Barnacle Bill's casual observations from the shore . . . (Nov '02 - Nov, '03)

Barnacle Bill . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Starting from the creation of the website which dealt mainly from a local (Northants) viewpoint, this page contains past entries and  is merely to appraise you of what happened around Police sailing, who did what (sailing-wise) - and acting as general scuttlebutt.

 

Use the hyperlinks below to jump to the required date

Go to the previous entries from August, 2000 to September, 2002

 

Go to the entries for  November, 2002 Go to the entries for January, 2003
Go to the entries for May, 2003 Go to the entries for July, 2003

Go to the entries for September/November, 2003


 

 

November, 2002

 
November, 1st.

PAA National Dinghy Champs, 2003
UPDATE

The dates and venue for next year's Police Nationals are at last confirmed. They are :

Wednesday to Friday, 18th - 20th June, 2003. Laser fleet on Day One; Handicap on Days Two & Three. The format is as previous years.

Greater Manchester Police will host the event at Leigh & Lowton Sailing Club.

The GMP contact for the event is Paul Heath, email =  Paul.Heath@gmp.police.uk

Do contact Paul if you want to be posted entry information direct in due course.

Further details including telephone numbers and a fax link will follow after Christmas as will the usual "Regattas & Results, 2003" page in which all details of the PAA and other force regattas will appear as received.


 

 
So, at last it's confirmed. If you want to be appraised of any changes that might take place (they did this year), don't forget to contact me - and as soon as I know, you'll know.

Hopefully, you've had your boat tied down and like me, are already looking forward to next year's season of regattas. Until the next website update - All the best...

"Barnacle Bill"
   

 

 

 

January, 2003

 

 

Looking Back.Barnacle Bill looks back

The website is now entering its second full year. Starting off as a test site for purely local Intranet use in Northants, the site has become (hopefully) a useful point of reference for police sailors across the UK.

Has the website helped to 'promote' police sailing? Only time will tell. I am grateful to all those who have provided, information, reports, results, items, etc., for publication. Also to those who have given me encouragement to continue providing this facility.

Looking back on the year, there seems to be a fairly strong nucleus of serving and retired personnel prepared to take part in organised events, though these regattas currently take place in the southern half of the country. The forthcoming event by GMP will hopefully resuscitate more interest from the Northern forces.

The dinghy highlight of last year was undoubtedly the PAA regatta held by Avon & Somerset, not only in numbers attending but also the organisation as a whole. The Force regattas remain poorly attended in comparison and anything above 10 entries seems to be a bonus. Particularly disappointing were the numbers at Datchet which is a perfect piece of water and easy to get to.

Meanwhile the two Offshore regattas commanded excellent numbers. Considering the time and effort required by both the teams and the organisers, this bodes well for the future of offshore racing.
 

 
January and February, being the months of threatened snow and grief, give time for wood to dry out and the painting, replacement and general maintenance of boats both large and small can take place. So, while most us are hibernating for the winter months, there are a number of main men (I know of no current female organisers besides Karoline - and Tina) getting regattas prepared for 2003. It's often an unsung job, relying on the support and dedication of a few. It's not so much to ask, come the moment, that those who watch and wait make the effort to travel and take part in what is becoming the few regattas held specifically for the benefit of fellow officers and staff. Without support, the regattas will come to an end.

 

 
Looking forwardBarnacle Bill

The months are slipping by and all too soon the mind will be back into sailing mode. Despite last Autumn being mild and  providing a nice wind-down to the end of the year, there is much to look forward to. The police sailing calendar for 2003 promises to mark a long-needed recovery in police sailing events.

Our season's year starts off with the West Midlands Police Regatta on Wednesday 30th April. This is followed by the PAA Offshore regatta in May based at Plymouth. Then in June comes the National Police Laser and PAA Dinghy regatta held over 3 days, hosted by Greater Manchester, Leigh & Lowton Sailing Club and organised in particular by Paul Heath.

