Use the '[Top]' link (bottom right) to return to top of this page


This Newsletter of the Metropolitan Police Sailing Club was originally circulated in Autumn, 1982

Contents include:       Editorial by 'Sidewinder'

Reports & Results of the following regattas...

PAA National Dinghy Championships 1982 - Report

PAA National Dinghy Championships 1982 - Race Results

Hampshire Police Regatta - 1982

Dorset Police Regatta - 1982

Sussex Police Regatta - 1982

Plus - Articles

Round Britain Race

'Broach of Confidence'

The Return of 'ZAP'





Hon. Sec: John Burbeck (Det/Insp)
Holborn Police Station
70 Theobalds Road,
London WC1X 8SD
  Editor: Len Gooch (PC)
Surbiton Police Garage
Hollyfield Road

, Surrey




Commodore: Deputy Assistant Commissioner J A Dellow, O.B.E.
Vice Commodore: Chief Inspector Dan Glen (Cadet Centre)
Hon. Secretary: Detective Inspector John Burbeck (EO)
Asst. Secretary: Inspector Dave Thomson (FF)
Press Secretary: PC 480 Q Clive Bishop (QD)
Information Officer: PC 679X Derek Wyeth (XR)
Committee Members: PC 295 Q Ross Elliston (QH)
  PS 13 X Steve Fillery (XW)  Cruising Rep.
  PC 907 TD Len Gooch (TDV)
  Ch Inspector Peter Moore (FS) P.A.A. Rep.
  PC John Stickland (IW) R.Y.A. Rep.

- - - - - - - - - -oooo0oooo- - - - - - - - - -

Editorial                                    Autumn 1982

The sailing season for this year is almost through. The pattern so far is that more of our members are trying their hand at offshore sailing, and less are going to dinghy races. The attendance figures for most of the police meetings held in 1982 have been below normal. At the Sussex Police Regatta, for instance, only 14 boats took part, and only one of those came from the Met. Ten years ago they had: 49 entries.

The Round Britain Race got quite a bit of publicity on the T.V. and in the newspapers. Peter Phillips, of the Devon and Cornwall Police, Was interviewed on the radio several times. He was sailing a self-built 60 foot Trimaran, called LIVERY DOLE. He finished the race 4th overall, behind such experienced sailors as Robert and Naomi-James, Chay Blyth and Peter Bateman, and Mark Gatehouse and 'Spud' Rowsell. Well done Peter!

Last month we said goodbye to another member of the Bedfordshire Police sailing club (Chris Lambert retired last year). This time it was Howard Nicholson, who had retired from the Job. He is hoping to move down to the West Country, and settle down in Helston. I am sure you will echo my wish that he, his sailing son Colin, and all his family will enjoy their new life there.

The Devon and Cornwall Police are holding their first Police Open Meeting for dinghies, at the Mayflower sailing club, on Saturday 2nd October 1982. Do try and get along to Plymouth on that day and support Mike Riley and his Colleagues in this venture. Why not make a weekend of it ?


pages here appear to be missing



The clear winner of this years championships was Gareth Owen, from Merseyside, sailing Laser 88955. He was awarded the Sunderland Trophy for the overall event, and also the Bala Trophy for winning the first race. In fact, he came first in the first two races to count, and second in the last race. Just before this meeting he was one of the team of Merseyside Police to take part in the Three Peaks Race. They came second. Gareth also collected the Laser Trophy for being the highest Laser sailor in the championships, (position, not height..).

The Police Review Trophy, for the second boat overall, went to the Met in the form of Dave Abbott and Lesley Goddard, who were sailing Albacore 6649, RUINED DUDE (the boat that John and Elizabeth Burbeck sailed in last years champs). They did not actually win a race, but sailed consistently well to earn a 2nd, 4th and 5th places.

The third prize overall, the Merseyside Trophy, was won by John and Elizabeth Burbeck, Sailing PSYCHIC, Merlin Rocket 3065 (formerly owned and sailed by Dave Abbott at Shoreham last year). Our Hon. Sec. and his wife also won the Spinnaker Trophy, for being the leading spinnaker carrying boat. They took two 3rd places and a 9th.

The fourth prize was won by a young man brought up in a sailing family and who is now carrying on the tradition set by his father, Dan. Yes, you have guess it, it was Alistair Glen. He has won many races in the past, crewing for his dad. But now he is using his talent to sail a Laser, number 100335, and beating the cream of the police Laser fleet. He gained a 2nd position, and a 6th and 7th.

The fifth prize went to another Metropolitan Laser helm, Ross Elliston, sailing Laser 75119. He also won the West Midlands Trophy for winning the last race. He also gained a 6th place and a 10th.

The sixth prize winner finished up with the same number of points as Ross Elliston, but had a higher discard. He was Mike Riley, from Devon and Cornwall, sailing Laser 78377. Mike won the third race, and gained a 5th and 11th places.

The seventh prize went to one of the fastest boats on the water, an Osprey number 1175, sailed by Malcolm Palmer and Brian Tucker from Dorset. It was qUte a picture to see them in full flight with their big spinnaker ballooning out in front, They also won the Maiden Trophy (a prize presented to commemorate the late Inspector Dodds, from Northumbria, who died whilst taking part in Northumbria Police Regatta).
They gained a 2nd, 3rd and 12th places.

Roger Glass, yet another Metro Laser helm, took the 8th prize. He was sailing Laser number 102722. He gained two 5ths and an 8th position.

The 9th prize went to the Sussex Police, to Tim Wilcock, sailing Laser 54471. He managed to keep well ahead of his brother, Chris, and gained 6th, 7th and 9th positions.

The 10th, and last overall prize Was won by the police laser fleet captain, Dick Sivers, from Northamptonshire. He was sailing a Laser which was sporting a fleet sail number 5. He also won the Bell Trophy, which is competed for annually at the Leicestershire Police Regatta, and is awarded to the highest placed boat of the Eastern Region of the P.A.A. Dick gained 3rd, 8th and 11th places.

The Lancon Bell Trophy, for the highest placed GP14, went to A Critchley and B Cross, from Lancashire, sailing GP14 number 6043.

The Seagull Trophy, for the highest placed RYA recognised slow handicapped boat, went to David Jones and Colin Waddell, From Sussex, sailing Graduate 2511. Their best race was the first one, when they finished 12th.

page 15

The 1982 P.A.A. Championships were held on Thursday and Friday, the 24th and 25th of July, at Rutland Water Sailing Club. They were organised by the Leicestershire Constabulary Sailing Club. Rutland Water was, until very recently, the largest man-made reservoir in Europe. It covers over 3,000 acres of the old county of Rutland, and is set in beautiful surroundings. The shape of the lake is roughly that of a horseshoe, lying on its side, with the open end to the west, The southern 'leg' stretches for about 3 miles, and in rough weather the wind can generate waves of 5 to 6 feet at the far end. The shore line is about 25 miles all the way round, and some areas have been left as nature reserves. The deepest parts of the lake are 150 feet deep. The lake is used for fishing as well as sailing.

Four races were planned, two on each day, with the best three results to count towards the prizes. The Race Officer set Olympic type courses (triangle, sausage, triangle, etc.). He also decided to have the fleet split into two, with the faster boats starting 5 minutes before the slower ones. However, that idea was dropped on the Friday, and all the boats started together.

70 boats were entered for this event, but only 68 actually sailed. One of the non-starters was Derek Westall, from South Wales. He arrived wearing a surgical collar. He had been involved in a Polacc a few days before, and had hurt his neck. He was, however, able to give moral support to the rest of his Welsh team. The other non-starter was the Topper of B Mason, from Greater Manchester. The police fleet consisted of 30 Lasers; 8 Albacores; 6 GP14s; 5 Enterprises; 4 Merlin Rockets; 3 Solos; 2 Ospreys; 2 Graduates; and one each of the following:- Fireball; Hornet; International 14; Miracle; Comet; Minisail; Mirror and Wayfarer.

