Contents:     29 March     22 March     16 March      3 March        The Perils of Pinging



29 March 2015


Sadly we had to cancel racing for Sunday 29 March.  The weather forecasts had looked unpromising for days, but as we only need a weather window of around 5 hours, we waited until Saturday before making the decision to pull the plug.  Forecasts of an average Force 6 were perhaps tenable at any rate for Black Group, but the expected gusts to 45 knots ruled it out.  In the event, Bramblemet revealed a Force 7-8 and gusts to nearly 50 knots so it was a good thing we opted out.  We hope the texting to everyone, and the note on the website, meant nobody had a wasted journey, though we manned the radio until 1000 on Sunday with regular calls confirming cancellation just in case anyone had missed the messages and was feeling brave!


With a less clear forecast we might have had to wait until Sunday morning before making the decision, but this time that wasn’t needed.  On such occasions we meet at around 0740 on Sunday morning and the decision is made just before 0800 - so if competitors can kindly manage to delay ringing us until then, it doesn’t slow down the decision making process!


We now have a welcome break over Easter and look forward to seeing you all on the 12 April.


Entries are still welcome for the two weekends of the Spring Championship 18-19 April and 25-26 April, with the “early entry” fees closing on 11 April. 


On the first weekend of the Championship there is a Saturday evening party at the Club for Competitors and members.  From 1600 (when boats get back from racing) there will be LIVE MUSIC and the BAR will be open at great Club prices. and FOOD available - Fish and Chips £7.25; Sausage and Mash £6.50; Curry and Rice £6.00; Lasagne £6.00; Caesar Salad £6.50.  Help us plan ahead and book your food with the Club caterer  We may be able to provide a free “yellow taxi” service from the Hamble side of the river to and from the Club – details later if this works out.


Back to top



22 March 2015


Weather...  The five forecasts we consult early each race day morning were unanimous that during the whole planned race period on 22 March we should expect a breeze of between 7 and 12 knots from the NE.  Two forecasts felt that after 1400, the breeze might veer to ENE.  By 1600, the breeze might go to the east or south-east.  None of them expected a reduction to less than 7 knots or a change to SE during racing, and the majority view was for a consistent NE breeze of 8-11 knots during the that time.


As a result, we set windward-leeward courses for Black Group, mostly on the bank and the plateau so as to keep boats out of the strongest tide most of the time, orientated to allow for the forecast wind and the changing tide direction.  Provision was made for shortening the courses for all classes by 2-3 miles which in prospect, in view of the forecasts and the breeze pre-start, seemed reasonably cautious.  


We all know now that the conditions did not work out like that, with the breeze down to very little for extended periods, although returning towards the end of the Black Group races, and swinging to about 140 degrees.  Unfortunately as a result those races lasted longer than was intended even after we shortened course, and the legs were far from being mostly the intended beats and runs.  A majority of boats in Black Group (about three-quarters) did finish in the end.  It did however make for some very demanding tactical work hunting out the best of the breeze and the least of the tide.


At the same time, White Group managed to complete just one of their planned 3 races and abandoned the rest.


Very frustrating for many competitors and the race team. 


To our pleasant surprise we have had a couple of emails from boats that thoroughly enjoyed their racing and we were delighted to hear that not everyone was disappointed.    Maybe next week the weather will be kinder - though the long(ish) range forecast is suggesting it may be very gusty as weather fronts go through...


Two Crewsaver lifejackets were presented this week and the winning boats in the Clubhouse at the time were Captain Pugwash (George Barker) and Doyle Sails (Tim Octon).  7 out of the 8 bottles of champagne on offer were collected too.


Back to top



16 March 2015


It was great to get the Series under way yesterday, with a good turnout in chilly conditions.  The Results and the Race Report can be found under the “Racing” menu button.  A good attendance in the clubhouse after racing saw the champagne distributed to the class winners, the free beer going down well, and the weekly draw for a Crewsaver Crewfit lifejacket won by Malice (Mike Moxley).  You have to be there to collect!  Please use the Club jetty to drop crew off, and there’s also our free yellow taxi service to and from the Club. 


Do use the Feedback button if you would like to give us any comments or suggestions, arising from yesterday’s racing or otherwise. 


Back to top



3 March 2015


Welcome to the 32nd Warsash Spring Series. 

The Sailing Instructions have now been published on this website, and posted to all entrants.

We are delighted that Brooks Macdonald wealth management group are continuing their role as title sponsor.  We also warmly welcome our Race Partners:

Ø           Crewsaver who are providing prizes of numerous Crewfit lifejackets for class winners in the Championship, plus a lifejacket to be won each of the 6 Sundays in a draw amongst those boats present in the Warsash Club House.

Ø           Rolly Tasker Sailmakers who are again sponsoring the free beer and lager each week in the club house after racing. 

