9th September 2018 race report

Commodore 7


Fourteen boats entered the race on a day of sun and cloud with strong westerly winds promised. It was not easy to decide what boat or sail to choose for the conditions; there was at times very little wind at the Dam but lots of it in the middle of the Lake. Three Laser helms chose full size sails, one chose a Radial and three chose 4.7s. In the event Jane Anderson’s 4.7 was first over the start line followed by Sue Murray’s similarly equipped Laser and Bob Sampson’s Full. But it was Bob Sampson who took the lead and held it, fighting off Nathan Pollard in another big sailed Laser. Mike and Viki Herbert-Coulson’s pretty blue/green Wayfarer, after a disappointing start, worked its way up to third place on the water and retained it after handicapping. The Bosun battle was won by Jane Chadney (John Dabbs crewing). Her boat was the first non-Laser to round Zebra and then Inlet and she finished three minutes ahead of the sister Bosun of Toby Tobias and Sally Wills. The promised Streaker/Solo battle was ruined when Adam Hilton capsized at Middle on the first lap, Robin Spiller’s Streaker finishing over two minutes ahead. In the end the size of the sail on the Lasers did make a difference. On the water the boats finished more or less in order of sail size, although Jane Anderson’s 4.7 was fourth, half a minute ahead of Linda Spiller’s Radial. The handicap gave Jane the victory and tossed Linda three places down the order.


1.      Jane Anderson (Laser 4.7)

2.      Bob Sampson (Laser Full)

3.      Mike and Viki Herbert-Coulson (Wayfarer)

4.      Nathan Pollard (Laser Full)

5.      Sue Murray (Laser 4.7)

6.      Jane Chadney and John Dabbs (Bosun)

7.      Penny Abbott (Laser 4.7)

8.      Linda Spiller (Laser Radial)

9.      Toby Tobias and Sally Wills (Bosun)

10.   Robin Spiller (Streaker)

11.   Adam Hilton (Solo)

12.   Alan Comber and John Weller (Enterprise)

Retired Steve Axford (Laser Full), John Savage (Otter)




Toby Tobias’ Bosun (Sally Wills crewing) was first to start and managed to stay at the front for half the race. He was followed after three minutes by John Dabbs, helming the Club’s Bosun with Jane Chadney now crewing; they had only given up one place by half time.  But then the Lasers began to dominate. The  4.7 of Penny Abbott, which had started fourth, got to the front and stayed there; the Full of Steve Axford roared through the fleet from tenth to second closely followed by Bob Sampson’s sister Laser. The Solo and the Streaker, which started a minute apart fifth and sixth, ended up eighth and ninth, having been overwhelmed by the fleet of Lasers. The wind continued to serve up massive gusts and capsizes were plentiful.


1.      Penny Abbott (Laser 4.7)

2.      Steve Axford (Laser Full)

3.      Bob Sampson (Laser Full)

4.      Nathan Pollard (Laser Full)

5.      Toby Tobias and Sally Wills (Bosun)

6.      John Dabbs and Jane Chadney (Bosun)

7.      Jane Anderson (Laser 4.7)

8.      Adam Hilton (Solo)

9.      Robin Spiller (Streaker)

10.   John Weller and Alan Comber (Enterprise)

11.   Mike and Viki Herbert-Coulson (Wayfarer)

12.   Linda Spiller (Laser Radial)


Many thanks to Cilla Gilbert and Brian Pollard who were the race officers and to Mandy Pollard who took the photographs.