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

2013 Off And Running

2013 has started off nice and busy. Not only are we busy making lovely new sails but we’ve also been out sailing at the winter events and working on new designs.

Delivery dates for new sails are pushing further into 2013, so if you are looking at having new sails for the start of the season get your order in asap so to save on disappointment.

Development certainly hasn’t stopped since the summer. One of our latest projects has been working with Osprey Inland Champions Chris Gould & Nick Broomhall and National Champions Gareth Caldwell & John Gibbons to develop our Osprey sails.

For 2013 we have designed  sails for the 420 and using the sails will be 2012 Optimist National Champion Martin Wrigley steering and crewed by Sam Smith, watch this space pictures will follow.

The Bloody Mary saw the Merlins descend as the biggest fleet with 31 boats, HD Sails took first, second and fourth out of the Merlin fleet. Unfortunately this year the course certainly favoured the  trapeze boats and the Foiling Moths which were certainly impressive to watch. Jon Gorringe & Tobytastic  was the first Merlin and managed to get to 12th overall, second Merlin was Andy Davis & Pippa Taylor who managed 23rd overall.

Next big winter event will be the Stevie Nicholson memorial race at Northampton Sailing club, Both Jim and Andy will be there sailing.

More news on our development will follow, we have more news on Merlins, Solo, OK and Phantom.


Optimist Winters

Congratulations to Rosie Williamson toping the Intermediate squad and finishing 15th at the Winter Championships.

The Winter Championships were held at Cardiff Bay Yacht Club, with just over 100 sailors.

Keep an eye out in 2013 for HD Sailors; Joshua Haynes, Rosie Williamson, Jamie Harris and Jamie Cook.

Awesome EOS!

HD Sails have had a great end to the season taking first place at the Solo End Of Season Championships and GP14 End Of Season Championship.

The Solo EOS was held at Draycote Sc, it turned out to be quite a breezy day and winter certainly arrived! 51 boats turned out with a full star studded fleet. Our own Andy Davis (current National Champion) stamped his authority and proving that the HD rig and Winder boat setup is certainly the fastest this season, Andy won the first two races by comfortable margins, showing great pace downwind.

Mike & Lizzie Senior won the GP14 End Of Season Championships held at Royal Windermere Yacht Club. Mike & Lizzie showed great pace in the light airs on Saturday to top the leader board going in to Sunday. When Sunday arrived the wind didn’t and by one o’clock the day was abandoned.

With this victory it also gave Mike the Grand Prix series for his second year in a row, crewed mainly by Chris White and a helping hand by Lizzie at the end. A huge congratulations to all!








Once again HD sails showing great consistency throughout the GP14 circuit


Blithfield Barrel

This Sunday the Blithfield Barrel kicks off, with over 80 odd entries last year we hope this year is going to be even bigger.

For those that don’t know the Barrel takes place once a month, the first starting this Sunday 11th November at 12:00 o’clock with two handicap races, the others are 9th December, 13th January and the 17th February.

Both Jim and I will be attending, Jim will be in his 505 with Norman Bryd and I’ll be sailing my Merlin, we hope to see you there.

How to Find the Sailing Club

Blithfield is in the heart of rural Staffordshire, above the M6 and below the A50. We located between Burton’s Breweries, Lichfield’s Cathedral and Uttoxeter’s Race Course.

From the B5014, turn into Seedcroft Lane (there is a signpost to BSC here). Follow Seedcroft Lane for about 3/4 mile and you will come to a left turn (Waters Road) signposted to BSC. Take this turn, continue through the gates past South Staffs Water Buildings then turn right into BSC as soon as you reach the dam.

If you get lost try ringing the club: 01283 840464
Our full address is: Blithfield Sailing Club, Waters Lane, Abbots Bromley, Staffordshire, WS15 3DU.

Enterprise National Champions

Congratulations to Nick Craig and James Stewart for a convincing win!

The National Championships were held by Tenby Sailing Club with plenty of wind forecasted. The first three days were held in force 4-5 conditions, Nick and James won the first three races and then followed it up with a 3rd and a 4th, this then put them 16 points clear by Tuesday. Wednesday was a lay day and Thursday and Friday  were unfortunately blown off with bad weather.

Nick and James were using the new radial head and clew mainsail, this was giving them excellent stability in the lower leech for good pointing, the design also helps with longevity.

This is a great result for HD Sails for both winning the Inlands and National Championships.

Closer Than Close @ The Merlin Nationals

The Merlin Nationals at Lyme Regis 2012

HD Sails came within a whisker of winning the Merlin Nationals Lyme Regis 2012

Andy Davis and Tom Pygall went in to the week as defending champions and certainly put up a good fight. Throughout the week it became clear that it was going to be a two horse race between Andy & Tom and Olympic 470 silver medalist Stuart Bithell crewed by Christian Birrell.

The strong south westerly wind brought big seas, this gave perfect conditions for the majority of the week. Unfortunately, too much wind and huge waves resulted in sailing being cancelled on Monday and Wednesday.

Throughout the week the two boats matched each other point for point resulting in a tie going in to the last day.  Andy and Tom had been more consistent with a score card of 2,2,3,2,2, compared to Stuart and Christian’s 1,1,5,1,dnf. The Merlin Rocket Class sail 6 races with one discard, so going into the last day Andy had to stop Stuart from finishing in the top 4.

Race 6 started with the a force 2-3 in the south west. The race was looking as if the right hand side would pay, Andy was covering Stuart and forcing him down the line, Andy forced Stuart out to the left hand side with the majority of the fleet going right, unfortunately half way up the first beat the wind shifted 35 degrees to the left, favouring Stuart, but both boats rounded the windward mark in the top 7 with Stuart just ahead.  From then there wasn’t much Andy could do as Stuart was covering. The two boats sailed through to second and third, giving Stuart the title by a point.

Geoff Carveth and Graham Williamson finshed third on 25 points, Richard Whitworth and Sarah Bines finished fourth on 37 points.

Certainly another great championship, superbly run by Lyme Regis Sailing Club.Merlin rocket 7329