Dorset Police Dinghy Regatta, 2003

...& previous regattas



Dorset Police Regatta
2nd & 3rd July, 2003
Venue: Poole Y.C.


Poole YC


Report, results & photos below

This two-day event, which is held on a spacious and spectacular stretch of water, used to be a regular feature on the police sailing calendar, but has not been held since about 1996. This renaissance meeting was organised by Rob Gillespie of the Dorset Police, and was aided by Jim McGregor (chief harbour pilot), Malcolm Palmer and Brian Tucker (both ex Dorset Police) as race officers. The weather tended to be rather cloudy with the threat of rain (it rained during the lunch break on Wednesday, but not at all during racing). There was very little wind on the Wednesday for races 1 and 2, but there was plenty of wind for races 3 and 4 on Thursday. All the courses were of the Olympic ‘triangle and sausage’ type with all marks to port, and were started and finished from a committee boat.

There was a sad lack of support for this year’s event, with only 9 entries on the first day, and 11 on the second day. Five different forces were represented – Dorset, Metropolitan, Northamptonshire, Sussex and West Midlands. There was a wide spread of dinghy handicaps, the fastest being the Osprey (940), and the slowest was the Graduate (1167).

Race 1 was started on Wednesday at 1140am in light winds. The RS400 of Ian Ingram and Phil McMullen (West Midlands) and the local boys, Rob Gillespie and Ian Jarred, in their Osprey, got off to a good start, followed by the two ex Met ancient mariners, Len Gooch and Clive Bishop, in their equally ancient Albacore. These three boats pulled away from the fleet in the light conditions. The nine police dinghies were well spread out by the time the race officer set up a finish line. It was the West Midlands RS400 that crossed that line first after sailing for almost 50 minutes, five minutes ahead of the Osprey. It was another 5 minutes 22 seconds before the Albacore came in, a good 2 minutes and 49 seconds ahead of the local GP14 sailed by Andy Welch and Mark Samuel. The Laser 2 sailed by Bob Trevis and Ian Sykes from Sussex was the 5th boat to finish. The 3-man Laser fleet was the next to complete the race, led by Stuart Jenkins (Met), only 16 seconds ahead of his colleague, Roger Glass. Veteran, Dick Sivers (Northants) trailed in ‘tail-end Charlie’ behind the Met RS400 sailed by Bob DeGrove and Paul Robinson. The Ingram RS400 held its place on handicap, but the Osprey was pushed down to 4th place. It was Welch in his GP14 that took 2nd place, and the Albacore was 3rd.

When the time came for race 2 to begin there was little or no wind. Some competitors had to paddle out to the starting area. The race officer had to wait until about 3.30pm before he could lay a course. The starting signal eventually went at 3.40. With just a light zephyr keeping the boats moving, it was crucial to go the right way to the windward mark. Some crews did, some didn’t and they paid the cost by being left behind. The most successful boats were the West Midland RS400, and the Lasers of Dick Sivers and Roger Glass. They made good progress whilst the rest struggled in their wake. The race officer decided not to prolong the agony of the back markers, and ‘finished’ the first boat after a little over 38 minutes. That was the Ingram RS400, which crossed the line 2 minutes and 52 seconds ahead of everyone else. Sivers and Glass finished 24 seconds apart. 4 minutes later the GP14 and the Albacore (only 4 seconds apart) led the rest of the fleet home. The local Osprey crew got it all terribly wrong, and was the last to finish, much to the amusement of the committee boat crew. It was the two Lasers that came first and second on handicap, with the RS400 pushed down to third. The GP14 was fourth.

Thursday dawned a bit brighter and with more wind than Wednesday, so there was no delay in starting race 3. In fact Malcolm Palmer (aided by Brian Tucker) on the committee boat was able to make an early start at 1045am. This time 11 boats came to the line. Graham Cook had travelled down from the Met towing his ancient but speedy Graduate, and had brought along a young French lady to crew for him. Also, local man, Tim Whittle and his son, Chris, had come to join the fray in their GP14.

