Barnacle Bill's casual observations from the shore . . .
(October, 2005 - September, 2006)

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

Go to the previous entries for
January 2004 - January 2005

Go to the previous entries for
March - September, 2005

Go to the entries for
October/November, 2005
Go to the entries for
 December, 2005 - February, 2006
Go to the entries for
March - May 2006

Go to the entries for
June - September 2006




October - November, 2005

Early October was somewhat busy on the Police Sailing scene, what with three different events taking place during the same week.

Avon & Somerset Dinghy Regatta, the Metropolitan Police Sailing Club Offshore Championships and the Devon & Cornwall local Dinghy Regatta. The likelihood of being able to support more than one of the events was virtually zero.

In the end, the main ones to suffer were the Met dinghy sailors who make up a valuable numbers of crew for the various Met boats.


But first came the Avon & Somerset regatta on 5th October. Two Met members made the event, the bulk of competitors being local - the Avon Sailing Section run a pretty comprehensive list of courses to promote dinghy sailing within the Force.

Early morning had looked grim with the mist so heavy that one could see little of the reservoir from the shore. Despite the south having drought conditions throughout the summer plus a fair amount of water having been pumped out of the lake to replenish a canal, there was plenty in which to sail a well run regatta.

Congratulations to Rob Jones who managed to sail with his wife and defeat the light conditions to win all three races.

This is always a popular event and I know that Avon are looking to alter their date for 2006 with a view to establishing their regatta event in a different slot on the racing calendar.


As much as it might have been possible to leave one regatta and arrive at the Solent that evening for the Met Offshores - this was considered - the event lends itself to taking at least an extra day to practice. Most competitors took that opportunity.

This year 22 yachts took part with seven boats coming from the provinces by way of invitation. The regatta is broken down to cater for a number of sections within the Met and besides the overall winner there were trophies for the visitors. The event is most important for the Met entries as this decides which two crews will be supported by the MPAA for next year's Police Sport UK Offshore Championships.

Congratulations then to the winner Roger Glass and the second Met boat skippered by Gary Walters. The trophy for the winning guest force went to Andrew Munday (Devon & Cornwall).

My thanks to Karoline, Vic George and Boyd Page for the provision of some 1,000 pictures of which there is a somewhat reduced(!) selection for viewing via the Met's Offshore page. The light and misty conditions were not conducive to getting the best of 'action' shots but 'the boys done good' in providing a full pictorial record of a well-organised regatta.

So, in the absence of their Offshore contingent, Devon & Cornwall held their in-house dinghy regatta with the usual Bosuns from the
Royal Navy Royal Marines Sail Training Centre, Plymouth.

D&C now run a page on their police website. Their local regatta was won again by Liam & Sue McGrath. You can now read Clive Collier's  report of  this year's regatta via the  'Forces & Regattas'/ Devon & Cornwall page.

The October issue of the Met's 'Jibe Ho!!' newsletter is now published via the Met's pages.

The newsletter contains a highly entertaining report on members' cruise in the Adriatic - or rather two reports... plus the latest info on courses available being run over the winter period.

It's been a short discussion each National Police Laser Day for a few years as to where the trophy for second place at the Nationals comes from. At last we appear to have got to the bottom of it.

It's always interesting to know the history of behind trophies and my thanks to Roger Glass for solving the mystery of the BPLSA shield.

Regattas in 2006
Regatta dates for 2006 are starting to come in.

The Metropolitan Police Yachting Championships, '06 will be on 4th-6th October. Enquiries to Karoline George.

Avoiding any overlap, the date for next year's Avon & Somerset Police Dinghy Regatta is confirmed as Wednesday, 27th September, 2006 at Chew Valley Lake with the usual start time and three races. After this year's well supported and successful event, Bob Lowrie tells me that it will be the same Race Officer.

Competitors may have noted that heretofore, the event has only been open serving and retired police personnel - both helm and crew.. exactly the conditions of entry for Police Sport UK national regattas. In the New Year A&S are meeting to decide whether their regatta entry will allow for non-police crew which would bring it in line with all the other police regattas held, which currently require the helm only to be police personnel..

It is still early days for next year's regatta dates, which have generally followed the same pattern each year. Some Force Sailing AGM's are still to be held and the arrangements with sailing club venues can take over the winter to confirm.

It's possible that the odd new regatta is waiting in the wings to establish a date but most dates should be available in January.

The only other news - Dorset Police Regatta based on returns will be a One Day event, date to be announced.

One proposed new regatta would have spread the police sailing calendar for March to October, next year. However, the South Wales Police have decided not to proceed with their proposed Match Racing in J80's.

Sailing Secretary, Geoff Parr put a lot of work into preparation but sadly there has not appeared to be the interest. Only two boats have registered their interest; both from the same force.

One wonders why there were so few takers seeing how there is so much support for the current police offshore events.

You may have thought about raising a team or just not been interested - but it would be handy to know why.

Was it the time of the year? The location? The style of the event? The class of yacht? Don't police sailors like match racing? Are people concerned with causing damage/injury? Was it too expensive? Something else?

It's always difficult getting a new regatta established and whatever the reason it would be useful to get some feedback.

It might be worth trying again next year.

If you thought of taking part but didn't pursue the matter please send an email to Geoff Parr.


Met's new website.

With such a large membership and in a response to demands, the Metropolitan Police Sailing Club have decided to create their own website. They have kicked off on a freebie website to get a feel for things and hope to sort a 'non advert connected' website sometime in the future.

Meanwhile the Met's pages herein will still carry details of their activities.