27 different Police Forces were represented from as far afield as Devon and Cornwall and the Northern Constabulary (covering the Isle of Sky and the Western isles). The largest contingent came from Sussex, with 9 boats, The Met sent along 8 boats, 4 two-man boats and 4 single-handers. They consisted of Dave Abbott and Lesley Goddard (who sails her own Laser now) in an Albacore; John and Elizabeth Burbeck in their Merlin Rocket; Derek Coleman sailing his Mirror 10 single handed (Derek was a bit under the weather with some bug passed onto him by the rest of the family); Ross Elliston, Roger Glass and Alistair Glen, all sailing Lasers; Len Gooch and Clive Bishop in an Albacore; and last but not least, John Pierce and Alex Ross in Dan Glen's Albacore, MONARCH. Dan himself, was seen at Rutland Water on Thursday, but he was not sailing. He was able to give John and Alex a few tips how to sail MONARCH, and their performance improved on the second day. The other M.P.S.C. member that attended this meeting was Peter Moore. He was there as the Met's representative on the P.A.A. Sailing Committee. On Friday afternoon he got himself a crewing job with John Neaverson in his Merlin Rocket. They were the wettest two races of the whole meeting, but he said that he enjoyed it.

Weather-wise, it turned out to be rather damp. It was raining hard on Wednesday afternoon when the first of the competitors arrived, and it was raining heavily again on the Friday evening, when most of the competitors left. In between there was a mixture of weather. Thursday was overcast, with very light winds until the late afternoon, when the wind piped up a bit. But it did stay dry that day. Friday morning dawned bright and sunny, with a fresh breeze from the north. The sun disappeared just before lunch, and then the rain returned. It continued through the last two races and on until about 7 pm. Then the sun came out, and it was a beautiful still evening. It was not the best weather for camping, as some of the competitors did. But the conditions did test the skill of the sailors, and only the real heavy crews complained that there was not enough wind.

At the start of the first race the fast fleet were far too eager to get going, and there were several boats over the line when the gun went. The Race Officer signalled a General Recall, and they had to turn back. They then had to wait until the slow fleet had started. The start gun for the 'slower' boats would be the new 5 minute warning for the 'faster' boats. This allowed the faster of the 'slower' boats to get out into clear air and get a very good start. The most prominent was the Enterprise,

page 16


PEN-Y-LESS, sailed by R Bramhall and his lady crew. He was enjoying the drifting conditions.

The fast fleet got away cleanly at the second attempt. The red Osprey from Dorset and the red Merlin Rocket from the Met were soon in the lead. Gareth Owen's coloured Laser sail could be seen in hot pursuit. Dave Abbott's RUINED DUDE, and SIDEWINDER were the two leading Albacores. Meanwhile most of the Lasers were travelling around in one large bunch. This made rounding some of the marks a very noisy procedure with everyone calling for water and nobody able to give it. But it was Glen, Sinnock, Tim Wilcock and Elliston that were able to get clear and chase after Owen. The race was shortened as the wind began to die away, and it was the Osprey that took line honours. The Burbecks were not far behind. The winner on handicap, however, was the Laser from Merseyside, sailed by Gareth Owen

The first ten boats were :-

1st Owen Laser
2nd Palmer Osprey
3rd Burbeck Merlin
4th Bramhall Enterprise
5th Abbott Albacore
6th Glen Laser
7th Sinnock Laser
8th Gooch Albacore
9th T Wilcock Laser
10th Elliston Laser

There was hardly enough wind after lunch for the fleet to sail out to the start line. Many boats used their paddle in order to reach the Committee Boat by the appointed time. At the start time the Race Officer flew the postponement flag, and waited for the wind to fill in. But no such luck. He then pulled up his anchor and motored off in search of even the smallest sailable breeze in other parts of the lake. It was then rumoured that he was going to set a course towards the Clubhouse. That would give a running start. Most interesting, with so many boats ! Nearly an hour after this race was due to start and when the Race Officer was thinking of calling the race off, the water at the dam end of the lake was ruffled by a breeze. These ripples spread towards the waiting fleet. Soon boats began to move through the water and then, as the breeze increased in strength, they began to lean over. Helms and crews threw off the lethargy that had overcome them, and began to sail. The whole picture changed in those first few minutes that the wind reached them. The Race Officer instantly called up the rescue boats to assist him to alter the course. And so the race got under way. Unfortunately, this race was shortened, and the finishing times taken without the slow fleet having completed an even number of triangle and sausages. This made it so difficult to work out a fair result, that it was nigh impossible. When this was discussed with the Race Committee it was reluctantly decided to discount the race.

The news of the discounted race was not given to the competitors until the Friday morning briefing. At the same time, the Race Officer informed them that only two races would be held on the Friday, and also that all three races would count towards the results. At this, there was a lot of angry muttering from the crews, specially those that had done well in that second race. Several of them suggested that if they could not have that second race reinstated, why couldn't there be three races held on Friday, with two of them 'back to back' (starting the second race immediately the first one had finished - and staying out on the water to do it). Scenting the angry mood of the crowd, the poor old Race Officer bowed to the majority, and said that if the Committee agreed, it would be all right with him. The Committee did agree, and therefore it was planned to hold one race before lunch, and two afterwards. This would allow one of the results to be discarded. It was also decided to do away with the two separate starts, and race the whole fleet as one.

So the third race started in bright sunshine, with a force 3 wind coming from the south. It was the Essex Hornet that lead the field, with Palmer's Osprey hard on its heals. But his lead was short lived when the Hornet capsized soon after rounding the jibe mark, when the crew had trouble with the spinnaker boom. Alistair Glen lead the Lasers at an early stage, but was later to be overtaken by the Merseyside wizard, Gareth Owen. The Burbecks were putting their spinnaker to good use and planing

page 17

planing /
along the reaches at a fast rate of knots. It was ideal conditions for those boats that were able to plane early. The Nottingham Merlin Rocket of John Neaverson, and the Albacore of Dave Abbott, were well up with the leaders. Riley, Elliston, Sinnock and Glass were having their own private battle of the Lasers. Similarly, the Albacores of Bruce, Goodman, Vessey and Gooch were fighting it out amongst themselves. Quite like a dog fight it was too. Places were swapped time and time again as they tacked up the beat. The four of them finished within a few seconds of each other, with the Bob Bruce's crew shaking his fist in triumph at his victory over his close rival, SIDEWINDER. A whole bunch of Lasers were near the front of the fleet at the finish. Although the bigger boats finished ahead of them, they were pushed back on handicap.

On corrected time, the first ten boats were :-

1st Owen Laser
2nd Glen Laser
3rd Burbeck Merlin
4th Abbott Albacore
5th Riley Laser
6th Elliston Laser
7th Sinnock Laser
8th Glass Laser
9th Loake Laser
10th T Wilcock Laser

By the start of the fourth race, the sun had long gone in, and rain had started to fall. Fortunately, the wind stayed at between force 2 to 3. SIDEWINDER had had his appetite whetted by the close encounters of the Albacore kind, that had gone on in the previous race and was eager to finish in front of the Albacores from Kent, Sussex and Lincolnshire. He was on the start line, waiting for what he thought was the 5 minute gun, when he noticed that all the other boats were jostling each other, all on the starboard tack. He took a quick look back at the Committee Boat ; and then saw that the 'blue Peter' was already flying. With that, the starting gun went, and he got carried over the line with the rest of the fleet. Luckily, he was far enough behind a Black Osprey, to be able to tack onto port into clear air. Then strangely enough, the rest of the boats seemed to be behind him. Even the Hornet did not overtake SIDEWINDER until just before the windward mark and the Albacore was the second boat to round it. But he could not match the speed of the Lasers once they started planing down the second leg, Two of them, Riley and Owen shot past before the gybe mark. The two Albacores of Abbott and Pierce also got through, with Pierce leading Abbott for most of the race. But SIDEWINDER did manage to keep in front of the other boats of his class. At the end of this race, all the boats headed for the southern shore and beached there, for a rest and a snack, ready for the next race to begin.

