Welwyn Garden City Sailing Club

Established 1973 and still racing at Stanborough Lake on Saturday Mornings , cruising on Thursday nights from 18:00 (summertime)

All Welcome

Sailing round up from the Race Officer

The Commodore’s Cup scheduled for Saturday morning was postponed because of the high winds forecast and a certain Rugby World Cup Final. The Annual Dinner went ahead in the evening as usual and was the opportunity to parade the InterClub Challenge Trophy recently won by WGCSC. This team event against Stewartby SC is held on the big lake near Bedford. It is the scores of the first six helms for each side over two races that determine result. Annette Walter (2nd overall) and Shaun Smale (4th) lead the charge, but crucial points were scored by those lower down the order including a vital point by newcomer Alistair Jose.

The ‘Toast to the Club’ was proposed by Barry Leake . He recounted the years since his Monkswalk schooldays and managing the water sports at Stanborough. Barry was instrumental in introducing many to sailing and encouraging them to continue improving by racing with the Club. Some went on, like him, to go big boat racing in the Solent. His experiences leading up to and during this year’s Fastnet Race will be basis of a fund-raising event for the lifeboat service to be given in conjunction with the Stevenage Offshore Cruising Club in February.

Charles - Race Officer

Commodore's Cup 2019

Waiting for the big event

More picture here:

Commodores cup


Annette wins again!

Backbone Trophy


OOD Ian Stringer

and Rescue (Charles and Tim)

Mouse Club

Keeping warm

Commodore's Cup

2nd November 2019

Overall winner - Annette Walter

2nd - Alan Campbell

3rd - Roger Morse

4th - Patrick Rohart

Backbone Trophy - Shaun Smale

Winter Rules

The winter rules for sailing on the Lake are now in operation (November 1st to March 31st).

Over this winter period anyone who capsizes and enters the water cannot continue sailing unless wearing a full wetsuit or a drysuit. With cold weather setting in it is appropriate to remind all helms to ensure they are equipped to meet the challenge:warm clothing- not forgetting the hat to reduce heat loss from the head unless wearing full wetsuit/drysuit you will be required to leave the racing if you enter the water. be aware that cold can cause problems even if you do not go into the water. 'Cold Shock' is the bodies reaction to entering cold water - uncontrollable breathing can lead to harmful intakes of water (one reason why the safety boat is required to move promptly to a capsize. Hypothermia can set in without you being aware and with it a tendency to make bad decisions making matters worse. If you are cold and you start shivering uncontrollably - get into the warm; you are recommended to arrange to take a shower in the disabled/ladies area (next door to the meeting room) while still in your wetsuit - start on cold water and only slowly turn up the temperature. Make others aware of your situation.Take on board some warm drink and some food.Wind can present problems at any time and the head should be protected where there is any risk of a bang from the boom: several club members have a helmet that you can inspect if considering getting your own - just ask.helmets are available from 'Better' - they are kept in their workshop area (return tidily).

Click the link above to see the weather forecast

WGC Sailing club

in black and White

Copies of early Windbag can be found here



OOD = Officer of the Day AOD = Assistant Race Officer RD = Rescue Driver RA = Rescue Assistant

Please remember OODs are responsible for contacting their team during the week before the race to confirm they are available.

SWAPS - To avoid confusion and to ensure races run smoothly, when Duties are swapped, all swaps MUST be notified in advance to the Race Officer, Charles Adams, (race.officer@wgcsc.org.uk) with a copy to the Webmaster, (webmaster@wgcsc.org.uk). It is the responsibility of those involved in the swap to ensure that these officials are notified. The Web version will be kept up-to-date by the Webmaster in conjunction with the Race Officer based on these notifications. e-mail racers@wgcsc.org.uk to request swaps or directly contact member.



Erected in 1978 the race hut gets some TLC

Have you noticed the Club's Race Hut at Stanborough is suddenly looking very smart indeed!

Charles Adams and Shaun Smale have been busy renovating the logo and woodwork in readiness for WGC's Centenary next year. The large display logo was orginally made by former Race Officer, Ray Wilson, but the passing years had taken their toll on the paintwork. Charles decided it was time for it to be renovated. It has now been screwed back looking good as new, and the improved woodwork is down to Shaun who has given it all a protective coating (modern 'creosote').

A big HOORAY from everyone in the club! - Val

Birthday boys!

Annual Dinner 2019

Barry Leake giving the Toast to the Club

See Val's write up and photos from the evening by clicking the link below

Some of this years winners!

Results to follow.

Pauline Shaw, our intrepid Sailability sailor, tells what it's like to sail a Challenger trimaran in winds gusting up to 29mph...

All three of us felt truly alive when we came off the water!

I had an unexpectedly brilliant sail at Grafham on Monday. I thought it would be far too windy but two of us decided to go out anyway (well three if you count the other sailor had a buddy with her). It was extremely cold (I had four thermal vests on) but the water temperature wasn’t too bad relatively speaking. Just as well, as I got hit in the face by crashing into at least TEN big waves.

I wish I had been able to record my speed as I was going so fast. I enjoyed just reaching back and forth on the most exciting point of sailing instead of racing. It definitely put the fun back into sailing! I perfected my heavy weather gybe and did a brilliant lea shore landing. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to slow down enough but I did. All three of us felt truly alive when we came off the water. Then I ate all of my fish and chips at the pub, and went home to dry some really wet kit.

For those that don’t know, I sail a 15 foot Challenger trimaran "Louise" with Grafham Water Sailability. We get launched and retrieved from a trolley in the water. So coming in to shore means you have three pointed hulls heading straight for two people standing in the water waiting to catch you. The trick is to stop the boat two inches from them. Not so easy in a strong onshore breeze. The strongest gust was 25.2 knots (29 mph).

Sailing in the rain!

Burgee 6

In what I understand were horrible sailing conditions all are to be congratulated for completing any races, but newcomer Alex Shelley produced a notable 6th and 7th in his RS Feva and a 2nd and a 4th in the Personal Handicap races (with a PH of 400 - the same as Tom and Ben).

Paul McAlister with a 1st and a 3rd continued his excellent results in the PH series which he now leads. He can expect his PH to be cut considerably (to a max of 10%) in the half way stage review of handicaps...

Check out a new page about the Club's history

Preparing for the Centenary of Welwyn Garden City, lets take a look at the club history.

Windbag archive

Punch bowl Trophy

A 3 hour team pursuit race with a change over every lap.

Good to see such a big turnout - 9 boats is the largest for some time; especially heartening was the participation of juniors. this mornings racing featuring Annette in the water, Paul getting his leg over and Tony pushing Roger uphill...


Overall winners for the ...... time

Junior Winners

Runners up

WGCSC regain the Interclub Trophy

In very light wind conditions (improving a little towards the end of the afternoon), the WGCSC team picked up the trophy and several individual awards. Annette was second overall and Shaun 4th. Further down but scoring important points were me 6th, Phil and Tony 7th=, Al Jose 9th with Paul Mc and Mike C10th=.

Special prizes went to Oscar and Ned who finished both races in a Feva ...and were not last in either race.

Team Welly: Charles Adams, Annette Walter, Phil Walters, Shaun Smale, Paul McAlister, Tony Hale, Al Jose, Mike Caddy, and 10-yr-old Oscar & Ned!

Also supporters: Dave Campbell, Marjorie Adams, Sheila Stowe, Val, plus the whole of Oscar's family Mum & Dad Julie-Anne & Paul, and sister Evie and brother Alex.

Big thank you to Stewartby sailing club!


Second place

first 2 ashore, the rest still racing but the handicap!!!

Selfie for 4th place

Winning Junior team!!

Supernova Nationals - 2019 Paignton

"Image by Peter Mackin: www.pdmphoto.co.uk"

Shaun Wins 5th place in the Bronze fleet

For a quick overiew of the National have a look at these short videos. Excellent fun!

Day 1 video - https://youtu.be/gUJU6tdQLd8

Day 2 video - https://youtu.be/qU5QuvcX-zE

Day 3 video - https://youtu.be/8Oq3ldMihpw

For the full story visit http://www.supernovadinghy.org/post/cliff-is-champ-again

Summer Regatta 2019

Heat gets Race Officer in a tizz!

