Covid-19 Update: 15th May 2020

As the lockdown slowly begins to be lifted, Croydon Sailing Club’s (CSC) committee has been meeting (virtually) to look at the best ways to open up sailing opportunities to members in the coming weeks.

We’re currently undertaking a risk assessment and a new COVID-19 subcommittee has been formed to formalise our plans, which will follow the latest government and RYA guidance.

Members should be aware, however, that our return to the water will be phased and in small steps, so will initially most likely be limited to “free sailing” in small groups with no organised activities, including racing.

We will keep members up-to-date as things progress, so keep your eye on the CSC website, social media and WhatsApp groups for news.

Racing Yachts… in 1911

With no sailing at South Norwood Lake the moment, it’s been great to receive suggestions for alternative, sailing related, content that we can share with our members.

Today, thanks to Gordon (via Geoff) we’re looking all the way back to Cowes Week 1911, when sailing boats looked rather different to what we’re used to seeing today:

“I thought you’d be interested in the picture I have recently got from a local charity shop. It is of  ’15 metre’ yachts racing at Cowes in 1911. The photograph was taken by Beken of Cowes, who were well-known marine photographers. The spread of sail is impressive – imagine being at the helm!”

Racing Yachts 1911
Racing at Cowes Week, 1911

And you thought keeping a single, lightweight Comet sail or a Hartley spinnaker in the right place was a challenge!

Are you a CSC member with an image or anecdote you’d like to share with other members during the Covid-19 lockdown? Let us know.

RESULTS: Ancient Mariners 2019

Ancient Mariners is our league for those lucky enough to be able to sail on a Wednesday afternoon, typically starting just after Easter and continuing until it gets too dark/cold to carry on some time in October or November, consisting of two 30 or 45 minute pursuit races each week.

With over 40 races this year, results are calculated using the best 20 scores, or all races if <20 were entered, subject to agreed personal handicaps.

And the winner is…

1John M258

So, Congratulations to John M, this years champion Ancient Mariner!

League table

RESULTS: Sunday League 2018/19

Croydon Sailing Club’s racing year runs from October to October, divided at Easter into Winter and Summer seasons and then into an “A” (morning race at 10:30) and “B” series ( afternoon race at 12:00), with stand-alone cup races roughly once a month throughout the year, with awards presented at the annual AGM.

However, with this year’s AGM moved from Winter to a more member friendly date in the Spring and then cancelled due to COVID-19, the 2018/19 results are being announced a little later than usual, but I’m sure you’ll agree they were well worth the wait!

Results for each series are based on top 10 scores or all scores if <10 raced, subject to agreed personal handicap.

Winter 2018/19

The Winter season that ran from October 2018 to Easter 2019.

A series

The first race of the day, at 10:30:

2Tim L81.0

B series

The second race of the day, at 12:00, after the tea break.

1Tim L66.0

Summer 2019

The Summer season that ran from Easter to October 2019.

A series

The first race of the day, at 10:30.

1=John M122.0
3John P117.0

B series

The second race of the day, at 12:00, after the tea break.

1John M123.0

All Seasons

The All Seasons prize goes to the member who performed best across both Winter and Summer seasons and the A and B series, and this year it couldn’t have been closer!

1=Tim L316.0

So, congratulations to all our deserving winners, and I hope to see you back at the club once the COVID-19 pandemic is over to give you all your prizes!

Full league tables are being made web ready as I type, and we’re aiming to have them online soon.

WINNER: Most Improved 2020

Each year we present an award to the member of Croydon Sailing Club that has demonstrated exceptional progress in their sailing, whether that’s through their race results, demonstrating substantial improvement in their sailing skills or through their participation in club activities to the benefit of other members.

This year’s award goes to a member that started sailing through our RYA Level 1 & 2 training programmes, progressed their skills through our non-racing sessions, has become a big part of our Go Sailing activities and now regularly takes part in Sunday morning racing.

The winner of CSC’s Most Improved 2020 is… Kevin!

Congratulations on all your great sailing this year, keep up the good work and we look forward to seeing where you go from here.

We’ll present you the much sought after prize mug as soon as sailing activities resume.

Covid-19 Update: 22nd March 2020 – No sailing until further notice

It is with great regret that, in light of recent recommendations from the UK government, RYA, Sport England and others, CSC will be suspending sailing at South Norwood Lake until further notice.

We will be keeping guidance related to the COVID-19 pandemic under constant review and will let members know of any changes via all the usual communication channels.

For further information about COVID-19, please visit the NHS website.

Merry Christmas!

As we complete the final race of the year before taking a short festive break, we’d just like to take a moment say thank you to all of our members for making 2019 another fantastic year at CSC and wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!

See you on 5th January 2020 for the Pond Pounders Pot followed by a social in the Waterside Centre from around 2pm; all members welcome, bring along left over Christmas fare to share.

Updated weather guidance for DOs (and today’s fantastic winter race)

With forecast wind speeds of 20mph+ and gusts of nearly 40mph at South Norwood Lake, today’s race was the first to implement CSC’s new adverse weather guidelines for DOs.

On this occasion, despite the forecast, the race went ahead and 7 adventurous members had a fantastic first race (even if 3 did retire), and 4 even decided to continue battling mother nature in a second, with many choosing to take advantage of the club Picos and Hartley 12.2s. And judging by the messages on the racing WhatsApp group, it was almost as much fun to watch as to take part!

A massive thank you to Kathy (DO), Maria & Carl (ADOs), and Robert for an enjoyable day and all your help in the safety boat.

So, what are these new guidelines?

With the possible exception of an extreme weather warning or very heavy rain on the day of the race, CSC recommend that any decision regarding whether a race should go ahead by a duty officer (DO) should be made at the lake, taking into account factors including:

  1. Based on the conditions at the lake on the day of the race, are you confident that you will, with the help of your ADO or ADOs, be able to assist any member who gets into difficulty during the race? (No = no go); and
  2. Are all of the members wishing to take part in the race experienced enough to handle the conditions? (No = politely tell them that they can’t take part, it’s better for a member to be disappointed once than be put off for life by a bad experience)

Races should go ahead wherever possible, but do not feel pressured into going ahead with a race if you are not confident that it can be run safely.

Photograph courtesy of Kathy.

Fisherman releases 1,000 fish into South Norwood Lake in memory of his mum

A lifelong fisherman has donated more than 1,000 fish in commemoration of his mother, to help give a lasting boost to the population in South Norwood Lake.

John Vincent worked with Croydon Council staff to bring about 500 tench and 500 bream to the lake in memory of his mum Betty Vincent, who died in September 2018 aged 90.

For full article, see Croydon & Sutton Guardian article here.

Each of the fish were 4 years old, weighing 8 or 9oz (225-250g) each, bred at a fishery in East Devon

Members Tony and Richard were there, plus representatives from the council, press and fisherman, and of course the guy that bought the fish, about 20 in total.

Mini Pursuit Cup 2019: Results

With a chill wind and forecast gusts of up to 28mph, it was great to see so many members turn out for this year’s Mini Pursuit Cup on Sunday, 1 December 2019.

The 60 minute pursuit (it is “mini” after all) saw the club Topaz head off first, followed a minute later by the Comets, the Byte CIIs 3 minutes after that and finally the Lasers.

As the race progressed, the fleet of Comets began to spread out, with Tim, Andy and John M breaking away at the head of the pack, and the Lasers cutting through from the back, having overtaken Tony’s CII, following a wrong turn at Bog that left him in a dead spot, but as the Lasers tussled for position, Neil’s attempt to gain the advantage instead meant his course was not made so good, leaving him floundering at Hermit, watching Richard round the mark and disappear off in the direction of Island.

With the race coming to a close, Tim, John M and Andy had managed to extent their lead over the rest of the Comets, but with just one lap to go Andy (claiming he had heard the finishing bell) relaxed a little too soon and capsized at bog, literally falling out of the top 3. Richard, meanwhile, had made his way past all but one member of the fleet and was lining up to sneak through on the inside when… Ding! Ding!

And so, after 60 minutes, the results were:

  1. Tim (Comet)
  2. Richard (Laser)
  3. John M (Comet)

So, congratulations to Tim, a big thanks to Robert (DO) and Mark (ADO) for running a great race, and hat tip to Martin, who stayed upright for the entire race and and finished in a respectable 7th place in the club Topaz, despite it being just his second time taking it out.

Q. What do you call a “heap” of Comets?

With 8 Comets seemingly all stuck at Island mark during the second race yesterday, DO Richard posed an interesting question: “What do you call a ‘heap’ of Comets?”

What do you call a ‘heap’ of Comets?

