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Leader News August 2020
Covid allowing, the Leader Class Association are tentatively planning to exhibit at the RYA Dinghy show next year, which is to be held at the Farnborough International Exhibition Centre.
There are a couple more Leaders for sale - check them out on our for sale page - https://www.leaderdinghy.org.uk/For-Sale/
Many clubs are starting to reopen their doors for cruising and a few are cautiously starting to race, albeit with new rules and regulations in place to keep people safe. This of course could change at any time but we remain optimistic.
Our Treasurer, Mike Sherwin has written an article on the history of the Leader, which you can find on our home page. Alternatively click on this link to open.
Covid Update 3rd July 2020
2020 has been a strange year with lockdown restrictions scuppering all hope of racing so far. Whilst waiting for restrictions to be eased, Leader 451 has been seen out and about exploring the Northern Broads and there has been some movement in boats and boat bits in the market. We are listening with interest as rules begin to relax and hope to be back to racing soon.
Leader Nationals 2019 at Milton Keynes Sailing Club, written by Ian Ayres
Having been blown off at Reading earlier in the summer, the Leader nationals were
rearranged to coincide with their open at Milton Keynes over the weekend of 12 /13th
October. Given very wet (and quite correct) forecast for Sunday it was decided by the
competitors to run a four race Nationals on Saturday and the club open if conditions were
suitable on Sunday. (A wise decision as it turned out!)
South westerly winds meant a good first beat could be set into the far left hand corner of
Caldecote lake; the fleet converged from both sides of the beat with Mike & Val Sherwen
(Felixtowe Ferry) narrowly leading from John & Martha Carron (Milton Keynes) and Dave
& Anne Lomas (Reading). The Sherwens managed to hold their lead downwind, with the
Chris & Jane Wharmby (Milton Keynes) sailing over the top of the pack, whilst Ian &
Sharon Ayres (Rollesby Broad) flew their spinnaker on a lower route to emerge in third.
Throughout the race the Sherwens seemed to have a slight upwind edge, whilst the Ayres
gained downwind, with the Wharmbys sandwiched in between and it was quite rightly the
Sherwens who led home a close top three with the Carrons in fourth.
A change of course and slightly more southerly breeze in race two meant the wind was more
puffy and shifty. The Ayres and the Carrons chose to port start, with the Ayres opening a
good lead by the windward mark. The course then took the fleet through a major wind shadow
and the fleet all closed up. The Ayres had a sufficient gap to round the first gybe mark in front,
hoist their spinnaker and escape, not to be challenged again. The bunch stayed really close
together, with Sally and Mike Newlove (Reading) and Tom Hayle and Keith King (Welwyn
Garden) enjoying the best second beats to lead back into the ‘hole’ on lap two. Experience
eventually told as the Sherwens worked their way through to second with the Wharmbys
After lunch the wind had settled in direction and port starts were the order again; this time the
Carrons hit the line with the Ayres in close pursuit, the Sherwens were slightly further down
the line but also on port and these three were clear of the fleet by halfway up the beat. The
Ayres were the first to put in the small starboard hitch needed to make the top mark and
remembered to round it the other way from the previous races! They slowly pulled clear of
the fleet, with the Carrons in pursuit as the Sherwens used their jib pole to good effect to
close down the long run. In a short race (to allow for a fourth) the Ayres took the win from the
Sherwens. These two crews now both had five points!
By the start of race four the wind had started to fall, but everyone knew where to start! The
Wharmbys caused chaos on the line with a mysterious tack in the middle of a tightly packed
bunch! Nev Robson and Hugh Leach (Reading) were able to sail clear; whilst the rest
untangled themselves; and led by several lengths at the first mark. As the fleet rounded the
fleet rounded the top mark in a tight bunch, the leaders extended away. On the second lap the
Sherwens and the Wharmbys worked clear of the group and started to close in on Robson &
Leach. As the wind died completely on the third and final lap nerves must have been jangling
with the leaders as the Sherwens slowly and steadily reeled them in, looking for the win they
needed to take the meeting. With a very short last beat Robson and Leach were delighted to
hear the shorten course as they held on for a well earned result.
This left the top two teams still tied on five points, with the Ayres taking the prize on
countback from the Sherwens, having won the two middle races.
Sunday morning saw heavy rain and all of the visitors decided that a wet drive home was
more appealing than a sail; one or two (of the wisest?) had even removed their sails from
their boats after Saturday’s sail. The hardier locals enjoyed two races in strong winds. The
Wharmbys took the first, though not by far, from the Carrons. The Carrons led the second
when gear failure after two laps forced them ashore, the Wharmbys dutifully followed them
across the line such that a draw could be declared! Very sporting..........
