Newsletter May 2020

Hi All,


I hope everyone is keeping well
As you would expect there's not a lot new to talk about given the current circumstances but here's a few updates.

We continue to follow the RYA guidance which is based upon that issued by the government.  We would all of course like to go sailing but until advised otherwise we need to avoid doing so.  As such we do not anticipate being able to open the club and hold any racing in the near future however rest assured that as soon as we are advised that it would be ok to do so within government guidelines we will do so.  We're discussing many theoretical options at this stage which may mean things down at the club cannot be the same as "normal" when we can go sailing again but we will have to see how advice progresses before issuing any details.

Maylandsea Bay Week - 16th to 21st August
Planning for MBW20 is in progress. The committee (Rob Gray, Joe Raven, Rob Giles, Phil Spillane, Vicky & Celie Broomfield, Paul & Sally Gray) are holding regular Zoom meetings, as of course we are not yet allowed to meet in person. We don’t know what social distancing restrictions will be in place by mid August, but we are hoping that we will be able to run the event in the usual way. The theme this year will be “Events that didn’t happen due to Coronavirus”. The format of the week will be familiar to those who have enjoyed the week in previous years, although there may be some surprises, and maybe the return of some items by popular demand. We will, adapt our plans in line with government guidance if necessary
We will delay sending out entry forms until we are more certain that the week will be allowed to go ahead, but in the meantime it would really help our planning if you could let us know if you plan to attend, or you plan not to attend, or perhaps that you will attend if your exotic foreign holiday gets cancelled. Please let any of the committee know your intentions or add a post to the Club Facebook page.
So don’t forget to put the dates in your diary. Something to look forward to!
As per my emails a few weeks ago a number of us have been regularly e-sailing twice a week and the April series consisting of 24 races have now finished. Congratulations to Simon Evance who scored the most points and as a bonus will represent the club in the regional finals of the RYA E-sailing Spring Championship. The scoring is derived by the game and there are no discards so it's important that everyone turns up regularly.  The May series kicks off Sunday evening at 7pm.
Look after yourselves and stay safe.
The Committee


Covid - 19 (Update 5th. April)

Following on from the government advice on Monday 16th March 2020, and in consultation with Harlow (Blackwater) Sailing Club, the committee have decided to postpone the start of the sailing programme this season.


We know that everyone is missing sailing but we can confirm that the club will need to remain closed until further notice in order to adhere to the directives of HM Government in relation to Coronavirus.


We will of course keep you informed through the usual channels.

Read the  Newsletter May 2020


The Committee

Frank Levy.


It is with great sadness that we have to inform our members of Franks death on Sunday 15th March 2020.

We send our deepest sympathies to his wife Doreen and the family Julie, Peter, Stephanie, Freddie and Paul.

Frank joined the Club in 1980 sailing a Fireball and then in later years joining the Sandhopper fleet with S40 after a short dalliance with a Squib. He was a very competitive racer using his natural precision and tidiness to frequently steel a lead just when you were not expecting it.

Not only was he an enthusiastic sailor he was one of the members without whom the club could not function. He could be regularly found working using his skills to make and mend all the bits we take for granted.

We will miss you Frank.

S40Frank Levy

Newsletter October 2019

Hi All,
Please see below news and details of events in relation to the club or its members.
Kestrel & Hornet open - Saturday 12th & Sunday 13th October

If you're not taking part you're still welcome to come down and spectate.  I number of people will be camping so why not join them in the bar for a drink and a takeaway.

In the Red Shorts - A Summer of Learning and Staying in Control

Katherine and I have now owned Kestrel 1605 for 4 years and this was our third MBweek in the boat. I think that this our third week without a capsize – either we aren’t trying hard enough or we are making progress. I am told keeping the boat under the sails is always a good idea. MBW18 was relatively light conditions but the Tuesday and Wednesday of MBW19 were really challenging with force 5+ winds. Through conservative sailing we kept the boat upright, went with the gusts and regularly eased the sails to stay upright - a flat boat is a fast boat – a boat on its side is slow. Other far more accomplished Kestrel sailors went for a swim but still finished ahead of us - they are so much faster when upright!!

With 4 Kestrels sailing, time was spent in the dinghy park measuring key dimensions and tensions. It is not always easy to understand what is going on and how it effects performance on the water. Using a Kestrel tuning guide and working with the others helps. Accepting that the mast is a flexible metal pole which can be bent and realising that the sail is cut to form a curved triangular shape which can be pulled in different directions helps. Bending the mast will also change the sail shape. My basic rule up wind is that if you can’t keep the boat flat pull everything on the main tight. If you still can’t keep it flat with your weight out ease slightly. I saw a presentation at the dinghy show where the expert suggested that for max speed you need to be sailing on the edge of your sail setting and your crew weight. If the boat is easy to sail it sort of makes sense(to me) that the boat will not be fast.

As helm I did most of the measuring and settings but an important area for the crew is jib sheet position which controls the width of the gap between the jib and the back of the main sail. It all gets a bit “aerodynamicy” in this area, but how do you know where to set the jib on a beat? Ask Sally Gray. On our Kestrels the jib has a small woolly tell tale on the back edge of the sail - pull the jib in until this tell tale starts to lift but no more. The other feature on the Kestrel is a window high up on the main which allows the crew to see the tell tale - other boats don’t have this helpful feature.

