & Dinghy Powerboat Shorebased Courses Sailing Courses Day

Sat Sun Sun Sun Sun Sat Sun Sun Sun Sun Sat Sun Sat Sun Sat Sun Sat Sun Sat


18 January 19 January 26 January 02 February 09 February 15 February 16 February 16 February 23 February 02 March 08 March 09 March 16 March 15 March 22 March 23 March 29 March 30 March 05 April


Yacht Safety (2 day course) day 1 Yacht Safety (2 day course) day 2 RYA Day Skipper Theory (1 of 6) RYA Day Skipper Theory (2 of 6) RYA Day Skipper Theory (3 of 6) RYA Powerboat Level II (day 1) RYA Powerboat Level II (day 2) RYA Day Skipper Theory (4 of 6) RYA Day Skipper Theory (5 of 6) RYA Day Skipper Theory (6 of 6) Assistant Instructor Course RYA GMDSS Yacht Safety (2 day course) day 1 Yacht Safety (2 day course) day 2 Assistant Instructor Course RYA Diesel Engine Stormforce RYA Powerboat Level II (day 1) RYA Powerboat Level II (day 2) Beaulieu Familiarisation


Hamble Hamble Ocean Village Ocean Village Ocean Village Ocean Village Ocean Village Ocean Village Ocean Village Ocean Village Ocean Village Ocean Village Hamble Hamble Ocean Village


Ocean Village Ocean Village Gins

16 + 16 + 14 + 14 + 14 + 14 + 14 + 14 + 14 + 14 + 16 + 14 + 16 + 16 + 16 + 14 + 14 + 14 + 14 +

Ocean Village Ocean Village Gins Gins Ocean Village Ocean Village Ocean Village Ocean Village Ocean Village Gins Ocean Village Gins Gins Gins Ocean Village Ocean Village

8+ 8+ 8 - 16 8 - 16 8+ 8+ 14 + 14 + 14 + Family 14 + Family 8 - 16 8 - 16 14 + 14 +

£ £ Non Member Member







tba £149 £310

tba £160 £330

tba £95 £225

tba £105 £255



£20 £20 £82

£25 £25 £96

£20 £20 £85 £98 £225

£25 £25 £95 £110 £255

£225 foc £82

£255 foc £96

£225 £225

£255 £255

(a training course for all on water RSYC volunteers & helpers)

Tue Wed Thu Fri Tue Wed Sat Sun Sat Sun Sun Sun Thu Fri Sat Sun

08 April 09 April 10 April 11 April 15 April 16 April 26 April 27 April 10 May 11 May 11 May 25 May 29 May 30 May 21 June 22 June

RIB Adventure RIB Adventure Cadets at Gins (2 day course) day 1 Cadets at Gins (2 day course) day 2 RIB Adventure RIB Adventure RYA First Aid at Sea RYA Radar RYA Powerboat Level II (day 1) Dinghy Safari RYA Powerboat Level II (day 2) Try a boat day Cadets at Gins (2 day course) day 1 Cadets at Gins (2 day course) day 2 RYA Powerboat Level II (day 1) RYA Powerboat Level II (day 2)

continued on page 34

To book on to a course, please download a booking form and complete and return with payment either by email to - or post to RSYC Training, 1 Channel Way, Ocean Village, Southampton, Hampshire SO14 3QF Booking forms can be downloaded from the Training Section of the RSYC website Please note that the RSYC Training office is open from 08.30 – 16.30 on Wednesdays and Thursdays each week. If you would like any information please go to the RSYC Website or phone on 02380 210875 during these hours.

yachter Spring 2014





28 June

Thu Fri Sat Sat

24 July 25 July 26 July 26 July

Sun Sun

27 July 27 July

Thu Fri Sun Sun Sat Sun Sat Sun

28 August 29 August 06 October 12 October 18 October 19 October 25 October 26 October

Sun Sun Sun Sun Sun

02 November 09 November 16 November 23 November 30 November


Inter club dinghy regatta shared with Gins 50th Cadets at Gins (2 day course) day 1 Cadets at Gins (2 day course) day 2 RYA Powerboat Level II (day 1) Dinghy weekend & Camping shared with Gins 50th day 1 RYA Powerboat Level II (day 2) Dinghy weekend & Camping shared with Gins 50th day 2 Cadets at Gins (2 day course) day 1 Cadets at Gins (2 day course) day 2 RYA GMDSS RYA Diesel Engine Stormforce RYA First Aid at Sea RYA Radar RYA Powerboat Level II (day 1) RYA Yachtmaster Theory (1 of 6) RYA Powerboat Level II (day 2) RYA Yachtmaster Theory (2 of 6) RYA Yachtmaster Theory (3 of 6) RYA Yachtmaster Theory (4 of 6) RYA Yachtmaster Theory (5 of 6) RYA Yachtmaster Theory (6 of 6)



