Pauline has a great summer of Challenger sailing 2018

Our Welly Sailability sailor, Pauline Shaw, has competed in … wait for it … THREE major events this summer! She puts the rest of us well and truly to shame.

"I think it was the fastest I've sailed and SO exciting, though I got very wet from the spray"

First was the Challenger English National Championships at Grafham, from 23 -24 June 2018.

She came 7th out of 18 boats, sailing Challenger 266. There were light but sailable winds on the Saturday and dire conditions on Sunday. Click here to see a report and pics on the Yachts and Yachting Website: Here’s one of the Y&Y quotes: “After lunch the Race Officer changed to an inverted P course. Afterwards, Pauline commented that she enjoyed sailing different courses during the day and that she now understood what an inverted P course was!”

Next, was the RYA Sailability Multiclass Regatta at Rutland, from 3-5 August 2018.

This was when the hot summer was at its height and the main problem was where to put all the large Challengers because the lower water level had reduced the space available on the beach. Read about it here on Yachts and Yachting: Also:

As full-of-life as ever, Pauline said afterwards: “Had a great weekend although results not as good as I hoped. We went up on Thursday to build boats. It was MEGA HOT especially polishing boats. Five sailors went from Grafham with three boats taken up. This took a massive amount of organisation.

“We had a 3½ hour training session Friday afternoon which was really useful with coaches on the ribs dishing out advice and practice starts going on for hours.

“Saturday, we had two back-to-back races in the morning. The winds were very light and all over the place, so racing was a huge challenge. In fact, just moving was a challenge. In the afternoon we had a 1½ hour pursuit race doing a zigzag course. I came 15th out of 51 different types of boats – a good result.

“Sunday was race 3 and 4 in your own class. I came 11th out of 18 boats overall. Disappointing but at least I made it and did all the races. It made a change sailing without thermals and a drysuit as it was 31 degrees on the Sunday. The ribs went round dishing out bottles of water.”

Last, but not least, Pauline sailed in the UK Challenger Championship at Rutland from 7-9 September 2018.

She recalls: “It got off to a disappointing start when the Friday afternoon races were cancelled at the last minute due to the windy conditions. It abated enough to try again on Saturday, and the fleet of 27 boats from around the UK decided on three back-to-back races in the morning in case the expected bad weather arrived later. It didn’t - so we did another three back-to-back races in the afternoon, all using the inverted P course. The highest wind speed recorded was 12 knots (13.8 mph). I think it was the fastest I’ve sailed and SO exciting, though I got very wet from the spray.

“Sunday dawned with stronger winds, intense gusts and choppy water. An Olympic medal course was used. Unfortunately half the fleet didn’t understand the course and after numerous collisions, broken boats and sailors, the race was abandoned. A bit unfortunate for me as I had managed to hang in there and sailed a really good race. However, they still handed out prizes and I came home with a nice polo shirt. The regatta was a great success for Grafham Water Sailability who took up a team of enthusiastic helpers, and all three sailors went home with prizes. Welly, Maureen Blunt, did a fantastic job of looking after me, as well as helping to launch and retrieve boats from the beach rather than the slipway.”

Pauline storms to a 4th place in Challenger UK Nationals 2017

The photograph above shows Pauline in 266 catching two other Challengers which she eventually beat.

(Photograph courtesy of Steve Radley of Radley Photography.)

Our Welly Sailability sailor, Pauline Shaw, has once again put in a storming performance at the Challenger UK Nationals, which were held at Grafham Water over the weekend of 24/25 June 2017.

A total of 19 competitors sailed six races in perfect winds touching 20 knots. Overall 1st was Val Millward from Rutland, and Pauline – who sails for Grafham Sailability - was top home boat with a very creditable 4th place.

Her result was all the more remarkable because Pauline had already used up lots of energy organising the event - which involved a team of about 45 people, to run the racing, provide safety cover, rig and launch the boats, and keep everyone supplied with cups of coffee.

Congratulations Pauline on a job well done!

Pauline wins Silver!