All set for Peel’s award-winning Traditional Boat Weekend

It might not involve much racing but it’s hard not to be impressed with one of the biggest events in the Manx sailing calendar. When it comes to attracting crews to cross the Irish Sea and visit the island, the Peel Traditional Boat Weekend has no rival.

Over 30 boats of all shapes, sizes and rigs are descending on Peel for the 2014 event, taking place from today (Friday) until Sunday. Pictured above are 65ft Welsh schooner Vilma, last year’s winner of the Henry Kelly trophy for best boat, and the 102-year-old Irish yawl Ainmara.

Onshore there’s always a few familiar faces from the sailing community taking part in the quick and dirty boat building competition. The contraptions will take on water take to the water for a race across the harbour at 3pm on Saturday.

Meanwhile the traditional boats will be leaving the marina from 10.30am on Saturday for the first of two parades of sail around Peel bay, with the second taking place on Sunday from 11.15am before the visiting boats head for home.

Mike Clark and his team of volunteers always put on a great event and their efforts were deservedly recognised last year with a win in the Charity, Cultural and Social Enterprise category at Isle of Man Newspapers’ 2013 Awards for Excellence. The team have also won the Peel Town Commissioners Trophy for outstanding service to the community.

This year they have produced a Traditional Boat Guide, which offers a detailed history for each of this year’s participants. They’re available at the sailor’s shelter on East Quay for just £3.

By all means check the website and like their Facebook page, but a much better idea is to get down to Peel and take it all in. Keep an eye on the MSR Gallery for images from the weekend.

A test of endurance at Ramsey regatta

Thanks to Jerry Colman for the report, full results are here. It’s worth noting that between last weekend’s MS&CC regatta and the concurrent Port Erin youth regatta, which was comfortably won by James Arnold, there were over 30 dinghies racing around the island last Saturday. Don’t forget to like MS&CC’s and 7th Wave’s Facebook pages.

The Manx Sailing and Cruising Club welcomed 23 entries to their annual dinghy racing regatta including fleets of Lasers, RS 200s, RS Fevas, RS Teras and handicap boats. Racing took place on Saturday and Sunday, with three races planned for each day.

Saturday brought light and shifty breezes and a delayed start while race officer Keith Poole waited for the breeze to settle which it eventually did from the SE at 1 to 8 knots. The flukey conditions split the fleet into four bunches according to the skills (or luck) of the wind searchers, with Dave and Emily Batchelor in their RS 200 showing their skills were no lucky chance with a very competent performance and Phil Hardisty crewed by Ciara Kaneen close behind in their RS200. The wind shifted left, right, up and down so after two races and more delays Keith called it a day with the Batchelors having won both races.

Sunday brought strong NW winds together with welcome sunshine and challenging choppy conditions. Wind speeds up to around 25 knots saw the crews fully hiked out upwind – downwind too for the asymmetric dinghies. The roar of the wind was punctuated by occasional sharp slaps as Laser sails hit the water hard, capsizing downwind as the helms fought to maintain control. The Fevas and RS 200s were very impressive flying at their kites in the squally conditions, storming along in clouds of spray right on the edge between control and disaster, with quite a few going over at the gybe marks only to struggle back up and race on if they could.

James Kelly and Anna Harding were especially impressive in their RS200, taking two wins and staying upright throughout, but the experience in the Laser fleet allowed the single-handers to get back into the reckoning. Mike Pridham in his Laser, always confident in a blow, began to haul back some points from Simon Pressley after a difficult day on Saturday with a 3-2-3 to Simon’s 8-8-4.

Meanwhile the Batchelors, comfortably in the lead after taking a second in Sunday’s first race, retired after multiple capsizes in the second and didn’t finish the third race, sailed in the strongest winds of the day. By the end the fleet was down to 13 boats crewed by the toughest of the sailors, ranging in age from just 10 years old up to 63. Despite planning to run four races on Sunday it was clear that the crews had endured enough.

In the final reckoning the honours just went to Phil Hardisty and Ciara Kaneen (RS200) with Mike Pridham sailing a Laser Radial into second and James Kelly and Anna Harding (RS200) finishing third.

Sea Pie wins Douglas Regatta in style

Congratulations to Jerry Colman and the crew of Sigma 33 Sea Pie of Cultra who achieved a clean sweep of wins in the Moore Stephens Douglas Regatta.

The nine-strong fleet faced a weekend of challenging conditions, with Saturday’s races taking place in strong winds gusting up to 27 knots while the breeze on Sunday had dropped to less than 10.