Paul asks if interested parties/Force Reps. would be in touch with him toute de suite with their email address and  postal address for forwarding the PAA Dinghy Entry Pack. Click Here to go to the form to register your interest and ensure you receive details promptly.

It's great to see a new event appear on the sailing calendar.Without such individuals prepared to organise events, they just do not happen. Thanks to Rob Gillespie for taking the bull by the horns and come July there is to be the revived Dorset Police Regatta at Poole YC.

Full details of these and other regattas can be found on the "Regattas & Results, 2003" page.


 

 

The latest Jibe Ho!! newsletter has much to interest members of the Metropolitan Police Sailing Club.

A recent membership survey in the shape of a questionnaire held by the Club indicated strong support for sailing but essentially cruising in both dinghies and yachts (offshore) - Something that this website only covers lightly at present. The Club is in the fortunate position of owning its own yachts based on the South Coast at Hamble. Chartered cruises around the coast and across the Channel are well supported by members.

There's good news for Met sailors located in and around the MPD. Datchet Watersports based at Queen Mary Reservoir are offering discounts to MPSC members for their training courses and various hire packages, particularly during mid-week. This ought to help to raise the numbers at the Met's regatta next time round.

MPSC has a large membership (there are well over 600!). They run a large number of training courses of all kinds -  including astro-navigation, navigation & pilotage, power boats, general boat handling, et al. There is the upkeep of the yachts and facilities at Hamble to be sorted; committee work and administration; working parties. And somewhere along the line, one presumes that most members do a job of work well away from sailing. As in all such clubs the organisation is handled by just a few members whose responsibilities and commitments inevitably increase unless others are prepared to give up a few hours to assist. Suffice to say the MPSC are always looking out for members, not only to use the facilities, but also to take on supporting roles. We all learnt a long time ago that there is nothing like that extra pair of hands to help out, whatever the situation and whoever the person.

 

 
This month I received a missive from Michael Conner, the MPSC  Social Secretary, drawing attention to their Easter Cruise. It's very much a social event and provides an ideal introduction to sailing in a safe and fun environment provided by the club. I noticed that Non-MPSC guests are very welcome. The dates are 5pm on 17th April to 5pm on 21st April and the cost is just 140. D/I Conner can be contacted at Room 675, Victoria Block, Broadway at NSY.
 
 

We should be so lucky. Those Laser sailors who, over the last 30 years have made the treck across country to the Laser Centre at Banbury, Oxfordshire to buy a brand-new dinghy will now have to aim for Long Buckby in Northamptonshire. The Laser Centre moves mid-January.

 

 

Locally, Northants AGM takes place at Campbell Square, Northampton on Wednesday evening, 15th January. Apart from the presentation of prizes, the dates for local regattas at Pitsford during 2003 will be decided.

Despite duty commitments, there has been a satisfactory turnout for the local regattas. We gained a helm with Laser and now there is another with 1500 in readies searching for a second-hand Laser Radial. One day we may even see them competing further afield.

 

 

It's not everybody who is (or needs to be ) IT enabled, though the way our lives progress, it helps.

As far as the website is concerned, it can only reach those who are on-line and I am still not quite convinced that it reaches enough people to justify its continued existence even though the hit count, particularly around regatta dates, indicates that there are quite a number who find the site useful. It can't be the same person all the time can it? . .

The success of any website depends on it's support, not just by using it for information but also to provide content. If you feel you may have a report or story, do let us know. Without new material any publication becomes sterile.  

 

 
PAA Offshore, 2003.

Entries are slowly coming in and details appear on the "Regattas & Results 2003" page.

Sunsail can only reserve the boats for so long and it is important to book direct with Sunsail a.s.a.p. Sunsail will forward some details to competitors booking through them and Ray Lawry will send an information pack to all skippers once entries are known.
 

 

With a view to progressing this website more nationally - If there are any force sailing sections who would like to avail themselves of the opportunity to have their own force sailing section website pages created on this site - it's easy enough to set up -  contact Barnacle Bill.

