Cowes Report

Sonar DSC5634SYC & Sailability at Cowes in 2012

An exciting week for all our Sonars at Cowes. Here is Kevin's report on the week so far:

Day 1: Good start the sailing week. All equipment and crew arrived in readiness for race 1. As the boats circles for the start Ian started on starboard in foul tide which proved to be the best tactic. This inspired the Sailability crew to take up the challenge finishing with a very credible 5th place. The youth finish 3rd and we believe John and Lawrence are still out there.

Day 2: Conditions meant that Island Sailing Club boats were restricted to using reduced mainsails and no spinnakers. This gave the remaining craft an advantage downwind. After a cautious start the Youth and Sailability teams hoisted the kites to chase Bertie.

The leading craft were planing with spinnakers and opened up a huge lead by the downwind turning mark. The reduced sail on the island sailing boats proved to be an advantage upwind with them catching up on this leg. This ‘cat and mouse’ continued throughout the race giving close finish positions.


The Youth team sailed a blinder of a race with a pin end start, executed perfectly by the team allowing them to control the race from the front up the first beat. They extended the lead on the first half of the run towards South coast sailing mark. The wind was blowing 21 knots and the team struggled to avoid broaching in the gusty conditions. They were chased down by Mumm Ra and passed just before South coast sailing (see chart). The boats were neck and neck up the beat into Southampton water, with the heavier crew of the competition slightly gaining. As the craft turned South east and headed downwind the youngsters were playing cat and mouse with Mumm Ra. At this point Mumm Ra rounded the mark to port- which was incorrect and the youth team let them know. During Mumm Ra’s attempt to unwind they hit the mark and were forced to take a time penalty of 1%. The guys knew they only had to stay within 2 mins to win unfortunately losing by a small margin. Their plans were nearly foiled when Dorian and the deaf sailors starting gaining ground quickly on every tack, finishing only 20 seconds behind to take third place.

Day 4: All the teams were out on the water early in readiness for what promised to be one of the best days sailing. The course was set with a start to the west with all craft having full sails and spinnakers. Recovering from a poor start the youth team sailed through the fleet to finish second. The remaining club boats had a ‘battle royale’ and it was all down to the last beat Dorian had worked up a gap putting the deaf crew first of the remaining club boats sadly they had not counted on Ian O’Dell and the Sailability crews’ canny local knowledge and risking a grounding sailing close in shore to finish 6th.

Day 5:  Only the Youth sailed today in gusty conditions and due to the total weight of the crew being light they still managed to achieve a 5th. The teams also all took part in a live radio interview for Cowes radio promoting SYC and Sussex Sailability.

Day 6: We have the BBC joining us today to film our sailing activities with the Deaf sailing crew. They are following the story of Jamie and Sara who started their sailing at Sussex Yacht Club 2 years ago at the bespoke deaf sailing course. The programme aims to highlight the achievements of Deaf people and our sailors as role models. Unfortunately there is no racing due to strong winds and a forecast showing this increasing however tomorrow’s weather looks promising and great sailing will ensue.

Don't forget, results can be found here ››

Kevin Headon, Training Principal

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