This past Wednesday night saw many of our regular sailors turn out for the Commodore’s cup race and Alice Lisle Cup races. A big thank you to the RO (Tom Clay), ARO (Helen Draper), Safety driver (Paul Grey) & Crew (Helen Miller-Facey). last we can’t forget the wonderful, Jackie with Henry and Frank helping out too.

Solo sailor and class captain Jamie Holmes was the overall winner of the Commodore’s Cup and to the Alice Lisle cup. Both awards were present on the night by the “Rear Commodore Sailing” Hywel Morris. It was also brilliant to see Harry Draper in his Optimist out on the water too though unfortunately, he retired due to technical issues.

These prizes are presented to the winner of the last Wednesday evening handicap and Wednesday evening pursuit races of the season.

Although the pursuit races have finished due to shorter evenings, there is still a four week series of handicap races on the 4th, 11th, 18th and 25th of September. As well as the racing Jackie Geller will have the kitchen open so please come racing in September.

WPNSA, Optimist Nationals 2019

I just competed in my first ever regatta – the Optimist Nationals at WPNSA. It was a real adventure.

On Saturday 27 July 2019, we dropped off my Optimist at WPNSA. It was amazing to see the facilities and to see the beautiful vessels all around the bay, including The Black Pearl which was moored in the harbour. Unfortunately, we just missed the opening ceremony, but we quickly found the group from Spinnaker, unloaded my boat and then went straight to the campsite where we were staying.

I was really excited that we were staying in the same campsite as my friend from school, Rory, who first brought me to Spinnaker two years ago. Also on the campsite was Robbie Hudson, who I also know from IOCA pre-zone training at Bosham last winter, and who sailed in Junior Fleet Gold, and my friends from Spinnaker, Toby and Rowan Sherrington and Daniel Llewellyn, who sailed in the Regatta Racing Fleet, and Elizabeth Hudson and Beth and Abi Llewellyn, who were with me in the Coached Regatta fleet. When we weren’t at WPNSA, on the water or waiting to go onto the water, we played football, rugby, cricket or Manhunt on the campsite.

I registered for the regatta early on Sunday morning, and then, on the first day of racing, those of us in the Coached Regatta fleet was divided into flights. I was put into Zebra flight with coach Alex, who was great. Helping Alex, and all of the other coaches was another friendly face from Spinnaker – Adele Young.

When we finally got onto the water, we did a practice race which seemed to go quite well. Then, in my first counting race away from the club, annoyingly I missed the start, along with half of the fleet. I had been told to stay away from the start line and went too far back. I couldn’t get back upwind to the start in time. I stayed out in the hope of there being a second race, but there weren’t any more races because it was very late.  

Sailing was cancelled due to high winds on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Tuesday we visited Portland Bill where the waves crashed against the rocks so loudly that you could hear them in the car park. We then went to a café where I met a man who introduced me to an app called Marine Traffic which tells you about ships and what they are doing. In the evening, we played football on the campsite. On Wednesday morning we were expecting to go out racing in the afternoon. In the morning we learned how to use a fid to splice ropes. We then waited in the dinghy park for about 5 hours. Racing was ultimately cancelled for the day, but some of us eventually had the chance to go out into the harbour and do some training in the late afternoon.

On Thursday and Friday, we returned to racing and did some simpler courses in the harbour. On Friday, we had lunch on the water. We all sailed up to the rib and tied our boats up. We climbed aboard the rib and had our lunch in the middle of the bay, next to a lobster fishing net. It was really fun because I have never had lunch like that on the water before.

I learned an awful lot about racing. I had an absolutely brilliant time.

I heard talks from Chris Draper, Ian Walker and Paul Larson.

I was lucky enough to have the chance to sail at Royal Lymington this week, and on Monday I won my first race; the practice race!

I have had so much fun over the last two weeks and I would like to thank everyone at Spinnaker who has supported me. I am really grateful for all of the help that I have been given, particularly by the instructors who have coached me, and the Young family who have all been so incredibly helpful in teaching me (and my parents) how to rig an Optimist.

Orson Shivji, August 2019


Hi – I’m Amelie and I have been sailing @ Spinnaker for over 5 years. I started off in an Oppy and I used to be terrified of the noise of the wind in the sail when I sat at the pontoon. After lots of encouragement I got in and soon started to enjoy the windy days.

I have stopped sailing my Oppy now and have moved to a laser and team racing in the Fevas. Team racing has given me more confidence with my sailing and the chance to learn things from other people. Team racing is about teams of boats racing against each other over a short course, using the sailing rules and working with the other team boat to get across the line first and second.

We have been training for about 9 months and in 2 weeks’ time we will be heading to Oxford Sailing Club to take part in the Eric Twiname youth and junior team races. The teams would like to thank Pippa and her team of instructors, our families for coping with us shouting at each other on the water and giving their support. A big thank you also to Marine Guard for sponsoring our amazing team jackets and Brearley Building Services for the jacket printing.
Look out for the teams at the club for our last weekend of practice and wish us luck.

If you are interested in starting team racing keep looking at the website for news on youth training scheme programmes.

After 4 long and tough days of sailing over the Bank holiday weekend, Spinnaker Sailing Club has another Optimist sailor going to the World Championships.

Kieran Young finished the Optimist selection trials in 5th place overall out of the top 79 UK sailors. The top 5 are selected to represent GBR at the World Championships, this year it is being held in Thailand in July.

Sunday 1st May saw a good turn-out for Boat Check Day despite the Bank Holiday, weather and closure of the A31.


A friendly reminder that sailing starts every Sunday at 9:30 a.m. prompt and anyone still requiring a boat check should arrive quite a little earlier than this so we can ensure you have all completed your check before the session starts. We aim to get going promptly at 9:30 and you do not want to miss something important.

SYT Boat Check Presentation as PDF

Saskia ClarkThose at the IOCA Winter training held at Spinnaker on 18th March were thrilled to be joined by Olympic Champion and World Sailor of the Year Saskia Clark. Despite competing attractions of skiing and rugby, 35 excited sailors took to the water, assisted by a large number of indispensable parents and organisers who brilliantly overcame some logistical challenges, fuelled as ever by Jackie’s bacon sandwiches.



Saskia was fantastic and she and the kids had a really good laugh and great fun. Along with the chocolate she brought for the kids she came with her medals (carried in a pair of socks) which she passed around so that all of the kids could take a turn wearing them and getting a selfie. As well as presenting the prizes, which were many and generously sponsored by Rooster, she also brought a carrier bag full of Rio Olympic Sailing gear, which the kids won by drawing out raffle tickets given to them at registration.





Saskia stayed right until the end of the afternoon and was the last to leave after she had signed almost every child’s IOCA medal and had a selfie taken with them. There would have been many tired but happy kids at school the next morning.

We are hoping that Saskia may be kind enough to join us for an SYT oppy session, so keep your eyes peeled for news!

Spinnaker Youth Training – Pre-Season Boat Checks

Finally, with the long-awaited arrival of Spring, we’re looking forward to the start of this year’s Sunday morning youth training (Optimist Training), with the first block starting on the 1st May.

Those Opi, Laser and Topper sailors participating with their own boats will need to have their boats checked and signed off prior to start of the season. To make this as painless as possible, we have arranged for a group check on Sunday April 17th.

Please aim to have your boats rigged for 9.30am if possible. Instructors will be present to talk through their training plans for the year ahead and there’ll be an update on how the Sunday sessions will run. As always, we are dependent on parent volunteers to support in various roles each week, so please come with diaries to hand to sign up and help your fellow instructors in the club