Last Eel’s Foot – 3 Nov 19

23 boats came to the line for the final Eel’s Foot Race of 2019 at Rollesby on Sunday 3rd November. With the breeze blowing straight down the broad race officer Auriel Gibson was able to set a true line and an absolute maximum first beat!

Race Start – thanks to Daniel

Several normally single-hander helms switched to double handed boats and it was Mike McNamara and Andy Smith in an Albacore who had a narrow lead from the Wayfarers of Dave Houghton & John Symonds and Roger Wilson & Dennis Manning by half way up the beat, with Chris Toothill’s Phantom also in the mix to reach the cut first. 

With greater experience of sailing together; or perhaps of deciding if / when to switch to paddle mode; it was the Wayfarers who emerged ahead. Meanwhile John Saddington and Matt Boreham in their Solos were leading the mid-speed boats with Ian & Sharon Ayres in their Leader and Dan Bull in his Laser also in the mix. 

After two triangular laps of the Eel’s Foot (Ormesby Little) Broad it was time for a long running return leg. The Wayfarers were able to hoist their kites and despite the Albacore and Phantom finishing with them, Wilson took the win from Houghton. The Solos and Leader however had kept close enough and took the next three places on handicap. So by winning the last race, Wilson secured the series from Saddington with McNamara third.

Last Race (23 entries)

1. Roger Wilson & Dennis Manning (Wayfarer)
2. Dave Houghton & John Symonds (Wayfarer)
3. John Saddington (Solo)
4. Matt Boreham (Solo)
5. Ian & Sharon Ayres (Leader) 

Series Results (38 participants)

1. Roger Wilson (Solo) – 5 pts
2. John Saddington (Solo) – 10
3. Mike McNamara (Harrier+) – 12
4. Daniel Bull (Laser) – 14
5. Matt Boreham (Laser) – 14

RBSC Autumn Regatta 2019

With a forecast of plenty of wind and plenty of rain it was not surprising that numbers were much reduced for the Autumn Regatta at Rollesby.  Whilst the forecast of rain was spot on the wind was much lighter than expected. Thirteen boats launched and joined the race team on the far bank as they had taken the wise decision to have a committee boat start as the wind was blowing across the broad. 

With a single start for both fleets there was plenty of competition for prime spot on the start line with just one boat over the line. By the first mark the Wayfarer of Dave Houghton & John Symonds held a short lead over the Solo of Roger Wilson and the Streaker of Tamsin Highfield with the latter two enjoying a close battle over the first two laps.  Chris Toothill, sailing a Phantom  recovered well from a poor start and fought his way through the fleet to take the lead on the final lap crossing the line ahead of Houghton & Symonds and Wilson.  

By the start of race two the rain had arrived and the race team may have regretted their decision to leave the comfort of the start box and head out to the start line in the open topped committee boat. Houghton & Symonds led at the windward mark but were soon caught up by a group of three boats.  Halfway down the run the Wayfarer of Robert Sparrow & Chris Gibbons took the lead for a short while until Keith Sykes, sailing a Laser sailed pass the group to windward to lead at the next mark.  

On the second lap the heavens opened and everyone endured a thorough soaking, although the race team by this time had sensibly gone back ashore to enjoy the comforts of the start box. After three laps Houghton & Symonds crossed the line just ahead of Wilson.  Although a third race had been scheduled everyone had decided they were wet enough and voted en masse to call it a day, or was it the lure of Angie’s cooking was just too much!

Next week the club’s Winter season begins commencing the Autumn series.

Rollesby Broad Sailing Club Autumn Regatta (13)

Overall Results

Multisail Fleet

  1. W10000 (D Houghton & J Symonds),
  2. W10213 (R Sparrow & S Gibbons),
  3. W9627 (A Gibson & S Crow)

Monosail Fleet

  1. Solo 5259 (R Wilson),
  2. Laser 137024, (M Boreham)
  3. Solo 5443 (J Saddington)

Thanks to Dave for the Results and Report.

Leader / Multi-Sail Open

20 Sailors (40% of whom were women) took part in Rollesby Broad’s Leader /Multisail Open Meeting on Sunday 19th May. A good northerly breeze blowing straight down the broad meant a long beat could be set, with the run being significant tactically as wind shifts came into play downwind more than normal.

