More information about Devon Yawl Nationals
The 2020 DY National Championship was scheduled to be held on the Yealm on 4-5 July.
Your Committee has decided that the 2020 Devon Yawl National Championship cannot take place.
The basic reasoning is this:
- Current RYA guidance taking account of Covid-19 restrictions would not allow the Nationals to be run in any recognisable way
- No social side is currently practicable
- There is little prospect of these factors changing in the next month. Even if they do, we cannot reasonably get the organisation together with less than a month’s notice and
- members need to know one way or the other.
Arrangements for the 2021 event will be published in due course. - Update: Now scheduled for 26/27 June 2021 at Yealm Yacht Club, pandemic permitting... see here
To find out about Devon Yawl Nationals, Please email
Andrew Matthews who will be able to provide you with information about past and future events.
National Championship 2019
Devon Yawl National Championship 2019
Devon’s Brixham Yacht Club hosted the 22nd Devon Yawl National Championship over the weekend of 29-30 June.
The venue, away from a home fleet, saw a small entry of 13 Devon Yawls comprising a local boat and 12 visiting boats from Topsham SC, Yealm YC, Bosham SC, Dittisham SC and Teign Corinthian YC.
The forecast for the weekend was light Easterlies on the Saturday and more breeze on the Sunday from the West.
Saturday arrived. A beautifully sunny day with a gentle Easterly breeze of 4-6 knots. At the briefing there was a discussion about whether or not to postpone racing, take in some crazy golf ashore and wait for the sea breeze to kick in at around 3pm, but the consensus was to get out there and try to get some races in.
The format for the day was to be three races, of approximately 1 hour’s duration on either a windward – leeward or a triangle, sausage, triangle course.
The race officer, Sean Semmens, set the first triangle / sausage course on a perfectly sailable light Easterly breeze of 4-6 knots with a contrary tide on the beat.
DY304 Cook & Kempton led away to the left hand side, closely followed by DY186 Petitt & Callcut and DY349 Buckley & Strangler. This continued to be the order of the first three around the 2 lap race. The elastic joining the three stretched and contracted at various points, but the light breeze, the favoured left side of the course and plenty of covering of the following boat, kept the top three together to finish in that order.
The race officer quickly got the second race, a windward leeward, under way whilst the breeze held. DY304 and DY186 led off from the pin end to the favoured left again, but DY349 and DY100A Matthews & Scholefield both started further back on the line and got a nice starboard lift to cross ahead at the first tack, and these two boats led up the first beat.
The light wind and increasing tidal rate were having an effect on the windward mark now. The tide was running right to left, making it quite tricky to gauge the starboard lay-line. With the first 5 boats converging on the windward mark, the leaders had to put in two extra tacks to get around, giving those coming in on port tack an advantage on an easier to judge layline. Those on starboard tack, were getting headed and swept down by the tide each time they approached the mark.
The run, being down wind and down tide was quite tricky, and keeping the sails filled and boat moving took all one’s concentration. DY349, DY100A & DY304 kept their positions for the second lap to finish in that order.
The third race was a two laps triangle-sausage. The addition of the two reaching legs and only one run, made the downwind sections a little less painful. The starboard layline had now been abandoned by the leading two boats, with them putting in several additional tacks to stay on the left side of the approach. With the wind still light, it was a repeat of race two until the wind died momentarily at the windward mark on the second lap. The three leading boats, DY349, DY304 & DY186 had got around, but as DY35 Pegg & Petitt approached, the wind died and they had to make several tacks to make it round. The rest of the fleet also struggled. However, there was enough breeze to allow all the boats to get around in the end before the breeze died away completely.
With three races successfully completed in very tricky light air conditions, the fleet returned to Brixham harbour to raft up on the Brixham Yacht Club pontoons.
A fantastic buffet was laid on by the Club, including moules-marinieres as starters and a choice of main courses. The food went down very well. It was good to catch up with fellow sailors from previous events and to chat to the crew of DY168, who had made the trip from Bosham Sailing Club.
Several crews stayed over in local B&B’s and one crew overnighted in their support boat. However, as the location was reasonably local for Yealm, Topsham, Teign and Dartmouth crews, many returned home at the end of the evening.
