GP14 Classic & Vintage open meeting, 18 April 2015

Light winds and willow trees on the River Ouse

The Round Holes Trophy was up for grabs again. With last year’s winner Duncan Greenhalgh prevented by injury from defending his title, the field was wide open for the second running of the York R I Sailing Club GP14 Classic & Vintage Open Meeting on Saturday 18 April. In GP14 terms, ‘Classic and Vintage’ means Series 1 boats, specifically boats lacking underfloor buoyancy, and more loosely defined as boats with round holes in their transoms – all at least 20 years old, and some considerably older.

YRISC april 2015 KS 1Racing on the River Ouse in spring, with the weeping willows along the riverbank just coming into leaf, the swans and ducks preparing for a busy breeding season, newly arrived swallows swooping low over the water, bright sunshine and (with luck) steady breezes – what could be better?

Three back-to-back races were expertly run by race officers Peter Craggs and Phil Nelson, for five local boats and two visitors – which sounds like a small turnout, but seven boats on the start line at this restricted venue is quite a crowd. Conditions were normal for the river – in other words, the wind was up and down, not to mention round and round, and it was a real test of light-wind sailing skills. After five laps of the course, the first race ended with four boats more or less neck and neck, with the lead changing several times within the last few boat lengths until visiting helmsman Peter Dewhurst popped out of the pack to cross the line first, just ahead of the other visiting boat, helmed by Iain Hardy and crewed by Arthur Logan.

YRISC april 2015 NM 1Two further races, more fickle winds, but good sailing when the wind blew strongly. It’s a funny place to sail, thanks not just to the variable wind but also to a wide range of obstacles to be negotiated, from passing motor cruisers to floating logs (which can display about the same level of control over their speed and direction), to overhanging trees, and a rather large bridge. Not many people manage to hit the bridge, but at least one of today’s races was punctuated by a loud ‘clang’, followed by a few other noises that are not fit to print here – and Terry will be relieved to hear that we won’t print the name of the sailor involved, either. When the wind drops, drifting into a tree and getting stuck on the bank is common enough, but we have no previous record of anyone sailing full-tilt, spinnaker flying, into the centre of a willow tree. And I do not wish to embarrass the sailor in question by mentioning the name of Steve Parry.

After the racing, cake. And the presentation of the prizes. This year’s winner was Peter Dewhurst of Burwain SC, ably crewed by Jens Kuhn from the host club. We are very grateful to our visitors – four sailors and two boats – for supporting this relatively new fixture on the GP14 racing calendar, and we look forward to welcoming more visitors in 2016.

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April 2015 e-news

This month’s unmissable events:

GP14 Classic/Vintage open meeting, Saturday 18 April

Yes, Saturday (not Sunday). Following last year’s successful open meeting … All GP14 sailors (plus anyone else who wants to have a go) are strongly encouraged to come and compete for the Round Holes Trophy. We are expecting some visitors from other clubs as well. Three back-to-back races, with the first warning signal at 11.57 (meaning that you really need to be there by 11.00). If you can come, please do – and please BRING CAKE for the post-racing celebrations.

OPEN DAY, Sunday 26 April

We will be eagerly expecting a flood of visitors from 11.00 a.m. until 3.00 p.m. As ever, we need friendly faces for meeting and greeting duties, plus people to sail, and perhaps take visitors out for a sail. In advance, we also need ALL MEMBERS to find a few places to display the poster – which has been sent to you in a separate email.

Cleaning session, Thursday 16 April

In advance of the above two events, we need to spruce the place up a bit. So can as many members as possible please come down on Thursday evening, 16 April, for a short session of mopping, sweeping and tidying? Report (with or without mop and bucket) at (or as near as possible to) 7.00 p.m.

Other issues:

  • KEYS – Do you have a set of keys to the club compound and clubhouse? If so, could you please let us know. Or do you need some keys? Please tell us!
  • SOCIAL MEDIA – Does any member fancy helping to increase our profile on Facebook and Twitter? No experience necessary – just an eye for the quirky, curious and newsworthy. Please contact us:
  • MEMBERSHIP RENEWALS – If you haven’t already done so, please do so! Form available on the web at

Finally, Andrew Stephenson is assembling the May newsletter and would welcome contributions on any topic, no matter how tenuous the relevance to YRISC, and no matter how flimsy the story. Deadline Monday 27 April.