The new website is up and running and can be viewed at .


It's been a busy late November. AGM's have been held and dates for next year's regattas forthcoming.

Next years' Met Yachting Championship's have been fixed for 5th & 6th October which allows the Dinghy regattas to get themselves sorted.


Force Dinghy dates for 2006

Avon & Somerset Dinghy regatta is now moved forward to September 27th, 2006. Look out for the qualification for entry which will be confirmed after their AGM in January.

Dorset Dinghy Regatta at Poole Harbour is currently a Provisional Date - 12th July. Again a One-day event.

West Midlands Regatta has now been confirmed for Wednesday 26th April, 2006.

Metropolitan Police Dinghy Regatta date was confirmed at their recent AGM for Thursday, 13th April, 2006.


The Police Sport UK Sailing Section AGM was held at Warwickshire HQ.

Items of interest included an offer from the Parent Organisation to financially support any Police Sport UK Regional regattas held to the sum of 150. Stuart Jenkins the Dinghy Section Secretary is currently making enquiries to see just how this might assist those forces who currently hold Police Open regattas.

'All systems are go' for the PSUK Dinghy Champs in June, 2006. Pete Walters has now provided a Notice of Race and the latest info can be viewed on the Nottinghamshire Police page.

If all goes to plan, Michael Corrigan will be retiring next June and moves are afoot to secure personnel to replace the present positions as PSUK Sailing Secretary and PSUK Offshore Section Secretary. Mike has provided sterling service over these recent years and it's time for other serving personnel to take over.


When the Police Sport UK was created out of the old PAA, a primary aim of the organisation was to secure sponsorship for the promotion of Police Sport. For those who are presently unaware, the parent Police Sport UK organisation has recently secured a 1 year sponsorship arrangement with the Police Mutual Assurance Society (PMAS).

PSUK Championship events should hopefully benefit from this deal. However, there is no such thing as a free lunch and there are certain requirements in order to benefit from this sponsorship. The criteria for compliance requires that the event is branded with PMAS banners, which is not unreasonable. PMAS plan to provide promotional bags with various leaflets, gifts, drinks bottles and the like for all competitors etc. This sponsorship could go a long way towards the costs of running our Championships and 2006 will present the first opportunity to take advantage of such an offer.

There is a letter circulating to Force Sports secretaries on this matter and should you be interested in its content, contact Barnacle Bill .

Meanwhile Nick Hunt, after organising this year's National Dinghy Champs., is looking at the possibility of instituting the Cleveland Police Regatta.

No date is fixed yet but the venue is likely to be Scaling Dam SC.

As with all new regattas, particularly in the 'north', there's a fair amount of work to do to get competitors to turn out. Looking back at the 80's, there were so many regattas in the north of England and even included a North-east Regional Championship. Nick hopes to attract some surrounding forces and further details when known, will be entered on this website.

The Sussex Police Regatta at Bexhill has been confirmed for Wednesday, 9th August, 2006.

After two years of inclement weather, no doubt they will be looking for better conditions this coming year.

The 'Reports & Stories' section now contains the Minutes of the Police Sport UK Offshore Section AGM also the Dinghy Section AGM held this year.

The minutes of the main PSUK Sailing AGM at Warwicks HQ this October will be added to the page when available.



December, 2005 to February, 2006

Full details of the Police Sport UK National Dinghy Sailing Championships in June, 2006 are now published on the hosts' Nottinghamshire Police page and includes the Entry Forms, an Accommodation List, in fact all the information you should require.

Well done, Pete for getting the info available early; before Christmas even... Plenty of time to book the dates - 14/15/16 June.

A Review of 2005

As the end of the year approaches and the waves of activity on the Police Sailing scene settle to a flat calm, there's just time to look back on the year with some satisfaction.

2005 started off well at Datchet in early April for the Met Dinghy regatta with plenty of water, but this time little wind, giving the RS400's the chance to shine  The event was won by Rob Jones (Hampshire) who disappeared out of sight in all three races which the Race Officer managed to hold despite the lack of a decent breeze. With  a healthy 16 boats turning out, all boded well for the season.

Next came the West Midlands regatta at Bartley where the wind slowly increased throughout the day, making for a mixture of race results. This time an RS400 helmed by Ian Ingram won the event; surprisingly, the first time that this host force had won its own regatta.

In mid-May, the Police Sport UK National Offshore Sailing Championships were held off the coast of Argyllshire.  It was a beautiful location - enjoyed by all, making a change from the usual venue down on the Solent. Despite being a mixed fleet of yachts, the Sunsail 37 helmed by Pete Walters (Nottinghamshire) took the event with an SJ32 (Strathclyde) second. As a result, Pete gets to represent the British Police in 2006; this time during Cork Week.

A month later, the Police Sport UK National Dinghy Sailing Championships were held at Scaling Dam reservoir, hosted by Cleveland Police. The first day was the 'Laser Day' and the wind blew. Roger Glass won this event, having circumspectly declined to sail the first race in the windy conditions and evidently remained fresh to the end of the third race, whereas Andy Taverner, who had won the first race, found himself running out of energy to be placed second overall at the end of the day.

For the following two-day National Dinghy Championships, the wind eased slightly for the handicap first day and on the second day, it petered out completely by the end of the last race. Despite such varied conditions, Frances Gifford (Met) who competes so well in her National 12, attained results of 1st, 4th, 1st, 2nd, 1st. Previous winner, Alan Husk (Essex) came second overall. 29 boats took part which was a rather disappointing for the organisers, with a number of southern area boats failing to arrive and apart from the host force, little from the northern forces with once more, nothing from Scotland. Despite this, the event was that much of a success, for Nick Hunt the organiser to consider running an Cleveland Police Open Regatta at the same venue, next year.

