2017 Inlands - Burton on Trent SC

21/08/2017 15:05:35
Ian Mackenzie
And more.
Don't forget this year's Inlands 23/24 Sep, hosted by Burton on Trent Sailing Club, at Foremark Reservoir.
Working on the NoR at the moment and will confirm details soonest but, to whet the appetite:
On-site camping for the weekend - £10
Breakfast, lunch and supper available at the club.
Great bar.

30/08/2017 08:24:47
Martin Smith
Just three weeks to wait!

31/08/2017 16:10:54
Ian Mackenzie

Nautilus 2017 Merlin Rocket Inland Championship

So, thanks to everyone for your patience.

What can we offer for 2017:

·         On-site camping - £5 (yes, just £5) for the whole weekend

·         Entry Fee - £35 (yes, just £35) for potentially 8 races (more details below)

·         2-course supper and Saturday Prizegiving. Supper bookable at Registration - £8.50 pp.

·         Saturday Night entertainment by Newton Park

·         Breakfast and lunch available Saturday and Sunday

·         Club AND BAR open from Friday pm (NB please advise me if you are arriving on Friday)

·         Wind permitting – 6, windward/leeward races (Sat) and 2, sausage/triangle races (Sun)*

Water levels looking good, maybe too risky to hope we will have and indian summer and tempt Mark and Lou into yet more camping?

Programme looking like this:


pm                      early arrivals (please advise [email protected] in advance)

18.00                 Bar open.

                           O/night camping for weekend £5


 08.30 – 10.30     Breakfast

10.00 – 12.30     Registration

12.00 onwards   Light lunches available

13.00 - 17.00     6 x 30 min, back-to-back, windward/leeward races (with gatemark)

18.30                     Supper in Clubhouse

o/c                         Day 1 Prizegiving

o/c                         Newton Park. O/night camping on-site - £5


08.00 – 09.00     Breakfast

10.00 – 13.00     2 x 60 min races (sausage/triangle/leeward gatemark)

o/c                         Light lunches available                  

15.00                     Prizegiving

* race programme subject to prevailing wind. May be adjusted to 5 x round the cans course if necessary.


31/08/2017 18:44:47
Martin Smith
Notice of race can be found by clicking on the following link and selecting the Documentation tab.

31/08/2017 19:14:50
Ian Mackenzie
Just to clarify, the NoR hasn't quite formatted correctly at Martin's link above. If we manage to run the 6 windward/leeward races; Races 1&2 will count for trophy 1, Races 3&4 for trophy 2 and Races 5&6 for trophy 3. Simples eh?

01/09/2017 08:51:23
Julian Parry
Why windward/leeward courses?

01/09/2017 09:12:54
Ian Mackenzie
Hi Julian,
This is at my instigation this year as a trial to test alternative options for the fleet, to make the "Inlands" more distinctive than "just another 2-day ST event" and to offer the fleet something slightly different.
The Nationals structure this year was modified with advice from our Race Office, Peter Saxton, and gained a very positive reaction. One strong message was how much longer there was "real racing" as the beat/sausage/beat kept the fleet much more compact.
Talking to Burton's Race Office, the 5o5s ran this windward/leeward for their Day 1 at Burton and it went down very well.
So, time to try something new.
Will you be able to come and join us to try the format?
Best wishes

04/09/2017 13:38:44
Ian Mackenzie
Nautilus Inlands Burton SC - NoR
You can download a pdf version of the NoR here 

05/09/2017 23:42:32
Martin Smith
Can we have details of the menus for Sat & Sun Breakfast
Can we have details of the menus for Sat evening.
What's a light Lunch?
Its just over two weeks away and I need to plan what I need to bring with me as I'm planning on camping (well camper-vaning) for the weekend.
Thanks :) 

06/09/2017 09:21:56
Ian Mackenzie
Hi Martin. Talking to Paul (the caterer) today. Will get back to you asap. Glassware arriving today for checking, Entry Forms and SIs in draft. Plenty of water at Foremark.
Would be really helpful if people could let us know they are coming?

