6 Metre racing at Clapham on the 20th July.

July 23, 2014 at 5:19 pm | Posted in News | 1 Comment

3rd Sunday of the Month 20 July – 6 Metre Day



Cloudy, very warm with a west to northwest breeze force 2 to 3.


Those racing from time to time were: Leslie, Grant, John, Jim, Ted and Hugh. Richard was working on his one metre, which he later sailed. Ted did well with his Flipper (Dolphin design), which suited the fresh breeze today, although slow at other times in light airs. An enjoyable day’s racing with enough wind, but not a bumper helping.



Race 1: Ted, Grant, John

Race 2: John, Grant, Leslie

Race 3: Ted, Grant, Jim

Race 4: Ted, John. Jim

Race 5: Jim, Leslie, Grant

Race 6: Ted, John, Jim

Race 7: Grant, Jim, Ted

Race 8: Ted, Leslie, Jim

Race 9: Hugh, Jim, Leslie

Race 10: Jim, Leslie, Ted

Race 11: Leslie, Jim, Ted

Race 12: Ted, John, Jim

Race 13: Jim, Leslie, John


A discussion took place over the rules, namely right to room next to the buoy at the start line, and between boats on starboard and port tack. The only buoy we have on the start line is near to the clubhouse. Boats were approaching the line near the buoy on starboard tack, any port tack boats would have had to give way anyway.


The question was if a boat was approaching the line to start next to the buoy, but the other boats on starboard tack were not giving her a gap large enough to pass next to the buoy, who had right of way? Answer comes under the ‘Section C – At Marks and Obstructions’ rules which give a right to mark room under some circumstances. The preamble says: Section C rules do not apply at a starting mark surrounded by navigable water or at its anchor line from the time boats are approaching them to start until they have passed them.


In other words the boat starting next to the buoy but without a big enough gap through other starboard tack boats does not have a right to room, and must hold back and let the others through first.


Next question is why is the term ‘starboard  tack’ used for boats tacking to their left (port) as they make their way to windward?

The historical answer is that boats under square sail had the right (starboard) clew attached to the starboard side of the boat when turning to their left sailing to windward. The other corners of the square sail were sheeted, which is the origin of the expression ‘three sheets to the wind’ used of drunks,  a single square sail boat not under command with sheets streaming out to leeward, but with one clew still attached.


The simplest way of explaining things is to say it is the side the wind comes from, however there is are exceptions:

The definitions section of the rules: ‘Leeward and Windward A boats leeward side is the side that is, or when she is head to wind, was away from the wind. However, when sailing by the lee or directly down wind, her leeward side is the side on which her mainsail lies. The other side is her windward side.’ And: ‘Tack, Starboard or Port A boat is on the tack, starboard or port, corresponding to her windward side.’


Sailing by the lee means sailing downwind but with the wind on the same side as the mainsail, as long as it is held out by the wind. In this case the side the boom is on is strictly the windward side, but under the rules it is her leeward side. An easy way to get an intuitive grasp of the rule is to paint or stick green tape on the right hand side of the boom, with red on the left side. If the boat’s on board helmsman could see the green tape side of the boom against other boats on the opposite tack he is green for go, if he could see the red side he would need to take care and give way.


Your racing secretary has a ready supply of green tape and red tape , as well as a copy of the racing rules. Hopefully we can reach common understanding of the rules, with competitive but enjoyable racing.



A very informative note on racing Rules, and maritime matters in general, but I think it is all getting a bit too much for me!

I regret that I have not been able to get to the pond for some time, my eye is still a problem and I now have a problem at home in that my wife has fallen and broken her hip, and although on the mend is now restricted in her movements consequently I am chief cook and bottle washer and I do not like to leave her.

Age is also playing a part and I am finding interest is waning, for these reasons I am looking to dispose of all my boats and while they will be placed on the open market, should any Club member be interested let me know.

The “fleet” will be known to most members, but as a reminder I list them below.

4 One Metres,     “Swallow” by Tony Abel, an open transom skiff design.

“Ragtime”   and “Nimbus” by Bantock.

“Triple Crown” by Mark Dicks.

All are hand built wooden planked hulls, carbon fins and 27Mz, although I do not have enough transmitters to go round. All have a custom top suit and some have a second suit as well.

The other two boats are 6 Metres.     One is “Petrel” by John Lewis (a quite successful boat even if I say it myself) the other is “Amalgum”, it is as it says, an amalgum of the bow potion of and old boat called “Helene” by Littlejohn  and the stern portion of “Petrel. Quite good on its day, but likes a bit more wind.

Again, both boats are hand built and planked wood. Cedar in the case of “Amalgum” but alternate strips of pine and cedar in the case of “Petrel”. Both 27Mz. Both have a lightweight suit of sails but I think I have a standard weight suit somewhere.

It pains me to offer the boats for sale, but at my age (87) I do not know how long I will last and I fear my sons will have no idea what to do with them. Any interest, let me know.  Derek.


Racing at Clapham on the 6th July

July 7, 2014 at 8:00 pm | Posted in News | Leave a comment

Sunday 6 July – One Metre Day




Warm with cool breeze Westerly force 2 to 3.


Those racing were: Odd, Grant, Ted, Hugh and Leslie. Pond level was reasonable but boats were grounding occasionally at the eastern end. Plenty of wind for racing, without incident, apart from Leslie’s boat which unfortunately detached the ballast weight after he brought it ashore. The keel had only been glued into the ballast with a shallow ¼ inch slot. Hopefully it will be repaired with a stronger attachment by next One Metre day.



Race 1: Odd, Ted, Grant

Race 2: Hugh, Odd, Grant

Race 3: Leslie, Odd, Ted

Race 4: Leslie, Odd, Ted

Race 5: Ted, Leslie, Odd

Race 6: Hugh, Leslie, Odd

Race 7: Leslie, Odd, Grant

Race 8: Odd, Ted, Grant

Race 9: Ted, Odd, Grant



Regards, Hugh

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