£ £ Non Member Member


Family tba


Gins Gins Ocean Village Gins

8 - 16 £82 8 - 16 14 + £225 Family tba


Ocean Village Gins

14 + £225 Family


Gins Gins Ocean Village

8 - 16 8 - 16 14 + 14 + 14 + 14 + 14 + 14 + 14 + 14 + 14 + 14 + 14 + 14 +



£99 £95 £85 £98 £225 £245 £225

£114 £105 £95 £110 £255 £280 £255

Ocean Village Ocean Village Ocean Village Ocean Village Ocean Village Ocean Village Ocean Village Ocean Village Ocean Village Ocean Village

£255 tba




yachter Spring 2014

S ail

St. Vincent & The


Cadet Information 2014

Cadet Information 2014 Who is a cadet? Member’s children and grandchildren aged less than 18 years and registered with the Club office are our cadet members. Non-members under 18 years are also welcome to participate in our Cadet events, they simply pay a slightly higher fee for the event that they participate in and they must have either a parent on site during the event or have nominated a responsible club member to supervise them.

What events can Cadets participate in? Cadets can participate in any event which is suitable for their age. The RSYC programme of events states the age limits alongside each event. ‘Family’ events encourage all ages to actively participate from toddlers through to teenagers. Under 18s’ must be accompanied by an adult on family events.

What experience do I need?

What type of dinghies will I sail on? The club owns Picos and Toppers which are smaller 1 - 2 person boats mainly with a single sail, a Gull and a Wanderer which are larger 2 - 3 person boats with 2 sails.

What to Wear • You do not need expensive equipment to come dinghy sailing, just warm clothes if it is cold, clothes that protect you from the sun if it is hot and a bit of common sense! • Warm, comfortable, clothing e.g. trousers (not jeans) and sweatshirts. It is better to wear a few light layers than one thick layer of clothing. The club has some wetsuits available to hire. • Adequate footwear must be worn at all times e.g., wet suit boots or old plimsolls/trainers that won’t matter if they get wet. • Tie long hair back

Things to Bring • Change of clothes • Towel • High factor sun cream and lip screen • Depending on the weather, warm hat or sunhat with visor • We will provide safety equipment if required. However, if you have your own buoyancy aid, please bring it

For Parents: Booking/ Consent/Medical Form Parents or guardians of all cadets must complete a booking/consent form, which can be downloaded from the training section of the RSYC website, in good time prior to an event and return to the RSYC Training Office. Any medical concerns that we need to know about or special dietary requirements must be clearly stated on the booking form. For more information contact the RSYC Training office on 02380 210875 or

The majority of events cater for all abilities. Instructors are on hand to coach at different levels during RSYC sailing courses.

Cadet Programme 2014 RIB Adventures Tue 8 April, Wed 9 April, Tue 15 April, Wed 16 April Age 8 + Venue - Ocean Village Members £20 Non members £25

Treat yourself and your family to an exciting, exhilarating and educational 2 hour taster session in the RSYC’s Club RIB. Your RYA qualified instructor will show you what the RIB can do, you can have a go at driving the boat at speed on

Dinghy Safari at Gins

Try a boat day at Gins Clubhouse

Sun 11 May Venue Gins - Clubhouse Family Event, open to all All welcome aboard for a family dinghy expedition cruise up the Beaulieu River, bring your dinghy, paddle board, canoe or borrow a club dinghy.

Sun 25 May Venue Gins - Clubhouse Family Event, open to all Open to everyone, why not come down to Gins and try sailing on one of the Club’s dinghies.

Cadets at Gins (2 day dinghy sailing course) Thu 29 May & Fri 30 May, Thu 24 July & Fri 25 July, Sat 26 July & Sun 27 July, Thu 28 August & Fri 29 August

open water and try handling the RIB in close quarters situations. Safety briefing and all equipment included. Max 3 persons per boat.

Dinghy weekend & Camping celebrating Gins 50th Anniversary Venue Gins Clubhouse Family Event, open to all Join RSYC for a weekend of sailing fun, games and camping to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Gins. Bring your tent, yacht, musical instruments and don’t forget your singing voice for an evening of entertainment around the campfire.

Age 8 – 16 Venue Gins - Clubhouse Members £82 Non Members £96

Learn to sail on the Beaulieu River with qualified RYA Instructors yachter Spring 2014

For more information contact the RSYC Training office on 02380 210875 or 35



yachter Spring 2014


Fantastic Cruising New Captain of Cruising, Adam Greig looks ahead to new cruising ventures


he sailing season is almost here. If you are like me, you will be busy getting your vessel ready and planning when and where you will be going to in 2014.

programme can be found on the Club website. Easter is quite late this year, so we should all be on the water by then and a good turnout is expected for our cruise around the western Solent.

Last year was a fantastic season although cold to begin with and ended with gales and storms. The last two scheduled rallies were Newtown and the Folly Inn.

The early May Bank Holiday rally will be held in Poole Harbour based at the Royal Motor Yacht Club at Sandbanks. Berths will be available in their marina and on buoys outside. Later in the year a midweek rally to Chichester Harbour is being organised, and the idea is to explore various parts of the harbour. There are anchorages, as well as visitor pontoons and buoys in various places around the harbour.

