Autumn 2012


Commodore's Bit

Annual Dinner

Annual General Meeting

Banging on Again

Bewl Autumn 2012

Cheats Christmas Lunch

Dave Jennings



Kempton Park Fireworks

New Members

Newsletter Printing

Old Time Music Hall

RN SC Bosun Regatta

Sailing Beyond End

Social Calendar

Spring Flotilla Invite

Susannah's Light



Royal Navy Sailing Club Annual Bosun Regatta

5/16th September 2012 - Frank Rainsborough

This event is the only one I've attended where the entrance is a barrier guarded by rifle-toting armed military, who before allowing you in, check your name and car registration details from their list. But then these details were part of the application form, it is a military site, we had been there twice before, and actually, have become bit blasé about it!

This event is at a Royal Navy shore establishment, HMS Excellent, which provided all the Bosun dinghies and their gear. At the briefing for sixteen entrants it was explained that 8 races were planned, 6 for Saturday, and two on Sunday morning, to conclude the Regatta at lunchtime, with a prize-giving very early afternoon.

The Saturday races would each be of 30-45 minutes duration, 4 races in the morning back-to-back, then a lunch break, and 2 races in the afternoon, also back-to-back. The first 4 races would be north of Whale Island, there being sufficient height of water over what would later be drying mud, held there because we were told that the tide effect would be minimal in that area.

After lunch the 'change boats' procedure was applied and it was sail out again to the race area as before, necessarily leaving the might of guided missile destroyer HMS Bristol to starboard, but then, where the harbour proper opened out, not go quite so far north, stay more into the middle.

We were happy with our first day's results, in the morning in our first allocated boat number 13 we logged a first, a second, a fourth (oops!) and another first.

After lunch, in boat number 12, we had another fourth, and another second, and at the close of Saturday's play sufficient races had then been run for discards to be applied, the process being that an entrant's worst placing would be deducted from their cumulative points.

In our case our cumulative points was 14, it resulted for us in a satisfactory first day's score of 10 points. I had heard that at the end of the day we were first overall, and by some margin, and of course I was very happy to hear that, passed it on to Jim and off we went to get our evening meal and a bed. But I should have checked the actual results because in fact there were only 2 points separating us from Charlie and Freddie who were on 12 points at the end of Saturday!

Sunday morning was a bit of rush, our third boat was number 23, we were late getting it ready and then we found that the essential mainsheet pulley was broken. There was un-allocated Bosun nearby and I was hoping to find that my multi-function tool would have a suitable tool to remove the mainsheet pulley off the back of that 'spare' boom, when a safety boat, presumably sweeping up back markers, immediately saw the problem, told us to remove the whole boom from that boat and take it aboard our boat. Whilst they towed us out to the racecourse, we swapped the booms over, they took the boom with the broken pulley, and we re-hoisted our main.

For that help they'd given us we had about 3 minutes leeway before the 5 minute starting signal, so we thanked that Safety Boat Crew, and it's likely that they were in contact with the Race Officer who probably delayed the start for us. Thank you all, you know who you are! And in those first few minutes of pre-start time, sail number 2356 (boat D) called out to tell us that we were leading them by 2 points, so not a wide margin at all!

That meant that to keep our first place we would have to finish with a minimum of two boats between us and them in one race, and finish with a minimum of one boat between us and them in the other race. And Kelsey and Jess in boat G were also in the running, we'd been battling with them as well, in most races.

But it wasn't to be, not for them and not for us! I saw boat D (2356) on the first beat and there were 3 boats separating us, they then appeared to get away and maintained a clear lead for the rest of the race. And we, in amongst the next 6 boats, all were very close together, constantly tacking and swapping positions.

We fought just as hard as our nearby competitors did, both in that race, and the second race of the day, the final race of the Regatta. It needed skill and a little bit of luck for us to not drop lower than second overall, and in the end it would be decided by boat D's 4th and a 1st, and our 6th and a 5th. That 6th was discarded and one of our 4th places was added back into our cumulative score, but their discard remained unchanged meaning they finished with 17 points, we with 19, so final positions for the event overall, they first, we second. Third place had 22 points, fourth had 24. All very close!

We had a most enjoyable week-end and we thanked most profusely the organising Committee, the Club, and the Race Management Team, you did an 'Excellent' job, we thank you all!

Frank and helm, mate Jim Lowden

Frank and helm, mate Jim Lowden