06/09/2017 16:14:01
Ian Mackenzie
Catering for the Inlands/Timings for the weekend
Okay - so here it is. Your gourmet guide for the 23rd/24th
08.00 - 10.30     F2 Breakfast - Sausage/Bacon/Egg Baps - £2 (2 choices)/£2.50 (3 choices)
                          F4 Breakfast - Full English, double sausage, double bacon, beans, toast - £5
12.00                 Pre-launch Light Lunch  - Bap & Chips (Ham/Turkey/Chicken/Cheese) - £4
 18.30                2-course supper. Ticket only. Buy at Registration. Leek & Potato soup/crusty bread. Followed by
                          Chicken in Tarragon & Cream sauce, New Potatoes. Green veg.
o/c                     Daily Prizegiving
o/c                     Entertainment from Newton Park
08.00 - 09.30   Breakfast as per above
o/c racing         Lunches as per above
15.00                Prizegiving 
Please help with our planning by letting us know if you are coming and/or whether you will be there Friday. Camping available. The bar will be open. 

07/09/2017 11:50:37
Martin Smith
Thanks Ian
I plan on arriving on Friday evening probably around 1930-2000.
So 1 x Campervan spot for the weekend required please. 

07/09/2017 11:53:11
Planning on being there on Friday night so camper van site for me as well.

08/09/2017 07:15:13
Ian Mackenzie
Fantastic. Any more takers. See you in the bar.

08/09/2017 07:15:14
Ian Mackenzie
Fantastic. Any more takers. See you in the bar.

09/09/2017 12:19:06
4 of us from wembley coming 

Got a good dog sitter for logan 

12/09/2017 14:33:14
I am coming on Saturday Ian. Will need a Motorhome Spot for Saturday Night.

12/09/2017 14:49:55
Ian Mackenzie
Re Wembley. Woof woof. The more the merrier. Looking forward to entertaining the north London crowd.
More great news, looks like one of our NSSA sailors will be with us.
 Jeremy, consider your space booked. Looked forward to comparing motorhomes.
Any more takers? 

18/09/2017 10:35:14
Ian Mackenzie
Weather looking very promising. Especially for the campers. I have 5 vans booked for Friday plus 2 more and maybe 4/5 campers for Saturday? Any more takers?
Remember, bar open Friday night, breakfast available Sat and Sun. 
Reservoir full to the brim. Just need some Merlins.
Club entrance gateway will be marked with Merlin feather banner. 
See you there 

18/09/2017 11:57:25
Caroline Croft
Hi Ian,
Chris and I will be there with a rather large tent (palace) for Saturday night. 
See you there! 

18/09/2017 17:47:50
Guy Browne

Providing Dark n Stormy repaired in time, I will be there 

18/09/2017 19:43:15
Chris Martin
We are aiming for Thursday Guy 

18/09/2017 21:59:23
Duncan Salmon
Hi Ian, we will be there two camping spaces please. Duncan and Harriet.

18/09/2017 22:16:13
Chris Kilsby
1* van space please! 

19/09/2017 07:31:23
Ian Mackenzie
Hi All. Brilliant. All camping/van spaces confirmed. Should be a great crowd for Saturday night. Don't forget to book your suppers at Registration. Camping/van area should also be marked with Merlin banner. Keep the entries coming. Cheers Ian

19/09/2017 10:59:20
Ian Mackenzie
Burton SC - Large Event Arrival - Please follow the guidance below.
The entrance gateway from the road will be marked with a Merlin banner.
To avoid dinghy park congestion at large events parking in the dinghy park is prohibited. Please follow the instructions below:

• Follow the route indicated by the red arrows to the dinghy drop off point.
• Unhitch dinghies and pull to the dinghy park. NB - low trees may mean you will need to step masts once you are in the dinghy park. Space is limited so please store trailers as per below.
• Park your car in one of the three car parks indicated.

Note at reaching top of hill on Foremark Reservoir driveway:
• 1st Left – is driveway to clubhouse, no parking, do not use!
• 2nd Left – leads to car park #1
• 3rd Left, also marked with Merlin banner, – leads to car park #2 and camper/caravan area (Please park vans N/S to maximise available space). There is an area for trailer stowage opposite the campervan pitches.

20/09/2017 16:11:33
Ian Mackenzie
Picture of club layout now on MROA Facebook page - Burton Map
Thanks Lou.