Sunday dawned a bit grey, but the forecast was for a North Westerly breeze, 12-17 knots, which duly arrived. Blowing from an offshore direction, the water was flat, with a small chop and plenty of white horses. Gusting and shifting as the breeze came over the land, it would be a day to keep an eye on your compass (if you had one) and the dark patches of water. There were certainly a few holes in the breeze as you approached the windward mark as would prove crucial later.
The fourth race got underway on time, a three lap triangle-sausage-triangle. With plenty of breeze and full hiking conditions, DY186 sailed up the middle of the course, whilst the bulk of the fleet went left. After a few nerve-racking moments seeing the fleet to the left and trying to pick the shifts, DY186 made it to the windward mark first. Second and third round were DY349 and DY168 Davis & Aldaz-Carroll. The positions remained constant on the two reaches and whilst DY186 stretched out on the next beat, a battle ensued for second and third positions. At the start of the downwind leg, DY168 gybed inside DY349 at the top mark and got the inside overlap, maintaining that position over the third lap to the finish line.
By the fifth race, a three lap windward-leeward, everyone was keen to get a good start (meaning early) and the fleet had a general recall. The race officer then deployed the ‘U’ flag. Similar in effect to the Black Flag 1 minute rule, the difference being that if the race is restarted or recalled then the penalty is rescinded (unlike the Black Flag). Anyhow, it worked and the fleet got away cleanly. The breeze was definitely a good 18 – gusting 20 knots and it was quite a battle up the first beat. DY186 back up the middle, the bulk of the fleet was to the left and DY168, middle to right, cross tacking regularly with DY186. DY35 managed on the next lap to get between DY186 and DY168 to finish second with DY168 third.
New to the 2019 Devon Yawl Nationals was a 6th race. The points were now even between DY186 and DY349, 12 points each in total without discard. The committee set a 3 laps triangle-sausage-triangle course for the last race of the day and the Championship decider.
DY349 started at the pin end heading for the left, and DY186 at the committee boat end, hoping to keep the option open to tack onto port on the first shift.
DY186 however got caught up in a bit of traffic so tacked onto port early, heading for the right hand side. The pin end starters carried on a bit further before tacking onto port, and then picking up a fantastic port lift. The view from the right hand side of the course for DY186 did not look good at all. But, remembering the words from a well-known sailing tactics book, ‘if you find yourself on the wrong side of the course, get back to the correct side of the course now!’, with dread, DY186 tacked back onto starboard and headed for the left side, noting there were only 3 boats behind, putting 8 ahead.
Coming into the windward mark DY186 managed to get up to 5th, but DY304 and DY349 were coming in to the mark on starboard. DY186 was coming in on the port layline looking to duck DY304 and possibly DY349, the boat DY186 had to beat. With a couple of boat lengths to go, DY304 unexpectedly tacked onto port, because it was not laying the mark. This left a gap for DY186 to tack into and round the mark ahead of both boats. I am fairly certain that was the Championship result changing moment. Meanwhile DY100A and DY35 had rounded the windward mark in that order. DY186 followed DY35 and DY100A down the reaching legs onto the next beat. The priority for DY186 was to cover DY349 up the beat, which it did. On the following run, DY35 and DY100A had a tussle with DY35 coming out ahead. It was enough to allow DY186 to close up to the pair and just get past DY100A on the last beat. By now DY186 was happy to be in second position for the last two reaches, with DY349 two places behind them. The crew on DY35 even had time to take selfies before taking the final race win.
Brixham Yacht Club did a fantastic job of organising all the boats to be recovered to their trailers. The shore crew using their Land Rover with front tow hitch and the Club RIB bringing the Yawls in saw all the boats up the slipway and lined up for packing away.
The prize giving was held at the Yacht Club. The race committee lead by Sean Semmens and his team at Brixham Yacht Club, including the committee boat crew and the rescue boat drivers, not forgetting the chef and bar staff for fantastic food and drink, were thanked.
We are looking forward to next year’s Championship probably to be hosted by the Yealm Yacht Club.
Apologies to anyone who thinks I may have got the description of the racing wrong, but this was how it unfolded from my point of view!