In the Leaders Ian & Sharon Ayres started the first race poorly but port-tacked back under the fleet to lead at the first mark. Mike and Val Sherwen were in close pursuit, but the Ayres spinnaker pulled them well clear downwind. On the second lap the wind dropped slightly bringing the Sherwens back into contention as the wind shifted and filled in from behind.

The Ayres held on and these two boats finished well clear of Mike & Sally Newlove who took third by a whisker from Chris & Jane Wharmby.

Starting race two more strongly it looked like an easy win for the Ayres, but again the variable wind brought the rest of the fleet back to them on the long run down the broad.

The Wharmby’s briefly pulled through into second, but the Sherwens seemed to have an edge over them upwind and though the gaps closed and spread the order remained unchanged for the second and third laps.

The afternoon saw one of Rollesby’s Eel’s Foot races; starting with a mile long run and with sufficient wind to sail (with spinnaker full) though the cut into Ormesby Little Broad. The Ayres had a short but reasonable lead at the downwind cafe mark. However leading up a beat on a broad is never totally secure and as they converged from different directions at the windward pub mark, both Sherwens and the Wharmbys moved to the front. Flying the spinnaker on the next reach took the Ayres back to the front and they picked the right side of the beat second time round. Unusually there was still sufficient wind to beat back through cut and the Ayres pulled well clear here with the Sherwens in second. At this point, third looked like going to the Newloves, but the Wharmbys were not done and managed to pull through on the very last tack, after beating the full kilometre length of the broad on the way home. 

A fleet composed largely of Wayfarers made up the mixed fleet. Pete & Rachel Smith were on form and showed the fleet how to sail with excellent upwind performances and some sensible covering on the runs. Bob Sparrow & Steve Gibbons looked like leading home the rest whilst Auriel Gibson & Lindsey Nettleton couldn’t quite hang on to them despite being brave enough to try their spinnaker! However Jon Burnell & Malcolm Page in their Stratos were able to use their extra sail area downwind to steal second place from the Wayfarers.

Race 2 resorted more to form with the Smiths first and Sparrow second.

Only three ;but those who had been closest to each other all morning; Wayfarers ventured out for the Eel’s Foot Race. Daniel Harvey & Andy Smith had a good first run staying in touch with the others and then read the shifts in Ormesby Little Broad well to push Sparrow all the way round. Eventually however they just ran out of pure speed on the long beat back and had to settle for second behind Sparrow & Gibbons.

Overall Results:


1. Ian & Sharon Ayres (Rollesby) – 2 pts
2. Mike & Val Sherwen (Felixstowe Ferry ) – 4
3. Chris & Jane Wharmby (Milton Keynes) – 6
4. Mike & Sally Newlove (Reading) – 7
5. Dave & Anne Lomas (Reading) – 10

Multi-Sail Fleet:

1. Pete & Rachel Smith – Wayfarer – 2 pts
2. Bob Sparrow & Steve Gibbons – Wayfarer – 3
3. Auriel Gibson & Lindsey Nettleton – Wayfarer – 6
4. Daniel Harvey & Andy Smith – Wayfarer – 6
5. Jon Burnell & Malcolm Page – Stratos – 7

Solo / Single-hander Open 2019 Report

A beautiful sunny morning greeted the competitors for Rollesby Broad’s Solo and Single-hander open meeting on Easter Sunday, only the wind direction was not ideal creating shifty conditions but it was at least strong enough to give a reasonable first beat all day.

The Solos completed four races; Mark Maskell (Blackwater) set off as he meant to continue by leading from the start with John Saddington (Rollesby) his closest pursuer at the first turn. The rest of the pack was very tight and there were regular changes for any boat jumping from 10th to fourth and just as quickly back again! Steve Bishop (Girton) was a little unlucky to be in the pack but once clear set off in pursuit of the leading twosome; eventually nailing the short beat at the farther end of the course to take a narrow win. Ian Ayres (Rollesby) recovered from being OCS to take third by overtaking Pete Matthews (WOBYC) a few meters from the finish..

Maskell won race two by a large margin after sailing away from the first mark on his own private puff! Bishop and Ayres slowed each other by arriving at the mark together but slowly cleared the rest with Saddington leading the pack home in fourth.

