Notts County on Tour 2018

DThis is a page dedicated to those that have travelled this summer to represent the club at National / Zone events. 

Notts County Sailors and Windsurfers in the National & Zone squads

This year many of our Juniors have been travelling. We haven’t seen as much of William Thomas, as he has been on the road working hard, attending many events, and this has paid off as he is now one of 8 boys in the top training group in the RYA UK Junior Squad. Molly Hinsliff-Smith is in the Girls National squad in Training group 2 and Ben Paling is in Training Group 3. They have already had their first four day training session at WPNSA and were amongst most of the British Sailing Team, some of whom were out coaching as well, so plenty of inspiration to be had.

The ITCA (Topper class) also have squads Heather Quinn having been selected for the 5.3 squad. 

Caitlin Thomas, Charlie Hopkinson and Sam Grayton are all in the ITCA 4.2 squad, which develops youngsters with the aim of progressing into the RYA squads when they are older.

The RYA Midland Zone squads are much closer to home and a wonderful development pathway. Sam Grayton, Charlie Hopkinson, Hayden Moore and Raife Piggott are all due to participate in Toppers and in Windsurfers we have Duncan & Linus Monaghan, Mollie Spreckley and Kyle Howie, all having benefitted from T15 training at the club. The Windsurfer zone squad will be training at the club on 17/18th November.

This is a good reflection on the club training as many started sailing, did the Start Race course and then Youth squad at the club. They have been out in all weathers  and now the class associations and RYA can take them all further. They all face a challenging winter (not only the conditions) as they will learn and be put through their paces. The Zone squads will all meet on 3rd November (with Gerry Ball, club Member and RYA High Performance Manager leading the day for the Midlands).

We mustn’t forget the dedication of the parents, without their input and support none of these youngsters would have this opportunity. Lets hope that the kids all learn lots over the winter and come back enjoying their sailing more than ever.

RYA Midlands Junior Championships – Northampton

Ben Thomas topper winner thanks to James Tomlinson/RYA for photo

And the final tour date (probably) was the superb turnout at the RYA Midlands Junior Championships over 29/30th Sept. The Midlands event was at Northampton SC (Pitsford).

Notts County fielded 10 Topper sailors (one of the largest representations from a single club) and 4 windsurfers. Five Notts County sailors where in top 12, just showing the depth of our squad in such a competitive fleet.
Windsurfers won medals for top girl (Mollie Spreckley) in 5.8 and Duncan Monaghan 2nd in 6.8, a great achievement as they only started learning two years ago. Linus Monaghan and Kyle Howie also raced in 6.8 fleet.
The 45 Topper fleet saw three races won by NCSC sailors (Molly Hinsliff-Smith, Will Thomas and Ben Paling). Ben led the overnight leaderboard with a 2nd place. 
William Thomas won a race on Sunday, and came second in the first race, Molly Hinsliff-Smith won the final race giving her second overall. William is the overall champion  joining many other illustrious names on the trophy, Molly was second overall and first girl. Ben Pailing was second boy with some consistent results on Saturday.
Our other NCSC sailors did a brilliant job, Raife Piggot was 11th, Charlie Hopkins 12th, Heather Quinn 15th, Sam Grayton 20th, Hayden Moore, Eddie Quinn, Caitlin Thomas all did well with many at event of this size for the first time.
These results are testament to our excellent youth squad (thanks Tim) and windsurf training and we are sure there will be plenty more to come, in future years.
Congratulations to all who competed, and their parents for taking them, we would encourage all levels of sailors to go next year.
rya results page
Thanks to Katheryn and Sue who have supplied photos (except as credited to James Tomlinson/RYA).

