Barnacle Bill's casual observations from the shore . . .
(October, 2006 - September, 2007)

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.

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October - December, 2006

There was a record entry (28) in the Avon & Somerset Constabulary's annual dinghy regatta; mostly from the local force who run sailing courses for police personnel during the summer and give their 'students' the opportunity to take part in racing, often for the first time.

Travelling competitors were a little light in numbers, otherwise the field would have been even larger. The forecast had been for high winds and they duly arrived in the afternoon when Graham Cook (Laser) and Frances Gifford (N12) took the opportunity to use a GPS signal to record nearly 15 knots.

Albeit the third race was abandoned as conditions began to overwhelm some competitors, the day was enjoyed by all. A report, full results and some pictures appear on the Avon & Somerset page.

Tony Riordan, Cleveland's organiser of the National Police Offshore Sailing Championships, 2007 has provided full details for booking entry and chartering the Sunsail yachts for next year's event.

Details include the Race Itinerary, Accommodation also details of some Autumn Racing in Sunsail yachts available at a good rate. As usual the event will take place on the Solent.

The Notice of Race awaits but you can view details recently circulated by Tony on the PSUK National Offshore Championships page.

Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Police Offshore Championships take place on the Solent this week. The Racing finishes on Friday and it is hoped to bring you a report and results early the following week.

Northants Regatta
Referring to the entry above on this regatta - Just two weeks to go now until the last police sailing event of the season being held at Northampton Sailing Club. This is the first time that the club has held a Police Open regatta and the staff hope that the event will be a success.

Riding on the day (Wednesday, 18th October) is the decision whether to host the Police Dinghy Nationals there in 2008 so it's fingers crossed that the event is well supported and worthwhile the effort...

Access to the Club premises will be available from 8.30am on the day. Don't forget to let the organiser know if you plan to arrive on the Tuesday...

Early news from Len Gooch at the Met Offshore Championships - "24 boats took part, some from the Fire and Rescue. 3 races were held on Thursday under grey skies, with plenty of wind. Wind speed increased as the day wore on. Thursday night was spent at the Folly Inn in Cowes, where a good time was had by all. All racing was cancelled on the Friday because of the forecast for winds of 6 to 7, gusting 8 to 9, plus very heavy rain. We got thoroughly soaked just sailing from Cowes to the Hamble. So all 3 races counted towards the results. The championships was won by a yacht steered by Graham Cook and crewed by senior officers. A Sussex Fire and Rescue team came second".

A report, results and pictures are now published on the 'Met Yachting Champs' page.

20/10/06 -
Northants Open Regatta
So the last dinghy police regatta of the season took place at Pitsford Reservoir. Just 14 boats took part which was a little disappointing. The guesstimate had been 16-20. Many expected names were absent but fortunately, there were a number of surprise entries, not so often seen on the police sailing regatta circuit.

Was it the early morning fog that put travellers off? - or the time of the year? Have we already reached the optimum number of regattas that police sailors can support?

Some competitors had travelled the day before and 14 sat down to a dinner in the evening at the club; something of a precedent for our events. This seemed to work well and worth repeating should the occasion demand it.

There was a time early that morning when the club staff outnumbered the competitors - there had been an excellent response from club volunteers. The delayed start did not dampen spirits though the Race Officer was always going to struggle setting courses in the fickle wind which eventually set the scene for the day.

The event was graced with the presence of some of our best police sailors and it was always going to be highly competitive. The first three boats ended up on equal points. Congratulations to Graham Cook who took away the Winner's trophy which weighed almost as much as his crew.

October may not be the warmest month and it is becoming difficult to fit a new event into the police sailing calendar now that current regattas have become firmly established. Other events, over these last years, have fallen by the wayside due to lack of support in this increasingly difficult climate to participate in police sport. Due respect to those who continue to organise and support regattas - often needing to use their Annual Leave - but it becomes evident that without the support of the Met (and support they do), more regattas could fail to justify the efforts involved.

My thanks and appreciation to all those that turned out. It was good to see some new (or even old!) faces. I have the feeling that despite the lack of wind, maybe it all worked well enough on the day.

The Northants Regatta had aimed to be a fitting finale to the police sailing year; a success justifying the cost of setting it up - and the Section will need to decide whether it is viable to run again.

Details and pictures are now published and can be viewed via the Northants Open Regatta page.

To compliment the re-establishment of the Northants regatta, I am grateful once more to Len Gooch who produced at Pitsford his book of records from previous police regattas, in which we found some detail of previously held Northants regattas from 1976-1982.

