Pico Match Racing 2018: The Results

Six competitors took part in today’s Pico Match Racing on a three mark race, using improvised buoys on the unfrozen part of the lake and with each sailor had 3 qualifying races, before progressing (or not) to the final two races to determine the top 4.

During the amazing final, Tony rested the lead from Rob to win by just 2 seconds. Denis and Steve took 3rd and 4th place respectively, with Arthur in 5th and Richard in 6th.

Race win times for the individual heats ranged from 3m 54s to a little over 9m, reflecting the even-more-than-usual changeability of the winds at South Norwood Lake.


Icicle Trophy Race 2018: The Results

With strong, bitterly cold winds gusting across the lake today, the Icicle Trophy pursuit race certainly lived up to its name.

Right from the start, this was clearly going to be a close 2 horse race, with Steve (Byte CII) taking an early lead and Neil (Laser) making clear inroads into Steve’s advantage with every lap that passed.

As the race entered the second half, Neil finally moved into first place as they rounded Hermit mark, maintaining his lead until, with Steve snapping at his heals, Neil succumbed to the pressure, misjudging a gust and giving Steve the opportunity he needed to retake the lead and take the win.

Congratulations Steve, you’re Icicle Trophy champion for 2018!

Pond Pounders Pot 2018: The Results

With strong winds, 40mph gusts and near freezing temperatures, the Pond Pounders Pot took on an extra “P” this year to become the Pond Pounders Pot in Picos, with 4 brave members taking on mother nature to battle it out in the opening race of 2018.

Having had a great start, Ray looked to have taken an early lead, only to misread the course and briefly head off in the wrong direction, leaving Richard to take first place, closely followed by Neil and Janice.

Over the next few laps, Richard’s decision to reef his sail appeared to have paid off, giving him greater control as the powerful gusts swept the lake, but as the race entered the final quarter, the extra power of Neil’s unreefed sail proved decisive, as he overtook Richard on the way to Jetty and never looked back.

So, congratulations to Neil, winner of Pond Pounders Pot 2018!


# Name
1 Neil
2 Richard
3 Ray
4 Janice

Racing cancelled on Sunday 10 December

While our members have braved any number of extreme weather conditions, even broken through ice on a frozen lake to ensure that racing goes ahead, with weather forecasts consistently showing near 50mph gusts, rain, sleet and snow during our regular race times on Sunday 10 December, we have taken the rare decision to cancel the session.

Predictions for Sunday, 17th December are a rather more sedate 5mph gusting to 10, so see you then!

CSC Volunteer Awarded by HRH The Princess Royal

A Croydon sailor was among dedicated volunteers from across the UK who had their endeavours recognised by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal at the annual RYA Awards on 24 November.

The RYA Awards are presented to outstanding individuals or groups nominated by their sailing clubs or associations and selected by the RYA Awards Panel.

Before the awards presentation, RYA CEO Sarah Treseder presented Her Royal Highness with pair of marine binoculars on behalf of the RYA’s Members to mark her 30 years as President of the RYA.

Janice Beaumont of Croydon Sailing Club (CSC) received an RYA Outstanding Contribution Award for her commitment to boating.

Janice has been a member of CSC for 14 years and was elected Secretary in 2010. Since she took office membership has doubled, as has the club’s annual programme of activities and the development plan has been 90% accomplished.

CSC has held some of the most successful RYA Push the Boat Out Days in the country, thanks to her efforts.

Janice organised the creation of CSC’s RYA Training Centre, and holds the twin posts of Secretary and Training Centre Principal. She has applied for grants to fund instructor training, boats and equipment and created and delivered all the training programmes.

Janice has worked tirelessly to open up the club and sailing to families and non-sailors and she thinks constantly about how the club can further improve.

Janice said of receiving her award: “Stepping onto the stage to shake hands with the Princess at the awards ceremony was a memorable experience for me as I was there to represent the tremendous growth in sailing activity at Croydon Sailing Club. It is a privilege to be part of the development of an active sailing program for youth, adults and families in Croydon, which would not have been possible without the support of the RYA and grant funding. It was inspirational to meet the other award winners and RYA board members in celebrating the many achievements of dedicated club volunteers from across UK”.

RYA Director of Sport Development, Alistair Dickson concluded: “Volunteers are the lifeblood of our sport. Today has been an excellent opportunity to celebrate the fantastic work our volunteers do to support boating activity in all forms throughout the UK.

“All of the stories behind these special people have been truly inspiring to hear and it’s really an honour to be able to say thank you and celebrate their amazing achievements.”