The first ten boats on corrected time were:-

1st Riley Laser
2nd Abbott Albacore
3rd Pierce Albacore
4th Owen Laser
5th Glass. Laser
6th Richmond Hornet
7th T Wilcock Laser
8th Sivers Laser
9th Burbeck Merlin
10th Gooch Albacore

Having enjoyed their picnic on the southern shore, the fleet returned to the water, in preparation for the fifth race. The wind was blowing force 3, and the rain was still falling. The Comet (a small single- hander), from Scotland, was seen to capsize when caught by a gust. Then the mast of Charlie Jordan's Albacore collapsed and fell overboard (it looked as if one of the shrouds had gone. As he was towed away he was heard to mutter, "I suppose that I will have to buy it now". Then there was another casualty, the Minisail of B Read, from Sussex. His rudder blade collapsed. He had to be towed in by a rescue boat too. And this was all before the race had even started. When it did start, it was the red Osprey that shot into the lead. He was followed by a whole bevy of Lasers. Ross Elliston was in the van, pursued by Owen, Sivers, Glass, Tim Wilcock and Alistair Glen. The leading Albacore was MONARCH, and this time they were determined to stay ahead of Abbott and the rest of the class. Abbott had his work cut out trying to keep in front of Steve Vessey. For SIDEWINDER this race was a disaster. Whilst on the beat, they were caught by a sudden wind change and the boat swung over to windward. The valiant crewman, Clive, fell straight out of the boat. This caused the boat then to swing the other way and capsize to leeward.

page 18

leeward. /

At the shock of seeing his 'Number One' abandoning ship, the skipper forgot to nip over the port side onto the centreboard and do his nifty bit of capsize drill. Instead he ended up in the water too, on the opposite to the centreboard. This entailed a quick swim around the boat, trying not to turn the boat turtle (it is so much more difficult to right it when it is upside down). The skipper found the centreboard and clambered thereon, and used his meagre weight to pull the boat upright. Only then was he able to recover his Mate who had just succeeded in blowing up his inflatable life jacket. By now, all the opposition were long gone. However, they slowly sailed the boat dry and continued racing. They were just in time to see John Neaverson and his new found crew, Peter Moore, capsize their Merlin. How kind of them to allow SIDEWINDER to catch them up! Dick Sivers beat Roger Glass by only one second, and ended up with exactly the same corrected time as Palmer's Osprey.

The first ten boats were:-

1st Elliston Laser
2nd Owen Laser
= 3rd Palmer Osprey
= 3rd Sivers Laser
5th Glass Laser
6th T Wilcock Laser
7th Glen Laser
8th Norman Laser
9th Pierce Albacore
10th Sinnock Laser

It was a tired, wet and bedraggled fleet that then made their way back to the Clubhouse. Some were pleased that they had done so well. Others were determined to do better in the future. But all had enjoyed the sailing and fellowship at this prestigious event. Most of them met later in the evening at the Prize Giving, where the trophies were presented by Mr A Goodson, Chief Constable of the Leicestershire Constabulary, and Hon. Secretary of the P.A.A. He voiced the thoughts of all the competitors when he offered a vote of thanks to the members of the Leicestershire Police Sailing Club for all the hard work they had put into organising and running the event. There was rather a nice touch at the prize giving, when. not only were the normal official photographs taken of the winners accepting their prizes, but also there was a young lady taking pictures with a Polaroid camera. As the instant pictures churned out of her magic box, they were handed to the prize winner concerned as a memento.

The 1983 P.A.A. Nationals are to be held, God willing, at Exmouth, in Devon, on Saturday and Sunday, the 24th and 25th of September, under the flag of the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary. It is a beautiful venue, with all the room in the world on the water.

See pages 20/21 for full results.


- - - - - - - - - -oooo0oooo- - - - - - - - - -


I have mentioned on an earlier page, that Sgt Peter Philips of the Devon and Cornwall Police, was building a trimaran for the above event, and possibly for the Trans Atlantic events. Well, the craft has now been completed. It is 60 feet long, and is called LIVERY DOLE III. Apparently the name is that of part of the West Country (as well as that of the name of the Garage of one of his sponsors).

About a week ago he took the trimaran down to the Solent, to take part in the Seahorse multihull series of races, organised by the Royal London Yacht Club, at Cowes. The event is one of the few multihull racing series held in U.K. waters. Unfortunately, the rules on sponsorship banned the well known larger and faster craft from taking part, and therefore Peter had no real competition. However, LIVERY DOLE is extremely fast. In one race he finished in 3 hours 43 minutes. The next boat to finish took 4 hours 48 minutes. So watch out for the name in July's race.


page 19




1st G Owen Merseyside Laser 8895 4 2


2nd Abbott/Goddard Metro Albacore 6649 5 4 2 12 = 11
3rd J&E Burbeck Metro Merlin 3065 3 3 9 16 = 15
4th A Glen Metro Laser 100335 6 2 17 7 = 15
5th R Elliston Metro Laser 75119 10 6 11 = 16
6th M Riley Devon & Cornwall Laser 78377 28 5 11 = 16
7th Palmer/Tucker Dorset Osprey 1175 2 15 12 =3 = 17
8th R Glass Metro Laser 102722 18 8 5 5 = 18
9th T Wilcock Sussex Laser 54471 9 10 7 6 = 22
10th R Sivers Northants Laser 5 26 11 8 =3 = 22
11th D Sinnock Kent Laser 102500 7 7 19 10 = 24
12th Pierce/Ross Metro Albacore 6403 13 14 3 9 = 25
13th G Norman Notts Laser 43330 11 17 19 8 = 36
14th J Loake Sussex Laser 42199 20 9 16 15 = 40
15th Gooch/Bishop Metro Albacore 442 8 25 10 31 = 43
16th C Wilcock Sussex Laser 61738 22 19 18 14 = 51
17th R Bruce Kent Albacore 7152 29 20 13 21 = 54
18th J Braide G.M.P. Laser 6338 33 13 21 20 = 54
19th P Goodman Sussex Albacore 6678 23 21 15 19 = 55
20th P Walters Notts Laser 3998 14 16 28 26 = 56
21st R Bramhall G.M.P. Enterprise 10932 4 - 30 23 = 57
22nd J Neaverson Notts Merlin 2905 24 12 22 38 = 58
23rd G Richmond Essex Hornet 798 37 18 6 - = 61
24th P Skerman Sussex Laser 72570 17 22 23 25 = 62
25th S Vessey Lincs Albacore 5888 - 23 26 13 = 62
26th R Jones Beds Laser 36094 27 24 27 17 = 68
27th J Nelson G.M.P. Laser 56240 30 27 34 22 = 79
28th N Woolger Sussex Laser 32531 45 26 25 28 = 79
29th M Wilson Lothian Laser 54587 35 41 29 18 = 82
30th Jones/Waddell Sussex Graduate 2511 12 40 32 - = 84
31st G Gathersole Notts Int 14  947 16 61 39 30 = 85
32nd S Roberts S Wales Laser 75333 19 27 39 - = 85
33rd Critchley/Cross Lancs GP14  6043 34 30 35 24 = 88
34th B Mason Essex GP14  9410 32 29 36 27 = 88
35th J&C Humber Lancs GP14  11088 36 31 33 29 = 93
36th B Hudson Herts Solo 2198 25 38 47 36 = 99
37th D Coleman Metro Mirror 43150 47 39 31 34 = 104
38th G Ford Leics Laser 35474 31 34 43 - = 108
39th J Benson Lancs Albacore 1294 57 31 36 44 = 111
40th C Jordan Kent Albacore 5183 21 - 14 - =  
41st B Selby N Yorks Laser 88687 54 42 41 32 = 115
42nd Edwards/Sturdy W. Mids Merlin 3273 39 48 44 35 = 118
43rd M Hudson G.M.P. Laser 46242 15 51 57 - = 123
44th J Coppenhall Cambs Laser 85068 56 37 42 45 = 124
45th R Fosberry Leics Enterprise 16185 38 47 48 40 = 125
46th H Nicholson Beds Solo 1968 51 36 38 - = 125
47th G Squires W Yorks Laser 32649 30 50 50 46 = 126
48th J Corner Lancs GP14  10358 48 46 51 33 = 127
49th M Thornton S Yorks Osprey 804 46 35 46 - = 127
50th C Lewis Hants Solo 1625 - 53 45 39 = 127
51st N Jackson Notts Laser 102559 59 45 23 - = 127
52nd E Meadows Humber Wayfarer 6932 40 55 58 41 = 136
53rd M Corless G.M.P. Enterprise 19342 43 49 49 - = 141
54th M Albrow Sussex Graduate 2526 49 59 53 42 = 144
55th B Gardner Merseyside Laser 91402 50 44 54 - = 148
56th J Bowen S Wales GP14  4114 53 53 56 43 = 149
57th E Frith W Mids Fireball 4675 - 54 60 37 = 151
58th P McWade Merseyside Laser 77847 41 - 59 - =  
59th D Lindsay Durham Miracle 2105 60 60 62 47 = 167
60th P Nordquist Devon & Cornwall Laser 78339 - 33 52 - =  
61st M Wood G.M.P. Enterprise 7451 44 58 - - =  
62nd P Atkin Staffs GP14  1476 52 52 - - =  
63rd B Read Sussex Minisail 3745 55 - 54 - =  
64th P Newton Notts Laser 43319 - - 61 48 =  
65th A Walker Staffs Merlin 3034 42 - - - =  
66th J Savage Leics Enterprise 9417 58 57 - - =  
67th C Acton S Wales Laser 58010 61 - - - =  
68th A Hards Northern Comet 3 - 56 63 - =  
(All the above results are subject to verification by the Leics. Police Sailing Section)