Details of those regattas which were then held at Middle Nene SC, together with some faces from the past, the majority of which are still connected with police sailing can be viewed via the 'Stats' section of this website.

Recent circulations from MPSC remind members of their AGM on 13th November.

The club have arranged a social evening on Thursday 23rd November at NSY where there will be a presentation on the experiences of Richard Lett and Justin Rowley who successfully completed this year's Round Britain & Ireland Race and did very well. It promises to be an interesting talk. A day-by-day report on their race can also be viewed via the "Reports & Stories" section of this website.

Early news from Avon & Somerset Constabulary who are looking at Wednesday, 26th September, 2007 for holding their annual Open Regatta subject to the date being agreeable to Chew Valley Lake SC.

Police Sport UK National Offshore Sailing Championships, 2007
It's time to plan for the coming season. Evidently there are more bodies interested in taking part in next year's Offshores in May, than there are berths on boats. Notts Sailing Section are currently confronted with this situation and are offering personnel to fill other Force boats.

Notts may not be the only Force in this position and conversely there could well be other Forces short of personnel. Pete Walters (Notts) can be contacted to solve your problem or the regatta organiser, Tony Riordan.

The Annual General Meeting of the Police Sport UK Sailing Committee takes place at Tally Ho Sports & Social Centre, West Midlands Police at 10am on Thursday, 30th November, 2006.

December, 2006
End of October/beginning of November, the 9th World Sailing Championship took place in and around Ao Chalong Bay on the South East Coast of Phuket Island.

I hear that socially, the event was a great success. Accommodation was in Patong which is the centre of Phuket's very active night life. The opening and closing Dinners were held at the Impiana Cabana Hotel situated right on the beach. There was an outing to Fantasea; a combination Zoo, Restaurant and rather spectacular Theatre. Needless to say the crews took full advantage of the numerous bars, restaurants and nightclubs when other commitments allowed.

On the water, the competitors used different class yachts and the results obtained by Dorset Police appear to have suffered accordingly in the earlier part of the week when the winds were lighter.

Next time - 2008 - the championships will be held in Holland when a larger selection of same class yachts should be available.

The results and other details can be viewed on the Police World Sailing Championships page.

Despite traffic and travel problems, there was a healthy turnout for the Annual General Meeting of the Police Sport UK Sailing Committee which took place at Tally Ho Sports & Social Centre, West Midlands Police on Thursday, 30th November, 2006

The PSUK Offshore Championships 2007. Hosts: Cleveland Police. The organiser Tony RIORDAN gave the meeting a full progress report. The event will be based in the Solent using the Sunsail fleet; hopefully 11 races. Alternative plans are in place if the weather is not suitable for the prepared itinerary which can be viewed on the current PSUK Offshore Champs page.

There was a large contingent of offshore sailors present and a short discussion took place on mixed crew (mixed forces) participation in the Offshore Championships. This is allowed but any person taking part must comply with PSUK rules and be a member of their own Force's Sports Club.

A crew made up from different Forces would still be eligible - the team to sail representing 'Police Sport UK' rather than a named Force. In the light of Nottinghamshire's recent circulation on available crew to join other boats, there was a value in making the position clear for Forces wishing to use crews from other forces.

Nottinghamshire are down to organise the Offshore championships in 2008.

Although Rob Gillespie (Dorset) was unable to attend, he had provided a very full update regarding the PSUK Dinghy Championships, 2007. The update can currently be viewed via the PSUK Dinghy Champs page.

Early warning that Northants was selected to organise the National Dinghy Championships in 2008.

I hear PMAS support of PSUK events will be finishing after 2007.

There were some changes in committee personnel. John Burbeck although recently retired remains in situ as Chairman until a serving officer is identified. Pauline Thornton was made Offshore secretary earlier in the year and Stuart Jenkins remains the Dinghy secretary. With Mike Corrigan retiring, Helen Neaverson (Notts) took over as general secretary to the Sailing Section.

Over these last years Mike has done a sterling job as both general and offshore secretary. We wish him all the best for the future and no doubt will see him around the police sailing regattas.

Police Sailing regattas have finished for the year and it will soon be time to plan for 2007. The odd fixture date is coming in now and most Police Sailing Sections will be having their AGM's over the winter. The calendar of events appears to be well established with no "overlaps" beyond the North Britain Offshores being held around the usual dates of the PSUK Dinghy Nationals.

It's becoming a little difficult to squeeze in and establish new regattas but Barnacle Bill is always available to assist and advise.

