2011 Newsletter

Recent Newsletters

January 2011 Newsletter

Commodore’s Notes

As we   move into the New Year I would like to thank the members of the committee and all those who have helped at the club in one way or another. Great work from those at the winter clear up in November and several dumped trolleys cut up and recycled. Folkestone Rugby Club is our new venue for the Dinner, Dance & Prize giving on the 12th March and the AGM will be held at the club on Sun 20th March after sailing.

Bob Luckhurst was so pleased with the success of the cycle ride in the summer that he is organising a couple more this year.

Happy New Year to you all and good sailing.               Alan Baker


Club Trophies

Please return these to Colin Howard as soon as possible and not later than the end of January.


Dinner, Dance & Prizegiving                                                    Saturday, 12 March 

Folkestone Rugby Club just up the road from the Sene Valley Golf Club at 7pm for 7.30pm.. The event is open to all members, family and friends.


AGM                                                                                       Sunday, 20th March

The Annual General Meeting will be held at the Club at 1.30pm. For the last  two years Chrissie and Marion have provided hot soup and rolls. Very welcome!


Training Courses

Keith has booked the following dates. For enquiries and booking forms please phone 01303 271886 or e-mail Keithmacey230@btinternet.com.


Juniors   Saturdays, 30th April & 7th May

Keith Macey will be running the course for juniors aged 7 to 14 years.


Adult course    18th & 25th June


RYA OnBoard             28th May, 2nd & 16th June

The Club has received a £500 grant from OnBoard for 4.2m2 Topper sails.



Club Cycle Rides                                                                                 Saturday, date TBA

Meet in the car park at West Hythe at 10am then cycle to Dungeness along the sea front for fish and chips at the Pilot. Details for the second ride on Saturday, 30th July will be published in the May Newsletter.


Kent Schools Sailing Association                     Topper Team Racing   Saturday 14th May

The Redoubt Club is hosting this event again and spectators are welcome.



Summer Series

Numbers sailing and qualifying were very similar to last year.

am 34 sailed  7 qualified pm 26 sailed and 4 qualified
1. Neal Gibson & Keith Macey  Miracle 6.7 1.= Tracy & Gemma           Miracle  3692 9.3
2. Tracy Amos & Gemma Gibson 14.8 1.= Neal & Keith                 Miracle 4016 9.3
3. Roger Filby & Yvonne Mumford 32.5 3. Roger & Yvonne           Miracle 3831 22.57


Mid-Week Series

17 sailed  4 qualified


Ian Hodge                                       Splash 1755 3


Bob Luckhurst & Caroline Hodge  Scorpion 1821 9


Miracle Inland Championships                        11th & 12th September 2010      by Marion Smailes

The Inland Championships were held at Draycote Water Sailing Club. Tracy Amos and Gemma Gibson sailing Bounty  and Neal Gibson and Keith Macey sailing Just Legal competed in a depleted fleet of only 23 Miracles. The usual number for this event is in the 30s.


Five races were held over the two days in windy conditions more suited to Neal and Keith than Tracy and Gemma. The best three results were counted for the overall result. Just Legal finished 4th with a 2nd, 3rd and 4th. Bounty did not do as well as usual but in spite of rudder problems obtained a 6th, 7th and 8th giving a 9th over all.


Man of Kent Regatta                                                               19th September

This event hosted by the Hythe and Saltwood Sailing Club was looked forward to eagerly by several of our members. More than 40 boats from 10 sailing clubs around East Kent took part but in the very testing conditions (“wild”, said Gemma) many retired. Redoubt’s Neal Gibson and Keith Macey in Miracle 4016 sailed all the races to take third place with Rob and Chrissie in the Tasar 12th and Dave Pescod also sailing all three races. The event was won by Dan Holland and Andrew Thompson (HSSC) in their Laser 3000 and second from Broadstairs SC were Dave Adams and Deb Thomas in a Laser 2000.