So, we thought we’d open it up to our members. Let us know your thoughts by replying to this post on Twitter or Facebook and we’ll publish the best answers here next week!

A rather more elegant formation during the first race

UPDATE: And the best suggestions were (in no particular order)…

  • A “shame” of Comets (as in “oh, what a shame, all the Comets are stuck at Island” … from one of our more sarcastic non-Comet sailors 😉 )
  • A “bang” of Comets (because other than the banging into each other, there’s not a lot going on)
  • A “planet” of Comets (going back to the big bang for all you science fans)
  • A “coggle” of Comets (in a nod to the “gaggle” of geese looking at them at the lake); and finally
  • A “constellation” of Comets (keeping nicely in context, while acknowledging the complete lack of movement)

We also had some more literal suggestion of a “shower”, “blast” or “collission” of Comets, but thought they implied that they’re actually moving!

If you want to check out any of the other suggestions, head on over to our Facebook page or Twitter feed using the icons at the top of the page.

Thanks to everyone who submitted a suggestion!

RESULTS: Golden Shackle 2019

The Golden Shackle marks the beginning of the Winter Season and is unique in the CSC racing calendar, being the only cup race that takes place across 2 consecutive Sundays. This year’s race took place on 20th and 27th October, with two races in each session and the winner decided using the best 3 of 4 results under the bonus point system (where 1st = 0, 2nd = 3, 3rd = 5.7, etc).

With 12 members taking part, the first leg saw nearly half the fleet come away with less than 20 points and at least one score in single digits, so there was all still to play for.

However, as members stopped for a coffee break on week 2, it was clear that the field was narrowing, with Tim picking up 2 wins and a 4th (8 points) and Rob a win, a second and a 4th (11 points). Could Tim hold on? Or would Rob up his game to snatch the trophy?

#NameRace 1Race 2Race 3Race 4Best 3Tie break
3John M8331014
11Tim M1817

That’s right, with Rob finishing in 1st place and Tim in second, both players finished on 3 points, and with their dropped result added back in as a tie break they both had 11, so in another CSC first, this year’s Golden Shackle was declared a tie.

Congratulations to Rob & Tim, this year’s winners of the prestigious Golden Shackle trophy!

Wet or dry suits REQUIRED from 15 November 2019

With the weather rapidly getting colder, we recommend that all on-water participants at CSC now wear a wet or dry suit, which will be compulsory from Sunday, 17 November 2019 until the end of March 2020.

If you’re looking to buy a new wet or dry suit for the Winter, there are lots of bargains to be had online right now at sites like Amazon and Wetsuit Outlet, but it’s important to make sure you get one that’s suitable for the conditions.

For a wetsuit, that means a 5mm or thicker full length suit, which includes suits labelled “3/5mm”, “4/5mm” or similar, meaning they have slightly thinner arms to help you to move more freely.

You may also want to consider buying a rash vest to go underneath, which not only prevent your wetsuit rubbing and chafing, but also helps to keep you a little bit warmer.

No wet or dry suit means no sailing, no exceptions.

Cold feet?

We often have members complaining about getting cold feet around this time of year, so if you’re suffering from chilly toes, we highly recommend getting yourself some neoprene wetsuit socks like these.

RESULTS: Hartley Head-to-Head 2019

With forecasts of heavy rain, thunder and lightning at South Norwood Lake in the lead up, it was a great surprise when DO John’s WhatsApp message arrived first thing on Sunday morning to confirm that the that the inaugural Hartley Head-to-Head was going ahead, with twelve members turning up to take part on what thankfully turned out to be a dry and breezy, and capsize free (just!), day.

Organised into six teams of two, the teams completed three rounds of a round robin tournament, with each race consisting of two laps around a triangular (In-I-B-H) course, with the helm and crew swapping after the first lap. There were a number of standout moments, but the highlight (for spectators anyway) must surely have been when Geoff & Oliver almost beat John M and Rob in the last stretch of their race despite a disastrous start involving a detached boom.

The efficacy of the teams was born out by every sailor succeeding in winning at least one race! After 9 races three teams had won two races and three had one win, thus providing the perfect opportunity of two final race-offs using all three Hartleys, resulting in the following placings:

  1. Tony & Valeria
  2. Tim & Richard
  3. Rob & John M
  4. Andy & Neil
  5. Steve & Jackie
  6. Geoff & Oliver (with John M standing in for Geoff in last two races)

The best race time of the day was achieved by Andy &Neil in the final race-off, finishing the race in just 8 minutes 9 seconds.

