2014 - 2015 News and very early 2016

2014 - 2015 News and very early 2016

Saturday Sailing

Despite the chilly weather and gusty wind conditions, we have had very good support from our members with 11 or 12 dinghies taking to the water in recent weekends.

On 5th March, Brian Cardinal and David Brown saw a Kingfisher arrive briefly in the bushes below the race hut before taking off and darting further along the lakeside. It didn't wait for a photograph but we feel it could be a cousin of the this one. Very few have been seen recently and we hope this might herald their return to the area.

A fun night ‘celebrating around the world’

raises £200 for charity

WGC sailors raised nearly £200 for the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice at this year’s Welly Challenge, the club’s annual anarchic evening of fun held, as usual, at the Mead Hall, Wheathamstead.

The theme was: ‘celebrating around the world’, and our irrepressible master of ceremonies Roger Morse, introduced a cavalcade of unlikely characters from many nations. They included two Aussies with corks on their hats and tinnies in hand, two beautiful Japanese ladies with parasols, an elegant sari-clad Indian lady, a Caribbean pirate, two fez-wearing Turks, a Canadian lumberjack, a kilted Scot, a sheik from Dubai, a Peruvian peasant, an Austrian skier, a white bearded old man from Lapland, a couple of Irish citizens, numerous assorted English and inexplicably, a nurse and doctor from Medicins Sans Frontieres.

The fast and slow handicap fleets competed against each other in a series of brain curdling quizzes and chaotic competitions. These included plank racing, and ‘Guess That Tune’ played by team line-ups blowing tin whistles, conducted by vice commodore, Nigel Davis. The final tally was 84-96, which gave the slow fleet sailors an emphatic win. In time honoured fashion, this drew an ungracious but good humoured response from the fast fleet.

Commodore Pete Thornley – who was also Quizmaster on the night - said afterwards: “the high wind and rain in the morning stopped quite a few people from getting their weekly fix of sailing, but they certainly made up for it by competing at the Welly Challenge!”

To view all Val's photographs of the event in a separate window, click here.

Twelve boats competed in the 2015 Christmas Pud Regatta on December 19. Conditions were just about perfect. It was bright 'n' breezy and the sun even managed to shine. Two of our newest sailors - Paul McAlister (Comet 554) and junior, Sam Clayton (Comet Swan Song) - were brave enough to launch into battle against the regulars, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Winners of the famous homemade Christmas puds were:

Fast fleet: 1st Roger Morse (Leader 1130), 2nd David Lambert (Supernova 1114).

Slow fleet: 1st Pete Thornley (Streaker 1507) 2nd Charles Adams (Miracle 1625)

As always, a jolly gathering of club members past and present enjoying the event, and the morning was rounded off with delicious hot mulled wine and mince pies, kindly provided by Marjorie Adams.

Thanks to OOD Ray Wilson, AOD Ian Stringer, Rescue Driver Tim Hogan, and Rescue Assistant Peter Edel for running the race.

Commodore's Cup, 17 October 2015

(Peter Thornley writes:) The weather was bright with a chilly northerly wind for the 2015 Commodore's Cup, which consists of 2 mixed fleet handicap races. It must have been an auspicious day, with heavenly bodies and a divine intervention featuring prominently.

(This shows nearly all the participants in an orderly procession but it wasnt always like this! See below.)

(These two 3-photograph sequences illustrate just how competitive it was rounding the marks)

There was a minor mark position change for the second race to help keep the boats separated. Dave and Shaun Smale made excellent starts in their Supernovas, and kept ahead of the fleet for the whole race. A boat pile-up at a downwind mark unfortunately caused Sheila to capsize through no fault of her own. She lost too much time and retired. This time the fast boats sailed better, but not enough to beat Annette, who took first, followed by Shaun and Dave in their Supernovas.

Overall winner was Annette, second was Charles, and third was Dave, who all won bottles of wine.

