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 ūüėČ

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

Useful downloads (including Basic Race Rules)

Whether you’re¬†new to sailing or have years of dinghy¬†experience,¬†we all have questions about what things are called or what the rules are in particular circumstances.

Thankfully, the nice people at¬† have¬†put together a selection of free PDFs that may well have the answers. While most are geared towards instructors, there’s plenty of information for anyone interested in sailing and¬†I’d urge any¬†members that come down for¬†Sunday racing to read the Basic Racing Rules! ūüėČ

The rest of the PDFs can be found here.

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

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 novices, and 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!


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?

Icicle Trophy 2017 – we have a winner!

The Icicle Trophy certainly lived up to its name this year, with large sheets of ice present on most of the dinghies¬†in the boat park as we arrived at CSC this morning, but that wasn’t enough to dissuade our hardy members from rigging up and getting out on the lake ready to race.

In a change from the usual format, this year’s Icicle Trophy was made up of 3 short races of ~20 minutes, with a 1 minute countdown (instead of 5) and a short break of just a 3-4¬†minutes between each to¬†keep down time to a minimum in the near freezing conditions.

Showing just how competitive racing is at CSC, there was barely 6 seconds (with CY applied) between 1st and 3rd place in each of the races, but it was Richard who managed to overtake Neil at the last possible moment to win the third race by a nose to take this years trophy with two firsts and a third.

Congratulations Richard, our 2017 Icicle Trophy champion!

Pond Pounders Pot 2017 – we have a winner!

Last Sunday was the first race meeting of 2017 at Croydon Sailing Club, which of course meant it was time for the Pond Pounders Pot!

The lower wind conditions meant that mastery of the 5 essentials was, well, essential, in gaining an advantage over other members, and after just over an hour of racing it was Tony (Byte CII) who showed he had what it takes, taking first place ahead of Derek (Comet) in second and Neil (Laser) in third.

So, congratulations to Tony and a happy new year from everyone at CSC.

Free Sailing on Sunday morning, 09:30-11:00

Thanks to Catherine and Janice we are delighted to announce that the gates to the boat park will now be open from 9:30am on Sunday mornings until the end of October, with the exception of  28th August  for any members wishing to rig up a boat up early and enjoy some free sailing while our regular racers get ready for the first race at 11am.

No one will be allowed on the water until the duty officer, an instructor or a suitably experienced senior member of the club arrives at approximately 10am and the safety boat is available.

There will be free sailing until 10:50am, when all boats need to be off the water in time for the start of the first race at 11am.

If you would like to stay on the water after 11am, you are more than welcome to join the race. If you’re a new member that’s worried about getting in everyone’s way, don’t be! Just do your best to follow the course (and the basic race rules) and¬†our regular racers are happy to help if you have any questions.

Members are advised to check the website the preceding Saturday for last minute changes.

Mid-Summer Regatta 2016: We have a winner (and lots of great photos)!

With this year’s Mid-Summer Regatta seeing the introduction of three new events,¬†there had been a lot of¬†excitement leading up to one of the biggest events on CSC’s Summer¬†calendar, and I think everyone that took part would agree that it was¬†well worth the wait.

The double hander race saw 8 two-person crews take to the lake in a mixture of Comet Duo, Enterprise, Heron and Firebird dinghies, and after 5 closely contested laps Robert and Dirk showed that they had almost telepathic team-working skills, sailing the club Firebird into first place.

The second race saw seven Comets competing in our first official Comet class race. The first few laps saw several members vying for first place, but as the race continued, Valeria broke away from the pack and never looked back, taking a well deserved win.

After lunch (a big thanks to everyone that donated something!)¬†more of our novice and family members had arrived ready to join the festivities and it was time for CSC’s inaugural Pico Tag race. With 6 teams of 3 selected and¬†tactics decided, the horn¬†blew the first members¬†were off!¬†Two legs complete, there was still everything to play for as¬†Dirk arrived back at the Jetty for Team¬†3, followed just a few boat lengths later by Arthur for Team 2, but despite his best efforts, Neil just couldn’t quite catch Valeria,¬†and¬†all Team 2 could do was watch as she placed her hand on the Jetty, securing first place for Team 3.

And with novice and family events continuing well into the evening, a fantastic day had by all.

A massive thanks to Kathy and Ian for agreeing to be our DO and ADO for the day.

Top 3

# Name Double Comet Pico Tag
1 Valeria 5 1 1
2 Robert 1 3 3
3 Dirk 1 6 1


A big thanks to Phil for the photos!

See us in action!

Photos not enough for you? Check out the GoPro footage Paul put together for us:

Commodore’s Cup: We have a winner!

Last Sunday, 08/05/2016, saw a full house with 14 members competing for Croydon Sailing Club’s much sought after Commodore’s Cup.

After the second race, DO Janice announced that we had members in joint first, joint third and joint fifth places, so nerves were kept on edge for a few moments longer while tie breaker calculations were worked out (combined times for both races), and the results were:

  1. Neil (Laser)
  2. Ray (Comet)
  3. Richard (Laser)
  4. Tony (Byte CII)
  5. Robert (Comet)
  6. Geoff (Comet)

So, congratulations to Neil, 2016’s proud winner¬†of¬†Commodore’s Cup!