I like to think I have learnt more about the boat this summer than before but I am still prone to errors, coming ashore thinking why didn't I do that or why did I do that....but we didn’t swim!!

A lot of how the boat performs on the water happens ashore in the dinghy park, which is why on our training days we do suggest adjusting the outhaul and the kicker - the change on Pico may not be as pronounced as it is on a Kestrel, but the controls do make a difference.

We managed to fit in a training regatta day in mid September. With a variety of races everybody sailed really well and people were under control most of the time. There was a big wind shift part way through which confused some, especially as the instructors had suggested where the beat was - pesky wind shifting around. Thanks to all those who have helped out this year.

After the training regatta 9 MBSC boats took part in the annual Bart's Bash charity race round Osea Island. It was a long slow race with many of the 60 starters heading home early. The kids decided we should take “ln the Red” and between Beth and Danny they steered around 3 quarters of the course.  Whilst 4 MBSC Kestrels were competing in the nationals in North Wales we went to Croatia - the kids trying out Lasers in albeit light conditions - Picos now seem so slow!!

I hope you all had a great summer and there is plenty of sailing to look forward too.


Commodore and Helm of “In the Red” – Kestrel 1605

Winter Series

The winter series takes part over four Sundays during October, November & December, commencing Sunday 27th October.  Full details are in the programme.  Get the dates in the diary and come and join us and others from other clubs for this great series.


The Not So Secret Seven and Sid (the dog) Go To Mersea


On Sunday 25th August with a distinct lack of wind seven of us met at the club around 8.00 a.m. to prepare for our cruise to Mersea island. With the wind speed measuring 0 mph at this point we pressed on gallantly (or foolishly) and with high tide having passed at 7.30 was imperative that we set sail.  Despite our best efforts time evaporated and with the wind now blowing at an impressive 1 mph we eventually set off at 8.50 a.m. with the tide receding quickly.  The next hour was spent making the uneasy journey up the creek as we all hoped to make the deep water of the river before the creek ran out of volume.


What followed was a painfully slow sail towards Mersea until finally on the last stretch the wind filled in and we were able to do some proper sailing.  Leading the way in their GP14 were Vicky & Richard which you can’t say often (if at all) who proceeded to lead everyone to a safe landing on shore.  All was well until someone pointed out that the houses were a little distant and the sudden realism that we’d landed on the wrong side of the King’s Hard dawned. With a combination of boat walking and short ferry trips with the rescue boat the dinghy sailors managed to get to the correct side of the water with Liz providing a lift to Phil, Geoffrey and Sid who had no choice other than to leave Sandy further out.


Things calmed down after this and we all trekked off to The Victory for lunch and beverages with Craig being joined by the family who’d sensibly driven.  Large ice creams followed for some as we headed back to the beach to wait for the returning tide before setting sail for Maylandsea in reasonable wind with Craig being the first to land back at the club shortly after 6.00 p.m.


What started out as probably a foolish idea considering the 0 mph winds turned into a very pleasant day in gorgeous summer sunshine.  We hope to see more people joining us next year.


Special thanks goes to Liz for shepherding us there and back in the rescue boat.

MBSC's 'Evolution' ties up 2019 BJRC IRC Class with one race to spare - Thanks to Kevin Whittle for this report

After a false start to the 2019 BJRC (Blackwater Joint Racing Committee) Cruiser Racing series when April's first race was blown off, 'Evolution' took two wins in the IRC class in May in what was to become a 'head to head' series battle with Marconi S C 'Blue Moon'.

'Evolution', 2018 champions in both (LH) Local Handicap and IRC classes, and now sailing with a 'challenging' rating in the former, posted mid fleet results in LH early on before improving to a 4th and a 5th in the June races.
Going into the summer break, and with another race lost to the storms, Maldon Little Ship Club 'Playboys' was leading the LH fleet. 'Evolution' was just ahead of 'Blue Moon' in IRC.
The two September races gave more strong results for 'Playboys' and 'Evolution', securing  their overall series positions with one race to spare  (the postponed Blackwater Cup on Sunday October 6th).
Races this year nearly always started with light winds, rarely building to anything above 20 knots, and the bigger boats would have preferred more of a blow now and then. Courses took us out to Bench Head, the Knoll and Wallet Spitway, as well as up the Colne. A great series as usual, with 28 boats registered and a strong turn-out most weekends.
Congratulations to Tommy Mills and his crew on their Sonata 'Playboys' for an extremely accomplished performance to succeed 'Evolution' as 2019 BJRC champions.
MBSC's 'Evolution' crew this year was Eric (owner/boss/pit), Matt (helm), Alex (nav/foredeck), Tim (mast/foredeck as well) and me (trim/tactics/food). (Well that's our roles in theory anyway). IRC champs for the second year running!

Prize Giving Dinner - Saturday 30th November

Another date for your diary, details will be emailed out soon.

That's all for now

The Committee

MBW 2019 Planets Maylandsea Bay Week 2019

29th July - 2nd. August 2019


Full details and application form now available here MBW 2019.

Newsletter March 2019.

Newsletter now available online here MBSC Newsletter May 2019


Socials Calendar 2019

May Day Weekender- 4th to 6th May. Read the May Newsletter for full details.


See details of this years social calendar here. Social Newsletter April 2019