ISO Europeans @ Stone Sailing Club


Waiting for the start
Waiting for the start


Monday - Sunny with a nice South-Westerly breeze for the first day of the Euros. Two races were held on a course around the cans.

R1: Serenity (1190 - Colin Snook and Alison Revitt) was close on the heels of Tinky Winky (1003 - John and Juliet Gill) but took a nasty capsize on the first reach across the channel which was a bit tight for the spinnakers. English Braids (1002 - Dave Poupard and Rachel Hughes) went into second while Sapho (1153 - Hans Smorenburg and Raymond Willemse) and Spare Part Dave (504 (100) - Richard Bowman-Daniels and Lizzie Joyce Gill) joined Serenity in the swimming excercises.  Sapho later discovered they were OCS while Spare Part Dave retired with damage.

R2: Race two involved a long broad reach down the shallow northern banks of the estuary. Clumps of weed brought down by the tide, wrapped themselves around the leading edge of foils making the boats unsteerable. As the gusts came through it was a lottery to see who would survive and who would take swim. Tinky Winky used great skill to survive by steering with sails and finished first. English Braids utilised their super-quick recover techniques to finish second while Serenity made third ahead of Sapho and Spare Part Dave retired again.

Tuesday - Another breezy South-Westerly and Wendy the RO sets a reaching start across the estuary in order to find a course that avoids the weedy northern bank after requests from competitors.

R3: Tinky Winky established a commanding lead to take first while Serenity, English Braids and Sapho battled for second. On the last beat up through the moored yachts to the line, Serenity is just in front of English Braids and Sapho. Serenity initially tries to cover both but they go for opposite sides. Serenity makes a strategic decision to ensure a finish in front of English Braids. Sapho may have capitalised but their decision to go in-shore for less tide did not work. Spare Part Dave was not far behind in fifth, making it a good race for the ISOs, finishing 1,3,4,5 in the handicap fleet.

R4: Serenity is last at the first mark due to navigational errors, but then tacks out into the channel for better wind and less weed and arrives at the second (windward) mark in first. Serenity holds off Tinky Winky for most of the race but Tinky Winky gets past on the last downwind stretch by gybing out for better wind. English Braids almost sneaks past as well while Serenity is recovering from the failed covering tactics, but then Serenity edges down very low and finds a nice gust out in the channel to maintain second place. Spare Part Dave beat Sapho to take fourth.

Wednesday - A long distance race was held on Wednesday in a strong but steady south-south-westerly.

R3:  Two sail, close reaching all the way down to Bradwell power station, around ‘The Baffle’ followed by a long neck destroying fetch back to the club. Tinky-Winky led from the start with Serenity close on her windward quarter matching speeds all the way down to The Baffle. English Braids also fairly close behind followed by Sapho. Approaching the Baffle, the wind dropped off and bent around so that some gybing was required. English Braids risked sailing into the shallower water off the headland and sneaked briefly into second but lost out again in the lottery of the Baffle’s wind shadow and Serenity came out on to the upwind leg  slightly to windward. These positions were held all the way back with the boats gradually spreading out. Sapho having some boat breakages had to sail lower and tack across the channel. English braids rather overpowered sailing a bit free-er. Serenity a little de-powered unable to quite match Tinky-Winky’s speed.  It was a long long fetch with the Radio Caroline ship seeming to never get any closer, but eventually conceding and passing by. One longed to change position to ease the aching muscles but having to remain vigilant against the vigorous gusts it was just a case of trying to make it back to the finishing line off Stone SC.

Thursday - There was no racing Thursday due to the big gusts coming through.

Instead we all went to Maldon to have a look at the Thames barges. One barge was open for viewing and they let us try hoisting the foresail.. maybe hoisting an ISO kite is not so bad! We chatted to the barge enthusiasts about barge racing, filming Dunkirk and how to preserve sails with fence paint.

Friday - It was still windy and very-very gusty on the last day and the RO set a nice Olympic style course with the triangle being somewhat skewed so that the first leg was almost downwind and the second a bit tight for the kite.. especially with a strong tide running out.

R6: Tinky winky won the first one. Serenity and English Braids performed a synchronised capsize at the first gybe and then swapped places several times before Serenity pulled away a bit to take second.

R7: In the second race of the day the same order was reliably established until about half way through the race when TW made a rare mistake and was shipwrecked on the bluff at breezy point. After some hairy moments beating up the gusty moorings off the clubhouse, Serenity took first with English Braids second. This was sufficient to ensure Serenity second place overall and with Tinky Winky out of reach Serenity decided to call it a day and get a hot shower.

