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News Reports and Stories - 2017

If you are a participant in any news-worthy event please submit a brief report, preferably with a few pictures, to: Geoff Portas

News reports from 2016 and earlier can be seen on the Archive page.

John Knight - RYA Community Award.

John Knight has been awarded an RYA Community Award (lifetime commitment) in recognition of all his hard work as Boatswain of Northampton Sailability.

Well done John and thank you for all your hard work.

Summer Challenge: Report from Mike Hulands

Friday 18th August saw some challenging conditions. Winds had eased from the mornings F6/7 Gusts, to F4 with occasional F5 gusts.

Just before the race however, a storm approached complete with thunder and lightning so all boats were ordered of off the water. All got a good drenching in the heavy downpour of rain and hail.

After 30 minutes of drying out and tea drinking the storm passed and racing was restarted. The Race officer held two short races.

Six boats joined the fray including Chris Dabbs and Mike B having a “spin” in the Martin. They even tried the spinnaker at one point which unfortunately tangled and left them heeling over to an appreciable degree. Both they and the Martin quickly recovered and in Race 2 they finished well ahead of the main fleet but the punishing handicap still left them in last place.

Roger was again on good form in the single handed Access as was Sam and Henry sailing a DH Access.

In Race one – the corrected times give Sam/Henry and Roger equal first – so 1.5 points each. Clive and Rachel took third.

In Race two Roger gained a clear overall first with Clive and Rachel in second and Roy/Priscilla taking third.

So with only two races to go the overall results are as below. Roger currently leads the way but all will hinge on next Fridays results.


The table below and the Sailwave Results Table treat discards in different ways, and so may present different overall placings as the series progresses.

This table uses all scores until more than 10 races have been held. After that the best 10 scores from races sailed so far will be counted and the other scores discarded.

The Sailwave table progressively discards scores in proportion to the number of races held. So for example after 12 races only 5 scores count with 7 discarded, after 20 races 9 count with 11 discarded and so on.

After race 22 both tables count the best 10 scores, so the overall placings will then agree.

Overall points and placings shown below may vary from Sailwave results due to the method used for discards. Click here for information on discards.

See the full Sailwave Results Tables.

UKSA Trip 7th-14th June

Photos by Robert McIntyre

Saturday 3rd June. Hansa (Access) TT meeting

Report by Chris Dabbs

The HANSA sailors were welcomed by summer sunshine and a building breeze at Pitsford reservoir on June 3rd that allowed Northampton Sailability to run the full programme of four races on a trapezoidal course.

The morning’s light winds weren’t to everyone’s taste, but 2.3 winner Lindsay Burns made the most of the conditions. "It was very shifty and a really excellent challenge. The place to make up time was at the top of the beat as you got close to the dam as it swung around a lot. Coming from Frensham we learn to read that sort of wind, so I was able to make a lot of ground."

Tim Scarisbrick and Janet White took the double-hander honours despite have a "lousy" first two races, according to crew Janet White. "In the first race we got clouted on the line, then caught someone ourselves which meant we had to do a 360 at one of the marks. In the second race we misheard the hooter as a general recall and lost a minute or more. So we had it all to do after lunch."

But the windier conditions after the fine repast laid on by Elaine and her team, suited them and as helm Tim Scarisbrick said: "We were going like a train in the afternoon."

303 2-person helm Phillip Hall came in third and commented. "It was a good day’s racing. Apart from the last race where I came last. Thank goodness for the discard. As we were in the wake of some boats we thought we would tack off. Then when we tacked back they were miles away."

Liberty class winner Paul Phillips said: "It was a fantastic day, with perfect conditions in my opinion as it was shifty enough to keep it interesting and there was good, close racing. I was lucky enough to benefit from other sailors’ mistakes by keeping out of the tacking duels that developed and it seemed that the left side was better with the gusts lifting you."

The best-placed Northampton crew were Roy Child and Priscilla Davies, second in Class. Like eventual double-hander winners Scarisbrick and White they thought it was a General Recall in Race Two, and then seemed to be chasing Scarisbrick and White in the rest of the races. Northampton crews Chris Dabbs and Pete Windatt and Meg Elliot and Christine Allen were literally touching distance away from each other on a couple of Downwind legs and finished 4th and 5th respectively, while race novices Sam Ravenscroft and Chris Bignall weren’t far behind in 8th.

Current 2.3 champion and highly experienced HANSA sailor Lindsay Burns paid tribute to the event’s organisation: "It was a lovely day’s racing, and I want to pay tribute to the organisation on and off the water, especially the shore crews who were very efficient so cheerful too. Thank you, Northampton."

Photos by Robert McIntyre

There's plenty more photos here: Robert's Hansa TT 200+ Photo Album.

Results Summary

Hansa 2.3 Class

  • 1st Lindsay Burns (Frensham Pond)
  • 2nd Alastair Carr (Rutland)

Hansa 303 Two-Person Class

  • 1st Tim Scarisbrick & Jane Whyte (Chesil Sailability)
  • 2nd Roy Child & Priscilla Davies (Northampton Sailability)
  • Philip Hall & Dave Ankers (Chesil Sailability)

Hansa 303 One-Person Class

  • 1st Margaret Foreman (Frensham Pond)
  • 2nd Leslie Philip (Tideway)
  • 3rd Alison Grant (Frensham Pond)

Hansa Liberty Class

  • 1st Paul Phillips (Frensham Pond)
  • 2nd Pat Crowley (Rutland Sailability)
  • 3rd Chris Emmet (Rutland Sailability)

Full results for this TT round can be seen here:- Sailwave Results Tables.