The wind direction allowed a rare windward start, with the start line from the moored pontoon in the centre of the lake to the west bank, and a beat up to the car park end. In the first race, Dave Lambert got away smartly in his Supernova to lead for a lap, until he went the wrong way round a mark and was swamped by the fleet before he had corrected his error. He recovered to fifth place. The wind was variable in strength from a drifter to 10mph, and we had the usual fluky bits near the banks. These conditions favoured the slow fleet sailors, resulting in Charles Adams winning in his Miracle, followed by Annette Walter and Sheila Stowe in Comets.

(Doesn't it look as if the Commodore is telling Dave Lambert that he thought he could have done better and he expects more next time?!!!! - Apologies to all concerned. Webmaster)

Annual Dinner 2015

or was it

"How WGCSC repelled the Spanish Armada"

by Roger Morse ???

Cup 1 for Annette

Big Cup for Roger

Cup 2 for Annette

Roger contemplating how well WGCSC had done to beat the Armada.

The Annual Dinner, which followed a very interesting Commodore’s Cup Race in the morning, was held at the WGC Golf Club. After an excellent dinner enjoyed by all, Roger Morse took the floor to entertain us with his story about the Spanish Armada and how WGCSC saved the day by chasing the Armada back to the south coast. Roger recruited Lin Smale as Cheer Leader, or rather as "Boo, Hiss and Cheer" Leader, to coordinate the audience's response to the highs and lows of the Armada's invasion and its subsequent defeat. To mark WGCSC's victory, Roger proposed the toast to the club.

Thanks were expressed to our Commodore, Peter Thornley, for organising much of the event, and also to Shaun Smale, Sheila Stowe and Val Newton for the quizzes, table decorations and slideshow. The sale of raffle tickets was ably carried out by Samuel McAlister, Nash Gabbey and Christopher Ansell who carried out this task with great enthusiasm.

At the end of the evening, Race Officer, Phil Walters, announced the trophy and prize winners for the Spring-Summer Handicap and Spring-Summer Pursuit Series. Annette Walter headed the list, winning Slow Fleet in the S/S Handicap and first place in the Spring-Summer Pursuit. The fast fleet cup in the S/S Handicap went to Roger Morse. The full list of 2014/2015 Awards Winners can be seen below and the positions of all participants can be seen on

the Race Results page.


Slow Fleet – SKF Cup

1. Annette Walter

2. Sheila Stowe

3. Charles Adams


Fast Fleet - Nabisco Cup

1. Roger Morse

2. Patrick Rohart

3. Dave Lambert


Keith Berry Cup

1. Annette Walter

2. Charles Adams

3. Dave Lambert

Comet Sailors Annette and Michael Win the Punch Bowl Trophy

Congratulations to Annette Walter and Michael Ettershank, who won this year’s WGCSC Punch Bowl in Comet 323 ‘Satin Doll’.

Mike is a top ranking competitor on the Comet circuit, so the result is probably no surprise, given the combined talents of the two of them. Mike normally favours heavy conditions which were absent on this occasion, but they quickly took the lead and consolidated it with some very slick change overs. The trophy was presented to them by Commodore Peter Thornley.

It was a gloriously sunny day but the wind was very light and sometimes non-existent, providing some interesting challenges for the six competing boats. During the morning, there was a fierce battle between the two Supernovas (David Lambert/Peter Edel) and (Alan Campbell/Dave Campbell). They changed places constantly and the final placing was only decided when the hooter went as David L and Peter were in the lead.

There was also a ‘race within a race’ between the Miracle (Charles Adams/ Peter Thornley) and the Leader (Tony Hale/ Justin Bell), with the Miracle taking the honours decisively.

The junior team of Josephine Clayton/Holly Clayton, in an RS Qba, enjoyed some fun change overs, and were warmly applauded for their efforts by everyone at the final presentation.

It was good to see Peter Edel again after a long absence. He arrived with the beautifully polished Punch Bowl trophy which he won last year, but alas was not to take home this year!