After lunch a slight change of course clearly suited Maskell as he won both races, in the third his long term closest challenger was Roger Wilson (Rollesby) before Bishop and Saddington came through on one of the long reaches.

The final race proved the closest. Maskell again looked clear with Ayres and Matthews in pursuit before Bishop spotted an in filling shift at the bottom of the beat on lap two and took several places, bringing through Terry Palmer (Upper Thames) with him. The leading pair pulled clear as the pack played snakes and ladders until the last lap when Maskell had just enough to hang on for the win. Matthews came from behind to gain an overlap on Ayres at the last mark and this time held on for third.

Six Streakers joined a mixed single-handed fleet and proved how keen they were by needing a general recall in race 1! Tamsin Highfield (Rollesby) had a good first beat but couldn’t live with the ultimate speed of visitors Veronica Falat (WOBYC) and Ian Bradley (Ouse Amateur). These two swapped places twice within the last 30 seconds of the race with Falat coming out on top.

Bradley had much less problem winning race 2 after picking the right side of the first beat with Falat and Mark Langston (Beccles Amateur) taking the minor places. Having decided their meeting would be only three races Falat set off with determination in race 3 but the shifty beats meant Bradley and Langston could never be written off until the last beat which Falat sailed almost straight up whilst they had to tack several times to reach the finish line.

Mike McNamara in his Harrier perhaps unsurprisingly won the mixed fleet, though he did have to come from behind after race 1. Steve Whitby in his MiniSail took second on count-back from Daniel Bull’s Laser.

Overall Results:


  1. 5779 – Mark Maskall (Blackwater); 3pts
  2. 5649 – Steve Bishop (Girton); 5
  3. 5232 – Ian Ayres (Rollesby Broad); 10
  4. 5443 – John Saddington (Rollesby Broad); 12
  5. 5001 – Peter Matthews (WOBYC); 13
  6. 5259 – Roger Wilson (Rollesby Broad); 16
  7. 4258 – Ian Hanson (Rollesby Broad); 17
  8. 5724 – Terry Palmer (Upper Thames); 22
  9. 5648 – Simon Strode (Rollesby Broad); 24
  10. 3941 – Steve Leigh (Rollesby Broad); 27
  11. 5496 – Ron Laurie (Harlow Blackwater) 30
  12. 4405 – Mike Horwitz (Rollesby Broad); 35
  13. 4864 – Chris Mann (Rollesby Broad); 37
  14. 4180 – Phil Alison (Rollesby Broad); 42


  1. 1972, Veronica Falat (WOBYC); 4 pts
  2. 2121, Ian Bradley (Ouse ASC); 5
  3. 1920, Mark Langston (Beccles ASC); 10
  4. 1568, J Blankley (Beccles ASC); 13
  5. 1490, Tamsin Highfield (RBSC); 14
  6. 1723, Ian Mansfield (Alton Water SC); 17

Mixed Fleet:

  1. Harrier 70, Mike McNamara; 3 pts
  2. MiniSail 4220, Steve Whitby; 7
  3. Laser 207011, Daniel Bull; 7
  4. Phantom 1212, Chris Toothill; 11
  5. Laser —-, Steve Vaughan; 13

Spring / Eels Foot Report

The Spring series at Rollesby started with the first “Eels Foot Race” of the year. Fourteen boat set out but, as the wind died after the start, the short beat across the Broad turned into a torturous affair. Mike McNamara in his Harrier with Ian and Sharon Ayres in their Leader came round the windward mark ahead of the rest. After a slow broad reach down the Broad the wind picked up and once through the cut, the fleet had a good sail in the bigger Broad. McNamara lead the fleet home. The Leader and the Hansons in their Wayfarer were not far behind having made good use of spinnakers. Handicap results gave the Ayres a win with McNamara second and Val and Chris Hanson third.
The second race with a figure of eight course saw a clear win for McNamara with Ian Hanson in a solo second and the Leader third.

Three Lasers and a Wayfarer stayed for the afternoon race. Keith Sykes
Laser took the win two second infront of Bob Sparrow and Steve in the Wayfarer.