Conditions were heavy for the usual July regatta hosted by Dorset Police in Poole Harbour - this year reduced to a one-day event. Because of the overpowering, windy conditions, by the end of the day there were just two boats competing in the last race out of 13 entries. The regatta was won by Dick Sivers who decided to use a smaller (Radial) sail and managed to stay upright for the first two races, his first win for some 20 years.

The Sussex Police Regatta held in August during Bexhill Sea Week succumbed to the conditions for yet another year and was cancelled on the morning of the event. By mid-afternoon the wind was gusting up to 40 mph - not the conditions for holding a dinghy regatta.

Cheshire Police currently hold the only regatta in September. This is a very popular event held at Winsford Flash Sailing Club. A new face turned up on the police sailing circuit and duly won the event. Congratulations to Alex Piggott from Nottinghamshire Police.

Early October found three police regattas being held in the same week. Avon & Somerset Police at Chew Valley Lake saw the highest force open regatta entry with 22 boats - mainly from the host force despite other events being held. The same day, the adjacent force, Devon & Cornwall Constabulary, were holding their own in-force regatta. In misty and very light conditions Rob & Liz Jones (Hampshire) recorded a win at Avon for the last regatta of the season as they had for the first regatta in early April at Datchet.

The other event being held that week was the Metropolitan Police Offshore Sailing Championships. This highly successful offshore regatta attracts a number of other forces to the Solent where the event was held, as usual, with the Sunsail yachts. The fleet also suffered from light wind conditions throughout the event. The event is most important for the Metropolitan entries, as the result decides who competes on behalf of the Met's parent sports club, MPAA - the Metropolitan Police Athletic Association. The Met boats of Roger Glass then Gary Walters were first and second respectively with Devon & Cornwall, (Andy Munday) 3rd.

Of the local In-force (closed) police regattas, Liam & Sue McGrath had won the Devon & Cornwall Dinghy regatta held in Bosun dinghies at Plymouth. Steve Middleditch with Bev Horner in an Enterprise dinghy won the Northants local series of eight regattas held throughout the summer on Pitsford Reservoir.

It's been a busy year and looking even more busy for 2006.

Full details of the above events held plus pictures can be viewed on this website via the 'Forces & Regattas' link.

Yearly comparisons make an interesting table....showing a general increase in regatta participation:

Regatta 2002 2003 2004 2005
Metro Dinghies
Datchet Water
7 12 13 16
West Midlands
Bartley SC
10 10 10 10
National Offshore Solent
National Laser Cheddar
Leigh &


National Dinghy Cheddar

Leigh &

Poole SC
n/a Two-day
Bexhill SC
13 10 7 Blown off
Winsford Flash
n/a 10 13 16
Avon & Somerset
Chew Valley Lake
Not held due to holding the Nationals 12 17 22
Metro Offshore 22 22 24 22


In 1988 a small group of participants in a Dutch national sailing regatta discussed the idea of organizing international sailing races. Among those sailors were, colleagues of the Dutch National Crime Intelligence Service also acting as the national Central Bureau Interpol, the Municipal Police of Hoorn and the Water Police of Enkhuizen. The outcome of the discussions was the organization of the first Interpol Coppers' Cup in 1989.

In September this year, a number of UK police offshore sailing sections got across to the Netherlands to compete in this bi-annual sailing event now known as the Europol Coppers' Cup; Europol is one of the main partners in the organisation of the event.

Among the participants from the Dorset Police was Paul Smith and he has provided some detail and pictures regarding this year's regatta which can be viewed via the 'Reports & Stories' section of this website.

Grateful thanks to Len Gooch, Paul Smith, Bryan Tucker, Tony Johnson, Pete Walters, Stuart Jenkins & Roger Glass, Dan Johnson, Chris Jellis and Charlie Jordan for the reports and items provided throughout this year, in fact all who have supported the website. This includes all those providers of the numerous pictures and reports which make the website administration such a pleasure.
So here we are at the end of the year, with almost all the regatta dates for 2006 already confirmed. Lots to look forward to.

It just leaves Barnacle Bill to wish all the police sailors out there a very merry Christmas and a prosperous, healthy New Year. See you on the water......


News from North of the Border.
The Strathclyde Police Recreation Association Sailing Section announce the confirmation of their annual Offshore Regatta held off the west coast of Scotland. It's the same week as the PSUK Dinghy Nationals.

Those teams who took part in last year's PSUK Yachting Championships will know what a splendid location this is for a regatta. The event includes an Invitation section and over the years a number of other forces ranging from Northern Ireland to the South Coast have taken part.

The planned itinerary so far including contact details and entry can be viewed on the Strathclyde page.

Northamptonshire Police Sailing Section held their AGM recently.  The number of local regattas to be held at Pitsford Reservoir throughout the season has been increased to nine.

Like most other forces, it becomes more and more evident that there is a distinct lack of new, young blood partaking in police sailing generally and the Northants section will soon be represented more by retired than serving personnel.

Despite this, the section plans to organise some summer cruising on the Solent with a view to sending two teams to the Met's Offshore Championships in October.

Offshore News from the Far East.

Although the PSNI are rarely seen on the UK mainland, they compete every year in The North Britain Championships at Argyle. Beyond Scotland they also travel to the Netherlands for the Europol Coppers' Cup and for this year, they plan to take part in the World Police Sailing Championships. My thanks to Paul Mayne for pointing me in the right direction for the following information which may be of interest to others, if not this year then maybe for the future.

