Starcross Yacht Club Hurricane TT Open 29-30 June 2013

The  Starcross Yacht Club 2013 Catamaran open this year was simply  “Sailing Utopia” and it was a great shame that continuing pressure on personnel finances and some boat damage after the unseasonable weather meant we had no visiting Hurricane competitors this year.  The TT open used an upwind/downwind racing format and this was combined successfully with the Dart SW area championship using a triangular course from the same committee boat start line.  It was the best Cat Open for many years with 23 boats in total fighting it out on the water.  The 8 local Hurricanes were blessed with Force 3/4 gusting 5 NNW winds on both days with sunny afternoon temperatures reaching 21C.  The PRO Russell Gibbs set up very close back to back racing on brilliant courses with no hanging around on both days.

Racing was extremely hard and close in our fleet. Rescue boat crews reported on several occasions that all 8 boats went around the top mark within a 10sec window, and they were really shifting. The upwind racing was challenging, with crews constantly reviewing wind and tidal vectors on these extremely fast craft and then tactically evaluating what the competition were doing. However, the approach to the downwind mark, with Hurricanes absolutely flying with kites up and crews trapezing, proved the ultimate challenge with the slower Darts, who were approaching on different vectors, becoming moving obstacles in a part of the course where the wind was shifting a good 10 degrees at times. Many places were lost and gained in this area with unfortunate crews visibly digging in hard to regain any advantage they could back upwind.

Steve (HSTD280) rounded off the Saturday racing with a superb solo musical performance with the best scenic backdrop in the SW.  A perfect end to the day with both cat fleets relaxing and enjoying each other’s company. The club really needs to stock up on Doombar for the Dart Netley crews next time… Jon Mile’s home reared BBQ burgers were spot on, as was the Sunday breakfast from our excellent galley ladies.

There was tweaking of mast rake and diamond stay tension by some crews in the Hurricane fleet before the Sunday’s races which, in the strengthening conditions in Races 5 & 6, resulted in even tighter battles in the fleet.

In summary, Doug & Jamie HSX416 won 5 of the 6 races but were constantly kept on their toes by the SYC fleet.  Winds were gusting at times and places changed regularly making racing very exciting.  John & Tony HSX454 came second overall with Mike & Eamon HSX457 in third.

RACE 1   SAT – Mike & Doug’s boats took the clear lead downwind but due to wind shifts and gusts the whole fleet caught up and arrived at the leeward mark almost together.  Mike arrived first and slowed during rounding. Doug was unable to slow fast enough so had to do his 360 and ended up last around the buoy.  John took the lead but was overtaken by Robin HSX346 on the last lap who managed to keep the red boat pinned behind to the finish, while Graham HSX278 manage a 3rd place.

RACE 2   SAT – Doug got away early and battled it out with John most of the race. John ended 2nd with Mike not far behind. The rest of the fleet were in very close contention

RACE 3  SAT –  Graham spotted a wind change and started on port dipping the fleet  close to the committee boat and got to the windward mark 500 m before the rest of the fleet, but his luck did not last long. Doug took the lead from John closely followed by Robin. Unfortunately John had terminal problems with his kite spin lock jamming, capsized to miss a Dart, and had to retire. On the last downward leg Graham came from 7th to third on a huge lucky gust and tacked for the line before Robin could cover him to take 2nd place on the line by a split second.

RACE 4 SUN – Mike and Doug headed the pack and continuously fought it out for the entire race, with Doug eventually getting the upper hand.  Robin stayed a consistent 3rd.

RACE 5 SUN – Doug & John fought it out with Doug winning with Mike in 3rd place. Jim HSX207 capsized while in close quarters with Graham – Jim tacked without (allegedly) warning his crew.  Alice, Jeremy’s HSX276 new crew, was handling the spinnaker better with every race so may they may well be the ones to watch in the future.

RACE 6 SUN – Robin took a flyer on the start, but was soon swamped by the rest of the pack. Doug reached the windward mark just ahead of John but slowed down faster than John expected so John had to do his 360.  Mike caught up and fought it out with Doug to take 2nd place.  Jim pulled through from 5th to 3rd improving throughout in the strengthening conditions.