Tim Petitt, DY186
|Posn.||Sail No.||Helm/Crew||Club||Race 1||Race 2||Race 3||Race 4||Race 5||Race 6||POINTS|
|1||DY186||Tim Petitt / Tony Callcut||YYC||2||(5)||3||1||1||2||9|
|2||DY349||Shane Buckley / Strangler||TSC||3||1||1||3||(4)||4||12|
|3||DY304||Ian Cook / Tom Kempton||TSC||1||3||2||5||5||(6)||16|
|4||DY35||Elly Pegg / Ed Petitt||YYC||5||4||4||(6)||2||1||16|
|5||DY168||Ben Davis / Eduardo Aldaz-Carroll||BSC||4||(9)||6||2||3||5||20|
|6||DY100A||Andrew Matthews / Ian Scholefield||YYC||(10)||2||8||7||6||3||26|
|7||DY52||Mark & Helen Phillips||YYC||7||(10)||9||8||7||7||38|
|8||DY351||Ed Williams-Hawkes/Tim Coombes||TSC||11||8||5||4||(14)
|9||DY91||Adrian Troop / Steve Keats||TSC||8||11||10||14
|10||DY141||Mike Roberts / Rebecca Roberts||TCYC||6||6||7||14
|11||DY92||Don Macrae / Jon Eyres||TSC||9||7||12||9||14
|12||DY102||Mike Bennet / Neil Drew||DSC||(12)||12||11||10||9||9||51|
|13||DY50||Andrew Hoole / Cheryl Hoole||BYC||13||14
2018 National Championships
Our 2018 event celebrating 50 years since DY1 was moulded was held on the Yealm on the weekend of 30th June and 1st July.
Here’s the report of the event written by our National Champion Tim Petitt and supported by photographs by Jon Pegg.
21st Devon Yawl National Championships at Yealm Yacht Club
The Yealm Yacht Club, Newton Ferrers in Devon, hosted the 21st Devon Yawl National Championship in the year of the 50th Anniversary of the Devon Yawl over the weekend of 30 June - 1 July.
23 Devon Yawls and one Devon Dayboat entered, including 12 visiting boats from Topsham, Dittisham, Dawlish and Bristol.
A strong Easterly was forecast for the weekend. However, Saturday saw a beautiful sunny day with a brisk NE breeze of 15-18 knots, gusting 22, blowing off the land giving flat water, though shifty.
The format for the day was three races of approximately 1 hour’s duration on a traditional triangle, windward-leeward, triangle course. The course was set in toward the mouth of the River Yealm and the fleet was clean away for the first start.
The fresh, gusty conditions collected the first two port/starboard incidents, with two bowsprits broken on DY91 and DY352 and their subsequent retirements. A broken jib tack fitting on DY1 (DY141) saw the third retirement and DY65 was swamped when the mainsheet stuck in the jammer. These four kept the support boats busy.
For the rest of the fleet the fresh conditions saw great sailing. The windward mark was set in the River entrance on the ebb tide. The fleet split left and right, choosing a side to minimise tidal influence. DY186 went right and arrived at the windward mark first, closely followed by DY383 which went left. Most of the fleet went left and arrived at the windward mark on port causing some excitement with the port rounding.
DY186 then led from start to finish, closely followed by DY383. DY35 held onto third from DY100 in fourth. Coincidentally, this was to exactly mirror the final placings.
With the first race completed, the wind eased a little and then sprang up from a new direction, a shift of 30 degrees to the East.
The windward mark was now open to the sea in the East, the wind picked up again to 18-20 knots and a short chop started building. The second race started with an individual recall and two boats returned to restart. The beat was very even, with no particular side being favoured and DY35 and DY377 had a close race, changing positions regularly with DY35 just pipping DY377 to the finish. DY383 sailed a solid race for third. DY186, having gone back to restart, worked its way through the fleet to finish fourth.
The conditions now were fresh, with white tops and choppy conditions. ‘Champagne Sailing’ saw the Yawls onto the plane in the gusts down the waves.
A 45 minute lunch break after the second race allowed some recovery time before the third race of the day. The course was adjusted slightly but the windward mark remained in the same Easterly direction, along the coastline.
