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Leader Class Owners' Association


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Leader news and reports

RYA Regional Award Winner 2017

Leader sailor Janet Gilmour

gallery/janet gilmour

Norfolk and Suffolk Boating Association


RYA (2017) Volunteer Awards 2017, excerpt retrieved from www.rya.org.uk

Janet has been a member of the General Purposes Committee of the Norfolk and Suffolk Boating Association (NSBA) for fifteen years and the principal organiser of the NSBA's annual Broads Inter-Club Championship for the last seven.  She has long been involved with the NSBA's annual Broadland Youth Regatta and has been a member of the NSBA's Appeals Panel.

Janet was also a valued member of the RYA Eastern Regional Committee from 2004 to 2014.

She has been a member of Buckenham Sailing Club (BSC) for over thirty years, serving on the Committee in a variety of roles.  She is a founder organiser of BSC's annual Triple-B race, a thirty mile passage race on the river Yare, which she continues to organise.

While the Broadland boating scene is moving towards larger boats, Janet has remained loyal to the dinghy sector, with strong links to the Javelin and Leader classes and has always encouraged younger sailors.

Untiring in her support, she even finds time to organise several quiz nights and winter walks for the club every year.

Event Reports

Leader News

Triple B Report from the Ayres Sep 2017 -

After a lovely sail we were 'robbed' by the bridge closing on us as we approached it on the return trip.  It was closed for 25 mins and we had decided we wouldn't stop, ended up being timed out by 7 minutes!  The race was won by a certain Mr JP by about 20 seconds from the only other punt, otherwise only the 5 Javelins and one or two early starters made it home.  By our estimate we would definitely have been worst 4th and more likely 3rd had we been given a finish time!

Cheers, Sharon and Ian


31/07/17 Reading Sailing Club Leader Open 29th/30th July -

Yet another great weekend of sailing at a Leader Open event, hosted by Reading for the 3rd consecutive year.

We can now boast to having 6 Leaders at our club and managed to get them all involved, having to borrow a couple of Helms and a crew from our club members.  There were 3 visiting boats.  2 from Milton Keynes, Chris/Jane and Dave/Paul and a new member Dean Martin from Ostend (1133) Welcome Dean we look forward to seeing you again.

We had 6 races over 2 days. Saturday afternoon, weather conditions were pleasant with plenty of wind.  The promised rain came in for the BBQ.  Which meant only Nev and Mike got wet cooking (thanks guys it was delicious)  On Sunday the Leaders joined in 2 club races, great wind conditions, stopping for lunch provided by Geesje and Sue (yummy) luckily just finished the racing before a downpour, a few capsized boats including a Leader.  Stomachs bulging back into the boats for the last race of the day, the sun came out and we finished the day with homemade cakes and tea followed by prize giving.

Chris and Jane Wharmby were certainly on form this weekend winning 4 of the 6 races therefore making them overall winners.  Congratulations guys.


1st - Chris and Jane (1083)

2nd - Newton and Bob (1260)

3rd - Karen and Milo (1254)

Both helms and one of the crew were from Reading Club bolstering the fleet numbers.  Well done keeping Reading on the Podium.  Special mention to Dave and Ann Lomas (1161) who joined the circuit only last year they came 4th well deserved.  Also well done to the remaining boats for taking part without them there wouldn't be an event.

Dave and Paul/Adele (1135), Mike and Nev (1128), Sally and Stuart (1196), Dean and Will/Franz (1133) and Hugh and Dean (1089).

Looking forward to the next Leader events. Written by Sally Newlove RSC.


17/05/17 Leader Nationals at Rollesby Broad Sailing Club -

Rollesby turned out to be a glorious weekend for the Leaders with superb wind for round the cans racing and the Eels Foot race at the end of racing on Sunday.  After their own event on Saturday the Leaders joined in with the club Multi-Sail Open event on Sunday.  The weather was splendid with the Race Officer able to set a beat start from the Club House and a series of shortish races which entertained the non-sailing visitors.

