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White Sail Challenge at Cargreen Yacht Club

CYC White Flag

The Club organises the White Sail Challenge every other Wednesday evening over the summer.

It is not racing in the usual sense. Instead, boats participate in the Challenge by sailing a defined course around navigational buoys in the vicinity of Cargreen in a seamanlike manner, starting in their own time so that close encounters with other yachts are avoided. The ordinary International Rules for the Prevention of Collision at Sea apply rather than the more complicated Racing Rules of Sailing.

This means that ordinary cruising-risks insurance is usually sufficient, but this must be confirmed with insurers first. As the name suggests, spinnakers and similar complicated sails are not used. Events take place around high water so that there is plenty of water space even for the deepest draft yachts. Courses typically take about 90 minutes to complete and boats record their own times. Handicaps are applied and continuously adjusted during the Challenge so that they accurately reflect actual performance on the water and so that every boat has a good chance of doing well.

After each event, we meet up in the bar for refreshment and a bring-your-own picnic supper, whilst the results are worked out and experiences swapped. Please give the White Sail Challenge a try. You will find it great fun and a wonderful way to meet other sailors on the water and in the Clubhouse. You will also hone your sailing skills and explore parts of the river you normally pass by!

Entry is free.

2018 Event Results

Event 12 - CYC Regatta

For the record we had 8 entries in Cruiser A and 15 entries in White Sail, total 23. There were no takers for Cruiser B and the 2 RNSA single-handed boats joined in the Cruiser A division (included in the 8 entries mentioned above). Of these, 3 cruisers withdrew before the regatta and 1 retired, leaving 4 that finished at Cargreen. The attrition rate was similar for White Sail boats; 4 withdrew and 3 retired, with 8 finishing successfully. Overall the turn out was very good taking into consideration the atrocious weather.

The bedraggled heros that actually finished seemed to enjoy the sailing and the barbecue, and we can only conclude that the CYC’s reputation for putting on a good regatta was well maintained.

The full results of the Regatta can be found HERE

Event 11

Last night we sailed Course AC in NNW winds rather lighter than expected and dying as the evening wore on. There was a strong flood stream to start with, dying away towards 2000. We had 7 boats out of which 4 finished and 3 retired. Navigation lights were required by some of us in the closing stages of the challenge due to the slow going! It was good to see ZELDA (Tim Clarke) joining us again.

Congratulations to David Wheatley for completing the course in fastest corrected time, closely followed by Rob Stebbing in his International Canoe. Commiserations to TEMPUS FUGIT, KORARA and ZELDA who despite their best endeavours couldn’t quite finish before the wind died and the ebb started.

The full results of Event 10 can be found HERE

Event 10

A good turn out of 7 boats took part in last night for the 10th event in this year’s White Sail Challenge, sailing course B. The breeze was WNW 10-14kts and rather fresher than forecast but contributed to an enjoyable sail. Legs of the course in the pool were off the wind allowing the multihulls to perform well. The final beat back up to Cargreen was in a fresh breeze and with a helpful flood stream under the keel; these suited the heavier displacement cruisers and STRATOS which could point well in those conditions.

Congratulations to John and Hilary Davis who completed the course in ELWINGS RIVAL in fastest corrected time. Commiserations to Mike Tucker in TEMPUS FUGIT who came second by just 2 seconds! Martin Worth retired in his SPARKS trimaran with rudder trouble, and Andrew Butcher in AELEA seemed a little off form unusually taking up rear position.

The full results of Event 10 can be found HERE

Event 9

Despite some slight rain it was an excellent evening’s sail, and quite challenging as it involved a long beat down to the Brunel Green buoy against a very strong flood tide. Shallow draft boats had the advantage as they could keep out of the tide on the Devon side of the “pool”. Early starters also had the advantage, because the wind eased as the evening wore on. It was good to see KORORA (Julian Smith) out again; I have used my handicapper’s discretion and given this boat a larger than normal handicap adjustment to try and accelerate convergence to a fair representative handicap.

The full results of Event 9 can be found HERE

Event 8

The course was B and wind was a steady light SSW breeze which enabled the three boats that entered to finish in short time despite the strong tidal streams. Congratulations to David Wheatley in STRATOS for winning again but only slightly ahead of Mike Tucker in TEMPUS FUGIT on handicap corrected times. Andrew Butcher in AELEA went aground (gently) in Kingsmill Lake and retired, forgetting that the rules of the challenge allow use of the engine to get off

The full results of Event 8 can be found HERE

Event 7

The full results of Event 7 can be found HERE

Event 4

Nine Boats took part in event 4 WSC. Tonight's A1 course is new one from Tony Head, that encompasses the two new Pylon marker buoy's at the entrance of the Tavy. The larger boats managed to find enough depth with Elwings Rival Having 0.9 under her keel! The good breeze lasted throughout the challenge with Dave and Mark Wheatley first, followed closely by Roger Creag-Osborne in Cresta of White 18 sec behind.