Topper Team

Proud mum and windsurfer team

Proud Mum and Daughter

Windsurfer medal winners from Notts County

Topper medel winners from Notts County

Raife Piggot concentrating thanks to James Tomlinson/RYA for photo

Gerry Ball as HPM thanks to James Tomlinson/RYA for photo

Ben pailing thanks to James Tomlinson/RYA for photo

Molly Hinsliff-Smith, 2nd in Toppers thanks to James Tomlinson/RYA for photo

Windsurfing Nationals at Rutland 

The Notts County Team 15 sailors represented the club at the National Windsurfing Championships at Rutland Sailing Club on 15/16th September, amongst 170 entrants. Five windsurfers took part in the Techno 5.8 and Techno 6.8 classes. Molly Sprekley was on the 5.8 Techno on the north wing with 73 other windsurfers doing 5 races in the weekend and having a great time.

Out on the main body of the water our sailors did well to just make the start 1.5 miles away! They had a spread of results, Duncan Monaghan was third boy (7th o/a in the 26 strong national Techno fleet this is feeder to Rsx Olympic class like the Topper) and managed the finish every race, which is more than Guy Sprekley managed in the tough conditions on Sunday (gusting 24 knots but white capping most the the racing) not only that he acted in a very sportsman like way having finished two exhausting races he didn’t just tail it for home, but went ashore to help put others on the safety boats, a credit to the club. On Saturday Kyle Howe and Charlotte Taylor managed all four races with some credible results, and Linus (having been fencing in the morning) completed two races. Unfortunately the conditions were two much for all of them on Sunday, hardly surprisingly as they have only been windsurfing for two years. They all enjoyed the experience of their first national event so hopefully will be back for more. 

… and the adults Guy Sprekley was 14th not his usual position, with kit problems, but some credible 5th and 6th on Saturday, meanwhile Gerry as HPM was stuck on shore most of the weekend.

Charlotte rounding the windward mark

Kyle royndingbthe windward mark

Molly on Saturday

Guy enjoying himself on Saturday in 5th place

Team Notts County – or Notts Outlaws

Duncan out in the 24 knot winds

National Scout Regatta

Two NCSC juniors came home with wins last weekend representing Nottinghamshire at the National Scout Regatta in South Shields. Euan Bremner-Harrison (11) is showing off his shield for first place in the under-13 single hander, and he was also victorious crew in the under-15 fast double-hander. Robert Stevenson(13) was crew in the winning boat in the under-18 fast double hander. Oscar Middleton, a relatively new club junior, was also part of the Nottinghamshire Scouts team. – Report and Photo Mike Stevenson

China bound August 2018 – Topper World Championship  – Molly & Katheryn Hinsliff-Smith

Molly and I were privileged to attend the Topper World Championship to be held in the South China Sea. A six day championship to be held at a purpose built marina, sailing school and hotel 2 hours North East of Hong Kong.

I say privileged because the  trip was subsidised by the Chinese sponsor allowing to cover some of the cost for the sailor and a small amount for the parent.  Molly had to meet the selection criteria and apply. In total 65 GBR sailors attended the event (although not all received sponsorship).

So in August we set off wth two long haul flights knowing it would be hot, humid but an adventure. Only the week before Molly had competed in the Nationals at Weymouth. This was going to be a busy summer school holidays.

We arrived late on the Monday evening (having left Sunday morning from Birmingham) but the hotel room was great even with a view of the marina and race course. We were exhausted though and glad to get into bed.

Tuesday and Wednesday was scheduled as boat allocation and measuring day and also an opportunity to get out on the water.  In total over 260 new Toppers had been bought by various Chinese sailing schools via Topper and the Chinese sponsor. 1st job was to find Molly’s allocated boat, check for condition and swap all the gear that we had brought with us. We confused many custom checks with a kicker, main sheet, spanner set, wet and dry and sailing gear!  Unfortunately this been typhoon season the sailors were not allowed to be in the water for either day but it was looking good for the 1st day of the Champs on Thursday.  Once measured most of the sailors caught up with their squad leaving us parents to try the local beer and food……food options were interesting as you can see below. Even breakfast consisted of Chinese options of rice, noodles, dumplings, greens, sweet potatoes and tea.

The RO was a Kiwi used to running very large and prestigious Olympic class events, so whilst he was experienced he couldn’t muster up much wind.  After the daily briefing all sailors from 20 countries were excited and desperate to get on the water since they were not sailing their own craft.  I was assisting the launch in checking all sailors were in the right boats, had their safety tally bands and were wearing their sailing bibs.  You can plan for many things but the fact the medical tally bands were red, a lucky colour for the Chinese, therefore these quickly disappeared as good luck charms, also bibs were worn for friends and many overseas sailors are not used to launching or how to use a bailer. Let’s say the Topper maintenance team were kept busy!   

Just as we launched the heavens opened, let’s say those of us helping could easily have won the drowned rat competition.

The 4.2 fleet managed three races as they had one start whilst the size of the 5.3 fleet meant the fleet was split into three flights.  Whilst this makes the start more manageable it did mean the race team needed to get three races in.  Tricky as the forecast typhoon had stolen the wind so sailors returned to shore with only two flight scores, they needed three to count.   What would Day 2 bring? Molly achieved a 31st placing in her flight so a good start, all to play for.

Day 2, earlier scheduled start time so after the 8-9 breakfast slot and briefing they launched in very hot and humid conditions.  The briefing and discussion amongst most of the GBR fleet was how many of other sailors (naming no country ….but the hosts) were not observing rules, understanding rules or even listening to the judges infringements.  The judges were quick to highlight what a turn means and even how many.  This was particular true for a 1st placed sailor who was recorded on a drone hitting a mark and not doing any turns! The GBR sailors were going to have to be firm, the playing field was not quite even.

Good news that they did get a result for the 3rd flight but then the wind disappeared despite many races started it wasn’t consistent.

Day 3 so similar light conditions with a swap of course area.  Thankfully by now some parents found we could use the next hotel facilities.  All I can say is we made use of the beach, infinity pool, afternoon tea offers and the BOGOF deal (happy hour every day 4 till 6). Beer was £2.20 a bottle.  Having settled at the pool we were quickly rushing back to the club as boats were been towed in…it was for lunch/comfort stops and a re launch.  The sailors had been out over four hours waiting for wind.  This was beginning to be one of the lightest Champs comparable to the Nationals two years ago.

Day 4 parents were keen to see something other than the hotel, local fishing village so a tour to an ancient walled city and temple was arranged via local bus. Yours truly was the guide for a party of 17 leaving the sailors to be launched (if at all) by others.  

We had a great day and at last upon our return heard “we managed to get a race in” so far 2 fully countable races…what would Day 5 bring.

By now a number of volunteer mark layers and safety crews were struggling with tummy issues so myself and another parent were drafted in to be finish line recorders, no pressure to get it right!  We were looking forward to going out in one of the beautiful yachts we had seen in the marina…would we be allowed a g & t.

By now the race team were desperate to at least get four races in as this was the qualifiers and then they would race the gold fleet to get an overall 5.3 World Champ. Not such a large request but the wind had finally died so the sailors were despatched to beach games whilst we waited and waited and waited for wind.  From 10 until 15.00 the team waited out in the water hunting for the elusive wind. By 15.30 it was decided to abandon all racing. This resulted in no 5.3 World Champ but instead a crowned 5.3 event winner.  Molly was delighted that the winner, Tom Peacock, from her national squad won by securing a 1st and 3rd place, helped by a top sailor slipping out of his boat on the last leg…. oops.  Tom was an unlikely winner but there were many celebrations on Monday night as we enjoyed a Western style all you can eat buffet and drinks at the posh hotel.  We drank the bar dry.

The organisers had arranged a number of social events including an opening country parade and an individual county performance.  What would the GBR team perform?  Nothing less than What shall we do with Topper sailor (to the music of drunken sailor) accompanied with a Topper on stage used as a musical instrument. Sudan and Hong Kong stole the show along with a performance of the Monkey dance (ask the youngsters).

Overall Molly came 93rd out of 223 competitors in the 5.3 fleet and was 8th GBR female.  All were disappointed that the Worlds could not deliver enough wind for more racing but that’s sailing…..