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Open meeting: Classic and Vintage GP14s

Classic GP14 open posterDATE: Saturday 1 April 2015
PLACE: York RI Sailing Club
TIME: First warning signal 11:57
WHO: All classic and vintage GP14s

  • Classic means a boat without underfloor buoyancy sailing with full rig (main, genoa and spinnaker)
  • A Vintage boat is one sailing with mainsail and jib only, using wooden spars

Notice of Race
Further details from

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January 2015 e-News

Happy new year to all YRISC members!

Wednesday 21 January

‘Wednesday evening sailing’ will take place at the Tap and Spile in Monkgate on Wednesday 21 January. Do come along for a noggin and a natter from 7.30 pm.


Do not forget the AGM, which will be held at the RI HQ in Queen Street on Friday 13 February at 7.30 pm. The formal notice and papers will be issued soon.


The Annual Quiz night is an event not to be missed too. This year we are holding it on Wednesday 25 February at the Marcia Inn in Bishopthorpe and the cost will be £7.50 per head to cover the buffet meal and prizes. Phil Green will be the quizmaster, assisted by Heather, so mug up on horses and financial management! Please come and support the event (7.30 pm) and book your place by emailing Steve Parry (

Newsletter – contributions wanted!

Finally, Andrew Stephenson is assembling the January newsletter and would welcome contributions (

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October 2014 e-News

Annual Dinner, Friday 28 November

Lady Anne Middleton’s Hotel, 7.30 for 8.00 pm. Don’t miss out on the social highlight of the year. Come and see which trophies you have won. Enjoy good food (especially the puddings, apparently), good company, an entertaining speech by the commodore, and an unmissable raffle. The cost is just £25 a head. Put it in your diary now.


If you have not yet done so, please make sure to return all trophies to Peter Craggs within the next week, so that they can be handed out to the new winners at the dinner.

End-of-Season Meeting, Tuesday 9 December

The usual pre-Christmas get-together, combined with a discussion about next year’s sailing programme. Jot it down in your diary now. The date has been fixed, but the venue hasn’t.


The next issue is scheduled for mid-October. So get your contributions in now to the editor, Andrew Stephenson, via Anything at all, no matter how tenuously linked to the club. But do it NOW!

Meanwhile …

The sailing season continues. Three more Sundays until the end of October, and then (from 1 November) we switch to Saturday sailing. The Autumn Asymmetric Challenge, or something like that. Be at the club for 12.30.

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GP14 Vintage & Classic Open Meeting, 20 September 2014

Eight boats is not a massive turnout by most standards, but when there are eight GP14s on a start line on the River Ouse just outside York it’s enough to cause quite a jam and plenty of excitement – for the river is only about as wide as five of the boats placed end to end.

York R I Sailing Club held its inaugural GP14 Vintage & Classic Open Meeting on Saturday 20 September. In GP14 terms, ‘Vintage and Classic’ means Series 1 boats, loosely defined as boats with round holes or none in their transoms. All the boats are thus at least twenty years old, and some are considerably older. On this occasion six local boats were joined by two visitors – GP14 number 7, which is well past its sixtieth birthday (helmed by Gareth Morris, who isn’t), and 3226, built in 1959 and helmed by GP14 Association President Duncan Greenhalgh, representing Derwent Reservoir SC and Solway YC. Both Gareth and Duncan teamed up with locally sourced crews, and the host club was also delighted to welcome Ann Penny from Derwent Reservoir SC, who crewed in one of the local boats.

The format was three back-to-back races on a sausage course (triangles are tricky to organise at this venue), and the racing was expertly run by race officers Peter Craggs and Phil Nelson. The wind behaved itself (more or less) by blowing (most of the time) straight along the river, so beats were followed by runs in a reasonably orderly fashion. The steady stream of passing motor cruisers were also fairly well behaved – as were most of the GP14s on the start line.  A little more wind would have been welcome, but there was enough to keep the boats moving, and all three races were sent off without incident.