Looking ahead, September 2007 will see the bi-annual Europol Coppers' Cup regatta take place in Holland.

A number of Forces from the UK have previously taken part, also from as far afield as Australia. The event was last run in 2005 when 30 teams took part, representing 13 nationalities.

Entry is open to all law enforcement officers. Teams have to exist of 5 crew members. At least the skipper and two of the crew members need to have sufficient experience with racing and navigation.

Some details are on the Coppers' Cup page in this website. Direct details can be obtained by viewing the ECC website at  or by emailing for Entry details to .

If you fancy taking part, it's time to register your interest.


A 'Farewell' message from Mike Corrigan...                     

I have finally handed over the ‘helm’ of the secretary posts for the PSUK Sailing Section and the Offshore Section. I've also retired from the Collision Investigation Team of the West Midlands Police and have moved over to the 'Dark Side'.

Being the secretary of Police Sailing was an honour which I will miss - but not typing up the minutes! I thank you all for your support and help during my time as secretary.

I look back on the Offshore events that I have attended since 1989; each one has a unique memory for me some of which are:-
The famous ‘Tarbert Cup’ race against Devon & Cornwall - we were actually in Campbeltown. Crossing the English Channel during a full thunder and electrical storm. Aluminium masts do glow in the dark. The Basking Shark off Plymouth that was longer than the Sigma 33 we were on. Going around and around at the back of the Eddytsone lighthouse during a Force 8/9 gale. Trying the elastic band spinnaker packing method - As we hoisted, it did not open as we had used too many bands... When it did blow open it hit the crew next to us with the flicking bands. Shouts of protest and pain were heard....

One of my best memories is taking the yacht through the Crinan Canal.

I did actually win a race once - in Scotland in the early nineties. It was the last race and the series winner had already been decided. As we approached the end my navigator asked "Where are we and where’s the line then"? I said as normal “Just follow the others” to which the foredeck crew replied “There’s nobody, they're all behind us”. We looked behind - what a glorious sight. I then made a mistake - I tried to sail the boat. We slowed but still won and I have the photograph to prove it...

My attitude when racing against Pete, Roger, John and the others is for someone to win a race and someone must come last. 'I know my place'.

I wish the new secretaries Helen Neaverson PSUK Sailing Section and Pauline Thornton Offshore Section all the best and you can call on me at anytime for help.

I hope to see you all at future Police sailing events

Michael Corrigan

Postscript 12th December.....
On Saturday morning a bouquet of flowers arrived at my house for my wife Kathryn. Quick thinking as ever, I handed them to her telling her they were from me for Christmas - which I have never done before.

When she found the card addressed from 'PSUK' I cannot repeat what she said or called me.
The mysteries deepens. I then thought, is my wife have an affair with a person with the initials PSUK?....

Enquires with Alex and it appears they are from the PSUK Sailing Section.

Seriously, it's nice that the partners of organisers are recognised in this way, in my time as secretary she has taken lots of phone calls and messages for me.

Thank you for the flowers, what a wonderful gesture.

Michael Corrigan


News from North Britain - The Strathclyde Police are again holding their Annual Offshore Sailing Championships in June, 2007, which includes boats by invitation.

Colin Gilmer has provided early details of the event including the proposed Itinerary which can be viewed via the Strathclyde web page.

 A Review of Police Sailing in the UK, 2006

Police Sailing came in roaring with high winds and ended with hardly a breath...

As is now usual, the season started with the Metropolitan Police Open Dinghy Regatta at Datchet. The weather forecast had been threatening strong winds and may account for the slightly lower numbers than the previous year. Nevertheless, 12 boats took part, most of whom managed to make the start line for the first race. Conditions were grim and only 4 finished the race - and the rest of the day was cancelled allowing for an Early Bath for all. Nick Mason (Met) won - no doubt with others, maybe happy that the day was stopped after one race

For the West Midlands regatta also held in April conditions were rather kinder. 17 boats competed; the highest known entry for a West Midlands regatta. National Police dinghy champion, Frances Gifford with crew Peter Walker gave the Met their second win of the season.

The next event on the Police Sailing calendar was the National Offshore Sailing Championship held in May on the Solent. Pete Walters, helming the Nottinghamshire boat won and will represent the British Police this coming year in a national regatta.

Pete organised the Police Dinghy Nationals at his home club in June. A face from the past - Simon Hawkes (Avon & Somerset) - won the Laser Championships convincingly. Frances Gifford had three firsts out of the four races held to win the Dinghy Nationals.

In the same week the North British Offshore Sailing Championships organised by Strathclyde Police were won by PSNI.

