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White Sail Challenge at Cargreen Yacht Club

CYC White Flag

The Cargreen White Sail Challenge 2017 starts with its first event on Wednesday 10 May at 1800. The Challenge, consisting of 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 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.

All will open in a new tab/page.

2017 White Sail Programme

The dates for the 12 events comprising the 2017 Cargreen White Sail Challenge are as follows:
Date HW Tide Times Starting Slot Start Line Finish Line
Wed 10 May 1836/5.3 1800-1830 Cargreen Neal Point Buoy
Wed 24 May 1735/5.3 1800-1830 Cargreen Neal Point Buoy
Wed 7 Jun 1729/5.0 1800-1830 Cargreen Neal Point Buoy
Wed 21 Jun 1611/5.0 1800-1830 Cargreen Neal Point Buoy
Wed 5 Jul 1610/4.7 1800-1830 Cargreen Neal Point Buoy
Wed 12 Jul 2048/5.2 1800-1830 Neal Point Buoy Cargreen
Wed 26 Jul 2102/5.6 1800-1830 Neal Point Buoy Cargreen
Wed  9 Aug 1958/5.4 1800-1830 Neal Point Buoy Cargreen
Wed 23 Aug 1957/5.7 1800-1830 Neal Point Buoy Cargreen
Wed  6 Sep 1858/5.5 1800-1830 Cargreen Neal Point Buoy
Sat  16 Sep 1524/4.8 1200-1230 tbc Sound Cargreen
Wed 20 Sep 1853/5.7 1800-1830 Cargreen Neal Point Buoy
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 12 July 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) can be downloaded from here, and will open in a new tab/page.

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

With very best wishes,


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: