Thames Sailing Barge Match, Saturday 13th July – renamed in honour of Mark Boyle

2013-thames-match-poster

 

The annual race is renamed for its 150th anniversary year in honour of Mark Boyle, who revived the event to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day in 1995.

Mark went on to be the match’s driving force and his sudden death just before Christmas at the age of 55 was a blow to the sailing barge community.

Read more at the Barge Blog.

Ben Crawshaw goes racing in Onawind Blue

A recent shot of Ben Crawshaw sailing his Light Trow Onawind Blue, photo by Toni Clapés

Light Trow sailor Ben Crawshaw has reported on a windy race in which he took part in Onawind Blue – and received a prize for going around twice in cracking time.

In all the time Ben has spent with OB, he has clearly developed tremendous skills, and his report has what you might call a swashbuckling tone.

(I should say that the photo above was taken a little while ago – not at the race reported on here.)

Here’s a quote from what he has to say.

I felt confident about driving OB hard. The wind was solid and, away from the land, the gusts came on more gently. I had my legs hooked under an oar lashed across the thwarts and my bum hanging over the rail. My boat was making good progress to windward compared to others further to leeward, some of whom appeared to be over canvassed and spilling wind.

Coming up to the next mark — OB throwing up a deal of spray and riding on a wave of foam — the race boat approached. The organiser, now wearing the hat of a race official shouted across. He might have been imparting important information or quoting Cervantes, whatever, the words were lost to the wind. I watched the Zodiac whizz off towards other boats.

I tacked OB round the windward mark and she hared off on the second downwind leg.

Looking around I saw that we were alone. I had almost certainly missed some vital information. Reflecting, I reckoned there was nothing for it but to crack on regardless — even if I had messed up it had been an enormously enjoyable sail.

In the end, Ben received a hero’s welcome for going round the course twice in conditions where the other racers turned for the shore after one circuit.

His post (link above) is well worth reading – as is his weblog as a whole.

Here at Atkin Towers, we think that if it were fiction Ben’s progress would make a great film – the very public backyard building project, the early sails where he got things sorted out, the extraordinary adventures that followed, how he dealt with adversity and then came back for more sailing, including this victorious episode.

But it’s not fiction – it’s all true… perhaps someone would commission him to write the book that’s obviously waiting to be written!

Follow Ben’s weblog here.

Classic Sailing announces a special Tall Ships Race offer for 16-25-year olds

Tall Ships racing with Classic Sailing

Phwoarrr! If you’re 16-25 and can find the reduced price of €1495 from somewhere, this might just be an irresistable opportunity: http://www.classic-sailing.co.uk/log/youth-15-25-bark-europa

Participants will sail in two legs of the Tall Ships Race on the Europa, starting from Lerwick in the Shetlands on the 22nd July, then across the North Sea to Stavanger in Norway, and then to Halmstadt in Sweden.

My thanks to Mike Goodwin for pointing this out!