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Welcome to the home of 18ft Skiff Sailing in the UK. Here you will find all you need to know about these high speed racing machines.

 

 

UK Class News

5 Jun, 2017
UK class news

European Grand Prix Round 2 - Lake Balaton, Hungary

The second round of the European Grand Prix Series was held at Spartacus Vitorlás Egylet, Lake Balaton. 4 days of racing were planned and 3 British boats made their way...
7 May, 2017
UK class news

Euopean Grand Prix Round 1 - Ammersee

Lake Ammersee, a beautiful lake at the foothills of German Alps hosted the 1st Round  of the European tour joined by teams from Hungary, Denmark and Germany at the Diessner-Segel-Club...
18 Apr, 2017
UK class news

UK Grand Prix Round 1 - Calshot

The Solent was the location for the first round of the 2017 UK 18ft Skiff Grand Prix and it delivered two days of exciting racing to get the fleet up...
1 Apr, 2017
UK class news

Try an 18 Day - Grafham Water Sailing Club

  A fleet of some of the UK's best 18ft skiffs met at Grafham this Saturday to show off for the fleet's annual Try an 18 Day. The wind held throughout...

European Grand Prix Round 2 - Lake Balaton, Hungary

5 Jun, 2017 Editor 21

The second round of the European Grand Prix Series was held at Spartacus Vitorlás Egylet, Lake Balaton. 4 days of racing were planned and 3 British boats made their way to the other end of Europe with the promise of sun, wind and beer!

Day 1

The first day of racing really showed off the sailing venue to those who hadn’t sailed here before! It was a glamourous day racing on the big rigs.

ChameleonI came out as top of the UK boats with consistent results constantly challenging the top runners. LED saw themselves at the front a couple of times, but a couple of swims in the corners meant they didn't stay there for when it counted.

Rutland had their first day in their newly refurbished boat which had only just been put back together the night before. They had a better than expected first day and posted a second place in the race when they strung all the manoeuvres together.

 

 

Day 2

The second day was by far the longest day on the water. A long distance race was sailed first, followed by two normal races totalling over 5 hours on the water.

The long distance race took in the full width of the lake and introduced a headland for the fleet to sail around, timing the kite hoist right not to sail into the bank, but not lose out by waiting too long. Rutland led the fleet around most of the course, taking in the awesome scenery of Lake Balaton. However, they took their eye off the ball on the last leg to let ChameleonI through to win, with Be-Light only seconds behind.

After a short relaying of the course, the second race was back to the windward leeward race course. The race was won by Be-Light, picking the right shifts to lead LED and Rutland. The final race was the one that took its toll for Rutland who capsized in pre-start and never got back in touch with the fleet. ChameleonI and LED were keeping the European boats on their toes and LED were finally at the front when it mattered and took the bullet in the last race of the day.

 

 

Day 3

The third day was a windy one! The forecast suggested a sensible No2 day. However, with the sea state and breeze suggesting much more, a couple of the fleet launched with reefs in.Only one race was sailed in very breezy conditions. The fleet were equally matched up to the top mark, all rounding amongst one another when they found a light patch in the breeze to get the bows away. ChameleonI blew out their mainsail after the bearaway ending their day on the water.Rutland and LED were match gybing down the run until LED trawled a kite at the bottom mark, forcing Rutland into some interesting two sail gybes to avoid. Rutland and LED sailed on to come 3rd and 4th in the race. Once the signal for shore was called, Rutland headed back upwind to give their new boat a good burn downwind.

 

 
 
 

 

Day 4

Racing was called off for the final day due to even windier conditions, so Day 3 results still stood. Congratulations to the host team of Be-Light for taking the win. The highest placed British team were LED who came second and they also took home the prize for "Highest placed foreign boat". The UK fleet would like to thank Spartacus Vitorlás Egylet for putting onsuch a great event and being so welcoming throughout the weekend.The boats are now packed up and stored in Hungary. They will be travelling to the next eventin Lake Garda (3rd to 8th July) where they will join even more British and European boats and a fleet of Southern Hemisphere boats to contest the biggest European Championships in years

 

 

Euopean Grand Prix Round 1 - Ammersee

7 May, 2017 Super User 18

Lake Ammersee, a beautiful lake at the foothills of German Alps hosted the 1st Round  of the European tour joined by teams from Hungary, Denmark and Germany at the Diessner-Segel-Club e.V.