1. Ian & Sharon Ayres (Rollesby Broad) - 5 pts
2. Mike & Val Sherwen (Felixtowe Ferry) – 5
3. Chris & Jane Wharmby (Milton Keynes) – 8
4. John & Martha Carron (Milton Keynes) – 11
5. Nev Robson & Hugh Leach (Reading) – 14
6. Dave & Anne Lomas (Reading) – 16
7. Tony Hayle & Keith King (Welwyn Garden) – 18
8. Sally & Mike Newlove (Reading) - 19
Change of Date Reading Open 2019
Please note the date for the Leader Open at Reading Sailing Club has been changed from July to Sat/Sun August 17/18th. All Leaders welcome.
Rollesby Broad Leader Open 2019 - Report written by Ian Ayres
Five boats took part in Rollesby Broad’s Leader Open Meeting over the weekend of 18/19th May.
Saturday afternoon saw three short personal handicap races with a pursuit style start meaning the fleet got closer together as the race drew to a close. With a bottle for each race, no-one went home with more than one! And it was well shared out amongst the fleet in the evening; accompanying a fish & chip supper on the riverside.
Sunday morning saw a good northerly breeze blowing straight down the broad which meant a long beat could be set, with the run being significant tactically as wind shifts came into play downwind more than normal.
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.
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
Report from Milton Keynes Sailing Club National Championships Oct 13/14 2018 written by Mike Sherwen
Saturday was warm and sunny with a pleasant Force 4 breeze but also gusts of at least 6 which frightened off some crews. Only three boats ventured out: Carrons in 472, Chris Wharmby and David Lomas in 1083, and Sherwens in 26, with a cruising rig up. 26 had a good start and led at the first mark but was rapidly overhauled by the full rigged boats. The tactic soon started to pay off as 1083 capsized in a gust in the second lap. Soon after 472 capsized at the leeward mark and was soon overhauled by 26 as they tried to bail out up the beat. Unfortunately, their gooseneck failed soon after, leaving 26 as sole survivor and winner. The second race was not sailed.
Sunday had a steadier Force 4 but steady rain too, which tempted out the Ayres in 1153. After much very close racing they won the first race, followed by 1083, 26, 472, followed by David Lomas and Sally Newlove in 1161. The second race saw 1083 beat 1153 and 472 until they had to retire due to more gear failure. This left 1153 and 1083 exactly level on points, so the last race was critical and was won by 1083
1 1083 Chris and Jane Wharmby MKSC
2 1153 Ian and Sharon Ayres RollesbySC
3 26 Mike and Val Sherwen Felixstowe Ferry SC
4 1161 David Lomas and Sally Newlove Reading SC
5 472 John and Martha Carron
6 1162 Mike Newlove
Report from Buckenham Sailing Club Triple B race Sep 16th 2018 written by Roger Morse
The annual Triple B race took place last weekend at Buckenham Sailing Club on the River Yare in Norfolk. This is a charity event organised by Janet Gilmour and Phil Webster with the proceeds going to local organisations.
A number of Leader sailors arrived on the Saturday evening hoping to see the tail end of the Yare Navigation Race, but a morning tide and good wind meant an early finish with much disapointment for the spectators.
In the evening the club laid on a very pleasant meal and then we decamped to the Beauchamp Arms next door for a lovely pint of local ale from St. Peters Brewery in Bungay. Much talk in bar about the race next day with a little trepidation as it was forecast medium to strong winds.
Next day nineteen boats set off from Buckenham with early boats rounding the turning mark at the Berney Arms around 10am. Two Leader entrants (Ayres and Wharmbys) unfortunately had to retire at Reedham despite having performed well on the first leg of the race.
The race was eventually won by local sailors in a Norfolk Punt with Javelin second.
All in all another very enjoyable weekend for everyone and thanks again To Buckenham SC.
Next event is the Leader Open Meeting at Reading Sailing Club July 28th-29th 2018
2 Leader only races Saturday afternoon and Leaders join in with club racing for 2 races Sunday morning with one race after lunch. There will be a BBQ Saturday evening as the essential post-sail entertainment. We have ordered kind weather and good wind so why not come and join us? Sharon Ayres Webmaster
Report from Hickling Broad Open Meeting 23rd/24th June 2018 written by Ben Rickards
A large high pressure system moving in over the UK on Saturday brought bright sunshine, clear blue skies and winds that spiralled up over the north of Scotland and back down the North Sea before turning up at Hickling as a cool, breezy north-easterly. Five boats gathered for the first race down the broad and off down the Thurne to Potter Heigham for lunch. The wind direction meant spinnakers were the order of the day as far as the turn at Martham. Ben Rickards and Ann Hobson in 1214, leading at this point, tried to carry the spinnaker after the turn and lost ground whilst dropping the kite. The two chasing boats of Ian & Sharon Ayres and Chris & Jane Wharmby avoided Ben’s mistake and set about reeling him in. Ian & Sharon’s boat took heart as it approached their new riverside home on the run in to Potter and managed to pull slightly ahead, but crucially to leward, as the trio battled through the trees and when the wind filled in Ben & Ann were able to regain the lead for the win. Ian & Sharon were second, Chris and Jane third with Trish & Sue fourth. Richard Freezer, making his maiden Broads voyage in Leader 302 arrived sometime afterwards following a late start. Lunch was taken at the recently re-opened pub at Potter before the return race back to the club. The race started with a tight fetch through the trees which turned into a game of chicken - who could hold on longest along the leward bank and put in the fewest tacks. Ben & Ann found their luck was in and led at the turn to Martham after which the lively breeze necessitated a lot of quick tacking in the narrows through the Eel Sett and Candle Dyke. Your reporter is assured that it was only the incidents between the chasing boats of Ian & Sharon and Chris & Jane, followed by penalty turns, that allowed him to pull away and take the bell at the club house.