The 9th Police World Sailing Championships will be held in Phuket, Thailand from 28th October to 4th November, 2006.

The Notice of Race is available via the Reports & Stories' section.

In simple terms the entry fee for a crew of 6 is Euro 5,300, this includes boat charter for the event, Accommodation for 8 nights, including breakfast, transport to and from the sailing area, Opening dinner, closing dinner, four general dinners and a night out (respectable).

Additional crew (up to a crew maximum of 8) cost Euro 420, if however the additional crew, or any accompanying guests are sharing a room the cost will be 420 for the first person and Euro 290 for the second, If someone is sharing with one of the six crew covered by the entry fee the cost, likewise will be Euro 290.

The accommodation will be at This is quite a reasonable hotel, a fact that can be confirmed by the wives of the PSNI crew.

The Police World Sailing Championships have been held since 1991:

Year Location Organiser
1991 Solent UK
1993 Baltic Germany
1995 Adriatic Austria
1997 Adriatic Croatia
1999 Adriatic Slovenia
2000 Adriatic Croatia
2002 Adriatic Croatia
2004 Phuket, Thailand Hong Kong
2006 Phuket, Thailand Hong Kong

Dave Madoc-Jones is the contact for this year's event and details can be viewed via the 'Reports & Stories' section.

Recent circulations to the MPSC members includes details of the Vice Commodore's Rally, 28th April - 1st May. Also the talk on Horatio Nelson in February, this year's Courses, Cruise, RIB events and the charter availability of their yachts Blue Flame, Blue Spirit and Sapphire.

Complete details can be viewed on the MPSC website at



The date for the Dorset Police Dinghy Regatta is now confirmed:

Wednesday, 12th July, 2006 - Venue, Poole Yacht Club.
Racing will be the same as last year's format, 3 races to be sailed in Poole Harbour.

Further details are on the Dorset regatta page.



March - May, 2006

It's been fairly quiet this last six weeks. No doubt everyone has been busy re-rigging and preparing their boats or buying up the RYA Dinghy Show, Alexandra Palace....

What with ice on the pond in early March it could be thought that the sailing season is ages away but in just over a month the police sailing circuit begins. First regatta is the Met Dinghies at Datchet Water.

Details of this year's Cheshire Police Dinghy Regatta at Winsford Flash are now available via the 'Forces & Regattas' section.

The organiser Paul Meeson, will no doubt, put on a splendid day but this season, he finds that his Laser has been commandeered by a family member and he may not make many other force regattas. Time to get another Laser, Paul...

For a decade and more Northants Police Sailing Section has limited its local dinghy activities to in-force competition.

Now, after some 20 years, it looks as if Northants may return to organising a Police Open Dinghy Regatta; this time at Northampton Sailing Club, Pitsford Reservoir. The date could be sometime in mid-October, 2006.

Setting up again from scratch is no easy task and over the years, a number of force regattas have fallen by the wayside through lack of support both to the organiser and to the event. Sgt Steve Middleditch has volunteered to do some R&D so don't be surprised if you receive an enquiry to ascertain whether, in principle, you would support such an event.

In recent years, Cheshire and Dorset have both re-established an annual regatta. Although nothing is concrete at this moment, it is hoped that Northants can also become an event to look forward to.

Police Sailing starts in earnest this month. The Met regatta on 13th April will now be the first regatta for many years to incorporate a (old PAA) Police Spurt UK Regional event, and to qualify for the Regional championship will presumably require abiding by the
Police Sport UK Competition Rules for Sailing - see the  Dinghy Sailing Championship Rules.

Towards the end of April (26th) West Midlands hold their annual regatta - again at Bartley SC. Looking at the Stats for the last four year, the attendance has never varied from 10 boats. So much for the website promoting sailing...  Thus, whereas all the other police regattas have increased in numbers over the years, West Midlands has stayed the same. It would be nice to break this record.

Meanwhile, on the 12th April Devon & Cornwall Constabulary will be represented in the Falmouth Bosun Dinghy Regatta. We hope to to report on their efforts in due course.

The following month, the Police Sport UK Offshore Championships take place and in June it's the Dinghy Nationals. Many of you will have received a recent reminder from Pete Walters to get your entry in. Yes, it's time to put your money where your mouth is as Pete needs to firm up on local arrangements. Who'd be an organiser... - a very special breed.

The latest edition of the Met's Jibe Ho newsletter is now available to view via the Met section of this website.

Items include details of this year's 'Round the Island Race', lots of Dinghy news and the story of a hurricane experienced whilst sailing around Greece.

If you want to be on the list for receiving it direct, email Phil Onslow.

The Northants Open Police Regatta is now confirmed and will be run on Wednesday, 18th October, 2006 at Northampton Sailing Club, Pitsford Reservoir.

It's some twenty years since the last Northants Open regatta but Northampton Sailing Club are well used to running such events.

It's early days but full details of the event will be available in the Northants Section of this website in due course.

It's always difficult getting a new regatta established and initial support is crucial in deciding whether to make it an annual event, so make a note in your diary for 18th October.

Heard form Chris Edmonds, the organiser for this year's Police Sport UK Offshores in May.

To date things are going OK. It looks to be a fleet of some 20 boats so far. It should be a good event.

The programme will be:
Monday racing in the Solent
Tuesday/Wednesday Passage race (Wed pm AGM Yarmouth IOW)
Thursday Racing Solent (Evening BBQ Royal Corinthian Cowes all the fleet)
Friday Racing Solent (Prize giving at Port Solent).

