Virtual May Regatta 2020

The Virtual regatta has started and the Saturday & Sunday races have taken place see below for reports and results which will be updated as they come in.

Day 3 and Final results

Experienced: The final three races saw changes in leads, fleets and also fly swatting techniques.

Two rookies decided to join in with the experienced racing: James Whit and Icon15 – it’s safe to say that they were probably in the wrong fleet to begin with as both outperformed many of the top sailors from the experienced fleet!

Ok, so you’re probably all wondering about the fly swatting (or you’re not) the RO had decided to host the last 3 races of the series outside by the lake. The only problem with this was the overwhelming number of green flies. I’ve decided that we should blame my race 2 result on the masses of greenflies that gathered upon my skin!!!

Race 1 had several changes of front runners with Singapore Sling taking the lead from Paul Aero who asked, ‘who let me in front? I got lost on the first lap!’ It’s also worth mentioning that James Whit and Icon15 placed a respectable 5th and 6th beating the overnight leader Robinhud who placed 7th!

Race 2 was won by rookie (or not so rookie) James Whit which elicited the remark ‘James u r banned 😊’ from the very man that suggested James should join the fleet! We also got to witness the progress of boat53367’s dinner which was BBQ (we are all jealous!) I’m impressed at his multitasking!

Race 3 was won by the squad father himself – LASERBUOY! Apparently it was close racing between himself and Robinhud however ourselves in mid-fleet were too busy match racing downwind (penalising everyone in our paths!) to realise what was going on up front

The overall top 3 was:
1st Matt Potter sailing Robinhud
2nd Alan Beaton sailing Singapore Sling
3rd Sam Grayton sailing Sam315

Congratulations everyone – I hope to see you all out on the water again at some point (2m apart obviously!)
Experienced regatta final results

Rookie: The final day of our regatta- the pressure was on the competitors to put in faultless performances as the overall points were tight.

Unfortunately some of the sailors had forgotten the 1st rule of racing: Preparation & Planning. Hugh- Jass, pre regatta favourite, really messed up with the planning and failed to get to the start in time. A real shame as I was looking forward to an epic 3 way tussle to decide the overall winner.
 Equally lacking in preparation was Precious Two, (a certain Mr Ryan.) His feeble attempts at trying to blame Kathryn for pinching all the available wifi really was er, pathetic actually!
I must also confess that I was having a complete meltdown due to my laptop developing issues and continually locking up. It was only with the help of 2 mobile phones and Hilary that racing got away on time. Phew!
So, to the racing. Today we were sailing in Denmark and disappointingly, whilst the UK were basking in super sunshine we had overcast conditions but with a favourable F4.
As usual the 1st race was sailed in The Star. Deceptively simple with just the one sail to worry about, tactics play a big part. JamesW, who has no tactical sailing experience at all, had a cracking front of fleet battle with Fumblethumbs (Phill D.) who has probably 30+ years experience. You might have thought  Fumblethumbs would have been a safe bet, but no, JamesW snuck the win by 0.001 sec. Yes, my stopwatch is that accurate, It was definitely not influenced by James being Hilary’s son. The Icon, took 3rd with WhyKnotMe, (Hilary), taking her best result so far,a 4th, despite me trying to commandeer her laptop.
Race2.  Back into the 3 sail J70. Things really got tight overall with JamesW taking his 2nd victory of the day. Steadily improving throughout the regatta Snapper (Martin S.) took a well deserved 2nd, Fumblethumbs 3rd with The Icon slipping to 4th. The Queen of Sheba was having a quiet day; is that possible?  😁 A steady 5th though was keeping her on track to defeat her ‘Precious One’ (Two).
With just 1 race to go the points were extremely tight. A treat awaited our sailors as I had selected the fast moving Nacra catamaran to be sailed for race 3 A new boat to our sailors it threw up challenges from the start. WhyKnotMe suffered terminal damage as she broke her rudder on the start line (reality; the 2nd laptop breakdown we suffered in our house in less than an hour). This sailing lark can get expensive with repairs.  Barney T, having a good day so far, succumbed to his navigational failings again by not finding the start line.
Saving his best until last Snapper, using his not inconsiderable tactical sailing knowledge, put upstart JamesW firmly in his place by covering upwind and keeping clear air off wind. An 8 sec winning margin was a great way for Snapper to finish his regatta.  JamesW took 2nd with the Icon another 3rd.
And so that was the end of the Rookie Regatta. Who had won? With a 2nd discard to be applied I really had no idea. But when the numbers were crunched it couldn’t have been closer. With The Icon and JamesW on equal points countback had to be applied.  By virtue of having taken 3 wins to Jamesw’s 2 The Icon took the regatta. Consistent results throughout gave Thumblethumbs the final podium position.
But, of course, every competitor was a winner. All who took part are very new to V.R. and it does take some pracise to get the hang of it. But with determination,  a sense of humour and most definitely a reliable wifi  it is very achievable. I had a great time running the racing and being able to watch the sailors improve each day. My thanks to each and everyone of them for giving it a go and being part of our V.R. Congratulations for your amazing  performances Lets do it again!            

