Congratulations to all three boats, and to Julian for completing the challenge with a handsome margin. I have applied only a minor adjustment to handicaps in view of the small number on entries and the light "lottery" conditions.
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.