February 2001 Newsletter


In this issue


·        Introduction

·        2001 Events

·        Race Officers Report

·        Handicaps for First Race

·        Accounts 2000

·        Report from Lady Hamilton

·        A sad farewell

·        The Passage




Welcome to the 2001 RSA newsletter and a big thanks to all those who contributed to this addition. Please do let me have your articles for future newsletters and send them to myself

John Langrick – RSA Newsletter Editor and Secretary , 10 St James Avenue , Thorpe Bay, Essex SS1 3LH. Phone 01702 588199, e-mail johnlangrick@aol.com


Please also note that the RSA now has a web site as follows: www.paglesham.org.uk/rsa This is the web site for the Paglesham village and we thank them for allowing us this space for our members. Please have a look if you get the opportunity and do let us have a photo of your boat to be included. If you send it to me I will scan and return to you.


On a sad note, as I go to print,  I have just heard that our President Norman Bishop passed away on Thursday 8th Feb. May I, on behalf of the RSA, offer  deepest sympathies to Edna and family. 


2001 Roach Sailing Association AGM at the Village hall Paglesham

The AGM will be held on Sunday 25th March. The RSA would like to thank  Paglesham  for the use of the village hall. Please be prompt at 7:00 for a start at 7:30.



Please note that the year 2001 subs  remains £3.00. Please send your subs to Noreen our treasurer. We also have river licences in stock and the price remains £11.50.  If you want one sending by post, please send an SAE. Noreen’s address is:

Mrs Noreen Bishop, 99 Stambridge Rd,  Rochford, Essex.


Please make cheques payable to the Roach Sailing Association.


We still have plenty of Burgees for sale.  These can also be purchased from Noreen. We have both racing and cruising burgees at £14.00 each including VAT. Again, cheques to Noreen above.


Committee News

Please note that all members of the committee are due or election at the AGM. The current members of the committee are:

Nigel Bishop – Acting Chairman

Jon Walmsley – Race Officer

Richard Bessey - Race Officer

Noreen Bishop - Treasurer

John Langrick - Secretary


Other members of the committee on your behalf are

John Martin

Mike Dallimore

Michael Figg                    



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2001 events

New event no 1 – Fitting Out Supper

This will be held at the Plough and Sail at Paglesham on Saturday 21st April. This will be an informal dinner to celebrate (we hope) inching nearer the water. Please meet for dinner at 7:00-7:30 and settle your own bills! Please confirm numbers to myself, (John Langrick, 01702 588199).  We have currently pre-booked 16 places and do need to let the pub know any changes.


New event no 2 - Holland Cruise

You will see that the RSA is planning a trip to Holland some time in the period Monday July 23 – Sat Aug 11th.  A period has been selected rather than a specific date as we do need to see what the weather is like. If you would like to join us, please let Jon Walmsley or Richard Bessey know.


Fambridge Cruise

On Sat Aug 12th, we cruise to Fambridge. You may remember that last year at the end of October, we were to celebrate Haloween’s 50th birthday, but again the weather conspired against us. This year we plan a similar event and Rodney has invited RSA members on board for a small celebration when we arrive at Fambridge and prior to our meal at the pub.


Dauntless events

You will have to forgive me for including these in the RSA newsletter, but we do also have five members of this Association who are also members of he RSA and as I arrange events and write newsletters for both, have combined some of them. Which is just as well as many RSA members have joined us at the Dauntless meetings in the past and as always are very welcome. The first meeting, which is also the AGM, will be on Friday May 25th, 7:30pm, at the George and Dragon on Foulness (anchor in the Roach). This will also be the same weekend as the OGA Crouch Rally. The meeting will be in the conservation room where there will be a buffet meal served. . For those who travel by road, you will need to let the pub know that you are coming as the island remains MOD property and has restricted access. The telephone number is 01702 219460.