1. Annette Walter / Michael Ettershank (Comet)

2. Charles Adams / Peter Thornley (Miracle)

3. Dave Lambert / Peter Edel (Supernova)

4. Dave Campbell / Alan Campbell (Supernova)

5. Tony Hale / Justin Bell (Leader)

6. Juniors: Josephine Clayton / Holly Clayton (RS Qba)

Wednesday Night Sailors

Our Wednesday sailing improver sessions were a great success this summer. They finished on 26th August and three graduates - Nash Gabbey, Christopher Haverson and Mark Gabbey - wasted no time in giving racing a go the following Saturday. When Mark saw this photo he quipped: 'Nice pic. Caught us in a rare moment going forward; obviously on a fast shutter speed!'

Exciting ‘Away’ Win for Welly sailors at Stewartby

Congratulations! Our team succeeded in winning back the ‘WGCSC vs SWSC Sailing Match Trophy’ at the inter-club competition with Stewartby sailing club on Saturday 20th June. The seven-strong team were: (l-r) Graham Hunt (Comet), Charles Adams (Aero), Annette Walter (Comet), Nigel Davis (Comet), Julian Gunnell (Phantom), Phil Walter (Comet), and Val Newton (Laser Radial). FULL RACE RESULTS can be found here.

Race Report by Nigel Davis:

WGCSC vs SWSC Sailing Match – (Stewartby awayday)

The WGCSC vs SWSC Sailing Match was inaugurated in 2008 by WGCSC and the winner of the trophy is the team that scores best overall in the match between the WGC and Stewartby teams at the annual awayday at Stewartby. WGCSC won the trophy in that first year, but has not done so since… until last week!

The Welly Team consisted of Nigel, Annette, Phil and Graham in Comets, Charles in the Aero, Val in Laser Radial and Julian in Phantom. (Julian usually sails at Stewartby these days, but given that the teams had even numbers and he used to sail at WGCSC a coin was flipped to decide which team he would be on!)

I have not been to Stewartby before, but was impressed by the friendliness and hospitality of the people there; they delayed the start to ensure we all got there through the unexpected traffic jams, Gerry Howcroft, Commodore of SWSC, made sure we all knew the layout of the marks and the race procedures, and they generously loaned a club laser to Val. Lunches were also great, but the Stewartby support team was matched in numbers and enthusiasm by our own wonderful band of supporters Marjorie, Cheryl, Brian & Thelma, David C and sister Morag.

The weather was warm, but grey and it rained at times. The wind was force 1-2, but faded to almost nothing at times; the second race was nearly abandoned, but the wind returned just in time. Stewartby is a big lake and I expected that to favour the locals. However, curiously the race officer placed the windward mark (two in the second race!) in the wind shadow of the trees, which probably helped us, as we are used to that every week.

The Stewartby sailors generally had faster boats than us, so it was difficult to judge how well we were doing on the water, but when the handicaps were calculated it became clear that we had done very well.

The overall winner was Annette, with Julian third, Phil fourth and Graham fifth. Graham sailed an amazing second race in which he was second only to Annette. The rest of us helped fill up the middle rankings and overall we won by a substantial margin.

The Stewartby folk were very gracious in defeat and we look forward to seeing them again for another very pleasant day of racing next year.

Nigel Davis

TEN juniors enjoy ‘race starts’ at

Wednesday Night Improvers

This enthusiastic bunch of juniors had a great time sailing simple courses and practising race starts on Wednesday 17th June, guided by Nigel Davis, vice commodore, and club member Sheila Stowe. Back row: Kirsty Selwood, Milly McAlister, Jack Miller, George Ball. Front row: Nash Gabbey, Alfie Mullin, Samuel McAlister, Josephine Clayton, Holly Clayton, Daisy Ball. The Wednesday evening sessions are from 6-8pm and run until the end of August. Turn up on the evening. Some sailing experience needed.

Double Celebration for Dad and Son

It was a double celebration for novice sailors Sam McAlister and his dad Paul at Stanborough Lake on 13th June. They both sailed in Welwyn Garden City sailing club’s Summer Regatta for the first time. Sam was thrilled to win the Junior trophy after battling round in the wet and gusty conditions for two races. Paul, who has only just completed a Level 1 RYA sailing course, came last and last, but was celebrating anyway because it was his birthday. He said afterwards: “Sam and I had a great time, but my wife Karen and I will be doing RYA Level 2 in July, so watch out!”

