19 May - Potton Trophy
HSC members had our club boat on the start line for the Potton Trophy - the first of the 2019 dinghy races organised by the Roach Sailing Asssociation (RSA). We came second on handicap, despite starting the race with a lump of seaweed caught round the rudder of Merganser. Jon Walmsley of the RSA reports:
After a bit of a delay, to enable some early season shoreside fiddling, eight boats made it out onto the water. The conditions weren’t suitable for a ’round the island’ course so it was Barton Hall Buoy and back instead. The light Easterly and incoming tide made it difficult for the fleet to stay above the start line.
PATCH decided to retire after stopping to assist DALLY. (DALLY is a motor launch opperated by the RSA, used as a general purpose tender and safety boat) A working DALLY returned the favour and towed PATCH home. MERGANSER and BLUEBOTTLE were the fastest drifters and first to round the buoy. LITTLE LINDA was unable to stop going West and accepted a lift from DALLY back to Paglesham Reach.
Back at the front, BLUEBOTTLE just pipped MERGANSER at the line after swapping the lead a few times. The next group, consisting of WATERWYTCH, APPLE and MAKEDO, finished in that order some Twenty minutes later. It was still daylight when TAZ finished.
On handicap, TAZ has third place, MERGANSER second and BLUEBOTTLE wins the Potton Trophy.
Many thanks to Lilly, Stuart and Nigel for manning the rescue boat.
20 September - Mudcatcher's Cup
This is an annual fun event at Paglesham - the plan varies from year to year, this year it involved racing to collect beer bottles hanging from balloons floating down the river. The event is traditionally followed by a BBQ alongside the sea wall.
Jon Walmsley of the RSA sent me the pictures below.
Some of the fleet assmebled on the pontoon at Paglesham - HSC club boat Merganser right foreground.
Both rowing and sailing boats (and paddleboards) can take part - this year the wind was light and row boats did well.
BBQ after the event
21 September - HSC wins the Lifeboat Cup
The HSC club boat Merganser has been first over the line in a number of the RSA dinghy races only to be placed lower on handicap, but this time we scored line honors and won the race. How about that!
HSC chairman Clem also did well sailing his mirror dinghy 'Nani Dragon'.
Jon Walmsley of the RSA writes:
A wind so light that even EXPRESS was happy to venture out on the water. After much thought and lots of helpful suggestions to the race officer on a good course for the race, that old favourite Barton Hall and back was decided upon.
Unusually we started on time as all nine crews were ready. Long and shorts were the order of the day with the tide helping us up river. The taller rigged boats, MERGANSER, BLUEBOTTLE and EXPRESS did better in the conditions with TAZ and NANI DRAGON having a close fought race behind.
APPLE and RED TUNA thought that they were still under Mudcatcher collision rules at the mark, but the Mirror pulled away after the turn. The light conditions did not favour the two Tideways, APPLE and PATCH.
On the downwind leg TAZ was similarly outclassed by NANI DRAGON and RED TUNA.
Back at the front, MERGANSER had line honours followed by BLUEBOTTLE with EXPRESS fifteen minutes behind. On handicap, TAZ has third place, BLUEBOTTLE second and MERGANSER wins the Lifeboat Cup.
Many thanks to Stuart, John L and Lilly for manning DALLY and to Nigel for looking after the tail enders in his skiff.
12 October - Oyster Cup
Congratualtions to HSC Chairman Clem for winning the Oyster Cup race in his Mirror dinghy 'Nanidragon' !
26 October - Laying up our club boat
Mark Smith reports:
We knew it wasn’t going to be easy with 40mph SW winds forecast but were keen to get the deed done before the rain forecast for the afternoon arrived.
We got to Paglesham around 11 (HW) and looking at conditions on the river it was immediately apparent that there was no way we’d be able to use WoBoat to get to Merganser. Plan B was to wait for the tide to go out so that we could walk Merganser to the hard.
Clem suggested a Plan A which was to use Makedo - which is a much sturdier boat with an outboard motor – to transfer Mark to Merganser.
That bit worked quite well! Next question - how to get both boats back to the hard.
The sensible option would have been to tow Merganser but I wrongly though it would be possible to row Merganser ashore against the wind - So I cast off with Clem as rescue boat. But two minutes of hard rowing later Merganser had been blown sideways onto the barge moored on the jetty and was pinned there for a bit before the tide swept her round the bow of the barge. Fortunately I was able to use the barge’s bow warp to keep Merganser just clear of the rusty jetty. Now we needed a plan C!
Plan C was to attach a long warp to Merganser’s bow. Clem and Geof then motored out again and used the long warp to pull Merganser away from the jetty. Eventually we all arrived safely back to the hard where we stripped the boat and drained the considerable amount of water we had shipped from the breaking waves.
After all the excitement we all agreed a beer was in order so we towed Merganser to the Plough and Sail where we enjoyed a pleasant lunch.
After lunch we had nearly finished the laying up before the rain arrived.
Many thanks to al who turned up and especially to Clem for manging to get Merganser off the jetty – without that she could have suffered much more damage from the jetty – we only broke one of the aft wooden handles.