24th June 2018 race report

Commodore 4

This was a race in which there were zephyrs of wind that flickered and died, often leaving boats that had followed them stranded. The sun beat down and the Race Officer set a beat to Dam Red as first mark. Linda Spiller (Laser Full) was first across the line but then lost momentum. There seemed to be more wind on the Cornwall bank, immediately in front of the Watersports Centre – Robin Spiller (Streaker) and Jane Anderson (Laser Full) opted to follow this, but the breeze then died and left them stranded.  Nathan Pollard (Laser Full) was eventually the first to round Dam Red; Linda Spiller picked up momentum and was second round. Jane Anderson was third.

These three boats continued moving – and were up past Middle and heading for Pinky whilst the bulk of the fleet were still stuck trying to round Dam Red.  For minutes they went nowhere (often backwards or in circles) – Robin Spiller (Streaker) retired at this point – and it took a long while to start moving.

Eventually Nathan Pollard emerged from the invisible part of the course round West White in the lead; Jane Anderson just behind, but Jane had to put in a tack to get back across to Zebra and temporarily fell back a little.

The Wayfarer, with Mike Herbert-Coulson at the helm and Vicki generally nifty with the spinnaker, tried to fly the sail but was unsuccessful and found itself some way back behind the four Lasers that made up the leading quartet.

Of the two Solos, Paul Whybrow’s and Adam Hilton’s, Adam’s had fared better in the start line lottery and was up to, if hardly dicing with, the Wayfarer until one of those wind collapses brought Paul’s boat up and shortly past at the top of the course. Thereafter they were never more than a boat length or two apart; Adam sneaking a ten second lead at the finish.

As the backmarkers started their 2nd lap, the wind seemed to be strengthening slightly and they all kept going, rather than deciding to retire. At the front, Jane Anderson had gained a substantial lead and when the race was shortened to 2 laps after 40 minutes, she crossed the line over two and a half minutes ahead of Nathan Pollard.  Lasers took the first four places on the water and retained them when the handicaps were applied.

By 1pm the wind had more or less died entirely and the last two boats (the Bosun of Brian Pollard & Cilla Gilbert and the Topper of Vicki Duncalf) took around 90 minutes to finish the two laps – a tribute to their determination.


  1. Jane Anderson (Laser Full)
  2. Nathan Pollard (Laser Full)
  3. Penny Abbott (Laser Full)
  4. Linda Spiller (Laser Full)
  5. Adam Hilton (Solo)
  6. Paul Whybrow (Solo)
  7. Mike and Vicci Herbert-Coulson (Wayfarer)
  8. John Dabbs (Gull)
  9. Roger Heasman (Bosun)
  10. Alan Comber and John Weller (Enterprise)
  11. Brian Pollard and Cilla Gilbert (Bosun)
  12. Vicki Duncalf (Topper)

Retired: Robin Spiller (Streaker)


PM: Ladies/Junior/Gents/Gosling 4

The start was delayed because boats needed to be moved in preparation for boat park drainage work and the back markers from the midday race (and the officials) needed time to digest their lunch.  By then the sea breeze had belatedly kicked in to give quite a good north-easterly wind, probably reaching Force 3.  The course was amended to start with a long beat up to Pinky and zig-zags on the way back giving several testing gybes as the windspeed picked up.  Several helms got to the line too early and had to turn back (including Linda Spiller and Adam Hilton)  The best starter was Cilla Gilbert now helming the Bosun, but she lost her early advantage as she didn’t persuade it to point as high as the rest of the fleet. The Wayfarer began just behind – and by contrast – pointed extremely close to the wind. It was soon in lead and first round Pinky at the top of the course.  However there were problems with the spinnaker on the downwind which resulted in only a small lead over the Lasers of Nathan Pollard, Jane Anderson and Penny Abbott at the end of first lap. A lap later, the Wayfarer had a hundred yard lead and the spinnaker reaches were going better.  Of the Lasers, Nathan had an inside overlap on Jane at Dam Green.

As for the Solos, Adam Hilton, though re-starting last, soon regained contact with the fleet and was passing competitors. He was a place behind Paul Whybrow at the end of lap 1 and was able to pass during lap 2. On Lap 3 Nathan Pollard by now had 50 yards lead over featherweight Jane Anderson who was finding the big sail on her Laser a handful in the increased wind. At the end the Wayfarer crossed the line 95 seconds ahead of Nathan Pollard with Jane Anderson finishing over a minute further back. On handicap, first three places went to the first three across the line. But the handicaps moved the Bosun helmed by Sally Wills up to 4th – with Vicki Duncalf and her Topper up into 5th and John Dabbs’ Gull into 6th.


  1. Mike and Viki Herbert-Coulson (Wayfarer)
  2. Nathan Pollard (Laser Full)
  3. Jane Anderson (Laser Full)
  4. Sally Wills and Roger Heasman (Bosun)
  5. Vicki Duncalf (Topper)
  6. John Dabbs (Gull)
  7. Linda Spiller (Laser Full)
  8. Adam Hilton (Solo)
  9. Paul Whybrow (Solo)
  10. Robin Spiller (Streaker)
  11. Penny Abbott (Laser Full)
  12. Alan Comber and John Weller (Enterprise)
  13. Brian Pollard and Cilla Gilbert (Bosun)

Many thanks to John Buckett and Graham Joyce who ran the races and wrote these reports and to Mandy Pollard who took the photos.