Josephine and Holly are first to try

‘sail better’ sessions

TWO local schoolgirls - Josephine and Holly Clayton – were the first to take advantage of Welwyn Garden City sailing club’s new Wednesday evening improver sessions which started this week (27 May).

Josephine, 12, a student at Stanborough School and Holly, 10, who is at Applecroft, enjoyed a couple of hours sailing simple courses in an RS Quba dinghy on Stanborough Lake.

They were supported and encouraged by vice commodore Nigel Davis and club member Sheila Stowe in an accompanying powerboat.

The informal sessions are being run every Wednesday from 6pm to 8pm, through to the end of August.

Holly and Josephine, and their Mum, Alison, before the start of the session. Nigel Davis and Brian Cardinal were on hand to get them afloat. Sheila Stowe (not in pic) was busy getting the rescue boat ready.

UKFSC Yachting Victory for Barry

WGC Sailing Club member, Barry Leake* (pictured), is celebrating his team’s victory for the second year running, in the UK Firefighters Sailing Challenge which took place on the Solent at the end of April.

He was Navigator and Tactician on board ‘4010 ’, one of 26 Sunsail F40 yachts competing in this national sailing championship. They won the event overall with a 1st, 1st, 1st, 1st, 2nd and a 3rd placing.

Afterwards, Barry said: “It was a tough event and we certainly had to work for it. Mason King the skipper, is a Sail Logic race coach and drives the boat fast in the groove upwind.”

In the 2014 championship, 21 yachts competed and Barry’s team won the trophy with a 2nd, 6th, 1st, 1st, 1st, 1st. It is held annually with entries from the fire, police and ambulance services, and raises money to help many charities.

* Barry is also a former Dinghy Instructor at Stanborough Lake, and a qualified RYA Yachtmaster.

EASTER REGATTA - 4th April 2015

Alan Campbell wins Easter Regatta in challenging conditions.

The full report, the photographs and all the winners can be found here.

AGM - 22 March 2015

The Award Winners

Your new Committee can be found on the contacts page. The full report on the business side of the AGM will be published with the Minutes in due course. The full report of Prize Winners from the various race series and other awards plus all the photgraphs can be found here.

Don’t Panic Mr Mainwaring, it’s the Welly Challenge!

“Dad’s Army” was the fun theme of this year’s Welly Challenge, the club’s annual fundraiser for charity; £257.45 this year for Help the Heroes!

The characters who arrived at Mead Hall in Wheathampstead, included a grimy Bevin Boy, Captain Mainwaring himself, a Red Cross Nurse, and more....Read all about it and see the pics here.

Congratulations to Tony Lyle

At the AGCM Tony was elected President of the International Flying Dutchman Class Organisation. He has promised do a brief report on the FD Worlds in Sydney in the near future. Meanwhile, here is a shot of Tony and his crew heading downwind with the spinnaker against the Sydney Harbour skyline.

Stan Grace and Mike Fairman

It was the first Anniversary of Stan's passing on February 14th and it felt like a lovely tribute to his memory to see Mike sailing his Gull on Stanborough Lake. Stan would have loved that, especially as Mike and Stan were such great pals and often used to compete in the slow fleet.

More Winter Woes at Stanborough

On 7th February, the second race was all going so well (first pic) ..... until the sky suddenly darkened and the fleet was hit by a bitterly cold blast of driving sleet (second pic).

As always, our hardy sailors didn't flinch - well only a little bit...... Can Spring be far behind?

Welly Winter Woes

First time out after Christmas, on the 3rd January, it was bitterly cold, grey, and thoroughly miserable at Stanborough. The usual intrepid Wellys ventured out but there was not a lot of New Year joy. On the 10th January, sailing had to be cancelled because of extreme gale force winds. Today, 17th January, there was a snow storm just as the first race was finishing! Fortunately, the weather front passed over and 10 sailors enjoyed bright sunshine and blue skies in the second race. Val.

Photographs by Val Newton

Competitors, Duty Officers and some supporters at our Christmas Pudding Race on Saturday 20th December

Photo Collage by Val Newton

Peter Thornley writes: The last sailing act of 2014 was the Christmas Pudding Regatta on 20th December, consisting of 2 handicap races, each consisting of a fast and a slow fleet.