Do you know a volunteer who always goes the extra mile? Nominations for the 2018 RYA Volunteer Awards are now invited. For more information and to make a nomination visit www.rya.org.uk/go/ryavolunteerawards

– News Release courtesy of RYA, 30 November 2017

Comet Cup 2017 Race Report

We’ve just received the race report from Richard, DO for our inaugural Comet Cup race:

Nine racers joined us for today’s hotly contested Comet Cup in cold, sunny and blustery conditions.

After three hard fought laps, Ray won the first heat, with Rob overtaking Tony at the last possible moment to beat him by a nose and secure the second slot in the final.

In the second heat, John managed to go from first to last and then back to first, with Janice pipping Luke to second after a nip and tuck battle to secure her place in the final.

Five racers who hadn’t finished in the first two in either heat then raced again over two laps, with the top two making the final. This time Luke won, with a fast finishing Geoff beating Tony, Tim and Neil to the line.

With the northerly wind dropping, but still remaining blustery, the course was changed and lengthened. After a very congested start Ray and Rob got away to what looked like an insurmountable lead, ahead by the length of a mark after the first lap. Unfortunately they both went round Island the wrong way. By the time they had corrected their mistake the fleet had caught up and five boats in a line arrived at Island, Hermit and shortly afterwards at Bog all together. Eventually, Rob managed to pull away to win from Luke, John and Geoff with Janice beating Ray on the line.

So congratulations to Rob: Croydon Sailing Club’s for winner of the Comet Cup!

Thank you to everyone for arriving promptly and helping out especially Peter and Phil.

Why the 5m (fishing) rule is so important

With South Norwood Lake attracting fishermen from across Europe, it has become increasingly common in recent weeks to see lines cast out across the lake by fisherman that are apparently unaware of the so-called “5 metre rule” that ensures all fishing lines are submerged under the water within 5m / 15ft of the side of the lake, weighted wherever possible, and in return that we do not sail closer than 5m / 15ft from the edge.

This rule works well at least 90% of the time, but today we had a great example of the damage that can be caused by fisherman ignoring the rules, with a fisherman casting his line from a fishing platform close to the club house across the lake to a point close to centre, resulting in around 30m / 100ft of fishing line becoming wrapped around various parts of at least 3 dinghies, complete with hooks and, not for the first time, cutting two 5cm slots all the way through one of our member’s solid fibre glass dagger boards in the process (see above): imagine if this had been an arm or leg!

So, if you’re DO and you see any fishing lines projecting out into the lake, please do everything you can to explain the rules and protect the fleet from rogue lines; we appreciate that there’s often a language barrier, so will be preparing a multilingual, illustrated sheet you can show fisherman in the future.


REMINDER: Golden Shackle Cup Race 1st and 15th October 2017

With the AGM moving to 19 November, this year’s Golden Shackle will now consist of 4 races on the 2 Sundays either side of our RYA Level 2 course: 1st & 15th October 2017.

The winner will be decided using the best 3 of 4 results, using our usual Cup Race scoring system (0, 3, 5.7, 8, etc), with the additional race result used as a tie breaker, if needed.

As always, the winner will take home the much coveted Golden Shackle trophy and mug!


Mid-Summer Regatta 2017 schedule announced

This year’s Mid-Summer Regatta will take place on Sunday, 23 July 2016, beginning with racing, then breaking for lunch before the fun and games begin in our afternoon of novice and family events.

Time Description
10:00 Arrive at the boat park

We’re aiming to have everything ready and on the water by 10:30, so anyone wishing to take part should arrive at the boat park no later than 10:00 to help get everything ready and ensure they sign up early. Places are limited, so don’t be late!

11:00 RACE: Double handed

With teams and boat allocation drawn from a hat, the first race is aimed at regular racers and adult novicesand will see new and novice members paired up with our experience racers in two person teams

*** If you’re a member with a double handed dinghy that won’t be taking part, please can we borrow it? (please let Neil, Richard or Janice know)

12:00 RACE: Pico Tag-team

Giving all of our members a chance to get to know each other better, the fun mixed ability tag team race always proves to be a lot of fun, so whether you’re a regular racer, a new recruit or a novice/family member, this is the race for you.

With mixed ability teams of 2 or 3 (depending on turnout) once again drawn from a hat, this is a Le Mans style race starting from the Jetty. When the whistle blows, the first member of the team jumps into their Pico, completes a lap of the course and returns to the Jetty to swap places. The first team to complete the course, return to the Jetty and touch it with their hand are the winners!

13:00 Lunch & Awards

Once the morning racing is complete, we’ll be heading back to the boat park for a cold buffet and general socialising. All members are welcome and please bring any food, drinks, snacks or cakes you’d like to share.

With the day’s racing complete, awards are presented and we handover the lake to novice and family events from 14:00.

14:00 Family fun

Our novice and family events will begin at around 14:00 and will consist of a number of activities lasting approximately 30-45 minutes each.