Don’t forget its Mike Macs – Rules talk this Wednesday

To kick off the season, and at the request of several Wednesday Sailors, Mike McNamara has agreed to give a talk on the racing rules on the previous Wednesday evening i.e. 17thApril.

We would intend this kick off at 7 and Mike has promised to aim it at those who have done a little racing but would benefit from knowing more than just the port / starboard rule!

Spring Regatta

Rollesby held their Spring Regatta on Sunday. In the pouring rain, at the start of the morning, it did not feel like spring but eleven single handers turned out. As the rain stopped a fresh breeze developed from the north blowing down the Broad and the fleet was treated to some good sailing conditions.
In race one John Saddington in a solo and Matt Boreham in his laser got clear of the rest. Boreham crossed the line first but Saddington took the win on handicap with Steve Whitby in his mini sail second.
In race two Boreham gained a substantial lead on the first lap and was not to be caught. The solo of Ian Hanson made second with the mini sail third. With mixed results and a discard available the regatta win was up for grabs in the third race. With an increasing wind the lasers lead the way with a win by Boreham, the mini sail second. The results reconciled gave Boreham the
trophy with the mini sail second and Ian Hanson in the solo third.
Results Spring Regatta.

  1. Laser Matt Boreham
  2. Mini Sail Steve Whitby
  3. Solo Ian Hanson

FYI — Car Number Plate – AU14 HKN, Found on floor now in Club house

Frostbite Report 17th Feb

A delightlyfully bright sunny morning and a forecast force 4 straight along the Broad, saw 32 boats take to the water for the first race at Rollesby on Sunday 17th February.

With a slightly lighter breeze in reality, the 9 multi-sails were first away; it took a little while for the fleet to settle into an order, but Steve Grey quite rightly led after a lap in his D-One. With a long run it looked like Dave Houghton & Jon Symonds and John Saddington & Dennis Manning flying their spinnakers would have a big advantage, but it was Ian & Sharon Ayres taking a wider route in their Leader who led the main pack at this point. The Wayfarers showed their pace upwind with Houghton eventually winning from Ayres and Saddington.
Those spinnakers paid more as the wind rose in race two however Peter and Eileen Dearnley sailing without a kite were flying up the beats and split the other Wayfarers to take second from Houghton this time around.

In the single-handers with 23 boats on the line a clean start was clearly in order; David Frary (Finn) and Mike McNamara (Harrier) were able to use their additional boatspeed to establish a small lead on the first beat, however the midfleet were ignoring handicaps and swapping places regularly. Richard Brown and James Letts represented the Laser push early on with Daniel Bull catching them on the second lap, however as the race progressed they were losing out to the Solos of Robert Hawkins and Terry Palme, indeed had Palmer not misread the finish they would have been 1 & 2 but instead they were split by McNamara. The increased breeze in race 2 saw Frary put the hammer down and establish a good lead, however Phil Highfield in the ‘family’ Streaker had other ideas downwind as he came back at the leaders on every lap to eventually tie with Frary for the win, with McNamara 3rd and Brown 4th.

The good weather encouraged 16 starters for the mixed afternoon race and there were two distinct bunches, the Wayfarers, with three boats less than a minute apart and the Solos whose first three finished within 15 seconds of each other! But who would come out on top; it looked like a Houghton win and indeed it was but Dearnley and Saddington had to wait for the calculated results to confirm they had indeed beaten the Solos by a very narrow margin.

Race 1 (9 entries)

  1. Dave Houghton & John Symonds (Wayfarer)
  2. Ian & Sharon Ayres (Leader)
  3. John Saddington & Dennis Manning (Wayfarer)

Race 2 (9)

  1. Dave Houghton & John Symonds (Wayfarer)
  2. Peter & Eileen Dearnley (Wayfarer)
  3. John Saddington & Dennis Manning (Wayfarer)

Race 1 (23 entries)

  1. Robert Hawkins (Solo)
  2. Mike McNamara (Harrier)
  3. Terry Palmer (Solo)
  4. David Frary (Finn)

Race 2 (19)

  1. Phil Highfield (Streaker)
  1. David Frary (Finn)
  1. Mike McNamara (Harrier)
  2. Richard Brown (Laser)

Mixed PM Race 3 (16)

  1. Dave Houghton & John Symonds (Wayfarer)
  2. Peter & Eileen Dearnley (Wayfarer)
  3. John Saddington & Dennis Manning (Wayfarer)

Frostbite Regatta

The air temperature had certainly seen the day’s title as ice was cracked off of covers and decks for Rollesby’s Frostbite Regatta on Sunday 3rd February; fortunately the sun was out and the wind relatively light so everyone felt much warmer than the 4 degrees air temperature. Unusually, only 2 Wayfarers joined the 18 mixed single-handers; so it was decided to run the racing as all in, rather than in separate fleets.

