Monday autumn mini-series 2018

Nearly twenty years ago Alan Hansen (Match of the Day pundit, Scotland and Liverpool footballer) foolishly stated “You can’t win anything with kids”. Foolish? Yes, because the side he was criticising went on to win the Premier League and FA Cup that season! Well, we had a few youngsters sailing with us for the last Monday informal mini-series. And it would be very foolish indeed to think of them as anything but winners. Ben Purrier (5th overall & 1st Radial) and Edward Schuster-Bruce (10th overall & 3rd Radial), both sailed their Laser impeccably. They had been given parental permission to take part because school hadn’t finished their summer break yet. This freedom didn’t extend to drinking in the bar afterwards, however, so the ever – youthful Bob Cudmore, (8th overall & 2nd Radial), was able to claim the 1st Radial Prize!

In a similarly generous way, Giles Kuzyk (1st overall & 1st Standard) tried his best to help someone else win a prize by chatting to us just before he’d actually crossed the finish line. To be fair, we don’t normally have an outer distance mark on Monday nights and he had travelled all the way from Garda to be with us. This coupled with his non-appearance in the bar (jet lag??), gifted the 1st Standard prize to Chris Whalley (2nd overall & 2nd Standard) – so Emma, if you’re reading this make sure you get your share of the bottle of red wine!

Those of you who have taken part in this event before know that we start early (this time just after 5.30pm, a bit later than we promised so apologies to Stuart for keeping him waiting). People join in whenever they can and, if you want a series result, you have to complete two races. By the time we had thought about starting the third race, we had 32 Lasers on the water. This presented the race team with a choice. Firstly, we had to consider upping anchor and extending the line, (we’d already moved the Odm once to combat the rightward trending wind) or to stay put and use some lateral thinking. Physical indolence won the day and we decide to start the Standards first on 2 minutes and the Radials on 3. Strange I hear you say. Well, the lateral thinking kicked in with the decision to set the Standards two laps of triangles and the Radials two laps of sausages. This created the hoped-for mayhem at the leeward mark, although most people coped without resorting to illegality. This gave Pam Woodall the opportunity to win the third prize of the evening by expertly shutting out her partner David Pratt with a perfectly executed mark rounding.

If you’ve only ever done Monday Night’s Gate Boat starting, you’re probably wondering what all this chat concerning an outer distance mark and a finish line is all about. Obviously when you have to get over an imaginary line right on time, judgement of time and distance becomes paramount. The race team attempted to ameliorate the difficulties of this problem by shouting out the count down to the start. We still had people pushing their luck though and those that were over were ordered back by the PRO; and they did as they were told! All this talk about starting, allowed us to give out the fourth prize of the evening. A generous Colston decided to make everyone feel better about their starting by showing just how badly you can start when you try. Letting people go to free up your chance to go right is one thing but giving everyone a 3-minute start is a bit overly generous methinks!

Most people enjoyed the evening, some more than others – Pete Taylor was very vocal in his appreciation of the wind and his results, (23rd overall & 17th Standard). He was particularly impressed by being beaten by 6 Radials! Courtenay’s results give some indication of how the vagaries of the wind and the whims of the race team combined to make it difficult to be consistent. A 5th and 6th in the first two races were followed by a 26th and a 14th in the last two when a greater number of sailors were on the water. Of course, later in the bar, Courtenay had a plethora of plausible explanations for this demise in his fortunes, but I drank more than enough Tanglefoot to remember any of them! Mary Reddyhoff was one of 16 sailors who managed to sail all four of the evening’s races and the gently subsiding wind reflected her results. However, she assured me that she now was thoroughly decided about the relative merits of the Laser and the Ok regarding their comfort!

The final prize of the evening went to the person making the biggest effort to get to this event. On any other night Rob Clarke and Giles would have walked it, (not literally, Lake Garda is far too far away for that!). But, once again Andrew Taylor travelled all the way from New Zealand to be with us. He was gracious enough to comment that his prize of a bottle of Pale Ale more than compensated for his £900 air fare!

