Boxing Day 2017 race report

Racing on Boxing Day morning has long been the practice at Upper Tamar Lake, if the gods
of wind and weather permit. And when those capricious creatures send the Lake blasts too
icy for sailors, there are always mince pies and chocolate brownies to be consumed and
Christmas news to be swapped. But this year the waters were barely ruffled when the club
members assembled on the shore and a race was quickly devised. Brian and James Pollard
generously offered to man the safety boat and Mandy Pollard agreed to act as race official.
(What would the club do without that family?)

Steve Axford (Laser) slipped across the start line first and at the last moment Adam Hilton
(Solo) had to yield to Nathan Pollard (Laser) who thus started second but misjudged the
second tack of the short beat to Dam Green and allowed the yellow Solo to round the buoy
before him. It wasn’t until the next buoy that the Laser definitively overtook the Solo.
Meanwhile the RS200 helmed by Sue Murray and crewed by Bob Sampson, in theory the
quickest boat on the Lake, had started fifth and was having to make up ground. John Dabbs’
Gull was disposed of by the first buoy, bringing Sue Murray up to fourth. Robin Spiller’s
Streaker got past the Gull too. As usual the legs of the course were too short to get full benefit
from the RS’ spinnaker. After a lap and a half the Solo was put firmly behind but the Pollard
Laser remained out of reach and Steve Axford was serene out front, never challenged for the
The wind was highly variable and from time to time gusty. In particular the gybe at Pinkie
was very tricky. Several sailors took refuge in granny tacks, second placed Nathan Pollard
included. Unfortunately Cilla Gilbert, helming the club’s Bosun with Sally Wills as crew,
didn’t take the cautious route and was up-ended. John Dabbs and his Gull, pleased to have got
on the Boxing Day water but not wanting to deal with excessive wind, retired from the field,
still dry.


1. Steve Axford (Laser)
2. Nathan Pollard (Laser)
3. Sue Murray and Bob Sampson (RS 200)
4. Adam Hilton (Solo)
5. Robin Spiller (Streaker)
John Dabbs (Gull), Cilla Gilbert and Sally Wills (Bosun) rtd

Grateful thanks were given to Brian and James Pollard for manning the safety boat,
particularly in mid-winter when the water is so cold for any capsized sailors. In the end,
Mandy Pollard, Rosy Hilton and Nicky Buckett shared the OOD duties, whilst Mandy also
found time to take the photographs; thanks to them all.

13th August race reports

AM: Tamar Memorial Trophy 6

Light summery westerlies greeted seventeen sailors in fourteen dinghies on a Sunday of respite from the unseasonally strong winds of recent weeks. Several of these helms reached the line early and had to turn back, creating something of a mess on the start line from which emerged Jane Chadney (Laser) and John Buckett (Otter) with Roger Heasman’s Streaker well up and Elliot Pomeroy’s Topper sneaking between the leaders – an indication of things to come. The Bosun led a pack of Lasers with mixed in Rob Spiller’s Streaker, Paul Whybrow’s Solo the Comber/Weller Enterprise and John Dabbs’ Gull. At the end of the lap Jane Chadney led the race with Bob Sampson (Laser) emerging from the fleet to chase her. She held the lead still at the end of the second lap but lost it to Bob at the start of the third. Rob Spiller was third for a lap but was passed by Linda Spiller (Laser) and Graham Joyce (Laser) on lap 2 and Paul Whybrow (Solo) on lap 3. Graham finished a fine race third on the water. At the back of the field Elliot Pomeroy, John Dabbs (Gull) and John Buckett’s Otter circulated serenely, the Pomeroy Topper finishing nearly a quarter of an hour after Bob Sampson. However the handicap reversed all this, making Eliot the winner, John Dabbs third and John Buckett fourth. Of the front runners only the Solo’s handicap gained Paul Whybrow places; he was awarded second.



