Nottinghamshire Police Sailing Section -
Notts 'A' Team won the Police Sport UK National Offshore Sailing Championships for the 7th consecutive time. You can read the skipper's own blow-by-blow account of the event via the 'Reports & Stories' section of this website.
Sailing Section Secretary: Alex Piggott
Broxtowe Police Station, Strelley Road
Broxtowe, Nottingham NG8 6LL
Tel: 0792 143 6458
Notts A Team won the Police Sport UK National Offshore Sailing Championships held on the Solent, 17th-21st May. You can read the skipper's blow-by-blow account of the event via the 'Reports & Stories' section of this website.
You can view the pictures of the Notts team taken during the week.
Nottinghamshire Police Sailing Section will be representing the British Police at Cowes this year in the J109 class.
Congratulations to Pete Walters on his Award.
Nottinghamshire Police represented Police Sport UK in the Sunsail 37 Fleet at Cowes Week 2009.
A brief report and results are shown in the 'Reports & Stories' Section.28/05/09
The teams arrived at Port Solent at 1700hrs on Sunday, 17th May to arrange
collection of the yachts, to check them out and complete a formal handover from
Notts Team A were allocated Sunsail 11 with Team B on Sunsail 29. Notts Team A being the defending champions had the most experience on board the boat with Team B being skippered by Nick Shaw with more of a scratch team looking to gain experience and sail safe.
The boat equipment was checked out and Louise Davensac was hoisted up the mast in a stiff breeze and swell to ensure all the sheaves (pulleys) were running freely and to lubricate the tracks with WD40.
Monday, 18th May.
The skippers briefing was held at 0800 at Sunsail offices
with the skippers being told that the start would be about 1130 at a buoy called
Universal Marina near to Cowes about 5 miles outside of Portsmouth Harbour.
As Notts Team A had four of their crew who had competed together last year and four new members, two of whom had not competed or raced big boats before. The decision was made to sail out early at 0900 to gain some practice en-route to the start. In view of the conditions with winds of force 5 gusting to force 7, the skipper decided on one reef in the main-sail to reduce its area. The early start allowed some tacking and gibing practice and a chance to launch the spinnaker and confirm the winds were too strong to fly it that day.
The first race did not get start until well after noon due to the conditions and the fact that a crew member from the GMP team had come into heavy contact with the boom on the yacht needing airlifting by helicopter to hospital for treatment.
The first race got under way with Notts A reaching the first buoy in about 8th place, however, the decision to only have one reef in the main sail paid dividends on the downwind leg as most other teams had elected for two reefs and so they overtook several other teams to reach the 2nd buoy in 3rd place. The final leg into the wind saw numerous place changes. However, Notts A managed to get over the line in 3rd place with Met Team D winning the race.
After a delay and with conditions getting worse the race officer abandoned racing for the day, several teams had damage to their boats and injuries to crew. The teams spent the night in Cowes Yacht Haven.
Tuesday, 19th May.
Start at 0900, it was still quite breezy (force 5) but was forecast to decrease. The Race officer wanted to get 4 races in to get the racing schedule back on line, as two races had been lost the previous day. So it promised to be a long and testing day of racing.
Racing was round a course marked by buoys with Notts Team A managing to come from a mid fleet position to finish 3rd in the 2nd race of the event, it appeared they had the speed as other teams were left behind and the leaders were caught up but a better effort was needed with the first beat into the wind. Met. D team won the 2nd race.
Round the buoys with conditions again starting to get windier Notts A improved with a 2nd place after a better first beat.
Same again however the speed was improving with another 2nd place by less than a boat length to Cleveland A whilst Met D came 12th after a halyard had snapped.
The wind had again increased from a steady force 5 to gusts of up to 30 knots (force7). So much for the forecast that it would drop.
A good start and first beat had Notts A 2nd into the first buoy with Met. D just ahead, a short downwind leg saw them overtake into the 2nd buoy for a 2 ½ mile reach to buoy 3, Notts A reached this with a boat's length between them and Met D for the final beat into the wind. The lead increased on the final beat giving Notts A the 1st win of the nine race series. Met D coming 2nd. It was now apparent that Met D and Notts A were the form teams to beat.
Wednesday, 20th May.