 

 

The next update to the site should be around end April. By then we should know the results of the West Midlands Regatta and the latest details on the PAA Offshore and Dinghy regattas. Meanwhile, the "Regattas & Results" section will get updated, as and when new details come to hand.

 

 

 

May, 2003

 

Those of you have recently managed to get a day off and fall out of bed to sniff the wind will have realised that Spring has sprung and brought some pretty reasonable weather for getting the boat on the water.

The Police Sailing season has already started with the West Midlands Police regatta and results can be viewed via the 'Regattas & Results' section.
 

 

Yet another sailing magazine has hit the newsagents. Last year it was the "Dinghy Sailing Magazine"; this time it's the "SailRacer". The content is inclined towards racing naturally enough, not for just messing about in boats. There was an item on radio-controlled Lasers. What will they think of next...

 

 
PAA Dinghy Sailing Champs, 2003.

Looking forward, Entry Forms and details are now available from Paul Heath at Greater Manchester. If you post your entry to reach Paul by Saturday, 17th May you will receive the usual discount on your entry fee.

Don't be shy though, get your entry sorted if possible; don't wait until the day of the regatta. There's nothing so frustrating as organising an event and having no indication of how many will arrive. A number have already filled in the website form with their address and have received details in good time. Just how it should be.

Update - 28th May, 2003
It's getting near "crunch time" now for the organiser. If you have not already registered but intend to take part, please complete the PAA Registration Form as this will help Paul in his catering arrangements, etc.

 

 

The Met's latest Jibe Ho!! newsletter reports a busy winter past, with maintenance being carried out on their yachts. They have also been running a Training Programme for the RYA Day Skipper and Yachtmaster courses for 50 personnel and with the advent of Spring it is time to add some practical training to their Winter theory studies.

Details of the Met Police Open Dinghy regatta in September are now available via the Regattas & Results page.

For Sale
MPSC are selling their two 'cruising' Lasers - a standard Laser and a Laser 2, which are available for inspection at their Broadway Base, Hamble. Sale bids which are by 'blind auction' will be opened on 30th June. Details from
Gary Walters at Belgravia P/Stn.

 


Meanwhile Sussex Police have started their own Internet site which can be found at http://mysite.freeserve.com/sxpdsc.  Sussex hope to develop further details of interest to all police sailors.
 
 

Met Police Offshore Championships, 2003

Once again the event will bring a fitting end to the Police Sailing season in October. The venue remains on the Solent. Entry details are now available from Karoline George and are shown on the Regattas page.

Next year in 2004, the Met will also be hosting the PAA Offshore event. John Oldham is the contact.

 

 

Locally, Northants Police started there 2003 series of races at Pitsford reservoir on 15th May. We are hoping for an increase in active members. It's so difficult to get the time off these days and where is the young blood coming into police sport?

 

 

The details of this year's Avon & Somerset Police regatta have at last come through. The venue will return to Chew Valley where their event was held two years ago; not at Axbridge. It's an excellent area for staying with lots of local accommodation. Those who plan to camp might think of bringing an extra blanket now that the date has been changed to early October.

 

 

 

 

July, 2003

 

The PAA Laser and Dinghy Championships took place smoothly at Leigh & Lowton Sailing Club..

Though the organiser, Paul Heath was a little disappointed in the numbers attending, the event proved to be a great success. The icing on the cake was plenty of wind; too much for some - but there's nothing worse than travelling miles to a regatta and just sitting quietly in the middle of the lake with no wind trying to keep the gnats at bay.

Congratulations are due to Pete Walters & John Allen (Notts) who, having qualified for the Flying Fifteen Worlds in Eire, brought their boat to Leigh 'for a bit of practice' and found the conditions perfect. They won the Handicap regatta and the Laser Nationals were won by Andy Hayfield (GMP). Full details appear in the 'Regattas & Results' section.

My thanks to Len Gooch and Dave Burrows who provided both reports and the Laser photos respectively
 

 

One great part of the Championships for the writer was to meet faces from the past. Albeit so many had turned away from dinghies and immersed themselves in yachts, the occasion made for lots of catching up and reminiscing on the days when police dinghy regattas were well supported and some dozen and more police regattas were held up and down the country.