Rookie results Final

Juniors:  Regatta Day 3: In the Junior fleet, the fleet was depleted by real sailing on real water, but the racing remained close for the determined handful of starters. 

Race 1 saw Arthur win, just in front of Charles and Georgia.  Race 2 took place in 49ers in Newport.  Alex had the lead early on, followed by Arthur and Charles.  Georgia had an unfortunate incident with the RO, whose boat had developed a mind of its own.  Arthur rounded the top mark first and led to the bottom mark followed by Alex and then Charles and Cillian close together, Cillian collecting a penalty.  At the top mark it was Arthur with Charles and then Alex, with the placings unchanged at the finish.

In the third race, in Nacras somewhere in France, Charles led off the line, with Cillian adding to his collection of penalties. The fleet headed for the right hand side and more pressure.  Arthur and Georgia overtook Charles briefly, but by the top mark it was Charles who was in the lead.  Offwind, the fleet was stuck in light wind in the middle of the course, unable to get to the pressure on the right hand side.  Unsurprisingly, the fleet headed right on the next beat, with Charles still in the lead at the top mark.  Charles gybed to keep in the pressure, then gybed back to stay between Arthur and the finish, with Georgia just behind. 

In the overall results Charles won, Heather was next (despite doing real sailing on the last day instead), then Arthur.  Congratulations to Charles on a very consistent series, and to all on excellent sailing and sportsmanship all round. 

Several juniors were also involved in the Experienced fleet and team racing.  Congratulations to all who took part in the NCSC VR Regatta in whatever form, mostly showing the adults how to do it.

Now back to the water! 

Jo, Steph and Martin

Final Junior Results

Team Racing final day: After a tense final day of team racing team 5 won by the smallest of margins.

After a round robin between the 3 remaining teams each team had won one and lost one, so the finishing positions of each team member for the final day were added together and the team with the least points overall would win.

Team 3 came 3rd with 22 points. Team 4 came 2nd with 21 points and team 5 came 1st with 20 points – nail biting stuff! A big well to all the competitors especially those in team 5 (Matt Buchan, Simon Parker and Ross Ryan).

Junior Regatta Day 2: We had three separate race winners today: Heather, Arthur and Georgia. 

Heather leads overall, followed by Charles in second and Eddie P in third. Well done all.

Commiserations for Arthur Quinn who had technical problems with his boat in the last race.

Whilst the RO didn’t keep track of what was happening far away at the front of the fleet in the first two races, one of the AROs observed the third race and noted some very close racing and place-changing, particularly in the lead group. The fleet spotted the wind in the middle of the course and arrived tightly grouped at the top mark. Arthur collected a penalty whilst Heather led onto the downwind leg followed by Georgia and Charles. Again, the fleet made good use of the wind in the middle of the course and the favoured buoy on the left hand side of the course. Heather rounded first, in a very tight group with Georgia and Charles. Meanwhile,  Cillian was having gear failure, but managed to keep going. At the top mark, Heather rounded first, but Georgia overtook her – making better use of the pressure on the right of the course? Georgia kept the lead to the finish.  Congratulations to all on a good race and getting through the schedule with time for an extra “fun” race at the end before handing over to the Experienced fleet.

Jo, Steph and Martin


Rookie Day 2: A force 4 and sunshine greeted our sailors in Brazil as they launched their Stars for race 4 of the series. Hugh-Jass stormed into a commanding lead and with the finish line in site disaster struck in the form of an E Sailing capsize….WiFi failure! This was mainly down to lack of Preparation and Planning on behalf of the helm; next time get home on time instead of trying to race from your car on the A46.
Anyway, Icon Martin gladly took the win with newcomer JamesW coming in 2nd.
Race 2 saw the red flag come out for what the Queen of Sheba thought was unsporting conduct by Snapper for luffing her down the run. A stewards enquiry determined that The Queen was making a Drama  out of nothing so the result stood. Another win for the Icon. A pleasing observation  was the fleet all remembered today to hoist their spinnys at the right time; nicely done!
The race officer judged that the fleet had progressed sufficiently to be let lose in 49ers for Race 3. This time Hugh-Jass, back home by now, made no mistakes and powered round the course to win from Snapper by a big 20secs margin. 

Barney T, our Vice Commodore, having managed to avoid the weed today, succumbed to navigational issues. His final radio communication suggested he had docked at Cape Town, particularly worrying  being as this race was held in Denmark.

With the Icon using up one of his discards the regatta is wide open with 3 races still to come. With a 2nd discard yet to come into play the podium places are all up for grabs. See you all tomorrow.