Saturday night brought the traditional fleet meal at the Pleasureboat Inn where we were joined by John Parker, Sarah Cole and Trish Hudson who had been organising the racing during the day. We also met the new owners of Leader 1243, once John Parker’s own boat, which has taken up residence on Hickling Parish Staithe, and we hope they will join us for next year’s event.
Sunday brought similar wind conditions, more sunshine and three races on the broad. Simon Clayton, PRO for the day, arranged a course in the main channel to avoid weed problems. Unfortunately the safety crew accidentally put marks one and three in the wrong relative positions resulting in boats approaching number one mark from both directions at the same time resulting in many a "kind hail" between boats. Ben and Ann led up the first beat but Ben was heading for Saturday’s turning mark round one of Hickling's infamous wooden channel markers rather than number five buoy that marked the top of the first beat, allowing the following boats to catch up. Fortunately for him, Ann’s spinnaker work after the turn pulled out a healthy lead by the time the fleet reached the bottom of the course and they were never headed after that, taking the bell for the series win. Chris Wharmby then put some more rig tension on for the second race and found a way through up wind as Ben picked up weed round number one mark and didn’t shake it off until Chris had pulled out an unassailable lead. In the last race, Chris & Jane led up the beat and then conspired to throw away the advantage by tacking on a header just before the top mark, allowing Ben & Ann who had overstood the mark to concede the inside line, to creep past while Chris hit the mark. Between Chris & Jane taking a penalty turn and Ann showing off her spinnaker skills again on the downwind legs, the pattern was set and Ben and Ann took the bell which marked the end of a great day’s sailing.
1st Ben Rickards & Ann Hobson
2nd Chris & Jane Wharmby
3rd Ian & Sharon Ayres
Report from Rollesby Open Meeting May 12th/13th 2018 written by Ian Ayres
Five boats joined in over the weekend. A bit of light practice on Saturday saw Ian & Sharon Ayres (Rollesby BroadSC) win one pursuit race by a few feet with a neat bit of finishing! With Julius & Clare Mach (Netley SC) running away with the second! Chris & Jane Wharmby (Milton Keynes) were second in both so everyone finished on 4 points! In good Leader fashion a three way tie was declared and a sail down the broad to test out spinnakers was preferred over a tie break...... John Parker appeared just before we decamped to the pub (no surprise there?) but it meant Richard who turned up with his boat for advice on fitting out went away with an overload of information; hopefully enough to get it properly rigged for the Hickling meeting.
In the event neither the forecast force 6 nor the heavy rain arrived on Sunday for the Leader / Multi-sail regatta and with Ben & Ben Rickard (Hickling Broad) joining the fray some very close racing as part of the multi-sail regatta ensued.
In race one the Albacore led the fleet round finishing second on handicap as they could not escape the clutches of the Wayfarer which won. Ben & Ben were leading but were becalmed on the second lap causing Ian & Sharon to tack into the same hole and allowing Chris and Jane to lead the Leader group home. Race two was dominated by the Leaders! All four Leaders flew spinnakers! Local pairing Ian & Sharon chasing the Albacore closely for most of the race before some late penalty turns let Ben & Ben through for the win with the Jane & Chris third.
So the whole event was wide open and down to one of Rollesby’s infamous Eels Foot passage races. With a long run down Rollesby Broad, Ian & Sharon were able to fly their spinnaker all the way even, through the cut, leaving everyone including the Albacore playing catch up. The two Bens were the closest pursuers but lost out as the wind went fickle in Eel’s Foot Broad. A long beat home in a rising breeze gave Ian & Sharon the win over the Albacore with the Bens recovering well to take a well deserved third. The Ayres win gave them the event overall with the two Bens representing the visitors in second. Julius & Clare had their best race beating Chris & Jane over the line.
1. Ian & Sharon Ayres - 1153- Rollesby Broad
2. Ben & Ben Rickard - 1214- Hickling Broad
3. Chris & Jane Wharmby - 1083- Milton Keynes
4. Julius & Clare Mach – 1170 – Netley
April 28 2018 - The first event of the sailing year (May 12th and 13th at Rollesby) is fast approaching. We have ordered some good weather and we are sorting out some post-sailing entertainment. The first race on Saturday will not be before 13.45 to allow for people travelling. The exact sailing program for the weekend is yet to be confirmed.
Please let myself or Ian know if you would like to join us for a meal on Saturday evening. Thanks, Sharon
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 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.
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!
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.