Race Report Bar Yacht Club v Seaview Yacht Club Sunday 8 May 2022

Despite last minute Covid casualties the Bar launched a full team of 6 boats against the home team of Seaview. It was particularly encouraging to have 6 new and younger members racing and for most it was their first visit to Seaview We were fortunate that Rory Caslin attended coming all the way from Dublin. Andrew Venables, Jim Hirschman, Josh Hitchens, Will Knatchbull and Jakob Reckhenrich had their Mermaid debuts.


Many of the team arrived on Saturday and the Commodore generously stood us drinks at the Northbank Hotel on Saturday evening when we stood on the lawn overlooking the Solent bathed in early evening sunshine. It was a picture. We followed up with dinner at the Seaview Yacht Club in a very convivial atmosphere.


Sunday started with light airs and the wind was forecast to fall away by 2 pm.  The team Captains agreed that we should keep racing as long as possible before the wind dropped. All 8 races were completed by 1 pm and we stopped for an excellent lunch at the club. The racing was highly competitive. Will was a real asset having raced for Exeter University and his experience of team racing Fireflies was immediately apparent on the helm with vigorous challenges of “No room at the mark, you have NO room” terrifying the Race Captain who was his crew and having an immediate and powerful effect on the unfortunate Seaview boat just astern. Will won that race. Andrew had a first in race 3, Alex a first in race 7 and Guy won race 8. The result was a commendable draw agains the vastly more experienced Seaview team who had the benefit of local knowledge.


In the event the wind picked up and we had a bonus fleet race in the afternoon. All agreed it was a splendid days racing.


Race Captain

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Race Captain Report 2021 AGM

“O’er the glad waters of the dark−blue sea,

Our thoughts as boundless, and our souls as free,

Far as the breeze can bear, the billows foam,

Survey our empire, and behold our home!

In the spirit of Lord Byron’s Corsair the Bar Yacht Club broke free from the bounds of the Covid pandemic and returned to the fray in 2021. From Seaview to Yarmouth over the length and breadth of the Solent we ploughed the waves with renewed joy and determination.

Covid restrictions forced the first Mermaid match against Seaview Yacht Club to be postponed from May to early July so the first race of the Season was the Mermaid 4 way match on 6 June. The teams were the Bar, the Law Society, the House of Commons and newcomers Sheffield University alumni. On the day the House of Commons failed to appear and discussion with the race captains resulted in a novel arrangement of 3 teams match racing altogether which worked surprisingly well. Newcomers to the Bar Team included Nick Francis who put his youthful team racing skills to good effect gaining a first place. Another newcomer to the Mermaids was Rory Caslin who sailed Fireflies for the Bermudan national team and likened the slower rudder response of the Mermaid to a supertanker. That did not stop him setting the trap at the windward spreader to allow Nick Francis and Alex Charlton to sail through on race 1 to first and third places. By the end of the day however the finely honed racing skills of Sheffield alumni narrowly won over the Bar with the Law Society in third place.

The Willet cup race was sailed on 26 June from Cowes to Yarmouth with 6 yachts, Michael Briggs’ Fife, Mikado, Crystal a 1927 Fred Shepherd, Theresa Whelan’s X yacht Xarifa, Richard Southwell’s Dufour, Aruna, James Holman’s Oyster, Aqualeo and Tim Devlin’s Contessa, Coh Karek. It was a perfect day. The sun shone, the breeze blew and the sea sparkled. The start at 0900 on a west flowing tide from the Royal London Yacht Club was entertaining as the Red Funnell and Redjets passed across the course. Mikado was the only yacht on the start line as the gun was fired and she neatly passed in front of the ferry leaving the rest of the fleet in her wake, a position which she held to maintain her firm grasp on the trophy. Crystal came in a close second on corrected time. There was a splendid dinner in the Royal Solent Yacht Club in the evening although strong winds and adverse tides caused us to abandon the plan for a picnic in Newtown creek on Sunday.

The postponed Mermaid match against Seaview was held on 4 July. Heavy Covid casualties resulted in a much reduced team with one member of the Bar sailing single handed in the afternoon struggling at times to keep his Mermaid the right way up. Nick Francis again took a helm to great effect ably crewed by Dominick George. We were joined by a new member, Anita Dowman, who crewed for Alex Charlton with remarkable spirit given her novice status. Charles Apthorpe was the Bar’s best helm with a first, a second and two thirds. A high point of the day was being joined by Michael Briggs for lunch with Mikado moored offshore on a cruise. With local knowledge of wind and tide Seaview won out over the day but the passage race home was a close run thing with the Bar missing out by only 4 points. Adam Griffiths generously shared his notes on team tactics after the event and has agreed to lead a seminar to hone our team racing skills in the new season when the secrets of the passback handbrake will be revealed.

The annual Bar v Bench match for the Gordon Ungley Trophy was raced in the Island Sailing Club Sonars in Osbourne Bay on the 18 September. There was a full turn out in good conditions although a strong west flowing tide meant a late start as the breeze was light at the beginning of the day. The racing was tight and once again the youthful members showed their promise with Rory Caslin and Adam Griffiths in a photo finish on the passage race home to the Squadron line. The day was won by the bench with assistance of some helms and crew from the Bar. Rachel Spearing and her City Race Series team joined the dinner at the Squadron in the evening which was the usual peerless affair, although the race captain was startled at being served Sauternes with foie gras he quickly recovered his composure on being assured by the Commodore elect that it was absolutely the done thing.

The season was a really splendid bounce back by the Club’s racing members. I now hand over our rising star, Rachel, to speak to the City Race Series.

Robin Powell

Joint Race Captain

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Bar Yacht Club Racing City Sailing Series 2022

The Bar Yacht Club will once again participate in the 2022 City Sailing Series.

The series consists of 4 Regattas with entries from 15 Yacht Clubs associated to the City of London.

Traditionally it was linked to the Banks with non-professional sailors taking intrepid steps from cruising to racing. Today we focus on a fun and social weekend with 2 races on Saturday, a social event in the eve at one of the Yacht Clubs with one race on Sunday. Encouraging old seadogs and new novice sailors to experience fresh air and sailing together, encouraging collegiate and Corinthian spirit.

More info here: http://www.citysailingseries.com/index.html

The Boat Charter

The boat is a Reflex 38, designed by Christian Stimpson, built in 1999 by Harley race boats in Cowes. The owner was the launch customer, having input into the design and build, specifically to custom for offshore and round the cans racing.

The boat is ISAF Cat 2 rated, has competed regularly in The Fastnet and has a competitive IRC rating certificate. Best Fastnet race result 5th in class 1, but winning the sea school trophy. The boat has won the 3 Peaks Yacht race 4 times and still holds the race record. Our owner is familiar with the series, charting with Dresdner Kleinwort / Commerzbank, winning quite a few of the bank series races and one with HSBC. BYC had a successful campaign in 2021.

The boat is stripped out for racing but has functioning heads, 2 cabins and pipe cot births for those short of accommodation and comfortable with camping. She is always moored in Cowes Yacht Haven with access to shore power, showering facilities and amenities ashore.

We are particularly encouraging new members and those who may be interested in joining who have never sailed before. A very generous subsidy is available to make this accessible for those less than 3 years in practice. A March/April training event is available in collaboration with the Little Ship Club for new or returning sailors.

Dates for the Series are:

Race Training Weekend – Beginning of April.

Bank of England Regatta 30 April – 1st May

Portcullis Cup 11 – 12 June

Spread Eagle Trophy 17-18 September

John Lewis 8 – 9 October

Please click here to contact Rachel Spearing for more information

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Important – Please read

Please don’t use any stored e-mail addresses which end @baryachtclub.org.uk as these are currently unavailable. Instead please send your e-mails to John Tanzer by clicking on his name.

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