Experienced: Day 2 of the regatta saw some VR inshore sailors taking to the real-life water at NCSC! Most were rusty having only really exercised using VR inshore so there were many ‘man down’ moments (I’m speaking about you Robinhud!)

There was a race to get home and gain consistent Wi-Fi connection and screams of the novice racing could be heard from mum in the front seat as she forgot to put the kite up at the windward mark.

Unfortunately, the designated RO was still on the A46 when the clock struck 18.00 – so Laserbuoy stepped up so that the race could go ahead.

Race 1 saw that the two boats brave enough to attempt a ‘port-ender’ had the advantage up the beat and both slipped up into 1st and 2nd.  It has to be said that there is little action up the beat in the star (unless you go into the windward mark on port – in which case it’s just scary for whoever is attempting the manoeuvre!), its downwind sailing that is where the most competitive and oftentimes ruthless competition occurs. It was downwind where I witnessed a ‘miracle’: Samb1066 had fouled and gained a penalty but actually began to gain places as he skilfully picked the biased side of the course to sail on. It was on the last run when everything got stressful – there was a total of 5 meters separating first, second and third and Laserbuoy being the speed demon he was was covering NCSC down to the finish. I’m not entirely sure how, but NCSC managed to slip away (it could have been something to do with Robinhud gaining on Laserbuoy and covering him…) In the end, there was less than a second separating first second and third!

Race 2 saw the return of Sam315 (who had missed race 1), Jakethecornerbanger (who was probably feeding the dog), Boat53367 (probably rigging the kite up?) and Betty Swollocks (who had been driving in race 1 and we don’t condone racing and driving!). It was silent in the room as the start sequence began, all that could be heard was the whistling of penalties being dished out, another port bias and this time everyone wanted to be at the port end which made it very scary to say the least!! It’s worth mentioning now (because dad hasn’t stopped banging on about it) that Betty had soon fought their way through the fleet to gain a lead of more than 300m. Race 2 was again in the 49er and I’m not going to lie I definitely haven’t got complete control of the boat – in fact, as I was hurtling towards the gate marks (kite still up because I couldn’t let go of the controls!!) I was sure I’d be hearing whistles from the judge boat; however, I’d just slipped into the three boat lengths and everyone around me was and I quote ‘going for the gap’. I wasn’t having any of it I think I fouled around 7 boats rounding that mark (most had overtaken me by the finish, but we don’t speak about that). Having interviewed the winner Betty Swollocks his conclusive remarks on the race was ‘it was all over before the windward mark!’.

After deflating dads head we began race 3 – this time it was a committee boat bias. It was crowed near the start and the screen was filled with sails as well as the faint sound of the judge boat… Sam315 had a rapid start making his way up to first up the beat – it was probably nice to be first up the beat as near the middle of the fleet, penalties were being dished out left right and centre! I think that at this point we should definitely consider protesting those with fancy spinnaker designs – each time I rounded the wing mark behind Singapore Sling, their kite distracted me to the point where I forgot my boat also had a kite!

After todays racing the results changed significantly with many people moving all over the leader board each time I added the race results!

Experienced day 1 & 2 results

Team Racing Day 2: On the second day if team racing 5 teams were narrowed down to 3, I can’t give a race by race breakdown as I had a computer with the game on in front of me, my phone with the WhatsApp group up to keep the competitors under control in one hand and a Strongbow in the other. But what I can tell you is that that overall team 1 got no points (we’ll blame it on Georgia’s dodgy Wi-Fi – sort it out Jo) team 2 got 1 point (must have marginally better Wi-Fi but need to upgrade to fibre optic I think and them teams 3, 4 and 5 were tied on 3 points. So it’s all to play for tomorrow as we find out if team 3, team 4 or team 5 will win the event!

First Days Results:

Experienced: I knew the first races of the regatta were taking place when I opened my phone and saw that the WhatsApp group was on fire with updates from the regatta, in fact, my phone had been pinging that much that I was beginning to worry about whether Tim was going to have an aneurysm!