The exact details are still being confirmed, but I think we can all be assured that it will be a fantastic afternoon!


Ancient Mariners are go!

Despite the inaugural meeting of the Ancient Mariners coinciding with the calmest three hours of the summer (gusting 2mph occasionally), six participants (five of retirement age and a younger Tim) turned up and had a good time.

Two pursuit races were undertaken and we had the good fortune to have Janice as race marshall. The early starts that pursuit races afford the Heron (Allan) and Topper (Mark) were, however, not sufficient to beat the four Comets in these conditions.

Much of the time the Comets were close to each other, adding some excitement/challenge, but in the first race Rob had a personalised gust that put him slightly ahead, giving him a clear lead that he did not relinquish. John, Ray and Tim finished in second to fourth place respectively.

Rob retired after the first race (muttering something about being tired after a morning dip in Brockwell Lido) along with Allan (“this boat is just too heavy for these conditions”) but the other four had a good second race with positions as follows: Ray, John, Tim and Mark.

Hopefully the turnout bodes well for future Ancient Mariner races, so if you would like to join them at 2pm on Wednesday afternoons, please contact John to join the WhatsApp group.

(Thanks to John for the race report)

Summer Sailing Sessions for 2017

With lots of new members joining us after this year’s RYA level 1 courses, we’re often asked which of CSC’s sailing session are the most appropriate for which members, so here’s a quick summary of the sessions that will be available during Summer 2017, and which members they target; Go Sailing indicates a leisure or informal training session; Racing indicates a race session.

NEW! Wednesday Afternoons: Racing (Ancient Mariners)

Target members: Adults

From 5 July, if you’re an adult member lucky enough to be available on Wednesday afternoons, our Ancient Mariners racing session might just be the one for you.

Open to adults only, this season starts at 14:00 (subject to confirmation via WhatsApp at 10:00) and is currently scheduled to run every week until the end of August.

Wednesday Evenings: Go Sailing

Target members: Everyone

Whether you’re a racer refining your 5 essentials, a new member building up your confidence or a family member wanting to take your partner or children on a gentle potter around the lake on a sunny Summer evening, then CSC’s unstructured Wednesday evening Go Sailing sessions are the one for you, offering the perfect environment for practice and leisure sailing.

Wednesday evening sessions run every week from 18:00 to dusk until the end of August.

Friday Evenings: Go Sailing

Target members: Novice & family members

Friday evening’s give members the opportunity to benefit from the experience of instructors Andrew and Janice during a friendly, informal training session.

Due to its popularity, you may need to book in advance for this session, so keep an eye on the WhatsApp group for start times and individual session details.

Sunday Morning: Racing (Sunday League)

Target members: Adults

Between 10:00 and 14:00 on Sunday mornings, South Norwood Lake plays host to our 52-week-a-year race sessions. We aim to have the A series (morning) race underway at 10:15 and the B series (afternoon) race at around 12:00.

Any members with at least RYA level 1 or equivalent experience are welcome, all that we ask is that you join in the race to the best of your ability.

New members often tell us they’re worried about getting in the way, but there really isn’t anything to worry about. Our racers are a friendly bunch and even those who now regularly finish near the top of the table started out getting stuck on buoys, caught in headers and inexplicably going backwards.

Participation of under 18s (other than as crew) is at the discretion of the duty officer (DO).

Sunday Afternoons: Go Sailing

Target members: Novice & family members

Sunday afternoon sessions are a mix of unstructured and informal training sessions that take place once or twice each month throughout the Summer, from around 14:00.

As these sessions are not available every week, keep an eye on the CSC website and Go Sailing WhatsApp group for dates and other details.


Winter 2016-17: Results

A little later than planned, but it’s (finally) time to announce the Winter 2016-17 results, so here they are, and I think the B series results might just surprise everyone!

Prizes will be presented during the coffee break next Sunday and the full results should be in your email inbox shortly.

How are the results calculated?

Following our successful switch to the new 14-1 scoring system during the 2015-16 season, meaning the winner always gets 14 points regardless of turnout, we’ve continued to evolve the way results are calculated this year so that the result for each series are now made up of each members’ best 10 results, rather than all of the results in the series.

With a typical season made up of around 20 races, this means you can now afford to have the occasional bad week and aren’t penalised if you can’t make it down quite as often as you might have liked.

Series A

The first race of each Sunday race meeting throughout the season is the A series.

# Name Points
1 Tony 114.0
2 Geoff 109.0
3 Neil 94.0
4 Robert 86.5
5 John 80.0

Series B

The B series is made up of all the races we’ve had after the coffee break (the second race of the day) during the Winter season.

