Merlin & GP14 Round Up

So far in the Merlin Silver Tiller HD Sails have had a great start. The last five open meetings including the Thames and Midland series, HD Sails have taken the win.

HD Sails had 1st,2nd and 3rd at Wembley which saw Jon Gorringe & Toby Lewis win from Andy Davis & Tom Pygall and Matt Biggs & John Hackett.

After Wembley it was the journey to the Merlin Mecca Salcombe.  Matt Biggs & John Hackett showed great pace on the saturday to take the overnight lead, Sunday unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be for Matt & John, even though leading in the first race they became becalmed and then passed by 6 boats, quite easily done at Salcombe. Going into the last John Gorringe & Toby Lewis held there nerve and powered to victory winning the last race which gave them the open meeting, Matt & John ended up 3rd overall.

Banbury saw a very fresh breeze with gusts up to 36 knots, this was going to be a battle of who could stay upright. Matt Biggs & John Hackett stormed to victory  with two firsts but before that John decided to press the eject button in the first race and miss the toe straps which gave Matt his first swimming lesson of the year. 3rd place went to Chris Martin & Tom White also using HD Sails, Chris & Tom were one of only a few that didn’t capsize, well done lads.

Last weekend two Merlin events took place, the Cookham Shield and Trent Valley. Duncan & Harriet Salmon got in the groove early and won the first two races with their new HD Sails at Cookham, HD Sails also took 3rd with Andy Jones & Jilly Blake and 4th with Alan Braodbent & Russell Hall.

Matt Biggs & John Hackett won all three races at Trent Valley, sadly for Matt  he got T-boned in the first race and suffered  major damage to the port side, thankfully with it being a Winder boat Matt was able to carry on for the rest of the day. Hopefully he will have it fixed for Hayling this weekend.


GP14 Midland Areas were held at Staunton Harold, Mike & Liz Senior showed consistency taking the win over the 6 race series. A special mention must go to Eleanor Davis & James Croxford who won the Silver fleet using HD Sails, not only did they win the Silver fleet but also finished 9th overall, well done!

Next for the GP14 is the Inland Championships, this year they are held by Burton sailing club over the May bank holiday. Will HD Sails be able to retain their Inland title?




Optimist News

The so-called Optimist Spring Championships were sailed at West Mersea in truly wintery weather: the air temperature was only just above freezing, with winds up to 20 kts on Sunday, enlivened by the odd sleet shower, conditions were truly testing. After the first day of sailing the sailors from the Optimist National and Zone squads (142 sailors) were split into Gold and Silver fleet. Jamie Harris, Rosie Williamson and Josh Haynes all sailed well and quailified for the gold fleet (72 sailors). At the end of the weekend Jamie and Rosie both had four top-10 placings out of their six races sailed, to finish in an excellent 6th and 13th place overall, Josh came 33rd.

In the Silver fleet Matthew Beck topped the leader board, congratulations to all sailors taking part in the tough conditions.


After the Spring Championships one of the next big events was at Braassemermeer  for the Magic Marine Easter Regatta.
GBR sent out 3 coaches and 31 selected sailors to the Netherlands for 2 days of training and 4 days racing over Easter. The Braassemermeer Magic Marine Easter Regatta has been running for 28 years, and is now an invitation-only event for teams from 12 countries, sailed on a large lake about 15 miles south of Amsterdam.
Good Friday was the first day of racing and 209 eager sailors were plagued with virtually no wind. This was followed by two days of varied racing in fairly light oscillating winds. After 6 races the fleet were split into Gold, Silver and Bronze groups for the final day’s racing. Jamie Harris, Josh Haynes and Rosie Williamson were 3 of the 17 British sailors to qualify for the Gold fleet.
Easter Monday brought the strongest wind of the event which, with clearing skies, meant a great day’s racing. Jamie Harris ended up 13th overall and third Brit. Joshua Haynes 20th overall and 4th Brit,  Rosie Williamson was 55th, 13th Brit and 1st British girl.
IOCA event page – blog reads from bottom to top
Many thanks to Charlotte Williamson for the report.