The Race officer wanted to get a 'Round the Island' passage race (60miles) into the event, so the day started at 0800 just outside Cowes.
The wind had decreased to a force 1-2 with the tide taking the fleet out of the Solent via the Needles. A great start by Notts A and a small tussle with 2 other teams just after the start saw Notts A move into the lead and round the first buoy with a 4 minute lead.
The crew were surprised when told that the headland they could see in the distance (St. Catherine’s Head) was 3 hrs away, however, by hoisting the spinnaker this was reduced this to 2½ hrs and increased our lead to about a mile.
At St Catherine’s Head the wind died and the tide started to change allowing the opposition to catch up. As the tide changed the wind improved with the lead again stretching out. The wind kept varying in strength and direction and Notts A were nearly undone by having to avoid the cruise ship the ‘Queen Victoria’ having to go into an area with no wind.
After 11 hrs Notts A crossed the finish line in first place with Met D coming in 3rd after a fortunate wind shift brought them through the same area where Notts A had found no wind.
At the end of the third day, Notts A and Met. D were equal on points but on count-back, Notts A were in first place with 3 races to go.
Thursday, 21st May.
Two races were planned for Thursday around buoys in the Solent.
A great start and first beat found Notts A and Met D first and second into the first buoy, some slick spinnaker work at the 2nd buoy saw Notts A increase the lead and win the first race of the day with a 3 minute margin.
A discussion then took place on the boat, should Notts A race tactically like Ben Ainsley in the Olympics and take the Met D team out at the start of the next race. If the Met D Team could be covered and pushed down the field the better overall results of Notts A would mean they would win.
The team decided to race for the win in the last race of the day to retain the title.
Another good start saw Notts A into the first buoy first with Met D 2nd, for a long run to the 2nd buoy, Notts A were taken the wrong way by the skipper which allowed Met D to lead at the 2nd buoy by 5 boat lengths.
A two mile beat into the wind to the finish saw Notts A catch up Met D with both boats having a minor tacking duel half way up the beat before both boats split taking slightly different routes to the finish line.
With 50 metres to go the Met D just crossed in front of Notts A, starting another tacking battle. Notts A just managing to cross Met D with 2 tacks to go, crossing the line with 2 boat lengths to spare. The championship had been decided in the last 50 metres of the penultimate race. A shout of "Well sailed" from the helm on Met D (Graham Cook) confirmed that Met D had been doing their maths as well!
The official social event of the Championships was held at the Folly Inn later that Thursday evening, with the crews having a formal dinner and speeches from the Sailing Section Chair and a chance to meet the Sponsors of the 'Round the Island' Race, G4 Solutions.
Friday, 22nd May.
Having secured first place Notts A did not need to sail the final race of the event but decided to go out in style, racing, as it was sunny with a Force 4 wind making the conditions ideal.
A relatively poor start saw the same two teams at the first buoy, Met D followed by Notts A with a pack chasing hard, a reach with Spinnaker saw Notts A close up on Met D overtaking on the downwind leg to the 3rd buoy, the lead was maintained and increased to about 3 minutes by the end of the race.
The win certainly confirmed the overall result, Notts A having 2 x 3rd places. 2 x 2nd places and 5 x 1st places in the 9 race series. With two discard allowed, counting the 5 first places and 2 x 2nds, this gave 9 points to count.
This is the 6th Year in succession that Nottinghamshire has won this event taking it to 8 occasions in total since Nottinghamshire started taking part. It is a credit to the core crew and helm that they have been able to accommodate and develop new inexperienced crewmembers each year and maintain their success.
The Prize giving was held at Port Solent Sunsail Offices in the presence of the Main Event sponsors, Police Credit Union, after which the teams left arriving home during the early hours of Saturday morning.
The Team - Notts A
Pete Walters, Skipper/ Helm
Doug Ing, Mainsheet trimmer
Rick Priestley, Winches
John Austin, Winches
Andy Muir, Navigator (ex Met officer, was on the 2nd place Met boat last year)
Louise Davensac, Spinnaker/ Bow
Steve Payne, Bow
Paul Pilsworth, Bow lead.
Click Here to view a large set of pictures and mini-videos
taken by the Notts A crew during the event.
