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Written by Peter Gregory   
Tuesday, 07 October 2014 20:34


Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 October 2014 15:38
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2014 Inland 2.4mR Championships at Rutland Water

A fine and interesting Inland Championships with 16 boats competing. In the fleet, competing for the first time were the new paralympic pathway squads from the home club and Queen Mary SC. Conditions overall were testing enough for us seasoned oldies and it was simply amazing to see how these guys managed to get their new RYA boats around the course each day. Enthusiasm and grit were well in evidence from these guys and for one I wish them every success over the next few years and finally hopefully one of them will realise the dream of a Paralympic place. We look forward to seeing them at other 2.4mR Class events.

Racing in the fleet was always pretty close across the front part of the fleet. Conditions were for most part very strong winds and a heavy chop on the water. All things which make a 2.4mR both exciting and challenging. The only issue which we had, which we haven't encountered at this venue before was copious amounts of weed lurking in large masses just below the water. Once a 2.4mR was in the grips of these it was game over for the place that you had in that race. Several good places were lost that way and a certain amount of angst seen in those boats affected.

By far the best two sailors were Martin Whittingham Jones sporting his own brand of sails with excellent boat speed and Bruce Hill sailing the only Stradavari 2.4mR. Somehow each time these two came to the top of the fleet excepting weed moments and by the last day it was not obvious whether they or Iain Stowe would be the winner.

Sunday dawned with appalling conditions, heavy rain, poor visability, thunder and lightening and the prospect of the races being called off. However thank goodness a window in the weather came about and two races were sailed, the first in near perfect conditions and the last with gusts of gale force proportions. Once again Martin and Bruce headed the results for each race and now with two discards the results went as follows:


Inland National Champion   Bruce Hill   Frensham SC Stradavari
2nd   Martin Whittingham Jones   West Kirby SC Norlin Mk3
3rd   Iain Stowe   Rutland Water SC  Norlin Mk3
4th   Steve Bullmore  Poole YC  Norlin Mk3


The prizegiving praised our able race officer and his crew both on the committee boat but also in the mark laying and rescue boats. These were testing and difficult conditions to both lay a good windward course but also to handle the marks and to provide rescue cover.

The 2.4mR Class looks forward to being able to return in 2015 for another great event.



Steve Bullmore  GBR 146


2.4mR  Open Meeting - Wimbleball Sailing Club

Bruce Hill was a clear winner of the Wimbleball SC 2.4 open meeting held on 26/27th July.

Four Frensham sailors had decided to hitch their wagons and head west for the event and were handsomely rewarded.  Brilliant weather, idyllic surroundings and the relaxed/friendly welcome combined to give a very enjoyable weekend’s racing.   The winds tended to be light and variable for the three races on day one but firmed up and became more consistent for races four and five on day two.  The results were:-


Place Name Sail No Club Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Race 4 Race 5Points
1st Bruce Hill 115 Frensham Pond 1 1 4 2 3 7
2nd Simon Hill 110 Frensham Pond 3 2 2 3 1 8
3rd Kate Hedley 143 Frensham Pond 2 3 3 1 2 8
4th Bruce Padfield 91 FPSC/Burghfield Sailability 4 4 1 4 4 13
5th Chris Willis 18 Wimbleball 5 6 5 5 5 20
6th Simon Jones 29 Wimbleball 7 5 6 6 6 23



2.4mR European Championships at Snekermeer, The Netherlands

Seven British boats headed to the 2.4mR Europeans on Snekermeer in Friesland, Netherlands. Home to Sneek Week where 1000 boats from 43 classes turn up on a small piece of water so 54 2.4mR's seemed easy.

The British team, which fielded 4 National Champions, weren't too sure what to expect. It turned out to be shifty waters with many gaps in the pressure and with split fleet sailing it was going to be a challenge. The first 2 days saw 6 qualification races with Megan Pascoe managing to win every race. Two times Paralympian from Norway Bjornar Erikstad put together two superb match races with Megan to come out just behind after 2 days.

The next best British boat was Bruce Hill from Frensham Pond who after a tough start to the season was putting his Stradivarius round the course very competently, which was not surprising as Sneek was described as Frensham on steroids. Martin Whittingham Jones was in the same flight as Bruce and did well to win a race and finish qualifying inside the top 15 as they seemed to be in the "group of death". Will Street, Steve Bullmore and the current National Champion Simon Hill all did enough to comfortably qualify for gold fleet.

The Wednesday saw real challenging conditions with shifts galore and big place changing. Both Megan and Bjornar managed a solid day with Megan taking one race and Bjornar the other two. Fresh from his third place at Kieler Woche Henrik Johnsson from Sweden also had a good day with two seconds. Martin and Bruce were still enjoying their time inside the top 10 with Will improving as the week went on.