There is a second event which will be a rally to Benfleet Creek, via the Havengore. Again RSA members will be very welcome, but please beware that there really is very little water! If you want to go by sailing dinghy, you are  also welcome to cruise with us and we will also be able to arrange a few berths if necessary, The final Dauntless event is a Paglesham rally. Simply a meeting of Dauntless boats at Paglesham and a trip to the pub. As in the past, all are very welcome!


Pyfleet/Kent cruises.

You will need to watch the notice boards or keep in contact with the committee to see where these will eventually end up. If the wind and tide serves as we hope, we should try and make a weekend over in Kent. If really exceptional weather, I will personally try and start on the Friday so that a full day can be spent before the return. Alternatively, we will make the usual trip to Pyefleet. If the weather is really bad, as was the case last year, we will probably detour to Fambridge instead. Keep in touch nearer the date for the latest.


2001 Laying Up Supper

The laying up supper has been booked at the Royal Burnham Yacht Club for Saturday 13th October 2001. There will be reservation and booking details in the September newsletter, but please keep this date free in you diaries.



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Race Officers Report

Richard Bessey



Number of different boats:         15

Average number per race:         5


Paglesham Pot

5 boats was a good turnout for the start of the season. Light winds made us delay the start, and a short course to Jubilee was selected. However things picked up and quite a tight race ensued, and top 3 corrected times were all within a couple of minutes. PINT POT won the day, following on from a successful winter season at Hullbridge. Following up were PUDMUDDLE, LITTLE STINT, SWANTI and MEMORY.


Whittaker Cup

Seven boats entered; SWANTI, PINT POT, STRAVAIG, PUDMUDLE, LITTLE STINT, MARSHMALLOW and TROLOGY. The course was a long one, to the Crouch Buoy and back. LITTLE STINT was first over the line followed by STRAVAIG. A special mention to Dick Sandwell, in his new boat TRILOGY, who sailed round from Maylandsea  to join us. On handicap SWANTI took first place, followed by PINT POT with STRAVAIG third.


Blue Shoal

They were a bit thin on the ground for the Blue Shoal, with members visiting such far flung places as the US and Walton on the Naze! However PINT POT, MEMORY and LITTLE STINT raced to Redward and back, with LITTLE STINT taking the prize.


Shuttlewood Cup

Four boats started; STRAVAIG, PUDMUDDLE, LITTLE STINT & SWANTI. The course was to Clarks in the Crouch. A fresh, westerly force 3 to 4, meant a long beat back against the last of the tide. LITTLE STINT was again first over the line followed by PUDMUDDLE and STRAVAIG. A good race by SWANTI gave her first place, with PUDMUDDLE second and LITTLE STINT third.


Paglesham Yacht Race

The race was to be sailed on an ebb in variable winds. Our chosen course took us down to Redward buoy, then back as far as the Foulness quay, where we finished conveniently in time for a lunch-time pint. MEMORY came in first, followed by WINKS and Simon Joel’s Wayfarer BARBARA ANNA in her first race.


Fambridge Race

A fleet 10 boats went to the Fambridge weekend with 8 entering the race to the Branklet on Sunday; MEMORY, JOSID, HALOWEEN, SWANTI, STRAVAIG, PUDMUDDLE, LITTLE STINT and TRILOGY. PUDMUDDLE, LITTLE STINT and MEMORY made an early break in light winds with PUDMUDDLE first across the line. On corrected time, another win for SWANTI followed by MEMORY and PUDMUDDLE.


Gracilda Cup (Ladies Race)

With many people away, there was only one contestant on the day, Steve Dowding’s sister Angela. Nevertheless she sailed STORTEBECKER to the Holywell buoy and back and claims the prize.


 RNLI Race

Six starters; SWANTI, MEMORY, PINT POT, STRAVAIG, PUDMUDDLE and BARBARA ANNA. Due to strong westerly winds, the course was upstream to the  houseboat. A broad reach their and back favoured the gaffers with  another win for SWANTI, MEMORY in second and PINT POT in third.


Lifeboat Cup

In this Saturday afternoon race, three dinghies took part in fairly light winds, taking the up-river course again to the first Port mark near to Rochford. WINKS and B+ARBARA ANNA were again beaten to the finish by Nigel in MEMORY.


