Northampton Sailing Club Visit 2014 - Race Report

Another smashing weekend sailing up at Holland Haven with our guests from Northampton Sailing Club

Northampton Sailing Club on the veranda

Clacton Sailing Club warmly welcomed visitors from Northampton Sailing Club to a full weekend of joint activities, with long distance cruises on the Saturday and an open handicap race for the Coronation Cup on the Sunday. The visitors camped-over in the clubs large dinghy compound and were able to make the most of the long daylight hours.

Light to moderate Northerlies

Winds were light to moderate Northerlies blowing offshore for the race which had the effect of keeping the seas flat but were also subject to wild changes in directions and strength with competitors at times either becalmed or struggling with up to force 4 gusts.

The course was set

A simple course was set with a reaching start to the first buoy before gybing and sailing further out to sea on a broad reach that allowed the kites to be set. Tacking back from the second buoy along the coast in a sausage to the windward mark before once again freeing off to the fast broad reach and then back to the start line. All boats had to complete 2 laps with the fastest cats completing in less than 50 minutes.

Interclub partnerships were forged

New interclub partnerships were forged with local sailor James Stacey taking the opportunity to team up with the hugely experienced and championship winning Lewis Bowen in the RS500. After making a fast recovery from a capsize they enjoyed a tight battle with Martin and Debbie in the other RS500 eventually crossing the line a full minute ahead.

Other competitors had stories to tell with most remarking on the frustrations of the wild fluctuations of wind strengths.


Pete Boxer teamed-up for the first time with his son Ben but suffered a series of disasters including a 'man-overboard' as Ben fell from the trapeze and eventually completing the race way down the pack.

Struggles with flukey winds

James Parsons teamed-up with Northampton sailor Roger Le Pla on the Hurricane catamaran and after struggling with the flukey winds they remarked that at one time it was so refreshing to get into a clean breeze they felt like sailing off the course and were tempted to keep going to the horizon. The conditions did not suit the cats at all and James and Roger unfortunately finished in last place after the handicaps had been calculated.

Visitors impress

Emma Le Pla receiving RNLI Pennant from Martin Chivers

It was both humbling and pleasing that the visitors took both first and second place overall after the handicap times had been calculated with Emma Le Pla sailing a Topper taking first place and Harry White in his Laser Radial taking second.  Such exchange visits between clubs help encourage all the sailors to raise their game and friendships are rekindled year after year with repeat visits.