Now listen. I’m a sensitive bloke. No, honestly; don’t pay any attention to my wife’s thoughts on this matter. I’m in tune with you all. I know that you’re thinking, “What am I going to do with my Monday nights now?” Well, here’s the answer: Monday night is quiz night at the club and the Lasers have a team, (sometimes 2!!). Why not join us? Andrew, I’ll let you off. Just give Captain Colston Nichols a message and he’ll find you a berth.
Until the new Monday series then

Monday night scorer

Big Monday – 2018

I have a confession to make; I quite like a glass of ale now and again, but some of you may already know that. However, I’m not sure I can match the enthusiasm for the stuff shown by Andrew Taylor, who, on hearing that one of our Fleet Captains was offering a free beer, as a reward for taking part in ‘Big Monday’, decided to travel 12,000 miles to get his. Chapeaux to our Kiwi mate! Showing equal fortitude, his antipodean compatriot, Courtenay, made the supreme effort of cycling all the way from the bottom of Elms Avenue! 37 sailors out of the 48 who raced claimed their ‘bounty’ with lots staying on to enjoy the ambiance of the bar. So, it was a tremendous effort, both on and off the water!

Our thanks go to Bob Jennings and his crew for providing us with an entertaining evening of racing on a glorious, Poole Harbour – special, summer evening. Bob had the unenviable task of keeping our unruly hot-shots in order. Ian Roman can lay a fair claim to being one of those, but whether he can be described as unruly or a hotshot I’ll leave up to you. Roberta is pretty decisive on the subject of this debate mind, and after his effort at starting the second race, she publicised her opinion with a ringing clarity! In the words of the immortal Eddie Waring, it was an early bath for Ian. Apart from this event in race two and some naughty, early starters in race one, the Gate Boat starts passed off without the traditional ‘Big Monday’ mayhem.

The evening began with a frisky, south-westerly wind which unfortunately gave all the appearance of lasting about as long as a relationship forged on ‘Love Island’. Predictably, therefore the wind dropped off as the evening wore on, (there’s probably another ‘Love Island’ joke in there somewhere), and also clocked right. This variability allowed a returning hot-shot, Giles Kuzyk to demonstrate that he’d lost none of his skill. He claimed top spot for the evening with a total of 6 points, (5th in race 1 and 1st in race 2). Josh Flack and Chris Whalley gave him a run for his money but neither of them could sustain their success in race 1 where they finished 2nd and 1st respectively. Iain Reid flourished in these conditions finishing second overall with a 7th and 2nd place to his name.

There were some notable changes in fortune throughout the evening; Peter Gordon took the unwanted prize of biggest inconsistency with a gap of 23 points, (4th in race 1 & 27th in race 2). Ashley Harris did his best to keep him company but only managed a miserly gap of 11 points, (R1:3rd, R2:14th).

Those two giants of the Radial fleet, Roberta and Harry, the younger Cowell, duked it out as normal. Only one place separated them after race 1. Maybe it was because she was tired after her tremendous efforts of the week-end when she finished third overall in the Laser Masters Nationals but she couldn’t hold on to the whippersnapper in race 2 when he managed to get 6 boats in between them, (none of them Radials though). Martin, the not quite so younger Cowell, had a consistent evening and took the last remaining place on the Radial podium.

And so, our latest ‘Big Monday’ has passed. It was another brilliant night of noisy mark roundings; it was a friendly feast of disputatious delight with Andy Taylor (again?) and Jon Gorringe well to the fore. Can a boat be stopped from sailing its proper course was the moot point, I believe? But, most importantly of all, it was great, great fun, unless, of course you weighed over 90 kgs and had decided to put the Radial rig up – Bob Cudmore will enlighten you further I’m sure! BZs to the female half of our Fleet Captain duo for perfect organisation and again to Bob Jennings for giving up his free time for our enjoyment.