Report by Robin Buxton Smith

Photographs taken by respectively:-

  • Robin and Sabrina being chased downwind by Jim and Jon – Photo by Aidan Whiteley
  • Race 4    Jim and Jon heading back upwind Photo by Aidan Whiteley
  • Race 4    The ‘Red Barons’ John and Tony on ‘The Red Boat Photo taken by Aidan Whiteley
  • Race 4    Mike and Eamon with Lympstone in background – Photo by AidanWhiteley





Hurricane AGM

The 2012 AGM was held at Brightlingsea Nationals in September 2012 and attended by approximately 28 members.  The key points minuted are below:-

  • Previous minutes accepted and approved by Geoff Tindale and John Tuckwell
  • Hurricane Class accounts agreed.
  • Membership agreed.
  • Committee members agreed to stand again next year and the committee were duly re-elected by the class.
  • It was requested that the “welcome” letter that Mark Mawditt sends to new members of the fleet has a reference to the Hurricane Facebook page.
  • Tack line for the spinnaker was discussed at length and put to the vote – all agreed that this would be allowed in the spirit of making the boat easier to sail.  Andy Webb  and Geoff Tindale will publish details on how to carry out this “optional” change. All were encouraged to view Geoff Tindales boat that has it installed.
  • 2013 Nationals at Weymouth was agreed although Andrew Bedford to investigate if we could make the event slightly earlier in the season.
  • Dinghy Show – it was agreed by all that we would not attend the dinghy show next year due to cost of the show and of little benefit to the class. It was agreed that the committee will investigate advertising in Yachts and Yachting or providing an email newsletter by Andrew Dowley.
  • John Donovan displayed and discussed a new larger jib that he had designed.  This was discussed at length and strongly opposed by the class as it would have a detrimental effect to the SCHRS rating.
  • The current SCHRS rating was discussed and Nick Moore agreed to speak with SCHR committee to  review the current rating to take into account the age of the Hurricane, hull shape and design of the centre board.
  • John Tuckwell stated that we should all endeavour to get race reports and announcements into yachts and yachting and other sailing magazines to raise the profile of the class.
  • The meeting was adjourned at 6.45pm

Next AGM to be held at 6pm on  Saturday 14th September 2013 at Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy (Nationals) all members welcome to attend

Stone TT 13-14 July Race Report

Five visiting boats joined five home boats for the classic event in the Hurricane calendar. Of the five visitors three where from Island Sailing club, one from Stokes Bay and one made the long haul from Bala. Given the conditions of sunshine and light winds this was always going to be an event for the lightweight crews with the leading contenders being Richie Hanmore sailing with Kevin Bawden, and Geoff Tindale sailing with his son Jack.
Race 1 on Saturday the form book was discarded as the leaders straight out of the blocks were not the light weights but heavy weights of Mark Woods and James Hey who lead all the way round the course. This pair have been long term supporter of Hurricane open meetings and it looked like they were going to win their first race in an open meeting however they ended up hitting the outer distance mark of the finishing line, by the time they had completed their penalty turns against the tide and a falling breeze 3 boats passed and finished.

First blood to the Tindales, then Hanmore/Bawden 2nd and John Tuckwell and Chelsea Furber coming in third. Woods and Heys were left to contemplate the phase “to finish first first you must finish.”

The second and third races now fell into a pattern with Hanmore/Bawden winning the second race from the Tindales and in the third race the positions where reversed. Behind them Tuckwell/Furber had posted a 6th and a 3rd while local hero of Neil Connelly sailing with new crew Simon Ellershaw posting two 5th and a 4th.

Sunday came and with slightly more breeze other contenders started to swing some punches. Race 4 saw Connelly/Ellershaw taking a win with Tuckwell /Furber taken second, Tindles third and Hanmore/Bawden 4th. Race 5 Hanmore/Bawden taken the win from Connelly/Ellershaw with Tuckwell/Furber a model of consistency taking 3rd. Tindles finished 6th. Sixth and final race and all to play for. Under pressure to deliver the Tindales threw at knock put punch finishing 1st with Hanmore/Bawden 2nd and Tuckwell/Furber posting yet another 3rd.

Overall the Tindales and Hanmore/Bawden finished on equal points so it came down to the count back as the decider which meant the Geoff and Jack Tindale had won the 2013 Stone open meeting from Richard Hanmore and Kevin Bawden in second and John Tuckwell and Chelsea Furber third.

The Stone open meeting is a favourite event for the Hurricanes and the club always delivers on organisation and race management. The Stone Hurricane fleet is a little subdued due to the untimely loss of Matt Gregg earlier on in the year and it is hoped that the fleet will recover in the new year. The Hurricane fleet moves onto Island Sailing Club at the beginning of September and then the Nationals at Weymouth.

Report by John Tuckwell

For results please see

Weymouth – Hurricane / F18 Nationals 2013

Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy.  Photograph taken from our sundeck next to the bar in our own private room for the entire event.  Overlooking the boat park where we will keep our boats,  the launching area and our playground.

Can you see yourself there ?

