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White Sail Challenge at Cargreen Yacht Club

CYC White Flag

The Club will be organising another White Sail Series in 2018 on Wednesday evenings, following the success of the programme organised by Tony Head this year.

The winner of the "Cargreen Cup" for the 2017 White Sail Pursuit Series was Tim Clarke in Zelda - a Sadler 29. The Challenge, consisting of about 12 events on Wednesday evenings during the season, has the aim of providing fun and gently competitive sailing for Members, in any type of yacht, large or small, mono or multi hull, and is especially suitable for beginners and family crews.

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.

Applications to take part in 2018 should be sent to the Challenge Officer Tony Head by text to 07885914148 (preferred) or by email to as soon as possible.

White Sail Challenge 2017
Results of Final Event No 12
Also Final Overall Results
Sat 20 Sep

Congratulations to Tim Clarke in ZELDA for completing Course CA first and winning the series.

Wind was southerly 8-14kts but the main feature of the evening was the continuous rain from a slow moving warm front that drenched us all. So in the circumstances 6 boats on the water was an excellent turnout. The low cloud and poor visibility caused most of us towards the end of the event to display navigation lights, with ZELDA so zealous and anxious to avoid collision in the gloom she exhibited a masthead tri-colour as well as her side lights and overtaking light. Commiserations to Rod Bull in CHAMPUS who had to retire when a foresail sheet frayed and its outer sheath jammed in a fairlead/conduit.

Soaking wet and dripping on the clubhouse carpet we gathered afterwards in the bar for prize giving for the overall events; overall results are attached. Tim Clarke won overall with 26 points, and Mick Flanagan coming second with 39 points. Many congratulations. Particularly noteworthy was Martin Worth’s performance as a newcomer, coming 7th overall in his little Sparks trimaran.

Inevitably as the evening wore on thoughts turned to next year’s White Sail Challenge. There seemed to be general agreement that the formula for next year should be similar, with Wednesdays considered best, even if this meant we might not always have good high tides to play with. We accepted we would have to learn to sail in more restricted waters and in stronger tidal streams.

Perhaps the area needing a little more thought for 2018 was that of handicapping. Two boats had step-changes in performance compared to last year 2016, and the handicapping system this year 2017 failed to identify this quickly enough and did not make corresponding coarse adjustment to handicaps early enough in the series. I will work on this weakness and come up with some proposals for tweaking the system. Please watch out for further emails on this subject.

With very best wishes,

The confirmed results are here;
The Final total of points in the series, taking into account everyone’s three discards (three worst results) are here.

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Crew Register

A crew register will be operated to put skippers seeking crew in touch with crew seeking to join in. Click here for Crew Register

Please call Tony Head, CYC Cruising Manager via Mobile: 07885 914148
or eMail: