small SigneT line drawing Printed from SigneT Class Owners Association website at

SigneT Nationals 2008 – Chichester Yacht Club

Practice Race Saturday 2nd August

Eight of the nine competitors took to the water for the practice race after a delayed start due to delays in the Graduate Fleet’s racing in their national championships. The morning wet rain finally cleared by 2pm as they looked set to start the race sequence. Force 2 -3 light to moderate winds.

The boats and crews competing in this race were

ST368 - June - Richard Cannon and Rob Britton
ST919 - Significant Other - Pat Overs and Jonathan Leeding
ST914 - Plop - Mike Overs and Tom Field
ST761 - Signo Vinces - Lizzy Overs and Roy Melsom
ST192 - Bobberdee - Simon Mann and Stephen Whiteside
ST690 - Welsh Lady - Will Davies and Hannah Whiteside
ST858 - The Saint - Keith Hatton and Mike Baker
ST377 - Cast Off - John Pratt and Steve Leeding

ST914 is missing her standard crew of Mark Cowling (arrival time yet to be established so Tom joined Mike as his crew Sarah Whiteside is due to arrive this evening) ST914 did a pre- race practice with their spinnaker, ST368 beached on the far side of the harbour and did some fine tuning. Finally after bunching and holding the line waiting for the start the first boat away is ST690, ST192, ST914, ST919. They then began to tack and it was impossible to see the order. (Gareth the race training instructor at Paxton would have been proud of Hannah’s flappy Genoa)

The Welsh Lady is round the first mark first followed by June, then Bobberdee, and Plop. Spinnakers started flying on Plop, Significant Other and Bobberdee looking very colourful as they headed back towards the clubhouse. During the racing the snotty yotties continued to come back to harbour for us to admire and dream of spending our future lottery winnings.

Meanwhile in true Top Gear fashion the lead boat is now ST368 followed by ST690, and then bunched together were ST761, ST914 and ST919 difficult to tell apart, with ST377, ST192, ST858 bringing up the rear.

Rounding the mark ST914 took ST761 on the inside. ST368 took a commanding lead with ST690 holding second place as they began the second lap. By the time they made the windward mark, ST368 led continued by ST761, ST690, ST914 then ST919 who both raised their spinnakers, ST192, ST377 and finally ST858 flying their spinnaker as they tried to catch up the rear of the main fleet. On this next leg ST690 was caught by both ST919 and then ST914 and they rounded the mark as a threesome. ST690 then did a 720 penalty and fell right back. On the bank we were confused as he had rounded the mark on the inside of the other two as they were overtaking him and we felt he should have been able to have called water. Jenny wondered if his future father in law was making penalties a part of his acceptance into the family. There is apparently a list of requirements he has to fulfil before the marriage can go ahead.

(It was later explained the ST690 hadn’t had their centreboard down so they drifted sideways into ST914 so they were happy to do turns)

As the fleet reached the windward mark ST368 was first round, with quite a lead on ST761, who in turn had a good lead on ST914 and ST919 who were neck and neck. Both once again raised their spinnakers. ST690 had a good leg and although he appeared to slip back into last place, rounded in 5th followed by ST377. ST858 also made up great ground especially on this last lap and rounded it in 7th place just ahead of ST192 in last place. By the time they reached the mark at the clubhouse it was all change with ST858 making it up to 6th place, ST192 in 7th and ST377 8th.

Problems with the spinnaker nearly had ST858 capsizing in front of the clubhouse but they recovered only letting ST192 to pass them again.

ST368 finished first well ahead of the rest of the fleet. ST 761 were 2nd again well ahead of the remaining 6 boats. ST914 in 3rd shortly followed by ST919. ST690. ST858, ST377 and finally ST192

Race report by supporting crowd of Pryor’s, Whiteside’s, Mitchell, Overs and Mann

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