Roach Plate

8 starters of which 3 were Dauntlesses: LINNEA Lena Riekie, LUCY BROWN Colin  Lockett and Alan Holland  and SWANTI, for what turned out to be a very entertaining race. Due to a light westerly wind and a flood tide the decision was made to follow a course up the Roach to the first port mark. Despite a delayed start there was very little water in the upper Roach STORTEBECKER made a good start only to run aground above the Violet as did most others at some point. A queue formed around the buoy as there was no water on the south side. MEMORY was first over the line with last boat, STRAVAIG 4 foot fin, finishing one hour and 20 minutes later. SWANTI third, LINNEA second with a win for MEMORY.


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Handicaps for 2001



RSA Hendicap




TRILOGY         148     1286

























Handicaps have been adjusted after the end of the 2000 season, based on each boat's average performance over all races in the season. Check www.paglesham.org.uk/rsa for up-to-date racing details!


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Summary of Accounts 2000





















Annual Subscriptions






Crouch Harbour Authority Discs






Sale of Flags & Burgees






Bank Interest






Excess Inc/Exp for dinner (inc. flowers)






























RYA Subscription






CAYFE Subscription






Printing, Stationery & Postage






Cup Insurance






Cup Engraving






Crouch Harbour Authority Discs






Donation to Alexander Yacht Club
























Excess of Expenditure over Income






Excess of Income over Expenditure


















Balance Sheet as at 31st December 2000


















Balance at Bank 31st December






Stock of Flags and Burgees


















Accumulated Fund






As at 1st January






Surplus Income/Excess Expenditure










































Noreen Bishop






Honorary Treasurer






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Live-a-board in the Mediterranean

Dan O’Herlihy


Lady Hamilton is a 1973 Shipman 28. After 5 years at Paglesham I took her to the Mediterranean. The account of my 3250 mile trip to Greece appeared in a previous issue.


Greece 1999

August 26th - October 15th was spent cruising the islands of the Ionian, with a brief interlude in Corfu where I had to haul out to repair a shaft coupling. One of the pins had sheared following years of corrosion and a close encounter with a submerged log.


A very awkward repair that required removal of the prop, separating the Hydralic motor  from the hull moulding and sliding it back far enough to drive out the remains of the pin. I was assisted by fellow RSA member Dennis Haggerty, previously a partner in the boat before I sold up and sailed in May 1999. He had joined me for a week of sailing, however we had only motored 1 mile from Corfu Old Harbour when the boat suddenly lost all drive. We spent the next 2 days hauled out in a boat yard to repair it. All work had to be carried out after squeezing into the cockpit locker and then stretching into the bilge.  A back sufferers nightmare!


The yard owners were very obliging but we had to seek the assistance of a local engineer to drive out the remains of a second pin. Fortunately the cost of all this was less than half you would pay in the UK. Before Dennis returned home we still managed to visit the islands of Paxos and Anti Paxos. Free harbours, cheap beer and fabulous weather, Dennis became an overnight convert to Mediterranean cruising! 


At the end of the season I laid up Lady Hamilton for the winter in Preveza, taking a flight back to the UK in early November. I then spent the winter in England working to build up my cruising funds and buying equipment for the boat. Upon returning to Greece in the Spring of 2000, my 70 kgs of baggage included a nearly new cylinder head, barrel and piston! I managed to secure these after placing wanted ads in the yachting press.


Greece 2000

I spent two weeks readying the boat and making modifications. My rebuilt engine has run faultlessly ever since. The continued running maintenance and repairs have made the 25 years old Farymann auxilary more of a hobby than a means of propulsion! But it has never failed to start and will still push Lady Hamilton along at 5.5 knots in smooth water.


Launching at Prevesa, Lady Hamilton then cruised the Gulf of Corinth. I visited Delphi, then through the canal (£42 for a two and a half mile passage!). Dennis once again flew out from England to join me for a week (Easy Jet only £100 return inclusive). We visited Athens and the islands of Saronic Gulf including, Aegina, Poros and idyllic traffic free Hydra.