1. Elliot Pomeroy (Topper)

2. Paul Whybrow (Solo)

3. John Dabbs (Gull)

4. John Buckett (Otter)

5. Robin Spiller (Streaker)

6. Bob Sampson (Laser)

7. Jane Chadney (Laser)

8. Graham Joyce (Laser) 9. Linda Spiller (Laser)

10. Roger Heasman (Streaker)

11. Nathan Pollard (Laser Radial)

12. Alan Comber and John Weller (Enterprise)

13. Cilla Gilbert and Brian Pollard (Tasar)

Adam Hilton and Tim Mansfield (Bosun) rtd

PM: Pursuit 7

The wind had freshened a little and provided very agreeable sailing for the pursuit race. John Duncalf in his Topper started first but was overtaken during the first lap by John Dabbs’ Gull and John Buckett’s Otter. By the end of the second lap positions had changed again with Robin Spiller (Streaker) pulling ahead of John Buckett’s Otter while being closely pursued by Alan Comber’s Enterprise. The Solos of Paul Whybrow and Adam Hilton, which had started at the same time, seemed joined by a short piece of elastic which stretched a little on the beat and brought them together again downwind. They followed Robin without ever seeming likely to catch him but Nathan Pollard, whose Laser had a full sail this time, was catching up right to the end.



1. Robin Spiller (Streaker)

2. Paul Whybrow (Solo)

3. Adam Hilton (Solo)

4. Nathan Pollard (Laser)

5. Jane Chadney (Laser)

6. John Buckett (Otter)

7. Alan Comber and John Weller (Enterprise)

8. Bob Sampson (Laser)

9. Linda Spiller (Laser)

10. Roger Heasman (Streaker)

11. Brian Pollard and Racael Pomeroy (Tasar)

12. John Dabbs (Gull)

13. Elliot Pomeroy (Topper)

14. John Duncalf (Topper)

Grateful thanks were given to Vicki Duncalf for officiating and writing this report and to Mandy Pollard for photos.

9th April 2017 race report

AM: Tamar Memorial Trophy 2

James Pollard (Laser) was the first of fifteen boats over the line in a start which saw
half the fleet start on starboard tack, half on port with resultant conflicts. James was
still leading after the beat to West White in a Force 4 wind with the fleet spread out all
over the middle of the Lake behind him but it was Jane Anderson (Radial) who led
back from the top of the Lake with James, his brother Nathan and Steve Axford in her
wake. The next bunch was led by Robin Spiller who kept an impressive fifth position
throughout and it was a cruel handicap which gave him ninth in the results. Next
came the Brian Pollard/Cilla Gilbert Bosun battling with the Pomeroy family in the
Club’s Wayfarer who also had equipment problems to deal with. Elliot and Rachael
were ahead of the Bosun at the end of lap 2 but down to 10th at the finish. In the
leading group Steve Axford led James Pollard and they pulled away from Nathan in
his Radial. That was the order at the finish with Jane Anderson serene in the lead.
Vicki and John Duncalf sailed a well-run convoy throughout the race while other
boats came and went around them. Their consistent sailing was reflected in the
results. Roger Heasman and Linda Spiller were in fierce contention throughout; the
Officers of the Day unable to separate their times at the finish and John Savage and
Geof Floyd chased each other in their Solos before a contretemps at Inlet caused
them to retire.


1.       Jane Anderson (Laser Radial)
2.       Steve Axford (Laser)
3.       Vicki Duncalf (Topper)
4.       James Pollard (Laser)
5.       John Duncalf (Topper)
6.       Brian Pollard and Cilla Gilbert (Bosun)
7.       Nathan Pollard (Laser Radial)
8.       John Dabbs (Gull)
9.       Robin Spiller (Streaker)
10.      Adam Hilton (Solo)
11.      Roger Heasman (Streaker)
12.      Elliot and Rachael Pomeroy (Wayfarer)
13.      Linda Spiller (Laser)
John Savage (Solo), Geoff Floyd (Solo)  rtd

PM: Commodore’s Cup 2

This time Jane Anderson was the only one of thirteen boats to start on starboard tack
but she was so quickly away that hardly any of the port tackers were disrupted. There
was some push and shove however and Steve Axford ended up doing penalty turns
for touching the Bosun. The Pollard brothers contended for who was to round West
White first; James had the lead at the end of the lap and Jane Anderson had
overtaken Nathan. Adam Hilton capsized his Solo at West White trying to avoid a
starboard Roger Heasman but recovered to ninth at the end of that first lap.  The
Solos ran together for much of the race with John Savage getting past Geoff Floyd
until his capsize and Adam eventually passing Paul Whybrow. The Streakers, Robin
Spiller and Roger Heasman, were also not far apart until Roger capsized at West
White on the last lap. They were hotly pursued by the lone Bosun and the Toppers
again ran together for most of the race.


