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The Topper Xenon Nationals 6th/7th June 2015

The Topper Xenon Nationals Bewl Valley Sailing Club 6th/7th June 2015 The weekend of the eagerly awaited Xenon Nationals finally arrived with the prospect of some mixed weather as far as wind speeds were concerned but the forecast was mostly sunny and dry. 12 boats registered for the event and we were very pleased to welcome 2 visiting boats from Haversham SC and from St Catherine’s SC in Jersey. Saturday morning was glorious but with wind speeds of approximately F4-5 with some lively gusts of considerably more.

Xenon Championship - much practicing

A friend emerged from the Club changing rooms and stopped in surprise. "Are you breeding them" he asked, referring to the Xenons littering the launch area all in various states of being rigged.  Not sure why I always get the blame but I could understand his comment as he had not been able to sail for a while.  There are always a few Xenons sailing but with the approach of the Championship the need to practice has dawned on us all and the latecomers needed to thread their way between Xenons.

Spring Blaster 2015

Spring Blaster –April 2015

As I write this blog, preparations for the Xenon Nationals are well underway and it is hoped that some visiting Xenon sailors will be tempted to make the journey to Kent to join us in this exciting but friendly competition. Visitors will be made very welcome and all details are available via this web site. Due to very unsettled weather, the opportunities to practise for the event have been few and far between so this weekend, being bright and breezy was looking promising.

Winter update from the Dozy Crew

Mr T and I have continued to enjoy Sunday racing in the Xenon at our club with a varying degree of success and in many different conditions throughout the winter. The Xenon and the conditions have continued to challenge us and whilst we tend to be towards the back of the fleet, we have had some small victories which have been both enjoyable and encouraging. As a medium sized crew who have only been dinghy racing for 3 years, we are at our best during intermediate winds as we find both light winds and strong gusty conditions quite difficult.

Xenon Open 24.05.14


The morning of the eagerly awaited Xenon Open dawned wet and breezy as predicted. It was a relief to know that we would not suffer from a lack of wind and the conditions were looking to be both challenging and varied.

It was great to see 8 Xenons, including a very welcome father and son team from a visiting club turn up on the day.

We were very fortunate to have secured the services of an excellent Race Officer who set a highly suitable ‘uppy downy’ course, although I am told the correct nautical term is ‘windward leeward’.

Spring Update

Many of you reading this blog will, like us, have recently emerged from one of the stormiest winters on record. This has meant that we have experienced some rather exciting and challenging sailing conditions. Mr T and I have spent rather a lot of time this winter in the water but have now perfected our capsize recovery routine. We have also discovered the importance of checking that the Xenon is head to wind before trying to right it (we find that it may need a little encouragement to do this).

A Red Christmas

As the festive season approached, I was faced with the usual problem of what to buy Mr T for Christmas. He is by no means fussy and is perfectly content with the usual wine, books, jumpers etc but this year I wanted to do better. The Autumn has presented us with some challenging sailing conditions and as a result we are slowly getting the hang of the use of the spinnaker and have also perfected our capsize recover routine, which now takes considerably less time than it did previously.

Ski Sunday 10.11.13

Mr T was unavailable as he was on a safety boat course so I was fortunate enough to be sailing with a good friend and experienced Xenon sailor who was temporarily crewless. The forecasts during the preceding week were for winds of F4-5 with gusts of anything up to 30mph but thankfully on the day they were more like F3-4 but nevertheless with some reasonable gusts. We launched in the beautiful autumn sunshine, confident of a good morning's racing. We started quite well but were aware of some strong gusts and towards the end of the 1st race we had our first capsize with spinnaker.

Autumn Update from the Dozy Crew

It is now 6 months since we purchased our Xenon and it has been a period of very enjoyable 'ups and downs'. We have experienced some superb sailing days during what has been a lovely summer with plenty of sunshine and some very good wind. Our efforts at club racing have been innevitably somewhat mixed but we are gradually improving as a team and have been very pleased with our choice of boat. Mr T, my trusty helm has now perfected the art of a nifty move onto the centre board when we capsize which means that our capsizes are no longer a drama and do not lose us too much time.

A distinct loss of composure

Sunday 28th July

A beautiful sunny Sunday with the wind forecast to be a pleasant F3-4 so I was looking forward to an enjoyable morning club racing. As we were rigging up we all noticed that it was somewhat windier than predicted, with the club weather station showing a F4-5 with some rather hefty gusts before we had even launched. Great fun for the boys and experienced sailors but a severe attack of the 'heebie jeebies' was beginning to spread through this particular Xenon crew.


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