Barnacle Bill's casual observations from the shore . . .
Barnacle Bill . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
This Section is merely to appraise you of what's happening around Police sailing, who's doing what (sailing-wise) and acting as general scuttlebutt.

Use the hyperlinks below to jump to the required date

August, 2000 to September, 2002

 November, 2002 to November, 2003

November, 2002 to November, 2003

November, 2002 to November, 2003

January 2004 - January 2005

March - September, 2005

October, 2005 - September, 2006 October, 2006 - September, 2007
October, 2007 - December, 2008 January - December, 2009
Go to the previous entries:
January - December, 2010
Go to the previous entries:
January - December, 2011

This Page:-

Entries for January to December, 2012
Entries for January, 2012 onwards
or go to bottom of page for the last entries




January, 2012 onwards

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

For previous and recent entries - See above..

10/01/12 - A Happy New Year to All...
For your diary - A reminder of Police Regatta dates for 2012 known so far....

The Avon & Somerset Constabulary Regatta
at Chew Valley Lake SC
on Wednesday, 28th March, 2012

The Police Sport UK Offshore Sailing Championships on the Solent :
13th - 18th May, 2012
Hosts: Cleveland Police Sailing SEction.
(Closing Date for Entries = 29th February, 2012)

The North British Offshores
11th-15th June, 2012.

The Metropolitan Police Open Dinghy Regatta
21st June, 2012 (Provisional Date)

The Police Sport UK National Laser & Dinghy Sailing Championships
at Rutland Water Sailing Club:-

Wednesday/Thursday/Friday, 19th-21st September, 2012
Hosts: Leicestershire Constabulary.

Metropolitan Police Yachting Champs '12 on the Solent -
7th-9th October, 2012

12th Police World Sailing Championship - Hong Kong
21st-27th October, 2012




PSUK Offshore Sailing Championships, 2012

A reminder then that the closing date for Entries - and payment of Sunsail deposits - for the PSUK Offshore Championships in May has been set at Wednesday, 29th February, 2012.

Naturally it would be useful to the organisers if prospective competitors would indicate to the hosts, Cleveland if you intend to take part but have not yet entered.

Contacts for the event are as follows:

Nick Hunt

01642 301794

Dave Clough

01642 301742




Recent circulation from the organiser, Colin Gilmer

Yes its that time of year. Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year.
Please find the attached event description for this year's event on the Strathclyde page. Please note that there has been a great deal of interest for this year's event from people new to the event and it looks like it could be well attended, so get your entry in early just in case. This will help me with forward planning to accommodate the increased number and make preparations easier.

For anyone requiring yacht charter try Wilson Malone at  or 0845 528 1011 who will try to help you.

Portavadie now offer a range of accommodation and also beauty treatments for those that fancy a treat at the end of the event or would like to bring the family up for a weekend, visit  for further information.




In a year when a number of our dinghy regattas are not taking place there may be time to look back on the results and reports of police regattas from the past - Well from the past, when regattas were supported much more than our present events. The contents of the newsletters, although mainly based on regattas and events attended by the Met,  may remind you of old colleagues albeit there are some names mentioned that can be found in present-day results!

Even then there were concerns that our regattas could be better supported. Nothing changes..

There are now seven MPSC newsletters from the 1980's available to view - with the possibility of more being added.

News from Avon & Somerset:

Mark Fordham retires from A&S in early February. He remains the contact for their regatta but his contact details have now changed.

The West Midlands Police Regatta at Bartley SC will take place on Wednesday, 25th April, 2012. Further details will be forthcoming. In the meantime, contact Marie for any queries. If you need to phone - her office number has changed.


I regret to report the death of Neil Braithwaite, our Police Sport UK Finance and Admin Manager. Neil was based at Poulton le Fylde, Lancashire, but had recently gone abroad for intensive treatment for cancer. Sadly, complications arose and on 15th February Neil was taken into intensive care and sadly passed away.

Those of us who had cause to contact him always found him most helpful and supportive and, although Neil was responsible to all the PSUK sports sections, one felt that one had a special relationship with him due to the interest he showed in our particular sport.

His death will be a huge loss to Police Sport; he will always be remembered.

Funeral arrangements are now confirmed

12.15pm on Thursday, 1st March,

St Oswalds Church, Lancaster Road, Preestall, Poulton Le Fylde.

The service will be followed by a reception at Knott End Golf Club.