Club Mirror

Greg Wood and Mack Purvis have been racing the Mirror in the autumn and gaining valuable experience in two-handed sailing. Greg was happier with the helm once Rob had converted the Mirror from transom to centre sheeting. They have had a variety of conditions from the lightest of zephyrs to some challenging winds and were beginning to make the dinghy go. They were even anticipating using a spinnaker once the equipment has been set up.

For Sale

Mirror 33726

Combi trailer, 2 suits of sails, 2 spare masts – 1 aluminium, mast down cover, oars


Phone 01303 237 257

Working Party

On 20th November a hardworking group cleared an area where windsurfers and old trolleys were abandoned and also got rid of things stuffed between the containers and the toilet block. They had a massive bonfire and also took a quantity of metal to the recycling. There is now space for at least three extra dinghies although unfortunately the tie downs have been buried. Well done the workers for making a great clearance.


Another Laser              Trevor Law has generously donated his Laser complete with standard and radial rigs to the Club. Many thanks to Trevor. Neal repaired the standard sail and proceded to win the morning and afternoon races on its first outing.


Letter of thanks and commendation from the Downs Sailing Club

Bob was so struck by this letter from the Hon. Secretary he felt it should be published.

“I am writing to you on behalf of the Commodore and Executive Committee to thank you for the use of your facilities and invaluable support. Once again our Junior Sail training at Redoubt was highly successful. Of special mention of course must be Mike and Marion Smailes who were central to the smooth running of the programme. We are extremely grateful to them both.

It was really good to make use of the fleet of Optimists. Our smallest Juniors really benefit from Mike’s expert tuition. It was not so good to have to use Marion’s first aid skills but luckily only for minor bumps. You’ll be pleased to know that our juniors also enjoyed the RYA Fevas we were able to bring along. It was fantastic to see how quickly Topper sailors took to ‘proper boats’ as Martyn Styles would call them!

I’m pleased to report that because of the activity at Redoubt a larger number than normal have had the confidence to translate their skills to the open water of the Downs. We look forward to next year and a great future for both our Clubs. Please pass on our thanks to Mike and Marion and all your members.”


Racing in the Southern Ionian                                                             by Chris Baker

On holiday in the Southern Ionian in the first 2 weeks of September 2010 we found it was the week of the Southern Ionian Regatta.  The main highlight is the race, known locally as Round the Island when boats from all over the Southern Ionian compete.  Many holiday makers having first taken part simply because they were in the area subsequently plan future holidays to coincide with this annual event.  The race starts in the Meganisi straits with a course that goes round the island of Arkoudi and finishes at Sivota on Lefkas, a small very enclosed horseshoe harbour with shops and restaurants on all 3 sides which are backed by steeply sloping tree covered hills.  Following the race and for one night only Sivota becomes a hive of activity with holiday makers, staff from dingy sailing and flotilla companies and race organisers partying into the small hours.


Earlier that week we had spent a day at Wildwind at Vassaliki,  a small independent catamaran and dinghy sailing destination where we have spent a couple of previous holidays and where we always return when in the area.  Each year Wildwind take a group of holiday makers on their larger catamarans, joining the race and the larger boats part way round the course.  We were there on briefing day for those wanting to take part in the race.  It was interesting to note the anticipation and excitement it generated, which just shows that boat size doesn’t matter.

We too were excited about the race and looking forward to the day.  We spent the night in Kioni on the island of Ithaca moored in a raft with the rest of our flotilla just off shore.  As the regatta started at 2 pm we were keen to get ashore stock up on provisions and get away fairly early to ensure we made the start line in good time.  There were 4 boats from our flotilla of 9 who wanted to take part including our flotilla lead crew boat.   As we had gone on holiday with another couple we felt the 4 of us could handle just about anything the race had to throw at us on our boat Euros.