24/09/2017 20:37:21
Big thanks to Ian and Angela. Excellent weekend 
Definitely the 6 race Saturday was worth trying and whilst maybe bit much was thoroughly enjoyable

The folks at burton were very friendly and helpful so again thanks to them too

24/09/2017 23:20:55
Martin Smith
A request for feedback on the 2017 Inland Champs from the Vice Chair.
Please do read all of this and then tell me what you think, its your class your event and we had 40 boats (Hurrah!) out of a 500+ membership attend, warts and all go for it because I want to know if you didn't attend why you didn't attend, what we could have done to get you to attend and what we did that made you decide not to attend! 
Plus if you did attend what was great and what was less great! 
The entry cost at £35 was for two days sailing with safety cover in my opinion good value, food, evening meal only £8:50, ok, camping whole weekend £5 good, £57 all weekend looking good.
The food (evening meal) at £8:50 was at best average, I watched and joined the hungry sailors who stole the left over bread from the first course, the flavour of the meal was not bad, I would have liked a thicker sauce (it is Master Chef final week after all!) it was more a question of volume!
Oh and no complimentary tea and coffee all weekend I refer you to what the Wembley ST offers (breakfast roles, tea, coffee, jacket spuds & chilli as well as water and Mars Bars between races for £15 yes £15!!) aslso the Lymington ST who in the middle of the Solent produced an Ice cream man.
Bar prices £3 a bottle for a bottle of beer that is three for £5 at Tesco  / Morrison what do you think? let me know
Not sure on that one £2.50 seems far more reasonable.
Friday night bar staff were very friendly and accommodating, Saturday less so.
Please do Tell me what you think, I promise to feed it all back (minus your identity) to the committee and the Organisers, the good the bad and the ugly!
Onto the sailing.
The Inland Champs 
For me this is the Inland champs(clue in the title) that means sailing around the cans on a course around the host clubs buoys such as 854721 for x laps not 6 windward  courses on the Saturday and two Sausage Triangle course on Sunday, but I accept that for some of you this was a breath of fresh air,  I need your feed back here please to report back to the committee and the event organisers, It Is your event so please do let me know, type your sail number and Yes or No if you liked the format.
If you don't want to be so bold them please do mail the same to [email protected]
I promise that I will report nothing but numbers in favour of or against in respect of this format be you the front of fleet, middle fleet or well, with me somewhere down the pan!
The identity of this information will remain solely with me, and I'm over 50 so will forget who sent it anyway!!
Be in no doubt.
This was a very successful Inland Champs, if you were in the clubhouse on Saturday night I don't need to tell you how it turned into a typically rowdy alcohol fuelled party to the not unpleasant sound of the band Lincoln Park who towards the end of the night got the their music selection right and were rewarded with numerous Rocketeers dancing and demanding more more! 
I should thank Ian and Angela on delivering a quality event.
I want to ask you in my capacity as the class Vice Chair to provide me on this forum or in private with the information necessary to assist the Class Association in delivering events that you want to support.
3567 Fat Boy Slim 

25/09/2017 08:29:19
Chris Martin
I'd like to echo what Martin's said about feedback, and thank you guys for bearing with us for an experiment. It was certainly different, and the racing was very (Frustratingly!!) close on Saturday.
In terms of doing what we asked I thought Burton did a fantastic job and I'd like to thank all their members who put time in for us and made the Inlands work for us. 
I'd also like to Thank Ian and Angela for doing all of the groundwork and coming up with away to make the format work. 
To deliver events that you want we need to know what that is - please tell us what you thought 

25/09/2017 09:50:55
Ian Mackenzie
Photos from Sunday's racing - many thanks to Kevan Bloor of Burton SC.
He is more than happy for you to download and use these images. I hope you enjoy looking at them.
 He is still uploading files to this link as he took over 350 pics!
Keep checking here for updates: Merlin Inlands 

25/09/2017 15:17:03
Paul Hollis

Great event thanks to Ian and Angela and Burton SC.

I thought £5 for camping was a bit money grabbing. Wembley have mastered the art of Value for money and that will take a lot beating.

Its a shame that clubs feel they must have a £30+ entry for the inlands as other than fuel costs and possibly entertainment there are no other costs as the association & sponsors pay for the prizes. 
Salcombe was £25 for there two Day ST and they have more rescue boats out and provided the same facilities. I know there are some even more expensive two day events but we do need to keep an eye on the cost of entries. 
6 sprint races to much 2 sprint and a normal race both days would be good also would be fairer if there is different winds each day.
and yes its an inland event and most inland clubs sail round the cans so prefer that rather than sausage triangle format.
Friendly well run event, brilliant Team of trolley dollies .
6 windward leeward sprint races in one hit to many, not sure if I got fed up or was just dizzy from going round in circles.
Well done team nice to try something different just needs a tweak here and there. 

25/09/2017 16:41:22
Dave C
Paul, agree with your sentiments, I guess some clubs as just business these days. Sounds like a good inland's overall though. Is there going to be a report?

25/09/2017 17:34:37
Ian Mackenzie
Hi David. Report is "Work in progress". Cheers

25/09/2017 21:22:50
katie-hannah wright
Oooo great photos. Thank you kevan bloor. Can't seem to download any though.

And thank you Burton for a great weekend of racing!

25/09/2017 21:51:49
Ian Mackenzie
Hi Katie. Glad you enjoyed the sailing. Great to see you and your dad. Re the pics - I think you have to "sign in" to Flicker (no charge). Once you have activated your account, when you double click an image there is a "Download" button in the bottom right of the screen Good luck

26/09/2017 00:30:36
Firstly thanks to all involved - including the other competitors - for a really good weekend.  Angela and Ian did a great job.
Any day on the water with 39 other Merlins takes quite a bit to beat - or spoil depending if you're a cup half full or empty kind of person I guess.
Other posts before mine have probably expressed the same sentiments more eloquently but like protesting rule infringements, if we don't say anything we only have ourselves to blame - but more of that later. 
Venue - nice club and nice people and well organised shore crew, but quite shifty conditions - I know we can't dial up perfect wind for an event but the venue is known for its 'quirky' wind patterns - good choice for a Nationals event?  OK the light wind conditions didn't help and day 2 improved quite a bit, as did the more conventional race format.
Day 1 - For me the 6 sprint races weren't great.  Reminded me of training exercises - admittedly it's not really the type of racing  I like, or maybe suited to as we're hauling more weight than we ought to be - I found it repetitive and from our vantage point it became processional quite quickly with the course being too small to make any significant ground on those around us. Seemed a shame not to get on a reach and use the full range of the Merlin's ability.  
On the basis it seemed likely to try our patience further, we retired early and watched from the shore as the wind dropped off. Maybe just having a bad day!
As a test of our versatility it found us wanting - as an entertaining sail it scored very low. 
Day 2 was much better, and I guess I think of the Nationals being sailed in more formal triangle / sausage format rather that the more common club format of round the cans. Only marred for us by some shunting on the line (apologies to JD who caught the brunt of it) and some crews who apparently don't know how to keep clear as a windward boat. 
 I'd echo Paul's comments about the cost of the event -  it's hard to see where the costs were incurred.  As it's been explained to me it helps keep the home club's membership costs down by sacrificing a day or two of racing and there isn't a direct correlation to expenditure or money over the bar for that matter, but it's difficult to avoid speculation about where the money goes. Would many clubs do it for less? Like any commercial venture I imagine the cost reflect what the club thinks the fleet will pay. I don't think we would be as popular if we brought our own booze regardless of how much it is off the shelf.
I'm sure many people really enjoyed the outing but for me it still feels like club racing and doesn't have the prestige of the Nationals in August.  It's not clear to me if that's the desire of the club or its members, but if everyone is happy that's what counts.
The piece of news which dismayed was the announcement of Cardiff Bay as a venue for the next inlands -  - only just 'freshwater'  by virtue of a barrage and very questionable water quality.  
So now is the time everyone can tell me to stop moaning, train harder and MTFU  '-' 

26/09/2017 08:07:07
Ian Mackenzie
You should all know by now that I am the first to put my hand up if I am not happy with something and that Angela and I are always open to constructive and informed feedback.
I am not happy at the tenor of some of the comments here. As far as Angela and I are concerned, Burton Sailing Club could not have been more accommodating, hospitable or responsive to the requests that Angela and I asked of them for this weekend. If we did not provide something that you wanted, then the fault is ours NOT Burton Sailing Club.
I do not intend to post specific answers to the points  raised on this thread and hope that it continues to run for some time and explore the full spectrum of all of the fleets' preferences for their Inlands Championships. I will however be writing an article for the forthcoming magazine that may help inform you of some of the practical considerations and planning constraints that are always taken into account in planning our major events.
I would ask all contributors to be very careful to distinguish between Silver Tiller events and the Inlands Championships. The former are club sponsored, club run, club managed events. The Inlands is an MROA event and we ask venues to host our fleet.
And finally, whilst reading Kieron's post, you might also like to read the following Y&Y items. Cardiff Bay YC's own website makes quite clear that the bay water is quality monitored at all times and competitors will not be allowed afloat if there are any concerns. The following links may give you a flavour of what we hope is on offer for 2018 - Enterprise Inlands 17   and Extreme Series in Cardiff Bay

26/09/2017 08:23:01
Chris Martin
I find the cost issues a little hard to comprehend if I'm honest, and i think we need to bear in mind that if we want something from someone there will be a cost incurred and it needs to be paid for.
Theres two ways of doing this from an MROA point of view - we either lump everything except booze into one fee and you pay for everything on arrival or we do as we did and you pay for what you want - theres an argument for both, but the former has proven less popular.
I think our weekend excl beer cost about £85 - thats for two of us and doesn't seem excessive to me. £21.25 each per day including reasonable food and hot drinks.

26/09/2017 08:42:03
Chris Martin
Report to follow - Lou J is on the case

26/09/2017 10:22:53
Ian Mackenzie
And to add even more background - you might like to refresh your memory with the following thread - Champs Race Structure
Remember - the Nationals was held in some fairly variable weather resulting in  fairly major programme changes. After year's of debate on the pro's and con's of 1-race or 2-day races, the assembled fleet voted on the Wednesday for the Thursday programme to include 3 races by about 5 to 1.
If you haven't already seen the fleets video feedback, I make no apologies, They can speak for themselves -  Merlin Champs 18

26/09/2017 13:45:51
Chris M
I think we've got hung up on the costs - we only have so much control over that, the club will have a target it wants to make and we have to cover our costs too.

Back to the important bit - the race format.

From the feedback I've seen/heard I think most of us agree that the least we need to do is to tweak the format  - the question is how similar to this years inlands do we want next years to be? 

Before going too much into it I don't think we are going to get a "club" round the cans course at Cardiff, it's not a venue that lends itself to that kind of format in the same way that we wouldn't do it at Grafham. Blithfield and Bala are different and sausage/triangle would simply not work so round the cans it is.

How do we want to do it? :)

26/09/2017 18:10:12
Guy Browne

Well done to Ian and Angela, a lot of people don't see the hard work that goes on behind the scenes,  

The courses set at National Champs were great, really enjoyable, but don't think it worked on Saturday with the wind direction it was coming from, needed bigger beats to allow more passing possibilities, more water space.

Sunday racing far more enjoyable, but going around cans probably more practical for that size of water.
If you don't experiment, things go stale.
Good turnout of 40 Boats 
My only disappointment was, when im, in the wrong, tacking in your water, I was honesty enough to do my turns.
I lost count on no of people who bang boats, touch buoys and didn't do turns, too many to protest to be honesty / remember, this is something does need improving on. 
Guy Browne 3619 