Thursday saw bigger breeze but still shifty. Megan had a great day to seal the championship with 3 races to spare. Guss Bijlard current World Champion from Holland found it easier in the breeze and closed the gap on third at the end of the day. Fred Imhoff, Olympian for the Netherlands now racing for Belgium took the final race of the day after it was restarted due to a wind shift! Martin was quietly putting in consistent top 4 positions to move up to 5th and Bruce and Will were holding their positions inside the top 10.

The final day saw similar wind to Thursday but the racing seemed to get incredibly tight. Henrik did enough in the first race finishing second just behind Megan to seal a medal. Bjornar found the first race challenging as he was spun round on a port – starboard incident with Guss who attached himself to Bjornar for a couple of minutes. The Norwegian came back to 11th but was denied redress due to no damage occurring. So the positions came down to the last race. Guss managed to win the race to take third overall while Martin, Megan, Bjornar and 3 more boats battled for the lesser places. Megan took second with Martin in 5th which gave him 5th overall. Bjornar could only finish 8th after a big right hander on the last beat to finish 4th overall. Per Ahrbom from Sweden had a great day to just squeeze Will out of the top 10. Bruce managed two of his discards but still finished a very respectable 8th.

For all the British it was a very respectable performance becoming top nation, and it was the first major open 2.4mR Championship Britain has won. The racing by the Royal Sneek YC was great as was the organisation but the Dutch 2.4 Class showing that running a major championship which caters for every level of sailor is possible. As were the trophies inspired by the Moto GP.



Sail for Gold

Matt Bugg, Megan Pascoe, Helena Lucas


Last weekend we congregated at the Portland and Weymouth Sailing Academy for this years Sail for Gold regatta : part of the Eurosaf circuit.

Thirteen brave souls raced in always breezy and some times down right rough conditions . With four races scheduled for wednesday , our race officer called it off after two ,just as 28 + knots of wind was recorded . Pumps were breaking , batteries going flat and it became a gamble --- do I surf on down wind and very likely sink and loose the rest of the day - or shall I sacrifice my position, spin out and try and pump out. My Velocitek indicated 9 knots.

14 races nearly wiped me out -- but what great conditions what a great location great race management and great facilities ashore .

Any tiime you get a chance to sail at portland either in the indicators or S4G -- grab it.

We were sharing the course with the 470,s and the Sonars and we were last off. As the Sonar start approached ,the 2.4 fleet closed in on their heels like a pack of terriers. Fingers were poised over the "start" countdown button then there was a mad dash to spot in the committee end of the line and then a mad dash down to the pin end to spot that in. New behavioral traits---- 2.4 sailors are now button pushers . In addition we all carried trackers and could be followed on shore by anxious parents on their lap tops. I was told that these gadgets were in fact mobile phones so watch out for rule 69 next time you do turns.

The three professionals ; Helena , Megan and Matt Bugg ,gave us all lessons in good starting and quality sailing . With Megan just edgeing it by one point from Helena and Matt was third over all. Modesty aside -- your correspondent was the first true amature in fourth.

Our thanks to the race committee and all the helpers ashore -- a great week


cheers martin w-j


PS Our next really important meeting is The Inlands at Rutland---------------8/9/10 august


PPS the match racing is open to all at West Kirby 13/14 sept


Tidal Nationals - Poole

To many this championship was somewhat special in that the ever popular Megan Pascoe, was guaranteed not to win due to her being in transit from Holland to Poole on the first day of racing. This would leave the field wide open as only one discard was allowed during the eight race series meaning she would have to count a DNC.

Potential candidates could have been any of the remaining 11 entries but was to be reduced down to five potential candidates all of very equal speed. Namely, Steve Bullmore (past Nat Champion), Martin Wittingham-Jones, Iain Stowe (past championship winner), Bruce Hill or Simon Hill. All three days had very early starts due to the low tides at mid day and the winds were generally powerful leading to some spectacular sailing with choppy seas and everyone requiring good and effective pumps.

Race one was very breezy led by Bruce round the first mark but immediately followed by both Simon and Iain. With all three not being able to spot where the next mark was confusion quickly followed and Simon, being the most leeward gained the advantage of inside berth at the leeward mark (whilst both Iain and Bruce appeared happy for him to guide). Another choppy and quick lap followed and we appeared to finish very much earlier than anyone expected surprising all concerned and leaving Simon with his first bullet after just three laps. By the next race we all kept our eye on the race officer who lengthened the race length as we were going faster than anticipated in the breeze. This race again was led by Bruce (now knowing where to go) and his lead extended throughout the race followed by Martin Wittingham-Jones and Steve in third. Both Iain and Simon weren’t so well placed at around 5th and 6th but Iain decided to divert at the leeward mark (coming off the beat) towards the finish line thinking we may have already done our four laps. Meanwhile Bruce was enjoying the conditions so much that both he and the next five boats decided to sail on. Iain was right and was awarded first position and Simon quickly noticed to finish up second leaving the boats ahead both shocked and surprised at the again seemingly short race!

