Dear WSC Sailors, boaters and kayakers,
On Sunday 7th March 2021, we plan to hold our AGM. Please check the web site and
your emails to see if it is being held virtually or in person. Please join us (send us an email to the address below) especially if you want a space in the boat park for this year. On Sunday 21st March, again COVID permitting, it will be all hands to the pumps for the boat park clean-up please for the season and on Wednesday 1 st April the boat park is planned to open up again.
As I write this at the beginning of February, I have just attended my annual sailing
conferences (online this time) which as always inform me of what is upcoming in the
world of sailing. The first was the ASTO (Association of Sail Training Organisations) and the second being the RYA (Royal Yachting Association) Yachtmaster Instructors
conference. Seeing the way out of COVID and getting back to sailing was the “thing” this year as expected in addition to the effects of Brexit on the sailing world. Popping over to Europe now requires sailors to arrive in a dedicated port to be cleared in (e.g. Roscoff or Cherbourg), to report all departures and arrivals to the authorities (an online service is being developed in the UK), to fly the Q flag (a yellow flag) which indicates that “our vessel is healthy and that we require free practique”. We then need to wait until we are advised that we are free to come ashore or wait further for a customs officer to visit to check for among other things that the VAT (or in France TVA) has been paid on the boat.
On a brighter side, I was delighted to see that all of the sail training organisations are still in existence and planning on continuing their work hopefully in the near future. Their good work with young, old, and those in need for mental health and other reasons will be desperately needed come the end of the pandemic lockdowns. Here in Wembury hopefully we can continue to enjoy the view of some of these wonderful boats sailing past the Mewstone.
Foiling – the way ahead? If you have been following the Vende Globe (a single handed around the world race) or the Americas Cup racing in New Zealand one thing is sure that “Foiling Boats” are making a big impact on the sailing scene. A “foiling” boat has wing-like foils mounted under the hull. As the craft increases its speed the hydrofoils lift the hull up and out of the water, greatly reducing wetted area, resulting in decreased drag and increased speed. A sailing hydrofoil can achieve speeds, exceeding twice the wind speed. The UK Entry to the Americas cup (led by Ben Ainsley, an Olympian who trained in Falmouth) is doing extremely well. The boats sail at speeds in excess of 45 knots (about 50 mph!). We get excited when our boat goes at 8 knots! A lady “Pip Hare” in the Vende Globe who I have been following avidly during the “4 month race at sea” has shared her adventures using social media. Pip trained for 11 years for this race. Her exploits changing her damaged rudder, climbing to the top of the mast for repairs on her own in large seas and coping with storm force winds has been amazing to watch and has provided a welcome distraction over the winter months. Her inner strength and resilience have been an absolute inspiration. Do google “Pip Hare sailing” or the Vende Globe for more information. There were six women in the race amongst 33 entrants. A large part of the RYA conference was how to encourage more equity and diversity within the sport. With two (grown up) daughters who sail, paddleboard and kayak, I am pleased to see the progress over the last 20 years. We are getting there but still have some way to go. There are some excellent British Women sailors and the RYA are actively encouraging more to the sport. The Tokyo Olympics may still go ahead, and I understand that the British Team is training hard though lockdown to put up a good fight for those medals!
The WSC are looking for nominations for the 2021 donations preferring to award to a
charity or organisation with a local connection. If you have a charity, organisation or
individual that you would like to nominate please email Wemburysailingclub@gmail.com.
Stay safe on the water. Andy Brown Editor – WSC Wembury Review