Afterwards a large number of us extended our trip with a tour to Xian where the famous terracotta warriors are buried then by bullet train to Beijing for further exploring and a visit to the Great Wall of China. The tour was full on and tiring but it was wonderful to spend time with Molly, the other sailors and parents.

Was it worth it?  Absolutely we had an amazing experience and Molly feels very honoured to represent GBR at this event.  Not many 15 year old a can say they competed in a World Championship held in China.  Next step we await to see if Molly gets a place in the the new RYA all girl National Topper squad.

2019 the World Champs will be held in Holland (starting 22/7/2019). The Nationals will be held in Largs, Scotland in August so next summer promises to be just as full on but enjoyable.

Thank you to all the club sailors and parents who passed on their good wishes. We were proud to represent NCSC and I passed in our club burgee and clothing to the Centre Director and lead coaches, we are welcome anytime including positions for sailing instructors. They had two UK instructors working for the summer having an amazing and different working experience.
report & photos: Kathryn and Molly Hinsliff-Smith   

RS400 Nationals

Come the middle of August the RS Games in Weymouth saw the arrival of the RS 400 fleet to the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing academy. 73 crews had entered what was to be the RS400 European and National Championships. Seven crews had entered from Notts County with high hopes for the 5 days racing and partying to follow. Day one saw strong winds and all seven boats on the start line for what was described by all as probably the best days sailing they had had in years. 20 plus knots of wind made for exciting downwind blasts and equally hard upwind sailing. A good mix of results were recorded for the day.
Day 2 saw even more wind and only four of the seven getting on the water, a walk to Portland and a bike ride being favoured by others. Those that did make it out following an hour’s delay enjoyed another blasting day with a few more spills and one crew having to swim for a detached rudder in the harbour.
The next 3 days saw lighter winds and sailing in the bay which meant a one and a half hour sail to the start line and the same coming back. The first three days were qualifiers with crews being split into gold and silver fleet and randomly a bronze fleet. Ross Ryan and Oliver Ryan-Moore made the gold fleet with the rest of us in the silver and bronze fleet. After two days of finals the results at the top of the gold fleet were extremely close with several crews able to win it, unfortunately none of us were included in that number. However on reflection it was a fantastically organised five days sailing excellent race management, great company and some great results by all. The RS400 fleet benefit from having Matthew Sheahan amongst our fleet who does the reports for our fleet  the link will take you to some really excellent reports for a day to day write up. – Paul Reynolds fleet captain

and from the Vice Commodore

The recently completed RS Games, held at the Weymouth olympics 2012 venue, had over 1300 competitors taking part in the month long festival of sailing. Notts County was well represented across the RS range; Alan and Paul in the Aeros, Richard in the 300s, Ross and Ollie, John and Matt, James and Philippa, Ken and Goiz, Tim and Tor, Martin and Moira, Paul and Simon in the 400s, Jamie, Alex, Simon and Matt in the 600s. In both the 400s and 600s NCSC making up 10% of the entry.

Needless to say, we all had a ball sailing in the full range of conditions across the Weymouth harbour and bay – where a racing day involved around 28-30 miles and 6 hours on the water. Results wise, it was a mixed bag. Jamie in his 600 did us proud with a podium 2nd place, Richard was just off the podium in the 300s with a 4th ( but did get a credible mention in the reports regarding the use of his athletic frame to do well on the big wind days), Ross and Ollie in the 400 were well up the fleet and competitive in the Gold fleet. The rest of us battled it out for more average positions in fleets of established national championship level sailors, and had serious fun doing it. – James Logan



RS600 Nationals

Champagne sailing conditions greeted the 4 RS 600 Notts County Sailors who travelled to Weymouth for the RS 600 Nationals part of the RS Games. Winds of 25 knots on the first day made for a thrilling ride with thrills and spills a plenty. Day 2 was abandoned due to too much wind but the champagne sailing conditions returned for the final day with 15-20 knots. Jamie Mawson was consistent throughout and with everything to play for in the final race he managed to beat the competition to finish 2nd overall a great achievement in such a strong fleet. Alex Piggott finished 9th, Simon Hibbert 11th and Matt Potter won 1st bronze fleet and 20th overall after a few setbacks.