HD Sails Makes Front Cover Of Y&Y

This months Yachts and Yachting has Andy Davis sailing his Solo at the 2012 National Championships on the front cover. A great photo with the Mount in the background. 
Andy went on to win the week with a race to spare in his Winder MK2 hull, Selden D+ rig and HD Radial laminate Mainsail.

This Weekend saw the Solo fleet descend onto Farmoor Reservoir for the Spring Championships. It was still cold but at least the sun was out.

The forecast gave out 8-10 knots from the north east, the wind was up and down but probably from nearly every direction, it certainly made difficult sailing conditions and surely gave the race officer a headache with the amount of general recalls.

With the sailing similar to snakes and ladders it went down to the last race between a number of sailors, Charlie Cumbley went on to take the win with Andy Davis second, John Clarke third and John Blundell 4th.

Another good regatta for HD Sails with two sails in the top four and good to see John Blundell in his new Winder MK2 going quick straight out of the box.


In House Certification

In the last couple of weeks HD Sails are now able to measure their own sails. If your class allows IHC (In House Certification) your new sails will arrive fully measured and ready to race, this will allow you to save time in getting your sails measured and keep you legal for when you go racing.

Don’t worry if your class hasn’t signed up to the IHC, we are able to have sails measured by our local RYA and class measures but please do check when ordering your sails.


IHC is a programme to enable builders to self-certify equipment – once they have met certain standards. The aim of IHC is to maintain the standards of fairness guaranteed by traditional control and certification, but reduce the time and cost of these activities. For sailors this means they can buy certified equipment, knowing it is ready to race. With an international system of IHC, ISAF can ensure standards and certification apply worldwide.


The programme is to be administered by either an ISAF approved Authorising Authority (AA), which will normally be the MNA, appointed for a country or region (where this is more appropriate), or ISAF itself. The AA will report to ISAF in accordance with the criteria set out in the IHC Criteria and Responsibilities paper (email ISAF Technical for further details).


ISAF will implement the programme in cooperation with the MNAs; however, IHC by definition will apply to manufacturer and as most manufacturers are not class specific (i.e. they make equipment for more than one class), the scheme cannot be class specific. This means that the IHC programme should only be introduced by the ISAF and not through the class associations; however, under a single ISAF IHC licence, a manufacturer could work with a number of different classes.


The ISAF develop and establish training schemes for all Internal Official Measurers (IOM) and approve MNAs to undertake IOM certification training in accordance with these schemes. The manufacturer can then nominate a number of members of staff as Internal Official Measurers which will undergotraining specific to their manufactured product, as specified in the ISAF training syllabi.


A qualified, independant certified auditor, appointed by an AA for ISAF IHC auditing. The auditing of a manufacturer provides the main element of control which is key to the success of the IHC Programme. Audits are performed by both the manufacturer and the Authorising Authority for internal and external auditing, to ensure the manufacturing process, and the certification control are maintained at the highest level possible. The frequency of these audits varies, with internal audits performed every three months, and an AA external audit every twelve months, although this is subject to change should there be incidence of non-conformity with current class rules.


The ISAF IHC Programme is an international scheme that allows sailors to buy race ready equipment from anywhere in the world. There are examples of cases where fundamental measurement and certification of equipment was done at the event, taking up valuable time. The IHC scheme would ensure that all equipment presented at event inspection was properly certified to current class rules with all the correct certification marks in place.


This will very much depend on the class, the Authorising Authority, the manufacturer and the type of equipment being certified. In some cases, the costs will be quite small; however, in others this may not be the case. It is anticipated that in most cases, it will be less than those of current certification costs


Classes are given the option to either opt in or out of the programme and may decide if they wish to be included in the IHC scheme from the outset Assuming the class wishes to be included in the IHC scheme, they are consulted at every step of the proceedings, to ensure the class rules are in order, the measurement of specific items is well documented and to encourage their manufacturers to adopt the ISAF IHC Programme, as well as liasing with the AA regarding the auditing of manufacturers etc.


It may do. Current measurement proceedures will continue to be necessary for classes that do not wish to be included in the ISAF IHC Programme, or for classes where their class rules are not suitable for IHC; however, this is time and class and manufacturer dependant