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International Canoe Open & Training Event

Oxford SC – 5/6th October 2018

The two day event at Oxford has become written into IC folklore as the final celebration of the year for canoe sailing and this year was no exception with 20 boats turning up for a day of short training races and the final premier event of the year on Saturday. With a variety of wind conditions on offer there was something for everyone.

The Friday is popular as a way of experimenting with rigs and boat setup. Under the stewardship of Simon Hotchin a set of short races is an excellent way of improving boat handling, starting and allows experimentation in a competitive environment. This year with legendary Nick Craig joining in, there was some interesting observations to be had on which kit works best demonstrating how small and sometimes subtle changes can have a significant impact on speed with the highly efficient IC rig.

Light conditions persisted but with a severe cold font working its way down from the north overnight, the prospects for Saturday were looking quite different. And so it transpired. The gradient wind at 14mph was almost perfect; sadly the severe and at time viscous gusts were not and created some challenging conditions and a severe test of boat handling and equipment.

Simon was able to get a full race programme of 4 races into the Saturday in somewhat uncomfortable conditions as the air temperature plummeted from 200C on the Friday to 80C on the Saturday.

First race saw most the fleet finish but as the cold front progressed southwards the gusts increased in severity taking its toll. A collision put Shaun Anderson out of the running in race 2 which became a big boys race with Rick Bowers ecstatic at being 2nd around the first windward mark as several went swimming.

World Champion Robin showed how skill can overcome leverage with his usual immaculate performance to win overall spoiled only by a capsize early in R2.

A good solid performance from the IC Nethercott division with Martin Robb coming in first.

Final Results

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International Canoe Week at Stone Sailing Club

Reprint of the articles posted in Yachts and Yachting by Gareth Caldwell. Those eagled eyed music fans amongst you will note certain phrases highlighted. These relate to the songs from a separate band for each day. There will be a small prize from the bottom of the Chairman’s drink cabinet for the first person to guess correctly on the forum the name of all the bands mentioned.


Day 1


by G Caldwell 26 Jun 12:16 BST 25 June 2018





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....well, Stone sailing club on the river Blackwater to be precise! A healthy turn out of a dozen ICs attended the first day of Canoe Week, a prelude to the IC Nationals that start on Thursday. The week is run with an emphasis on handicap racing for the different designs of IC, with the new boats attending hoping to provide the 'Breakthru' in design.

Waiting for the 'Hammer to Fall' at the 2pm start, the positive 'Body Language' was evident from the off by Mike Fenwick who was 'Dead on Time' in nailing the favoured end.

The fleet enjoyed the F2 sea breeze, and Robin Wood showed his 'Staying Power' half way through the race by finding 'A Kind of Magic'; behaving like 'An Invisible Man' by emerging near the front of the fleet and muttering 'Don't Stop Me Now'.

With Mike and Robin now neck and neck, the outcome was certainly 'In The Lap of the Gods'.....the seaweed gods!

With only one race to be sailed each day the fleet decided that 'It's a Beautiful Day' and retired to the beer garden.....'Lazing on a Sun(Mon)day Afternoon'.

Day 1 Canoe Week Top Five:

1. R Wood
2. M Fenwick
3. G Caldwell
4. T Marston
5. J Ellis

Thank you to our OD Wendy Robinson, and to Freddie.

Day 2

by G Caldwell 27 Jun 13:10 BST 26 June 2018