Thirteen sailors braved the forecast of 16 mph winds, with stronger gusts, on a bright, cold and sunny day. The first race conditions were not quite so strong as forecast, and we only saw 2 or 3 capsizes, although a couple of the fleet got a bit too close to the lee shore and got stuck in trees. The ones who got it right were Annette Walter (comet), Richard Bull (streaker) and Sheila Stowe (comet) in that order in the slow fleet, and in the fast fleet Dave Lambert led Patrick Rohart and Dave Campbell, all in supernovas (or should that be supenovae?).

The second race saw stronger winds with lively gusts towards the end, several unplanned swims and visits to the lee shore, and a change of fortunes for most except Annette Walter, who went on to her second win, followed this time by Nigel Davis (comet Xtra) and Richard Bull. Sheila opted to crew for Roger Morse in his leader, and is obviously an ace crew, as they went on to win the fast fleet race quite easily, followed by Patrick and Dave Campbell. Dave Lambert, after some unscheduled deviations into the trees, managed to scrape back into fourth. Roger's 7th in the first race, sailing alone, meant he did not get onto the podium.

Following the racing, we all enjoyed hot mulled wine and hot mince pies provided as usual by Marjorie Adams. It was a sociable end to the morning, with as many non sailors as sailors coming for the wine, pies and chat.

Many thanks to Marjorie, and to Ian Stringer, Val Newton and Phil Walter who had a busy time on duty. Val took a zillion photos in between aiding several wet sailors.

Peter Thornley

All Photos courtesy of Val Newton

For a Christmas Pud pictures slide-show visit our Photo Gallery page here.

Final combined results were:

Slow fleet.

1 Annette 2 points

2 Richard 5 points

3 Nigel 6 points

Fast fleet.

1 Patrick 4 points

2 Dave Lambert 5 points

3 Dave Campbell 6 points

Well done to Annette and Patrick who got the large Xmas Puds, and Richard and Dave L who got the small puds.

'Sacre Bleu Trois' makes her debut

Val Newton writes: There was great excitement on Saturday December 13th, when Charles Adams, opened a bottle of champagne to mark the launch of his brand new RS Aero single-hander 'Sacre Bleu Trois'. Tot-sized glasses of bubbly were distributed around waiting Wellys, and many admiring comments were made about the streamlined newcomer to Stanborough. It is supposed to be faster than the Supernova according to Charles, but 'Sacre Bleu Trois' was taking it easy on her first outing and came last in both the pursuit races. Charles commented afterwards: "The pic of me in the boat [taken over the stern - Ed] was taken at the beginning of the second race and shows the sail a bit better shaped than in race one. I have a steep learning curve ahead as it is meant to be more like a windsurfing set up - I need to study the set-up on un-stayed uni rigs of single-handed catamarans I'm told!" .

At last! A belated report on our Punchbowl event! (Webmaster's fault)

While we had 14 dinghies on the lake at our Pursuit Race on Saturday 13th December in the frost, we only had 3 boats in our Punchbowl event back on 20th September in those warm balmy days. Dave Lambert has come to the Webmaster's rescue and writes......

Well it was blowing at least 3mph (in the gusts) and I remember that Phil Walter and Nigel Davis had led for most of the race in the comet and that Dave Campbell and Richard Bull were matching Peter and and I for the first 2hrs at least in the Supernova until Dave got headed and started drifting backwards whilst Peter made serious headway on Dave. It was a tight finish and we caught Phil with only a few minutes to go. All very close.

So the result was...First, Dave Lambert and Peter Edel; Second, Phil Walter and Nigel Davis; and Third Dave Campbell and Richard Bull.

TONY LYALL heads for OZ with EXCESS Baggage

(his Flying Dutchman!)

Tony Lyall writes:

Whilst many of you were enjoying the spring-like conditions down at Stanborough on Saturday morning, 1st November, I was doing a 24 hour round trip to Holland and back to load my FD in the Class container ready for shipping to Australia for the 2015 Flying Dutchman World Championships in Sydney at the beginning of January.