Early July brings the Dorset Police Regatta at Poole, venue for the forthcoming Dinghy Nationals 2007. Always an event to look forward to, an excellent 17 boats turned out for this (currently) one-day regatta. Light conditions in the morning made results something of a lottery but with the wind arriving in the afternoon race positions altered drastically. Nevertheless, Graham Cook with daughter Alice gained two firsts in an RS200 to win the event.

Each year, during the school holidays, Bexhill Sea Week includes the Sussex Police Regatta. Nine boats started in light winds with grey skies at high tide; the day ending at low tide in a fresh breeze with sunny conditions - typical seaside weather. Rob & Liz Jones (Hampshire) in their RS400 stayed way ahead of the fleet throughout the day to win all three races.

There was an indifferent turnout at Winsford this year for the Cheshire Police Regatta held in early September. Just eight boats competed and the event was one by Graham Cook; this time in a Laser.

Later in September the Avon & Somerset Police ran their annual regatta at Chew Valley Lake. 28 boats took part in windy conditions with many of the local competitors taking part in a police regatta for the first time. Lots of capsizes in the high winds forcing the third race to be cancelled. The event was won by Frances Gifford, again with Pete Walker in the National 12.

Early October heralds the Metropolitan Police Yachting Championships and despite one or two absences among the usual 'guests', the fleet was well up to the strength of previous years. The competition among the Met boats is mainly for who represents the MPSC in next year's National Offshores. Because of worsening conditions the event was restricted to the first day with Dean Ingledew & crew winning the event, East Essex Fire Brigade 2nd, Devon & Cornwall Police 3rd and Roger Glass & crew, second Met boat, 4th.

The season of police sailing events in the UK was lengthened this year with Northamptonshire Police holding their first Open for 20 years, in mid-October. Hoped-for winds failed to arrive and this regatta was held in extremely light conditions. Once again Graham Cook scored a win, this time with son James in the RS 200.

And so we come to the end of another year. Looking back, the general support for the regattas appears consistent - even improving in some cases. Sailing, like any other activity, needs fresh, young blood to maintain the sport and it was good to see a number of new faces on the police sailing/racing circuit. As others (and there are a few) arrive at 'retirement' age, one hopes that they will continue to find the attraction of police sailing strong enough to support the regatta for, without that support, we could return to the era a few years ago of disappearing events.

Yearly comparisons make an interesting table....showing a general increase in participation at a number of regattas:

Regatta 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
Metro Dinghies
Datchet Water
7 12 13 16 12
West Midlands
Bartley SC
10 10 10 10 17
National Offshore Solent
National Laser Cheddar
Leigh &


National Dinghy Cheddar

Leigh &

Poole SC
n/a Two-day
Bexhill SC
13 10 7 Blown off 9
Winsford Flash
n/a 10 13 16 8
Avon & Somerset
Chew Valley Lake
Not held due to holding the Nationals 12 17 22 28
Metro Offshore
22 22 24 22 24
Pitsford Reservoir
- - - - 14

 The general trend is up - of note were the West Midlands and Dorset regattas. A downward trend is evident in the support for the National Laser Championships; this may be due to the prevalence of new dinghies available, particularly of the asymmetric (RS's etc) variety which promise to give an even more exhilarating experience and maybe be more competitive in the National handicap event.


It leaves me just to wish all a healthy and rewarding New Year.

Barnacle Bill


 More news as available...


January - May, 2007

A Happy New Year to all  -   Time for Sailing Secretaries to get regatta dates established for 2007.

It looks like being another busy year with plenty of opportunity to take part in the various police regattas available around the UK.

Besides our regular UK events in 2007, this year is the bi-annual offshore Europol Copper's Cup regatta which takes place in Holland in mid-September.

Also this year, the British Police will again be represented by Pete Walters and the Nottinghamshire Police Sailing Section at Cowes.  Notts did so well in the Sunsail Fleet in 2005. Pete has not quite decided yet in which fleet they will compete.

It's an old saw but none of our regattas take place without a lot of hard work and organisation in setting the event up and then it's down to the support it receives, for without it, police regattas will just fade away like so much other police sport this last decade.

Sussex Police confirm their Regatta will be held, as usual, during Bexhill Sea Week on Wednesday 15th August, 2007. Details of the regatta and how to get there are now shown on the Sussex Police Regatta page.

An update to details of the PSUK National Dinghy Championships is imminent and it is hoped to publish Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and Entry Forms by 12th January.