The Newtown rally was held very late last year and was a great success. Eight boats attended, some deciding to attend at the last minute, as the weather forecast for the weekend was good. Bob Stevenson had to ring the New Inn at regular intervals to increase the number booking for dinner. This occasion all arrived at Shalfleet Quay on schedule, as no one took the wrong fork in the creek. Dinner at the Inn was excellent. The weather gods were not kind at Christmas and the Folly Rally was cancelled. Being based mid Solent, the Club is in the centre of a fantastic cruising area both near and far. The Solent enables us to have rallies at venues that are easily accessible, and reached in a relatively short time. The voyage is not usually too taxing as the water is relatively sheltered. The Solent also enables easy access to the fantastic cruising that is available in northern Europe. If the weather were consistently good this would undoubtedly be one of the best cruising areas in the world. Our programme for 2014 makes full use of our central position with rallies all round the Solent. In 2014 the Club will be holding a variety of rallies, and the full

Once ashore the harbour walks are a must. Emsworth, Itchenor and Bosham are all interesting villages with attractive pubs, sailing clubs and good walks. The Club is well known and respected for its racing programme; it would be exciting if the Club was also recognised for offering a wide range of rallies. The club organizes many weekend and rallies of short duration but does not organise longer distance rallies other than the end of May rally to St Vaast and Beyond. There are lots or organisations arranging long distance rallies like the ARC but there are few organisations staging intermediate length rallies and perhaps the RSYC can establish itself as a club that arranges longer distance cruises. If crews are going to attend longer distance cruises, these have to be planned well in advance, so that the logistics required for longer distance cruising can be arranged. To enable skippers to plan ahead the cruising committee intends to start planning longer distance cruises well in advance and to publish the plans early.

This summer, leaving early June, a number of boats will be going to south Brittany, certainly as far as the Ile de Re and perhaps to the Gironde. The idea is not a cruise in company, but more a series of “Rendezvous� in different places. This will enable boats to meet at regular intervals, but also allow boats to have different itineraries and travel at different speeds. If skippers would like to cruise together that would be entirely up to them, but hopefully those with less experience will be able to seek advice from skippers who have been there before. In 2015 the long distance cruise will either be to the Baltic or to southwest Ireland via the Scillies. Both of these destinations offer fantastic cruising. Sailing to southwest Ireland is probably more challenging than sailing to The Baltic. In 2016 a round-Britain cruise is contemplated. A round Britain Cruise is a slight misnomer - around Ireland and Scotland would be a better description. The idea is to sail round the west coast of Ireland around the north of Scotland and back through the Caledonian Canal and the Irish Sea. Further ahead, perhaps cruises to northern Spain and Portugal could be contemplated. There are a significant number of cruising boats that are never seen on any of the rallies and perhaps by widening the scope of the rallies, we can persuade some of them to join us on these longer distance cruises. Please come and join us, the more the merrier - cruising in company is fun. My wife gets bored of talking to only me, and the wine and food is always better when shared with likeminded souls.

yachter Spring 2014



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Paris and Beyond Early last year Martin and Shân Alexander were encouraged by fellow Club members John and Ann Bass to consider a cruise up the Seine. Their new motor yacht Spirit of Avalon had yet to prove herself with a Channel crossing , after her 2012 Cruise to London for the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant, and a trip to Paris with an exploration of French inland waters seemed very attractive.


assage planning needed care! The leg up the Seine from Le Havre to Rouen required a single passage. Spirit of Avalon’s cruising speed of only 7 kts meant entering the Seine from Le Havre and using the flood tide for all of the 73M to Rouen. There were no suitable places to stop. Night time cruising on the Seine is not allowed, so there are only two periods of five days per summer month when this passage can be made. We picked the Seine passage period from July 7 to 11. By planning to leave Gosport on July 5 we had five days of this period available to provide a margin for weather delays. July 5 turned out to be a perfect day for a motorised Channel crossing and we berthed in Le Havre at 1845. The weather was very settled, so we left for Rouen on July 7 before dawn and passed under the Pont de Normandie at the low water time of 0820. Soon we had a strong flood tide helping Spirit of Avalon’s SOG towards Rouen at more than 9 kts. This push continued all the way to

Rouen, where we arrived at 1500. There were few boats in the river other than a dredger, many BAC car ferries crossing the river and a large container ship which overtook us on its way to Rouen Port. Two days in Rouen gave us time for sightseeing and for the purchase of the permit: “Permis Plaisance” from the local Voies Navigables de France office. We also prepared fenders, fender boards, and lines for the formidable locks ahead of us. The first lock which separated the tidal and non-tidal Seine was at Amfreville some 12M upstream of Rouen. Although we timed our arrival at this lock at high water, there was still a very large rise to be managed. Mooring Spirit of Avalon in this lock was a baptism of fire! The bollards were sunk in the lock wall, 2m apart vertically, and spaced along the lock at 20m intervals. We were accompanied by a small French motor boat and we followed their lead of only having a single line tied amidships to the only sunken bollard that was reachable. The