Whilst being readily accepted in the assembled company, it was difficult not to comment that few appeared to be coming into the sport. Thus it was some recompense that the Met brought two minnows with them who were only lately into sailing, acquitting themselves well in conditions that you would not normally introduce to newbies.  We also had one lady competitor - though you'd think that there would be a few more around ready and able to beat the pants off the back-markers and more.

 

 
Police Sport UK.

One face from the past (for me) was John Burbeck. Now Chief at Warwicks, he has continued to maintain a strong interest in police sailing and currently chairs the PAA Sailing Section National Committee.

John took the occasion to explain the forthcoming re-branding of the PAA under the name of "Police Sport UK".

This last decade has seen less and less numbers attending the PAA Sailing regattas so it's good to know that the PAA has realised, that in the present climate, something needs to be done to promote and re-establish Police Sport before it disappears altogether. Those that joined in the 40's, 50's, 60's even 70's were no doubt conscious of the Police Service' commitment to sport and that may well have been a factor in their decision to join. Not so now.

Those days have gone. Did the police service and the public benefit, then? Did it make for healthier and fitter personnel? Did it reduce sickness and early retirement from ill-health? Looking at the Obits in the London Police Pensioner magazine I'm not totally convinced, but it just might be that participation in sport made for a satisfying, convivial occupation with that essential ingredient camaraderie and somewhere along the line helped to control that devil of the soul which apparently affects the job more and more these days - stress. So, does the public get any benefit from sporting police? Did research ever look at the Service and find 'it pays to do sport'. The word morale springs to mind.

It wouldn't need Einstein to recognise that with the loss of school playing fields in the 80's, more emphasis on non-competitive activities, more legal claims from sporting incidents, even less sympathy from non-participants, less dedication and more politicisation of teaching and coaching, an increasingly obese population, the present-day demands on the Service  ---- that the personnel coming through and into the Police - just don't do sport...

The PAA recently instituted a working party to review various matters and created a questionnaire circulated to all Forces. Does the fact that only 26 forces bothered to reply tell me something?

Following the Review, the PAA now has the difficult job of re-establishing sport in the Police to somewhere near the position it held only a few years ago, and somehow develop the health and physical training of the Police Service. How, when Finance Departments appear to run nearly every facet of the Public Service, do you persuade Forces that saving money is not the ultimate goal, that cheap is not necessarily good, that investment in people has an unseen value, that support for sport makes for a better employee and a better service to the public? Maybe you bring in outside help.


Tell me if I'm wrong but it looks as if we might still give our Championships that respected title 'PAA' despite someone's suggestion that sponsorship would result in the likes of the Skoda National Police Rugby Team or the PSUK Sailing Championships...

Information on some of the detail of the recent PAA Report of the Structure Review Working Party, some answers to the questionnaire and how it could effect Police Sport appear in the 'Reports & Stories' section of this website.


 

 

PAA National Dinghy Sailing Champs, 2004.

It's at Worthing SC hosted by Sussex Police. Sea sailing, then. The exact dates are not known at present - but it will be in June.

Details will also appear on the Sussex Police Sailing website found at  http://mysite.freeserve.com/sxpdsc.

 


Looking at the figures from this year's PAA, out of the 31 taking part, a dozen or so came from the Midlands and North. The West Midlands run a successful regatta and are happy to do so on the strength of 10 or so boats taking part. One wonders if any of the northern forces will manage to re-establish a regatta. In the 80's there were annual regattas in Cumbria, Northumberland, North,West and South Yorkshire, Lancashire, Manchester, Leicestershire and even Northants, Beds, Herts. Surely another northern (north of Watford!) force could run a regatta....
 
 

Met Police Offshore Championships, 2003

Karoline George has been in touch confirming that everything is going ahead for 8th Oct-10th Oct; format as last year.