Phil Highfield (Streaker) and Ian Ayres (Solo) took the furthest left and right hand routes up the initial beat before rounding the first mark overlapped, with Mike McNamara (Harrier) in closest pursuit. McNamara rolled over the two slower boats on the first reach and rapidly built a lead. Dave Houghton & Jon Symonds (Wayfarer) recovered well from having been a long way over at the start! dragging David Frary in his Finn up to the top group with them. On the last lap some large gaps opened with McNamara taking a 15 second handicap win from Ayres; compared to the 3 minute gap back Highfield and Frary who almost dead-heated in third and fourth.

A change of wind direction and course saw Steve Leigh (Solo) with an almost perfect start; however he and Ayres were quickly sandwiched by the faster travelling McNamara and Frary and by the time they could take remedial action were back in the pack led by Daniel Bull and James Letts in their Lasers. Highfield had taken full advantage of the bunching behind to sail along the bank and lead round the first two marks. The wind increased as the race progressed benefitting the faster craft most and McNamara took another narrow win, this time with Frary second and Houghton third.

A slightly reduced but still substantial fleet of 13 took to the water after lunch; McNamara and Highfield were best away with Houghton close behind, however the wind had swung a little further and Ayres and the second Wayfarer of John Saddington & Dennis Manning were the first to spot this, closing in at the first windward mark, this pack all finished within 25 seconds on handicap! McNamara rightly led on the water, but a better spinnaker course gave the win to Houghton. Highfield and Ayres had a bit of an epic cat and mouse race with Ayres close enough behind on the water to just take second place on handicap and for the day overall.

Overall Results (20 entries)

  1. (& 1st Singlehander) Mike McNamara (Harrier) – 2 pts
  2. Ian Ayres (Solo) – 4
  3. (& 1st Multisail) Dave Houghton & Jon Symonds (Wayfarer) – 4
  4. Phil Highfield (Streaker) -6
  5. David Frary (Finn) – 6
  6. Steve Whitby (MiniSail) – 12
  7. Matt Boreham (Solo) – 13
  8. John Saddington & Denis Manning (Wayfarer) – 14
  9. Terry Palmer (Solo) – 14
  10. Kevin Postlethwaite (Solo) – 17
  11. Keith Sykes (Laser) – 19
  12. Steve Leigh (Solo) – 20
  13. Dan Bull (Laser) – 24
  14. Chris Codling (Laser ) – 24
  15. Phil Alison (Solo) – 24
  16. James Letts (Laser) -24
  17. Stuart Highfield (Laser) – 28
  18. Vince Steele (Solo) – 31
  19. Richard Foster (Laser) – 33
  20. Richard Brown (Lightning) – 33

Winter Points 27th Jan

Race 1

This week was the final week of winter series and in the singlehanders fleet the points situation was extremely close with any one of four helms in with a shout for overall honours. After a few weeks of full off or full on conditions the forecast looked to be following the same old pattern with 20 -30 mph winds from the NW predicted. This presumably deterred some from attending but despite the occasional gust the wind appeared quite manageable and with bonus of the sun making an appearance conditions looked quite good! Despite this a few still opted to enjoy tea and freshly baked cakes in the clubhouse but 8 intrepid helms ventured out for an all singlehander race.  With the wind coming from the NW the race team set a simple triangle course comprising of marks 5, 3 & 6.

Race 1 Ian Get a great start

 Ian Ayres (Solo) nailed the first start to lead up the beat to mark 5, opting to go to left.  Tamsin Highfield (Streaker) opted for the right hand side hooking up on a nice lift to round the windward mark first, closely followed by Mike McNamara (Harrier), Ian and Roger Wilson (Solo). Tamsin and Mike gradually extended their lead crossing the line in that order. Ian and Roger continued their battle for the rest of the race with Ian holding on to cross the line third. On corrected time Tamsin took the win by 38 seconds, with Ian and Roger taking the next two places.