There's now an update to the details for the Police Sport UK National Laser & Dinghy Sailing Championships, 2007. Lots of information is already published as General Information and worth a read through. Updates now include a Notice of Race, Accommodation, "How to get there", Entry Form - all can be printed off and/or downloaded. The official Sailing Instructions will of course be available at the regatta but the Organiser, Rob Gillespie plans to make a version available beforehand.  Rob is well ahead of schedule and there plenty of time for that.

This year the Entry Form is the same for both events which means that Laser sailors need not now complete a second entry form - unless you plan to use a different boat.

The Accommodation List comprises the few locations which are fairly near Poole Yacht Club; some could  be full up even now. Bear in mind that it is a 'holiday' area also the RYA courses run at nearby Rockley Sands are liable to book local accommodation albeit they have their own facilities.

Camping. There is no actual camping facilities at the Yacht Club and I have not come across anyone using the local camping sites who has personal knowledge. If you plan to enquire & book, I would be interested to know whether they are suitable for our purposes - for the future...

A reminder that there's the usual penalty for late bookings and the deadline is 1st May. It's early days so put a reminder in your diary...

Tony Riordan, the organiser of this year's PSUK Offshore Sailing Championships reminds all Entries in this year's event to complete an entry form regarding details of personnel taking part. You can find this Entry Form via the PSUK Offshore page.

Those teams that have already forwarded their entry fee, could you also please complete the form? (required for Security, Dining numbers, etc)

Tony has also had a polite reminder from Sunsail to 'chase up' the teams to charter their boats. The company have a new system in place this year requiring the reserved boats to be released back into the general pool at a certain date. The company have not stated what date that is, but he suspects it is sooner rather than later. Please make your reservation a.s.a.p. to prevent disappointment...

A Reminder - Closing Date for entries: 28th February, 2007.


Bill Holley (Met) was an early participant in Police Dinghy Sailing. In 1971 Bill was awarded his MPAA Colours, the first ever in the MPSC, having won at Sussex, Beds, Kent and first Met helm in the Met. Open. In the very first police national competition, way back in 1973 he came second overall in a field of 71 boats. The following year he won the event.

In 1976 he won the first Northants Open held at Middle Nene SC. Always in his Albacore, he was successful in a number of police sailing events throughout the 70's. Eventually retiring from the police, Bill maintained his connection with the Metropolitan Police Sailing Club and helped out over many years. In more recent times, besides sailing his own yacht, he could be found assisting in maintenance at the club's pontoon at Mercury Yacht Harbour.

At the weekend, while working on his own yacht, he succumbed to a fatal heart attack. His wife and family were with him at the time. He was 77.

Much revered by his contempories, he will be sadly missed.

Bill Holley's funeral will take place at Southampton Crematorium (off Bassett Green Road, Southampton - exit at Junction 5, M27) on Tuesday the 27th of Feb 2007 at 12.20pm.

Bill Holley's funeral will take place at Southampton Crematorium on Tuesday the 27th of Feb 2007 at 12.20pm. The Crematorium is off Bassett Green Road, Southampton located North of the City but South of the M27.
If using the M27 from either direction, come off at Junction 5 and follow the sign-post for Southampton. At the first set of traffic lights turn right which is Bassett Green Road and drive west for about a mile; the Crematorium is on the right hand and clearly marked.
If using the M3 stay on motorway heading for Southampton at the first roundabout at end of motorway turn left into Bassett Green Road the Crematorium is about 1/3 mile on your left hand side.

After the service there will be a reception at the Oyster Quay, Mercury Mariner (bar above harbour office). Donations to the RNLI.

The date of the first event of the year - the Metropolitan Police Dinghy Regatta - has at last been confirmed. Details are as previous years and can be viewed on the Met Dinghy page.

PSUK Offshore Championships
Those Forces who have registered with the Cleveland organiser will have received an urgent email reminder of the importance of forwarding their booking deposit to Sunsail pronto as the yachts now go back into the pool of yachts made available for the public at large if the monies required have not been paid by the date required.

The official closing date for entries was 28th February at which time 24 boats had been entered.

The organiser, Tony Riordan has a new work Tel No.: 01642-303352.

Another early season dinghy regatta is at last confirmed - the West Midlands Police regatta will take place at Bartley Sailing Club on Wednesday, 25th April, 2007.

Further details regarding the event can now be viewed on the West Midlands page.

With Andy Cuddon's retirement from the Police Service the new Sailing Secretary for Lancashire Constabulary is David Old. David's details are now on the 'Contacts' page.