By early June the Meltemi had begun to blow and the cruise North to Skiathos was a welcome end to what had been a long hard windward slog from the Saronic. A worthy test of the Shipman’s windward ability!


I then headed East toward Lesvos (near Turkey) and then began the sleigh ride South through the Dodecanese with winds that seldom dropped below force six. I stayed in the ancient and picturesque port of Mandraki in Rhodes (only £1 a night). It became my base for exploring the Island over the next two weeks awaiting the prevailing gales to subside.


September saw me visiting the Cyclades islands with a mandatory stop on the island of Thira (Santorini). Stunning views down into the flooded crater of a huge extinct volcano. Depths of 500 metres even precludes cruise ships from anchoring here!


Returning to my starting point at Preveza at the end of the season, Lady Hamilton had visited 33 islands and logged just over 2000 miles in the year 2000.


Once again I am currently back in England to build up my cruising funds. I am flying out to rejoin the boat on the 22nd of April and plan to end the 2001 season in the Ibiza.



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A sad farewell to Don McDowell



One of the saddest duties as editor of the RSA newsletter is to report the loss of one of our members. Don McDowell had been a member of the RSA for many years. In latter years he and his good lady were regular visitors on walks through the yard and on a good day sailing his small brig at Paglesham.


His daughter Heather has sent me a brief summary of Don’s sailing years for this newsletter.


“His first boat was a 16’ half decker, bought when he was 16 and he taught himself to sail from books. After a couple of seasons, she was wrecked by gale whilst hauled up for the winter and he didn’t buy another boat until after the war.


This was SWAN, another half decker which he sailed to Paglesham from Deal in 1956. In 1958 she was sold to Paul Bishop.


DORMOUSE was built for him in 1957 by Frank Shuttlewood, and in her my parents sailed to France and Holland as well as the Medway, Essex and Suffolk rivers.


With the family growing he needed a bigger boat, so in 1969 DORMOUSE was sold to Reg Seal and he bought TINY MITE, a Shuttlewood built barge yacht. She was sold in 1983. After that he continued to sail the local creeks in ‘CYGNET’, a 12 ‘ GRP dinghy, as well as sailing holidays on the Norfolk Broads.


His last sail was 3 years ago, helping me sail a leisure 20 around from Maylandsea.”


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A Passage.

Bill Chrystie


Picture it now, rounding Dungeness when heading West,  the wind, force 5-6 came from ahead and then, on the return trip, (three weeks later),  now heading East, the wind blew from the East. I am sure it was premeditated and I am certain I know who was the instigator. Perhaps the following was his train of thought? Here he is, as ever, irritatingly self assertive.


“Stand aside! Let me pass! Give way, make passage; I am Aeolus, god of the wind. I want some diverting amusement, shuffling clouds around the heavens is extremely dull and I'm bored.


So, let me see, what is on offer here? A fishing boat. No that won't do, they are always too busy to notice me. An ocean liner perhaps? Not really; it needs a typhoon before they become alarmed and even then the disturbance is so unrewarding; besides lots of energy is required and it really is most exhausting.


No! What I need is something that can be easily tossed around, may be teased a little and hopefully where I might cause some frenzied disorder for a while. I just want some fun!


Ah! Now what's this? This might do. See there far below a sailing boat, neatly trimmed and with all sails set. I'll disturb their peace and quiet, perhaps even give  them a fright! This is just right. Tormenting sailboats is quite amusing and always provides abundant sport.


Let's begin with a gentle breeze. From any quarter will do; enough to fill the sails and delight our unsuspecting mariner; and who knows, perhaps with luck, make him abandon caution entirely. See there: how charmingly he reacts. He's ecstatic, poor chap.


Now fired with boundless enthusiasm he settles contentedly, the tiller under his arm, his back against the cockpit coaming, relaxed, at ease and with a look of total bliss upon his ridiculous sun browned face. Clearly this must not continue. I will blow and blow and blow and produce a disturbed and turbulent sea, that should dispel his fatuous grin.