Jerry and crewmates Chris Waldrum, Juan Hendy, Patrick Harnett, Stewart Allison, Steve Bee, Keith Poole and Neil Rawlinson claimed five wins in five races to earn their place on the Douglas Corporation Challenge Bowl.

Full results and photos can be seen at DBYC’s website.

Great racing at new-look IOMYC regatta

Thanks to Brian Quayle for the report.

A new, extended format for the Isle of Man Yacht Club regatta recently proved a huge success. Held over three days between Friday and Sunday (June 13-16), the series for both dinghies and cruisers included sufficient discards to allow competitors to take part in any two of the three days of racing, or complete all three to maximise their chances.

First away on Friday evening were the cruisers in a light southwesterly breeze. The First Class 8s of Ali Hinds and Brian (Yogi) Quayle along with Genesta sailed by Mick Kneale opened up a lead from the other competitors. Yogi led into the last mark but made an error allowing Ali and Mick through to take first and second.

The first session for the dinghies didn’t look very promising with the light breeze, but race officer Pete Hinds cleverly managed to find a small pocket of wind which was good enough to complete two tactical races. The RS 200s of the Collisters and the Batchelors made the best of it, pursued by the Lasers of James Walker, Mike Pridham and Simon Pressley. Ben Batchelor led the juniors home in the RS Tera fleet ahead of Patrick Cope, Erin Murphy, and Matthew Perry.

While the rest of the island sweltered in baking sun and no wind on Saturday, Port St Mary had a challenging 18 knots of wind across the bay. The day’s cruiser race began with a short reach to Kallow point followed by a two-mile sleigh ride of a reach to Scarlett Point. Mick Kneale led the pack of FC8’s of Mike Wilson, Ali Hinds and Yogi Quayle all flying spinnakers. Jen Kneale also in a FC8 chose to spend the leg up the mast retrieving a wayward spinnaker halyard.  Two short beat-and-run laps tested all the boats, with Wilson taking a good lead over Ali Hinds and and Mick. But it was Wilson’s turn to go the wrong way, letting Ali through to take the lead at the last mark and set up a tight finish. Wilson and Jen both got past Mick on the last beat to finish second and third.

The dinghy fleet enjoyed three exhilarating races, where errors often meant a quick swim as well as lost time. The speedy asymmetric RS 200s took off and enjoyed some very close racing, with James Kelly and his crew Anna and Phil Hardisty and his crew Ciara joining the mix. The Collisters won the first two races on corrected time and continued to dominate the series, but couldn’t fend off the well-sailed Laser of James Walker who won the third by eight seconds. The stronger winds also suited the RS Feva of Ffinlo Wright and crew who claimed second and third in the first races of the day. Continue reading

March of the Penguins

Thanks to Mick Kneale for the report.

The 2014 Baker Tilly Round Mann race started at 6.30am Saturday 24th May. Hosted by the Isle of Man Yacht Club, Port St.Mary, the race attracted just five entries, of which one pulled out at the last minute owing to illness.

This year the race was ‘clockwise’ around the island, setting off from the Alfred Pier just before high water. The forecast was for fresh to strong NE winds, so a long beat up the west coast was inevitable.

The four yachts reached the Calf about 40 minutes in, led by First Class 8 Albert Penguin, skippered by Jen Kneale, followed by Richard Baker’s Dehler 36 Shellan, Jim Edge’s Arpege Cadenza and David Holbourne’s Hanse 301 Dancing Demon. The yachts remained in this order on the water right to the finish.

The NE wind creates a large wind shadow behind Cronk ny Iree Laa, which extends a long way offshore, so up to Contrary Head the breeze was lighter and variable. Richard Baker lost a lot of time changing up to his No.1 genoa and then having to change back down to the No.3 when they emerged in to the proper strong wind again. Albert Penguin sailed a good tactical race up the west coast, the boat beating well under the No.3 genoa and a reef in the mainsail.

The Point of Ayre seemed to take for ever to reach against wind and tide but eventually the yachts enjoyed a fine downwind blast all the way to Langness and a fetch to the finish. It’s a feature of the ‘clockwise’ races that the yachts always meet the new flood tide against them as they sail down the east coast, which means that course records are never challenged. However, Albert Penguin managed to finish in under 12 hours and the last boat crossed the line in just over 15 hours.

Last year’s Round Mann was also won by a First Class 8 (Pete Hinds’ Head First), so these tough little boats are obviously quite capable in the right hands. The sailors enjoyed a convivial evening at the IOMYC after the finish, each with tales of knock-downs, near-misses and the long slog up to the Point of Ayre. The club and competitors are very grateful to Steve Malley and Baker Tilly for their generous support for the Round Mann race.

Results: 1, Albert Penguin (Jen Kneale, IOMYC); 2, Shellan (Richard Baker, IOMYC); 3, Cadenza (CDMYC); 4, Dancing Demon (David Holbourne) DBYC

Ben Batchelor wins his second youth dinghy championship

More images from Saturday’s races can be seen in the MSR Gallery.

Fresh from scoring his first race win at a UK national regatta during the recent RS Tera Start of Season Championships in Northamptonshire, Sport Aid recipient Ben Batchelor comfortably won the 2014 Isle of Man Youth Dinghy Championship last weekend.

With four wins and two second place finishes in the six-race series, 12-year-old Ben led from the first race in his RS Tera Sport dinghy and beat five of his Equiom Manx Youth Sailing Squad team-mates to the overall prize and the Tomlinson trophy.

Three races were sailed on both Saturday and Sunday in consistent southerly winds that gradually built throughout the championship, which was hosted by the Isle of Man Yacht Club.

The 11-strong fleet comprised nine RS Tera dinghies, while brothers and former Tera world champions James and Greg Kelly competed in an RS 200 and a Laser radial respectively. But with a relatively generous handicap compared to other dinghies and with outstanding young racers at their helms, it was unlikely that any other boat could beat the best of the Tera sailors on corrected time.

James and crew Anna Harding were plagued by gear failure in their RS 200, but Greg showed excellent form by finishing in the top three in each of Saturday’s races and beating Ben to the win in race three.

Sadly Greg, who sat his GCSEs this week, was forced to sit out Sunday’s races in favor of revision, giving Ben a clear run at the championship on Sunday. He conceded race four to Tera Pro sailor Ffinlo Wright, who finished second in the final standings, but Ben signed off his championship with wins in races five and six for an unbeatable winning margin.

Meanwhile the fight for the final podium place between Matthew Perry and Alec Cope was only settled at the finish line of the final race, with Matthew Perry just doing enough to beat Alec Cope by a single point for third overall.

Announcing the results, race officer Mick Kneale praised the outstanding level of sailing on display across the entire fleet and the toughness of the competitors – from the eight sailors that took on Sunday’s three races in winds gusting up to 20 knots, there was only one retirement.

Ben, Greg and Ffinlo are teaming up with young Manx sailors Erin Murphy and Robert Harding to contest the RS Feva UK National Championship in Weymouth this weekend. Ben and Ffinlo will then travel direct from Weymouth to Holland for the RS Tera European Championships, where they will race alongside Matthew Perry and brothers Alec and Patrick Cope.

Results: 1, Ben Batchelor (Tera Sport) 6 points; 2, Ffinlo Wright (Tera Pro) 14; 3, Matthew Perry (Tera Pro) 16; 4, Alec Cope (Tera Sport) 17; 5, James Arnold (Tera Pro) 26; 6, Greg Kelly (Laser Radial) 28; 7, Rory Donegan (Tera Sport) 35; 8, William Henthorn (Tera Sport) 39; 9, Leah Jay (Tera Sport) 40; 10, James Kelly and Anna Harding (RS 200) 46; 11, Alasdair Kelly (Tera Sport) 52.

Sea Pie wins 2014 Round the Island Race

The crew of Manx Sailing and Club’s Sea Pie of Cultra took home a host of silverware and the overall win in the 2014 IOMA Fund and Investment Management Round the Island Race at the weekend.

The challenge of night-time sailing and an unsettled weekend forecast conspired to reduce the entry list and only four of the nine starters finished the 80-mile offshore race. The deceptive calm during Sunday afternoon’s start in Ramsey bay gave way to stronger southerly winds once the fleet rounded the Point of Ayre, where they faced a upwind slog along the coast – 20 knots of breeze and seas up to two metres were reported at Contrary Head.

These conditions tend to favour the larger yachts that can make better progress in choppy seas, setting the stage for a three-way battle between Sigma 33s Sea Pie, Douglas Bay Yacht Club’s Polished Manx and Pippa 4 of Glasson Sailing Club (GSC).
Smaller craft can find the tide turning against them if they make slow progress around the course, leading to a few early retirements. They included MS&CC’s Eliza Bee, skippered by Ralph Kee, who had led the fleet around the Point of Ayre before being overhauled by the Sigmas.

The forecast of strong winds on Monday left the visiting boats with a dilemma – either cut their losses and retire, or finish the race and face the worst of the weekend’s conditions on the trip home. John Broadhead’s My Cloud (GSC) looked around the corner at the Point of Ayre, thought better of it and retired. Pippa 4, skippered by Grant Kinsman, retired at the Calf and continued towards Holyhead.