Nottinghamshire Police once again, will be representing the British Police at Cowes this year.
British Police at Cowes Week 2008
The Notts Offshore sailing team represented the British Police at Cowes week,
this after winning the Police Offshore Championships during May 2007.
The team of 8 chartered a J109 35ft one design yacht, Jumping Jellyfish, the fleet had its own start as there were 39 yachts competing in class.
The week was quite windy with a force 7 being recorded on one day but most days had a breeze which got us a full race schedule.
We moored at East Cowes Marina which is further up the river Medina and away from the main action but we were in good company with the benefit of having our own mooring and not being rafted out as we had been in previous years.
The J109 class is a very competitive fleet with very few novice crews taking part, this was evident as the week got underway as we struggled with boat handling skills this enabled other slicker crews to overtake when we had any issues losing 3-4 places on a bad spinnaker drop.
We rectified this during the week by taking advice off the regular boats crew who were sailing a J122 with the owner of Jelly Fish. Putting the advice into practise we started to maintain out position and do some overtaking.
The owner of the boat who raced it on a regular basis stated that he had spoken to the other owners who were apparently impressed with our performance considering that we did not sail the J109 on a weekly basis as they did. We had apparently significantly outperformed the other charter J109’s in the fleet.
However we came mid fleet (20th) as we did last year, the fleet certainly seemed to be a better standard than last year (any excuse) and we came to realise that we needed a tactician on board the boat, as other teams had to assist in the decision making. Keeping the boat driving as well as looking for the best route thro other fleets and boats does not make for a very quick team.
The owner has offered the boat to the team for Cowes 2009 at the same charter rate as this year but it will have a new suit of sails.
The team having won the Offshore event in May 2008 are again eligible to represent the British Police, however the team have not yet decided on what event or what fleet to compete in.
The pictures from this year's PSUK Offshore Sailing Championships hosted by Nottinghamshire Police Sailing Section are now available to view.
There are some 334 pictures but viewing is 'restricted' and it will be necessary for skippers to contact Pete Walters direct at: email@example.com in order to obtain the web page address.
Nottinghamshire Police are hosting the Police Sport UK Offshore Sailing Championships in 2008.
Dates:- 19th-23rd May, 2008.
To view the latest information: www.policesportukoffshore.info
Pete Walters, last year's PSUK Offshore champion and his Nottinghamshire Police crew are sailing 'Alice of Hamble' (Sail No. GBR1L) from this Saturday to next Saturday and you can follow their progress via the Skandia Cowes Week website Results page.
Notts win the Police Sport UK National Offshore Sailing Championships.
This regatta was held in and around the Solent the
Isle of Wight, hosted by Cleveland Police with all the teams sailing matched
Sunfast 37 Yachts; chartered from Sunsail.
The crews arrived on Sunday evening 20th May: 23 crews from 17 different Police services from the UK. Boats were collected and checked over before a meet and greet from the organisers.
On Monday morning a briefing was held by the Sunsail Officer of the Day informing the crews that we were to hold 3 races the first start being about 11.30am.
Race One got underway with the Notts team just managing to get to the first mark of the course in the lead. A tight reach to the 2nd mark nearly went wrong when the spinnaker guy slipped off the winches making the spinnaker fly several yards away from the boat, however both the crews from the Met. and Leicester Police failed to get ahead, the Notts team just managed to get clean away whilst the following pack of boats slowed each other down giving the Notts team the first race win by over 3 minutes.
Similar course was sailed with Notts getting to the first mark in 6th Place but gained places to the 2nd mark to round behind the leaders in 3rd place. A mile beat to the finish line followed with Notts tacking off the other two boats going a slightly different way up the beat to the finish, ¾ of the way up the beat the Notts team managed to cross both the leading boats winning by 2 to 3 boat lengths.
Another similar course was sailed with Notts getting to the first mark in 4th Place but on the downwind leg managed to get into 2nd place. A fetch to the next mark saw the Notts team undertake the leading boat and go on to lead the race and win by about 2 minutes.
The night was spent in Cowes Yacht Haven.
