Barnacle Bill's casual observations from the shore . . .
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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.

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January, 2013 onwards

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

For previous and recent entries - See above..

10/01/13 - A Happy New Year to All...
For your diary - A reminder of Police Regatta dates for 2013 known so far....

The Police Sport UK Offshore Sailing Championships on the Solent :
13th - 17th May, 2013
Hosts: Hampshire Police Sailing Section.

The North British Police Offshores
9th-15th June, 2013.

The Avon & Somerset Constabulary Regatta
at Chew Valley Lake SC
on Wednesday, 19th June, 2013

The Metropolitan Police Open Dinghy Regatta
Thursday, 4th July, 2013 (Provisional Date)

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

Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday, 16th-18th September, 2013
Hosts: West Midlands Police.

Metropolitan Police Yachting Champs '13 on the Solent -
6th-8th October, 2013

Charity Sailing Event
9th-11th Sept 2013
Organiser: Noel Lightfoot, South Yorkshire Police



North British Offshores
9th -15th June, 2013

A circulation received from Colin Gilmer:

Hi All,
Hope you are all well and I hope you had a great Christmas and New Year and may I wish you all the best for 2013. Well that time is upon us, and I hope you find the event description to your liking. You will notice I have changed things around to try and give some different race courses to past years and the opportunity to keep your boats stocked with supplies. Everywhere with the exception of Portavadie has a supermarket.

I also hope to have available a commemorative T Shirt to celebrate the event, these will be available on a pre order and payment basis, more details to follow once I have finalised this. They will be good quality and unique to the event.

I also hope to add to the trophies and have the prizes a little special.

You will also notice the slight increase in the entry fee. Sadly things don't get any cheaper and the costs are rising, but I hope you agree the event is excellent value for money. Remember you are getting a curry night with a choice of three curries with all the usual condiments, an extra day's racing and entertainment on the final night.

With regard to the Wednesday night in Rothesay, I was thinking of a pontoon party, weather permitting, with all the yachts providing a buffet and refreshments and we can all mingle, possibly a few novelty events. Let me know what you think.

Looks like Devon and Cornwall may have three boats this year, both South and North Wales, Cleveland, West Mids, Greater Manchester, Northumbria have made contact with a view to to attending. Also for the first time we will have international police attending with two former American police officers in attendance.

What I must stress to you all is that due to the level of interest this year and the fact that it is the 25th event, please state your intention to enter to me as soon as possible. Some have already done so. Then send your entry form ASAP thereafter.

This will help me enormously in the organisation and admin that is required in particular, berthing arrangements and negotiating better deals with the catering and possible promotion drinks availability.

Please help me to make it a stomper of an event by doing me this small favour.
Anyone needing crew or willing to crew, make up a team or whatever please contact me , the earlier the better, I will try to do my best to help.

If anyone is interested, my boat 'Corra Linn' is currently for sale. She is a Jeanneau Sun Charm 39; a very well equiped boat with lots of gear, described as one of the best yachts of her size in the February issue of PBO and I can vouch for that. Full details are available from myself. So if you are looking for a yacht or know someone please get in touch, would love to see her go to a good home. I am not giving up sailing - just want a bigger yacht; strangely enough a bigger Jeanneau..

Steve Martell is also selling his Westerly Oceanquest 35, as most of you will know another nice boat, if this is of interest, I can put you in touch.

Best Regards. Colin.

Ps. Sorry about the sales pitch, but one has to try.  

Further details of the North British Offshore Championships see: Strathclyde Police page.


Further details in this year's PSUK Dinghy Championships are in hand and the page should be updated shortly.

West Midlands Secretary and Organiser, Marie Bond's contact details have changed - see the 'Contacts' page.

Essex Police are re-forming their Sailing Section. Kevin Dowley is their new sailing secretary - Further details on the 'Contacts' page.

Great Lakes PY ratings

Despite the Laser being so useful for travelling to our one day regattas, the class has become less popular for police competitions in recent years, falling away against the handicaps of boats credited with more advantageous ratings, I notice that there has been a Winter series of Open regattas around the country (including the Bloody Mary) which has been using a system called the "Great Lakes PY".

Police sailors were confronted with something similar at Chew Valley last year which used a local comprehensive (than the system promoted by the RYA) for the Avon & Somerset Police Regatta, being based on boat performance at Chew Lake.

Evidently the Great Lakes system is worked out using the performances of the top sailors from each dinghy class at various venues in recent years - but includes the RYA PY ratings when assessing handicaps - with a view to providing a more even balance between the classes.

Whether it works adequately for regattas held on the sea, I know not, but the system appears to have some support.

You can read better detail of how it works at the website address below:

Whether we'll ever decide to use such a system for our police regattas, particularly the PSUK Dinghy Champs., remains to be seen, but I suspect it might make for fairer racing..

To date, we are looking a little light on police regattas for 2013. One wonders if the break of the Olympic year has killed regattas rather than maintain or increase them.

I'm not sure that there is enough support to re-establish a Laser only regatta, so we are dependant on those Forces who have heretofore run events.


A message from North Britain..
Hi All,
Hope this finds you all well. Please find the list indicating those who have already entered and those who have stated their intention to attend. Please if your not on the list give me a call, e mail or text with some details so I know you intend to come. It helps no end with the organisation of the event. As you will see we have a lot of interest, a few new attendees and some unusual yachts.

Devon and Cornwall have two yachts this year and the possibility of a third two Welsh boats, Northumbria, Cleveland and even two Americans are coming over to sail in the event how the reputation has travelled.

I have managed to get a yacht for charter for one of the forces who was having difficulty through a friend, so if you are having problems with a boat, crew or a berth to attend get in touch and I will do my best. This year will be really good, I hope and I am working very hard to make it so.

If you haven't been before the come along and enjoy yourself, any queries give me a call or drop a line.
Due to the amalgamation of the Scottish Forces the name will change to the Scottish police or something or other depending on the outcome of the ongoing negotiations, but we will retain the North British element, after all what in a name when you have a good time.

Keep safe and well. Colin Gilmer

See the Strathclyde page for the list of confirmed and prospective entries.

The Notice of Race plus Entry Form and the Programme of Events are now available via the PSUK Offshore Championships page.

Time to get your Entry in and book your yacht...


South Yorkshire Police - Charity Sailing Event

Update from the Organiser:

Dear All,

Last September, the SYP Offshore Sailing Section challenged England & Wales, and PSNI Police Force Sailing Sections to a race around the Isle of Wight in aid of the charity Macmillan Cancer Support. The event will take place on Tuesday 10th September 2013.

We have reserved 20 identical Beneteau 37' yachts, launched between 2010 ans 2012, through Fairview Sailing in Hamble (see below if you have your own yacht). The charter includes up to 8 sets of oilskins per yacht, spinnaker hire, racing insurance and gas.

***** This event is now PSUK recognised ******* so benefits from PSUK personal liability cover.

You can join the yacht on Sunday evening or before registration at 1200 on Monday 9th September when we will then have a short sail to East Cowes. The race will begin early Tuesday morning and there will be a presentation evening at West Cowes Marina on Tuesday evening. The yachts will then be available for the rest of the week until 1200 Friday for an extended cruise, or you can return the boats any time before then.

The provisional itinerary is as follows:

Monday 9th September 2013
1200-1400 - Registration
1600 - All yachts depart for Cowes
1900 - Socialising ashore and race briefing for skippers.

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. Crews may continue to cruise for the remainder of the week or return the yachts to Fairview.

The Rules:

Each team will cost £1,500 to enter (cost to be split between crew) which will include the yacht charter fee, berthing (Monday & Tuesday) and presentation evening.
(25% deposit will secure a yacht, with the balance by 30th June 2013).
Each team must then raise a minimum of £1,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support. (Fairview Sailing have agreed to donate £50 to the charity for each team that charter a yacht)
A team must have more than 50% crew who are serving or retired officers / support staff 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

* f you are unable to provide a skipper, let us know as there are alternatives. If your force has your own boat and you wish to enter, please let me know so we can negotiate entry fee and handicap.

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

As previously mentioned, all 43 E&W forces and PSNI are being invited. 11 teams are already in place, so only 9 yachts are now available!

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

Noel Lightfoot - 07769 131514 / 07815 859906

Secretary - SYP Offshore Sailing Section
Facebook: SYP offshore sailing

The Interpol Coppers Cup has a new website address. The date is now confirmed as 14-20 September. Dorset, Lancashire, PSNI and Kent are sending teams.

However, their new website indicates that "It will be the last ICC and therefore the Committee decided to make the 2013 event a reunion. There is - sadly - no place left for new teams".

News from Sussex ..
Sussex Police Sailing Section are endeavouring to organise their dinghy regatta again, probably in August. Enquiries are currently afoot to secure an alternative venue to Bexhill - possibly Lancing SC or Pevensey SC.


The Police Sport UK office has just published their latest PSUK Sports Bulletin No.5 which you can view as a .pdf file.


The date for the Met Dinghy Regatta at Netley S.C. is now confirmed - Thursday 4th July, 2013. Sadly, no sign of Dorset running a regatta this year.

Early news from Nottinghamshire Police Sailing Section who are looking to host the PSUK Dinghy Sailing Championships next year on 15th -17th September 2014 at Nott's County Sailing Club

Recently retired Police Officer Richard LETT is on the start line for the 2013 OSTAR Trans Atlantic Yacht Race.

Race start Monday 27th May, 1200. HMS Somerset Duke Class Frigate will be the Start Ship.

Sailing for 'Pathways to Children' Richard aims to cross the Atlantic single handed in under 25 days aboard his 32 ft Race Boat 'Velocity Girl'.

Race Trackers, photographs, videos and updates on the Royal Western Yacht Club OSTAR website, or 'Richard Lett Racing' on Facebook.

On arrival in the USA, Richard aims to ship his yacht to Chicago to enter the longest freshwater yacht race in the World the 'Mackinac' sailing the length of Lake Michigan to Mackinac Island on the Canadian border.
Sadly, the Dorset Police Dinghy Regatta will not take place this year. Paul Smith had endeavoured to set up a regatta at Castle Cove SC but arrangements have eventually come to naught.

All being well, Paul plans to arrange the Dorset Regatta to take place again at Poole in 2014.

News from Sussex

Recognising that the calendar is a bit sparse this year, Sussex have decided to try and put on an event. Bob Trevis has been in touch with the Sailing Sec of Lancing Sailing Club. Taking into account the comments and opinions regarding Bexhill, they have sought an alternative venue. Pevensey Bay but this has not proved possible this year but Lancing Sailing Club have however agreed  in principle to host an event on our behalf. It is hoped this will go ahead on Wednesday, 14th August, 2013.

Time thus to pencil in the date in your diary and Sussex will confirm details soonest.

Whilst Lancing is a smaller club it is extremely friendly and is keen to support our cause. The beach whilst shingle is only gradually sloped with no underwater obstructions like Bexhill. Bob tells me that there's a winch and it is a great place to sail.


Met Police Regatta
October 7th & 8th, 2013

A circulation from Nick Mason:
"Please view details of the Metropolitan Police Offshore Yacht Racing Championships that will be held in October.

If you intend to enter please email me. I will put you on the entry list and then circulate further details in due course. I've managed to negotiate the same Charter Fee with Sunsail as we had last year - £999.00. I think the entry fee will also be the same as last year (£300) but will confirm that later once berthing and entertainments costs are finalised.

This year the intention is to vary the racing setting Windward / Leeward courses which will involve more races (about 8 -10) over the two days. This means that those competitors who don't always make it to the front of the fleet will be more actively involved in closer racing and those racing at the front of the fleet won't have to wait to long between races for the guys bringing up the rear."

The Cheshire Constabulary Dinghy Secretary is now Janet Gaukroger. -

Albeit neither details nor the results have yet been received on the PSUK Offshores, Minutes of the PSUK Sailing Section Offshore Consultative Meeting 2013 are now available which provide a hint as to what's in the wind for next year's championships - when the UK is looking at hosting the Police World Offshore Championships..

The latest list of regatta entries for the North Brits which start this coming weekend is viewable via the Strathclyde page.

Colin Gilmer announced that this would be his last year organising the event as he and Lynsey prepare to sail off into the sunset on their recently acquired Elan Impression 434, 'Worthy Friend'.



The Date for the Sussex Police Open Dinghy Regatta is now confirmed as Wednesday 14th August.

Details will be forthcoming on the 'Sussex' page when received also available via their own website at .

Contents of email received from WPFG:

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

The sailing regatta will take place between the 2nd and 4th of August, at the Ballyholme Yacht Club. This venue is situated in Ballyholme Bay within the town of Bangor and is just 13 miles from Belfast. The superb sheltered bay allows for safe sailing and racing of dinghies and boats, whilst slightly further out in the bay is the excitement and challenge of the Irish Sea. The club hosts a large range of sailing and power boating events from Club Racing and Pirate's Day to National and World Championships. In addition, a small number of charter boats are available on a first come, first served basis from the local Laser dealer.

The regatta is open to boats of Laser Standard, Radial and 4.7 Class. Courses will be trapezoid inner and outer loops or windward leeward or old Olympic triangle, sausage triangle. The racing will consist of approximately 9 races in the Olympic Class Laser dinghy. In order to encourage as many participates as possible to enter there will be three “starts”- Full Rig, Radial Rig and 4.7 Rig.

As well as participating in the regatta, the WPFG will provide you with an opportunity to enjoy our fantastic scenery and hospitality.

Any further updates will appear on 'Worldwide Police Regattas' page.

Monday, 16th – Wednesday, 18th September

Notice of Race, Entry Forms and Provisional SI's now published on the PSUK Dinghy Nationals page.

You can now pay your entry fee on-line. Make sure you include the actual Entry's name on the transfer.


Info from the Organiser of this year's MPSC Yachting Championships:

"It's time to book your entry for the Met Police Yacht Racing Championships which will be held out of Sunsail at Port Solent.

Registration / Boat Collection / Briefing is from 6pm on Sunday 6th October 2013. We then Race on Monday 7th October and Tuesday 8th October with prize giving at back at Port Solent on the Tuesday.

If you intend to enter please email me and I will put you on the entry list. As previously detailed the Charter Fee with Sunsail is the same as last year - £999.00……(See MPSC Offshore Championships page)……….YOU NEED TO BOOK YOUR YACHT NOW SO CONTACT TERRY HUNT AT SUNSAIL ASAP.

The entry fee is also the same as last year - £300.00. YOU NEED TO PAY YOUR ENTRY FEE AND SEND ME YOUR ENTRY FORM NOW.

As far as the format goes this year we intend to vary the racing setting Windward / Leeward courses which will involve more races (about 8 -10) over the two days. This means that those competitors who don't always make it to the front of the fleet will be more actively involved in closer racing and those racing at the front of the fleet won't have to wait too long between races for the guys bringing up the rear.

This should be a good event as it is the precursor to the Police World Championships that will be held in the Solent in 2014.

If anyone is short of crew please contact me and I will try and put you in touch with any interested parties."

Nick Mason


The World Police and Fire Games duly took place at the beginning of August in Northern Ireland. 12 Lasers took part representing countries as far away as Canada and the USA. The event was won by top Laser sailor Jules Ferrer from France.

Sailwave Results

PSUK Dinghy Championships 2014

Nottinghamshire are now unable to host the championships in 2014. The PSUK Sailing Secretary, John Oldham is now seeking a replacement to host the event.


News from Strathclyde...
As you all know, Colin has stepped down as Race Officer and organiser of the North British Police Sailing Championships. He has done an exceptional job and will be a very hard act to follow. I hope to build on his success and ensure that the event continues to be as popular and fun as it always has been. The dates for next year's event are 9th to 14th June 2014, so clear your diaries, book your leave and get your boats chartered. The event description will follow. Please forward this on to anyone who may be interested.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Colin for all his hard work over the years and his continuing help.

I hope to see you all there to support this event for it's 26th year.

Laura Davison


The Secretary for the City of London Sailing Section is now James Thorogood. Details on the 'Contacts' page.