Day 1

The Red Bull fuelled drive and some exuberance at the bar on arrival resulted in a good night. The lack of wind on day 1 and after a day of sitting around exchanging stories of big bear-aways with big rigs with other European teams, the RO called it a day at 5pm with an announcement that racing would commence at 9am the next day. 

Day 2

The UK teams arrived the next day again somewhat bleary eyed at 10 to find the entire fleet rigged and ready to go to calls of "you were serious about that 9am start!?" and something of a frantic rig up by the Brits. Again, the lack of wind saved the UK boats bacon for the second time that weekend.

Around midday the wind finally made an appearance and 5 races were sailed in near perfect conditions with all teams mostly fully powered up and 3 stringing with big rigs that were universally adopted by the fleet.

The 5 races saw 4 different winners with GER22 Euro link showing the most surprising form capsizing in the first three races while young gun stand in helm Tom Martin found his feet in the boat. When he did get in the groove, he went on to post 2 bullets in the last 2 races.

However, It was Graham Bridle and the 2 Ed's (Bridle and Gibbons) on ChameleonI who had the most consistent day, with a string of podium finishes. The found their mojo with their big "tree trunk" single spreader rig to emerge as top of the first day leader board, 2 points ahead of European champions on Team Hungary.

Day 3

Day 3 dawned to a much more ominous forecast and building breeze with much debate about which rig to use. The top European teams from day 1 decisively made the call to "go big or go home" and so the decision was made for the rest of the fleet.

As it transpired the wind did lighten for the first two races and the big rig was a good call. The third race was a different storey altogether though and the race started in a good 20 knots with bigger gusts and the top mark turned in to something of a skiff graveyard with all teams struggling to pull away and some spectacular pitch-poles.

On the last day, it was the Hungarians who showed a return to form treating spectators and a number of capsized 18's to a a masterclass in handling the big rig well up range and showing us yet again how they are worthy European champions when only three boats managed to finish.

 

Having posted two podium finishes in the first two races and looking good for the top spot, the UK team on ChameleonI had to settle for second place overall after capsizing on the pull away and Graham Bridle swallowing his pride and deciding to "war around" at the bottom rather than risk a gybe. Heinrich von Bayern, AKA the prince of Bavaria, just pipped the rapidly improving Euro link to 3rd place.

Yours truly sailing with Scott Bonner and Alasdair York on LED Low Energy Design had our moments posting a bullet in race 3 and a second in race 7. However, the new team were given a lengthy list of things to improve on for the next regatta by the quality fleet.

The European Tour now moves on to Hungary for a 4-day event 18-21 May where we expect to be joined by a third UK team. This event is then followed by the European championships in Lake Garda early July where the European fleet of 12 or so boats will be joined by a star studied cast of 6 boats form Australia, 4 boats form New Zealand, Howie Hamlins Team USA and Jarod Simpsons brand new boat which will certainly be a force to be reckoned with.

 

 

UK Grand Prix Round 1 - Calshot

18 Apr, 2017 Tom Hill 32

The Solent was the location for the first round of the 2017 UK 18ft Skiff Grand Prix and it delivered two days of exciting racing to get the fleet up to speed after a winter off the racetrack.

 

Day 1

The reported 12 knots on the course made a couple of the teams question their early season ability in the possible top end No1 conditions, so two boats plugged in the No2 rig and the rest of the fleet launched on their No1 rigs.

The start of the first race was made interesting by Steve McLean’s team on LED bearing away along the line in the last 10 seconds before the gun. Stewart Mears and his team on Pica kept out of the pre-start mess to lead the fleet around the top mark in first, followed by Graham Bridle in ChameleonI. The final positions were settled by the final lap with Pica coming first, LED powering through the fleet to come second and ChameleonI taking third.