With careful planning and packing we can get 6 boats in each container plus all our gear spares, bikes etc.

There are a total of 4 containers with 23 boats going from Europe from the following countries 3 NED , 3 GBR, I ITA, I AUT, 4 HUN, 11 GER

Two containers were loaded earlier in the week, one in Berlin the another in Hungary and are currently being transported by road to Holland,. That just left the other 2 containers for us to load. So we had agreed that we would all meet at 09:00 on the Saturday morning in the container yard at Oss. Some of us had slightly longer drive than others!!! The only advantage of driving overnight was the roads were clear, so it took just 3 hours from Calais so we had enough time to grab a couple of hours kip and a bit of breakfast.

Apart from the GBR team from Southport (who were nearly 2 hours late) everybody arrived on time & so we ‘cracked’ on without delay and with the help of some addition volunteers we had packed both containers within 3 hours.

A few quick good-byes and we were back on the road to Calais.

Getting packed!

For this....

Annual Dinner 2014


The Hilarious Roger Morse Show

The Annual Dinner following Commodore’s Cup in the morning, mysteriously morphed into ‘The Roger Morse Show’ when he took to the floor to propose the toast to the club. Roger had everyone in stitches as he totted up how many movements Dave Campbell’s legs and arms had made whilst sailing at Stanborough. After getting the diners to simulate all the actions of pulling sheets and moving about the boat, he concluded it must be many millions and gave Dave a can of WD40 to oil his joints. This caused much hilarity and fortunately Dave took it all in good humour. Speaking ostensibly from ‘Val’s Notes’ which were propped up in front of him, Roger rambled on, raising lots of laughs along the way. He presented a surprise bouquet to Thelma Cardinal to mark hers and Brian’s 39th anniversary; read out a touching message to members from Sammi-Leigh and spoke of the sad loss this year of her grandfather Stan Grace; and of the loss of former member Surakhsha Patel. He also thanked and praised the club for raising almost £3,000 for charity through Welly Challenge evenings over the years. His performance was memorable to say the least, and it set the seal on a very enjoyable evening which was attended by most of the club.

Grateful thanks to our hard-working Commodore, Peter Thornley, for doing the lion’s share of organising the event which took place at WGC Golf Club. Thanks also to Tony Hale, Sheila Stowe and Val Newton for their quizzes, table decorations and slideshow. The raffle was a great success and raised £122. Louise Hunt, Graham’s daughter deserves a special mention for her unbounded enthusiasm selling tickets. Possibly the most delighted raffle winner was Tony Stowe, who chose a woolly knitted hat embroidered with the words ‘Knackered Sailor’!

At the end of the night, Race Officer, Phil Walters, announced the trophy and prizewinners for the Spring-Summer Handicap and Spring-Summer Pursuit Series. Commodore Pete turned out to be the star, winning Slow Fleet in the S/S Hcp and first place in the S/S Pursuit. He beat Sheila Stowe into second place in both cases. The fast fleet cup in the S/S Handicap went to Julian Gunnell but he was not there to receive it. The full 2013/2014 Results can be seen below.

Commodore's Cup - 18 October 2014

The first race was hard work, and had several of the less fancied helms up front for a couple of laps. Eventually Alan Campbell (supernova) fought his way through the pack to win, followed by David Lambert (supernova) and Nigel Davis(Comet).

The second race seemed generally lighter winds, but with some brisker spells. Alan got off to a good start and lead the way throughout, but was closely followed all the way by Richard Bull in his streaker. Richard stayed ahead of several faster boats until quite close to the end, and eventually won. Alan was second, and David Lambert third.

After adding the 2 scores together, the final result was Alan came first with 3 points, David second with 5 points and Richard third with 8 points.

Presentation of the trophy followed, and we all enjoyed hot punch made as usual by Marjorie Adams.

Many thanks to all who braved the weather forecast to sail, and to Tony Lyall and Tim Hogan for manning the safety boat, and to the members who turned up to spectate, support and drink punch.

A few more photographs:


The half-year race results for the 2014-2015 Spring Summer Handicap Series and the Spring Summer Pursuit Series announced at the Annual Dinner were as follows.