Congratulations to Paul Heath, now retired from GMP, who represented Police Sport UK and came 13th out of 96 in this year's Solo Inland Championships held at Rutland Sailing Club on 7th & 8th September, 2013. His best result was 2nd in the first race.

View the results.


From Carol Brown:
I have spoken to Paul Matthews this evening, and he has let me know that he has concussion and that he is now home re-cooperating.

Additionally, there was a watch, gloves, buoyancy aid and spray top left in male changing rooms. Steve Tatton has them for safe keeping at Blithfield. I don't mind paying the postage and packing when owner comes forward."


News from Noel Lightfoot, South Yorks Police on the SYP Challenge which took place last Tuesday, 10th September.

"We had 10 teams entered into this race around the Isle of Wight in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. This included Avon & Somerset, Cambridgeshire, City of London, Cleveland, Herts, Humberside and Derbyshire along with SYP of course.

The weather was amazing with a NW F4-5 all day and fine, dry sunny weather. It was a close reach from the start off Cowes at 0600 and all yachts had rounded the Needles by 0730. A dead run took yachts to St Catherine's light with an exhilarating reach to Bembridge. Most yachts had reached Bembridge before 1200 so had to beat against a foul tide close inshore with the winning team crossing the line at 1336!

The winners were Hertfordshire, with Cleveland and Cambridgeshire a close 2nd and 3rd.

There were also trophies for winner of the quiz, and most money raised. Cleveland, Skippered by ACC Adrian Roberts won the quiz, with Avon & Somerset taking the prize for the most funds raised on the day with £2,525.

All yachts rounded safely and most of all everyone had fun. The presentation was held at the RCYC. The trophy for 1st prize was donated by Astins Trophies.

The total amount raised for Macmillan Cancer Support is now £15,955.13!

More info and photos of the event can be found on our website: ".


PSUK Yacht Championships incorporating the Police World Yacht Championships, 2014.

The date in the Solent has now been fixed for 18th -23rd May, 2014.

Further details will be published when available from the Organiser/Contact Nick Mason.


PSUK Dinghy Championships 2013

This year's event has just finished - Reports, Results and picture-galleries will appear on the National Dinghy Championships page.

No details are yet available regarding the arrangements for next year's event.

News that Dorset Police Sailing Section are applying to Poole Yacht Club to hold an Open Dinghy Regatta next year.

The proposed date which therefore is currently provisional is Wednesday, 2nd July, 2014.

You can now read Paul Heath's story of this year's Solo Inlands in the Reports & Stories section of this website.

See British Police at the National Solo Inland Championship, 2013


Fran at the Merlin Rocket National Championships, Tenby, 11th - 16th August 2013

Frances Gifford and Tim Harrison represented PSUK at the Merlin Rocket nationals held at Tenby Sailing Club in Frances’s Merlin - Hot Totty. There were 65 entries including 7 former Merlin national champions and numerous reigning and former champions from other classes. Indeed Tim Harrison, selected by Frances to assist her attempts to win the championships for PSUK is the reigning B14 world champion.

Saturday was a day of measurement and a practise sail; getting a feel for the race area.

The Merlins sail a traditional national championship with one long, hard race a day, sailed over a triangle/sausage course. Race one went well for the Hot Totty team, with a hard earned 20th, sailed in a Force 3-4 Westerly breeze.

This proved to be the wind direction for the majority of the week resulting in a shifty beat which meant place changes were frequent, and you never really knew where you’d finish until you crossed the finish line.

Frances and Tim were consistently in and around the top 20, with a 12th on day two being the highlight and a broken mast on day five being the lowlight. Luckily a mast was borrowed for the final day, in which they just slipped out of the top 20 overall, having had to sail a conservative final lap after the wind piped up and the borrowed mast had to be preserved.

The battle at the very front of the fleet was hard fought, and went down to the final race. Jon Gorringe and Toby Lewis, having been leading for most of the week broke their kicker while leading, which allowed Nick Craig (former World and National Champion in many classes) and Toby Lewis to take the title for the first time.

So scoring 20, 12, 27, 20, 18 and discarding a 30, Frances and Tim finished in 21st place overall having had a fantastic week.