- - - - - - - - - -oooo0oooo- - - - - - - - - -



  1978 1979 1980 1981
(52 Entries)
Thorpe Bay
(71 Entries)
(65 Entries)
(58 Entries)
1st Glen/Pierce
2nd G Owen
J & E Burbeck R Elliston
3rd R Elliston
T Briggs
(National 12)
G Owen
D & A Glen

page 21


We considered ourselves to be a strong, all male crew of seven, aboard a 36' Westerley Conway fin keeled ketch. At least four of our number could be said to be very experienced sailors in home waters, one of these having seen service as a life-boatman. Of the remaining three, one other and myself had sailed in the Channel and North Sea many times before. The seventh member had crossed to France on at least one previous occasion.

On Saturday 27th April 1982 we left on a sunny afternoon, from St Katherine's Dock, at Tower Bridge, with the intention of reaching Dieppe on our first stop. All going well, we would be there by Sunday evening. Our eventual destination was to be Lymington.

As the Saturday afternoon turned to evening, it became apparent that our 'Swedish Donkey' would, in every likelihood, be called upon to do all the work, unassisted by sail. Later that evening, with the Goodwins astern, this became confirmed, and a further dampener to our spirits was the ever decreasing visibility.

It was at this point, with the eerie sound of the South Goodwin diaphone in our ears, that the decision was reached to call at Boulogne, by which time we would be experiencing adverse tide. We could also top up with fuel.

Having heard a forecast of continued low visibility at 1.53 p.m. on Sunday, in Boulogne, we decided that we could remain well within the shipping lanes, and we sallied forth for Dieppe, which came up on the nose some eleven motoring hours later.

The day was spent casting around the little town and making the usual visitors' purchases of cheese and wine. Our evening meal in a local restaurant was a sober affair. We took care to keep to reasonable portions, and there was no excesses in wine.

The midnight forecast was for north-easterly winds of Force 6 to 7, and occasionally, gale first. Varne gave an 8, while Royal Sovereign and Channel Light Vessel were reading Force 6.

Our decision was to continue.

2 a.m. on Tuesday found us with a well-reefed main, no mizzen and as yet no foresail, motoring out through the busy, well-lit channel from Dieppe's outer harbour to the sea. A reasonable swell was running in and, even in the shelter, the wind strength was beginning to make itself felt.

It did not occur to anyone that we should turn back.

On clearing the entrance of the harbour, between the lit towers, we saw the sea state for the first time and we found ourselves on a precarious lee shore. The wind was just west of north. We immediately unrolled a small jib from the roller furling foresail and almost immediately the engine rattled noisily, obviously overheating. Very soon, fumes were emerging, and we therefore turned it off.

For the first time, mention was made of a return, but re-entry without engine was considered far too dangerous now that we could see the size of the rollers pounding themselves on the entrance.

As yet, no green water was reaching our sheltered central cockpit, but very heavy spray rapidly soaked the three of us who were clipped on there. The other four were cosily ensconced in the cabin, snoozing as best they could before taking second watch.

page 22

A start was made by those down below to remove the filter sieve on the water inlet, but sickness, struck amazingly rapidly, and their efforts were suspended.

On a close reach, we were able to weather the headland on our port. The Pte A'Ailly Light made this very apparent.

This point of sailing was, however, very wet, and in the 40 to'50 knot gusts it was necessary to pay off and give a little, slipping wind from the main. Between gusts, wind strength fluctuated between a reasonable 25 and 30 knots.

At this stage, our common concern was to get well away from that lee shore.

After what seemed to be an amazingly short period of time, all of those down below were completely incapacitated through sea sickness, and one in the cockpit had also suffered, but was not yet incapable.

We were quite glad of the now heavy rain and frequent spray showers to wash down the floor of the cockpit (and indeed our trousers and boots, which seemed to be the target for the sufferers).

A ' Mayday ' call by another British yacht quite close by, caused initial concern, and we immediately responded, but were doubly relieved to hear of more capable assistance close by. The calmness of the operator seeking assistance earned our admiration, and he made us proud of our heritage and bolstered our spirits.

My recollection is that the lull came just before dawn. After a time, we even began thinking about pulling out a little more foresail. I ruined it all and tempted the fates by saying, " We'll should get out more sail. The gusts will become less frequent and we'll end up' having a great sail home".

No sooner were the words out of my mouth, when we were literally flattened by a prolonged gust, which I read at 52 knots. Instead of dying back to 25 as before, the wind now was never less than 35 knots, and frequently reached 50. Although 52 knots was again achieved, I did not read anything in excess of this.

We hardly noticed the rain, which became heavier; and the seas were whipped into a confused frenzy, for this fresh wind had swung more to the west. Several times, heavy green water deluged our cockpit. The variation in the wind's direction caused cross-seas which were uncomfortable.

We were now down to two effective crew, and one of these, Alex, who had done the great bulk of the helming, now also had his head at the lee rail.

Now that we had our sea room, the plan was to drop the main and turn and run with the wind. We had found that lying hove-to was impossible.

Alex's super-human task was in dropping the mainsail and lashing it fast to the boom. I contented myself in endeavouring to simplify his efforts, as far as possible from the helm.

My reading from the Fastnet accounts and Allard Coles came back to me forcefully. The very act of moving from one place to another within the cockpit was ponderous and excruciatingly slow. Clipping on, unclipping, holding tight and striving for a foothold on slippery, heaving decks and cockpit sides, required the utmost care. The very act of breathing in the wind and wet was, in itself, so difficult as to demand some concentration.

Having turned to run, the foresail was reduced to a two foot size, and even then, our speed reached 8 knots at times, dropping to 4 at others. But this angle of sail was almost dry ! Our scheme was to head into the Bay of the Seine, and hopefully, then into Le Havre, which in this most westerly wind direction, would be a sheltered shore.

page 23

An approximate course was worked out and was even more approximately steered, for in the now steely-grey light we could see each hill of water approaching from behind, with its fiercely grinning white crest. We found that this was best taken dead astern, and then the final headlong rush did not knock us too far askew.

Company in the cockpit was a blessed thing. We had sung, we had talked to and at one another - most of it drivel - to keep yourselves alert, and now with one steering, the other could warn him of the approach of each ensuing monster. In the few moments at a time that I was left in the cockpit, I felt utterly alone.

After a few hours running with the waves, the movement was bearable as one became acclimatized. Also the wave pattern, although higher, was more regular. Our immediate seascape was similar to the hilly land pattern of my native Scotland. Fleetingly, glimpses of the sun cheered us, and eventually, land became discernible on the port bow. In some trepidation at first, I steered away, keeping it only just visible between rain squalls, possibly 10 to 15 miles distant. But this land was no longer a true lee shore. It ran more parallel to the wind's direction, and eventually we allowed it to approach, albeit slowly, and running at an angle, towards those cliffs.

Now John was recovering, and he was able to clear the weed-blocked water inlet. Anxiously, we started the engine and were relieved to find that the fault had been cured.

The shelter provided by the following seas removed all wind from the foresail and reduced way at a time that steerage was vital. For this reason we decided to motor-sail, and with a more expert helmsman, in the shape of John, our progress improved, both as to comfort and speed. The only difficulty now being the somewhat excessive, if exhilarating, 11 knots' ride on the crests.

Only once did we broach badly, and that was at this stage. One moment I was on the starboard cockpit seat, spotting the monsters, and in the next found myself lying, in the port side, looking up at the vertical floor and the now empty starboard seats above me. Below, and precariously near, was that steely grey, cold English Channel. The situation at that time was funny and we laughed uproariously, if somewhat hysterically, as we righted.

As another of our experienced crew slowly began to recover, we had more hands to study charts, and we decided that we must be very close to the oil tankers' refuge at Antifer, where a great wall extended some two miles out to sea, like a protective mother's arm.