If anyone is interested, they should e-mail her at karolinegeorge@yahoo.co.uk and she will register their interest and send them entry form, notice of race and yacht charter application forms.

Karoline has already received registration from a number of constabularies, which is good, as it means that the event speaks for itself!!

She asks for "serious requests only", as she is working in Bosnia coping with slow computers and printers, relying on the British Forces Postal Service, which is actually very good.

Closing date for actual received entries and yacht charter is currently 20th August!

 

 

On arrival at Leigh on a beautiful summer's evening, I joined the Met guys in one or two wines, then a long treck to the nearest hostelry in order to eat. A busy pub with plenty of food available, we settled down to enjoy the evening.

Somewhere between the first pint and the arrival of the meal, the conversation naturally turned to sailing. I am not sure who mentioned the Channel first, though two of the assembled company had previously crossed in a Wayfarer. This was not bragging of the past but rather a pseudo-serious consideration of  the feasibility of Lasering it across and back. Lots of discussion followed as the food had not yet arrived...

Can it be done; there and back in one lump - though Stuart was all for taking a clean shirt and staying in France overnight for a bit of clubbing...  It would need a support boat, spare foils and at least four Lasers - sticking together, starting off at the crack of dawn (that lets me out) with a view to returning before the wind died. Beating and running could be tough but reaching there and back would make for a exhilarating and exciting experience.

It's something that would live with you for ever should you accomplish it; something I (and many others to be sure) had thought of in times past. But the knack is to do it. Does anyone know of someone who has succeeded?

 

 

The  PAA AGM brought up an even more intriguing suggestion. John Lelliott from Sussex asked if there was a possibility of holding a Championship abroad.

The concept was somewhat tempered into looking at the possibility of holding a police regatta on the continent - maybe out of season (when the weather is still warm I hope) - in hired boats (no need to take your dinghy) - maybe invite our continental brethren to participate (to make it all viable).

So, all you need is the time, inclination, some cash and the preparedness to travel abroad - and a really attractive package to make it worth the effort. There's going to be a commercial connection, I guess - someone needs to supply the boats - though I would think you could take your own boat and make a holiday of it. The Offshore have a similar (commercial) connection in the UK and deal with it as part of their competition; so why not with dinghies. I shall wait with interest to see if John can come up with a Big Persuader to take us all abroad.

 

 

Also at the AGM the meeting voted in a Vice-Chairman, Gary Walters (Met) who took the meeting in the absence of the our Chairman, Dean Ingledew.

One item at the AGM that the parties present were able to get on top of - Future hosts and venues for the PAA Dinghy Championships..

Beyond 2004 hosted by Sussex Police at Worthing we now have two possible dates as follows:

2005 - Hosts = Cleveland - at Scaling Dam or Hartlepool

("pencilled in") 2006 - Hosts = Nottinghamshire - possibly at Notts County S.C.

 

 

The results of this year's Dorset Police Regatta will be posted when available. Then it's Bexhill in August. Hope to see you there.

 

 
It's Mid July:

The Dorset Police regatta was attended by 11 boats. A bit disappointing after all the effort made to attract competitors. There can be no better venue than Poole Yacht Club; such a friendly and efficiently run sailing club. Very professional. A lot of effort went into making us feel at home. It's handy to have an Offshore Section to run your regatta on the day and Malcolm Palmer made things run smoothly with only the wind giving him some problems in setting courses.

Despite the low numbers, Rob Gillespie plans to run the event annually and no doubt the dates and details for next year will become known over this winter.
 

 
Stop Press!

Something is stirring again north of Birmingham. Dave Burrows of GP14 fame has organised a Police regatta to be held on Tuesday, 23rd September at Winsford Flash in Cheshire. Police helms of course, but family and friends welcome to crew.

Full details appear on the 'Regattas' page.

Dave is hoping for a good turnout. Last held in 2000, Cheshire hope that their regatta will once more, become an annual event.

Don't forget to let Dave know if you intend going; it helps sort catering for these events.