R8: Tinky Winky was restored for the final race and English Braids led at the start, unfortunately by too much as she was OCS.


ISO Nationals 2017 @ Tudor Sailing Club

ISO Nationals 2017 - Langstone Harbour Race weekend, Tudor sailing club, 27/28th May 2017

A weekend of contrasts would be the best way to describe the Langstone Harbour Race Weekend 2017. The wind was pretty strong as we set off from Tudor Sailing Club for the two races near the mouth of Langstone Harbour. We all arrived at the start line for a fairly prompt start from the committee boat. A long windward leeward course took about an hour and fifteen minutes to complete. Great down wind legs with plenty of spray and speed. The running order for the first three ISO’s was that kept for the event, John and Juliet Gill in Tinky Winky by far the leaders, then Sticky and Miss Revitt in Serenity, and a newcomer to the ISO fleet all the way from Belgium, Trevor Pierce and his son Adrian, sailing Sticky’s second ISO, aptly named ‘The Other One’.  The Other One did better in the second race while Serenity decided to lie on her side for a while after sailing so flat for most of the racing before (there were pictures in the clubhouse to prove this). The wind got up to over 26 knots according to John; he noted this from the fact his mainsheet starts to ‘motor’ when the wind reaches over 25knots.

Tudor SC hosted a barbeque after racing on Saturday.

Sunday was completely different; we set off from the slipway at 11.45 but then spent a couple of hours drifting around and sitting still in the pouring rain. The committee boat cheered us up by throwing chocolate treats to those that got near enough and answered their bizarre questions correctly. Inevitably we had to call it a day as the harbour empties quickly and makes return to the slipway impossible.

Jane and Mark of the Buzz fleet prepared and served a selection of super curries at Langstone SC and Mark kept everyone in order as he hosted a snappy quiz with a number of rounds from pictures, geography and tin can stacking.

This is a super event. We have competed several times before and the format and support /cooperation between the three Langstone Harbour sailing clubs is great. The ISO fleet all enjoyed every minute, John and Juliet especially as yet again they were the worthy winners.

Trier, Germany, May 2015 - ISO Europeans and German Nationals

Sailing for the fun of it

Video of event here:

This was the motto Nik used to convince Lars and me to participate in the
Ascension Races run by his sailing club in Trier. He topped this off with
offering one boat out of his personal ISO dinghy fleet for the German ISO
Nationals as a part of the Europeans.

Saturday morning came and we found ourselves standing in front of the ISO “Mausetüte” (“mice bag”). Both of us had never been on an ISO and we only sailed together twice before. So we set ourselves the goals to give back the boat in one piece, not to capsize and – before all – to have fun!

Read more: Trier, Germany, May 2015 - ISO Europeans and German Nationals

ISO Nationals @ Calshot

This year's Championship was held as part of Sailfest's GWJ Direct sponsored Calshot event. The Friday was given over to a very successful coaching day laid on by Sailfest and run by Charlie Cumbley from the North Sails' stable and fresh from his Solo National Championship win.

The Saturday was forecast to be 10-12 knots and the ISOs set off to the race area in Calshot reach wearing summer attire and accompanied by a mix of classes ranging from 18' Skiffs to

Bytes, with an array of classes in between including a few new designs including the D-Zero, Supernova, Alto and Icon.

Read more: ISO Nationals @ Calshot

ISO Inlands @ Northampton SC

Saturday met the fleet with a rainy launch in a light breeze. After a short downwind sail to the start line proceedings were soon underway. A shortish windward course with 5 laps to go, the whole fleet got off to a clean, well behaved start and worked their way up the shifty beat. First mark rounding lead by Jon and Juliet Gill, a trend that was due to stay for most races. In the second and third laps the wind became very shifty specifically nearing the windward mark. Rob Dunkley 550 had great boat speed but a few problems with the kite caused for a disappointing finish after a good race. Also a disappointing finish for newbies to inland sailing Chris and Kyle who had coped with the shifts and then went to the wrong finish mark.

Read more: ISO Inlands @ Northampton SC

ISOs at Langstone Harbour Race Weekend. 3rd - 4th May

Three clubs bordering Langstone Harbour, Langstone, Tudor and Locks SCs hosted the 6th annual Race Weekend, preceded by the Friday night Curry Night at Tudor SC.