Soon we were within that calm embrace, and by 2 p.m. we were safely moored with friendly French voices agreeing that we could shelter. What peace : What bliss !:

These hazardous twelve hours had given us much experience, and our discussion period afterwards highlighted many lessons.

My main purpose in writing this is to help people to learn from our mistakes. We re-learned many lessons which we had, to our peril, ignored.

Obviously, our main error was in setting off in spite of the forecast. Conditions were bad at first, and became worse. Our meal out, I believe, contributed to the severity of the 'mal-de-mer', and our tiredness slowed our reactions.

Perhaps if we consider our (faulty) reasons for going, we can learn further. We had so far motored all the way and were anxious to sail. We were overconfident in the strength of our crew. Some wanted to reach Lymington by the following day, and allowed this to put pressure on them to sail. Those of us who were a little doubtful did not speak out strongly enough - for some of the reasons given above. The very sheltered inner harbour at Dieppe did not relate, even remotely, to the conditions outside, which had deteriorated since our earlier daylight sortie to the harbour wall.

page 24

Having left the shelter, I believe that our actions were basically correct. Losing the engine was a blow. We could perhaps have turned and run a little sooner, and we should have kept a more accurate log.

Damage to the boat was minimal. Alterations will, I am sure, be made to minor matters, such as clipping-on points, running jack stays, etc., but she stood up very well to her ordeal. She is strong, solid and amazingly dry.


- - - - - - - - - -oooo0oooo- - - - - - - - - -



1st J & E Burbeck Metro Merlin Rocket 1 1 6 = 0
2nd T Wilcock Sussex Laser 2 2 2 = 6
3rd R Glass Metro Laser 5 9 1 = 10
4th A Glen Metro Laser 3 4 3 = 11.4
5th Gooch/Bishop Metro Albacore 4 6 4 = 16
6th Goodman/Scrase Sussex Albacore 8 3 7 = 18.7
7th J Loake Sussex Laser 6 7 5 = 21.7
8th P Skerman Sussex Laser 9 5 9 = 26.7
9th C Wilcock Sussex Laser 7 10 8 = 27
10th R Burnside Hants Laser 10 8 11 = 30
11th C Nicholson Beds Laser 11 11 10 = 33
12th C Lewis Hants Solo 12 14 12 = 36
13th H Nicholson Beds Solo 13 12 13 = 37
14th B Read Sussex Minisail 14 13 rtd = 39


This years Hampshire Police Regatta was held at Eastney Cruising Association club at Southsea, at the mouth of Langstone Harbour, on Thursday 8th July 1982. The weather was ideal, with bright sunshine and light breezes all day. The number of entries was disappointing, with only 14 boats taking to the water. However, that is the biggest field that Hampshire have had since they have been holding their meeting at Eastney. Sussex sent along 6 boats, and the Met sent 4. Like last year, John Woodhouse was unable to sail his 5o5 because of damage sustained at an earlier meeting.

This year, instead of starting at the clubhouse, a committee boat took us outside the harbour and the Race Officer set Olympic type courses. The first race was held before lunch. The other two were held in the afternoon, 'back to back'. That is, with all the boats staying out on the water after the second race finished and then starting the third race as soon as the committee boat could get back to the starting buoy.

The Burbecks sailed consistently well and won the first two races. Tim Wilcock also sailed consistently and was able to keep ahead of all the other Lasers, coming 2nd in every race. Roger Glass won the last race, and came 3rd overall. The two Albacores had their own little race, with Sidewinder just holding the lead.


page 25


On Thursday 17th June 1982 at 9-30 pm seven of us met at Victoria Coach Station to catch the 10 O'clock coach northwards to Fort William, to take over the yacht 'ZAP', after the Three Peaks Race, and take it back to its mooring at the River Hamble.

Of this crew, there was myself, newly qualified in January, this year, as a Yachtmaster Offshore, and because I was the only one of the seven holding a Yachtmaster's Certificate, I had been appointed skipper for the return voyage. I wished to do this trip in order to complete my yachtmaster ocean practical, which required Astro fixes whilst sailing a non-stop passage of over 500 miles by the shortest navigable route.

I knew, and frequently sailed with, two of the others, but the capabilities of the remaining four were unknown to me, except for brief details of their experience. I decided to divide the crew into two watches of three, working a four hour watch system with dog watches from 1600 to 1800, and 1800 to 2000.

The Starboard Watch consisted of :-

Carl JAKOBSON - WATCH LEADER: I have sailed a great deal with Carl and his wife, Chris. He has more mileage in than me, and has qualified as a YACHTMASTER OFFSHORE in all but the oral exam, which he has yet to get round to taking. I know his capabilities and navigational skill, and trust his judgement, so I made him my chief-navigator.

Chris JAKOBSON: Carl's wife, who has had, the same mileage as him, and holds the Yachtmaster Theory certificate. She has exceptional endurance, and the tenacity to drive herself in any conditions without thought for herself.

John POOLE:. whom I had never met, but who had told me that he had no experience of going to sea in a yacht, although he had some dinghy sailing experience. At this stage he was an unknown quantity, both to himself and to me.

The Port Watch consisted of :-

Dave STYGALL - WATCH LEADER : He has several thousand miles experience, but has yet to undertake the Yachtmaster Theory course. He was the only one who had. previously sailed in 'ZAP', an Oyster 37 rigged for racing, which was unfamiliar tome. Because of his mileage and knowledge of 'ZAP', I made him watch leader, with responsibility for some navigation.

Nick SANDLING: the proud owner of a 26' Eventide, who obviously had a wide knowledge of seamanship, though little experience of long passage-making, as he usually sailed short handed. He turned out to be an endless source of hidden talents and information, which at this stage was unknown to me.

Andy HEWETT: who had recently taken up sailing and had a couple of trips under his belt, but still with limited experience.

As a prelude to our rendezvous we heard on the day before, that 'ZAP' had lost its propeller off Ravenglass, and had been towed into Workington. However, at 4-30 pm that day John STICKLAND, the race skipper, had phoned me to say that a new prop was en route, and they hoped to be heading for Fort William again on Thursday. At teatime on Thursday, John phoned' again to let me know that the new prop had been fitted, the engine tested, and that they would be on their way at about 8 pm, as soon as they could lock-out of Workington.

So, promptly at 10 pm, the coach set out for Glasgow, with us all content in the knowledge that 'ZAP' was being driven at all possible speed towards our mutual destination.

page 26

The journey to Glasgow was smooth, fast and uneventful. We arrived in that drab city at 6 am to face a 4 hour wait for the Fort William coach, and nothing happens or opens until after 8 am. However, after a bite to eat, we boarded the Fort William coach and enjoyed a scenic trip through the Highlands in bright sunshine, arriving just after 1 pm.

Shortly afterwards, we made contact with Dave EATWELL, from D.7., who was in charge of the race support team. He handed over to us the race team's car and their gear, then had to make tracks with his lads for London. The car was a blessing, as we were able to ferry our mountain of gear to a B & B in Corpach, close to the race finish, and where 'ZAP' would tie up.

On Saturday morning, three of us descended on a local supermarket and, much to the manager's delight, purchased vast stocks of food from the lists Chris had prepared, being enough for seven of us for 7 days. When Andy came to pick us up he brought the happy tidings that 'ZAP' was in, after having made a very fast passage from Workington of some 36 hours.

We transferred the stores and all the gear to the quayside, then I took over the yacht from John STICKLAND & Co., none of whom had slept during the passage. We then set about stowing all our gear ready to sail at tea time, to catch the tide.

During the race, the ghoster had been torn, and a batten-pocket blown out on the main, both of which needed repairing. Mick SANDLING immediately declared his ability to make sail repairs, and sat down on the quay with the sails and his equipment, and got to work. We had to bring him and the sails aboard to get under way, but he kept at the work, and it was close on midnight before he had finished, and what excellent repairs he made.

Finally, customs form having been delivered, we cast off at 5-40 pm, heading for St Helier, Jersey, There being no wind, and with the main still being repaired, we motored down Loch Linnhie on a very pleasant and sunny evening. Along the Loch we were entertained by the seals, which kept bobbing up in the water, peering at us, then diving again.

Along the Loch we motored, leaving Lismore Island to starboard, into the Firth of Lorn, then leaving Kerrera and Seil to port. It was getting dark after 11 pm when we were approaching the light at Fladda, and a little while afterwards, the main was finished and hoisted, but there was still no wind.