The Notice of Race, Risk Assessment carried out by the organiser, Tony Riordan - plus the 'Sunsail Rules' are now available to view via the PSUK Offshore Championships page

A copy of the Sailing Instructions for the Police Sport UK National Dinghy Championships is now available to view and download via the PSUK Dinghy page. Any amendments to the SI's will be updated on the day.

The SI's are extremely comprehensive and worth a close study beforehand, particularly for those who have not competed at Poole before.

News from North Britain
Entries are beginning to surface for the Offshore Sailing Championships organised annually by the Strathclyde Police. Already from south of the border Cheshire, Lancashire, North Yorkshire & South Wales have entered. With Lothian & Borders and the PSNI to come plus local entries, it looks like being towards 20 boats competing.

If you are thinking of entering, there is an April update on the Strathclyde page

Numbers for the first regatta of the season were somewhat disappointing. For the MPSC Dinghy Open, 9 boats turned out at Datchet Water of which just two were from other forces. Not an auspicious start to the season when every regatta needs support.

The weather couldn't have been better for a first event. Wet-suits were not exactly necessary, although those that went into the water were pretty swift in climbing back aboard. The wind, brisk enough in the morning, just about managed to hold on 'till the end of the regatta. The kind conditions - 'mini-crews' were much in evidence, being the Easter Hols, - made for a very enjoyable day's sailing. Details, results and pictures of the event can be viewed via the Met's Dinghy page on this website.

The next police sailing event is at Bartley Sailing Club on Wednesday, 25th April when the West Midlands Police hold their annual Dinghy Regatta.
Now the season has started in earnest, there appears to be lots of scurrying about by organisers preparing for their events.

At last the Metropolitan Police Offshore Championship '07 dates are confirmed and Ted Piggin has circulated a letter and details regarding the event. Details plus the Notice of Race & Entry Form can all be viewed on the Met's Offshore page.

It's time to get your Entry Form completed and posted for the PSUK Dinghy Championships at Poole. There's a 'Deadline Date' of 1st May for Entries, otherwise the cost of entry goes up...

Competitors arriving at Bartley Sailing Club for the West Midlands regatta got a bit of a shock to find, contrary to the weather forecast, white horses streaming down the reservoir.

This decided those that could, to reduce sail for the day. The day was windy but not cold and this made for an exciting day on the water. Numbers were down on last year as they were for the Met's earlier in April. Let's hope that this is not the sign of things to come.

A report, results and a photo-gallery of the event can be viewed on the West Midlands page.

The deadline for discounted entry for the PSUK Dinghy Championships has now passed. Nevertheless it will help the organiser and caterers to get a clue on entries before arriving at Poole.

Avon & Somerset's Commodore and Regatta contact, Bob Lowrie now has a new contact telephone number: 0788-212-8632.
Sailing Secretaries should have received a recent email from Rob Allen, Cheshire Police Sailing Section regarding the future of the Cheshire Police Dinghy Regatta. Entries were lower last year and like all organisers, the Section is concerned whether there is still interest in supporting the regatta which usually takes place at the beginning of September.

The date has yet to be confirmed and a Race Officer, etc., to be booked if the event is to go ahead. If you are interested in attending, it would be useful for Cheshire to know now - before the event is cancelled due to lack of interest.....


June - September, 2007


Metropolitan Police Sailing Club's Yachting Championships '07.
While the results, etc., from the PSUK Offshore Champs await, it's time to register for the other main offshore event on the calendar - the Metropolitan Police Sailing Club's Yachting Championships. Entry is open to a wide range of Met teams but also includes  categories for 'Visitors' and 'Guests'. For some years now Entries have ranged between 22-24 and some teams have already registered for this year's October regatta. Don't leave it 'till the last moment, as numbers are dependant on the availability of the same-class yachts and Sunsail won't reserve them for ever when the yachts are available to the public at large.

Details of entry, etc., can be viewed on the Met Offshore Section page.....

...............or via the Met's own Internet website at   .

The Police Sport UK National Offshore Championship results are now available to view on the PSUK Offshore page....
....accompanied by an explanatory note from the Organiser, Tony Riordan. Evidently Sunsail produced Instructions which superseded the original Notice of Race which mentioned a different number of Discards and this made a difference to the final positions. All is now sorted....

The 'Exigencies of the Service' permitting, a report will be forthcoming, but before then one wonders what happened in Race Six when only one boat completed the course and every other team had to use their result as the Discard....

Any Pictures from the event can currently be viewed on .

