Number 128 / November 2001

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Published by the Open Canoe Sailing Group

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Lakeside, Windermere (RoyB)

I only went up, boatless, for the afternoon and evening, and was interested to see how people successfully altered their rigs to cope with the windy conditions. As was noted at Rutland Water, we are becoming more resourceful and confident in this respect. It was good to see Penny & PeterO, who, through work and other commitments, have been unable to attend many meets this year, and MalcolmC, a redoubtable boat builder (15 made so far, so he told me!).

Thanks to Keith for the report on the ranking race, which is rarely described in such interesting detail. I hope that in future other participants who are: a) amongst the leading group; b) able to give knowledgeable insight; c) therefore not the editor, might contribute something similar.

In the evening about 20 members repaired to The Boatman pub for a meal. For me, it rounded off an enjoyable, sociable event. Thanks to DaveS for organisation - once again the use of the YMCA canteen, where we could brew the tea and coffee provided (away from the weather), made this a good venue for an autumn meet.


Low Wray Meet (DaveS)

The last meeting of the year was held on 27/28 Oct. at Low Wray campsite, at the northwest end of Lake Windermere. With a turnout of around twenty members, we were treated to a weekend of cruising, amongst some of the best scenery around. This year the weather was kind to us, and provided those who came with the best sailing conditions of the year. Saturday was sunshine and showers, with a westerly force 2 to 4, providing for exciting sailing, reaching up or down the lake. This meant that the teashops of Ambleside and Bowness were within easy reach of the serious cruisers, and indeed several of them made it to both. At one point, the fleet caught up and passed two thirty-foot yachts, which caused us some amusement, especially when they almost collided together, after paying us too much attention.

JohnB was sailing his new boat, a Little Pete with two small outriggers (which is a full circle if ever I saw one). He finds that its light weight allows him to handle it on and off the car with ease. SteveR has bought himself a new plywood canoe, having folded his Royalex Prospector in half on a rock, whilst paddling down a river. It popped back out again, but the resulting crease and numerous scratches made him realise that it was no way to treat his sailing canoe.

The clear mountain air and the autumn tints made for some spectacular scenery, especially on Sunday, with light winds and sunshine. Several boats ventured down the lake again, this time landing at the visitor centre at Brockholes (more tea and cakes). Later in the afternoon, the wind picked up to a force 4 again, and we all had an exhilarating time, reaching back and forth across Ambleside bay. This was canoe sailing at its best, giving us plenty of memories to keep us going through the winter months; the perfect end to the season.

Dave sent me three fine photos taken during this weekend which are, I think, worthy of publication, especially as I'm rather short of copy for this month's issue. You'll see them below. (Hint, hint to all and sundry!) The Editor.

You can see why Dave wrote so enthusiastically about the weekend - the beauty of the surroundings and the good conditions, especially in the first photo, featuring DaveP and LouiseH bowling along in fine style.


American Sailing Canoe (RoyB)

Readers of the current issue of 'Watercraft' will no doubt have noticed an article featuring a sailing kayak supplied by Fyne Boat Kits of Bowness, Windermere. It comes as a kit, the hull and decking composed of 4mm and 6mm ply and put together by the stitch and glue method. The reviewers (Alan and Beryl Bright), who seem to come from a background of kayak and dinghy, tried out the 16' 6" version (beam 33"), which sported a balance lugsail of about 40 sq.ft. They were impressed with the craft's stability and manoeuvrability, although the wind was light. Their surprise at the effectiveness of a leeboard as opposed to a centreboard was an example of the reviewers' unfamiliarity with canoe sailing.

This reflects a surprising ignorance amongst even the experienced sailing public and press of our

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