In conclusion, I’m going to say, finding it hard to doff my progressive (ex) teacher’s hat, that everyone who took part was a winner! But, for you hard-headed reactionaries, here’s an extended podium table for you:


Standard Rig Radial Rig
Name R1 R2 Pts Name R1 R2 Pts
1 Giles K 5 1 6 1 Harry C 2 1 3
2 Iain R 7 2 9 2 Roberta H 1 2 3
3 Chris W 1 8 9 3 Martin C 4 4 8
4 Robert P 6 4 10 4 Bob C 6 3 9
5 Ann K 10 3 13 5 Emma A-L 8 5 13
6 Josh F 2 12 14 6 Sheila B 5 8 13


JK: Dog Robber Rtd. (in every sense!)

Monday evening mini series


It was with all the forethought and preparation that goes into the average Donald Trump tweet that your race team turned up at the start without any flags! Since there were no SI’s to speak of for this event, this unfortunate oversight only added to what was supposed to be the casual flavour of the evening where all of the Race Officer’s foibles had to be communicated to the fleet by means of verbal communication. We had previously broadcast our intention to have a line start instead of a Gate-boat start but, nevertheless, one or two competitors did have some trouble recognising where the start line was. As the start line was also the finish line, this was a shame for at least one competitor, as you will see from the results!

So that you can make sense of the table that follows, you should remember that the aim was to sail a good number of races (we managed 5), and to have two of those races to count, in line with the number of races you would normally sail on a Monday night. Where we had ties, discards were taken into account. Clearly, given this format, those who turned up early in a fleet of twelve will have been given an advantage over those that raced later on when the fleet numbers had grown to 30. Whilst this goes against the country’s Protestant work ethic, I, like Phillip Larkin, can live with giving people an incentive to relieve themselves of the ‘toad work’, if only for a little while!

33 sailors took part during the evening which came as a bit of a surprise to the race team who had thought we’d have a jolly time with 15 or so helms. Equally surprising was the mood of those taking part. It became clear, right from the beginning that people had decided to take the whole thing very seriously. The racing was highly competitive, so much so that had we remembered to bring flags with us we might very well have needed to use a black one. As it was, some stern words and the odd judicious insult from your ex Commanding Officer seemed to do the trick. Needless to say, our southern hemisphere mates were to the fore in being naughty – I think it must be in their blood or something.

At the end of the evening we gave out a number of prizes provided by the race team whilst competitors enjoyed a free drink provided by class funds with permission of the Fleet Captain – Hooray for Mark! In case you’re interested, here is the list of prize winners:

Ist and most impressive capsize:                Rob Clarke

Most unusual rest routine between races:            Pam Woodall

Best start of the evening:                             Eve Kennedy

Wire to wire victory in race 5:           Andy Taylor

Winner of the event:                         Chris Whalley

For going boldly:                               Col Nichols









Chris W



Stuart B

20 (18)


Nick M

3 (6)


Courtenay S



Harry C

3 (7)


David P



Will B



Gary W

29 (16)


Andrew T



Pam W

29 (22)


Christiaan W

8 (7)


Sam N



Trevor A

8 (34)


Scott P



Rob C

9 (7)


Eve K



Pete T

9 (8)


Chris G



Matt E



Mary R



David H

13 (12,13)


Irene H



Ian R

13 (12,16)


Ali W



Harry B



Debbie C



Martin C



Donna B



Jacob B

19 (14)


Brian M



Martin F

19 (15)


Col N



Ed W

20 (10)






Clearly something untoward has happened to Colston’s results. Since I had my head down writing furiously, I’ll have to take Ann’s word that she never saw Colston crossing the finishing line. Apparently there are limits to how far he’s prepared to go boldly (take note that the infinitive has not been split!).

That’s it for Monday nights for another season. In the words of Tom Cruise – it’s been a blast.


John & Ann

Monday Night Series II: Summary

Monday August 21st saw the end of series II with a very healthy turn-out of 34 boats. Once again the wind was light: a trend of the last few weeks! Although there are familiar names on the honours board, series II has presented us with some encouraging stats.

