Please select your home edition
Blokart SW 728 x 90 TOP

International Canoes at the Tata Steel Sailing Club Regatta

by Chris Hampe 12 Oct 2021 22:07 PDT 9-10 October 2021
International Canoes at the Tata Steel Sailing Club Regatta © Chris Hampe

With a buzz of excitement from the International Canoe Facebook Page, eight skippers arrived at Tata Steel Sailing Club to join the club for their 2021 regatta.

Unfortunately, on Saturday the smoke from the nearby Port Talbot steelworks continued to rise straight up from the plant that dominates the northern skyline from Eglwys Nunydd reservoir.

With all racing cancelled shortly after lunch the plans moved on to the evening's entertainment. Chef Bowen provided a feast alfresco, under the sailing clubs awning, and the fleet drank late through the night. Some sailors also managed to find time to practice their capsize skills from the safety of the dinner table.

Sunday saw the sunshine arrive, But the breeze was clearly running a little late as only a patchy fickle breeze blow across the reservoir from the Northeast. When racing started it was a case of big shifts, large holes, and an annoying amount of weed all providing obstacles for the canoes to avoid. Andy Gordan was an early casualty of the weed retiring from the race after his centreboard jammed into position as he attempted to clear the offending plantlife. Tony Robertshaw led most of the race, only to be passed by Robin Wood and Steve Clarke late on as the fleet ended up spread out over a large distance mixed in with the handicap fleets. With the wind still late to the party, the race officer very sensible sent everyone back to the club for lunch.

When racing did re-commence on a much shorter course, the wind had begun picking up and the front of the fleet was close for the first few laps with boats falling behind due to the ever-present weed. Tony Robertshaw led the fleet on the final lap only to be passed by Hampe on the final short beat to the finish line. Robin Wood crossed the line in third from Clarke in fourth and Dave Timson in fifth after being the early leader.

The third and final race saw the best breeze of the weekend and the sailors were fully powered up perched on the ends of the sliding seats upwind and the boats now planning on the two reaching legs of the trapezoid course. There was however much confusion at the start and with several boats returning back top the start the ocs flag stubbornly continued to fly. Out front and Robertshaw's large lead was destroyed with a spectator friendly series of capsizes directly in front of the clubhouse. This allowed Robin Wood to extend away as he has done so many times before. The pack continued to fight it out with Dave Timson, Andy Gordan and Steve Clarke all fighting for the lower positions amongst themselves were unable to hold Robertshaw back has he charged back through the fleet.

The moment of truth came after an hour of racing with a deafening silence as Robin Wood crossed through the finish line only to then hear the finishing horn behind him as Tony Robertshaw's comeback allowed him to take the race and regatta win. Hampe finished close in second with quite a gap then back to Clarke, Gordan and Dave Timson.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoBoat NameHelmClubR1R2R3Pts
1st329 Tony RobertshawWeston SC3216
2nd340Monkeys UncleChris HampeMt Batten SC6129
3rd338Money4NuffinSteve ClarkeLlandegfedd SC2439
4th344Black BettyRobin woodTenby SC13OCS12
5th339BloodhoundDave TimsonLlandegfedd SC55515
6th343BlunderbussPhil AllenChichester YC46DNC18
7th347FlashAndy GordanStokes Bay SCRET7419
8th348 Steve BowenAberaeron SCRETDNCDNC24

Related Articles

What was intriguing at the RYA Dinghy Show 2023?
Remote operated self-bailers set one man's heart a flutter Determined not to let moving house (the day before) put him off,'s website developer, Magnus Smith, attended his favourite boat show during the last weekend in February. Posted on 6 Mar
International Canoes at Poole
Breeze filled in within minutes to deliver 'end of seat' conditions The forecast had long predicted a challenging weekend, and this proved accurate for both race team and competitors! Posted on 5 Oct 2022
International Canoe 'Not the Worlds' day 6
Blue skies and the smell of bacon cooking As the fleet assembled for the last day they were delighted to see blue skies, even more delighted to smell the bacon cooking, and could hardly contain their excitement to see the wind indicator on the club pointing East! Fantastic! Posted on 1 Sep 2022
International Canoe 'Not the Worlds' day 5
There can be only one 'When only a few of us are left, we will feel an irresistible pull towards a far away land, to fight for The Prize' (The Highlander, Ramirez) Posted on 31 Aug 2022
International Canoe 'Not the Worlds' day 4
Can a Wetherspoons could be classified as an athlete's breakfast? As the sun set last night over Costa del Kirby, talk was of what might have been, who got the snakes, who climbed the ladders, and if a Weatherspoons could be classified as an athlete's breakfast if you had the black pudding as an extra. Posted on 30 Aug 2022
International Canoe 'Not the Worlds' Day 3
Long distance race day After the distribution of race course maps, and a thorough briefing - all marks to port, Wales to starboard, follow the rib, England to port, if you get to Chester you've overstood the mark - the fleet launched into a steady F2. Posted on 29 Aug 2022
International Canoe 'Not the Worlds' Day 2
Mike Hartley's recently refurbed 'superyacht' acts as a hydration station After the boat handling antics during yesterday's racing, the fleet were delighted to accept the offer of Mike Hartley's recently refurbed 'superyacht' as both an on-the-water coach boat, and a between races hydration station. Posted on 28 Aug 2022
International Canoe 'Not the Worlds' Day 1
Racing on the Dee estuary at West Kirby Sailing Club Sailing Festival After last year's phenomenal success in not holding the IC Nationals, West Kirby Sailing Club were privileged to hold 'this is not the IC Worlds' as part of their Sailing Festival starting on Saturday 27th August. Posted on 28 Aug 2022
International Canoe UK Nationals and Europa Cup
Gareth Caldwell is both Ska'd For Life and the new champion Hayling Island SC hosted the International Canoe Nationals and Europa Cup from 18 to 25 July. Competitors enjoyed sailing in Bracklesham Bay in sunny conditions throughout the week in winds ranging from Force 2 to 4. Posted on 1 Aug 2022
Restart sailing show #48 - International Canoe
Filmed live from Plymouth with guest star Steve Clarke In the latest show, filmed live from Plymouth we talk to Steve Clarke about the International Canoe - the fastest non-foiling single hander! Posted on 10 Jul 2022
Upffront 2020 Foredeck Club SW FOOTERArmstrong-Suptonic-728x90-2 BOTTOMJ Composites 2022 - J99 FOOTER