 

 

 

September/November, 2003

(This entry to be added to during the above period)

 

6/9/03
We seem to be busy just now. Regattas every so often this end of the season. Can't be bad. Thanks to Rob Gillespie for reinstating the Dorset regatta and shortly we have the Cheshire regatta. That's two new events since last year. Nevertheless, competitor numbers remain small - around the ten or a dozen. Apart from the main PAA event (when some of us get leave allocated) it appears to be a struggle to get away to the Force Open regattas. Something wrong somewhere.
 

  This item updated - see below

6/9/03

I've just been updated on the present situation on "PAA" Dinghy Sailing Championships, 2004.

Sussex are in the throes of negotiating dates with Worthing Yacht Club. Sussex are looking at either June 16, 17 & 18 or 23, 24 and 25th. The decision will be based mainly on the suitability to Worthing Yacht Club and also the more user friendly tides. Our man is due to see Worthing YC in next few days and we should have a confirmed date shortly. Watch this space but bear in mind the Sussex website on http://mysite.freeserve.com/sxpdsc .

Yes, that's right - it's on the sea.

 

 

The Sussex held their annual regatta during Bexhill Sea Week. Results and report appear in the usual Section.

The writer got a bit of a shock having been informed that he was the winner. Not convinced, he asked Rob Jones where he'd got to in the last race. Rather than being just behind, Rob was in fact nearly a lap ahead. A quick re-calculation was hardly necessary. Still, it was a good feeling for five minutes...
 

 

If you haven't visited the website for a while you may not have noticed that the "Library" section (only relevant to Northants members) has now been replaced by the "Stats" button. Therein you will find an extremely large amount of statistics regarding force regattas which have been collected over many years by Len Gooch.

So we also have "Roots". The names of old colleagues as much as the results makes for interesting reading. The Section creates a permanent and accessible record of our sailing past. There are just a few details missing which, if you know of them, would obviously be useful.

I am grateful to Len for the provision of the large majority of records.

 

 

14/09/03
The Metropolitan Police Regatta was duly held in early September. There was hardly a breath of wind all day in a huge reservoir that was less than half full. This made launching rather difficult and race results something of a lottery.

Nevertheless those who had brought the right boat for the conditions and knew the art of light airs sailing usually ended up at the front. Graham Cook with his lightweight crew, once more proved how well he sails his ancient roman Graduate. Something about "horses for courses" comes to mind.

A report, results and some pictures can be found in the usual section of the website.

 

 

The Cheshire Regatta at Winsford Flash S.C. in late September was a rather different affair. Plenty of wind and the comparatively small lake produced close and exacting racing round the buoys. The Flash lies a little off the beaten track just outside the town of Winsford and some 20 minutes from the M6.

Just ten boats competed. It is only a pity that more competitors were not there, at least to complement the amount of food available. The meal was included in the entrance fee also every competitor came away with a prize! Over the years, Dave has built up a small hoard of useful items for selection by those who do not win the main prizes so that everyone comes away with something to take home. This is a most magnanimous and original (to me) idea which does not require to be emulated by other forces but will hopefully remain one of the facets that make the Cheshire Regatta special. There was also a video of the racing. Winsford is a most friendly and relaxed venue. Roll on next year.

 

 
Northants local regatta series was also completed the same week at Pitsford. For yet the third year, the overall result would be decided during the last regatta and the lighter conditions helped Roger Badcock secure the Reliance Trophy for the second year running. Pete Mankiewicz was second in the series and Martyn Dearsley, rapidly improving in his Laser, was a creditable third.

Entries for the seven regattas has varied between four and six. All 21 planned races took place. The general standard of starting and coping with the windier conditions continues to improve and it is hoped that NPSC members will soon feel up to competing in other force dinghy regattas around the country.
 

 
24/9/03
The last Sailing Section Committee meeting under the banner of the PAA was held at Warwicks FHQ today. The strength of interest in Offshore sailing was evidenced by the majority present whereas Barnacle Bill remained the only person directly connected to the Dinghy section. How things have changed. The committee has one thing in common with sailing clubs and probably a number of other sports - it is often the 'old soldiers' who continue to carry out the organising and general donkey-work required to maintain a credible operation.