Members are invited to attend. Please note the journey to Preestall can be slow so allow adequate time.


PSUK Offshore Sailing Championships, 2012

A Provisional Itinerary is now published for this year's PSUK Offshore Championships.

Confirmation & Details are now published for the
West Midlands Police Sailing Dinghy Regatta on 25th April, 2012.

Marie has changed the start time to 1100 hrs just to give people who travel that little bit of extra time!. She has been assured that the club racing will not start until after we have finished our last race in the afternoon.

If you plan to attend, please let Marie know beforehand in order to arrange the catering.

Numbers for the PSUK Offshores look promising and it is evidently still possible to enter though time must be running out.

The Itinerary planned is as follows:

  • Mon – Races around the Solent, good length legs finishing in Cowes.
  • Tue – As above ending in Yarmouth
  • Wed – Racing out past the Needles and around the area of Christchurch Bay, ending up in Poole.
  • Thur – Passage race finishing at Cowes. Social evening at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club.
  • Fri – Race back to Port Solent followed by prize giving.

It looks as if there could be around 20 entries - maybe more - as some have booked boats with Sunsail whereas their Entry Form has not yet been received at Cleveland. It could be useful to email Nick Hunt to check that your entry has been received just in case your paperwork has been delayed in the Cleveland post-room..


So we come, shortly, to the first police regatta of the year on Wednesday, 28th March, 2012 at Chew Valley Lake S.C.

Early though it may be, but there will be enough water for our purposes and in a year when there looks to be a dearth of police sailing regattas, the organiser hopes to see a good turnout for one of the few dinghy events being held.

Full details can be viewed on the Avon & Somerset Dinghy Regatta page

The Contact Details for the PSUK Dinghy Championships, 2012 has now changed to Jacqui Osborne, Identification Unit, Euston Street Police Station, Leicester.

Just a week to go to the West Midlands Police Regatta. Catering-wise, it could be useful to let Marie know that you intend to be there..
Due credit to the 11 competitors who turned out at the West Midlands regatta in heavy rain and high winds. There were one or two breakages and the odd bumped head but by and large, the fleet coped well as the conditions lightened up during the middle of the day. Congratulations to Simon Hawkes who chalks up another win.

Simon is also to be congratulated on his 'Award for Excellence' from the PSUK. The presentation has still to take place.

Meanwhile West Midlands Sailing Section are gearing up with a view to running the Dinghy Nationals in 2013 at Bartley S.C.

PSUK Offshore Sailing Championships, 2012

The Sailing Instructions, the Solent Marks and a copy of the full Programme are now published for this year's PSUK Offshore Championships.

The Provisional date for the Metropolitan Police Open Dinghy Regatta at Netley S.C. is now confirmed as Thursday, 21st June, 2012. Further details should be forthcoming shortly.

Roger Glass is selling his Laser 152815  - having now acquired a new one..

It'll be on Ebay at 2006hrs Sunday 06/05/12 as below:

View the listing: SAILING - LASER 1 Single hander - Excellent Condition - Ready to Race - 170836646066

There are more pictures at

 If your interested, why not make a bid.

At the PSUK Sailing Section AGM last October an application was forward to the parent body for an 'Award of Excellence' to be presented to Simon Hawkes. The criterion of winning three consecutive National Dinghy Championships entitled Simon to be considered for such an award.

Confirmation of the Award has now been received for which hearty congratulations are due. The presentation will take place at this year's Dinghy Nationals at Rutland SC in September.

The date of the Metropolitan Open Dinghy Regatta is now confirmed as Thursday, 21st June. An Entry Form has been published. The Notice of Race should follow shortly.

Details of this year's Metropolitan Police Yachting Championships on the Solent on 7th-9th October, including the Letter of Invitation, Entry Form, Notice of Race, etc., are now published on the Met Offshore page. At the PSUK's AGM last November, these Championships were officially recognised as a PSUK event.

North British Offshore Sailing Championships 2012 - now a regatta recognised by the PSUK Sailing Section - was once more, a successful event. Interesting to note that there were also non-competing yachts who went along for the crack.

Dates have already been pencilled in for next year - the week Monday 10th to Friday14th June, 2013. The event will have racing over 5 days and a gala final night at Portavadie.

A report and results can be viewed on the Strathclyde page

Over the Winter, Barnacle Bill took time out to archive some early copies of the Met's newsletter 'Gybe Oh!'.

Now some additional copies from the past have come to hand and I'm grateful to Len Gooch for making them available.

During these next few weeks (seeing as there are no police regattas until September - and the weather's so rubbish..) it is hoped to add to the number of editions which have already been converted from hard copy to the website.

For those (maybe now) ancient mariners who sailed in the 70's, the newsletters may serve as a reminder of previous sailing colleagues - before the memory goes completely.. For others who may wish to look back on the past history police regattas and events, here is the opportunity.

Albeit 'Gybe Oh! was a Met publication, the newsletter was posted out to provincial Forces. If anyone has early copies not traced so far and would like to provide them for publication, Barnacle Bill's your man.

The link to the editions reprinted so far is the Met's 'Gybe Oh' page or via the 'Reports & Stories' section.


Thinking forward, this year's PSUK Dinghy Nationals are on 19th-21st September. Despite everyone being so busy just at this time what with the Olympics an' all, Leicestershire Police Sailing Section, hosts for the year's regatta again at Rutland Sailing Club, have issued a Notice of Race for the event which can be now viewed on the PSUK Dinghy page which includes Entry forms download and the provisional Sailing Instructions.

There's a change of Leics personnel involved in the organisation this year but the sound effects are good for the event. The contact for the championships is Jacqui Osborne. Sean Moore escapes into retirement shortly but he'll be at Rutland.


The dates for next year's PSUK National Offshore Sailing Championships are:

Monday 13th to Friday 17th May, 2013
Hosts = Hampshire

Steve Norcross will the Organiser/Contact and further details will appear on the PSUK Offshore page


The latest Archive of 'Gybe Oh' has been completed and published. This one is GYBE OH for February-July, 1980.

Items include the Report & Results for the PAA Dinghy Championships, 1980 held at Bala also some useful advice on sailing the Laser and a hair-raising (or rather, hair-wetting) day at Rutland.

The completed archives so far, can be accessed via 'Reports & Stories'.

If your fixed in front of the TV or computer screen watching the sailing at Weymouth and trying not to get annoyed with the commentary, it's time to get your entry in for this year's PSUK Dinghy Championships in September.

A reminder that there is an additional charge for entries received after 20th August.

08/08/12 - Email circulation from Leics Police Sailing Section:
"The one area we a struggling a little with, is items for the raffle, as a result I’m asking all of you who intend to attend to have a good dig around at home, work, local sources who are generous etc etc to see if you have any thing you could bring and donate to the Raffle, so we can raise a few quid for Charity, Namely the Jubilee Sailing Trust, with help of the auction process of the one they call “THE GLASS”.

A tall order I know, but unless I ask I don’t get.

Sailing Bits, that bottle of scotch you don’t drink, etc etc.

Many Thanks, Jerry"



Congratulations to Simon Hawkes who came third in the Phantom Nationals at the weekend.

Simon will be presented with the PSUK's 'Award of Excellence' at the Dinghy Nationals next week at Rutland.


Email received from South Yorkshire Police Sailing Section.....

Subject: Charity Sailing Event - Sept 2013

(Addressed to Police Sailing Section Members).

The South Yorkshire Police Offshore Sailing Section is organising a charity sailing event to take place in September, 2013 and we are inviting all 43 England & Wales Police Forces to take part.

The event will be a race around the Isle of Wight and is intended to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support. It will take place on 9th to 11th September 2013.

20 identical Beneteau Oceanis 37' yachts have been reserved with Fairview Sailing in Hamble, near Southampton and each Force can enter as many teams as they wish. A team will consist of up to 8 crew, including the skipper.

The provisional itinerary is as follows:

Monday, 9th September, 2013
1200-1400 - Registration
1600 - All yachts depart for Cowes
1900 - Evening Meal ashore.

Tuesday 10th September
0500 - Yachts depart Cowes and head to Yarmouth for race start at 0700 .
0700 - Race begins, and a quiz to complete while racing.
1700 - All yachts return to Cowes
1900 - Presentation and Meal.

Wednesday 11th September
Free day for yachts and crews.
1600 - Yachts to be returned to Fairview - Hamble.

Here are the rules:
Each team will cost £1,200 to enter (cost to be split between crew). This will include yacht charter, marina fees, fuel and Breakfast / Lunch on board during Tuesday.
(25% deposit must be received by 30th November 2012 with the balance by 30th June 2013).
Each team must then raise a minimum of £1,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support.
A team must have more than 50% crew who are serving or retired officers from that force.
The team must* provide a skipper with a minimum of RYA Day Skipper (Practical) qualification
No cheating.

Additional Information
There will be awards for:
The fastest time around the island
The best score in the quiz
The smartest turned out team at the evening meal
The most funds raised

*If you are unable to provide a skipper, let us know as there are alternatives.

A security deposit will be required from each team which will be reimbursed upon safe return of the yacht.

As previously mentioned, all 43 forces are being invited, with only 20 yachts available and already 2 teams are being entered by SYP, therefore places are strictly limited!

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Noel Lightfoot at
Secretary - SYP Offshore Sailing Section


Further details from Noel Lightfoot at South Yorkshire...

The response so far has been overwhelming and SYP Sailing Section would like to say thanks for some very positive comments.

In just 5 days we have had a response from 10 forces who want to submit at least one team receiving their first reply exactly 10 minutes after sending the email. Thank you Cleveland!

With SYP entering 2 yachts, this leaves only 8 yachts available.

The second thing to mention is that I have since received a quote from Fairview for the charter of their yachts. This is slightly more than I had anticipated, but for good reason. Their 'normal' rate is £1,200, but they quoted me £1,360. This, they explained, is because the insurance company load a premium for 'Racing'. They also provide free waterproofs and a spinnaker. A spinnaker alone would cost £100 a day. I have though managed to negotiate this down to £1,300 and Fairview have agreed to donate £50 to Macmillan for each yacht chartered.

So, the maximum amount it will cost to enter a team will be £1,500. However, I am now seeking corporate sponsorship to help pay some of the expenses, so am hoping that it may be significantly less than this.

I have now also reserved berths at the marinas for Monday and Tuesday nights and am in negotiations with caterers for the meals on each night. If we do fill all 20 yachts, the Tuesday nigh presentation evening should be a good bash!

So, in order to secure your team a yacht, I now need a deposit for each yacht required. I definitely need your deposit before 30th Nov, but remember it's first come, first served.

Noel Lightfoot at

Both Report and Results of the Met's Offshore Championships held recently, now appear on the Met Offshore page.

The first Dinghy Regatta date for next year has been posted.

Avon & Somerset have booked Chew Valley Lake SC for their annual regatta on Wednesday, 19th June, 2013.

Mark Fordham is the contact; further details will appear nearer the event.


The following Email has been circulated to a number of police dinghy sailors - You may not have been on the list of known addresses..

PSUK Dinghy Championships - the proposal of a 'single-handed' day to replace the Laser day.

At the recent Dinghy Championships there was a proposal made at the Consultation Meeting to make the Laser Day a 'Single-handed' day.

Since 1979, there has been a Police Laser Championship. There were two main reasons for setting up a Laser championship:
1) At the time a large number of the dinghy entries were Lasers,
2) Single fleet racing was considered the best way to provide a true competition for police sailors - as it were, a regatta 'set on a level playing field'.

Although once ran as a single day event, separate from the Dinghy Championships, in 1988 the Laser Champs were combined with the Dinghy Championships to make a 3-day PAA (then) regatta.

The concept proved popular enough to attract police helms who normally sailed a different class, bringing a Laser for the first day also another class dinghy for the dinghy championship. Consider the logistics involved in bringing two boats along to the event!..

The first Laser championship had 23 entries but rarely have the numbers been as high as this since, although when the event date was combined with the Dinghy regatta, numbers jumped from 12 (1987) to 21 (1988) - but not for long..

One matter of comment raised from time to time by event organisers is that the number of entries for the Laser Day has hardly covered the costs.

A suggestion in recent years to allow other classes of boats to take part on the Laser Day - as a single fleet and a separate fleet start - has not borne fruit; there never having been enough boats of any class (other than Lasers) to justify creating another single fleet start.

So we come to the proposal of a 'single-handed' day. Apart from having the Day One races based as handicap races, one thought was, to have a separate start for the Lasers - and/or possibly combine results.

One can understand non Laser single-handed helms wanting to get the benefit of racing their preferred boat for all three days.
A view later expressed was that our first day became just another handicap event but without two-handers.

Bear in mind that such an event could include boat classes from Toppers to Skiffs.

As regards our single fleet competition, it makes for a competition on as equal terms as can be. Certainly the Offshores value the facility provided by Sunsail for single fleet racing and it may be that you, as a current or recent or future participant in the Championships, have a view on this matter.

The days of Laser's predominance are well over, as other classes - and their handicap ratings - have now lessened the opportunities to win the dinghy championship. Hence the value of our single fleet event; everyone is on an equal footing - or as equal as it can be.. You may feel it's worth a try to see how successful the change might be (should the idea not be a success, it could always be reverted back to Lasers only by the PSUK Sailing Committee). Would it help you in deciding whether to attend for all three days?

Maybe you would prefer for the Laser Day to revert to a separate date altogether - as in the past - but still be recognised as a PSUK event?

The Consultative Meeting is purely that - and no proposals or decisions are ratified except by the PSUK Sailing Committee - usually at their AGM. Therefore, your views on the proposal could be of value to the Committee in deciding what action they take.

THE AGM of the PSUK Sailing Section is at Thames Valley FHQ on Thursday, 22nd November and if you would like to respond to this email before then, I would be happy to make your views known.

Regards to all,

Richard Sivers
Northants Police Sailing Section,
Police Sport UK Sailing.

If you have a view and would wish to make it known - Emails, please to the website's Admin email address or via Barnacle Bill.


Just received - the confirmed dates for the PSUK Dinghy Championships 2013...

Monday, 16th to Wednesday, 18th September, 2013.

The championships will be held at Blithfield Sailing Club. There is camping on site.

West Midlands Police are our hosts - Further details will follow on our PSUK Dinghy page in due course.


So, 3 days have been booked at Blithfield. The content of the first day will no doubt be discussed at the PSUK Sailing Section's AGM being held this month.

My thanks to all those who have responded regarding the future of the Laser Day. All the comments received will be collated and made available to the committee and those planning to attend.

A Provisional Date for the Metropolitan Police Dinghy Regatta has been set for Thursday, 4th July, 2013. The event is being planned to take place at Netley Sailing Club.


The AGM of the Police Sport UK Sailing Section takes place at 11am on Thursday, 22nd November, 2012 at Thames Valley Police Headquarters, Kidlington, Oxford.

View the Agenda (Word file).

If you are attending - a reminder to inform the PSUK Sailing Secretary, Stuart Jenkins of your intentions.

A final report on the PSUK Offshore Championships has now been received and can be viewed on the PSUK Offshores page.

A reminder from South Yorkshire Police Sailing Section about the deadline of 30th November 2012 for entries for the SYP 'Round the Island' Rally for Macmillan Cancer Support in Sept 2013.

Some changes are taking place on our 'Contacts' page.

Sadly, Roy Williams of the Kent Police Recreation Association who organised the PSUK Offshores in 2010 has passed away. The Kent Police Sailing Section Secretary is now Rob Smith.

News from Suffolk..

Suffolk Constabulary Sailing Section owns two boats based at Alton Water Sports Centre, Ipswich. This is an inland reservoir that offers great sailing all year round. They gain lots of help and support from the centre staff and also have a number of enthusiastic instructors within the sailing section. They run one or two basic level 2 RYA dinghy courses* a year and have almost 100 active members. The Section owns a Laser and a Laser Bahia that members take out at a nominal fee once trained. Alton Water also help them with Open days when members can take out any craft the centre use under a helpful instructor's eye.

Suffolk Constabulary Sailing Section also has contacts with Shearwater Sailing School a local RYA Yacht School run by the Inspector Mark Lewis (a serving member due to retire and go full time with the sailing school in March 2013).

Mark tells me that Shearwater Sailing School  offers the full range of RYA yacht qualifications and sails from Woolverstone near Ipswich on the River Orwell. The cruising ground is superb with many uncrowded East Coast rivers and harbours to visit plus cruises to Holland, Belgium and France. Discount rates for Police Officers/Staff and friends..

*  Reference the RYA dinghy courses: the section runs these at very low cost using Alton Water Sports Centre. (£180 for the four day beginners course) Others from outside Suffolk would be welcome to attend. They normally run with about 10 on each course using local instructors.

Suffolk contact details:
Mark Lewis 07702 259568 (Yacht sailing)
Martin Memory 01473 613500 (Dinghy Sailing)

West Midlands Police will NOT be holding their annual dinghy regatta at Bartley in 2013 due to their hosting of the PSUK Dinghy Championships at Blithfield S.C. next September.
Another change on the 'Contacts' page. Rob Gillespie has now retired and the contact for the Dorset Police Sailing Section is now Paul Smith.

The AGM of the PSUK Sailing Section took place on 22nd November.

John Oldham (Met) is taking over from Stuart Jenkins (Met) as the PSUK Sailing Section Secretary.

There were some 16 persons present at the AGM (unusually high), fairly split in half between 'dinghy' and 'offshore' interests; some being in both camps.

After some discussion, the proposal at the Dinghy Consultative meeting last September to change Day One to a 'single-handed' day, was accepted as the way forward.

So West Midlands are hosting next year's Dinghy Nationals at Blithfield S.C. on Monday-Wednesday, 16/17/18 September, 2013 and will incorporate the decision into their regatta. Stuart Jenkins is arranging with MPSC to supply the new trophies for the Single-handed day. One would anticipate that the matter will be discussed again at next year's regatta, at which time we will get to see just how successful the change has been.

Thus the original principle of providing a day of pure fleet racing for police sailors has been thrown out the window - surely in some way due to lack of numbers taking part - but the Lasers will still have their competition although joined on the water by other class dinghies.

I understand that Day One will now be called the "National Laser and singlehanded dinghy sailing championships" and this has been accepted by  the PSUK office.

Some will be pleased with the decision; others not. What the future holds by way of a Laser fleet only championship is in the lap of the gods or rather, in the hands of the Laser sailors.

The minutes from the AGM will be published fairly shortly.


Sailing at the 2013 World Police and Fire Games in Northern Ireland.

Registration is now open for the 2013 World Police and Fire Games. The Games take place from 1 to 10 August 2013, with the aim of attracting 25,000 visitors to Northern Ireland from over 70 countries.

WPFG is the third largest international multi-sport event in the world and it is almost three times the size of the Commonwealth Games in terms of competitor numbers. It is a biennial sports event organised for serving and retired police, prison, fire and uniformed customs and border agency staff.

The 2013 event will be the biggest sporting event ever staged in Northern Ireland, involving an estimated 10,000 participants competing in around 66 sports.

The Competition at 2013 WPFG
Sailing is scheduled to take place on 2, 3 and 4 August 2013 at Ballyholme Yacht Club, Co. Down. A map of this location can be viewed via:

There will be a unisex competition at the 2013 Games. Sailing will have a Monohull event which includes a Laser class (crew 1 of 1) competition. This will be for competitors in the open age category only.

Belfast is served by two airports – Belfast International Airport, which is 17 miles north west of Belfast, and George Best Belfast City Airport, which is just three miles east of the city centre. Dublin Airport is less than two hours away too. Regular scheduled ferry services to Belfast and Larne (35 minutes north of Belfast) operate from Stranraer, Troon and Cairnryan in Scotland, Fleetwood and Birkenhead in England and Douglas in The Isle of Man.

There are also preferential accommodation rates available to competitors in the 2013 Games. To browse options or book your accommodation, go to
For further information about how to get to Belfast and what to do when you get there, go to .

It has just been announced that Ian Campbell is now the full time Admin Manager of PSUK.

Contact details are as follows:

Ian E Campbell,
Admin Manager
Police Sport UK
19 Lingwood Park
Cartmel Road
Grange Over Sands
LA11 7QA

Phone: +44 (0) 7976 720156



The minutes of all the PSUK Sailing Section meetings held in 2012 can now be viewed via the Reports & Stories section of the website including the recent AGM held at Thames Valley FHQ.

Next year's PSUK Sailing AGM is planned for Friday, 18th October, 2013.


The dates of next year's Metropolitan Police Yachting Championships are now confirmed:- 6/7/8 October, 2013.

This year's Offshore champions, Notts are unable to raise a team to represent the British Police in 2013 and the second placed team (Met 'A') skippered by Mason King now have the opportunity to be sponsored by Police Sport UK.

A 'Look Back' on 2012

2012 was always going to be a tricky year what with the Olympics coming to the UK and forcing a number of police regattas either being cancelled or changed from their usual date.