The first event of the police sailing season, the Metropolitan Police Dinghy Regatta, took place on April 13th. Many prospective competitors must have been checking the weather forecast as numbers were down on last year. The conditions were rather challenging and the regatta was confined to one race; the conditions becoming worse as the day wore on.

There were some breakages and the odd Phantom was seen flying through the air in the gusting winds that refused to let up. So, an early bath for everyone and an opportunity to beat the Easter traffic that built up late afternoon.

Congratulations to Nick Mason who won two trophies (overall winner & First Met boat) and has the Police Sport UK Regional trophy to look forward to.

Wednesday, 26th April sees the West Midlands Police Dinghy Regatta take place at Bartley SC. Weather threatens to be much steadier than at Datchet recently. Avon & Somerset hope to bring four boats this year so the numbers attending may well be the best for some years.

West Midlands regatta saw its best turn-out for some years. Conditions were benign for those competing for the first time this season; too benign, maybe. There were lots of new faces as well and one hopes that this introduction to Police Sailing will persuade them to compete in further regattas.

Despite the light winds, the conditions required lots of concentration as the wind fluctuated both in direction and strength.

Congratulations to Frances Gifford and her crew Peter Walker who came first Races 2 & 3 to become overall winners. A report and full results are available on the West Midlands page and I am grateful to Val Daniels and Viv Rivett who provided a large selection of pictures with which to make a photo gallery.

Also at West Midlands, another competitor joined the increasing number of  retired personnel still supporting police regattas. Pete Franklyn, who organised the Police Nationals at Cheddar in 2003 signified his retirement from Avon & Somerset Constabulary by taking up that often sought profession on retiring from the police - 'Mine Host'....

Peter and Tina have taken on the Butterleigh Inn, Devon. Butterleigh village is pretty remote and lies between Cullompton & Tiverton and not so far from the borders of Exmoor. If you fancy staying in the area, I've been told that police sailors can take advantage of a discount at the Inn.

I know Pete has taken these last couple of years including travelling over to mainland Europe to find a life after the Police and I'm sure that all will wish him the very best for the future.

You can view details of the Inn plus contact details via :


Organisation of Police Sport UK Dinghy Nationals in June continues apace. This year the old system of producing a brochure for the event continues.

Pete Walters tells me that so far he has received 26 entries. This bodes well for the final figure with over a month to go.

Those that read the Notice of Race will have realised the value of registering early, but now 1st May has passed and the Late Entry Fee is required to be paid.


Shetland Round Britain & Ireland Race 2006
Last September, Justin Rowley was looking for a co-skipper for his Tripp 40 mono-hulled yacht 'Chikara' to take part in the Shetland Round Britain & Ireland Race 2006 being organised out of Plymouth by the Royal Western Yacht Club in June/July this year.

Fortunately Richard Lett came forward and both Met officers have spent this last six months in preparation for the race which commences on 11th June. There are some 44 entries and some well-known (in the sailing world) names therein.

It is hoped to bring you further news of Justin & Richard's race as it proceeds via the 'Reports & Stories' section, either during or after the event - dependent on how it goes.... You can also follow their progress by viewing the Shetland Round Britain & Ireland website at  .

Work and preparation goes on apace. Nothing in life ever progresses smoothly and one can imagine the pressure of getting everything ship-shape for such a race. They have been raising money for the Ellen MacArthur Trust and are using the race as a platform to raise additional funds via pledges. If anybody from the larger Police sailing family would like to make a pledge for the Trust, any donation would be gratefully received.


June to September 2006

Nottinghamshire Police take the honours at the PSUK Offshores.
The Police Sport UK National Offshore Championships are completed and crews are now catching their breath after what appears to have been a tough week in the Solent. Day One of the championship arrived with the wind blowing old boots and it didn't get much better. Hardly a jolly; more a trial of attrition.

Congratulations to Pete Walters and his crew who won overall and won three of the races in the process.

A report and results are now available to view on our PSUK Offshore page

Meanwhile the Met lads Justin Rowley and Richard Lett are nearing the start time for their challenge - the Round Britain & Ireland Race. Richard is escaping this coming week to take part in the Round the Island Race while Justin continues their preparation for Chikara to be taken on to Plymouth for formal scrutinizing before the race begins on 11th June.

Those who have been following the updates on their page in our Reports & Stories section will know that they are raising money for the Ellen MacArthur Trust. To that end Ilford CID raised over 1800 recently.

It is certainly not too late for anybody to pledge something for the Trust. For those who may be interested in donating, I've been looking for some way in which further pledges might be made now that it's countdown time You can email Justin on ; he will contact any potential donators when their race is finished.

Justin says, "Any amount however small would be gratefully received. It is worth people having a look at the
EMT website if they want to see what a great thing they are trying to achieve."

Metropolitan Police SC Offshore Sailing Champs '06
Karoline has provided extensive details for this year's Met Offshore Championships to be held 4-6 October. Details include the Notice of Race and Entry Forms; both downloadable.

Do not delay in booking a boat. To register your entry the first part of the race entry fee should be forwarded as soon as possible; don't wait until the closing date of 20th August 2006, as interest in this event is growing!

If you have not received details yet, they can be viewed and details downloaded via the Met's Offshore page on this website.

Northants Open Dinghy Regatta

The Notice of Race plus a mass of information on their Open Regatta can now be viewed via the Northants pages.

How to get there, where to stay (you can also camp on site), local chandleries, nearest pub - it's all there.

This is a new (in recent years) venture for Northants Sailing Section who, together with Northampton Sailing Club are looking forward to putting on a good show.  The reservoir is brim full to date which bodes well for October.

Don't forget to note the date in your diary - Wednesday, 18th October.

It's countdown time for the Dinghy Nationals at Notts County SC in mid-June. You should have sorted your accommodation by now and if you have not yet sent in your entry you can do it on arrival.

For Laser competitors and anyone planning to arrive before Wednesday, the Club will be open from Tuesday pm. Pete Walters will be about.

Currently Pete has 29 entries with several more stating they will enter on the day. He believes we should get about 40 boats.

Re the Thursday night, due to the apparent lack of interest, the Nottingham trip is off. It is hoped to get a large screen TV and record the England game to re-show later in the day. However if someone wants to go to Nottingham, Pete has contacts for mini bus, etc.

The same week Strathclyde Police run their North Britain Offshore Championship around the Firth of Clyde. Those who took part in last year's PSUK Offshores will know what a splendid area this is for sailing.

The organiser, Colin Gilmer has everything in place. More people than boats this year - an opposite of past years.

So the Dinghy Nationals are over for another year. Pete Walters put a lot of hard work into making the event such a success. If only he could have been in control of the Elements. Earlier, the forecast had been for bright, dry conditions with some wind. As it was the Laser day started with, what might kindly be described as, scotch mist and although the seeping rain ended by lunchtime the rest of the day was pretty murky. At last the wind perked up by the third race and three Lasers managed to capsize. I can vouch that he water was warm....

Just 11 boats appeared on the water to contend the National Laser Championship. This was pretty disappointing, particularly for the organisers. Last year was no better.

A surprise contender was Simon Hawkes who claims to have been out of Laser competition for quite a while, yet won all three races in the light conditions - in a borrowed boat, albeit brand new... It just proves that good sailors can climb into any boat and succeed.

There were other new faces on the Laser circuit. Neil Johnson (Avon & Somerset) made the long journey to Notts, also Bob Bruce (Kent), while Paul Franklin (Leics) found the light conditions much to his advantage and attained an excellent 3rd overall. Second overall was Pete Taverner (Met) who failed to avoid securing the dreaded Runner-up Shield for the second year running. We must try and find an alternative  - or lose it. It was only ever a substitute when the main trophy failed to arrive for presentation sometime in years past - and some 'lucky' recipient gets lumbered with it each year now.

39 boats for the Dinghy Nationals and a good spread of Forces taking part. Fresh faces to PSUK sailing this season came from Merseyside, Cheshire, Leicestershire, Avon. Older faces returned; a quarter of the boats were helmed by retired personnel. It all went to make up a great event.

Over the years, organisers of our national event have come to realise just how valuable assistance is. Nottinghamshire Police Sailing Section plus personnel from Notts County Sailing Club provided excellent  support but the primary effort and responsibility for making the event a success always falls on the shoulders of one person. Well done, Pete.

During the Nationals, PSUK Dinghy Section AGM took place as usual. It was good to see a large attendance for the meeting despite the sound effects of World Cup football viewers in the background. A number of matters came up.

First, regarding next year's arrangements - Rob Gillespie will be organising the National Laser Dinghy Championships at Poole Harbour. Dates planned are Wed/Thurs/Fri 13th-15th June, 2007.

Some concern was muted regarding the low numbers competing on the first day of the Nationals - the Laser Day. Just 11 Lasers took part and the situation has been similar over recent year's. This means that a lot of organisation and arrangements are made for the first of the three days but Laser Day entry fees no way cover the costs involved. Plainly, the first day becomes something of a 'loss leader' and it is important to factor in the loss against the original cost of entry. More boats means more organisation (e.g., increased rescue facilities) but also keeps entry costs down.

One thought might be to have other 'fleet' racing besides the Laser on the first day. This year, the largest fleet after the Laser was the RS400. Something of a fashionable boat at the moment, it remains to be seen whether it can increase in numbers to justify an RS400 Police Nationals. Although such an event might run on the Laser day, the asymmetrics really need a different kind of course - which is nothing like the recognised 'Olympic' type course.

Good to see our National Police Sailing chairman, John Burbeck around on the Thursday, who also took the time to attend the AGM. The matter of holding PSUK Regional regattas was discussed and the matter is held in abeyance at the moment while further discussion takes place. Financial support is not a clear-cut matter, meanwhile the possible amalgamation of Forces means that the future for regional events is uncertain at present.

Those competing received a 'goody bag' and the drinks bottle came in handy throughout the regatta. This year PMAS are very much involved in sponsorship of Police Sport UK. One hopes that competitors' response justifies their continued support.

Albeit the 2006 Nationals date & venue are set, we are still looking to confirm dates for the future. 2008 onwards is not yet confirmed and the committee are looking for a force to host the dinghy nationals in the future. Know anyone?

This year there were two new trophies presented. A trophy for the first 'asymmetric' boat was purchased by the PSUK Dinghy Section and Cleveland Police have now provided a splendid new trophy to reflect 'The Spirit of the Event', awarded to the last boat who completes all the races held. This year it was won by Neil Johnson (Avon & Somerset) who came 31st out of the 39 entries. Neil also sailed armed with MP3 player and water pistol; no way was he bored with the light conditions...

I guess we have a trophy to cover nearly every eventuality.