1.       Jane Anderson (Laser Radial)
2.       James Pollard (Laser)
3.       Steve Axford (Laser)
4.       Vicki Duncalf (Topper)
5.       Brian Pollard and Cilla Gilbert (Bosun)
6.       John Duncalf (Topper)
7.       Nathan Pollard (Laser Radial)
8.       Robin Spiller (Streaker)
9.       Adam Hilton (Solo)
10.      Paul Whybrow (Solo)
11.      Roger Heasman (Streaker)
12.       Geoff Floyd (Solo)
John Savage (Solo) rtd

Many thanks were given to Raily Graham and Jane Chadney, Officers of the Day,
and to Mandy Pollard (photography).

2nd April 2017 race report

AM: Tamar Memorial Trophy 1

Eleven boats took to the water on a beautiful day. The big Wayfarer of Sue Murray
and Bob Sampson dominated a fast starting bunch but they dirtied each other’s wind
and Jane Anderson, to windward in clean air, crossed the line first and reached the
first buoy in that position, followed by Adam Hilton’s Solo, Linda Spiller’s Laser and
Jane Chadney’s Radial. After that the wind disappeared, to make occasional visits in
little wafts and puffs from diverse directions. The first lap took the leader thirty three
minutes and five boats called it a day. On the long run back from up the Lake
towards the dam the wind, when it appeared at all, generally hit the back of the fleet
first and Jane Anderson found herself caught up and even headed on occasion but
she prevailed with Linda Spiller a fine second until at the last Jane Chadney caught
her on the line; the Officer of the Day unable to say who finished ahead. The
handicap, however, gave the Solo second place and Vicki Duncalf’s Topper fourth.


1.       Jane Anderson (Laser Radial)
2.       Adam Hilton, (Solo)
3.       Jane Chadney (Laser Radial)
4.       Vicki Duncalf (Topper)
5.       Linda Spiller (Laser)
6.       Nathan Pollard (Laser 4.7)

Robin Spiller (Streaker), John Savage (Solo), Cilla Gilbert and Brian Pollard (Bosun),
Paul Anderson (Laser) Sue Murray and Bob Sampson (Wayfarer) rtd

PM: Commodore 1

This was a more conventional race with helms being able to rely on some wind to
push their dinghies along and laps taking around a quarter of an hour. Again eleven
boats started but John Buckett’s Otter and Roger Heasman’s Streaker joined Paul
Whybrow as afternoon sailors. Vicki Duncalf was first over the line with Jane
Anderson next. Three Lasers – Nathan Pollard’s now with a full full-sized sail –
contested her lead. Nathan was second for a couple of laps then Jane Chadney took
over. Behind them the two Solos of Paul Whybrow and Adam Hilton raced each
other, Paul ahead on all but the third lap. Robin Spiller’s Streaker ended up in front of
Roger Heasman’s. The handicap took the Solos above all the Lasers except Jane


1.       Jane Anderson (Laser Radial)
2.       Paul Whybrow (Solo)
3.       Adam Hilton (Solo)
4.       Jane Chadney (Laser Radial)
5.       Robin Spiller(Streaker)
6.       Nathan Pollard (Laser)
7.       John Buckett (Otter)
8.       Linda Spiller (Laser)
9.       Roger Heasman (Streaker)
10.   Brian Pollard and Cilla Gilbert (Bosun)
Vicki Duncalf (Topper) rtd

Many thanks were given to John Duncalf, Officer of the Day, and to Mandy Pollard

26th March race report

Early PM: Barnwell 6 Roger Heasman and Robin Spiller’s Streakers and Adam Hilton’s Bosun, crewed by Cilla Gilbert and Brian Pollard, all took to the water on another Sunday of mad March winds, this time a bunch of easterlies, laid on by the wind gods just in case the sailors had learnt how to cope with the previous week’s vicious westerlies. In compensation the sky was blue and the sun warming. All three helms opted for small sails.