In theory, local knowledge is useful at a venue like this, and plenty of practice at sailing in the typically light and fluky river winds should pay dividends – but in the event it was one of the visitors who showed everyone else a clean pair of heels (and a nice pair of round holes in his transom) in all three races. Duncan has clearly been practising his light-weather skills, for he led every race from start to finish, leaving the rest of the fleet well in his wake. He did, however, miss the excitement of some hard-fought racing for the minor places, with close encounters between boats and frequent changes of position.

The newly inaugurated (and newly varnished) ‘Round Holes Trophy’ was thus awarded to Duncan Greenhalgh, crewed by Dorothea Debus. In his acceptance speech Duncan promised – or maybe threatened – to come back next year to defend his title.

Special prizes were awarded to Gareth Morris (oldest boat, aged 64), and to Nathaniel Graham (youngest competitor, one day short of his sixth birthday).

Full results on the Yachts & Yachting website.

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September 2014 e-News

GP14 Open Meeting, Saturday 20 September

As most of you know, we are hosting an Open Meeting for vintage/classic GP14s (i.e. those with round holes or no holes in their transoms) on Saturday 20 September. We are expecting a few visitors to come and join us for a day’s racing on the river, competing for the newly invented (and newly varnished) Round Holes trophy. We also (of course) need as many home boats as possible. So if you have a GP14, please come and join in. And if you don’t, there will be opportunities to crew, and to help out on shore or in rescue boats. Details as follows:

  • Anyone who wants to sail, or who is available to crew, please let Peter Craggs know as soon as possible:
  • First race starts at 1.00 pm, and there will be a briefing at 12.00 noon. Be there!
  • Sailors please get to the club early, and have your boat rigged and ready in good time, so that we have time to meet and greet our visitors.
  • We are planning three back-to-back races, followed by a barbecue. BBQ food will be provided, but please bring a cake or similar. If we have enough cakes, we can offer them at the start of the day as well as at the end!
  • Entry fee is £10 per boat, to cover the cost of the barbecue, fuel for rescue boats, etc. Please bring cash on the day.
  • Note that it happens on a Saturday, not on Sunday!


Bart’s Bash, Sunday 21 September

Bart's Bash
The day after the open meeting we will be taking part in the Largest Sailing Event in the World, in which sailing clubs all around the world will be racing at (approximately) the same time in memory of Olympic Gold medallist Andrew (Bart) Simpson. Further details of the global event here: As for what is happening at YRISC:

  • We need a good turnout, so please come along!
  • Let Peter Craggs know in advance if possible:
  • We are planning a single race, starting at 11.30 prompt. Get there in good time.


Eng-AGE 50+ Games, Sunday 28 September

We are contributing to a City of York Council event designed to encourage “older people” (the over-50s!) to take part in sport. It will be a normal day’s sailing, but we are expecting a few visitors to come along to find out about the sport of sailing. We have offered to talk to visitors about how to start sailing, and to show them the range of club-owned boats that members can use. If conditions are suitable, we may offer short sailing sessions – but we have not promised this. In any case, we need a few friendly faces around, so if your face is friendly enough, even if (especially if) you do not plan to sail, please come along to do a meet-and-greet (and chat) job.

Annual Dinner, Friday 28 November

Usual venue (Lady Anne Middleton’s Hotel), usual time (7.30 for 8.00), usual enjoyable evening. £25 per head. Menus to follow. Please let Karen know that you will be attending:

  • Trophies – please make sure to return all trophies to Peter Craggs in good time, so that they can be handed out to the new winners at the dinner.


Recent events

  • GP14 World Championships, Strangford Lough, 9–15 August – YRISC was once again represented on the international stage, by one yellow boat and one yellowish (no, not beige) boat. It was fairly windy. Front-page headline in the Daily Mirror: “40 rescued in boat terror.” Find out more in the next YRISC Newsletter.
  • RS400 National Championships, Mounts Bay, 24–28 August – Congratulations to Peter Craggs and Phil Nelson, who finished 48th in a 71-boat fleet, in challenging conditions (but with no helicopters, ambulances, fire engines or lifeboats, and no headlines in the national newspapers).



Articles, please! All contributions gratefully received by the editor, Andrew Stephenson: Anything at all, no matter how tenuously linked to the club.

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