Slow Fleet – SKF Cup (Average 4 boats, 5 qualified)

1. Peter Thornley

2. Sheila Stowe

3. Phil Walter

Fast Fleet - Nabisco Cup (Average 6 boats, 8 qualified)

1. Julian Gunnell

2. Dave Lambert

3. Roger Morse


Keith Berry Cup (Average 10 boats, 12 qualified)

1. Peter Thornley

2. Sheila Stowe

3. Julian Gunnell

Two individuals tied for first place on points count.

Decided on number of highest positions.

All the usual suspects!

Peter Thornley writes: The wind forecast for the morning was 14mph southerly veering to south west during the morning. Arriving at the lake at about 9.00, there was plenty of wind and the direction and strength about right. The forecast rain didn't happen. Tim Hogan and Tony Lyall in the safety boat laid the buoys to give maximum beats diagonally across the lake, but as usual, Stanborough lake had winds all over the place and beats seemed to crop up on most legs.

We had fewer sailors than last year, and the first 3 from last years race could not sail for various reasons, giving an opportunity to others. Fifteen sailors turned up, but Sheila and Val opted to crew for Roger and Tony in the Leaders. Val and Tony obviously had a great time as shown in the photo below. Who said racing sailing boats was a serious affair?

Pursuit Race - 13 September 2014

Photographs from Peter Thornley

Charles Adams (OOD) and his team relax on the bench, onlookers standing around, ......

Richard Bull's inaugural race in his new Streaker

(That's 3 new boats in the club this year with a rumour of a 4th imminent!)

....while Pauline Shaw (AOD) is poised with pen to record the laps.

Stewartby Away Day July 12th.

Peter Thornley writes: The main reason for having a Club Awayday is to try sailing on a large open water. If the weather is right you can get on a planing reach for 400 yards, and try different adjustments to tune up your beating, and different approaches to running. This all makes a very pleasing change from fluky old Stanborough.

So what did we get last Saturday? We got Stanborough weather, and lots of it! Mostly quiet and very variable in direction and strength.

The whole weekend is their fun family regatta and the fun started in the morning with a relay race was between 3 teams of mostly Stewartby folk, sailing RS Fevas. Brian Cardinal and I were the only WGC sailors in it, and sadly our team came last. We sailed for 3 laps, with a complete change of team each lap. Ex wgc member Nick Jones

(2 pictures on left below) was in the winning team, but I cannot remember who else.

As usual, we were made very welcome by all the members and Committee at Stewartby, had an excellent lunch from their galley, and then 2 races in the afternoon for the inter-club trophy. Here I have to admit that I sabotaged our efforts by telling people that I thought the races started at 2.00. They started at 1.30! Needless to say, several of our sailors were somewhat late starting in the first race. We were on the ball in the second though, and did better, but not well enough to win the trophy. The first 5 from each team count, and we scored a very creditable 29 points to their 23, closer than last year.

Our main man this year was Julian Gunnel who came third overall, winning a bottle of wine for his efforts, being beaten by another Phantom and a Buzz. Our other sailors were Charles Adams, Val Newton, Maureen Blunt, Phil Walter, Mike Caddy, and Peter Thornley. Brian Cardinal ventured out for the first time in 9 months, in a Stewartby Laser, but did not race. We had 4 or 5 supporters, who walked around the lake. The third picture shows Brian in a boat for the first time after his accident 9 months ago. The final picture shows Julian getting off to a flying start in race 2 of the inter-club competition, with me, Mike Caddy, and Phil Walter in the pack in the background.

Again, many thanks to the Committee and members of Stewartby Water Sports Club Sailing Section, for inviting us, and for their hospitality on the day. I've booked us in for next year.