height of the wall was too great and dangerous to carry long lines to the top of the lock! As the level rose we had to swap midship lines as the next higher bollard became reachable. In theory, this seemed a good method but there were difficulties with the propeller wash from the barge ahead of us in the lock pushing Spirit of Avalon around. The French boat totally lost control and we made rescue Number One (of the three on this voyage!) by holding her alongside Spirit of Avalon until the water calmed. Understandably, we were pleased to find peace in a lovely berth in the village of Poses just above the lock. Our schedule for reaching Paris gave a full six days for relaxed cruising. Where possible we explored the many backwaters and spent the afternoons looking for the most comfortable berths. There were very few leisure boats around although, it is certainly a very beautiful river. When the river closed on July 14, we enjoyed an excellent organ concert in the Mantes-La Jolie Cathedral and a huge firework display on the river. There were six locks in the nontidal Seine to reach Paris. Each lock presented new issues, providing plenty of discussion on how to do it better at the next one! After a night in Chatou, berthed on the island made famous by impressionist artists, we made the last leg into Paris, arriving on July 17. After making a circumnavigation

yachter Spring 2014

continued on page 41




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of the Ile de la Cité for sightseeing, we berthed in Port de Paris l’Arsenal marina for our two week Paris holiday. We set off on from Paris on July 31 and arrived in Melun after a night in Draveil. Upstream of Paris the scenery was rather drab, but after Draveil it became beautiful again. During this passage we were hailed by a French launch that had broken down and Spirit of Avalon made her rescue Number Two! From Melun, we visited the amazing Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte. The Château gardens were vast. It was an easy decision to hire a golf buggy to make a garden tour! The following day we cruised further upstream to Moret-sur-Loing where the Canal du Loing connected to the

Seine. This canal was opened in 1773 to provide a route for bringing Loire wine to Paris. A sensible project! It is now one of the three main routes for yachts to make their way to the Mediterranean from Paris. The other routes are via Le Canal du Nivernais and the Canal du Bourgogne. In Moret we lowered the mast in preparation for the low bridges in the Canal du Loing. What a difference to the Seine! We could stop anywhere and not be troubled by the wash from commercial barges. An unexpected bonus were the young mademoiselle lock keepers who were eager to take lines and work the locks for us! On August 4 we arrived in Nemours and celebrated that we had

successfully completed the 391M voyage from Gosport. The next day we turn Spirit of Avalon around and started her homeward voyage. Taking advice from other Seine skippers, we used a very long stern line in the locks with the engine in forward gear when going downstream. Locking downstream was much easier. The return voyage included a visit to St Vaast on September 2. Here, Spirit of Avalon made rescue Number Three by towing in a distressed yacht! Overall we felt that the two month trip justified our move from a sailing yacht to a motor yacht in giving us interesting new horizons. We thank John and Ann for all of their useful advice. We are left wondering where to explore in 2014 - Perhaps the Canal de la Somme?

yachter Spring 2014


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CLUB Regalia

BATTERED BURGEES and beaches but hopefully not your boats! The Club has a range of sailing and leisure clothing available online and at the clubhouses. Lyn Whyte looks at what’s currently on offer


ATTERED BURGEES and beaches but hopefully not your boats! Whatever the weather this is the time we start thinking of “fitting out” or sprucing up the boats. We stock burgees in 11 different sizes at Ocean Village as well as on line and the most popular sizes are also available at Gins.

Those ashore will have even more time than those afloat to devote to checking out the Club regalia and clothing. ties, cufflinks, badges and hats, etc. and the above are to be found at both clubhouses as well as on line if posting out to you is more convenient. Any of these could be the answer to that elusive gift.

Now what about last year’s ensign? Would a new one in glorious technicolour be the finishing touch? To fly our distinguished deface blue ensign full members may apply for the warrant by contacting our Sailing Secretary who will check eligibility and complete the necessary form.

For the finishing touch behind the wheel, boat or car, the clothing range is stylishly classical as well as functional on and off the water. There is the option of either the belted crest or burgee and for a small extra charge your boat name can be added to any clothing at the time at the time of ordering.

Then cast an eye to your galley or home! When having your celebratory re-launch drink would one of our new glass cloths bring a sparkle to your drinking vessel? They replicate the design and colour on the cover of the autumn 2013 edition of the Yachter which will reflect well on the newly polished stainless. A must if you have grabbed an existing one during the oil change!

Available at the website shop and Ocean Village, where you will be able to fit yourself out as Spring hopefully arrives, are a new range of poloshirts, both easycare cotton/polyester and 100 per cent cotton, in navy, red, white and sky blue. These as well as the rugby shirts, which come with navy or white collars, are in male and female sizings rather than unisex to give a better fit.

The same goes for the jackets, sweatshirts and gilets so why not find the time to give them a try on your next visit to the clubhouse.

To visit our online shop go to:

yachter Spring 2014



Profile on Nikki Curwen Offshore racer Nikki Curwen learned much of her early sailing at Frensham Pond near her parents’ home in Surrey, and subsequently sailed with her father, competing in the Royal Southampton’s double handed series. Aged 25 she has just embarked on a campaign she hopes will lead to competing in the Mini Transat 2015. She outlines her aspirations here and spoke at the Club’s sailing seminar on March 27.


’ve recently launched a two-year campaign towards the Mini Transat 2015, a solo transatlantic race across the Atlantic in a 6.5m boat. With only paper charts and a basic GPS for navigation, and no computers, phones or chart plotters allowed, it’s back to basics.

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To qualify, I need to complete a total 1,000 miles official mini races and a 1,000-mile non-stop solo passage. Once completed I can join the entry list to compete in the prestigious race.

Last year I was a member of the Artemis Offshore Academy as “Full Time Mini Sailor” and awarded the Mini to campaign towards the Mini Transat 2013. Unfortunately having qualified and found further funding, I remained second on the waiting list and unable to start. Having now left the Artemis Academy I’ve launched my own two-year campaign and have my sights firmly fixed on the Les Sables Azores 2014 and Mini Transat 2015.

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YACHTER PROFILE Photo Credits: Left, by Jacques Vapillon and below right by Christophe Breschi.


I’m running this campaign myself, which means it’s my responsibility to keep on top of all aspects of the project. Planning a campaign can be split into many different roles, and surprisingly sailing is probably the smallest portion. My current “TO DO” list can be split into six separate lists - admin, outside boat work, inside boat work, shopping, sponsors and media.

ADMIN This includes all the logistics and paperwork, organising boat documents, entry forms, and making sure certificates are in date. I’ve become a huge fan of spreadsheets, and have everything in one document. In the next month I hope to have compiled a record of everything on the boat, all the documents and all deadlines/expiries and have it stored in one place. It’s a steep learning curve to get to know all the systems. The majority of the time I’ll be at sea by myself with no communication, I need to be able to fix anything and everything on the boat. If I can spend an afternoon now putting together a list/diagram to aid that process then I will. How many fuses are in my electric system? What length and diameter is my spinnaker sheet? These are all questions I’m asking myself now before my race season begins in May. Doing the research now means I have a record of nearly everything on the boat, a great resource to work from.

BOAT WORK There is a never-ending list of jobs to be done, I’ve split mine into two separate lists: inside and outside. Outside jobs are those that might require no rain, or simply just

daylight. While inside jobs I can do any time of the day, like splicing or checking my sails.

SHOPPING This may seem an odd one, but this list is quite literally a shopping list of everything I need to buy. Whether it’s a split pin or a sail, I add it with a deadline for the last possible date I can manage without it. I’m running the campaign on a very tight budget so it’s vital to be able to prioritise and minimise my spending.

SPONSORS While working on logistics of the campaign, getting the boat ready and preparing my race season I’m constantly looking for sponsors to make it all possible. I spend a lot of time looking into business structures and marketing plans to find companies with similar goals and public messages to what I can promote within my campaign. I’ve spent a lot of time perfecting my proposal to try and make it exciting and easy to read, and not just a boring PDF.

MEDIA Media can often be forgotten and lost within all the other day-to-day jobs. It’s difficult to get the balance of how much to use social media and how often to write blogs. I try to keep a regular, almost daily chat going on my Facebook page, with updates of what I’m doing. I use my blog and newsletters for big announcements and general updates on a less regular basis. I quite enjoy it and like to stay in touch with those who support and follow me and keep anyone interested updated with what I’m doing.

Sailing is probably the smallest portion of a campaign, when really it should be priority #1. It’s time on the water and hours spent on the boat where I will learn the most about when and how far I can push her. Particularly for solo sailing: if you do something enough it will become natural and instinct. If I can get to that stage before my first race in May I’ll be in a great position. For this reason it’s important I find a routine/ sequence for everything I do on the boat and stick to it. Not to cut corners if there is less wind, or if I’m tired or even if there are more people on board. If I can do it by instinct and learn it now, then when I’m at sea for the fifth day with sleep deprivation, not only will I be quicker but also I’m less likely to make mistakes. There are many ways I can train to sail the boat fast, repeating manoeuvres over and over, testing my sails to different angles and wind strengths. For offshore practise, the only way is to get out and do it. Over the next two months I hope to head out to sea for a few days at a time and just sail, getting the hours in and listening and finding out how the boat responds. Not only testing the boat but my performance as well. Getting into a routine, and feeling comfortable on board in no wind, strong winds, in the middle of the night, all conditions. People often ask me if I get scared when I’m at sea by myself in such a small boat, and I can honestly say no. Perhaps I’m mad but they’re amazing boats and I feel in complete control and at home when sailing the Mini.

yachter Spring 2014



The Reluctant Boating Wife goes Ocean Sailing.... F

ormer ‘Motor Boats and Yachting’ columnist, and author of ‘The Adventures of a Reluctant Boating Wife’, Angela Rice, has moved on. Her Mad Sailor husband John is now content to follow her voyages rather than join in himself - the siren call of the oceans has been replaced by the lure of home comforts. Angela, ever contrary, has graduated from power boating to sailing. Not one to do things by half she proposed to cross the Atlantic from Rhode Island to the Caribbean on a 38 foot Catalina with RSYC friends Paul and Priscilla Kilty, and American buddy Richard Fernie (‘Mad Sailor 2’ of her writings).

