London Emergency Services Sailing
Stokes Bay Sailing Club,
The Metropolitan Police Sailing Club [MPSC] held its annual regatta
on the 30th June 2015 at Stokes Bay Sailing Club on the Solent.
In an attempt to increase the fleet size, the competition was titled
as the London Emergency Services Championship with the invitation
extended to members past and present of the London Fire Brigade and
London Ambulance Service. Unfortunately this failed to serve its
purpose as the only Paramedic in attendance was the mark layer Tim
Gerhard who had left his Nacra 20 behind!
Ten entries [8 single and 2 double crewed dinghies] took part in the
series of four races, braving horrific conditions of bright
sunshine, 28 degrees and a solid fifteen knot easterly breeze.
National race officer, Mike Rayden, set a triangle-sausage course
with a windward leg of 0.5 NM which had the competitors sailing into
two knots of tide as the hooter sounded for the first race at
The tide was a strong influencing factor as the fleet charged
inshore from the start line towards the beach, banging the corner of
the windward leg by the gybe mark to get as shallow as possible. The
two Phantoms of Nick Mason [MPSC] and Simon Hawkes [Avon & Somerset]
led the way up the beat, stretching their advantage after
negotiating the top mark before surfing downwind on a broad reach
towards the gybe and then leeward marks. Their lead was not
threatened and it became a question of how much their handicap would
affect the final placing. They worked hard back up the beat with
Nick turning first at the top and holding off a concerted effort
from Simon to overhaul him on the final downwind leg before
eventually taking the first race by four boat lengths. Ian Ingram
[West Midlands] sailing well in a Solo took second place on
handicap, with Simon having to settle for third.
The winning race time was slightly over target and with the fleet
well stretched at the finish, the course was shortened for the
second race, which went into sequence almost immediately after the
final finisher. Another clear start saw Simon and Nick ease their
way to the front chased by Andy Moore [MPSC] in an RS Aero 9. It
developed into a match racing contest between the two Phantoms with
cover tacks going in upwind on the second beat as each tried to gain
the upper hand. Simon took the line honours and handicap win, with
Nick a close second and Andy securing third.
Taking into account the breeze, sea air and average age of the
competitors, the Race Officer showed mercy and allowed the fleet to
go ashore for lunch. [I won't add that we had also run out of coffee
on the Committee Boat!] Race 3 started at 14.00hrs and it took a few
moments for a couple of the competitors, who normally sail on ponds,
to realise that the tide had slackened considerably providing the
option of clear air a little offshore. This was taken by some of the
sailors and with the breeze increasing slightly, the Lasers came
back to the fore. Line honours were taken by Simon but the race
winner on handicap was Graham Cooke [MPSC] in a Laser with Ian
Ingram in the Solo securing second. Simon took third and a good sail
from Tony Hyland [MPSC] in his Laser gave him fourth on corrected
The stiffening breeze saw the first white horses of the afternoon
and allowed the course to be stretched a little for the final race.
The fourth clear start saw Andy Moore tear away from the line
pursued by the Phantoms. He was overhauled by the second tack and
then we saw the almost inevitable sight of Simon and Nick duelling
for the lead. Simon just held the edge approaching the leeward mark,
coming around it from a broader angle whilst Nick stayed tight. This
gave him the boat speed to create some space amounting to several
boat lengths heading up the beat for the final time. This ultimately
proved conclusive giving Simon line honours and the handicap win in
the final race. Nick took second with Andy Moore third and John
Oldham [MPS] claiming a creditable fourth in his Phantom.
The winner of the MPSC regatta 2015 was Simon Hawkes [Avon &
Somerset] sailing a Phantom. Second was Nick Mason [MPSC] also in a
Phantom. Third was Ian Ingram [West Midlands] in a Solo.
On the comedy front, there were dunkings for Andy Moore; Graham
Cooke; Malcolm Dykes and Dave Hales [Avon & Somerset.] A prop wrap
for the Mark Boat that had nothing to do with the author and a
hydrostatic activation for one of the committee members who lost his
feet disembarking from the RIB onto the beach.
Many thanks to Debbie, Cliff, Jerry and Aimee Harrison from Stokes
Bay Sailing Club who were as professional as ever. Also to Andy
Robinson, Tim Gerhard and the Race Officer Mike Rayden without whom
we wouldn't have had such a good days sailing.
Jason Cranmer. MPSC.
[Rear Commodore - Racing]
||Avon & Somerset
||RS AERO 9
||Avon & Somerset
||Avon & Somerset
Races in brackets () are
There are 4 races scheduled in this series.
4 races have been sailed.
3 races have been counted..
Results provided with grateful acknowledgement to:
Stokes Bay Sailing Club
Stokes Bay Road
Tel: 023 9258 1513
MPSC Contact 2015: