Welsh Harp, what was the quickest dinghy sail on the lake

28/10/2020 20:45:42
Evening Folks, here is a teaser for all and may come as a surprise to some. I have recently found out something that surprised me due to the restrictions placed on many lakes around the country, like sailing a Laser 5000 on a puddle called Spinnaker just outside Ringwood raised a few eye brows. So what do we think is the quickest dinghy to have been sailed on the Welsh Harp. The older members of the fleet (ask your parents) may have the answer. If we do not get the right result, I'll let all know next Wednesday. Have fun 

29/10/2020 10:47:43
William Warren
I know the I14 sailed there in the past as my brother contracted Weil’s disease from capsizing so much! It was a long time ago and I’m sure that the water is very safe now 

30/10/2020 16:56:54
If you had said fastest boat I might have said the flying boat that was kept there during the war to take away the royal family and government should uk have been invaded

30/10/2020 20:33:21
I'll go for an FD

30/10/2020 22:10:09
Chris m
Seriously lost 18 foot skiff.....er, ultra 30?

31/10/2020 10:43:45
John Green
Back in 1963 during the big freeze enterprising members of Wembley Sailing Club built an ice yacht out of parts from a Firefly 535 - whether this was the quickest 'dinghy' to have been sailed on the Welsh Harp or not is a moot point, it was though probably one of the most unusual. 

31/10/2020 13:59:00
Paul Dean
The O'Neills told me they raced their I14 there.  I know they competed at the San Francisco Worlds back in the day and must have practiced at Wembley given the conditions are nearly identical to San Francisco Bay (insert eye rolling emoji here).  I've heard the firefly ice yacht story. There's a picture but not sure how to load to here! The O'Neills have also sailed speed boards on there and I'm told there was a world water speed record attempt there in the 20s or 30s by Lady someone or other....... but now we're miles off the original question of dinghies :-)

31/10/2020 19:05:49
But this isn't the highest speed to have been achieved there... so an old moth - now one of the quickest dinghies?

01/11/2020 09:31:31
John Green
British Moth?

01/11/2020 15:50:44
Paul Dean
I've sail my Dads old British Moth in the late 80s at Broxbourne and i doubt anyone would consider it fast and certainly not the fastest dinghy at the Harp! 

01/11/2020 16:27:28
It was fast today that’s for sure 

05/11/2020 09:33:18
Morning Folks, well the fastest I know represented by the era, was as Mark (was that Mark Jardine) pointed out, a Flying Dutchman. The story goes that my father (Brian Barnes) and crew John Anderton, bought K2 (Fantasia) off of Slotty Dawes (his older of two boats) and due to the location of their work and residences, approached the Commodore of the Welsh Harp Sailing Club (both already sailed there)  for permission to train in their FD on the Welsh Harp. This was duly granted and the after refitting her during the later part of 1956, spent 1957 training on the Harp. At the time it must have been a spectacle as the main fleets on the Harp at the time were Enterprises, Fireflies and GP14s.
I digress but this part o f the story also needs telling
They went on to commission K28 (Fantom named after my father's Firefly) from Anderson, Rigden and Perkins (builders of the UK hulls at the time). Sadly John decided that at 42 he was too old to campaign for the Rome Olympics in 1960, so my father bought him out.  Joining Whitstable Yacht Club he teamed up with Jacquline Fisher (whom he married in 1959), then the centre for UK FDs and one of two centres for the Finns. The FD fleet included Charles Curry, Jardine Twins, Bruce Banks, Gavin Anderson, Ken Pierce, Jasper Blackall, Michael Peacock and Keith Musto, a whose who of the day. At 21.5 stone they were quick in the light to plaining conditions, but being considerably below the across conditions weight, faded in the big breezes. However, they were the media's darlings leading up to Rome selection and had a double page spread in one national daily (might have been the 20 year old tall, slim dark haired female crew that did it). When we look at the kit of the time realise just what a feat sailing on such a constricted piece of water (Harp) would have meant their boat handling and set pieces would have improved more quickly than on the sea. So one of those gems from the past

05/11/2020 11:04:28
Great story!!

05/11/2020 16:20:04
Pat Blake
Yes a great story Mark - thanks for sharing it.'
Some of you may know that I too sailed FDs for a while. My first was a green one commonly known as 'the Shed' due to the fact that it was bodged together on a shoestring.
In the 70's my crew, Andy Gray, and I thought it would be fun to do the winter series at my home club, Cookham Reach SC. So we legged it up and down the River Thames at high velocitude with Andy jumping on and off the trapeze as we rushed past trees! 
I don't think we broke any records but your story reminded me of those times.

09/11/2020 15:03:02
Afternoon Pat, would love to have seen that. Younger people today must be reading this thread and thinking it mad, but in the past that is what happened. Time in the boat wherever it was mattered and bet the river at Cockham in the FD kept you on your toes and the sea sailing seemed much easier. Such a shame 1980 never happened for the Team GBR Olympic sailors in Russia (Estonia). I know it hit some of the Corinthian sailors quite hard such as Chris Law in the Finn, then there was you two, Rob White and crew in the Tornado, all with a chance of medalling. That story needs telling one day whilst people on the sailng scene at the time still remember it and the politics involved etc. Say Hi to Jenny nad keep safe and well and see you on the water in 2021

04/12/2020 15:55:38
Mark Barnes.... I can't post it on here but I might be able to put it up on Facebook ..... and Pat is keeping his light under a bushel - he was quick in his FD, even in restricted places such as Burnham on Crutch (not a spelling mistake - what a place was Burnham that snowy weekend for the Icicle ...... remember that weekend Pat?????


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