The wind was light when we set off and after a few miles we decided to use the engine to make sure we made the start line in plenty of time.  On arrival at the start line area there were lots of yachts moored in the shallow area at the edge of the Meganisi strait and we found ourselves a space and anchored up.  It was a hot day but no time for our usual Greek salad lunch so we had cheese pie to eat on the go.  We waited to be joined by our lead crew and the other boats from our flotilla so that we could be issued with our boat number. We could hear them on the radio but there was no sign of them.  One of the official boats then approached us and asked our boat name and issued us with our race number 143.  As the official boat did not have a radio we were asked to radio the boat Island Bear as they were meant to be delivering flares for the start line.  Having switched to the race channel, I sent out our message only to hear my voice echo on every boat around us.  The response from Island Bear came back loud and clear and in a booming very official voice making us feel very important.

Eventually the other boats in our flotilla joined us and were issued with their boat numbers which had to be tied to the front of the boat.   There were 2 race starts the first for the smaller boats which included our 34 foot Dufour.  The 10 minute gun went off and the line was marked with flares so that we could see exactly where it was.  Both Alan and I have experienced dingy racing starts and know that even in quite friendly company the start can be an aggressive place to be but this was something beyond our experience.   Everyone was trying to get as close to that line as possible without going over.  I now know what they mean by all hands on deck it took all 4 of us tacking in and out of other boats to avoid colliding with any of them.  Some were quite fearful and it was a matter of who could hold their nerve long enough.  This is hard enough in a dinghy when you have the ability to tack away fairly quickly and easily but not quite so simple or quick in a yacht.

We held our nerve and after several tacks and lot of shouting of starboard we crossed the line and I breathed a sigh of relief quickly followed by one of horror as the gun sounded for the larger boat start and they began to bear down upon us.  Chaos ensued with everyone shouting at each other and trying to avoid changing their course.  We were very proud of our captain Alan who used his dinghy racing knowledge to stand his ground in the face of several much larger and more professionally crewed yachts who wanted to force us to tack away.

Just as we felt we were making some ground and find some space for ourselves the wind died away completely and we were left drifting.  We tried everything we could to find the wind but all were becalmed.   There was very little to do other than sit tight and hope the wind picked up.  We could hear on the radio that some of the boats who had been just slightly ahead of us had found some wind and were doing well but alas we were in the shelter between the mainland and the island and going nowhere.  The sun was very hot and we drifted closer to the rocky shore. We could hear some of the other boats around us radioing into the committee boat and retiring.   At that point we decided that we would also retire.  We radioed the committee boat with our boat number and our intention to retire and started the engine.

We had the option of going to Sivota for the party or going up to the idyllic port of Spartahori to meet up with some of our flotilla.  In the interests of getting a good quiet night’s sleep we choose the latter.  We were not the only boat with this idea. Having moored up we went for a well earned and very cold beer and swapped race stories with others.

There were over 200 boats in the race and only 35 finished with the overall winner being a Hanse 371, called Atlantico, which completed the race in 2 hours 34 minutes.  A great day was had by all and those who attended the party in Sivota reported that it was as lively and as noisy as ever.  We had a great evening.  Just slightly quieter than in Sivota and without the headache in the morning.


News of Lawrence Andrews

Lawrence is now Chairman of The Devon Schools Sailing Association . He has his Power boat 3 certificate and finished the power boat Instructor Course in the autumn. In August this year he will be running the safety boats for the Miracle Nationals in Plymouth and also organising the accommodation for the event. Proud father Julian supplied these photos.


Gibson Ventures


Sails, sail repairs

Top & under covers

Foil bags

We all know Neal as a skilled sail and also cover maker but  later in the summer he and Gemma are hoping to supply highly specified Miracle dinghies especially to afficianados on the Miracle Open Circuit. Neal has sold the Miracle and old Scorpion from under him and Keith and at the moment they are with out a boat.



Gemma and Neal are expecting a happy event (or a little Miracle) in March and we wish them all the best.