Tamsin Leads the pack in Race 1

Race 1: 1 Streaker 1493 (Tamsin Highfield), 2 Solo 5232 (Ian Ayres), 3 Solo 5259 (Roger Wilson)

Race 2

Race 2 Mike’s away first.
Mikes Away First Race 2

In race two Mike crossed the line with speed to lead up the beat. However, despite being last to cross the line Stuart Highfield (Laser) worked the shifts well to lead at the mark unfortunately rounding a bit too close and touching it resulting in a penalty turn. Mike took over the lead with the rest of the fleet just a few metres behind as they headed for mark 3.  Roger opted to run low to avoid the wind shadow of the bank and looked to be leading as the fleet approached the mark but Mike held on to round first but hot on his heels was Roger and Phil Highfield (Streaker). Mike extended his lead on the reach to mark 6 and the next beat. Unfortunately on approaching mark 3 he caught probably the biggest gust of the day and shipped some water allowing a charging Phil to take the lead which he held to the finish line followed by Roger. On corrected time just 34 seconds separated the first four boats, Phil making it a family double finishing seven seconds ahead of Roger with Ian third.

Race 2: 1 Streaker 1493 (Phil Highfield), 2 Solo 5259 (Roger Wilson), 3 Solo 5232 (Ian Ayres)

Winter Series Results

Once the day’s results were added to the overall series the positions were very close. Race 1 honours went to Ian Ayres with Mike McNamara second and Kevin Postlethwaite third.

The situation was even tighter in race 2 with two points separating the first three boats, Phil Highfield finishing on five, Roger Wilson on six and Mike McNamara on seven.

It was a Wayfarer 1,2,3 in the Multisail Winter series with David Houghton & John Symonds taking first, John Saddington & Dennis Manning second and Bob Sparrow & Chris Gibbons third.

Single handers  (26)

Race 1: 1 Solo 5232 (Ian Ayres), 2 Harrier 70 (Mike McNamara), 2 Solo 4896 (Kevin Postlethwaite)

Race 2: 1 Streaker 1493 (Phil Highfield), 2 Solo 5259 (Roger Wilson), 3 Harrier 70 (Mike McNamara)

Multisail fleet (11)

Race 1: 1 Wayfarer 10000 (D Houghton & J Symonds), 2 Wayfarer 11111 (John Saddington & Dennis Manning), 3 Wayfarer 10213 ( Bob Sparrow & Chris Gibbons)

Race 2: 1 Wayfarer 10000 (D Houghton & J Symonds), 2 Wayfarer 11111 (John Saddington & Dennis Manning), 3 Wayfarer 10213 ( Bob Sparrow & Chris Gibbons)

Next week the club holds its Winter Regatta after which the Frostbite series commences.

January 13th Report

After a short delay for some deliberation a small fleet of seven boats set out for the one and only race in definitely top end racing conditions at Rollesby Broad on Sunday January 13 th .

Several competitors were so keen they decided to start racing 5 minutes early; with only two starting at the proper time Race Officer Chris Mann felt sympathetic to the others and abandoned for a proper restart. With a wipe-out squall taking out the entire four strong Laser contingent in the last minute before the restart – led in performance by Daniel ‘I can stand my Laser on its bow!’ Bull – none of them made it to the windward mark …..

Ian Ayres (Solo) and Tamsin Highfield (Streaker) started overlapped on starboard but mid-beat had to duck Matt Boreham (Solo) who had taken the opposite route. Ayres reached the windward mark a couple of boat lengths in front; Highfield tried to pinch the mark and on a lighter day would probably not have got rolled in to windward as the wind backed on her!
Boreham had to take a rapid avoidance action and the race looked decided. Ayres slowly extended away but Boreham had a brief ‘wet moment’ allowing Highfield to catch up before her second capsize left her narrowly in third.

Having spent nearly an hour on the water to get in a 30 minute race the fleet retired for an early and well needed lunch!…..

Single Handers
Race 1 (7 entries)
Ian Ayres (Solo)
Matt Boreham (Solo)
Tamsin Highfield (Streaker)