Ø           Hudson Wight Performance Sailwear who are providing one of their Performance Jackets for each winning boat in the Sunday Series.


The Series and Championship continue to evolve steadily and welcome feedback from you the competitors.  For 2015 the arrangements include:

Ø           Spring Series on 6 Sundays with handicap racing in four IRC classes plus One Design classes for J/109, SB20, J/80, J/70

Ø           Spring Championship on 2 weekends, open to all the same classes plus Mixed Sportboats.  Extracted results and extra trophies will be given for J/111, Sigma 38, J/88 and Quarter Ton classes

Ø           Entries are welcome for any part of the Series and/or the Championship.  Entry fees have been held again for 2015 - the 6th successive year with almost no change in prices.  Good reductions for early entry.  Online entry available with credit/debit card payment

Ø           Smaller IRC boats are very welcome to the event. Class IRC4 will again start at 1000 near East Knoll - Royal Southern buoys, with their own courses.  So they do not wait behind the deeper Black Group boats out at a mid-Solent start line. 

Ø           Start sequence: 10-minute start sequence for Black Group classes - enough time to receive the courses and check out the start area, without interfering with previous starts.  5-minute start sequence for White Group classes on laid courses.

Ø           Crew wanted and Crew available:  use the contact facility on the website

Ø           Texting will be used to send some information, e.g. whether or not racing is going ahead if bad weather is expected.  Boats may register 2 mobile telephone numbers to receive that information.  Racing details such as courses will not be sent by text.

Ø           Results: available first in Warsash Clubhouse on Sunday afternoon and published later that evening on the Internet, and by email to all crews and owners who register with us.  A results and round-up booklet will be mailed after the Series ends.

Ø           Welcome to Warsash. All competitors and their crews are invited to use Warsash Sailing Club on race days with Club bar prices, and food on Sundays.  Use the Club’s jetty to land or pick up crew.  When space permits a few boats can berth there short term whilst in the Club - please keep the committee boat space clear though.  Or come to the Club via the free yellow water taxi:

Ø           A free “yellow water taxi” service operates from the Warsash Club jetty each Sunday before and after racing, across and up the river as far as Hamble Yacht Services.  Last trips are usually at 1630.  

Ø           Cooked breakfasts from a full meal to a bacon roll etc are quickly available from 0800 on Sundays.  Snacks, meals and the bar after Sunday racing.  Bar on race Saturdays.

Ø           Bottles of champagne are awarded for class winners in the Club each week – if the winner doesn’t collect, then 2nd or 3rd place in each class may!  Plus there’s the weekly draw for a Crewsaver Crewfit Pro Auto Lifejacket with Harness – but to win, you must be in the Clubhouse. 

Ø           Over 50 excellent trophies for class winners and other podium placed boats and these wonderful extra prizes, all presented at Prize Giving on the evening of 15th May 2015:

Ø           Spring Series class winners (Black and White Groups):  each boat gets one Hudson Wight Performance Jacket

Ø           Spring Championship Black Group class winners each get two Crewsaver Crewfit Pro Auto Lifejackets with Harness; and 30% discount vouchers for crew.

Ø           Spring Championship White Group class winners get Crewsaver Crewfit 165N Sport Manual Non-harness Lifejackets  - three lifejackets for the J/70 winner, four for the J/80 winner, three for the SB20 winner, four for the mixed sportsboat winner.


Tacticians may like to read the following note about “Pinging” based on an article written by Philip Gage. 


Enquiries regarding the event can be made to


Peter Bateson


Back to top



The Perils of Pinging

by Philip Gage

More and more boats are using GPS to set the starting line, in the belief that they will guarantee that they will not be OCS.

From the committee boats we see competitors sail close, while the bowman drops his hand when they are on the line, and the navigator plots the position on the deck computer.

Wonderful, and if the wind and tide stay the same they will be on the line on the gun, provided that the bowman was not over the line when he dripped his hand.

There is a big but...  The wind and tide change, and committee boats move.  Lets take an extreme case.

The line is laid in a depth of 10 metres in a strong tide.  The committee boat lets out 40 metres of chain.  The wind is against the tide, so the committee boat is lying stern to wind and perhaps 35 metres upwind of her anchor.  The orange flag is perhaps 5 metres further.

The tide slackens and the boat moves back towards her anchor, then the tide changes direction and the boat swings, coming to rest 35 metres down wind and down tide from her anchor.

At the same time the pull on the anchor has swung through 180 degrees, and it has to reset.  It moves a couple of metres over the ground to dig in again.  The line may have moved over 80 metres since it was first set.  Provided that both ends of the line have moved together, and the line is still square to the wind the race committee will not have reset it.

That’s an extreme case.  However movement of 10 or 20 metres would be quite common.  The sailing instructions define the line as being between spars on the boats, not as between GPS coordinates.  Rely on the GPS at your peril!


Back to top