At the Presentations by the Notts Chief Constable Steve Green, besides the enthusiastic applause for trophies well deserved, there was was some rather over-played enthusiasm for the recipients of some trophies. Certainly the trophy for second place overall on the Laser Day needs to be disposed of. It was only ever a substitute for the main trophy which failed to appear at one National regatta and was provided on that occasion as a replacement by a sympathetic insurance company. None of the recent recipients have a kind word to say about the trophy which has no relevance to the Nationals beyond the particular occasion on which it first appeared. Whether we are Wombles by nature I know not, but I'm sure that the insurance company concerned (unknown at this time) would not be offended by its disposal.

Another trophy presented which received similar such applause was the Lancon Bell, originally presented by Lancashire Constabulary for the first GP14. This trophy has been with us pretty well since the start of the National regatta. Despite shortly running out of space on which to engrave the winners, it is a splendid trophy and all should be proud of receiving it. There's one small problem - the number of GP's competing has reduced to one these last two years. So the winner has only needed to sail to receive the trophy. The same was true of the Mark Peers trophy presented to the first Enterprise.

Although Lancashire are happy that the Lancon Bell should be considered for disposal or used for an alternative to 'first GP', I would doubt that Mark Peers' widow would really want the Enterprise trophy forgotten or otherwise used.

Neither of these boat classes are disappearing from dinghy racing as many sailing clubs can affirm and with the current onslaught of asymmetrics appearing on the scene, they being excellent for handicap racing, it would be sad for these trophies to disappear. Despite this year's winners looking somewhat embarrassed at winning a trophy in such circumstances, I hope they will remain proud of there achievement. They were there and deserve their prize.

Apres-regatta activity also involved another trophy - the Maiden trophy. One had to look well down the results to find a helm who had not previously won any trophy at the Nationals. The originally planned recipient had in fact previously won a trophy as the 'Stats' section of this website confirmed and congratulations are now due to Alex Piggott (Notts) sailing a Flying Fifteen who came 12th overall.

Some trophies were not available at the Presentation. I'm sure all will wish Alan Husk well for the future. Outstanding trophies will be presented at forthcoming police regattas.

This year trophy winners signed a form agreeing to return their trophy engraved with the recipient's detail. Hopefully this will avoid trophies being returned without being up to date.

So Dorset it is for the National Police Dinghy Championships, 2007. Shortly (12th July), it's this year's Dorset Police Open Dinghy regatta at Poole Yacht Club and the opportunity to see what a splendid venue this is.

Rob tells me that there is quite a lot of interest in this year's regatta as a result, and he reckons on some 15 boats appearing which would be excellent to achieve. Let's hope the weather holds out, for this is truly a friendly and enjoyable occasion.

Those who are following the exploits of the Met officers Justin Rowley & Richard Lett who are taking part in the Round Britain & Ireland Race will realise that it's not all 'plain sailing'.

Conditions have been bad for the competitors all this week but they have now left Castlebay and are heading for Lerwick.

I am receiving updates as to their position and situation almost daily and their experiences can be viewed via the 'Reports & Stories' section.

Despite the sun being intermittent this week, I have managed to get a tan from screen radiation, having sorted over 300 pictures received on the Dinghy Nationals. A selection from each day of the event can now be viewed via the PSUK Dinghy Nationals page.

Nottinghamshire and Northamptonshire are evidently quite easy to get mixed up. On the Wednesday afternoon (travelling day pre-Nationals) the Northampton Sailing Club manager was surprised to find an entry for the Police Nationals knocking on the door.

The Northants regatta isn't until October so the manager, himself an ex-bobby, put two and two together and
pointed them in the right direction.

No-one owned up at Notts, but I can tell you that they came from somewhere south of Watford...

It wasn't just about dinghies at Notts. To save the organiser for next year's PSUK Offshore Championships, Tony Riordan being asked the dates, here they are:

The 2007 Offshore Sailing Championships will take place in the Solent, Hampshire. The fleet will be chartered Sunsail yachts, (a single class race series) chartered from Sunsail, Port Solent

The racing is from Monday, 21st - Friday, 25th May, 2007. The boats will be available for collection from the Sunday evening, 20th May.

It's early days of course and further details will appear on the PSUK Offshore page, as available.

Hearty congratulations are due to Met's Justin Rowley & Richard Lett who spent this last month racing Round the British Isles and have completed the course, intact.

Studying the results on the RBI website, they did terribly well, coming fourth in their class and 15th overall out of some 38 starters.

Reading their personal experiences of the race was enthralling but now it's time for a little R&R - rest & recovery - before returning to the real world, but it is hoped to receive some pictures to cover their experiences during the race, in the not too distant future and add them to Justin & Richard's page on the race in the 'Reports & Stories' section.

For those wishing to view the full results of the race, turn to the RBI race website via: "RBI Race - Results" .


The Dorset Dinghy Regatta drew 17 entries albeit there were a few regular faces missing. This bodes well for the future of the event, though numbers may have been enhanced due to Dorset Police and Poole Yacht Club being the hosts for next year's Dinghy Nationals.

As a result it looks as if there will be no Dorset Dinghy Regatta next year as the usual date would fall too close to the dates planned for the Nationals. Besides, Rob Gillespie will have quite enough on his plate organising the June event.

This week is Cork Week and Pete Walters with his Nottinghamshire Police team will be taking part representing the British Police, once more in the Sunsail Fleet. Last year he came 2nd and narrowly missed out on first place in the same fleet.

I'm sure all will wish him the very best for this year's event. Prior to the event Pete did not know which Sunsail 37 yacht he'll be allocated. Details and results can be viewed via the official website at:  .