Peter Thornley

Little Paxton 2014

From Matt & Jim Cory:

To start with, we would like to thank everyone who came and supported us over the weekend and who donated money towards the charity, it was much appreciated by the whole team. Also a very very big thank you to Charles who took the boat to and from Paxton. There were only 7 teams this year, including ourselves in a RS Feva and 2 other Fevas from Grafham and a RS Vision junior side from little paxton. We are very pleased to say that our team finished 4th out of the 7 teams, beating the Paxton junior side and both Grafham teams, as a result we were the top Feva and also the top junior team at the event, meaning that we get back the Junior plate that we won 2 years ago. We won by a margin of 6 laps on handicap on the Fevas and by over 12 laps on the Vision. But nothing could be done by any team to stop the home team's Solo from winning the whole event. A final big thanks for all the support.

Val Newton comments:

You have done Welwyn Garden City SC proud, especially as you were rather 'out there' on your own this year. It must be nice to have that Junior Plate back after an absence of two years. Well done to you and everyone in your team. I look forward to hearing more details when I next see you. Hope a few Wellys managed to drive up for the day and support you. As for that wretched Solo, I think you'll have to start work on developing a radio-controlled torpedo for next year!

WGCSC Summer Regatta - Saturday 15 June 2014

(Report by Peter Thornley, Results by Phil Walter)

The Annual Summer Regatta was held on 14 June with an excellent turnout of 18 boats. The format is 2 slow and fast fleet handicaps in the morning, with a trophy for each fleet, and a normal pursuit race in the afternoon for a separate trophy. Wind conditions were generally northerly to north easterly, with the wind strength building as the day progressed up to the promised 9 mph or so. A surprise rain cloud cooled things down in the first race.

OOD Ray Wilson set a figure of 8 course to give the rare luxury of a beat for the full length of the lake, but there were as usual some fluky areas. Fortunes were mixed. Graham hunt won the first slow fleet race but retired in the second. Commodore Peter Thornley won the second slow fleet race after a very poor first, but Phil Walter was the overall winner. Alan Campbell won the fast fleet trophy.The afternoon pursuit saw a reduced fleet, and was won convincingly by Julian Gunnel who took the lead with a lap to spare.

Many thanks to non-sailing members and friends Ray Wilson, Brian Cardinal, Tim Hogan and Peter Edel for performing the duties.

Full results (with winners' photographs):

Handicap - Fast fleet 1st Alan Campbell 2nd Julian Gunnell 3rd Roger Morse

Handicap - Slow Fleet 1st Phil Walter 2nd

Peter Thornley

3rd Nigel Davis

Pursuit 1st Julian Gunnell 2nd Peter Thornley 3rd Roger Morse

Alan Phil Julian

Welly Sailors undaunted by Hostile Forecast

The weather forecast for Saturday May 10th was extremely hostile - wind gusts of 20mph in the morning rising to 30mph later in the day. Commodore Pete Thornley cancelled the race coaching session planned for early afternoon, but it didn't stop six intrepid sailors venturing out in the morning. Dave Campbell and David Lambert (Supernovas), Mike Caddy (Laser), Tony Hale (Leader), and Phil Walter and Graham Hunt (Comets) managed the gusts relatively easily in the first race . . . then a torrential downpour arrived. By the start of the second race the wind had strengthened considerably, and one by one they all capsized multiple times (but only one within camera range (below)! The forecast had been about right!

Aren't you glad you sail at Stanborough Lakes...???!!!!! See this alternative entitled


Streaker Alan wins the Easter Egg Cup!

After a morning of brisk sailing, there was a sail off between Alan Campbell, first in the fast fleet, and Pete Thornley, first in the slow fleet, to decide this year's winner of the Easter Egg Cup. The pair swapped their Supernova and Streaker for the contest which made things interesting. When OOD Ray Wilson blew the hooter, Alan quickly got the Streaker over the start line and sailed away to the first mark. Frustratingly, poor Pete couldn't get the Supernova moving because he was stuck in a notorious Stanborough hole. Eventually he had a slight whiffle of wind, and managed to sheet in and take up the chase. The course was a simple triangle and Alan was the victor and won the Easter trophy. Tantalisingly, Pete had nearly caught him by the end ... one more lap and who knows? Afterwards, Welly sailors and Mouse Club members enjoyed a Cadbury's Creme Egg.


1. Alan and Pete with their trophies and chocolate Easter eggs

2. Their position at the end as Alan crossed the line