With a cold light wind weekend forecast the 55 pre-signed on plus some on the day took to the water at about 12.30 in glorious sunshine. It was looking like a slow sail out down the channel to the course located near Lock SC. The 6 ISOs were given their own race results extracted from the fast handicap fleet.

Course A, windward / leeward set in amongst the yachts and the mooring mines providing an interesting obstacle course. A keen start line all rafted up around the pin in the reasonable breeze for Race 1. 814 with novice crew Paul took the safe option and let the raft get away. Colin and Alison in Serenity were more aggressive leading Vantage Sailing and Tinky Winky to win on their home turf. The runners up enjoyed a joust for their places.

Read more: ISOs at Langstone Harbour Race Weekend. 3rd - 4th May

ISO Inland Championships 6th and 7th October 2012

The ISOs gathered at Draycote Water for the Inland Championships, on a lovely sunny day but a light variable wind.  

The racing got off to slightly early start which made some of us have to get a move on, (must read the notice of race).

Race 1 got off to a good start with Bob Ladell and Gary Hill 814 showing their expertise at reservoir sailing, arriving first at the windward mark and leading downwind, but then getting in a muddle at the leeward end of course, not realising it was a gate and rounding the wrong way, (must read the sailing instructions).  This allowed John Gill and Juliet Daniels 1003 to get through to take the lead; this remained the order to the finish, with Colin Snook and Alison Revitt 558 to take third.

Race 2 saw Bob and Gary make no mistakes, leading from start to finish. John and Juliet having to fight it out with Colin and Alison, with John and Juliet slowly getting ahead to take second.

Race 3 saw a little more wind, this time it was John and Juliet who got away, Colin and Alison had a great last leg to make it an exciting photo finish with Bob and Gary just pipping them to the post arriving at speed on the opposite gybe.

Race 4 again saw Bob and Gary make the best of it, with John and Juliet chasing hard but never getting too close, with Colin and Alison third. Day 1 ended with Bob and Gary and John and Juliet on equal points for first and second place, Colin and Alison third, leaving it all to play for on Sunday.

That evening we held the class AGM, then joined the Buzz fleet for a very enjoyable meal at the Dun Cow.

Sunday started with fog and little wind, as the fog cleared so did the wind, Draycote Water looked like a mill pond.  Racing was postponed for a while, but the wind never did come in and the day’s racing cancelled, so congratulations to Bob and Gary, winning the last race and winning the Inlands 2012.


John Gill


ISO Nationals 2012

Highcliffe SC, 15th & 16th September 2012


Rarely does a Race Officer and team get thanks in the opening sentence of a race report, it’s usually a last line afterthought, but the Highcliffe RO and whole volunteer Team get a very well deserved thank-you for their organisation and management of the respective ISO, Buzz and Laser 4000 Nationals last weekend, on and off the water. The turnaround between races was exemplary, no APs, no hanging around – just course set and great racing in the best champagne sailing conditions we’ve had the pleasure since La Rochelle way back in 2006. Absolutely excellent !!


The south westerly beckoned all three fleets out of the Mudeford channel into Christchurch Bay towards the Needles on Saturday morning. The forecast for a good strong breeze producing rollers just right for asymmetric surfing creating eager anticipation !


Race 1 started with everyone close off a classic starboard line with the race leaders steadily emerging at the front. Coming out of retirement, Jonny and Bugsy were close in with John and Juliet at the first mark with Euro Champ Rob and returning crew Barry not far behind in 1022. The other three boats got round in reasonable proximity and up with the kites.

Read more: ISO Nationals 2012

Calshot ISO and Buzz Open Meeting

For once the wind co-operated for a Calshot ISO/Buzz open meeting and a total of seven races were completed over the weekend by six ISOs and five Buzzes.  Having said that the wind was rather light on Saturday and at one point we found ourselves drifting backwards with the tide waiting for the wind to fill in from the other direction.  In order to keep us amused during the light stuff an airshow was arranged including a Battle of Britain flypast, Catalina flying boat and RAF training jets. After Saturday's racing we all went out to the Bramble bank on Mark and Jane's Konsort to watch the annual Cricket match that is played at the lowest of tides when the Bramble actually dries out. Unfortunately the strong SW wind was whipping up the waves down the solent and it was far from dry making Cricket infeasible so instead, Dave and Rachel came whizzing out in their ISO to give us an amusing demonstration of what happens when you try to sail across the Brambles at full speed while a spring tide is at its lowest. Back at Calshot SC we fired up the BBQ and had a pleasant evening eating and drinking.

Oh yes, the racing......!

Read more: Calshot ISO and Buzz Open Meeting