We were honoured to have our Commodore present the winners cups to Tony & Valeria, and post-race chat indicated that it had been a successful event enjoyed by all, so it definitely looks like it’s going to be an annual fixture on the Sunday racing calendar.

So, a massive thank you to DO John and ADO Arthur for making our inaugural Hartley Head-to-Head such a fantastic success… Although perhaps we won’t let members choose their own partners next time 😉

Adapted for web from original race report by John. Images courtesy of Denis and Geoff.

REMINDER: Hartley Head-to-Head, 6th October 2019

Here at Croydon Sailing Club we’re always open to suggestions for new cup races and events. We try to include at least one experimental event in each of our race seasons, some of which are popular enough to become a regular feature.

Following the success of our annual Pico Match Racing event, we’ve had a number of requests from members to consider including more double-hander events in our racing calendar. So, on Sunday 6th October we invite members to take part in our first ever Hartley Head-to-Head (or Head-to-Head-to-Head if there’s a larger turnout).

Here’s (roughly) how it’ll work:

  • Members interested in taking part should arrive by 10:00 to help setup, with the first race getting underway at 10:30 sharp
  • Teams will be made up of mixed-ability pairs, with more seasoned members paired up with those with less experience
  • Using a round-robin format, we’ll aim for each team to race each of the other teams at least once (or at least have the same number of races, if this isn’t possible)
  • A simple triangular course will be used
  • Each race will consist of 2 teams and 2 laps, with the helm and crew swapping roles/positions at the end of the first lap, wherever possible (exceptions may be made for mobility issues, for example)
  • The start will consist of a 1 minute signal, followed by a start signal, rather than the usual 5-4-1-Go, so that we can fit in as many races as possible
  • The winning team will be the one with the most wins
  • If there are 2 or 3 teams with equal numbers of wins, there will be a race-off to decide the winner

If there’s a large turnout, the DO can at their discretion, include 3 teams in each race to minimise downtime for each team between races.

See you on Sunday!

REMINDER: Comet Cup, Sunday 4th August

That’s right, this Sunday is the CSC Comet Cup!

The Comet Cup is a short knockout tournament, with 2 semi-finals, a final and a race off*, with each race lasting around 25 minutes and (as the name suggests) all participants racing in Comet class dinghies.

If you’re a member of CSC and would like to take part, please arrive at the boat park by 10:00 to help set-up and for a pre-race briefing by the duty officer.

See you Sunday!

* format may vary depending on turnout

RESULTS: Mid-Summer Regatta 2019

On 23rd June, more that 20 members headed down to South Norwood Lake for our annual Mid-Summer Regatta, with 15 taking part in the on water activities, including families and juniors, regular Go Sailing attendees and racers.

The first event was a triple-hander, with teams of three sailing three laps of the lake, swapping helm at the end of each lap.

After a short pit-stop for a cup of tea, the second race was our popular Pico Tag event, this year seeing 5 teams of 2, with each member doing 2 laps each, swapping after each lap.

And with everyone refuelled after lunch (a big thanks to everyone who contributed something), the final event of the day saw three teams of 4 taking part in another “tag” event, this time with 2 members doing a lap each of the lake in Picos, with the remaining members of the team (plus one of the Pico sailors as crew) doing 2 laps in the Hartleys, with each lap helmed by a different team member.

With all 3 races complete, we added up the scores (using the racing system of 0 for 1st, 3 for second, 5.7 for third and so on) for everyone that took part in all 3 events and the top 5 was:

  • =1st (8.7) – Danny
  • =1st (8.7) – Paul
  • 3rd (9) – Andy
  • 4th (13) – John M
  • 5th (13.7) – Dirk

A fantastic day had by all, and a big thanks to co-DOs Richard and Neil for making it such a great success.

REMINDER: Mid-Summer Regatta 2019 on 23 May

Just a quick reminder that it’s our annual Mid-Summer Regatta on 23rd June 2019, meeting at 10:00-10:30 with the first race scheduled to start at 11:00.

The event is open to everyone, regardless of whether you normally attend our racing or Go Sailing sessions, and is a chance to meet, sail with and get to know members that you might not normally see.

On the day, there will be 3 or more team-oriented events throughout the day, with a cup of tea after the first and a buffet lunch at around 13:00, with everyone asked to bring some food to share.

Look forward to seeing you on 23rd!