The plan was an autumn passage from Rhode Island to the Caribbean. The notion had evolved into a serious proposition during our Biscay and Channel crossing the previous year on the CR40 of RSYC friends Paul and Priscilla Kilty, on which I had suggested my American buddy Richard (‘Mad Sailor 2’ of my writings) joined us, to offset my lack of skills. This time he would be skippering his Catalina 380, Swallow, and they and I were to crew. Given Paul and Priscilla’s helming and navigation skills, provisioning was assigned to me, being the least technical of the onboard tasks.

I missed the boat, in every sense of the term. Having been the one to instigate the process which led to bringing forward the departure date from Rhode Island to Bermuda, I couldn’t complain when Skipper Richard (aka Mad Sailor 2) did what we agreed, and took the first good weather window after the other crews’ arrival on October 11. As it proved, probably the only one that they could have considered, so a good call. They set on the 15th, arriving on the 20th. I arrived in Rhode Island two days later, having delayed to allow time for the arrival of my first grandchild (who inevitably

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’t be You won ed. int disappo

CARIBBEAN ADVENTURE arrived early, but accordingly provided six weeks of delight before I left). Having feared snow, ice and storms in RI and for our passage, inevitably I found they were experiencing a superb Indian Summer. So I and friend Janet (Richard’s wife, and RBW 2 of my ‘Adventures’) happily made our equivalent of hay in the sunshine, before I flew on to Bermuda, in time to provision the boat before a projected November 1 departure. This eventually stretched out to a November 8 actual departure, with a few Are we going?/Aren’t we going? false alarms along the way. This however gave us lots of time to bond with lovely Bermuda (and the prematurely purchased fruit and veg time to decay). So how was my first proper ocean passage? Read on….

The view from the starboard berth Twelve hours out from Bermuda, prone on the starboard bunk of the Catalina 380 I tried to make sense of the weird world bucketing around me, the strangeness of the movement and the creaking cacophony of stressed joinery, with base notes from the straining starboard shroud. Rough seas - yes, I’d been in some before. Seasickness - Tick. Multiple ticks actually. Difficulty moving around the cabin - of course. Fighting gravity and losing - Many times. But this violently twisty half-pitch half-roll was more, and through my haze of disorientation I was going to have to work out how to handle it. I reckoned I was probably safe from needing the loo for another couple of hours, so there was still time to develop a strategy for that.

But my previously magic Scopolamine anti-sickness patch was showing its weaker side. It had protected me in the past from the effects of pitching, but the best it could do for me in this sea was to stop me from actually being sick, but not from the associated miserable sensations. Not that I wasn’t grateful for that - clearing up after myself would have been worse than the seemingly impossible loo mission. For now, lifting my head more than two inches above the bunk was not to be contemplated. Unable to do anything physical, I occupied myself mentally. I was carrying the cheering image of the farewell from our two Bermudian old friends - and one newly-made one, energetically waving us off from the headland at the ‘Town Cut’ exit from St Georges’ Harbour, on the NE tip of the island. I reflected on our happy two weeks there, waiting for the right weather, and how largely thanks to them we had bonded with this unique country sitting improbably right in the middle of the Atlantic. So - to the big question: Did I regret coming on this passage? The motivation of the other three was clear - as a sailing Rhode Islander, Richard was determined to make the iconic passage to the Caribbean via Bermuda before he was 70, and crew Paul and Priscilla were making this the initial part of their ‘senior gap year’, now that Paul had finally been persuaded to retire (for the fourth time). As for me, no, I was not regretting it, curiously. I just wanted to know what it would be like, and now I was finding out. The astonishing thing was that the other three were functioning apparently normally. OK, staggering around a bit below decks, hanging on to handholds I had previously failed to earmark as essential to my life

aboard, demonstrating an interesting crouching motion combined with timed Tarzan-worthy swings from one point to another, but fine. Cheerful. Competent. Getting on with the stuff of sailing the boat effectively. Would I ever rejoin that world? I miserably asked myself. Meanwhile I applied the lesson learnt from other periods of sailing indisposition: if you can’t be useful, don’t be a nuisance, and, imperatively, don’t become a liability through misplaced efforts to participate. So there I lay, doggo, nursing my misery and embarrassment, and hoping I was being responsible, though idle, more passenger than parasite. I was a chrysalis wrapped in a lee cloth, fantasising about a future when I might possibly stretch my wings. Meanwhile the others murmured cheering words to me when they lurched past. The starboard tack that we were on positioned me nicely beside the crisp and biscuit supplies, to supplement the bottle of water which practical Priscilla had tucked beside me. Perhaps I was more a marooned castaway, in a dinghy with basic provisions. Regrettably I was unable to appreciate these properly at that stage. Many hours later we tacked and I found myself on the opposite bunk, thinking fondly of those of hours of potential plenty. I realised I must be recovering. The loo trip finally achieved, I cautiously crawled up the companionway to announce my provisional resurrection and to examine the seas responsible for my condition. The 10 to 15 foot waves looked sufficiently rough and confused for me to feel slightly vindicated, though it must be admitted that they were with us, in a quartering sort of way, not against us,