Storm Imogen 5 – 2 CSC

Despite forecasts of 40mph+ gusts, seven brave members took to the water yesterday to take on the might of hurricane Imogen, but only 2 had the mettle to complete the race and take those well deserved points: so, congratulations to Neil for staying the course and Joe on his first ever win at CSC!

We’d also like to say¬†a special thanks to Peter, who took on the rather fraught job of DO, and¬†Janice, who spent the race in the rescue boat and fished¬†considerably¬†more out of the lake than any of the fisherman.

Charity Pursuit

It was fantastic to see such a great turnout for our annual Charity Pursuit today.

Despite limited wind (force 1-2) at the beginning, first time racers Maria and Declan (club Picos) made excellent starts, putting themselves nearly a lap ahead by the time the Comets joined the race several minutes later, and managed to maintain their lead for several laps before finally being caught and overtaken by a breakaway group.

Tony (Byte CII) and Neil (Laser) joined a little later, but despite their¬†valiant effort, just couldn’t close the gap on Geoff (Comet) and Phil (Comet), who were in a battle all of their own for first place.

Barely separated by more than a boat length the entire race, the dual between¬†Geoff and Phil¬†ran from start to finish with the lead changing hands again and again, but the defining moment came just a lap from the end when Geoff made¬†what looked like an inspired¬†manoeuvre to sneak past Phil on the inside at¬†Island… only to hit the buoy! Phil took full advantage of Geoff’s 360 to¬†win the race.

Congratulations Phil!

Have you made your donation?

This year’s charity is RNLI, who rely on donations to keep up their amazing work¬†saving lives every day. So if you weren’t able to give¬†your ¬£5 donation to Phil (treasurer)¬†today, don’t forget to give bring it with you next week, transfer¬†it to the club’s bank account or click here to pay it now using PayPal (or a credit/debit card).

Introducing the Croydon Yardstick

The start of the new Summer season on 12 April also sees the start of new innovation: the Croydon Yardstick (CY).

Why are Croydon Sailing Club (CSC) introducing CY?

Anyone¬†that’s sailed at South Norwood Lake would probably agree that it is¬†a unique sailing experience, so while the Portsmouth Yardstick (PY) has served us well for many years, it was felt that, like many other sailing clubs across the country, CSC’s¬†yardstick should be more representative of the¬†particular features and circumstances of our club and its location.

What is CY intended to do?

Much like a golf handicap, but calculated using classes of dinghy not individuals, CY is as an evolution of PY that will make it slightly more challenging for classes of dinghy that have performed above reasonable expectation over recent seasons and open up opportunities for classes of dinghy that have consistently underperformed over an extended period.

CY is purely intended to ensure a more level playing field for all CSC members and is not designed in any way to penalise or benefit any individual or individuals over any other.

How was it calculated?

CY is based on two of the 3 methods recommended by the RYA: manual calculations, based on recent race results, plus common sense.

In the future, we hope to bring in additional data from the RYA Portsmouth Yardstick Race Analysis Website, the third method suggested by RYA, which was not available to us this time around due to an RYA system upgrade.

How do the changes affect me?

With each class of dinghy sailed at CSC now allocated a Croydon Number (CN) rather than a Portsmouth Number (PN), the exact effect will depend on the class on dinghy you sail at CSC.

Here’s how PNs compare to CNs for the most popular dinghy classes at CSC:

Class PN CN
Byte 1190 1190
Byte C2 1146 1129
Comet 1190 1190
Enterprise 1097 1097
Firebird 1256 1256
Heron 1345 1365
Laser 1087 1103
Mirror 1385 1390
Pico 1300 1300
Topper 1313 1313

In a typical race, this means that a Byte C2 will have to gain an additional 20-30 second advantage over a Comet to win during the Summer season, and that the rest of the fleet will have to make up an additional minute on a Heron in a pursuit.

Will CY ever change?

Yes: to ensure that it remains fair to all members and dinghy classes, CY will be reviewed at the end of each season to take into account the most recent race results and changes in the make up of the CSC fleet.

CY will not change mid-season unless their are exceptional circumstances.

REMINDER: Match Racing this Sunday!

Just a quick reminder that it’s our first ever Pico Match Racing day this Sunday, 15 March. Your chance to show your skills 1-on-1 with other members and take home the exclusive CSC Match Racing mug, to¬†keep forever.

Match Racing is open to all members: just bring yourself and your wet/dry suit to take part, nothing else needed.

See you at 10:00 on Sunday!

CSC vs. Hurricane Bertha

When most people woke up this morning and heard that Hurricane Bertha was making its way across¬†south London at 60mph, they promptly¬†decided it was time to make a cup of tea and go¬†back to bed. But then, they’re clearly not members of Croydon Sailing Club.

So, while others were sat in bed sipping hot drinks, thunder booming, rain lashing¬†and the wind growing ever more fearsome, Tommy, Neil, John and a brand new member decided it was time to sail, and with Gordon and Dominic as DO and ADO, that’s just what they did. Twice.

With some impressive aquatic acrobatics along the way, our four intrepid sailors took on mother nature and won, taking on everything she could throw at them to complete 2 races. Some might say, ten of the most courageous and energetic laps ever completed at South Norwood Lake.