The 2019 Welly Summer Regatta was sailed on the hottest day of the year so far, with temperatures climbing to the dizzy heights of over 32degC. However, Stanborough Lake was far from a calm mill pond. Good winds and strong gusts kept things lively for the 15-strong fleet out racing for trophies.

At the presentations, Race Officer, Charles Adams, revealed that Annette Walter was the clear winner in the Slow Fleet. Unfortunately, she had to dash off to a work emergency immediately afterwards and was unable to wait for the photo call.

The trophy for the Fast Fleet race was then handed to a surprised Roger. It should have gone to Dave Lambert who had 2 wins and a second (to Roger's 1 win and 2 seconds). An apologetic Race Officer Charles, said he managed to mangle the results because he was so hot, tired and frazzled!

None of that had much bearing on the Personal Handicap Result which was won by Mike Caddy. Notable also were the results for the Ethertons - Will 2nd equal with Paul Lohr and Tom was 5th. Despite Annette's Personal Index being adjusted down to Minus 50, she still came 4th.

Tom won the junior prize and collected a (melted) Easter Egg (the fridge will be helpful). Oscar and Ned completed two races but did not trouble the scorer ….this year.

Thanks go to OOD Ian Stringer and his assistant Phil Walter, and the Safety Boat team Alan Pearce and Dave Wright.

WGCSC Summer Regatta Personal Handicap 2019

Tom Etherton, Summer Regatta Junior Winner

Mike Caddy, Personal Handicap Winner

Roger Morse was mistakenly presented with the Fast Fleet trophy by OOD Ian Stringer - but he's taking good care of it for the REAL winner, David Lambert!

Peter wins on his 80th Birthday!

It was a beautiful June-the-1st day with wall-to-wall blue sky and high feathery cloud, and drifting across the water, and settling on the banks, was a fluffy summer 'snowstorm' of white willow seed.

Ten helms competed, including junior Ben Hawker in his Comet, taking time out before his last GCSE exam. His Dad, Simon, was assisting David Brown in the rescue boat.

On shore there was a lot of activity connected with a "Race for Life" cancer charity event, with at least a hundred - probably many more - ladies milling around in bright pink t-shirts. As the fleet gently sailed the course, it was accompanied by some lively motivating music from the sound system!

Best of all though, nature was looking its best. On the banks there were plenty of ducklings, wild flowers and lots of dragonflies for those who had the time to notice.

At half time, Peter produced a box of fruity flapjacks which he'd baked himself. They were absolutely delicious and sailors and Mouse Club members demolished them very quickly. He said he'd brought them along because he was about to start a two-day celebration of his 80th birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY PETE!

Fast Fleet winners were Roger (Race 1) and Shaun (Race 2)

Slow Fleet winners were Peter (Race 1) and Charles (Race 2)

Combined fleet winner in (Race 1) was Peter in a Comet, in (Race 2) it was Charles in the Miracle.

Some may have noticed that Pete Thornley has been racing a Comet instead of his trusty Streaker. Karen McAlister explains why: "Here are a few pics of Peter collecting the Comet the Cory's kindly loaned us when they left Welwyn Garden City. I believe it was originally Richard Burnside's boat - good to have it back in the club." Pete used to have his own Comet and he says he's been enjoying sailing one again, but ... he still prefers a Streaker!

Peter added that he was sailing the Comet to be in a fleet, as the streaker was the only one, and usually alone for most of the race.

He consider himself the custodian of this comet (554) on behalf of the club, until a new deserving sailor comes along. He will be keeping the streaker :-)

Annette Walter

Helm of the year 2017-2018

Storm Hannah hits Stanborough

– 27th April 2019

Mike is the Hero of the Day

Testing a new recovery device

It works - Full details expected soon!

Kate Winslet - eat your heart out!

Going........ Going....... Gone!

Summer Regatta Jun 2017

On-Song Sailors Have Fun Raising Money for Charity

Welly Challenge 2019

Christmas pudding race

Stuck in the mud!!

A new year begins: 2019

Nine boats set off in wintry sun on 12th January

AGM 2019

STORM ERIK – No problem!

Storm Brian

If you are seeking advice on sailing, contact us on info@wgcsc.org.uk and we can discuss what we can do to help you.

NEW MEMBERS are very welcome, so come and join us.