As the starting flag came down for race 3 the fleet set off towards the windward mark. The Osprey crew found the increase in wind power much more to their liking and were able to keep pace with the West Midland RS400. Behind them, Roger Glass and Dick Sivers were having their own private battle, whilst the Albacore crew were trying to keep ahead of Stuart Jenkins in the other Laser. Graham Cook showed his skill by keeping his little boat well up in the fleet. Incredibly, after sailing for 52 minutes 37 seconds, Gillespie and Ingram, in the Osprey and RS400, could not be separated on time at the finish. It was a dead heat! They were both 6 minutes 14 seconds ahead of the next boat – Glass’s Laser. 4th over the line was the Sivers Laser, and 5th (by only 5 seconds) was the Met Albacore. Then 17 seconds back was Stuart Jenkins, followed by the Graduate and the Welch GP14. Although Cook finished 9 minutes and 48 seconds behind the leaders, it was he who won this race on handicap, with Glass 2nd and Sivers 3rd. The RS400 was 4th and the Osprey 7th.

There was plenty of wind for race 4, and the race officer set the 5 minute start sequence in action at about 1.45pm. Everything seemed to be going well, but then, instead of a single sound signal at the 4 minute slot, there was a double hoot on the horn and up shot the P flag for a postponement. Several of the keener crews did not notice this, and set off in racing mode with teeth bared (with the Osprey in the lead), and had to be brought back by the rescue boat. There had been a huge windshift, and the course had to be reset, and a new start sequence begun at 2.05. This time there was no interruption, and the fleet got away in good order. Once again the leading battle was drawn between the Osprey and the Ingram RS400. It was a close contest till about half way through the race, when the RS400 capsized, allowing Gillespie to power away. The OAPs from the Met had their Albacore going quite well, and the Sussex crew was revelling in the conditions and had their Laser 2 going like a train. Roger Glass was leading the Lasers, and eventually managed to overtake the Albacore. The other Lasers were being tracked by Cook in his Graduate. By the time the race officer called a halt to this race Gillespie had pulled out a lead of over 6 minutes over Ingram. The RS400 beat the Laser 2 by 2 minutes and 35 seconds, who in turn crossed the finish line 27 seconds ahead of the Albacore. Glass came in just 5 seconds later. But remarkably, once again it was the miniscule Graduate that won this race on handicap, by just 7 seconds from the Osprey. Welch’s GP14 was 3rd. Glass was 4th and the Albacore 5th.

Each crew was allowed to discard their worst result. That meant that Ingram and Glass both finished with 8 points. However, Ingram’s 1st place in race 1 gave him the advantage to break the tie, and he was declared the overall winner of this event. Welch was 3rd , Sivers 4th and Gillespie 5th.

The consensus of opinion of all the competitors was that it had been a well organised and competitive event. They would certainly come again, and thoroughly recommend it to other police sailors.

Report by Len Gooch

Dorset Police Regatta, 2003
(3 races to count - 1 discard)

Helm Force Class Race
Points Final
Ian Ingram West Midlands RS400 1 3 4 9 8= 1st
Roger Glass Metro Laser 6 2 2 4 8= 2nd
Andy Welch Dorset GP14 2 4 5 3 9 3rd
Richard Sivers Northants Laser 7 1 3 8 11 4th
Rob Gillespie Dorset Osprey 4 7 7 2 13= 5th
Len Gooch Metro Albacore 3 5 8 5 13= 6th
Graham Cook Metro Graduate dns dns 1 1 14 7th
Stuart Jenkins Metro Laser 5 6 6 6 17 8th
Robert Trevis Sussex Laser 2 8 dns 9 7 24 9th
Robert DeGrove Metro RS400 9 dns 11 11 31 10th
Tim Whittle Dorset GP14 dns dns 10 10 32 11th





Dorset hosted the PAA National Police Offshore Championships  in May, 2002. A report, results and pictures can be viewed on the National Police Offshore Championships page.


For further previous regattas please see Dorset Stats page.