The race officer was then concerned about the depth for all classes postponing race three to the following day.

Another early start on day two saw similar sized waves but slightly less breeze leading to ideal conditions for our anticipated four back to back races. Also, the return of Megan after driving throughout the night from Holland. The racing again was extremely close but as expected Megan’s skills proved the better of the fleet in all four races followed mostly by Simon, who had the bit between his teeth, realising the title could be his, tussling with both Bruce, Steve and Iain in all the races.

The final day had Simon leading on points but the title was still just within Bruce’s grasp with both still ahead of Megan on points. The weather had a complete turnaround to a light and shifty easterly. This didn’t suit Bruce at all and despite sailing a good first beat and rounding second to Megan in race seven, a bad choice of tactics and poor light weather speed resulted in two very poor results and an overall fourth place.  Megan deservedly won both races finishing overall second but Simon’s consistency and good performance with two fourths, just behind Iain and Steve was enough for the overall title proving his speed in both light and heavy airs on all three days and greeting us with a new (and surprised) National Champion for our fleet in 2014. Much respect and congratulations to Simon for a superbly sailed championship and yet another award for Frensham’s fleet . He is certainly no more a mid fleet sailor and we’ll no doubt never be able to forget it. Well done Simon!


Frensham Open

Frensham Pond is often a tranquil place but on the weekend of 10th-11th May a gale blew gusting at times in excess of thirty knots.
Nineteen boats were entered but on Saturday afternoon and for Race One this number had dropped to nine. The remainder elected to stay ashore and watch the alleged FUN!
Megan Pascoe won five out of the six races over the weekend but the competition was far tighter than might be supposed. Megan was given good competition by fellow visitor, Ian Stowe, who had travelled from Rutland Sailing club and by Frensham's own Bruce Hill. Although Megan took all the first five races, the competition was tight with many place changes. Bruce Hill restored Frensham's honour with a decisive win in race six. By the time of this race gear breakages and retirements had reduced the competitors to five brave souls who arrived back on land a trifle damp. And of course Megan Pascoe who took the trophy for the tenth time.


National Ranker - Weymouth 12th and 13th April

Saturday April 12th saw 7  2.4’s craning in for a 10 race series over 2 days. Quite a schedule. John Brooker & Will Street were sailing borrowed Norlin 3’s as their own were between Palma and Hyeres. Martin W-J had brought his Stradivarius whilst the rest of us were in our own Norlin 3’s. The wind on Saturday was NW all day, increasing as the day went on from some 10-15 knots initially to 12-18 later. Enough to set up a typical Portland lumpy chop and as the temperature plummeted in the afternoon things became a little cold and wet. Nothing new there then. We were starting third behind the Finns and Sonar/Skuds which confirmed for us that the start lines were well port biased. Megan is brilliant at these and as far as I could see from my lowly position to leeward and behind she completed a clean sweep of all 5 as there were no recalls. The wind was shifting a bit which gave us a chance to try and catch her but with only two beats in which to do it all she had to do was cover. It was Jonathan who came nearest with an excellent run of three 2nds. Martin and John shared the other two. Unfortunately for Martin the control panel of his Strad started to break up and he had to DNS the last two races and both John and Will had kicker problems.

Sunday gave us some warmer temperatures and a lighter shifty North Easterly wind of some 5-10knots. Starts were still port biased but now we had the Laser standards of the Youth Championships getting their first three races in on our course but as the Finns had disappeared we still started third. Megan continued to blitz the starts but due to the port bias laggards such as myself were able to get over onto port on or just after the gun which with the subsequent shifts made for much closer racing. My younger Grandaughter, who was down for the 29er Youth Championships, had a look at my starts and observed ‘Grandpa, your starts were c**p’. I fear she was correct. The wind was backing and so anyone straying over to the right hand side of the course tended to find themselves on the wrong side of the shifts. By the end of the second race the RO was obliged to move his entire course as the wind was virtually back to its NW direction of the previous day. The 10th race never happened as time ran out. Megan won overall, Jonathan was an excellent second and yours truly third on count back - at least that was the case on Sunday evening but I was pleased to note that by the end of Monday I had moved up to second - not bad when you are sitting on your backside at home! All in all an excellent w/e and the sun shone all the time - Portland at its best..

Iain Stowe


ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma

At Palma de Majorca from the 31st March until 4th April the British Sailing Team continued their excellent start to the year with Helena Lucas 1st and on the podium with her was Megan Pascoe in 2nd place. For the rest of the team Will Street was 5th, Carol Dugdale 7th and John Brooker 14th.


photo credit Oceanimages.co.uk / British Sailing Team



ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami

The British Sailing Team had an excellent start to 2014 at the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Miami. Megan Pascoe won her second consecutive Miami World Cup title with a 3-2-1-1-(3) = 7. Helena Lucas joined her on the podium with bronze.

photo credit Richard Langdon/British Sailing Team