Watch this! See how the boat twists this way and that. Out of control, first her prow and then her stern, is catapulted haphazardly into the air. Now capricious seas, short, steep and hostile assault on every side, whilst the crew, by now pallid and green, feel disturbing twinges of panic trickle down their spines.


And look there! The ancient mariner I have upset, he shakes his fist and curses loudly to his god. Oh good! How wonderful! It's beginning to work. Now I must blow yet more vigorously, but from quite a different compass point. That will confuse him and ridicule his pathetic efforts to regain the equilibrium so wickedly destroyed only moments before. Even now, unbalanced, the boat heels dizzily, gunwales awash and a ton of water right across the deck, all navigation a total wreck.


Look! She's in stays, the sails all ashake, and can you hear the wind in the rigging shrieking dementedly about this displeasing hell?


More wind now and perhaps, just occasionally, an even stronger gust, simply to increase the carnage and disharmony. Already hard pressed and almost unmanageable, the boat will fall off those perpendicular waves, be laid flat on her beam ends, then left floundering with all power lost. I'm told sailors are quite used to this sort of thing so it won't upset them much.


Meanwhile our troubled crew cling desperately to their beleaguered ship, debating which would be wisest; to jump overboard and drown, or stay amongst the living and stoically endure their fate.


Now is the moment to launch a more fearful sea; prodigious waves with crests that break and foam about their puny hull, striking first to starboard then to port, even making it go west about. See how she yaws, driven forward in a blinding smother of spray, finally stumbling drunkenly into the iron faced trough that lies waiting between each billowy wave. The rudder madly flails as futile attempts to control an impending broach are made. All to no avail I am glad to see.


The crew look terribly cross as they rush about reefing sails and the like, desperate to regain command before their worthless souls are lost. There's a gybe! It nearly took the mast. It caught them by surprise. Oh what delight! This really is a treat! I'm certain they'll not survive, just look at that maelstrom I have made. Huge waves spiral in and out, slithering and twisting pitilessly then crash and break with malevolent savagery.


I learnt the trick of making whirlpools from Poseidon. He said it freezes the boldest sailor's blood -I must admit it rather frightens me too. Look there, enormous breakers attack the rocks so dramatically; a trifle theatrical, if you ask me. Yet maddeningly still she floats! Surely I must be victorious, these violent seas should destroy this flimsy craft with ease. Really there's no escape.


Over there the rock bound coast waits hungrily to conclude the grief I have begun. Even now the sound of booming surf has reached our mariner's ears, a spitting hiss at first and then a gargling roar that starts as a howl and ends in a shriek. Now they know tear- more than fear it is the horror of impending doom. Terrifying that unholy sound, and look how our sailors have tripled their frantic efforts to survIve. Indeed superb sport; though I doubt they would agree!


But now regretfully I have to end this entertainment, I'm getting tired and I must go in search of other places where I can wreak more havoc and pandemonium. I'll take one last look before I leave—Jumping Jehosaphat! What damned sorcery is this! ! ? The boat sails easily, no longer pitching, rolling or surging uncontrollably in that cruel sea. Slyly the impertinent skipper has regained control and even now, blast him, congratulates his crew as jubilantly they sail, no longer in fear, all grinning from ear to ear.


I see! They think they have the better of me? Well I'm not finished yet. Let me try one more trick, because I do not blow for their delight. I will cease to blow outright; that will remove their contemptuous smirks. Then let them curse and swear for I think you must agree," Better too much wind than none at all! !"


Finally do not think me wholly villainous; whilst I would admit I prefer the apocalyptic scenario (It's so much more fun). I also bestow gentle breezes, which on balmy sunny summer days allow you to crowd on every sail, then, so I hear, sailing really does become fun.


But, foolish sailors- young and old- beware, for when all seems calm and tranquillity, I sleep, quite contentedly, until the next time.


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