4 days of racing (2 per day) with the option of a speed race (weather permitting).  Hog roast and all the trimmings on the Saturday and Sunday traditional roast with accompaniments included in the entry fee.    Chilli night and beer and curry night is also available for a small charge on the Friday and Monday night.

The band “Supermassive” have been booked for the Saturday night so get ready to party.

We will organise a pro-am so from beginner to winner everyone will learn and have a great experience.  So if you have never done a Nationals or an open meeting or your new to the fleet now is the time to do it where you will receive a warm and freindly welcome by the entire fleet.

Our generous sponsor Typhonn will once again be providing prizes for the fleet.

Trophies for the 1, 2, 3 spots, the oldest and youngest combined crew, new comers and those that have travelled the furthest distance, the best placed club (will Stone hang onto that trophy ?)   many more trophies and silverware up for grabs including the numpty hats !

You can book on line at  or go to the events page of this web site.

Nick Dewhirst RIP

It is with great sadness that we have learnt of the death of Nick Dewhirst on Friday 19th July.  Nick was the Class Chairman of the Sprint 15 Class  for no less than 25 years and also the Chairman of the SCHRS (Small Catamaran Handicap Rating System) committee and the long time Chairman of UKCRA (UK Catamaran Racing Association).

The world has lost a charming, intelligent funny gentleman and a huge advocate of all things catamaran the world is a sadder place without him.

The Hurricane class send our heart felt condolences and thoughts to his family at this sad time.

Campsites in Weymouth and Portland

Weymouth have issued me with details of the following campsites close to the Academy – I believe Swallows Rest is the closest to the Academy.

Swallows Rest, Wyke Regis – 07785565059

Pebble Bank, Wyke Regis – 01305 774844 –

Blagdon Fruit Farm, Chickerell – 01305 785991

Bagwell Farm, Chickerell – 01305 782575 –

East Fleet Farm – 01305 785768-

West Fleet Farm – 01305 782218 –

Moor Farm – 01305 771057

Nationals – Notice of Race

The NOR has now been finalised and published on the Hurricane / F18 website that  Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy has set up for us for this event.

You can enter on line, and get all the up to date information here as well.

Notice of Race 2013 Weymouth Final

Nationals 2013

The clock is ticking and the Nationals are not far away now.

Weymouth are used to dealing with big events and are pulling out all the stops for this one, superb sailing area, professional RO, fantastic venue and entertainment room with sun deck and viewing gallery.

Great food with hog roasts, salads,  curry night, chilli night and Sunday roast with all the trimmings, beer on tap and bottles of rum and anything else you fancy.

Our sponsors Typhoon are once again offering prizes, we have trophies galore – start polishing them now a fantastic event is planned.

If you have not done an open event or a  Nationals before please do NOT think it is not for you – it is more for you than ever.  You get to meet the fantiastic people that make this fleet what it is, you learn more at a Nationals than you will learn anywhere else, not just on the water but with all the advice, tips and help by your fellow sailors and competitors – this is a friendly, helpful and open class – but you know that don;t you !

I know from everyone that I have spoken to they all have this one in the diary – the event of the year and you can book on line at the link below.


Nationals at Weymouth 14-17 September

Not long now people to the Hurricane 2013 Nationals which are being held at Weymouth Sailing Academy.  A fantastic venue, with great food and entertainment lined from Saturday 14th – 17th September.

Follow the link below to the web site that tells you all about the Nationals and how to sign up and pay on line (paypal).





Starcross TT 29 -30 June

Starcross sailing Club are holding the Hurricane TT and Dart open meeting on 29-30 June a two day open water event on the Exe estuary.

On line entry

Sailing: 6 races (3 planned per day)

First race will not start before 11.00 am on Saturday.

Entry Fee: £25

Registration: Friday evening and from 8:30 am Saturday morning.

Race briefing: Saturday 29th June at 10:15 am in the club house.


The Club bar will be open on the Friday evening to welcome sailors to SYC and meals will be available.

Breakfast available on Saturday and Sunday mornings.


Some limited space with SYC members:  On a first come first served basis through fleet captains

Bed and Breakfast: There are a number of good B&Bs in the local area.

Hotels: Nearby Exeter (15 minutes) has a range of hotels including a Travelodge and 2 Premier Inns.

Camping: Limited free camping is available in the club grounds between the club house and the sea wall, offering lovely estuary views.  No fires or barbecues are allowed in the camping area.  Toilets and showers are accessible via a number code.  The 06:30 London-Paddington train provides a useful early morning wake up alarm!

 For more details:

Visit the SYC website at 

Or contact Fleet Captains:

Hurricane   Graham Buxton-Smith on

Dart           Matthew Holmes on