The race, initially led by DY377, turned into an epic battle. All three leading boats, DY377, DY35 and DY186 regularly swapping positions as the wind swung left and right. DY35 opting for the left side on the second beat seemed to have an advantage over the right side and did a very neat job of tacking inside DY377 at the mark to take the lead. Seeing the advantage, DY186 applied the left in the next beat and managed to get alongside DY35 for the last run. Both boats enjoyed running with jibs poled out in 25 knot gusts as DY186 got to hold the inside line at the bottom mark. On the rounding and short beat to the finish DY186 slightly over stood allowing DY35 to get back alongside, though to leeward. Half a boat length separated the finish positions. DY377 finished third and DY383 fourth.
Sunday dawned with a torrential downpour and less wind. The forecast was for the breeze to build to Saturday’s conditions and for the rain to ease, which thankfully it did.
The wind had shifted back to the NE, which entailed laying the windward mark in the entrance to the River once more. With the tide starting its ebb, the decision to go left or right up the first beat to avoid the tide resulted in the right side paying. DY186 arrived first from the right with DY351 close behind. The left side boats were not far behind making for a congested first mark rounding and changing of positions. DY383 came out best and secured second place.
The final run saw the kicker fitting on the boom of DY186 give up as the helm forgot to ease it on the bear away at the top mark. A quick lashing onto the boom and re-attachment of the kicker block saw disaster averted and DY186 manage to stay in the lead to the finish. DY383 finished second, DY 304 third and DY100 fourth. Championship contender DY35, after going back at the start, fought back through the fleet to finish sixth.
The fifth and final race saw a similar breeze to race four. Again, with the tide ebbing the decision to go right on a long port tack was paying off. DY383 managed to get off the line and tacked onto port first, leading the race with clear air from start to finish. DY35 followed up the right hand side. DY352, with a new bowsprit fitted after Saturday’s collision, also had a good start and was third to the windward mark. A battle developed between the second, third and fourth place boats to hold the right hand lane. DY186 eventually managed to get through to claim second place. DY35 coming in third and DY352 fourth.
As the fleet returned to the Yealm, the grey skies cleared, the sun came out and the sea was blue again. Perfect finish to a great weekend.
Special thanks go to Ullman Sails for providing T-Shirts and sail-bags as prizes and to Selden for water bottles for every competitor.
Tim Petitt, DY186
|Sail No.||Helm/Crew||Club||Race 1||Race 2||Race 3||Race 4||Race 5||POINTS||Posn.|
|DY186||Tim Petitt / Tony Callcut||YYC||1||4||1||1||2||5||1|
|DY383||Andy & Vicky Williams||YYC||2||3||4||2||1||8||2|
|DY35||Elly Pegg / Ed Petitt||YYC||3||1||2||6||3||9||3|
|DY100||Richard Babbage / Mark Trout||TSC||4||5||10||4||6||19||4|
|DY377||Adam Parry / Beki Roberts||NSC||10||2||3||10||5||20||5|
|DY60||Alistair Morley /Scott McCready||YYC||8||7||7||5||11||27||6|
|DY80A||Tim Yonge / John Leale||YYC||9||6||5||7||14||27||7|
|DY 304||Iain Cook / Tom Kempton||TSC||16||9||6||3||12||30||8|
|DY188||Adam Booth / Justin Sluce||YYC||6||11||8||14||7||32||9|
|DY351||Ed Williams-Hawkes/Tim Coombe||TSC||7||8||9||8||10||32||10|
|DY96||James & Bella Mc Naughton||TSC||11||10||11||9||9||39||11|
|DY171||Rich & Nigel Watsham||TSC||5||25||25||11||8||49||12|
|DY102||Mike Bennett / Neil Drew||DSC||19||12||12||13||13||50||13|
|DY160||John Skelton / Jonny Moulsdale||TSC||12||13||14||15||18||54||14|
|DY320||Julian Whiteley / Gemma Matthews||YYC||14||14||13||18||17||58||15|
|DY372||Richard King / Ros Mears||YYC||15||15||15||17||15||60||16|
|DY352||John Bradley / John Sleep||TSC||25||25||25||12||4||66||17|
|DY92||Donald Macrae / Mike Brooks||TSC||17||16||25||19||19||71||18|
|DY1||Mike & Rowan Roberts||25||17||25||16||16||74||19|
|DY100A||Andrew & Cathy Matthews||YYC||25||25||25||25||25||100||=20|
|DY112||Martin Cawse / Barbara Mackay||YYC||25||25||25||25||25||100||=20|
|DD24||Steve Evans / John Read||25||25||25||25||25||100||=20|