Flotilla sailing in Croatia, 7th - 14th May

Photos by Robert McIntyre

Clr Jim Harker presents Northampton Sailability with a donation from Northamptonshire County Council.

Priscilla Davies, Treasurer of Northampton Sailability writes:

An old friend or ours, Clr Jim Harker, along with his wife and grandchildren, came along to Push The Boat Out Day in June last year. He had often heard me talking about Sailability at Pitsford and wanted to come along himself to see exactly what we did.

He was very impressed with our activities, so much so that a few days later he contacted me to say that he would like to nominate Northampton Sailability to be one of his two chosen charities for his year as Chairman of Northamptonshire County Council, and had we a wish list! Heads together and up came the idea of a new Bahia dinghy to replace the aging Sport 16.

Obviously I said we would be delighted to accept his kind offer and this started a whole year long series of events, many of which I was personally involved in, one of which was a meal with a difference at an Indian restaurant in Northampton attended by quite a few of our members and volunteers. Eventually a new Bahia was ordered, delivered to Pitsford and Jim and colleagues were invited to launch the boat with glasses of bubbly at the ready, followed by an excellent afternoon tea.

After much head scratching on Jim’s part, our new boat is named County Rose to reflect the County Council’s association. Jim did actually have a sail in the new boat and came back onto dry land without any mishaps!

Maiden Voyages for two new boats.

Our new Hansa 303 and Bahia have been put into service. Both were out on the water on Friday April 7th.

Emma and Henry in the Bahia

Roy and Jean in the new Hansa 303

Martin Gibbs

Sadly we have to announce that Martin Gibbs passed away on March 22nd.

His widow, Rosemary writes:

This is just to let you know that Martin died on Wednesday 22nd March at Coventry University Hospital. He had had a series of bad infections over the last two years which gradually weakened his powers of resilience. He has been in Full Time Care since Jan. 2015.

I had hoped to be able to bring him back to Sailability but he had become more anxious generally and didn’t feel he could cope.

I visited Martin regularly and I am so happy that as most of the stress was lifted we could have better times together. He felt secure and my patience and love returned more strongly.

I do thank the Club for the happy times you enabled us to have out in the open and on the water. It did seem to be the one thing that gave him a bit of his old spark of enjoyment.

Learning to sail was an experience which I treasure and I do thank you all. The tranquility of the views from the Club House was balm to my stressed state.

Thank you for everything especially the support, friendship, training and opportunity for adventure.

Special thanks to Roy and all who took Martin out for an hour or so of freedom on the water.

Best wishes, Rosemary Gibbs.

Rotary Club Swimarathon.

On Saturday 25th March a Swimarathon was organised by Northampton Rotary Clubs to raise sponsorship for both Sailability and other local charities.

Cath, Emma, Roger and Angela.

The 5th annual Rotary Swimarathon was held at Moulton College, near Brixworth.

Teams swam from 13.00 to 17.00 in 1 hour slots with approx 5 teams of 6 swimmers in each slot.

Northampton Sailability put in a team of swimmers, Angela, Emma, Cath and Roger and swam a mile in 45 minutes, raising over £1000 in individual and team sponsorship.

Great fun was had by all, swimmers and supporters.

Well done Team! - Ed

Sailability attends Learning Disability Partnership Board Conference.

Karen Cragg writes:

Richard and I are at a conference about well being for people with learning disabilities!

Sailability were asked to sign a manikin made by a group from Wellingborough that make them!

Richard was kind enough to 'model' it. Sailability signed the left part of the chest!

Report from Richard Elliott

The conferance was organised by the Northants LD partnership board to promote health and well being. It was attended by lots of people with a learning disability and their families and carers.

We were in a room with lots of stalls with different organisations about advice and support and activities. The conference sessions included a choir, dance and activity sessions for lots of sports in the sports hall.

We did not have a boat but we did have models, see the front of the photo on a map of pitsford, we had a dice game to sail round the course but most people prefered trying to fit the masts in the boats!

Everybody enjoyed the photos and we could talk about groups and individuals in the Drascombe Longboats and the 303's.

There were several interested groups and families who we encouraged to come along and have a look.

It was a great atmosphere and well worth taking part but I was aware that getting to Pitsford was quite a barrier for people from Kettering and Corby.

Thanks to Karen for her suppoort and to Meg for the map and her picture.

Essential Navigation and Safety Course.

The following students passed the course on 11th Feb and look forward to putting it into practice on the water.

The course was taught by Jenny Jeffs, John Norman and Mike Hulands as volunteer instructors.

Rotary Club donate a new Hansa 303.

The Rotary E-Club District 1070 chose the occasion of their Burns Night Charter Dinner to present Northampton Sailability with a new Hansa 303.

Pictured are Sailability Committee members with Colin Bain and Michael Potter of Rotary E-Club.

New Year Social at The George, Sat 14th January.

Lesley Mulligan reports:

The RNLI event at the George went really well yesterday with the opportunity for Northampton Sailability members to meet and greet.

I have had some great feedback to say that the food was good and people really enjoyed the event.

The bring and buy sale raised a total of £94.60 for RNLI.