The series was as closely fought as ever but conditions conspired against Chris Walley in the later stages which allowed Roberta to secure a victory after two 2nd places in the last two races of the series. We had an amazing number of boats that sailed for at least one race (76!), which allows us to increase the number of prize winners by one. Here they are:

Place Name Points
1 Roberta H 13
2 Chris W 14
3 Ann K 19
4 Rob P 29
5 Scott P 35
6 Andrew T 39
7 Colston N 45
8 Rob C 46

It’s good to see Roberta back to full health, sailing regularly. Chris Walley continues to impress with his consistency. Scott looks like one to watch if he stays around for long enough. Writing of long stayers, it’s a welcome return to form for Rob Penson and Colston continues to suggest that victory is just around the corner for him. Andrew Taylor has come 6th in both series – he needs to stop messing about in big boats and concentrate on his Laser! Rob, one of his J24 buddies, was the beneficiary of our increased number of prize winners who also has the potential to be a series winner.


The second series always shows a slightly less regular turn-out as holidays impact on sailing. This year has been no exception with only 28% (22/76) of helms gaining a full series. However, we’ve still had a handful of sailors who have turned up for every race. Here they are:

Trevor Annels

Colston Nichols

Rob Penson

Chris Whalley


In a similarly positive vein, we did achieve an average turn-out of 30 boats, but it must be said that ‘Big Monday’ was an important factor in this.


Series II consisted of 14 races and these produced 6 different winners:

Name Giles K Roberta H Chris W Peter T Jon G Stuart Ba
No of wins 5 3 3 1 1


A couple of things might interest you. Chris Walley was ‘robbed’ of a bullet by the guest appearance of one of Courtenay’s relatives, for Big Monday, who turned out to be an ex laser sailor of some repute and, more importantly, one who had seemingly lost little of his skill! Giles Kuzyk won five of the six races he turned up for and was just one race short of sailing a full series. Had he sailed this extra race in the same manner as his others, the top of the honours board might have had a different look!


One of the most striking statistics to emerge from this review is that 25 female helms took part in at least one race in the series! This allows for a healthy honours board of five places. Here they are:

Name Roberta H Ann K Sam N Pam W Holly A
Place 1 2 3 4 5


1/3rd of our entrants are female: we’re doing better in the equality stakes than the Houses of Parliament methinks!

What about the oldies? Here’s a list of the best performing ancients:

1st Apprentice Chris W
1st Master Robert H
1st Grand Master Ann K
1st Great Grand Master Stuart B


Unofficially, Bob Cudmore has just pipped Harry Cowell to be 1st placed Radial but I’ll just need to check that Bob’s results have all been in the smaller rig.

In the last review, I pointed out the importance of leading sailors showing the rest of us the way by doing a turn (only one needed on Monday nights) and I also made a few remarks about starting correctly. Further to this last feature, I think it might be appropriate to suggest what should happen if you haven’t started by the time the Gate boat is offered the opportunity to tack (usually 45 seconds after the starting signal). Clearly to continue on Starboard after the Gate Boat has tacked gives you an unfair advantage over the Gate Boat and other late legitimate starters. Therefore what you should attempt to do is to sail behind a line directly behind the tacked Gate Boat’s transom before you tack. If none of this makes sense, talk to Ann who will, no doubt, explain it better than me.

Whilst on the subject of starting correctly, please remember that a gap between the Gate Boat and the Race Committee Boat is deliberately created 10 seconds before the official start, (the size of the gap created will depend on the skill of the gate boat in combination with the skill of the race team. If you go through that gap before the official starting signal you will be recorded as OCS unless you dip back below the line of the Gate Boat (probably better and quicker to gybe around the Committee Boat).

You won’t need this until the next gate boat starts (either in the autumn mini series or in the Perisher). The last evening sail of the Monday series (Sep 4th) will be held along similar lines to last year’s extravaganza.  The aim is to run a fun mini series beginning at 5pm for those who can make it (using a line start). Rules and spot prizes to be awarded at the discretion of the race team. Two results to count so join in whenever you can. The Fleet Captain has agreed to provide a free drink for those taking part (beer, lager or soft drink only!). Let’s hope for good weather.


