Cygnets run a variety of different competitions including an internal sail racing series, fast electric racing series and an IC racing series through the year.
Ronnie Richardson Sail Trophy
In 2004, this competition started and became very popular with a variety of yachts being entered. However this caused a few headaches for the race officials as there were now yachts of varying sizes all competing for the same trophy. Also, the ”original” handicap system was becoming unworkable and to correct this it would have become a mathematical nightmare. In 2008 it was decided to split the sailing into three separate classes – each class now competes for its own trophy on a non-handicapping basis.
At the start of the 2011 season the racing format was changed considerably. The basis for the format was that each Class of yacht would race separately thereby giving the skippers the opportunity to race in more than one class. The decision to give all skippers the opportunity to race in other classes meant that race day now became a 9 race day instead of a 3 race day with three races within each class. To accommodate this decision meant a whole new look at the way a race day was managed.
Firstly, it was agreed that we would start racing at 10.00 am and the day would be broken down into three sessions of three races in each. There would be a tea/comfort break of 15 minutes between sessions and no lunch break, based on this scenario it is hoped that racing would be completed by 2.30 pm. approximately – making for a very long day. The first race day using the new format was on 27th of February 2011 and the general opinion was that it worked quite successfully although a bit of fine tuning was required.
Following the 2011 season it was decided that the Class C would be sub-divided between racing (CR) and sports yachts (CS). The participating skippers then had to decide whether to race in the racing class or the sports class as both classes would be racing simultaneously. Separate trophies are awarded in both categories of yachts.
With the recent development of racing yachts within the equivalent of our Class A (yachts up to 800mm) we may have to consider sub dividing this class between racing and sports boats as we have already done in Class C. The difference in performance between a racing yacht and a sports yacht of similar hull length is quite marked. The competition side of the Sail Section takes up some 10 Sundays of the year. However this does not preclude other members of the Club from coming down to the lakeside on racing days. There is plenty of water area for everybody – all we ask is that you keep away from the yachts when they are racing especially in the area of the course marker buoys.
In 2017 we will be entering our 14th season of racing for the Ronnie Richardson Sail Trophies using an ever developing format that will continue to develop over the years and we welcome anyone that would like to give it a go. For class info and racing rules please go to the sail racing rules and results page or speak to John Bowen our sail lead member at the lake.
IC and Fast Electric Section
The Fast Electric and IC Section of the Club continues to grow, and provides an exciting internal race series, fought over eight months, starting in March. The Club had its 50th anniversary in 2009 and when looking though the archives then, I saw that the IC section has been there since day one. To the left there is a video that has been kindly posted by Graham White of the Dover MBC. It shows the Cygnets MBC in 1960 in our old compound the other side of the pump house. The faster boats towards the end are in fact IC, and note how many people are wearing their ties!
We introduced the Fast Electric boat racing three years ago, as with the advent of more affordable brushless motors and Li-Po batteries, better speed hence more exciting racing became achievable. The IC and Fast Electric part of the Club races on the first Saturday of the month, although we are there every Saturday morning in-between. We currently run a variety of class both IC and Fast Electric. The IC classes are differentiated by size of engine and hull type, and the Fast Electric by size of battery. We have been tweaking the racing classes over the last couple of years and now have classes that work for the beginner right through to the expert racer. We also have over the last year changed the race format adding more races but shorter giving everyone the chance to get a good race in. You need to be able to achieve a minimum of five minutes running time as this is the duration of our races, so experimentation between types of motor, batteries, weight and electronic speed controllers, along with different types of hulls available all play their part. We have learnt some valuable lessons over the last three years, so if anyone is thinking of joining us, we can definitely help you out.
The IC side has a lot of variables, but again we have some very knowledgeable members that can give advice and help in choosing and setting up an IC boat. As well as the racing classes we run there are a whole host of other types which we all run on a Saturday morning invariably drawing a great crowd. We are very lucky and proud to be the only Club in the south east to be allowed to run IC boats on the water with great support from Maidstone Borough Council. As you can see from the 1960 video at the beginning, the Cygnets MBC along with our IC section is set to carry on an important and enjoyable part of history.
For racing rules and results for the IC Championship please go to the rules and racing results page.