# Name Points
1 Geoff 97.0
2 Neil 84.0
3 Tony 71.0
4 John 64.0
5 Robert 59.5

All Seasons: Half-time report (A + B)

The All Seasons trophy goes to the member who has won the most points at the end of the Summer season when we combine Winter A+B with Summer A+B, and at the half-way stage the current results are:

# Name Points
1 Geoff 206.0
2 Tony 185.0
3 Neil 178.0
4 Robert 146.0
5 John 144.0

Just for fun: Best 10 results (A & B)

And finally, just for fun, let’s take a look at what happens if we use the best 10 results from the Winter season, regardless of series (and it couldn’t be much closer!):

# Name Points
1 Geoff 131.0
2 Tony 128.0
3= John 125.0
3= Neil 125.0
5 Robert 124.0


With Tony showing that he’s still the one to beat in the A series, holding off the competition by 5 points to maintain his title, it’s fantastic to finally be able to congratulate Geoff on a well deserved win in the B series, having finished in the top 3 more times than I can count in recent years.

So we know who the winners are, but who are the other ones to watch this Summer?

  • After breaking into the top 5 in 2015-16, John is creeping up the charts one position at a time, so we’re expecting that trend to continue
  • Richard and Robert finished 6th and 4th in the A series, respectively, but both have been averaging of 11 points per race, so keep an eye on them as attendance increases in the Summer season
  • Neil maintained his position in the top 3 of both the A and B series, but can he maintain his form in what are normally less Laser friendly Summer conditions at South Norwood Lake?
  • David and Paul were our highest placed Pico sailors this season, and with both regularly scoring of 8-10 points per race, will they break into the top 5 this Summer?

The Rise of the Ancient Mariners (Wednesday afternoon racing)

It’s my pleasure to announce a new racing session coming to Croydon Sailing Club: Ancient Mariners (Wednesday League)

That’s right, starting on 5 July 2017, adult members lucky enough to be available from 14:00 to 17:00 on Wednesday afternoons can now join us at South Norwood Lake for a new, informal race session.

John will be coordinating the sessions via a new WhatsApp group, making a decision at around 10:00 on the Wednesday morning whether to proceed and issue “Go” or “No go” message; for it to be “Go”, there must be a forecast wind speed in the range 6-15mph and at least three confirmed participants would be required (wind speeds are to ensure that we are at least moving but hopefully not capsizing).

If you’re an adult member interested in becoming an Ancient Mariner and haven’t already been in touch with John, please contact us and we’ll pass on your message.

This session is for adults only: family members should continue coming to the lake at 18:00 for our regular Wednesday evening Go Sailing sessions.

Image courtesy of The Granger Collection.


Charity Pursuit: Race report

Hot off the press, we’ve just received a race report for today’s Charity Pursuit from Richard (DO):

A gusty charity pursuit race over 90 mins with the wind dropping away resulted in a closely contested battle and a tight finish.

Arthur and Milo in a Pico led after the first lap before concentrating on the capsize drill. The lead was held for three laps by David and Paul in the Comet Duo before the faltering wind damaged their chances.

Tim in the first of the Comets looked to have the race in the bag and led for the next five laps, but after swapping the lead with Ray several times, it was Ray who eventually prevailed and held on to win.

Dirk was third for eight laps of the twelve lap race before being reeled in by Neil’s Laser after hitting the last windward mark. Tony and Steven, in Byte CIIs, had their own titanic battle, with Steven leading throughout before being overtaken by Tony in the last minute to finish fifth and sixth respectively. 

Honourable mentions to Geoff, Richard and Patrick who made up the rest of the fleet.

REMINDER: Charity Pursuit this Sunday, 25/06/2017

That’s right, this Sunday, 25 June 2017, is our annual Charity Pursuit race.

The race will start at 10:30 and entry to the 90 minute pursuit is via a £5 per dinghy donation, so don’t forget to bring those shiny new waterproof fivers with you on the day to give to DO Richard or Phil.

Conditions are expected to be good, with temperatures in the low 20s and wind speeds of around 7mph, gusting to 12. As always, we’re limited to 14 dinghies on the lake, so be sure to get there early to avoid disappointment.

All proceeds from the race will go to RYA Sailability and/or other local sailing-related charities.

Good luck!


4th JUNE: Three races, first race at 10:15

A rapidly growing membership combined with a static 14 dinghy limit mean that we’re constantly looking at different ways to ensure members avoid disappointment and continue to have as much access to the lake as possible.

With more than 20 dinghies wanting to sail in the first race last Sunday, we’re switching things up and trying out a new race schedule on 4 June:

  • 10:15 – A-series race for first (up to) 14 dinghies to get ready
  • 11:15 – A-series race for (up to) 14 additional dinghies
  • 12:15 – B-series race

There’s a hard limit of 14 dinghies per race, so get to the lake early to avoid disappointment!