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News and Stories from 2004

Northampton Sailability is presented with new Martin 16
Martin 16 Presentation

On September 29th Northampton Sailability was presented with a new Martin 16 with full electrical assist controls.

This acquisition was made possible thanks to generous financial support from the Thomas Morley Trust and the Frederick and Phyllis Cann Trust.

The presentation was made by Philip Saunderson of the Frederick and Phyllis Cann Trust (far left) and Mike Wood of the Thomas Morley Trust (2nd left) to Barbara Hogg and Harry Cockburn, treasurer and chairman respectively of Northampton Sailability.

This new boat will enable disabled sailors to enjoy high performance sailing, with asymmetric spinnaker, and compete directly with able-bodied sailors in similar sized boats.

Full details of the Martin 16 can be found on the Martin 16 web site.

Martin 16 UK National Championships at Pitsford

The first UK National Championships for the Martin 16 class were held at Pitsford on September 29th & 30th 2004. A series of seven races, best six to count, would decide who was to be the first UK National Champion.


The water was like a mill pond on the morning of the first day as the boats awaited their crews for the first four races.

Race Start

The lightest of winds greeted the competitors as they crossed the start line for the first race

Eddie and Rachel

The event gave Rachel Morris, with Eddie Pickering, a chance to give her newly acquired Martin 16 its maiden voyage.

The Winner

The winners of the first race, Danny McCoy and Steve Alvey of Canada, crossed the line heading downwind with asymmetric spinnaker flying, although the light winds made it tricky to keep it powered up. After the first four races, just one point seperated the third place from the joint leaders.

The second day's racing provided more wind, but plenty of rain to go with it! The three final races were held in one session on the water, so everyone got wet just the once! The late lunch was devoured with enthusiasm ahead of the prize giving.

Thanks to the efforts of the many volunteers from Northampton Sailability and Northampton Sailing Club, the event proved a great success despite the unkind weather, and demonstrated the capabilities of the Martin 16 to provide competitive racing for all abilities.

Results (first six places)

Boat No.Crew 1st Race2nd Race3rd Race4th Race5th Race6th Race7th RaceTotal PointsPlace overall
115Danny McCoy & Steve AlveyCan12(3)212191st
118Megan Pascoe & Duncan BatesUK431131(ocs)132nd
109Michael Cogswell & Rob FosterUK21234(5)3153rd
111Eddie Pickering & Rachel MorrisUK344(7)236224th
120Andrew Millband & Brian HardingUK(6)665644315th
97Cathy Foster & Chris AtkinUK(7)554765326th

Sponsored Event: Round the Isle of Sheppey in a Drascombe Longboat, 4th September 2004
Four Crew

Saturday 4th September saw a four-man team comprising (left to right) Ben Milroy, Allan Henson, Chris Weston and Jim Milroy take part in the annual Round The Isle of Sheppey Race.

This was the first time that Northampton Sailability has entered the event, and the first time a Drascombe Longboat has competed.


A wide variety of different boats took part in the race and rigging was soon underway


Launching Sailability's Longboat "Serendipity" was tricky due to the shallow water, but Ben had it all under control.


The very light winds meant that at times it was necessary to use the engine, a task undertaken here by Chris

Depending on wind and tide, the complete trip normally takes around 8 hours and involves a sea passage and sections on the river Swale and the Medway estuary. Full details of the event can be found at Isle of Sheppey Sailing Club web site.

Sponsored Event: Circumnavigation Of the Isle of Wight, July 10th-11th 2004
Congratulations to Jenny Jeffs, John Norman, Isolda Marroquin and Phil Kenny!

This intrepid team have now completed the venture in a record-breaking (for them) time.

The hard work and excitement is over and now it's time to collect the sponsorship money. Although money is still coming in, Jenny estimates that £800 will be raised for Northampton Sailability. Well done team!

Jenny's account of the adventure
Ready to Go

Ready to Go!

2004 was a year of records for us. Time for the circumnavigation was 10 hours 45 mins, the fastest time to date for John Norman and myself. For Isolda Marroquin's smart new blue Wayfarer sailed with Phil Kenny this was the first time round and fully successful. In an event habitually dominated by men, half the sailors were women; another first!. Fund raising sponsorship is still to be collected but let's hope for another record.

A bright morning dawned seeing John, me, Isolda and Phil on the slipway at 6:30 doing final checks and rigging for the 60 mile sail round the Isle of Wight in aid of Northampton Sailability. We slipped past Calshot Spit at 07:05 in a Westerly force 3 wind and made steady progress down Southampton Water. The long beat down to the Needles was relaxed and uneventful. While we both stopped to reef before going through Hurst Narrows we temporarily lost sight of each other, but rounded the lighthouse at about 11:00 and re-established contact by visually and by radio.

The Needles

In Heavy Swell

In Heavy Swell

The forecast was for increasing wind. The South Westerly force 5 and the heavy swell made for an interesting broad reach down to St Catherines Point. There is little shelter on the south side of the Isle of Wight, fully exposed to the English Channel. The overfalls off St Catherines were running true to form with 6ft waves and confused seas. The spinnaker was definitely staying in the bag! We passed the lighthouse at 13:00 after 6 hours at sea, all in good form and enjoying a cracking sail.

Isolda and Phil

Home at Last

Home at Last

We continued to Dunose and Bembridge Ledge where we paid heavily for cutting the corner. Edging in too close we found ourselves in shallow water thick with weed. We gybed off, promptly followed by Phil and Isolda who unfortunately capsized. While we stood off and worried about their safety, ready to pass a line if required, their only worry was a lost camera and salt water getting into the chocolate store! Having made an expert recovery from the capsize and a lee shore they set off, bailing like mad and still smiling as we rounded Bembridge Ledge together at 15:00

As we tacked round past Bembridge and Seaview and started the long haul up the Solent the wind increased to Westerly Force 6. This made for a very hard, close hauled course past Portsmouth and Ryde back to Calshot. We arrived on the slipway, both boats together at 17:45, all tired but happy.