Entries for the Laser Day were not as good as hoped, though just better than the last couple of years. Despite some faces missing it was good to see some new blood taking part. Of the 13 entries, six were brand new competitors to the Laser Nationals... and that doesn't include the overall winner Rob Jones who came along for the crack, in a borrowed boat...

Also disappointing was the number of 'Retired' helms. Just six this year; last year it was ten.

Beyond that, 32 boats was a pretty good turn out - and I think it's safe to say that a good time was had by all. That, in no small way, was due to Rob Gillespie and his support team who ensured that everything went smoothly. Poole Yacht Club made us most welcome - as usual - and they look forward to seeing us next year when the police sailing calendar includes the Dorset Police regatta once more.

Regarding numbers attending - some concern was voiced at the AGM held at Poole, as to how to increase attendance at our National event. It's something about leading a horse to water.... Do not be too surprised if you are pressed direct to make the effort to attend regattas. 'Bums on seats' - It's the only way to keep the events viable.

At this year's event a number of trophies were missing at the Presentations. There's little excuse. It must be such a disappointment for recipients to win a trophy only to find that it's not there to be presented....

Previous National Dinghy Champion Alan Husk had another good regatta. It's his last regatta as a representative of Essex Police as he now transfers to the Met.

A conversation heard in the car park - Barnacle Bill is 70 later this year. There was some cajolery involved as those present wished him the very best - should he make it... Never fear, he'll be about, as he plans to have his wake before he dies... Why miss a good party!


Cowes Week, 4th-11th August. Notts will be representing the British Police again this year as a result of winning the Police Offshore Nationals last year. All goes well with the Notts team and this year they are going for the J Class - J109 in which we hear 45 boats will be on the Start line. Look out for the Notts boat, 'Alice of Hamble'.

Meanwhile you can read their commentary on this year's PSUK Offshores, 2007 which appears on the Nottinghamshire Police page of this website.

September is not that far away when the Europol Coppers' Cup takes place in the Netherlands. I hear Dorset Police have entered a team; all retired officers. We wish them the best of luck and hope for more wind than last time...
The recent National Dinghy Championships was also the occasion of the PSUK Dinghy Sailing Section AGM and new committee members were put in place.

Stuart Jenkins now becomes Chairman of the PSUK Dinghy Sailing Section with the Dinghy Secretary's position passing to Andy Taverner. One might think that this makes the committee heavily weighted towards the Met, but as the new Chairman pointed out - overall, the provinces are fairly well represented in the Sailing Section as a whole. Nevertheless, personnel who are prepared to play a part in committee work are always valuable and it was good to see a respectable turnout at the AGM.

Since John Burbeck's retirement, we have been looking for a chief officer to chair the PSUK Sailing Section which  represents both the Offshore and Dinghy Sections.

We have a new chair, in the form of Ricky Gray, Deputy Chief Constable at Strathclyde. He is a keen sailor, and formerly competed at various police and other national competitions. Mr Gray was a regular at the North British annual championships and also regularly raced at Scottish Series and West Highland Week events.

This means that the next full AGM of the Sailing Section will be in Glasgow - November 12th. Looks like flying to get there for some, though the Offshore guys might prefer to sail there....

Len Gooch found the registration book for his Albacore recently and found that it was built on the Isle of Wight in 1967, which makes it over 40 years old. So it must have been the oldest boat taking part in the dinghy championships by far. The sails were 12 years old and the combined age of the crew (which included Clive Bishop) was 142. That must be some kind of a record!

Brief details of the North Britain Championships organised by Strathclyde Police have arrived. The Strathclyde Trophy presented to Bob Stone (South Wales Police) in the yacht Albin Ballad. Salamander and Sequoia (PSNI) also received trophies..

Dick Thomas, a name familiar to old Offshore hands (he used to be fleet Doctor) came along and crewed on a Strathclyde boat, and passes on his best regards to all who remember him.

Still no news from Cheshire whether they plan to run a dinghy regatta this year. Time is getting short for planning ahead and it would be sad to lose this September dinghy regatta.
School holidays have started and those who are not still stuck in a traffic jam or fighting the floods may just manage to get away to a regatta.

Sussex Police hold their dinghy regatta during Bexhill Sea Week which is one way of running a police regatta conveniently given that officiating and safety support are already in situ. All the event then needs is support. Details can be viewed  on this website.

If you are thinking of taking a boat on holiday, a North Wales Police contact has asked me to promote the annual regatta at Llandudno Sailing Club which takes place on Sunday, 29th July. If you are down that way I'm sure you will be welcome to take part. For those of you who have 'Adobe Acrobat', details of the event can be viewed on their Sailing Club website or direct at Regatta 2007.pdf   . Who knows - with the choice of Bala inland and Llandudno on the coast, North Wales might one day host a police regatta.....