All three races saw a jam-packed start line with around 18 competitors which meant three things: 1. Starts would be terrifying 2. Mark rounding’s would be terrifying and 3. There would be many penalties.
The initial beat from race 1 was interesting with most going up the left but a few going up the right, it would soon become obvious that it would pay to go up the right (especially when NCSC stormed from 12th to 1st!!). Rounding the mark first wasn’t too bad due to there being less people but shouts from around our living room suggested that it wasn’t so easy near the middle and end of the fleet. There were at least 2/3 of the fleet that had fouled rounding mark one and meant that those who didn’t foul had the advantage on the reach and run. Considering the wind speed outside, it wasn’t a surprise when a few of the members of the fleet would end up in the eternal capsize (as they were kicked out due to Wi-Fi!).
Race 2 in the 49er was just as interesting as race one – if not more due to the increased speed and also lack of control (especially in boat NCSC who achieved 11 penalties in the race – who could that have been?!). I’d give more details on race 2 but if I’m honest it literally went by like a blur so instead of race anecdotes, I will provide my favourite quote from the group chat which I think describes the race better than I could: ‘apologies to Paul aero on the downwind leg!’ Sam Buchan (I have no idea what happened, but the mystery intrigues me)
Race 3 began with most sailors wondering what John Tailby was having for tea (we had no answer so I can only assume it was a family secret?!). It’s worth mentioning now that the superior sailor for day 1 of the experienced regatta group was Sam Grayton (sailing Sam315) who stormed every race to the top! One of the notes I wrote for the report whilst in the race was ‘close and sometimes aggressive’ when referring to down wind sailing. I’m assuming a lot of people can relate to this as there was definitely close racing throughout the fleet and judging by the penalties received downwind, I could tell it was getting competitive!!

That was basically all that I can remember happening for day 1 of the Experienced Regatta racing – I’m off for some dinner now!

Team Racing: And at 1900 the team racing began and ran surprisingly smoothly with only Kathryn H-S and Tim C getting their colours wrong, to be fair Tim was filling in at the last minute. Race 1 was a convincing 1,2,3 win for the Quinns, after that the races became much closer, peaking with a nail biting finish to race 5 which was very narrowly won by team 4, team racing at its best. Thanks to all who took part. The over night standings are:

1st – Team 3
Joint 2nd – Teams 2, 4 and 5
5th – Team 1
It’s all to play for on day two!
Rookie Racing
So, after 2 days of practise racing, our intrepid group of sailors new to Virtual Racing lined up (nearly) on the start line at 1700 prompt to compete in the 1st of 9 Regatta races being held over 3 days. Starting gently racing was in the single sail Star. It soon became clear that expertise in an RS400 counted for nothing with notable names out of their customary top fleet position! With everyone’s broadband proving reliable the entire fleet finished within 90 seconds of each other; a great start to the regatta. The only complaint came from the Vice Commodore who claimed to be picking up weed.
Race 2 sorted the fleet out a little with many not spotting the J70 has a spinnaker, resulting in some very slow downwind legs! The Whattsapp messagesprior to the race, with images of wine, beer and gin, may have given clues as to why the 3rd sail was missed!  With only Ross suffering from non payment of broadband another close race was completed.
Race 3 , this time in Off Shore Racers with traditional spinnakers, was the closest of the day producing the 3rd different winner. It has to be noted that the winner was spreading Fake News regarding how to use the spinnaker control…my red flag may be coming out if it happens again.
Apparently Mr Payne had the largest number of penalties and The Queen of Sheba is on the phone to Paintcraft. My best stat is that 86 whattsapp messages were produced during an hours head hurts!
Anyway, that’s the 1st day done, everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and the racers put up a great performance; lets do it all again tomorrow!  


How to enter

Virtual Racing has become a real success story in recent weeks with many club members taking part in club, national and international series. A combination of a little sailing knowledge, some computer game dexterity & a good wifi signal will see you well up the fleet. And some practice!

In place of the traditional Spring Regatta we are running a Virtual Spring Regatta. Racing will take place over 3 days, 23rd-25th May in the early evening. There are fleets for all; junior, experienced, rookies & team racing. The Rookie fleet is ideal for those new to Virtual Racing. Give it a go.

With a top team of race officers: Chloe Willars, Martin Gunn, John Tailby & Tim Cripps setting perfect courses with fair winds at locations around the world what could possibly go wrong! Get involved, enter now.

Racing will take place on:-

Sunday 24th May:-  
– Junior Series Start 1700
– Rooky Series Start  1700
– Experienced Series Start 1800
– Team Racing Series Start 1900

Monday 25th May    
– Junior Series Start 1700
– Rooky Series Start 1700
– Experienced Series Start 1800
– Team Racing Series Start 1900

Races will be ‘opened’ 5 minutes before the start time.
Codes to sign on will be made available via the series Whattsapp group

The organising committee retain the right to amend start times & fleets which may include a separate start for NCSC adopted classes should sufficient entries warrant it. 

To take part you will need use of device connected to the internet (laptop, phone, Ipad) & a phone so you can join a Whatsapp group to receive regatta information.

For free entry please fill in the simple entry form Online entry here

Full Notice of Race NOR here

For those who have yet to try Virtual Racing full details of how to get started can be found on the NCSC website

NCSC Training sessions are run daily for both Juniors & adults. Contact Martin Gunn for juniors only and Chloe Willars for any age who want to participate at 1900 daily. Team racing is also held several times a week, led by John Tailby. Contact myself if you do not have these group leaders contact details or if you would like some additional ‘quieter’ training.

Tim Cripps   

We hope to see you Virtually

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