"So what?" you might ask. Without new and younger blood coming into the sport to 'carry the torch' and taking on the responsibilities of organisation our sport could founder through lethargy and disinterest.

Such meetings can be a formal exercise in paper presentation but they can also provide the opportunity to raise ideas, keep abreast of what's happening in your parent police sporting organisation and play a part in perpetuating the sport. How can we expect Police Sport to support us if we don't support them.

 

 
In the "Reports & Stories" section you will find a report on the 'British Police' entry in Cowes Week, 2003.

Many thanks to John Oldham who relates his experiences in entering a Jeaneau 40 and adds some advice for future campaigns.
 

 

1/10/03
After a year's break whilst the Avon & Somerset Police ran the PAA Dinghy Champs., the A&S Open Regatta took place returning to Chew Valley Lake. With twelve police helms, the numbers turning out were once more, around the average for this year.

At least the wind blew and the rain stayed away, providing a hard but fulfilling end to the season's dinghy regattas.

The event was won by Ian Ingram (West Midlands) who has had an extremely successful year in police regattas sailing a number of different dinghies; this time in an RS400. Was it a hollow victory? Ian did not win a race. Each of the three races held was won decisively by a non-police helm though the crew was a serving member of the Police Service. It is not a precedent I'm sure, and there has usually been a good reason justifying such exceptions. Rather than reverse the roles to allow for a police helm, Avon Sailing Section had come to an arrangement prior to the regatta whereby the crew could only qualified for a local trophy.

  

 
        Police Sport (UK)                                                                                                 

It won't be everybody who would have even recognised the old PAA logo - maybe you need to have won or taken part in one of the numerous sports that the old PAA supported. I remain proud of the PAA medals I attained in the past. From now on, look out for the above new logo for our (the British Police) representative sporting organisation.

From October 1st, 2003 the organisation founded in 1928, which we have always known as the PAA, will henceforth be known as 'Police Sport (UK)'. Note the parentheses.

The aim of the new organisation is not only to promote amateur sport combined with the development of fitness within the Police Service - which is surely not dissimilar to its previous aims - but "to support and encourage for the benefit of the membership of affiliated sports clubs, ancillary commercial enterprise which directly supports of the activities of Police Sport (UK)".

The requirement from the main organising Council includes publishing a Sport Development strategy and annual objectives, to support achievement against that plan and to monitor progress also to employ a Sports Development Officer and Administration and Finance Manager.

The Administration and Finance Manager is Neil Braithwaite. He is based at Preesall P/Stn, Lancs. I have not yet heard who is to take on the onerous task of Sports Development Officer. Bear in mind that the Council supports a large number of sporting activities, only one of which is sailing. However, Police Sailing, particularly the Offshore, is one of the main police national sports which continues to gather support and surely, in our Section, there must be the opportunity for the development of ancillary commercial connections to the benefit of all.

As usual, there is a fair amount of organisation involved in the development of such a body and unless it's merely a hang over from the previous constitution, it looks as if the re-establishing of Regional competitions may be a part of that development. To what extent this will effect sailing remains to be seen. One has always had the impression that the organisation of police sailing championships was a 'Bottom Up' rather than a 'Top Down' exercise. Apart from the useful financial grants to run regattas, recent evidence of PAA involvement in sailing rarely went beyond much more than giving title to the event. When did you last see a PAA medal? Back in the 80's a number of PAA Regions had their own regional regatta but in the 90's the regional regattas mainly disappeared and the National Police Sailing Championships were the only events carrying the PAA banner.

Our national police sailing events still remain by far the best supported of all the police regattas held. In this age when money appears to be more important than morale (not just in the police service), it will be interesting to see what difference the new setup makes to the empowerment of chief officers to support personnel taking part in police sport.