Across the other side of the world the World Police Offshore Championships will be taking place in Thailand at the end of October. There is just one entry from our islands; Dorset Police will be taking part.
North British Police Offshore Championships
While dinghy sailors sweated out the Nationals at Notts in June, a number of offshore devotees were enjoying the breezes off Argyllshire on the waters used in last year's Offshore Nationals.

Yachts from Wales, Lancashire and Northern Ireland joined Strathclyde in what turned out to be a very enjoyable week. Congratulations to the overall winners from PSNI.

Strathclyde Police hold their own championship within the event but the organiser, Colin Gilmer tells me that other forces are always welcome to join in this annual regatta.

You can view a report and results of this year's event on the Strathclyde page. It is hoped to provide pictures later.

The Sussex Police Dinghy regatta takes place on Wednesday, 9th August, 2006. For the last couple of years the wind has been overpowering but, as the regatta is held within the occasion of Bexhill SC's 'Sea Week', there is always plenty of assistance both on and off the water.

Linked to the club's website is an excellent weather station Bexwatch and it's worth a look even if it's only to watch the waves breaking on the shore.

Cork Week comes to a close and those of you who have been following our Police Sport UK representative, Pete Walters with his Nottinghamshire Police team, can now relax after the midweek placings in the Sunsail Sunfast 37 series which had made the overall results somewhat uncertain.

Congratulations to Notts for a great win. You can read the report on their week plus pictures via the 'Reports & Stories' section of this website.

Other details and results from Cork Week can be viewed via their website at:  .

At Bexhill the day had started grey and uninspiring but after some light rain, the weather turned round at lunchtime providing enough wind to make conditions quite challenging for the majority of competitors. Numbers were quite low but this event always seems to suffer from the effect of school holidays.

Congratulations to Rob & Liz Jones representing Hampshire Police who won all three races.

My thanks to Bill Eele, Stephen Fitzpatrick, Paul Miller and Val Daniels for their efforts to forward pictures of the event in record time. The photo-gallery plus a report and results can be viewed via the Sussex Police page.


The back end of the season is busy.

Next event is the Cheshire Constabulary Dinghy Open on 6th September. At the end of September (27th) is the Avon & Somerset Police Dinghy Open at Chew Valley Lake followed by the Met Offshore Championships, 4th - 6th October.

That leaves the Northants Police Dinghy Open in mid-October and the World Police Offshore Champs at end October to beginning November.

Met Offshore Champs, 4-6 October
For those that are planning to enter the Met Offshores and haven't done so, time is running out. Karoline still awaits to hear from a number of previous competitors who have not yet booked this year and has extended the closing date to 10th September.

Don't leave 'till then - Do Karoline a favour - get in touch now regarding your plans. Details on our Met Offshore page or via their own website.

Attendance was disappointing at the Cheshire Police Dinghy Open at Winsford. Just eight boats on the water and a number of familiar faces on the police sailing circuit were missing.

Conditions were fairly light and the rain virtually stayed away. Nevertheless, there was a fair amount of variation to wind strength and direction to make it fairly testing. A report and results plus pictures appear on the Cheshire page.

The next dinghy event is Avon & Somerset at Chew Valley Lake on 27th September. As usual, this event should draw over 20 boats, a large number of which are 'local'. Avon & Somerset Sailing Section take a lot of trouble, running courses for their personnel and manage to get a lot of them competing in this event - often for their first time of serious racing.

Regatta details are on the Avon page.

Whilst the Met Offshores are now almost on us, they are also getting geared up for their shorebased courses running over the winter months. There are some vacancies - the MPSC's own website provides details.

Blue Flame is about to be sold and this autumn will be the last opportunity for Met members to charter her.

The MPSC AGM is scheduled for Monday, 13th November.

News form Warwickshire....
The 'Contacts' page appears to be used fairly often by organisers. Chris Edmond has now retired from Warwickshire and there's is an update - Warwickshire Police Sailing Section have now provided new contact details for both Offshore and Dinghy sailing.

John Burbeck who has been into police sailing almost as long as Barnacle Bill has also retired from Warwickshire. The good news is that he plans to continue his interest and should be on the Solent at the Met Offshores with the Warwicks team this October.

I'm sure all will wish JB the very best for the future and look forward to his continued involvement with police sailing.

Northants Regatta - Wednesday, 18th October, 2006

There has been a fair amount of interest shown already in supporting this regatta. It's been some 20 years since the last Northants Regatta. Below is a reminder/update regarding the event, particularly for those who do not know Pitsford.

The club grounds will be open from 8.30am on the Wednesday.

For those planning to arrive the day before. If you are thinking of travelling on the Tuesday, please contact me beforehand. I'll give you a mobile phone number and turn out at the Sailing Club to get you sorted. This is not a problem as I live fairly near.

Also, should a number of you plan to be about on the Tuesday, the lady running the Club galley has offered to open up and supply an evening meal - provided there is enough people. The meal would be available around 7.30 - 8pm. There is a bar which could also be opened for us but she does need to have some idea of numbers to justify the effort.

Please let me know during the week before, latest.

Camping is free.

Hot breakfast should be available from around 8.30am on Race Day - also hot lunch.

Any queries meanwhile - you are welcome to contact
"Barnacle Bill". Also, I'll be at the Avon Police Regatta at Chew Valley on 27th Sept.

Details of how to get to Pitsford and where to stay are on the Northants/Open Regatta page. The regatta organiser Sgt Steve Middleditch now has a new Tel No. - 0797-604-8795 - but from the Tuesday morning before Race Day, specifically to assist any early arrivals and any queries, there will be a dedicated mobile number... Contact me beforehand for the number.

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