At midnight the starboard watch took over, and Carl guided us through the Sound of Luing with its vicious overfalls, which tweaked the yacht off course as if it was a piece of driftwood. By 2 am the Gulf of Corryvrechan, with its notorious whirlpools and tide rips, was left to starboard, as we headed into the Sound of Jura, en route for the Mull of Kintyre.

Shortly after 6 am a light breeze sprung up and, to everyone's relief, we were able to turn off the engine and get sailing. The light NE wind continued fitfully all day, giving John POOLE a chance to get his fishing rod out. He managed to catch 4 mackerel during the day, which he and Carl cooked for their tea not long after rounding the Mull.

All night we sailed southwards with the same fitful north easterly, passing Belfast Lough in the early hours of Monday morning, and not long after, close to Ram Head Lighthouse. Having now left the area of strong tidal streams for a while, we headed for Land's End. But as the day progressed, we discovered that the tides had set us closer to the Irish coast so that, at 10 pm, we passed the East Codling buoy, south of Dublin Bay, mile to starboard.

page 27

The shipping forecasts that evening were promising gales in the Irish Sea, so when the wind began to freshen on Tuesday morning, we judiciously shortened sail. By 5 am the yacht was wearing the No.3 genoa and two slabs in the main. Before 8 am the third slab was in the main, with the wind Force 6, gusting 7. I had left it a bit late, but soon after Carl and I set the storm jib, a heavy squall hit us. 10 am saw us on a broad reach with a full easterly gale blowing, and it was now apparent to me that 'ZAP' was a very good sea boat. She was really enjoying these conditions, delighting in playfully dipping her bow into the top of a wave and casually dumping a large lump of sea down our necks as we sat in the cockpit.

Towards evening, the wind moderated, but by early next morning it was up to gale force again, this time from the west. At about 10 am I was on the helm, with the wind speed indicator reading just under 50 knots, and the log recording 9 knots through the water. The seas were quite large and it was exhilarating helming in these conditions, but at no time did she feel over canvassed or give me cause for concern.

During these gales we all found our strengths and weaknesses. John decided that he had the choice of either being seasick and starving, or eating. He chose the latter course, and could be found at the height of the gales propped in the galley, eating cold baked beans from a tin and providing refreshments for those who wanted them. Mick was cheer leader. He fascinated all of us with his amusing stories and accounts of his hobbies, skills and his menagerie at home. He also kept his watch supplied during the nights with quantities of fried egg sandwiches. Dave, the only member of the crew who had been at sea in a yacht in similar conditions before, happily worked away at the chart table, puffing cigarette smoke into our delicate and sometimes green faces.

By midday on Wednesday, due to the weather and problems brought about by lack of familiarity with the boat and its gear, most of the crew were out of dry clothing, and beginning to lose resistance to the conditions. My survival bags, which I had carried around unused for years, had both been in use - both Carl and Dave had been swimming on the foredeck, and one of my crew had not left his bunk, eaten or drunk for 36 hours. I therefore decided to abandon the direct passage to St Helier, and make for Falmouth, the nearest suitable port, where we could dry out - we were on holiday !

A little while later the light at the eastern end of St Ives Bay was sighted and we beat down to Land's End. The wind had by now moderated to a Force 6 to 7, and once again 'ZAP' surprised me in her ability to beat to windward, reefed right down in these rather boisterous conditions, sailing 35 degrees off the apparent wind in a flurry of spray.

We rounded Land's End that evening and midnight found us becalmed off Lizard Point. By first light on Thursday, there still being no appreciable wind, we motored into Falmouth with very little fuel in our tanks. Having called Falmouth Marina on the R.T. we were met at the fuel jetty by a very knowledgeable chap, who stood about 20 yards to windward and informed us that he had opened up the showers for us. We temporarily moored to the fuel jetty and had a sort out of wet clothes, cleaned up the boat and stowed the sails and gear, then had a glorious shower and shave.

When we were all cleaned up and sweet smelling once again we descended on a little cafe in Falmouth that Mick had researched, devouring all their food in 7 huge breakfasts. They visibly paled when Mick suggested that we might return a little later for cream teas. That evening we had an excellent meal in the marina clubhouse. Shortly after 9 am the following morning we set sail once again for St Helier, with both the crew and the boat refuelled, rested and refreshed.

Early Saturday morning found us under the free showers in St Helier's new marina. Later we explored the town, and in the evening after a drink at the yacht club, the more affluent of us dined at Pedro's Fish Restaurant, the others to a pub.

We all returned to 'ZAP' shortly after 11 pm and severely punished a bottle of duty free scotch.

page 28

The next morning, after a mediocre breakfast at the bus station, we sailed for St Peter's Port, with Chris navigating, and after a pleasant day's sail, arrived at about 6 pm. However, once we tied up, it started to rain and kept it up all evening until we could get in the marina at 10-30 pm. What was worse was that there are no pubs open on a Sunday evening, and no one had any scotch.

The following day we breakfasted on board, then left the marina at 11 am. and sailed to Bray Harbour, Alderney, arriving early afternoon. Chris had organised a picnic so we went ashore by water taxi, had a few drinks, then had our picnic on the beach. We then walked up the hill to St Anne - the town - to sample the ale, see the sights, and find a fish and chip shop. Unfortunately, like England, the fish and chip shops don't open on Mondays. Then with little time to spare we returned to the quay to catch the water taxi at 10-30 pm, and had a meal aboard with Carl once more officiating - as chef.

At 11-15 am on Tuesday morning we dropped our mooring in Bray Harbour, and after a sunny passage, left the Needles to starboard at 8-20 pm. We finally tied 'ZAP' up in her own berth at Mercury Marina, Hamble, at 2-20 am. At 8-30 am we cleared Customs, then showered and spent the next few hours cleaning and stowing the boat ready to hand it over to the owners at mid day.

We logged a total of 844 miles, and I learnt a lot from, which in reality was, my first command and feel that I was lucky to have such a long-suffering and understanding crew. It was a memorable voyage which was enhanced by such an interesting and diversely talented crew. It was a shame that I was unable to complete my Astro navigation, but if the weather does not Co-operate there is not much you can do.


- - - - - - - - - -oooo0oooo- - - - - - - - - -



1st Palmer/Gillett Dorset Osprey 2 4 = 3
2nd G Owen Mersey Laser 3 R 2 = 5
3rd Gooch/Bishop Metro Albacore 2 4 5 = 6
4th R Glass Metro Laser 5 2 3 3 = 8
5th E Hinds Dorset Dayboat 4 5 4 7 = 13
6th C Wilcock Sussex Laser 6 3 6 5 = 14
7th D Coleman Metro Mirror 7 6 7 10 = 20
8th P Skerman Sussex Laser 8 7 9 6 = 21
9th B Tucker Dorset O.K. 9 8 10 9 = 26
10th H Nicholson Beds Laser R 9 11 8 = 28
11th S Roberts S Wales Laser 10 R 8 DNS = 32
12th Bailey/Harding Dorset Wayfarer 11 10 12 11 = 32
13th B Drew Beds Skipper 14 14 14 12 = 40


The 1982 Dorset Police Regatta was held on the 21st and 22nd July, at Poole Yacht Club, in Poole Harbour. This is normally quite a popular event, but this year the numbers were right down. Only 13 entries appeared on the result sheet, and only three boats from the Met. It was most disappointing for the organising committee.

page 29

Dorset Police Regatta has been won for the last two years by Edward Hind, of the local Force, sailing a Dayboat. The Dayboat is a rather heavy clinker built dinghy, which is normally left on moorings, and has a Dorset Police Regatta has been won for the last two years by Edward Hind of the local Force, sailing a Dayboat. The Dayboat is a rather heavy clinker built dinghy, which is normally left on moorings, and has a Portsmouth Yardstick of 129. In a blow there is no holding them, and they are a job to beat in lesser winds. However, this year was not to be Eddie's, and he had to make do with 5th prize.

The man who was to topple him from his position as the Dorset champion was his team-mate, Malcolm Palmer (crewed by Mike Gillett of the host club), sailing his Osprey. The Osprey goes to the other extreme, as far as Portsmouth Yardsticks are concerned, and has a handicap of 98. It is a very fast boat, and the only part that the rest of the fleet sees is the transom. To see one going at full speed, with the spinnaker ballooned out, and the crew stretched out on the trapeze wire, is a sight to behold. Malcolm won the first two races of the four race event with ease, finishing so far ahead of the opposition that he was almost out of sight. But he had to work much harder on the second day, and then only obtained a 2nd and 4th places. The best three of those results were enough to win the meeting overall.

