The Twins 18th Virtual Birthday


Friday the 24th April was a special day for two of NCSC’s most popular and talented youngsters.

18 years ago Nicola and Jon Willars brought into the world twins Chloe and Jake. In normal circumstances an 18th birthday would be celebrated with mass gatherings of friends and family.  Very likely, for this sailing obsessed duo, a trip to our club for a birthday sail would have been on the agenda. Alas, due to the current restrictions, neither of these options was going to happen.

We couldn’t let the day pass without some kind of recognition for Chloe & Jake.

It was inspired by Sarah & Richard to set up a Zoom call (I hadn’t heard of it either a month ago!) at 1830 to wish them a Happy Birthday. This was to be followed by The Big Birthday Virtual Sailing Regatta.

ZOOM CALL – a few of the 35 participants (courtesy Hillary)

With the expertise of Kathryn the Zoom call opened at 1830. Now it’s fair to say that usual Zoom conference call etiquette was not in evidence! But, who cared? This was a birthday celebration!

At the peak of the call we had around 35 people singing Happy Birthday; not quite in total harmony but if released as a single there is no doubt it would knock Capt. Tom off the No. 1 spot.

It was fascinating to see members in their homes; poor camera angles clearly showed Paul & Caths ceiling needs painting, Adrian & Viv cuddling up on the sofa like teenagers, Boggy relegated to the garden by the glowing Sammy & Sarah, Commodore James looking dashing, John Tailby proving he is the tidiest teenager ever, Georgia & Jo in fits of giggles trying to light candles on a birthday cake, Kathryn trying, and failing, to restore order, Matt, Laura  & family surrounded by chaos, Trustee Paul relaxing in Brown Towers, Isis GONE BLONDE!,  Dave Snutch looking super cool with his headphones, David E, Becca, Eloise, Mandy, Hilary and many more who I’ve missed, sorry.

And, of course, the reluctant stars Chloe & Jake with Nicola, Jon & Holly the dog, surrounded by mountains of cake (New  size wetsuits may be required!)       


Over the past month a growing number of members have been Virtual Racing with Sunday morning and Thursday evening series being set up and run by Chloe & Jake ( with assistance from John Tailby.) Practice racing takes place every day at 1900. Martin Gunn also runs racing for the Youth Squad on a daily basis at 1600.

So, in honour of Chloe & Jake, it was decided to run a special one off regatta.

With a talented field of 18 sailors we chose Aarhus in Denmark to hold the event. Four races to be sailed with best three to count. Each race was to be sailed in a different boat.

With myself acting as race officer and also scorer I felt that I had given myself every chance of winning. Alas, true talent shone through and my dreams of victory vanished. To add an International flavour my brother Nigel, who lives in the USA and has become a Virtual NCSC Member , was one of the entrants.

Race1:- Star Class

It was clear from the off that that too much cake consumption in the Willars household had affected their performance. ‘Jakethecornerbanger’ (Jake) limped in a distant 12th whilst ‘Silverballs’ (Chloe)  performed even worse coming in 14th. Whoops! ‘Robinhud’ (Matt) took an extremely lucky win from ‘Silverthecrew’ (John Tailby) and ‘NCSC’ (me).   Internet issues, the equivalent of terminal capsizes, resulted in D.N.F.s for several competitors.

Race 2:- J70 Class

‘Hibbert’ (Simon) relished the spinnaker work and took a  deserved victory. ‘JTCornerbanger’ looked to have worked off some of the cake (or had he pinned back his hair out of his eyes?) and produced the form we have come expect from him to take a close 2nd. Ominously ‘Robinhud’ stole a 3rd. A notable poor race came from ‘Betty Swollocks’ (Jon Willars) 12th who clearly was not able to cope with a spinnaker

Race 3 : 49er Class

Now these really are quick boats and it’s very clear that the younger your fingers directly relates to how well you do. My theory is borne out as the results came in with a magnificent victory for ‘Silverballsthe crew’, closely followed by ‘Silverballs’(Chloe)Hurrah! , ‘CaptainPiggott’ (Alex) 3rd. , ‘JTCornerbanger’ 4th, ‘Bradley1866’ (Bradley Seaton) 5th. With the exception of Alex who is now very old all the others are 18 or younger. It’s just not fair.

Race 4 ; F50 Class ( Americas Cup Boats)

All to play for. With 3 different race winners so far the Virtual Cup was up for grabs.

With yet another race winner ‘Captain Piggott’, the minor placings would be crucial. A depleted fleet in this race due to exhaustion, or maybe alcohol, saw ‘Robinhud’ sneek a 2nd with ‘JTCornerbanger’ now hitting a golden streak taking 3rd

So, 4 races completed in just under an hour with 4 different race winners! All that remained was to put the results into Sailwave to find the overall winner. It was close, very close. But by just one point ‘Robinhud’ took the regatta and Virtual Cup. 2nd was ‘Silverballsthecrew’ a very popular result for such a well liked sailor, with Birthday boy ‘Jakethecornerbanger’ coming back from his cake hangover to clinch the Virtual Bronze medal.

Thanks to all the competitors and supporters for hopefully giving Chloe & Jake a little something to remember their Virtual 18thBirthday by. We wish them every success for the future and thank them for their amazing support to club members.

Results of Virtual Birthday regatta



For any member wanting to try out the Virtual Sailing there are instructions on the website. Alternatively contact David Eberlin,  TeamWillars, John Tailby, myself or Martin Gunn for juniors.       

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