JK (scorer for the Monday Night series)

Monday Racing 10th July

OK, so we didn’t quite match the 48 boats of Big Monday, but a turnout of 25, when, at 6 o’clock it was gusting 20 Kts. is pretty good I think. Team Annels set us a great course in trying circumstances. We had wind a plenty but it was shiftier than a second hand car salesman! (I know salesperson is more politically correct bit it doesn’t work in that sentence).

It was a night of contrasting fortunes for several of our sailors, and thanks to the sterling work of the race team (I suspect mostly Helen!), I have been provided with lap rounding data with which I shall proceed to regale you.

Race 1 began in rather unconventional manner with gate boat helm Bob Cudmore having to take evasive action on several occasions. I was one of the culprits involved but since I was looking for Chris Walley’s boat that I had been told by my wife was the gate boat, I am prepared to forgive myself, although I still went back and did a turn, in the company of David Hartgill and Becky Walters.

I didn’t see any others though and I’m sure there were more offenders than us! So although I felt morally courageous I still had to undergo the indignity of accepting Roberta’s congratulations on my interesting start. I wasn’t quite last away though. That honour goes to Courtenay. At least he had the excuse of urgent boat repairs to fall back on, although I was minded to raise the topic of the necessity of regular boat maintenance, but I didn’t want to tempt fate! The purpose of this rather long winded preamble is to help to explain why Courtenay is top of the inconsistency table for the night with results of 24th and 2nd for the evening! However, a number of other sailors have a similar sob story for their ‘achievements’ in race one. At the end of the first lap,

James Hartley was one place ahead of his mother, (13 th and 14 th respectively). It may have been as a result of fear of domestic reprisals (I couldn’t possibly comment) but James ended up several places, behind his mother, closely followed, on the podium of sailors losing the most places, by Ashley Harris and my old sparring partner, Gary Wakefield who both lost seven: not the podium anyone wants to stand on I guess. Bob Cudmore managed to turn his 11th place after the first lap into a 4th, placing him on the top step of the place gainers podium alongside Matt Eels. I’ve already mentioned Bob’s drama but I’m not sure what Matt’s tribulations were. Ann and Roberta were also on the. podium with gains of 5 places but I don’t imagine either of them will be counting their 9th and 10th place finishes by the end of the series. However, as Jon Gorringe remarked, the competition seemsnto be getting hotter. Ann commented to me and Becky that she’d found things a bit hectic in the middle of the fleet. As regular members of that position (if not on tonight’s showing), we passed a look to each other which failed to contain any sign of sympathy. One or other of us was heard to mutter, “Welcome to our world!”

It may have been the shifty conditions or the heat of competition but Race 2 saw a number of capsizes and place changes that were equally as startling as its predecessor. The podiums for places gained and lost did contain some familiar names though! Matt Eels went from ‘hero to zero’ losing 15 places in the race. Roundings of 9th , 15th , 11th and finally 24th make me wish I’d caught up with him in the bar afterwards – I’m sure he’ll have a story to tell.

Gary and Ashley made up the numbers with losses of 11 and 7 places respectively. I think in Gary’s case this was a result of doing the honourable thing: completing a penalty turn after hitting a mark. Doing this twice though is being a bit overly chivalrous don’t you think Gary? Andy Taylor made fantastic progress after doing a turn near the start of the race with lap places of 18th , 10th , 6th and 4th – a gain of 14 places, thus showing he’s a much better finisher than his rugby playing compatriots! You won’t be surprised to hear that Ann made the place gainers podium (again!) but she certainly was when she nearly fell out of the boat, clinging on by one toe-nail for several, slow motion seconds. I didn’t actually see this event, (being in front of her for once), but I was within earshot, and noises that reminded me of the restaurant scene in “When Harry met Sally” led me to believe that there was no need for me to go back and rescue her as I was invited so to do by Chris Guy! This didn’t stop her from making a gain of 9 places and, of course, beating me in the process. Jim Pilling took up the last place in this piece of statistical chicanery with a gain of 6 places.