This left Jerry Colman’s Sea Pie and Kuba Szymanski’s Polished Manx fighting for the lead up the island’s east coast in variable winds and near-total darkness. After being quick out of the blocks at the start in Ramsey, the crew of Sea Pie held on to their advantage and arrived home at 1.45am on Monday morning to earn a host of silverware. They took the Ramsey Town Cup for the overall win in Division 1, the Ramsey Courier Cup for the first boat home and the Golden Jubilee Trophy for the overall win on corrected time.

Polished Manx crossed the line an hour later but multihull Rice Pudding beat them in by 15 minutes, finishing at 2.30am. The small crew of Rice Pudding, led by 81-year-old Norman Whewell, were rewarded with the Copland trophy for endeavour.
At 4.20am Castletown yacht Cadenza, skippered by James Edge, became the final boat to cross the line after 14 hours of racing, claiming the historic Coronation Cup for their efforts.

Sea Pie’s skipper Jerry Colman thanked event sponsors IOMA Fund and Investment Management, and the many volunteer race officials and helpers at the Manx Sailing and Cruising Club for hosting the event.

More images can be seen in the MSR Gallery.

MS&CC Round the Island Race 2014 overall results:

Yacht Name Owner Type Elapsed Corrected Position
Sea Pie of Cultra J Colman Sigma 33 11:30:58 10:30:10 1
Polished Manx K Szymanski Sigma 33 12:31:54 11:12:57 2
Cadenza J Edge Dufour Arpege 14:05:38 11:55:24 3
Rice Pudding N Whewell Trimaran 12:00:29 12:29:18 4

Manx Sailing and Cruising Club’s annual Round the Island Race this weekend

A decent southerly breeze and fair weather is currently forecast for Sunday’s Round the Island Race, hosted by the Manx Sailing and Cruising Club.

The 80-mile offshore race, sponsored by IOMA Fund and Investment Management, will start at Ramsey from 1400 BST on Sunday, May 4 and circumnavigate the Isle of Man and the Calf of Man in an anticlockwise direction.

Onshore spectators will be treated to grandstand views of the fleet passing very close to shore at the Point of Ayre after 1430, and yachts will be visible from around the island’s coastline through the day.

The relatively late start to proceedings is to maximise favourable tides around the course (HW is 1524 BST on Sunday, May 4). A quick lap might see the fastest boats just finishing in daylight, but the race is sure to continue through the night as the fleet returns to Ramsey.

Split into separate divisions for racing yachts, cruiser racers and multihulls, the three fleets will start 15 minutes apart from Ramsey, with the first start scheduled at 1400.

An impressive array of trophies is up for grabs in the historic race, which was first contested in 1953 for the Coronation cup. With the crew of First Class 8 Albert Penguin unable to take part this year, a new name is guaranteed on the Golden Jubilee trophy for the overall win on corrected time.

The weekend’s festivities begin with a barbecue at the MS&CC clubhouse on Saturday evening. For more information check MS&CC’s Facebook page or download the entry form and notice of race documents from the club’s website.

Collisters win MS&CC’s Easter Regatta


Island champions Russell and June Collister won the first major dinghy event of the 2014 season with a dominant performance in the IOM Copiers Easter Regatta.

They put in a near-flawless performance in their RS200 during the three-race series hosted by the Manx Sailing and Cruising Club on Saturday. Tellingly they were one of the very few boats to avoided capsizing in the testing conditions, with Ramsey bay exposed to strong southeasterly winds gusting up to 20 mph.

Russell and June spent most of their day at the front of the fleet, beating the rival RS200s of Dave and Ben Batchelor and Andrew and Katie Kneale on the water and opening a wide enough gap to beat the remainder of the mixed fleet on corrected time.

The Collisters were only denied a clean sweep of wins by the Manx Youth Sailing Squad’s Patrick Cope, who showed great form by winning race one and taking third in the subsequent two races on corrected time to finish an impressive second overall, Alongside youth squad team-mate Matthew Perry, 13-year-old Patrick was one of only two Tera sailors to tough out all three races.

Mike Pridham, sailing a Laser Radial, took third overall with two second place finishes and fifth in race one.

The Easter regatta is the first of five summer events that comprise the Traveller’s Trophy series, which takes in regattas in Ramsey, Laxey and Port St Mary and culminates in the Isle of Man dinghy championship in August.

Accepting the overall prize Russell thanked the race officers, safety boat crews, onshore helpers and everyone who helped prepare the refreshments in the clubhouse after racing. MS&CC’s dinghy captain Ralph Kee gave special thanks to Mark Corrin of IOM Copiers for sponsoring the event.

Images can be seen in the MSR Gallery.