As a result Avon & Somerset decided on a date in late March for their annual regatta at Chew Valley Lake. Being so early, it promised bleak conditions but as it turned out the temperature was around 22º and competitors stood around all morning in the bright sunlight waiting for wind. At least the midges enjoyed it. It's a rare occasion that police regattas are cancelled and helms hung until eventually, at 2.30pm, boats went afloat to get a couple of races in before the wind died off once more. The event was unusual in another way... The Race Officer decided to use the club's own handicap ratings which promised to alter the outcome for a number of dinghies and, whether fair or not, meant that for once, the Lasers had a fighting chance against the Phantoms. However, with conditions so light, it was the Enterprise of Ian Ingram & Marie Bond (West Mids) which had the most satisfying day, winning both the races.  An early date may have accounted for the low entry.

A month later the West Midlands regatta was held at Bartley in conditions best described as miserable with heavy rain and strong winds gusting up to 50 mph. This time, racing was delayed for the weather to ease. The Phantoms coped well in the conditions. For a change, the second race was a Pursuit held in kinder conditions whilst Race Three saw squalls returning and catching out some boats. No matter what the conditions, Simon Hawkes (A&S) sailed excellently to win all three races.

Seventeen Sunsail yachts comprised this year's fleet for the PSUK Offshore Championships in May. Being Olympic year, the hosts Cleveland Police, invited teams to represent a country during the championships. Many teams took the opportunity to dress the part. The Notts team helmed by Pete Walters for yet another year proved invincible, winning most of the races. Mason King skippering the best Metro yacht was also consistent, coming second overall.

In mid-June the annual North British Offshores took place again hosted by Strathclyde Police. This is a well supported handicap event and attracted teams from the South Coast and Northern Ireland. The fleet is broken into slow and fast handicap but the accent is on enjoyment. Strathclyde are planning to host the PSUK Offshores in 2014.

A week later, the Met Police held their Dinghy Regatta at Netley won by Nick Mason (Met) in his Phantom. Entries were well down on last year with just 8 boats taking part, probably due as much to Dorset not running a regatta this year. Dorset were always going to be committed to the Olympic sailing at Weymouth so hopefully their regatta will return in 2013 to attract entries from further away to this popular regatta locality.

Thus a busy year for police culminated in September with the National Dinghy Championships again held at Rutland SC by Leics Police. Numbers were down but that was to be expected with many taking annual leave in September after the busy previous weeks. The Laser Championships were won by Paul Heath (GMP) with the Dinghy Championships going to Frances Gifford & Pete Walker (Met) sailing a Merlin Rocket. This looks like the last time that there will be a day set aside purely for the Laser Nationals as, from 2013, the first day will be a 'single-hander' championship but with the Laser fleet incorporated into the results.

And so to the last police regatta of the year - the Met Yachting Championships held on the Solent in October. This is a 'mixed' fleet with entries from outside of the Police Service but nevertheless, now a recognised PSUK event. Entries were only just down on the previous year and in the present economic climate bodes well enough for next year when the event is scheduled to take place again in October.

None of the regattas which took place in 2012 increased their entries but there were reasons and there was enough support  to look forward to next year. We may well be losing the odd regatta in the future; only by supporting the regattas can we ensure their continuance. Whether the much trumpeted 'Olympic legacy' will make the slightest difference to the support within the police for the regattas, or for that matter, police sport in general remains to be seen.

The table below of yearly comparisons provides a record of participation at police regattas:

Regatta 2002
Metro Dinghies
Netley SC
7 12 13 16 12 9 10 Abandoned
Netley SC
West Midlands
Bartley SC
10 10 10 10 17 11 6 11 13 11 11
National Offshore
National Laser
Leigh &



National Dinghy

Leigh &


North British
Offshore Champs
- - 17 ? 12 ? 16 15 23 23 20
Poole SC
n/a Two-day
Not held due to holding the Nationals 12 12 13 15 Not held
Bexhill SC
13 10 7 Blown off 9 Blown off 5 6 10 canc. Not held
Winsford Flash
n/a 10 13 16 8 8 12 9 10 canc. Not held
Avon & Somerset
Chew Valley Lake
Not held due to holding the Nationals 12 17 22 28 19 24 20 Not held due to holding the Nationals 19 14
Metro Offshore
22 22 24 22 24 21 20 19 20 15 14
Pitsford Reservoir
- - - - 14 16 Not held due to holding the Nationals 9 22 canc. Not held



I would like to take this opportunity to wish all police sailors, their families and supporters, a happy Christmas and a rewarding New Year.

I look forward to seeing you on the police sailing circuit in 2013


More follows as available...


If you have a tale to tell, or news to circulate - anything which you feel is suitable for this column - please contact me..

Barnacle Bill
Barnacle Bill