The official table of results for the evening is on the web-site but another, unofficial version is here:

Taking both races into account, the top three for the evening are:

Competitor Race One Race Two Combined
Chris Walley 1 1 2
Nathaniel Gordon 2 5 7
Andy Taylor 4 6 10


With a discount the top three are:

Competitor Race One Race Two Combined
Chris Walley (1) 1 1
Nathaniel Gordon 2 (5) 2
Courtenay Suckling (25) 2 2


Two things strike me immediately. Firstly, I could mess around with numbers for ages and nothing would diminish Chris’s achievements. That man is quick across the wind strength spectrum. He was the most successfully consistent sailor of the night by a mile with lap placings of 5th, 3rd , 2nd , and 1st in race one and 2nd , 1st , 1st and 1st in race two. The second thing I can’t help noticing is that whatever I’m recording, whether it be good or bad sailing, good or bad luck or just general interest, you can’t keep a Kiwi out of the picture.

So, in deference to them, as we look forward to next Monday’s racing, I’ll just say, “Kia Kaha”



PS You will notice that Nathaniel does not appear on the official score sheet. That’s because you didn’t tally Nathaniel. If you’ve got a good excuse (upper body hyperthermia perhaps?), I might be persuaded to let you off! Be warned everybody else – we’ve been tallying on and off for ages now so don’t forget to do it.

Big Monday 2017

It has become a tradition amongst Laser sailors at Parkstone that one of the regular Monday night sailing sessions be deemed, ‘Big Monday’. The idea behind the title is to encourage as many people as possible onto the water. And so it was that on Monday July 3rd , 48 Lasers answered the call, plus another four who acted as race team for the evening.

We were greeted with fluffy white clouds in a blue sky and a sparkling south-westerly F4 – perfect for the more experienced members of the fleet but quite challenging for those still learning the art of sailing the Laser. Nevertheless, they sportingly answered the Fleet Captain’s call: the rescue boat was kept pretty busy though!

Following our normal format of two short races with a gate-boat start, the usual close tacking combat took place. Predictably the first few boats to reach the windward mark had an easy time of it. Following boats had a very different experience, and the general level of excitement increased in direct proportion to the numbers of boats arriving at this first turning point. Somebody usually ends up in the water as a result of this coming together and tonight was no exception, (see previous note about the work of the rescue boat!).

The subsequent reaches and run were a little less frenetic. There was even time to enjoy the occasional exhilarating gust. With 48 boats on the water though, the roundings of both the gybe and leeward marks kept sailors on their toes since there were many gains (and losses!) to be had.

It was great to see Standard and Radial rigged boats as well as the odd 4.7 making their way around the course. The age of helms ranged from 17to 60+ and both sexes were well represented with 12 female helms taking part.

Thanks to Ann Keates and David Hartgill for providing us with fantastic racing for the evening, especially for managing to reposition marks so quickly and effectively. But the biggest thanks must be reserved for the Fleet Captain who used class funds to provide everyone with a free drink in the bar after racing!

Race 1   Race 2  
1 Chris Walley 1 Stuart Bannatyne
2 Will Bedford 2 Chris Walley
3 Rob Clarke 3 Bob Cudmore


– Report by Jon Keates

– Photo credits Gary Hind

Monday Evening Series – Part 1 in Review

The Monday evening series part one finished at the end of the 2 nd race on June 19 th . It was run over 14 races in total. 60 helms entered the series and sailed at least once. 55% of entries achieved a full series, (we sail with a 50% discard). The average turnout per race was 28 boats – I don’t think any of the club’s other fleets can match this. This represents 46% of the total entry and it should be remembered that in addition, there always is, on the water, one fleet member involved in the race team, and sometimes two. They have been excluded from these figures.

The average turnout per boat was seven races (for this calculation, race duties were included). Four sailors: Courtenay Suckling, Chris Walley, Pete Taylor and Trevor Annells managed a 100% turnout. Given the nature of the last two races of the series, I think BZs should be handed out to them.