11/10/13 - From Clive Bishop:
Peter Moore passed away at midnight, last night. He was active on the police sailing dinghy circuit in the 70's and was the first Commodore of the Metropolitan Police Sailing Club.

Funeral arrangements are in hand and will be published below when confirmed

PSUK Yacht Championships incorporating the Police World Yacht Championships, 2014.

Details from Sunsail of the charter fees and how to book are now published on the PSUK Yacht Championships page.


My thanks to Fran Gifford for having the foresight to take a picture of the results from last May's Police Offshore Nationals. They might have been lost forever. Despite arrangements for 2014 now superseding the event, the results table for 2013 now appears well down the PSUK Offshores page.

The AGM of the PSUK Sailing Section takes place at 1100hrs on Wednesday, 16th October at Thames Valley FHQ, Kidlington.


15/10/13 - Further from Clive Bishop:
"Peter’s funeral service will take place at 1300hrs on Thursday, 24 October at Staines Methodist Church, Thames Street, Staines Bridge, Ashford TW15 4SD, followed by a service of committal at Woking Crematorium, Hermitage Road, Woking GU21 8TJ.
We are welcome to join Dorothy and family afterwards at the family home, 33 Riverside, Runnymede TW20 0AD for tea, cakes and memories".


News from the Met:
Metropolitan Police Dinghy Open to be held at Island Barn Reservoir Sailing Club on Wednesday 18th June 2014.
There will be Island Barn Club Boats available for Charter for those who wish to join in the racing and don't have their own boat.

MPSC Yacht Championships will be held in the Solent using the Port Solent Sunsail Fleet from Sunday 5th October to Tuesday 7th October 2014

A date for the MPSC Dinghy Social Day yet to be fixed.

Nick Mason's experience at the recent Phantom National Championships can now be viewed - see:

British Police at the Phantom Nationals 2013


A Provisional Date has been set for the return of the Cheshire Police Dinghy Regatta - Wednesday, 4th June, 2014 at Winsford Flash SC.

Confirmation and further details will appear on the Cheshire Constabulary page in due course.


PSUK Dinghy Championships 2014

Avon & Somerset Constabulary are endeavouring to organise next year's Dinghy Nationals and await formal permission from Bristol Water to run the regatta at Chew Valley Lake SC.

After the Force's Sailing Section recent  AGM, Barbara Bradley has now taken over as secretary. Her details appear on the 'Contacts' page.

Leicestershire Police are planning to run a Dinghy Open regatta at Rutland SC. The date has yet to be confirmed but they are looking at a Wednesday or Thursday in late July, 2014

Arrangements proceed for the North Brits 2014 - update from Laura Davison:
"Our costs have gone up this year and I am trying to secure sponsorship so that this does not impact on the entry fee too much.

I would just like to confirm to you that we will be finishing the regatta at Largs Yacht Haven this year, with the prize-giving held at Largs Sailing Club on the evening of Friday 13th June. Hopefully this will offset the affect of the extra day to some degree. As usual we will be starting from Troon on the Monday morning."


PSUK Yacht Racing Championships 2014 incorporating the Police World Sailing Championships.
The Letter of Invitation, Entry Form and relevant documents are now available on the PSUK Offshore Championships page.

Searching for the MPSC Website?

09/12/13 - from Phil Onslow:
An apology - as I know that many of you have been trying unsuccessfully to view our internet site. We’ve had a problem with this which is ongoing and at the moment I have no date when it will be back, however, we are running the site from a temporary address of :-


The Sussex Open is provisionally arranged for Wednesday, 13th August, 2014 at Lancing Sailing Club...this will be confirmed in a few weeks time.


The date of the Cheshire Constabulary Regatta at Winsford Flash SC is now confirmed as Wednesday, 4th June, 2014

A 'Look Back' on 2013

After 2012 - the 'Olympics year' - police sailing had the opportunity to recover and settle down to it's regular regattas.

The first event of the year is usually the West Midlands dinghy regatta, but due to their stepping up to organise our dinghy nationals they concentrated their efforts on the three-day event instead.

