Summer 2005


Commodore's Report
Anti Social Behaviour
Bewl Water
Buoyancy Aids
Chinese Takeaway
Club Photographers
Club Refurbishment
Commodore's Conference
Dinghy Show
Easter Egg Trophy
Entrance gate Security
Hog's Back Brewery
Licensing Law Update
MTT Work Party
Mid Thames Trophy
News of Members
Open Weekend
Palm Court Evening
Patrol Boat Service
Pat's Rules Evening
Regatta & BBQ/Jazz Night
River House Barn Concert
Rules & By-laws
Skittles Night
Social Calendar
Start of Season Party
ST Open Paxton
Teddington Theatre Club
Wednesday PM Sailing

Commodore's Conference

Every year all Commodores of RYA affiliated clubs, Aquarius included, receive an invite to the annual RYA Clubs Conference. This is held at Alexandra Palace on the first morning of the Dinghy Show. This year some 150 clubs were represented from all over the UK. After coffee & registration the meeting started at 10:30. John Bagnall the RYA Marketing Manager outlined the conference programme and introduced the first speaker.

David Ritchie the RYA National Sailing Coach presented the results of the dinghy entrapment survey and the use of patrol boats in clubs. Apparently over the last two seasons there have been some 44 incidents of entrapment under dinghies, 18 of which were regarded as serious. Despite the low statistical risk the RYA felt there was a sufficient range of incidents to suggest it is worth making sailors aware of the problem.

The biggest risk results from complete inversion of the boat with the sailor tangled or stuck underneath. The RYA concluded that incident seemed unaffected by the conditions since quite a number were recorded in light winds. The speed of inversion can increase the risk; some designs invert faster than others, but most will invert quickly if capsized to windward whilst sailing downwind.

Approximately one third of incidents involved ropes caught around the sailor. Just over one third involved other fittings or equipment, third involved trapeze equipment. A key factor seems to be that modern designs have a raised cockpit floor to enable self draining. An inverted boat of this type will therefore have a lower 'ceiling and a smaller air void. In the case of sailors trapped in the cockpit, most self draining boats have no useful air void, though there may be an air void if the water is calm.

Sailors are advised to:-
- Keep control lines short and tidy and maintain elastic so that it does its job.
- Carry a very sharp, easily accessible serrated knife.
- Practice good housekeeping (i.e. maintain a tidy boat).

Several rescue techniques were tried out by the RYA in differing conditions and locations. For lighter boats an air gap can be created by picking up one end of boat although it is important that the rescuer knows which end to pick up, otherwise the casualty may be forced deeper. For larger boats the fastest reliable technique was found to be two heavy sailors aboard the inverted boat, pulling on the centre board. It was found nearly all boats could be righted by this method in a range of conditions.

As an aside the boats that we have that might be prone to this problem are Laser, Pico and Topper, but don't panic it's very rare and on the river the masts would probably bottom before any of those dinghies actually inverted.

Alan Olive the RYA Coach Development Manager then presented information on RYA Sail Smart coaching days and the RYA race development group.

Chris Atkins the Chairman of the RYA Racing Committee then talked about the Club Racing Charter. This proposed a new three tier approach to protest handling. I've passed this on to Richard for consideration of its use at Aquarius, should it be needed!

Peter Waring the RYA H&S consultant then gave a presentation on Licensing Act & Disability Discrimination Act. I covered the Licensing Act in the last newsletter and what Aquarius may need to do re the Disability Act is under discussion by the Management Committee.

Jon White, Jackie Bennetts and Duncan Truswell then gave a joint presentation on the roles of Regional Development Officers, Volunteer Development Officers and High Performance Managers. This includes the 'On Board' initiative that I reported on in a past newsletter.

Mike (Over Easy) Baker