There can’t be many people who don’t know that Courtenay has won this series – not if they drink at PYC anyway that is! But you may not be aware of some of the other prize winners, so here they are:

2017 Monday Evening Part 1 : Prize Winners

Rank Sail Number Helm Total Nett
1 36 Courtenay Suckling 104 16
2 176337 Owain Hughes 176 18
3 154030 Chris Walley 73 23
4 203306 Jon Gorringe 314 24
5 208999 Ann Jeates 412 31
6 190998 Andrew Taylar 312 34
7 57 Nick Morgan 328 37


The 14 races that we had produced 8 different winners:

Helm Number of Wins
Bib Cudmore 3
Roger Hakes 3
Jon Gorringe 2
Courtenay Suckling 2
Owain Hughes 1
Ann Keates 1
Duncan MacArthur 1
Andrew Taylor  1


However, just to show that it isn’t plain sailing for anyone on Monday night’s take a look at this table which shows the best and worst results of our top ten sailors in the series:

Helm Best Result Worst Result
Courtenay 1 18
Andrew T 1 15
Owain 1 9
Nick 2 18
Chris W 3 11
Colston 6 19
Jon G 1 15
Chris G 3 12
Ann 1 15
Roger 1 18

Definitely a case of ‘how are the mighty fallen’, I think!


14 females entered the series: an entry of 14 sailors of any gender would mark a good open event for some clubs! The podium places were taken by Ann K, Becky W, and Sheila B in gold, silver and bronze respectively. At least two of the others have justifiable claims for injury recovery explaining their absence from the podium.

Increasingly popular on the main circuit is the Masters series of events. For those of you too young to know (or care), these events are divided by age category but all sailed together. The categories are:

Category Age
Apprentice 35-44
Master 45-54
Grand Master 55-64
Great Grand Master 65-74
Legend 75+

If you are 34 you are allowed to sail in these events but you can’t win a prize. If you are under 34, you’ve won the best prize anyway!

So, if we use these categories, we can produce another list of winners. However, since these awards are age dependent, some sensitive D.O.B. checking is going to have to be carried out before they are officially ratified!

Masters Prize Winners

1st Apprentice Master Courtenay Suckling

1st Master Peter Taylor

1st Grand Master Ann Keates

1st Great Grand Master Stuart Bromidge (I’m dead if I’ve got you too old Stuart!)

1st Legend Still up for grabs


It has become an increasingly frequent sight to see Radial rigged Lasers out on a Monday night. Our home-based fleet rules permit the changing of rigs unless you are a prize winner (in which case your results will be split which normally means you don’t have a series – but not always because of our 50% discard rule. The benefit of this is that quite a few sailors (I count myself in their number), are happier to go out in stronger winds by ‘dropping down’ a rig), thus keeping up numbers on the water. However, this year, more people have decided to sail the Radial rig full time whatever the wind strength. This gives rise to our last prize winner: Harry Cowell – 1st Radial.

So, once again it has been a successful series. As we look forward to Part II (first two races already sailed), it’s a good opportunity to review a couple of things. One of the strengths of Monday night sailing is the friendly relaxed atmosphere. That doesn’t mean thought that rule breaking should be ignored. I think it is particularly important that our better sailors should be seen to observe penalties for rule breaking since for them breaking a rule is often intentional! Sailors who don’t have quite such good control over their boat could arguably be given a little more leeway but not if they are seeking to gain an advantage by so doing. It has to be said that it is a more regular sight to see people doing a penalty turn than in previous seasons (remember – on Monday nights you only have to do a 360).


One area that has got a little messy is the Gate Boat start. If someone is in a tricky position with nowhere to go, it might be a good idea to give them room. But if that should happen, the boat being given room should do a 360 at the first opportunity, even if this means stopping your boat. Any boat that interferes with the Gate Boat will be disqualified by the Race Officer if they are identified. If you are not sure about Gate Boat starting, there is some advice on our web-site.