Race Four was scheduled to start a 0700 but most skippers wanted an earlier start to give the boats time to get out of the Needles channel before the tide changed against them. The race started at 0600. Poor start by Notts but after a couple of miles were up with the leading boats towards the Needles, unfortunately the wind dropped as the tide changed with 4 boats in the lead trying to get through the Needles channel. At about 11am the race was abandoned by the race officer with the fleet told to motor to Weymouth, 5 hrs later the fleet arrived at Weymouth for the night.
To be held in Weymouth bay around the local sailing clubs racing marks. The sea breeze filled in quite early and the start was made, Notts getting to the first mark in first with Sussex police a close 2nd. A battle to the next mark commenced with Notts just maintaining the lead around the 2nd mark for the final beat into the wind and the finish.
Race Six. Passage race to Poole.
This started after all the fleet had completed the first race of the day. The majority of the fleet managed to get into the wind shadow off Portland Bill, but Notts just managed to creep through as they were one of the furthest boats away from the Bill and were first to round the first mark and downwind to Poole, followed by Cleveland and the West Mids Team skippered by Michael Corrigan. Notts managed to get a 2 mile lead, we later heard that the time limit for the race had been extended to 2000 hrs, the tide changed with the wind dropping making it difficult to get to the finish line, Notts finished at 1840 hrs, unfortunately no other boats managed to finish the race, some however had got to within 0.2 of a mile when the race officer closed the finish line.
Race Seven. Poole to Yarmouth Isle of
We had a reaching start and were on the same point of sailing for the whole of the race, Devon and Cornwall pulled away and held a lead of about a mile, Notts having made a mid line start were buried initially but managed to overtake most of the boats and close up on Devon & Cornwall. The Met Police A team followed Notts through the fleet with the three boats getting a lead over other boats. The status quo was maintained with the three teams split evenly over about 100 yds. at the 2nd and final mark before the finish outside Yarmouth. The tide was flowing in our favour through the Needles channel and it was important to pick the right line to get the best tide and wind, at this point Notts managed to just get close enough to Devon & Cornwall to start playing a tactical battle to the finish line, This ended up with Notts just managing to maintain speed and go below Devon and Cornwall and get to the finish line about 4 feet ahead, however the Met. team had come down the tide in a more favourable position and were travelling much faster than the 2 leading boats, they also finished about 1ft in front of Devon & Cornwall, the Skipper Chris Jellis was not a happy man after leading the race from the start line to within about 50 yds of the finish to come in 3rd place.
Briefing at Yarmouth at 0800.
There was no wind so the race officer requested the fleet motor to the Sunsail buoy near Cowes for an 1100 hr start.
The wind had filled in somewhat but was very light, at about 1110 hrs the race started as the wind started to drop, Sunsail 14 from Sussex rounded the first mark well in the lead with chasing pack struggling to get around the mark as the tide had strengthened as the wind dropped. Notts rounded in about 8th Place but managed to overtake 2 boats towards the next buoy and another on the way to the finish line. Finishing 5th.
As we had completed 7 races 2 of the worse results could be discarded, the Notts team decided to go for an early bath as nobody could possibly beat them. The wind died, the race officer abandoned the final race for the event at 1430 hrs. Overall Notts scored 5 points with the West Midlands team skippered by Ian Ingram the nearest team on 19 points.
The boat was handed back with the prize giving and presentation meal being held in boat house number 7 in the Historic dock Yard at Portsmouth, after breakfast the following morning the team departed back to their home forces.
This is the 4th consecutive year Notts have
won the event with 5 wins in the last 6 years, a good record for a landlocked
Pete Walters (Skipper/ Helm), Alex Piggott (Main Sheet/ Tactical),
Simon Judge (Winches), Rick Priestley (Winches)
John Neaverson (Navigator), Julian Davies (Mast Hand)
Helen Neaverson (Bow), Paul Pilsworth (Bow)
Pictures above are re-produced by kind
permission of Mike Watts. The original pictures plus all the other pictures from
the PSUK Offshore Sailing Championships, 2007 are available via:
See their Cork Week report in the 'Reports & Stories'
The Notts team representing Police Sport UK
Results also on Cork Week official website at: http://corkweek.ie/ .
Hosts of the Police Sport UK -
Please now see the Police Sport UK National Dinghy & Laser Championships page for the report on the event plus results and pictures.
Pete Walters - organiser,
Police Sport UK Dinghy Championships 2006,