Notts County won the best club trophy and have some silverware to bring back.

Scorpion Nationals 2018 at Tenby by Nicola Willars

If the 7 hour drive didn’t put off the five Notts County Scorpions, then the swarms of jelly fish had no chance. Tenby greeted us with beautiful sunshine, and very little breeze, for the first day of the Nationals. So we drifted the practice race and then sailed to shore for sun bathing and swimming. There were 42 boats entered and the fleet so;ed around 125 miles over the nationals.

Squeezing 3 back to back races into day two certainly tested our fettle, as the wind built and we were treated to some fantastic racing.

Only one Notts boat entered the Crews Race and The Willars twins finished a credible 5th and bagged The Pecker for some impromptu Lobster Potting during their sail to shore!!!
Despite some wild wind shifts and promise of sub 5mph forecast on some days, the Race Team fitted a full ten races into the championships.

The evenings entertainment ranged from Team Quiz (we won’t mention where we finished in that), Fancy Dress (confectionery theme so we went Milky Bar Kid!), Livd Band and Disco.
Tenby sailing club made us feel very welcome and the scorpion fleet were extremely helpful in giving advice and help with the various rigging failures that three of our club sailors suffered.
Overall Winners were Alan and Simon from Staunton. Simon fresh from the Scorpion Extravaganza and a Sunday tuning session at Notts with Dave Snutch – were these things linked to his win we ask ourselves?!!?

Our travellers did well too: highest placed Notts boat was Nigel Potter’s Paintcraft Boat’s Barbarian’s For Breakfast finishing 17th with a rookie crew; Chloe and Jake first Juniors; John Tailby and rookie crew George won tenacity and highest first nationals boat; Jon and Nicola were Bronze Fleet winners.

Here’s some pictures of our Welsh Adventure courtesy of Alistair Mackay, thanks for permission to use. 

Topper Nationals at Weymouth Sailing academy. August 2018

It is great to see so many representing the club, and probably the best part is a comment from one parent who said not only what great ambassadors the sailors are, but how much they are enjoying their sailing and helping each other – the true meaning of being club of year and something you see in all the best clubs. I believe there is a Haka moment on the slipway – photo Katheryn?

Notts County had 11 sailors at the Topper Nationals, I understand this is the largest contingent from any club – a testament to the hard work by the Youth Squad coaches.The event threw everything at the competitors from a force 10 (no sailing) on the first day, dropping to force 6 or 7 on the second day, and most of our 11 to 15 year old sailors went out where many experienced club sailors would have decided on the bar being best! Then the wind moderated over the rest of the week.

This is  huge event, think hundreds of entries, and some very stiff competition in all age groups, the topper feeds into nearly all the Olympic classes so getting into the 5.3 gold fleet of 113 sailors (for 16 and under) is an achievement and we had three Topper sailors: William Thomas (14) who came 35th, Molly Hinsliff Smith (15) who came 75th and Ben Paling (14) who came 87th. Most still have 2 years to go in this fleet so who knows where they will be next year… and in the Silver fleet Heather Quinn was 27th out of 68 another one to watch.

The 4.2 fleet of 42 Topper sailors was just as impressive if not more so these are the rising stars  Charlie Hopkins (12) – who was on Ben Thomas start racing course about a year ago, which I helped on (in fact looking at it I think all this fleet were on that course) was 9th over all, Raife (or is it Raffy! as the announcer called him) Pigott was first under 11 and 16th overall, Hayden Moore 25th, Sam Grayton 26th, Caitlin Thomas 34, and Edward Quinn 35th, Edward Paling 39th. These are really good results from such a young group of sailors.

Good luck for the rest of the season and in zone and national qualifiers remaining – you are  credit to Notts County Sailing Club. Below are a couple of photos of NCSC Toppers and Topper sailors and parents at Weymouth from Katheryn Hinsliff-Smith & James Hopkinson

Next up I hope is Scorpion Nationals.

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