Big Monday was a big success, which has given the part II series a great start. It would be fantastic to continue with this improvement in our already strong turn-out figures. In Part I, 31/60 sailors managed to sail half the races or better – scope for improvement I think! An average turnout of 30 boats per race sounds good doesn’t it? Maybe even good enough to persuade Mark to get the fleet’s raffle ticket book out again!

JK (scorer for Monday night series)

Race Report Monday 24th April 2017

Roger Hakes won the first two races of the 2017 Monday Night series but if you think it was plain sailing for him you’d be quite wrong.

With the wind blowing from the North West quadrant, you could be forgiven for recalling Alfred Hitchcock’s famous 1959 film in which our hero’s namesake, Roger O. Thornhill is mercilessly harried by a villainous spy, Phillip Vandamm, played, on this occasion, by Jon Gorringe!

‘North by North West’ is celebrated for its action sequences and a gusty as well as shifty force 4 meant our evening was equally lively, especially for the lighter sailors who had opted for the full rig. Courtenay Suckling managed to avoid the capsizing antics of others and finished his first race in third position, having graciously allowed Jon Gorringe room to start his relentless pursuit of our own Cary Grant. Courtenay remarked to me in the interval between races that he’d started how he meant to continue and I guess a 7th place in the last race of the evening still leaves him on track.

It was good to see Peter Gordon back on the water after his knee convalescence. A 10th and a 4th in the two races is a bit reminiscent of past inconsistent performances though Peter. I think, given the nature of Monday’s racing though, we can cut him a bit of slack here.

It has become somewhat of a tradition that the Fleet Captain runs the first race of the Monday Series. For those of you yet to experience this pleasure, I can assure you that it’s a fairly stressful couple of hours. Daylight is at a premium and the time seems to fly by; two short courses are the order of the day. The problem for Mark, on this occasion, was the wind.  Short beats with 20 boats on the water with very variable wind strengths meant you had to have your wits about you.  Quite a few of our hot shots, Ann and Chris Guy to name but two, suffered a watery mishap leading to them both being beaten by yours truly – now that is an event totally worth writing about!

There was a number of new faces to be seen around the boat park so I thought it only friendly to check that people knew the vagaries of gate boat starting. To those that didn’t, I carefully explained that the worst crime was to interfere with the gate boat and had to be avoided at all cost. I just hope they didn’t recognise me as I headed straight for Ann (she had the honour of being the first gate boat of the new season), in her new boat (2nd time out!). I was faced with two choices. Machismo suggested a massive last second bear away but my lack of skill predicted the horror of wrecking my wife’s brand new boat, prompting visions of a very lengthy stay in the dog-house. Luckily, I had room to windward, allowing me to bail out in front of Ann. Trying to remain as honest as my ineptitude would allow, I gybed  round and bore off to go below Ann’s line of travel before heading up again. It was thus that I found myself in the entertaining position of joining Kiersten Metcalfe, presumably doing something similar, as we headed off towards the club house on port tack. Fortunately, it was an evening when mistakes abounded so you were never totally out of the game. Harry Cowell, one of the newcomers to our fleet, knows exactly what I’m talking about. A 3rd place in the second race gives a truer impression of his potential than his 9th place in the first, which was the result of a very untimely capsize just before the finish line.

Peter Taylor looked on good form, coping impressively well with the full rig in these awkward conditions. He was pipped by Chris Walley in both races. The latter has recently joined from a local club and I’m sure he found these courses easier to follow than his inaugural race last Saturday which contained ten marks to be remembered!

There was a buzz in the boat park after racing which is a testament to the hard work of our race team for the evening, your Fleet Captain ably assisted by Luke Normington. All of the newcomers to Monday night sailing were very enthusiastic about the format. I was similarly keen to enjoy the conversation in the bar: an essential element of Monday Night sailing! I promise that Courtenay will have a story that will entertain you.

Let’s hope that twenty boats on the water for our first session is an auspicious omen for the rest of the season.

John K

Dog Robber Rtd.

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