Ashore at Gibbet Island, Bermuda

yachter Spring 2014

continued on page 48 47


Swallow in St George’s The crew at the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club, Bermuda, L to R skipper Richard Fernie, RSYC members Angela Rice, Priscilla and Paul Kilty

so presented no real challenge - and we were speeding happily on our way at 6 or 7 knots, with well reefed main and genny. The winds were typically around 35 knots, with one short period of 40. The log tells me that the eternity of my indisposition was actually only 24 hours of rough seas, and the high winds were only half of that. But it felt much much longer…. Our friends in Bermuda subsequently told us that at the same time they recorded winds there of 75 knots, only a hundred miles away. We had deliberately come out ahead of this storm, on the advice of our weather service ‘router’, who had clearly earned his fee.

The view from the galley Day Three was a new dawn - the storm had blown itself out and I had returned to glorious normality. Now was my chance to prove I could be of some practical use. Eating for the first two days had necessarily been restricted to handheld snacks, seized by the crew on intermittent commando raids below decks between their three hour watches. The small boat freezer compartment was however stuffed and overflowing into the fridge area with ziplock plastic bags containing hearty stews, cooked up over a two-day occupation of our generous Bermudian friends’ kitchen. Now all I had to do was to manage to serve one of these a day to ensure essential nourishment. I set myself a preliminary trial - a cup of tea. Well, sealed insulated beakers of tea actually. It took half an hour of determind effort in the somewhat abated but still continuing fairground ride of the cabin - switching on the water pressure (other side of cabin),


yachter Spring 2014

opening the water tank (stiff lever under sink), filling the kettle while not wasting precious water during lurches, accommodating the wild swings of the gimballed stove, going through the complexity of safety devices to achieve ignition, opening the fridge for the milk without liberating an avalanche of cascading contents (usually led, I discovered, by a very determined, semi defrosted pouch of beef goulash), timing my grope in the cupboard for the teabags to coincide with a lurch to port, to avoid a similar Bastille-style liberation of the contents (led, when it inevitably finally happened, by the bear-shaped honey jar, rather anthropromorphically), pouring boiling water (think of doing this while balancing on a trampoline with a boisterous teenager) and finally nursing the results up the companionway. It was the first hot drink anyone had had since we left, and felt like a real achievement. Emboldened, I started the daily meal service, supplemented more often than not by rice, being the easiest to cook (using the 1:2 ratio of Rice to Water and slam-on-a-tight-lid approach - slopping pasta pots were not to be thought of, and potatoes unnecessarily ambitious).

A word from the engineer’s apprentice Having had its fun the weather contrarily decided to go to the other extreme, with two relatively windless days. In the event, 48 hours of motoring in the large Atlantic swell provided a pleasant contrast, if frustrating to the committed sailors (i.e. all except me). But the first few days had ensured we were well on our

way before needing to start using our diesel stocks, so there was at least no anxiety at calling on these now. Things could have been very different however, as when the wind first showed signs of dropping the usually highly reliable engine refused to fire; the control panel incorporating the ignition switch appeared completely dead. Paul and Richard came up with a fiendish rewiring plan and connected the control panel through the nearby 12 volt socket. This restored the panel to life, but failed to deliver the power needed to start the engine. It now being night, and there still being sufficient wind to sail, it was decided to continue work the next day. Until, at 10 pm, Priscilla called for the radar to be switched on to check out a vessel she had sighted, and it became clear the battery was too low to power it – despite the generator having been run for several hours earlier. The engine problem was going to have to be addressed immediately. While Priscilla took Tanker Avoiding Action, Richard set to work, with me taking over his watch at midnight when Priscilla went off. Ultimately the fault was traced to the previously quite unsuspected main switch, which for some reason known only to the Seagods had chosen that particular voyage and timing to decide to quietly end its natural life. Richard nervously eyed up a miniature pair of crocodile clip jump leads, evaluating whether they would be man (or croc) enough for the job, and finally made the decision to bypass the switch with them. By now he had been working on this problem for five hours, and it was nearly three

CARIBBEAN ADVENTURE in the morning; I was still on watch in the cockpit, with Paul and Priscilla sleeping below us in the stern cabin. Richard took a deep breath and pressed the starter button. The engine roared happily into life and from the stern cabin came an immediate round of applause! The crocodile clips carried us cheerfully all the way to St Maarten. We all agreed that trying to make a permanent repair en route when they were doing such a good job would be ungrateful, and possibly asking for trouble. And it was an awful lot easier once we were snugly in a berth. The horn had decided to dislodge itself from the mast during the storm so somewhere around the Tropic of Cancer Richard was up the mast in the bosun’s chair to retrieve it, with Paul hauling, Priscilla helming and me on the safety line. The first thing he did afterwards, South African Water Baby that he is, was to cool off with a swim. Probably one of the most remote swims it is possible to take. Our sense of awe at how much ocean there was around us in Bermuda had

continued as we headed south. Days and days of water. I was by now fully established as the Engineer’s Apprentice (holding torches, alternately passing spanners and water, locating lost tools, making soothing noises etc.), having been well trained over the years by John and Just Magic. As the Trade Winds bowled us along we passed two hours together in the hot and steamy ‘stuffing box’, tightening the stern gland to reduce the rate of ingress of seawater. Not, I can assure you, as interesting as it might sound. Apart from the replacement of a mainsail pin that had fallen out in the storm, Swallow had no other significant problems en route, (though the Skipper, and accordingly the Engineer’s Apprentice did not relax immediately we arrived - Replace croc clips, oil and filter change, coolant change…).