In the moments before the start the Bosun was leading towards the line; too early! It had to turn back and Roger Heasman’s Streaker was over first. But in the beat to Dam Green buoy the first evidence of what became a feature of the race was demonstrated – the Bosun, beautifully balanced with its small Otter sails, could sail a lot closer to the wind than the Streakers with their Wave sails. The result was that the Bosun made up all that it had lost by starting so precipitately and rounded Dam Green in the lead. There was then demonstrated a second feature of the race – the Streakers could run and reach a lot faster than the Bosun. Roger Heasman was past the convivial crew in the Bosun well before the next buoy at Inlet and Robin Spiller followed suit before the end of the lap, at which point Robin took over the lead, Roger having gone the wrong side of the finishing line buoy.

Lap 2 saw the Bosun briefly lead Robin’s Streaker but by lap 3 Robin was well ahead. By Lap 4 the winds had increased and were gusting in all directions. This, together with the distortion of wind direction caused by the surrounding hills (the run from Middle to Pinky became a reach and then almost a beat before the buoy was rounded) was making sailing very difficult particularly for the Streakers. The lap saw capsizes by both Streakers, one at the beginning and another towards the end, the wind rapidly drifting Robin’s boat away from him. This gave the Bosun time to sail past and take the win.

Results: 1st. Adam Hilton, Cilla Gilbert and Brian Pollard (Bosun) Robin Spiller (Streaker Wave), rtd; Roger Heasman (Streaker Wave) dsq

Thanks were given to Nathan Pollard and Geoff Floyd, Officers of the Day, to Sue Murray and Bob Sampson (safety boat) and to Mandy Pollard (photography).

19th March 2017 race report

The racing season at Tamar Lake was due to start on 5 March but the weather was too stormy. There was again too much wind on the 12th. So by the 19th there were a few gritty enthusiasts – four in the end, in two Toppers and one two-handed Bosun – who were prepared to ignore forecasts of twenty mile an hour winds with thirty mile an hour gusts. And indeed, on the day, the Lake looked more benign than might have been expected with none of the sinister white horses and evil foamy slicks that the previous Sundays had seen.

Officers of the day Cilla Gilbert and Graham Joyce, counselled by Nicky Buckett, chose a course that kept the fleet away from the further reaches of the Lake; easier, they felt, for the safety boat to get to any trouble quickly. That meant a short course and, with plenty of wind making for fast sailing, five laps were required to give the race a reasonable duration.

Elliot Pomeroy in a Topper had capsized before the start, but that didn’t stop him giving close chase to Nathan Pollard, who had crossed the line first, on the way down to Inlet buoy. Unfortunately Elliot capsized before he got there, leaving the Bosun, with Brian Pollard at the helm and Adam Hilton crewing, to round the buoy a close second. The beat across to Middle buoy was followed by a very broad reach back to Dam Green which the boats took at great speed, the Bosun with a bow wave so high it threatened to fill the boat with water. Fortunately by the time the fleet reached Dam Green the wind had been blanketed by the hill behind and conditions were comparatively moderate for the gybe round the buoy.

Lap 2 saw the boats well spread out, Nathan’s Topper having extended its lead a lot when planing back up the Lake. Lap 3 was more eventful; Elliot went over at the beginning and retired and at the end the Bosun, which had seemed uncertain whether to gybe or granny tack at Dam Green throughout the race, managed to get the rudder one way and the boom the other. A capsize resulted. This was shortly followed by the boat turning turtle and it proved a long and arduous job for the crew and the safety boat team, Paul Anderson and Jane Chadney, to get it upright again and towed, very full of water, to the pontoon.

Not to be left out of all this up-ending, Nathan executed a dry capsize on his 4th lap but went on to cross the finish line after 35 eventful minutes of racing, first, alone and serene.

1st. Nathan Pollard (Topper)

Retired: Eliot Pomeroy (Topper), Brian Pollard, Adam Hilton (Bosun)

Thanks were given to Paul Anderson and Jane Chadney (safety boat) and to Cilla Gilbert and Graham Joyce (Officers of the day)

Many thanks to Mandy Pollard for the pictures.