The man who could have won this regatta, had he known the position of the buoys in Poole Harbour, was the second prize winner, Gareth Owen, from Merseyside. This was, Gareth's first visit to Dorset, and he had combined the police event with the laser National Championships, being held the following week at Parkstone Sailing Club, also in Poole Harbour. He is a former Cadet National Champion, and is this year's Police National Champion. Sailing his Laser, he won the third race, and gained 2nd and 3rd places in two
other races.

The third prize went to SIDEWINDER, the Met Albacore of Len Gooch and Clive Bishop. These two may not take their sailing as seriously as many other competitors, but they do enjoy it, and it always adds to that enjoyment if they can carry away some sort of prize. The close encounters they had with Gareth Owen in the first and last races kept them on their toes, and again added to their enjoyment. They managed to win the 4th race and gained 2nd and 4th places in two others.

Roger Glass, the Wallington Laser helm, took the 4th prize, He appeared to be the only other singlehander to get anywhere near Owen. Many times he got in front of him, but the man from Liverpool always managed to slip by before the finish. Roger gained a 2nd place and two 3rds.

The only other M.P.S.C. member to attend was Derek Coleman. He was feeling much better than he did when he sailed at the Nationals. There he was under the influence of some bug which he had caught from the members of his family. At Poole he was fighting fit, and it showed in the way he sailed. He was able to beat half of the Laser fleet and came 7th overall.

One other M.P.S.C. face that was seen on the water at Poole, although not sailing in this event, was that of Stan Batten. He was seen by the competitors sailing his latest boat, number 100300, in company with another Laser sailor. He told us that he was at Parkstone, coaching some lads for the Nationals. He looked very fit and well. Roger Glass is taking part in those Nationals, as well as Gareth Owen, and we wish them both well.

The first of the four races took place at 11-30 am on the Wednesday. The weather was warm, but overcast. The wind was force 3 to 4, NE. The course was an Olympic type one, with a triangle, sausage, triangle, with the start from the club line. The wind made the line very biased, with the first leg almost a fetch. Naturally, all the boats crowded the club end of the line. Many of the helmsman were well behind the line when the starting signal went. Poole Yacht Club use traffic light like signals for their starts, as well as sound signals. These can be confusing until you get used to them Chris Wilcock was one of those that was still steaming up and down the line when the race began. Palmer's Osprey soon went into the lead, with the Lasers of Owen and Glass in pursuit. The Albacore tagged on behind them. The Dayboat was also well to the fore in

page 30

fore in /

amongst the Lasers. The wind caused the reaches to become runs. This alloWed the Albacore to hold the leading Lasers off the wind. On the beats SIDEWINDER was able to overtake them. On the last run Owen, who is extremely fast down wind, overtook him again, but those positions were reversed on the last beat for the finish. SIDEWINDER was able to pull out a 45 second lead over Gareth. This was just enough to beat him on handicap. There was only one second between them on corrected time. Palmer's Osprey won the race.
SIDEWINDER was second and Gareth Owen was third. Roger Glass was the 4th boat to finish, but was pushed back to 5th overall by Eddie Hind's Dayboat. Chris Wilcock was 6th. Derek-Coleman, in the only Mirror, sailed well and finished in 7th place, behind the third Laser.

To stimulate more interest amongst the competitors, the Race Officer, Jim McGregor, suggested that for the second race we could have a race around Brownsea Island. This was a new venture, and was greeted by enthusiasm by all the fleet. The course took us around the island in a clockwise direction, taking in the marks:- 'Stakes', 'X Can', 'A Can', 'Aunt Betty', 'South Deep', Green Island, 'Piccadilly Circus' and 'Balls Lake', on the way. The majority of the sailors had never seen the south and east side of Brownsea. They were hoping to follow Malcolm Palmer in the Osprey. But, once the race had started, he just raced ahead. Once he had reached the eastern end of the island he was lost to view. Gareth Owen was able to use the long reaches to get ahead of the rest of the fleet. The water became a little crowded near the mouth of Poole Harbour, where a fleet of 'X class' boats were tacking towards us. Quite a picture they made too! After that the police fleet entered the narrow channels to the south of Brownsea. This channel is marked by marker posts. To venture outside these posts is to risk running aground in some very thick mud. Those competitors behind Palmer had difficulty in finding 'Piccadilly Circus', and looked to the rescue boat coxswain to point it out to them. But the coxswain was having trouble with his outboard motor, and in his eagerness to restart it, he pulled it clean off the transom of his boat, and it promptly sank below the waves. So, unable to lead the dinghies to 'Piccadilly', Gareth Owen passed him and got completely lost. Even those helmsmen who thought they knew where to find 'Piccadilly' could not see it. However, they were close enough to the unfortunate coxswain to ask him where it was. He stood up and pointed the way, like a human sign-post.

As the group of boats behind Gareth neared 'Piccadilly Circus', it was Roger Glass and Chris Wilcock in close company with SIDEWINDER. The crew of the Albacore remembered that 'Piccadilly' was a yellow spherical buoy, but they could not see it anywhere. They got nearer and nearer the western end of Browsea, and then, there it was, almost hidden by a small fleet of moored cruisers. It certainly looked a lot nearer the island than it did last year. They then tried to signal to Owen, but he was too far ahead to see them,
and he was heading straight towards the clubhouse. Having reached and negotiated the illusive 'Piccadilly', the two Lasers and the Albacore then turned west towards 'Balls Lake'. It was then that Gareth must have looked back, for he turned and headed that way too. They all arrived at 'Balls Lake' together, and then had a close tacking match to the finish. SIDEWINDER overstood the finish line and allowed the three Lasers to finish ahead of him. The boats that finished behind this leading group got the worst of the tide, which slowed them down considerably. Two of the boats with the 'slower' handicap
did well in this long race. They were Hind's Dayboat and Coleman's Mirror. They finished 5th and 6th respectively. The race was won by Palmer in the Osprey, with a 4 minute lead on handicap. Glass was second, with Wilcock third, and the Albacore 4th. Owen retired for missing out 'Piccadilly Circus'.

As a postscript to that second race, Malcolm Palmer and others went out that evening and recovered the lost outboard motor from the mud, off Green Island. Their task was made easier by the loser, who had had the presence of mind to mark the spot where the engine sank with a weighted rope and a fend-off from the rescue boat. On their return to the clubhouse, the drowned engine was given a good wash down with fresh water, including the pots. It was restarted, and appeared to be as good as new. The moral to this story is
- always make sure your outboard has a security strop attached to the boat.

page 31

On the Thursday morning the third race started at 10-30. The weather was overcast with sunny intervals. The wind was N.NE. 2 to 3. The course was an Olympic type, passing through the start/finish line each lap. As the starting time approached Malcolm Palmer was a bit too eager, and got to the starting line too soon. He veered away, only to collide with the Laser of Howard Nicholson. Malcolm apologised and promptly set about doing a 720
turn. In the midst of it the starting signal went. The Osprey, for once, was left at the back of the fleet. But he was not there for very long. He soon accelerated through the fleet and reached the first mark, 'Stakes', first. Owen was 2nd, Glass was 3rd, Wilcock was 4th, and SIDEWINDER 5th. Those 3 Lasers increased their lead on the long reach to '57'. From there it was another reach out to 'Balls Lake'. On this leg another Laser, in the shape of Steve Roberts from South Wales, overtook the Albacore. On the beat back to 'Stakes' SIDEWINDER pulled up two places. He then hung onto the tail of Glass and Owen on the broad reach/run back to 'Balls Lake', and was able to overtake them on the next beat to 'Stakes', reaching it about 10 yards ahead of Owen. But Owen was not to be beaten that easily and he pulled ahead again on the reach to '57'. Glass got closer and closer to the Albacore on the reach out to 'Balls Lake', but SIDEWINDER pulled away again on the final beat. The finishing order was :- Palmer, Owen, SIDEWINDER and Glass. The latter was only 20 seconds behind the Albacore. That pushed the bigger boat back into 5th place on handicap, sandwiched between Hinds and Wilcock. Owen won the race, with the Osprey 2nd, and Glass 3rd. Coleman finished well again, and gained 7th place, beating three Lasers.

The course for the last race was a rough figure of eight, using 'Stakes', 'X mark', 'A can' and 'Hatch'. At the start the Osprey shot off, followed by Owen, Glass and SIDEWINDER. Several passenger boats coming out from Poole Quay made life a little more interesting for the competitors as they approached 'Stakes'. It was a test of nerves as to who gave way to whom. But there were no collisions and the race went on. SIDEWINDER managed to overtake the leading Lasers on the beat to 'A can'. The only boat that seemed to know where it was, was the Osprey. So they all followed him. Then there was the long broad reach/run to 'Hatch'. On this leg SIDEWINDER managed to keep ahead of Owen and his other tormenters. It was on this leg too, that the shortened course signal was heard. It was certainly going to be a very short race! But that proved to be beneficial to the Albacore. He managed to cover Owen on the final beat, and finished about 45 seconds in front of him. That was enough to beat him on handicap. They also got a bonus by beating the Osprey on handicap too, and won the race. On corrected time, the poor old Osprey was pushed right back to 4th place, behind SIDEWINDER, Owen and Glass. For the Dayboat and the Mirror, this was their poorest race. They finished 7th and 10th respectively.

As a postscript to this meeting, we heard at the prize giving that this is the last time we will see Howard Nicholson from Bedfordshire, at Dorset. He is retiring from the police service at the end of August, and is hoping to move down to Helston, in Cornwall. There he is planning to run a small hotel. We wish him and his family every success with the venture. He should get plenty of good sailing in down there. Perhaps we could even see him at one of the Devon and Cornwall meetings.


- - - - - - - - - -oooo0oooo- - - - - - - - - -


Next years P.A.A. Championships will be held at Exmouth in Devon, under the auspices of the Devon and Cornwall Police. The date will be Saturday and Sunday the 24th and 25th of September. So put the date in your diary for 83, and make sure you are not on duty that weekend. It is a beautiful part of the country and well worth a visit.

page 32



1st T Wilcock Sussex Laser 54471 2 = 1
2nd L & J Gooch Metro Albacore 442 3 4 = 3
3rd C Wilcock Sussex Laser 61738 2 4 2 = 4
4th Goodman/Scrase Sussex Albacore 6678 4 3 6 = 7
5th J Loake Sussex Laser 42199 5 6 2 = 7
6th P Skerman Sussex Laser 72570 8 5 5 = 10
7th C Nicholson Beds Laser 52411 7 7 4 = 11
8th Bruce/Cousens Kent Albacore 7152 6 8 8 = 14
9th H Nicholson Beds Solo 1968 9 9 6 = 15
10th Jones/Waddell Sussex Graduate 2511 10 10 9 = 19
11th B Read Sussex Minisail 3745 12 12 10 = 22
11th B Tucker Dorset OK 1356 11 11 11 = 22
13th Albrow/Robinson Sussex Graduate 2526 13 14 - = 27


D East Sussex Topper 17553 14 13 - = 27

This years Sussex Police Regatta was held at Bexhill Sailing Club. For those of you who are not quite sure where Bexhill is - it is just west of Hastings and a few miles east of Eastbourne. The clubhouse is right on the beach (pebbles), and like Bognor, you need the help of a winch to get the boats back up from the water.

The local club members made us very welcome, and the races were run quite efficiently. There was a thick sea mist present as the competitors arrived, but they were glad to find that there was a fresh breeze too. The weather forecast was that the mist would clear by the afternoon.

The Race Officer, Gordon Viner, was a bit worried by the mist. The last thing he wanted was to have boats getting lost in the fog and losing their sense of direction. Not all the boats had compasses. So he decided to run the first race close to the shore, about half a mile either side of the clubhouse, using only two marks and the start/finish line. On reaching the marks all the boats had to turn in towards the shore. This made it a very slim 'figure of eight'. Neither mark could be seen from the line. It was quite a novel experience for most of us - and rather spooky.

In the first race it was Peter Goodman, in the Albacore, and Tim Wilcock, in the Laser, that crept into the lead. Behind them was Tim's brother, Chris, and SIDEWINDER. After two or three laps the leading pair crossed the line whilst sailing east, and thought they heard a signal. Thinking they had finished they headed into shore, only to find that it was the shorten course signal. So they resumed their course for the eastern mark. But their deviation had allowed brother Chris and the Met boat to catch them up, and they all rounded the mark close together. Meanwhile the rescue boat had confirmed to the other boats that the race would finish the next time they crossed the line. On the final beat Goodman was so busy covering the two Lasers that he failed to see that SIDEWINDER was taking a more direct line for the finish, right inshore. This paid off, and SIDEWINDER just pipped him to the post. However, the Lasers of Team Wilcock won the race on handicap, with SIDEWINDER 3rd and Goodman 4th. Bob Bruce also took the inshore line, even passing inside some of the wooden posts marking the ends of the breakwaters. He gained 6th place, behind John Loake. This race was fairly short, lasting only about 55 minutes.

page 33

After lunch the mist was as thick as ever. In view of this, Gordon Viner offered to run two short races, rather than one long one. This was agreed upon by the competitors. The course for the first race of the afternoon was similar to that of the morning race. At the start SIDEWINDER managed to get ahead of Peter Goodman and the Wilcock brothers. This time he concentrated on covering the Sussex Albacore and managed to stay in front. Paul Skerman and John Loake closed up with the others on the broad reaches, and Howard Nicholson was doing well in his Solo further back. At one stage in this race the mist started to lift, but 10 minutes later it clamped down again. On the last beat, Sidewinder once again took an inshore line, straight for the finish, far enough in front of Tim Wilcock and the other Lasers to beat the handicap. Bob Bruce narrowly missed damaging his boat when he came well inshore and struck something on the bottom with his centreboard, which made the whole boat jump up in the water. Tim finished 2nd, with Goodman 3rd. Chris Wilcock was 4th.

The course was altered for the last race, into a rough 'diamond', using three marks and the club line. The Wilcock duo got away to a good start, with the Albacores of Goodman and Bruce in close contention just behind them. SIDEWINDER got left at the start and then got confused as to the position of the windward mark which was well out of sight in the mist. John Loake and Colin Nicholson sailed well and were well in contention. As the whole fleet neared the third mark they were surprised to hear the shortened course signal. So the last short beat was a real sprint finish, with several leading boats almost line abreast. The Race Officer could not split Chris Wilcock and John Loake, and gave them the same time. This race ended with the Lasers taking the first four places:- Tim Wilcock 1st, Chris and John Loake 2nd: Colin Nicholson was 4th, equal with SIDEWINDER. The race was shortened because of the falling tide, and only lasted about 30 to 35 minutes.

The first prize therefore went to Tim Wilcock of the home team, in his laser, with two first places to count. SIDEWINDER just managed to beat his brother, Chris to the second prize, by of a point. Equal 4th prizes went to Peter Goodman in the Albacore, and John Loake in yet another Laser. So it was only the Met boat that stopped the Sussex team from clearing all the prizes.


- - - - - - - - - -oooo0oooo- - - - - - - - - -


SEPT 6th Nottinghamshire Police Regatta Retford Argonauts S C
  16th Kent Police Regatta Hampton Pier S C
  22nd British Police Laser Sailing Association Champs Middle Nene C C, Thrapston
  23rd Northamptonshire Police Regatta Middle Nene C C, Thrapston
OCT 2nd Devon & Cornwall Police Open Mayflower S C, Plymouth
The Sussex Pursuit Race, to be held on 6th September, was cancelled by the Sussex Police, due to circumstances beyond their control.

page 34



Click here to view content from the March, 1981 "Gybe Oh" magazine

Click here to view content from the November, 1981 "Gybe Oh" magazine

Click here to view content from the Spring, 1982 "Gybe Oh" magazine

here to view content from the Autumn, 1982 "Gybe Oh" magazine

Click here to view content from the March, 1983 "Gybe Oh" magazine

Click here to view content from the Autumn, 1983 "Gybe Oh" magazine

Click here to view content from the Summer, 1984 "Gybe Oh" magazine



If anyone has a hard copy of this or other old MPSC 'Gybe Oh' newsletters, please contact 'Barnacle Bill'.

Grateful thanks to C Jordan for supplying the above newsletter content.

Newsletter scanned December 2011