Lawling Tankard

26th June 2016
Today’s race was again in the late afternoon, due to the evening tide. The weather was fine about 21°C, a force 4 gusting 5 was blowing from the West & as a bonus the sun was shining, so we had to break out the sunny’s!

The fleet seemed to be mainly made up of Laser Radials, with one full rig Laser, a couple of Solos & an OK. No fast handicap boats were out to play this time, so the course was kept inside Lawling Creek, quite apt really.

The course                                                       

Bay(S), 4(S), Mayland Creek(S), 6(S), N.Shore(P), 3(S), Bay(P), Jetty(P), N.Shore(P), 3(S), Bay(P), Jetty(P).

The race                                                  

Keith (Radial) & Malcolm X (Solo) got a blinding start & were the first two boats to Bay buoy. Richard (Solo) managed to snap his toe straps & fell out of his boat backwards, taking his tiller extension with him…opps. Heading out to Mayland Creek buoy Vicki (Radial), Martin (Radial) & Malcolm X (Solo), who were rafted together, hatched a plan to let Keith (Radial) & Mark O(Laser) sail past the buoy as neither seemed to know what buoy they were heading too! At the last minute the tricky trio headed up to the correct buoy, meaning the leading boats had to head back a bit…teehee. After rounding #6, it was a beat back up the river. Martin (Radial) managed to do his magic & took the lead, going for speed in the tide rather than pointing high, it seemed to work! Keith (Radial) managed to stay in 2nd, with Vicki taking up 3rd position. These positions never changed, the boats getting stretched out as the race progressed to it conclusion.

A good race was had by all & it was nice to see some of the elder statesmen of the club out for the race, Ted & Kenny in their Laser Radials & Ronnie in his OK!

Here’s looking forward to the next race.

Martin Tarling.

Barbeque Race

11th June 2016

Due to a late tide time, this was a late afternoon race. Things didn’t look too good weather wise either, very light winds & rain!

Therefore we only had 4 takers, luckily all Lasers.

Half hour before the start there was hardly a breath of wind. It then switched direction 180°, but still very light. The heavens then opened & everyone scuttled for cover up on the veranda. The noise was deafening as the rain turned to hail! This killed what little wind completely & it looked like the race would be off.

When the rain subsided the wind returned with a gentle breeze from the SW. Great we thought, we’ll get a nice leisurely meander around the river. The race officer even shortened the course, taking out Lawling buoy, as the wind was dropping again.

So the course was set as 3P, 4S, N. Shore S, Bay P, Jetty P, three times round.


Just before the start sequence the wind went mad, gusting wildly up to 17 Knots!!!



Unperturbed the daring quartet lined up for the start. Reaching off the line like a scalded cat, Vicki in her Radial took a flyer, leaving the macho men in full rigs in her wake! Reaching #3 buoy the pursuing pack of Martin, Malcolm & Chris were closing in. It was a very tight reach across to #4 & Martin with the superior power of the larger rig, managed to catch Vicki & on the run up to North Shore, got past, taking the lead. Gybing round N. Shore, it was then a beat to Bay. Malcolm managed to catch & pass Vicki on this leg. The wind had dropped off again & the Radial just lacked the speed of the full rig on the beat. Rounding Bay, it was a run (by the lee) to Jetty buoy. One lap complete, two more to do.

So it was Martin in the lead, Malcolm in second, Vicki in third & Chris bringing up the rear. Two more slow laps followed, as the wind gradually died. After plenty of weed clearing these were completed & the order hadn’t changed. The fleet just got more & more spread out. Chris had had enough & threw in the towel at the end of the second lap. (He did well, as normally he doesn’t race, preferring to potter around the river at his own pace).

We all agreed it was worth the effort in the end, all enjoying our own little battles with each other & the dreaded weed!


Thanks to Clive in the race box, Sam & Ian manning the rescue rib & most importantly Sylvia for the hot beverages.


See you next time….

Martin Tarling

Two Island Race

28th May 2016

Due to very light winds on Sunday 22nd May, the race was abandoned & rearranged to be run the following Saturday, late in the afternoon.

E-mails were sent & the masses responded. Keith Fedi even managed to arrive in time, flying in from his hols only a couple of hours before the start.

The start was at about 4pm, so lunch had time to settle (very civilised). The sun was shining & a very pleasant force 2/3 was blowing from the East.

Live weather feed from the club.

The rescue boats, galley & sailors had all been arranged, unfortunately nobody had thought about having a Race Officer! Luckily Clive Tarling gave up his days sailing to save the day. Many thanks Clive.

The course was set, Osea Island to port, North & South Doubles (as a gate), Northey Island to Starboard, Club line finish. Nice & simple!


Course Map.

There was quite a menagerie of boats lined up on the line, all speeds & abilities. It was a clean & closely contended start, with the boats beating against the tide, out towards Osea Island.

Mark & Tony (Fireball) took the lead & headed up the right hand side of the creek towards Stansgate & then headed over to the tip of Osea Island, on a reach, hopefully to power though the strong tide, followed by most of the fleet.

Abbey & Marcus (Hobie Dragoon) & Keith & Hayden (N12) headed over to the left side to Mundon point & then headed straight over to the shore of Osea Island to hug the shore & keep out of the tide.

All came together again at the tip of Osea, so there was no advantage to either route!

Martin (Laser) had a good close battle with Malcolm (Aero 7) & Keith (D-Zero) on the beat out, ending up between the two of them as the tip of Osea was rounded.

It was a long & sloppy run down the North shore of the island. The N12 of Keith & Hayden managed to run aground several times, it’s surprizing how shallow it is on that side of the island.

Abbey & Marcus (Hobie Dragoon) disappeared over to Goldhanger shore (thought they were going for a pint!) as having an asymmetric kite, have to sail the angles & travel twice as far as the rest, but a lot faster!

It wasn’t long before the fleet reached the west end of Osea & tightened up the sails for the reach across to the gate of N & S Doubles buoys. There was plenty of weed out in the river & people were observed to be frequently lifting boards & rudders to clear them! It was then back on to a run to go down the South side of Northey Island towards Maldon (tempting to pop in for an ice cream!).

On rounding the SW corner Keith & Hayden (N12) managed to clout the causeway with their rudder (ouch) & had to do the rest of the race with it half up!

It was a shifty beat/tight reach past Heybridge Basin. Round the North corner of Northey it became a beat back towards Osea Island.

By now the fleet was well spread out, as we had been racing for well over an hour & a half. Martin (Laser) & Keith (D-Zero) were still having a close battle. Leaving Northey Island behind, they split tacks, Keith (D-Zero) opting to go left over to Osea Island & Martin (Laser) heading right over to the far shore. After tacking again they met up again by Coopers Buoy! It was then a tacking duel up to Mundon Point to get back into Lawing Creek.

It was then a run/reach back up to the club line & finish. A welcome sight after two ‘n’ a half hours! Keith (D-Zero) managed to pull out about a 50 yard lead on Martin (Laser) & beat him to the line.

Back in the dinghy park people were chatting about their race.

Vicki (Laser Radial) saying “how lonely it had been”.

Richard & Mark (Solos), “Mark was faster upwind & Richard kept catching up downwind, maybe Richards superior weight helped with momentum in the lulls”.

My favourite was from Mark Batt, “Bloody Martin Tarling, won that by a mile…bastard”…haha.

It was good to hear everyone had seemed to enjoy the race, apart from Malcolm X who hated every minute of it…lol.

Thanks to Keith, Jackie, Sam & Tony who manned the rescue boats & Jenny for sorting out the galley at the last minute.


Martin Tarling.

Spring Points 3 (2016) & Handicap 1.3

What a great sail on Sunday, steady Northerly Force 5 with regular gusts - No chance of us easing our way into the sailing season this year!

Two races with identical courses of Bay, 3, 4, Steeple, Doctor, Cooper, Lawling Creek, North Shore, 3, jetty, Bay, 4, 3 finish.

The long close reach out of the Creek on both races was a killer for the forearms and had one side of the face frozen solid, followed by a tough beat to Doctor. The reward was a screaming reach to Cooper. I don't remember most of it as I closed my eyes and prayed.

I've no idea how we didn't capsize, but Martin wasnt so lucky, even managing to get his mast stuck in the mud at Cooper. Who knew it was so shallow?!

For the wildlife enthusiasts, there were seal's regularly watching and wondering what possessed us to go out in such cold conditions.

The run from Doctor to Lawling creek gave a great opportunity to surf the waves, followed by a long reach back into the Creek and a triangle finish.

Keith and I did our best to keep Mark and Tony honest, never drifting too far behind but unable to stay ahead after a good start in the second race.

Hopefully the next racing Weekend will see warmer temperatures.

Well done to Mark/Tony on the win and to Lawrence, Martin, Marcus and Abbey for making a great days sailing.

And finally, thanks to the rescue boat who had to brave the cold conditions and without whom, we would have missed the highlight of the day...

Some of the club came down to help pull the rescue boat in. Ian decided to give the boat a little kick to help it into position..only to lose his balance and fall slow-motion-style backwards into the river. His face was one of shock/embarrassment/regret. He did well to keep his glasses in position and once out made a slight adjustment to his tie, James bond-esque before a rush to the warm showers.

There's always something to make you laugh on a race day!!!

See you all soon.

Mike Bryant

Spring Points 2 (2016)

Sunday 10th April

Due to a program error, there was a one hour delay, so racing started at 2pm…Doh!
(Even so, half the fleet was still launching during the start sequence!!)

There was quite a small turn out, so everybody was set the same course & started as one.

The sun was shining but the wind had quite a chill to it, blowing from the South & slowly turning Easterly force 4-5 with some vicious gusts. It was quite challenging conditions.

It was a reaching start out to #4, then a beat out to Steeple, which happened to be missing, so a yellow speed marker buoy was chosen by Mark & Tony (Fireball) as they were in the lead. Martin (Laser Radial) had a good beat, keeping ahead of the full rig Lasers & gaining on Keith (D-Zero). The fleet then had a lumpy reach over to Doctor. The chop was building & with the gusts it was quite a hairy ride! (Woohoo riddem cowboy!!) we then headed off to Coopers, which started off as a run & then turned into a reach? It was back to Steeple next, a bumpy beat against the tide. Mike & his brother (sorry don’t know his name)(Fireball) had an eventful beat…hehe. Whilst flat out on the wire, the crew suddenly felt very wet, couldn’t see or breathe, until he realised he was under water! The trapeze wire had gone ping & the boat had gone over. After recovery they had to hike their Fireball up the rest of the beat, now they know how us Laser guys suffer! Luckily once rounding Steeple it was a run back up to #4, then a tight reach to Bay. Jetty buoy was next, then a lap of the bay #3, #4, Bay, Jetty to finish, for good measure.

A good, hard race was enjoyed by all & because we are all old gits, we were too knackered to do a second race, so it was cancelled!

Just for good measure & because nobody saw their first capsize, Mike & crew decided to do an encore right outside the club & to prolong the show, firmly embedded their mast in the mud! Nice one, we did enjoy it from the warmth of the club house…lol.

Martin Tarling.

MBSC Winter Series Races 5 & 6

Sunday 24th January 2016

The weather forecast wasn’t looking too promising, F4 gusting 6’s, but as it turned out, we had low F4 gusting 5’s from the South with sunshine & 14ºC, result!

Ten boats ventured out, (3 fireballs, 2 Lasers, Laser Radial, 505, Supernova, Hobie Dragoon & a Lark), for a fine days sailing.

Race 5

We all got off to a good start, some people a little confused by the 6, 3, go sequence (Neil…haha). A short beat up to #0, then a short reach across to #1 followed by another reach to Spit. This led onto a run out of the river to #3. By this time the fast fleet had left us behind, with their extra sail power.

In the medium fleet it was quite close. We reached to N. Shore & then a “by the lee” run down to Mayland Creek #4 buoy. Neil (Laser) was now in the lead followed by Phil (Supernova), then a small gap to Martin (Radial) & Clive (Laser). Neil rounded the buoy the wrong way, followed by Phil! (Baa). When we got to the buoy, I consulted with Clive about the course & then made them aware of their error. (Kind aren’t we)! Neil went back to re-round only to hit the mark, oh dear…haha.

On our way back up to #4 I noticed one of the Fireballs (Mike & Keith) was retiring. Turned out they had broken their Kicking Strap. (Game over).

It was a lumpy beat to #4, wind against tide. Martin managed to pull out a bit of a lead, the smaller Radial sail seeming to be an advantage in the gusty conditions, sail pulling a better shape rather than feathering to depower. After #4 it was a screaming reach to #3, for Martin anyway, nobody else seemed to get the gust he got on that leg!

A slog of a beat up to Bay & then a “by the lee” run back out to #3. As Neil (Laser) rounded Bay, he found he had a knot in his main sheet & couldn’t bear away, disappearing further into the bay, (not his day). Just before Martin (Radial) got to #3 a giant gust hit, forcing him to go a fair way past the mark (gybing in that gust, you must be joking!!!), before gybing & reaching back to the buoy. Clive (Laser) got hit by the same gust & rolled into windward, oops!

It was then another beat up to #2 & across the finish line.

Abbey & Marcus (Hobie Dragoon) managed to capsize their cat out by #3. It turns out Marcus must of eaten all the pies over Christmas as the trapeze wire failed! (Game Over for them too).

Between races people pulled their boats up onto the beach, some further than others! Martin’s Laser decided to go for a sail on its own. Martin had to swim out to his boat which seemed to not want to be caught! Luckily the water wasn’t too cold & the action of swimming quite warming.(Doh!)

Race 6

The same course was used for race 6. The wind had dropped slightly & the gusts were less vicious. The water was also a lot smoother as the tide had turned.

Another good clean start for all. Neil (Laser) took the lead in the medium class never to be caught, sailing a good race with not many mistakes this time. Martin (Radial) tried all he could to catch up, but just didn’t have the speed.

On the last beat back from #3, Martin (Radial) was surprised to have two Fireballs close tacking inside him up the bank by HBSC (not a sight you often see) & getting caught amongst them by the marina. Martin said, “I tried to keep out of their way as I didn’t want to spoil their ding-dong battle, but when I got in amongst the pontoons I knew I had to tack!”


What a brilliant days sailing enjoyed by all.

Well that concluded the Winter series which we never thought we were ever going to get to sail. Races 1&2 thick fog & no wind, 3&4 blowing a gale, 5&6 the same. Only races 7&8 were sailed on the proper date & they were a drift-a-thon!

Series winners

Fast handicap - Mickey Wright / Malcolm Hutchins & Ian Simons (Fireball) RCYC

Medium handicap - Martin Tarling (Laser Radial) HBSC


Many thanks to MBSC for laying on the series & hopefully more boats will join us next year.

For results see -


Martin Tarling

Blackwater Icicle 2016

Please click here to see the Blackwater Icicle race report by Martin Tarling.