Neil Braithwaite's address is  neil.braithwaite@policesportuk.com  and the website address is self evident in his address. It is early days and parts of the PS(UK) website have still to be sorted. Let's hope that it avoids the criticisms levelled at the previous PAA website and that the new organisation goes from strength to strength.

 

 Jibe Ho!!

Edward Piggin has, for the past few years, been the editor of the Met's successful magazine devoted to Police Sailing. He is now threatening to hand over the reins to someone else. Editors come and go but Ted will be remembered for his application to produce a regular publication with excellent content. Long may "Jibe Ho!!" continue.

Over the years the MPSC has gone from strength to strength and now boasts over 700 members. Running the organisation calls for energy and commitment but there is always the danger that too many tasks fall on too few volunteers, resulting in a less than perfect situation with those who have played their part on committee work for many years slowly becoming disillusioned with the job. Among their members the MPSC is searching for assistants to their regular committee positions so that new blood is brought into the system for the future. The continued success of any club relies on the fresh input of personnel willing to take on the executive work involved and one hopes that with every new intake of recruits, there are some who come into police sailing and eventually take on this mantle for the future.

Regarding the MPSC's activities, it's obvious that the majority of members are not racers and more likely to be cruisers (in the sailing sense of course) and though raced at times, the club maintain their yachts for charter and for the sheer enjoyment of sailing. Financially flush and with the support of the Met's parent sports association (the MPAA), they are about to purchase yet another yacht; a Hallberg Rassy 34. Sailing for pleasure, running all kinds of maritime courses, competing in the various dinghy & offshore police regattas - it all sounds very rosy for a police sports club.

 

    This item updated - see below

As at 20/10/03
Police National Dinghy Sailing Championships, 2004

Still no confirmation of dates but enquirers planning for next year have started to come in. If you want to be appraised of the dates by return when they are confirmed, you should email me.

 

 
17/10/03
Last week the Met Police Offshore Championships were held on the Solent. 22 yachts, lots of wind and close sailing; the event provided a fitting end to the police sailing calendar for 2003. Karoline George, the organiser managed to get back for the event only to return to lands afar shortly after. It shows what can be done if you have a mind to. Karoline is sending some pictures of the event back to the UK and it is hoped to publish them shortly alongside the report and results in the 'Regattas' section.

 

 
17/10/03

Recent news received from distant waters...
 
The UK Regattas & Results page for 2003 now includes details of dinghy regattas held by Strathclyde also Devon & Cornwall. I am grateful to Alex Bisset and Clive Collier respectively for providing reports.  Both regattas are held in same-class boats provided by local Armed Service organisations with which the forces concerned are fortunate enough to have connections.

Nothing has been discussed yet but it occurs to me that should such distant forces decide (and be able) to open up their regattas to other forces, all one needs to do is turn up with a wetsuit. No trailing; no car topping; what could be easier. From sound effects so far, I suspect a few would be interested enough to travel...
 

 
The above brings me on to the future - 2004.

This Autumn is a time for review and preparation for the following year. Some detail is available for next year; but not a lot....yet.  If the list of regattas is increasing I can see that some regatta dates may 'overlap' or be too close to each other so that both regattas lose out on attendance. Thus for organisers, it becomes important to establish your regatta into the scheme of things... also to keep track of other force regattas. There is nothing worse than making all the effort involved in organising a regatta only to find suddenly that there is another regatta on or around the same date.

With the Dorset and the Cheshire regattas having returned this year, the calendar is starting to look busy once more. I look forward to next year.
 

 
Stop Press! 23/11/03

Dates for next year's National Police Dinghy Sailing Championships are now established. The delay in the decision is due to prolonged discussions with Worthing Sailing Club as to the most suitable dates for launching and landing dinghies in relation to the tides.

Laser Day is Wednesday, 16th June, 2004.

The Open handicap event - Thursday/Friday, 17th & 18th June, 2004.

A reminder that the hosts, Sussex Police Sailing Section have their own website at: http://mysite.freeserve.com/sxpdsc .

Further details will be included on this website as they become available.

 

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Barnacle Bill "Barnacle Bill"