The full results of Event 4 can be found HERE

Event 3

Seven Boats took part this evening in very light winds from the East. Well done to Dave Wheatley , Rob Stebbing and in particular Andrew Butcher for completing the course. Andrew taking nearly 3Hrs to get round but determined to finish! Hard luck to those that had to retire in what were difficult conditions of little wind and an Ebb tide.

The full results of Event 3 can be found HERE

Event 2

The second White Sail Challenge event had eight vessels taking part, three for the first time. Very warm welcome to Yachts Emily, Korora and Metula. The wind didn't quite get up to the predicted forecast strength but lasted throughout and allowed all participants to finish! .

Just a note on sailing around the different courses. The route you need to sail is to be exactly the same as on the chartlet. Last night three boats sailed around the wrong green mark, if this happens please retrace your route and correct your error as Elwings Rival did. All the racing marks we use on the river count, so you either need to sail around them or avoid them.

The full results of Event 2 can be found HERE

Still plenty of room for more yachts to take part, please come and join us on the river for the next event. Next event is on Wednesday 30 May.

Event 1

Event No 1 was Course AC sailed in nice NW 10-15kts breezes reducing as the evening wore on. We had 5 entrants which I suppose was not too bad as it was the first event of the season.

Congratulations to David Wheatley and Mick Flanagan for completing the challenge in the shortest time in a Laser Stratos (big) dinghy, but only by 31 seconds from Andrew Butcher in AELEA. Unfortunately Rob Bull in his trimaran CHAMPUS grounded at Lime Point and retired with suspected damage to be investigated with a haul-out. John and Hilary Davis had to clear a jammed in-mast mainsail reefing system on ELWINGS RIVAL so started very late and suffered the consequences of failing wind and less helpful tidal stream to get to the finish. For this reason ER's handicap hasn't been adjusted on this occasion.

The full results of Event 1 can be found HERE

2018 White Sail Programme

The dates for the 12 events comprising the 2018 Cargreen White Sail Challenge are as follows:

Date HW Tide Times Starting Slot Start Line Finish Line
Wed 2 May 2015/5.3 1800-1830 Neal Point Buoy Cargreen
Wed 16 May 1933/5.5 1800-1830 Cargreen Neal Point Buoy
Wed 30 May 1917/5.3 1800-1830 Cargreen Neal Point Buoy
Wed 13 Jun 1825/5.4 1800-1830 Cargreen Neal Point Buoy
Wed 27 Jun 1818/5.2 1800-1830 Cargreen Neal Point Buoy
Wed 11 Jul 1709/5.2 1800-1830 Cargreen Neal Point Buoy
Wed 25 Jul 1712/4.9 1800-1830 Cargreen Neal Point Buoy
Wed 1 Aug 2127/5.1 1800-1830 Neal Point Buoy Cargreen
Wed 15 Aug 2148/5.6 1800-1830 Neal Point Buoy Cargreen
Wed 29 Aug 2037/5.5 1800-1830 Neal Point Buoy Cargreen
Wed 12 Sep 2041/5.8 1800-1830 Neal Point Buoy Cargreen
Sat 22 Sep 1705/5.0 1200-1230 (tbc) Sound Cargreen (REGATTA)

Please note these dates in your sailing diaries and I hope they suit the great majority of us. Please do your best to take part and encourage other members to have a go too. I will be inviting Weir Quay SC to take part also. All times are BST. Three “discards” will be allowed except for the Regatta which will count “double” as a compulsory event to encourage maximum support.

I have chosen to stick to the same day of the week (Wednesday evenings) for consistency. It will not have escaped your notice that the bar will be open so that we can take refreshment during our picnic suppers! Events are programmed at fortnightly intervals except 1 August when there is a “change step” in the sequence. Whilst tides are not ideal for every event, start and finish lines have been specified to mitigate the worst effects of adverse streams. Courses will be mainly in the “pool” below Weir and Lime Points as in previous years. Arrangements can be made to tow boats without engines to starts at Neal Point Buoy, and home after finishing if necessary.

The Sailing Instructions (SIs) (Version 2) can be downloaded from HERE or the Downloads page under Club Information

There will be no entry fees but the Club will require a signed liability disclaimer which is in the SIs.

With very best wishes,