16, and exactly 8 days after leaving Bermuda coming through the lifting bridge into Simpson Bay Marina of Sint Maarten (the Dutch bit. The French side, to the North, is Saint Martin I now know) 21degrees 48.46’N 064degrees 05.41’W What is the significance of this? It is where we were when Skipper Richard was 70, on Day 6 of the passage, having just managed to get this trip in in time. It was marked by a party in the cockpit, complete with a chocolate cake, cunningly secretly baked in the onboard oven. Perhaps the greatest achievement of the trip, if you know that oven….

After two days of seas and winds and two of motoring, we had four days primarily on a pleasant beam reach, seeing our destination on the horizon in the dawn on Saturday, November

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yachter Spring 2014


COWEScontest photo WEEK 2014 Cruising and Photographic Competition 2014


he Royal Southampton’s club photographic and cruising diary competition is open for 2014. The twin competition is launched with the spring edition of the Yachter and all categories of members of the Royal Southampton Yacht Club are invited to enter the Photographic and Cruising Diary competition which is intended to reflect the atmosphere and activity of the Club. This year’s competition is designed to encourage members to demonstrate their camera skills while capturing the spectacle of sailing activity on the water, the atmosphere of the Club’s events on shore or simply the Club and its many personalities, both at Ocean Village and Gins. It doesn’t matter whether you have an expensive camera or a straightforward point-and-shoot pocket camera, or the camera on your mobile phone – one of the winning pictures in last year’s competition was taken on an iPhone.

Entrants can interpret the themes as widely as they like and pictures taken on water or land do not necessarily need feature dinghies, boats, motor cruisers, yachts or yachting. Photographs taken in or around Solent waters or further afield are eligible. As a separate competition, cruisers are invited to submit a cruise diary – an illustrated account of one of the club rallies or a cruising venture. Contributions for the Yachter or club website about members’ experiences on cruising events or longer distance sailing adventures will automatically be entered for the diary competition. Photo Competition categories: On the water Club activities ashore Striking personalities.

Memorable Morning by Holly Chichester Both competitions will run throughout the spring, summer and autumn and will close on Sunday, October 19. Winners will be announced at the cruisers’ dinner on Saturday, November 1. Winners in each category will receive a prize and an overall winner will be selected by the judges to receive an additional prize. The competition will be judged by the Commodore, the Club Editor, and an independent guest judge. Their decision will be final and no correspondence will be entered into. There is no entry fee, so just check the rules online and download an entry form from the club website or pick one up at Ocean Village or Gins. Remember to take your camera with you when you are out and about. For full rules and an entry form, please logon on to

THE RULES 1. T  his competition is organised by the Royal Southampton Yacht Club and is open to all categories of members including cadets. 2. Members may enter a maximum of three entries per person in each category. Round The Island by David Hadaway

Photo winners 2013 Judges applauded both the quality and number of entries for the twin competitions last year and faced a tough task in choosing the winners. The winners were – On The Water – Round The Island by David Hadaway Ashore – Memorable Morning by Holly Chichester Personalities – Twofors… by Hilary Maskell Cruise Diary – Cloudy Bay log by Ken and Linda Bottrell

3. P hotographs can be colour or black and white, and may be submitted on photo quality paper or as a digital jpeg file. These can be submitted by email to or on CD or computer memory stick to the Club office at Ocean Village. 4. Images which have been digitally manipulated are not permitted. 5. The following details must be attached to each entry. Photographers name and contact details / when and where taken / title (if appropriate). 6. When people are photographed for personality pictures please get their permission, and when children are photographed you should submit written permission of the parent or guardian with your entry. 7. T  he copyright of all entries will remain with the photographer, but all entries may be added to the Club’s photo database and may be used in Club publications, publicity and/or online. Should any photograph submitted be published in a Club publication or online, the photographer will be credited but no payment will be made. 8. Editorial contributions, accompanied by photographs for the Yachter and the Club website at will automatically be entered for the Cruising Diary competition.

Twofors… by Hilary Maskell 50

yachter Spring 2014

9. The RSYC takes no responsibility for entries mislayed or damaged in the post, nor undertakes to return images to those participating in the competition. 10. All entries to be submitted to the Club Editor at Ocean Village. 11. Closing date for entries is Sunday, October 12. Winners will be announced at the Cruisers’ Dinner on Saturday, November 1.

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Royal Southampton Yacht Club 'The Yachter' Spring 2014  

A members' guide to the yacht club, sailing and facilities, and supporting local businesses.

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