26/09/2017 18:46:54
Hi  Ian,  I hadn't meant to be too disparaging about Cardiff Bay - I can honestly say I have nothing against Wales or those who sail there. 
My comment wasn't an ill informed biased view of the venue, I'm sure there have been and will be some excellent events held at the venue in Cardiff as your links demonstrate.  There are also instances of events being cancelled at relatively short notice due to poor water quality, which would be a shame if it happened to our Champs. There are regular warnings posted about health risks associated with ingesting the water.  There's currently a ban on swimming there.  (I know we don't plan to swim there but who knows! )
Here's a link to the Cardiff Bay Water Activities site...   'Bay safety / Water Quality'   Not many venues feel the need to go into so much detail about the risks, but maybe I'm just being overly cautious. Perhaps there aren't as many places to choose from as I imagine.
I won't make any further reference to it, since it's not a venue on my bucket list of places to sail. I'm sure that if that's where the Champs are next year there will be many people who will look forward to it.
For a contribution to the request from Chris for format, I liked the sausage / triangle, and even one or two sausages.  Getting away from round the cans makes a refreshing change from club racing but too much of any one thing is bound to be a little monotonous. For my tuppence the venue, course or format should be challenging either technically and / or physically otherwise it risks losing the essence of a Championship event.
Apologies if any of my comments have offended anyone! 

26/09/2017 21:03:48
Chris Martin
No comments have offended me - surprise, yes, but you're entitled to your say :)
Thanks for the comments so far, we are taking notes. Thanks also for the emails, feel free to send more.
Rules observance: we had the services of a qualified judge and RYA arbiter for the inlands - its a shame no-one felt the need to make use of him. We will have this option again at  MROA events next year - please, please if you feel sufficiently aggrieved to post on here about it afterwards (Which doesn't really help, does it?) make use of this option. You don't have to protest, arbitration is available and our experience of using it at the champs was good.
Yes, its a bit of a faff but both parties will learn from the experience.

26/09/2017 21:46:06
Ellie Sharps
Hi Chris, Ian, Martin,

Thanks for all your hard work.  I have some feedback on courses from the Nationals and Inlands. Firstly a little context – we have come from asymmetric boats and enjoy a windward / leeward course because of the close tactical racing both upwind and downwind. We are loving the merlin fleet and merlin racing and are really excited to see the things you’re trying, but appreciate its important not to lose the traditions of the class.

I liked the courses. I didn’t want to do the Nationals (I went to Lyme several years ago and various opens and have felt like I am not hardcore enough) but the prospect of more running meant I tried – and enjoyed - it. We aren’t the biggest team and were hanging in there upwind, then could gain places and distance back on the run. Had the triangle been first, the heavier teams would have planed away into the distance and we would have struggled to make that ground back. Very frustrating and demoralising in a boat we are in theory the right size for. I think many other girls feel similarly reluctant to go Nationals sailing for this reason, so the sausage – triangle course was a great move.

We enjoyed the windward-leeward courses. The racing was incredibly close and there were so many opportunities to gain and lose places that it was remarkably tough for a light airs event. Six races was exhausting. I think that that lake wasn’t quite big enough to show the full potential – with short legs and lots of boats the mark rounding’s were tricky (somehow the good people always get through though). It might work better on a bigger venue with longer legs and perhaps fewer laps. I was surprised to find that I enjoyed the racing on the Sunday more, perhaps because of the variety, or perhaps because it turns out I quite enjoyed the rest you get reaching.

The short duration of the races (and length of beat) did make it feel more like Sprint Racing. When we did this with the RS’s we raced in flights with 10 boats on the start line. Morning round robin then in for lunch, split into gold/silver/etc fleets and out again for the afternoon. That might be a format to try at an event next year – but probably a separate Sprint Champs rather than an Inlands. Personally I wouldn’t get excited about sailing round the cans for an Inlands, but that’s my background from youth / asymmetric sailing.

The discussions sounds horribly familiar from our time on the 200 committee. My understanding is clubs aren’t taking the mick, many are actually struggling to survive and hosting events keeps them afloat. Those events that stand out are usually because of the Value Added by fantastic, enthusiastic volunteers – whether on the class association or individual clubs. This is a massive credit to the merlin fleet – the class is quite exceptional in this respect. Money wise, £35 plus food and accommodation for a weekends activity. Compared to other sporting or leisure activities – say a Sportive, a round of golf or even a trip out to the National Trust, it’s not bad value.

Thanks again for all your hard work.


26/09/2017 22:25:39
Martin Smith
Thanks Ellie interesting points well presented!
I could learn from that!
Please do keep the observations coming.

28/09/2017 15:18:11
Ian Mackenzie
Kevan's Nautilus Inland's phot download complete.
Check here to see if you feature.


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