Local sailors Ian and Sharon Ayres sailed superbly and took the Leader Nationals trophy with Chris and Jane Wharmby close behind and Roger and Sybil Morse and Trish Hudson and Sarah Cole also claiming prizes

We all enjoyed an excellent meal on the Saturday evening at the White Horse in Upton - well worth a visit for good food and refreshing real ale.

Thanks Rollesby for a most enjoyable weekend.


23/03/17 RYA Dinghy Show report by Chris Wharmby -

The Leader Class Owners' Association were at the RYA Dinghy Exhibition at Alexandra Palace over the weekend of the 4th and 5th March.  With a warm Spring day and the walk up the hill in the sun from the car park to Ally Pally on the Saturday morning it felt like a great start to the sailing season.

Ian and Sharon Ayres' Leader no. 1153 was a great display after Ian had spent many hours cleaning and polishing only to discover that the boat hull was white and not light brown.

There were many visitors to the stand throughout the 2 days, including some who used to own a Leader saying what a great boat they thought it was and glad to see that the Class was still flourishing.  Other visits were from people who had just bought a Leader and wanted to join the Association and some who were interested in buying a Leader or finding out more about the boat and the Association.  Overall the show was a great chance to show that the Leader is still used by many keen sailors and the pictures on the stand reflected the great time had by all who attend the Class events during the year.

Many thanks to Ian and Sharon Ayres, Mike and Sally Newlove, Paul and Helen Dickinson, Bob Lovell, Chris and Jane Wharmby, Mike Sherwen and Ben and Ben Rickards for all efforts in setting up, manning during the weekend and dismantling of the stand.  Thank you everyone for another successful Dinghy Exhibition for the Leaders.


04/11/16 Leader Open at Milton Keynes 22nd/23rd October -

A great turnout of 9 Leaders made for an excellent finale to the 2016 Leader sailing season, in very pleasant sailing conditions at Milton Keynes SC.  With 3 boats from Reading, 3 other travellers and 3 from the home club the racing was close, tactical and great fun.  Ian and Sharon Ayres from Rollesby Broad SC were on great form and won 3 out of the 5 races to take winners place overall for the event.  Other race winners were Mike and Sally Newlove from Reading SC and Jane and Chris Wharmby from MKSC.  Mike and Val Sherwen were also consistently amongst the lead boats.  All through the fleet positions were hotly contested with lots of close and 'interesting' mark roundings along the way! A great time was had by all 9 boats.  Thank you to all those that travelled and we're looking forward to getting into double figures in the 2017 season. The least said about the evening meal on Saturday the better!.... but we won't be eating at the Caldecotte Arms again!

Results -

1st Ian and Sharon Ayres, Rollesby Broad SC

2nd Chris and Jane Wharmby, Milton Keynes SC

3rd Mike and Val Sherwen, Bawdsey Manor SC

4th Ben and Ben Rickard, Hickling Broad SC

5th Mike and Sally Newlove, Reading SC

6th John and Martha Carron, Milton Keynes SC

7th Dave and Ann Lomas, Reading SC

8th Dave Pickett and Paul McParland, Milton Keynes SC

9th Nev Robson and Bob Lovell, Reading SC


08/10/16 Triple B at Buckenham Sailing Club

An early start was the order of the day for the Leaders last visit to Norfolk this year.  This was Buckenham Sailing Club Triple B race (a dinghy equivalent of the Yare Navigation Race held a fortnight earlier).

A steady ENE breeze was forecast and the Leaders set off at 08.10 with a view to getting to Breydon when the tide turned at around 10.30.  Delays waiting for the railway bridge at Reedham to open meant a prospect of boats running out of time of finishing by 5pm.  This proved to be the case with only one Leader (Trish Hudson and Sarah Cole) finishing in time.  However one satisfying thing about this type of long distance river race is that time passes so quickly as the course, scenery and tactics are constantly changing.

As no other Leader finished within the cut off time it was decided at The Beauchamp Arms next door to allocate results as follows. Trish and Sarah first as finishers, Ian and Sharon Ayres as near finishers, Ben and Ben Rickard as near near finishers, Roger and Sybil Morse as the last to retire followed by Mike and Val Sherwen and Chris and Jane Wharmby who stopped for a pint at The Nelson in Reedham.  Another great weekend and thanks to BSC for all their efforts.