A decision whether Cheshire Dinghy Regatta will take place should be made shortly. The organisers are currently looking at Monday, 3rd September....
It's the start of Cowes Week and we have a British Police representative competing in the J109 class.

Pete Walters, last year's PSUK Offshore champion and his Nottinghamshire Police crew are sailing 'Alice of Hamble' (Sail No. GBR1L) from this Saturday to next Saturday and you can follow their progress via the Skandia Cowes Week website Results page.

The Notts team have been most successful these last two years representing the British Police and I'm sure we all wish them good fortune in this new endeavour.

For those wondering about this year's Cheshire Dinghy Regatta, Paul Meeson is looking at Monday, 3rd September but this or any other possibility has, to date, not been confirmed.
Cheshire Police Open Dinghy Regatta. Event confirmed - at last....  Details on Cheshire Police page.
British Police represented at
The Nottinghamshire Police Offshore sailing team are now back from Cowes and a report of their week competing in a J109, can be found in the 'Reports & Stories' Section.

Well done to Pete Walters and his crew. Midfleet was respectable and provides a challenge for next time....

Despite the forecast, a few brave sailors turned up at Bexhill for the Sussex Police Dinghy Regatta. What the BBC Met Office forecasters described as 'unseasonal weather' appears to be quite commonplace during Bexhill Sea Week when once more, the conditions determined that this year's event was abandoned.

Not so much then to remark the occasion except perhaps, that the it provided the opportunity for this website's first opportunity to include a small video of conditions on the shore. My thanks to Dusty Miller who captured the moment.

For those with a 'techy' inclination (that's tecky not tetchy...) - The video lasts around 8 seconds and is a 1.5 Mbyte mpeg file which, if you still have a 'dial-up' account could take a while to download, but is virtually instantaneous if you are on Broadband. I would appreciate a response if you are unable to view the video as it is really just a tentative experiment made with the future of the website in mind.
You may find that the file is easily recognised by any of the media players on your computer. Firefox also Internet Explorer version 6 accept the download but IE7 or Vista possibly not, due to higher 'security protection' measures.

There's a link to the video on the Sussex Police Sailing page on this website - or why not click here and see just what you missed...

Details from this year's North British Offshore Championships held in June & organised by Strathclyde Police are now published.

Seventeen yachts took part which was an exceptional turnout and indicates just how popular this annual event is becoming. Apart from the Strathclyde boats, visitors came from Northern Ireland, Cheshire, Lancashire, North Yorkshire, South Wales and Lothian & Borders.

You can view the report of the event and full results on the Strathclyde page.

News the PSUK Offshore Secretary, Pauline Thornton confirming the dates of the PSUK Offshore Champs, 2008 - 19th to 23rd May.

PM Sun 18/05/08, Take over boats
Fri 23/05/08 Hand over boats and evening presentation
Travel back AM Sat 24/05/08

2008 - being run by Notts.

Congratulations to the winner of this year's Cheshire Constabulary Dinghy Regatta, Ian Ingram (West Midlands). Ian showed his expertise in winning all three races both on the water and on corrected time which doesn't say too much for the opposition, but the light winds were perfect for the Solo and the wind never really gave the planing Lasers and Asymmetrics much of a chance. To make next year fairer, I hear that Ian might be climbing into a Laser...

This year the date was arranged rather late and despite no competitors managing to make it from the Met, eight boats took part which is the same as last year - but very shy of the previous year (16 boats). This is the only dinghy regatta which could be considered as 'run in the North'  so hopefully Cheshire will press on and continue to run their event but considering the prizes and food (inclusive with Entry fee), the event does deserve more support.

Full details - report - result - pictures can be viewed via the Cheshire Regatta page.

The Europol Copper's Cup regatta in the Netherlands is imminent and I now know of two teams from the UK who are taking part. Dorset Police and Lancashire Police.

I'm sure they will have a very enjoyable time. Let's hope there is more wind than two years ago.

The next dinghy event is the Avon & Somerset Police regatta
In the Netherlands the Europol Coppers' Cup regatta gets off the ground today and their website promises to provide updates during the week.

This year there is a record numbers of entries, so to follow the fortunes of the UK entrants view the Europol Coppers Cup website.


If you have a tale to tell, or news to circulate - anything which you feel is suitable for this column - please ring or fax me on 01604-781831 or via the e-mail address below.

Barnacle Bill "Barnacle Bill"