The second race had a clean start with a drag race off the line lead by Tom Kiddle’s GBR122. The fleet found their form in the strengthening breeze leading to some close crosses. Tom Hill and the team on Rutland pushed the starboard layline as far as they dared in by the shore, to round amongst the pack. Pica eventually came out on top, followed again by LED and ChameleonI.

The last race started in fresh conditions that continued up to the top mark leaving some boats shuffling an extra few steps back before the bearaway. GBR122 were getting stuck in challenging ChameleonI for the second spot on the first downwind leg, before a kite overboard in the drop sent them swimming. The podium places were the same as the first two races of the day. Alex Lewin’s Union Rose showed determination right until the end of the day, especially impressive with their first day racing in their new boat.

 

Day 2

The overnight forecast had the sailors expecting a lively day on the small rigs. However, the fleet were greeted with a light breeze and a mix of forecasts that suggested wind speeds either side of the rig changeover, so it was another day of split rigs.

The ebbing tide on one side of the course made it look like tactics were all sewn up, but ChameleonI bucked the trend and found breeze out in the tide to see them lead the fleet by quite a margin at the first windward mark. The lead was maintained for two laps for them to sail to their first bullet of the season. Union Rose also got their highest finish of the regatta in this race, stealing a 4th place from LED on the last kite leg.

The second race saw the breeze soften even more and a painful race for the small rigs of LED and Union Rose struggling to keep up. ChameleonI once again got ahead of Pica in the first leg, but couldn’t keep them at bay for the duration, eventually letting Pica through to another win.

The final race was the closest race of the day. Rutland lead the fleet around the top mark with all boats rounding within 20 seconds. The busy kite hoists lead to Pica and Rutland tustling and letting the rest of the fleet through. However, the back was the place to be as a new band of breeze got to these boats first and saw them sail around the rest of the fleet who were parked in very little wind. Rutland rounded first for the second upwind leg and covered the fleet for the final lap to also take their first bullet of the season.

After six races over the weekend, Pica took the title for the first round of the UK Grand Prix 2017, with ChameleonI taking a deserved second place and LED holding onto third place. Pica had some disruption from their usual dominance which will make the rest of the season interesting with some of the talent coming through.

The event was a little different to normal, being run entirely by the Class Association. It was only possible due to a long list of helpers who are owed thanks; Calshot Actvities Centre for excellent launching facilities, ChameleonI for supplying RIBs, Forward Sailing for lending race marks, the Mead family for providing an excellent committee boat and Ian Bullock and the army of Race volunteers that set a great course and quick races.

The UK fleet are now competing at 3 European events over the next couple of months. The first Euro Grand Prix will be raced in Ammersee, Germany, followed by Balaton, Hungary and Lake Garda, Italy. The UK fleet will host final round of the Euro GP in September at Sandbanks, Poole.


 

 

 

Try an 18 Day - Grafham Water Sailing Club

1 Apr, 2017 Super User 66

 

A fleet of some of the UK's best 18ft skiffs met at Grafham this Saturday to show off for the fleet's annual Try an 18 Day. The wind held throughout the day to get plenty of sailing in across 3 boats. Another 2 skiffs were there on the water, getting some pre-season training in.

 

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22 sailors were swapped in and out of the skiffs throughout the morning. There was a diverse range of sailors of all ages and abilities. Sailors from many boat types made the trip up including 49ers, Musto Skiffs, RS800s and 420s. It was also great to see a couple of young groups of sailors from Marconi SC and Brightlingsea SC head up for the day and have a go in boats they had only dreamed of sailing before.

The wind began to drop in the afternoon, allowing the boats to be handed over entirely to new teams to let them loose and feel how the boat sails with only them in control! This also lent itself perfectly to get a couple of the more mature generation of sailors to try there hand onboard.

Here's what a few of the sailors had to say:

"Really great boats. Now I want one..." Lachlan Pearman

"A well run, thoroughly informative, safely delivered and exciting 'Try It' Day" Judy Templemen

"I've got to do this again!" Grahame Smith

The fleet are about to start their UK circuit in a fortnights time where they will be sailing on the Solent on Easter weekend over the 15th and 16th April. For more info on this or anything else 18ft Skiffs, head over to uk18footer.org

 

 

 

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