Thus the PSUK Offshore Sailing Championships became the first regatta of the year. This was held at the usual time (mid-May) and hosted by Hampshire Police. The championship was won by 'Met B' just beating Nottinghamshire. 13 entries was distinctly lower than in previous years but Hampshire still made the event feasible.

In mid-June 18 yachts took part in the North British Championships. This was Colin Gilmer's last year as organiser. While he sails off into the sunset, next year's organiser is Laura Davison.

The first dinghy event of the year was the Avon & Somerset Constabulary regatta held at Chew Valley Lake in June. Conditions were similar to the previous year's March regatta - very warm and little or no wind. It was a good plan to sail an Enterprise and the event was duly won by Ian Ingram & Marie Bond. A thoroughly enjoyable event attracting 16 boats.

The Met held their dinghy regatta in early July at what looks to be the last time at Netley. The standard was evidently high with Frances Gifford & Pete Walker's Merlin Rocket beating Simon Hawkes' Phantom. The location has always meant that numbers might be low and just nine boats entered. However, next year's regatta is planned at a new venue - Island Barn Reservoir where entries are sure to be higher.

It wasn't until mid August that the next regatta took place. Sussex Police moved their annual dinghy regatta from Bexhill to Lancing, a small but very friendly sailing club which, although the usual pebble beach, does not have rocks to contend with when launching or landing. This event is held during the school holiday period which gives police families the opportunity to sail together. Police sailors were light for this regatta but numbers were enhanced by a number of local club sailors which therefore made the event financially viable.

In mid-September West Midlands hosted the PSUK National Dinghy Championships at Blithfield Sailing Club. Albeit that there had been fewer regattas this year, the event made an excellent finale to the dinghy racing calendar. Day One was dedicated to the new format which now changes the old 'Laser Day' into a Laser and single-handed regatta. Days Two & Three cover the same event as previously, i.e., the National Dinghy Championship. Conditions were varied from well over 40 mph winds on Day One to little or no wind on Day Two. Simon Hawkes won both events.

This left only the Met Police Offshores in October to complete the year. This is an event that is open to competitors other than police.

During the Dinghy Nationals, the consultative meeting was held and concern was expressed regarding the few regattas now being held, as a result of which a number of forces are endeavouring to produce a regatta for 2014.


Also in September, 2013 a charity event sailing round the Isle of Wight was organised by South Yorkshire Police in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. The event attracted 10 teams. Nearly £16,000 was raised.

There is the possibility of another charity event taking place in 2014.

An email has recently been circulated from the Durham & Darlington Fire and Rescue Service the content of which is as follows:
"My name is Mark Wilkinson and I currently serve as a retained fireman for Durham & Darlington Fire & Rescue Service. I would very much like to have as many people involved as possible to raise as much money for your preferred charities, the idea is to sail around the UK in teams i.e., the Army, Navy, RAF, RNLI, Fire Service, and the Police in a relay race with each section timed so not everyone is fighting for position. The yachts would ideally be at sea for 2 days on each leg of the relay and come into port to change with the next team and so on, the yachts would have to be of similar size so that no one has a great advantage over the others. I'm not sure if everyone would have their own or prefer to charter the yachts for this occasion. I'm just dipping my toe in the water as it were to see if you are all interested and able to take part. So, for example a crew from a base in Plymouth would sail up to Wales via Bristol and then a crew from a base in Wales would take over and then sail the next leg and so on, each team would be raising funds for their own preferred charities. I hope you are all able to take part. I don't expect this to happen overnight so would really be looking for the event to take place in early summer 2015, any advice, help or support would be greatly received. I look forward to speaking to you in the future. My Mobile number if you would like to speak to me personally is: 07832399213 have a great Xmas everyone". Mark Wilkinson.


North British Police & Invitation Sailing Championship

The Events Description for the North British Police Sailing Championships 2014 is now published on the Strathclyde page.

Meanwhile the new Organiser, Laura Davison is seeking further sponsorship before publishing Entry Form and Cost of Entry.

The date for the next PSUK Dinghy National Championship is now confirmed :-

Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday, 9th, 10th, 11th September, 2014
at Chew Valley Lake S.C.

End of 2013 - For the latest updates, see the 'Barnacle Bill' page


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