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It may sounds like the start of a classic carol and one that is especially pertinent given these austere times. Not only is the government helping on the fuel bills we at P&B have found a way to get you on the water for under £200! (and with free delivery.. see further down)
Even more importantly when you capsize you don’t get wet. (vital these days when we are getting to the stage of breaking the ice off the covers. )
Introducing a whole new ice breaker – the Dragon Force 65 (or DF for short) now sold by P&B. (link )
it seems after our rampantly successful year actually sitting in the boats P&B have taken the concept to a whole new level. That of being able to control all aspects from the bank. No longer is there a need for the disgruntled bank watcher, simply replace the binoculars with a radio controlled handset and take control showing those on the water exactly how it is done…
For exclusive video footage please follow this link….http://dragonforce65.com/latest-information/ This project has been over two years in the making and offers affordable highly technical sailing of radio controlled racing yachts within strict one design rules and for those in the know the boats are class legal for the RG65 circuit. its noth often we mentionpricing in this blog but
Not only that but Dave Wade, our head of sail loft has been delegating to members of his team producing the top secret covers for the DF65 and as these hot off the press photos show a steady hand and fine attention to detail is what is called for… not only that but sitting alongside our current 15% off all covers and sails offer (that ends on Dec 20th so not long left to take advantage of this offer ) we are offering a massive 1% discount on these made to measure custom covers personally signed by the man in the pictures Tom Lonsdale (TL)…
Please please feel free to ring Dave Wade on 01604 592808 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to ask/order your personalised DF65 cover or perhaps to take advantage of the current sailoft offer on all covers, regardless of size!
Intriguingly and running with the theme of offers you can stil but your loved one a new boat for Christmas for under £200. Furthermore this boat can and will be delivered free like most other retailers in the country, we at Pinell& Bax are also offering free delivery on all orders over £75 as we continue that inevitable build up towards the Christmas period. www.pinbax.com
OK, so we didn’t have any pretty pictures of big boats sailing this week but being completely blunt there wasn’t a lot to go on. The big winter handicap events seem to be proving successful with the P&B Solo’s of Mike Sims and Tom Gillard finishing 2nd and 3rd respectively in the first of the sail juice series with the next event coming up at Datchet on the 14th /15 of December.
For now we shall leave you the pretty pictures of these intriguing model boats at their inaugural national championships and with next years venue already booked at Keighley now is the time to purchase one for Christmas and practice in relative warmth over this slightyl cooler period…
Today, we pose more questions than answers in the now ‘nearly infamous’ P&B blog.
Normally we answer many questions as we the week goes by. This week has however seen a number of questions posed by the ongoing work ranging from the dinghy sail loft through to the workshop and boats domain of Pete Jackson and Jim.
We start by marking a quick trip through the latter day history of one of the iconic classes in the dinghy market. That being the International 14 as seen through the eyes of P&B this week.
K871 was no doubt a Classic 14 from the mid to late 1960’s and has been undergoing some major refurbishment work in the workshop side of the business. This after being rescued from its position in state at Upper Thames yacht club by enthusiast Simon Embley.
Pete Jacksons extensive and specialist wood working skills have been in evidence throughout this project. Initially identifying the rotted delaminating planking, essentially where the formaldehyde had broken down over the years, (always a scary concept) and effecting the structural re-engineering in these parts. Pete has now moved on to rebuilding the thwart using the specially sourced as close a match as possible KHAYA timber (2.5 mill veneer.)
One of the final elements for Pete to bring to this restoration is the complete replacement of the Oak (?) transom. This beautiful piece of wood has obviously seen better days and has undoubtedly been compromised by the amount of holes drilled through the transom. The question is WHY?
Why would one transom have quite such a myriad of holes drilled through…
Moving all the way through the years we arrive at 2013 POW week winner Ben Mcgrane (previously POW winner several times over , pictured here sailing with Roger Gilbert in one of his POW wins)
Ben and the sail loft have busy working together to affect a complete change of the I14 main and jobs. With extensive design work needed for the this sail this made the Smar-azure sail design program invaluable as the aim is to move the original cross cut sail over to the radial cut (and more on the Smar-Azure later)
So I asked Ben Mcgrane WHY, why the change over from the cross cut to the radial.,,,
The answer came back as always from Ben, direct, to the point but full of technical intrigue…
“The class is constantly evolving and the radial design allows these high load boats to spread the load throughout, leading to a better more stable sail which would in particular perform better in light winds.” An additional side benefit Bens believes is the fact that “the more stable sail means that a lighter laminate cloth could also be used such as the 04”
Keeping upstairs at the Northampton HQ we mentioned the use of the Smar-azure program previously . The question is what and again WHY is this program useful…
so we asked P&B sail designer Steve Graham to give us the answers.
“the Smar-azure program (as seen above in the I14 sail design picture) we at P&B first brought in around 5 years ago. It enables us as sail designers to work methodically through the various steps of rig modelling, sail mould shape design, panel layouts, corner patches, sail details, fibre layouts, and aeroelastic analysis eventually producing a more accurate smoother sail that benefits out customers”
Steve went on to mention that the evidence of the program working well can be seen in the results that P&B achieve year in year out. Just recently the program was used in a redesign of the Phantom sail in conjunction with Phantom sailor Will Gulliver who used the new sail in his first competition event last weekend. The truth they say is in the pudding (although I have no idea WHY?) and in this case there was a silver lining, with Will coming away with 4 first places and 2 second places to comfortably take the open win at Pitsford. Full results can be seen here.
The following weekend saw the N12’s Inland championship at Pitsford another constantly evolving class and one in which P&B have a long standing history and even more convincingly the top 5 places were taken by P&B. Again full reports can be read here….
We end this week with a final WHY and a very simple one..this multicolored boat turned up at the P&B workshop in pristine condition, needing no work and no new super fast P&B sail… Many members of the P&B staff have been involved since and various notes have been taken… the question is WHY? What could be happening…answers over the next few weeks for this one im afraid.
Finally, just to end this with a slight different question who out of the P&B staff would choose to sail such a multi-coloured ship….thoughts on a postcard please…
Posted: November 20th, 2013 under Race Team.
As the 2013 season draws to a close there have been some remarkable successes this year from within the P&B stable. Not least the most recent successes at Flying 15 World championships in Hong Kong. Full results can be found here… http://www.yachtsandyachting.com/news/173276/Flying-Fifteen-worlds-day-6
This event, as mentioned in last week’s blog, proved to be an unprecedented success for the P&B team. Finishing with a clean sweep of the podium and furthermore the success was being shared by differing teams across the globe showcasing the truly international flavour of Pinnell and Bax these days.
With the Australian Flying 15’s of Grant Alderson and Nick Jerwood taking the silver and bronze positions and the UK P&B Race team of Graham Vials and Chris Turner taking the overall title with a race to spare.
For P&B this is one of over 20 National, World or European championships wins this season and also highlights the success and skill of the P&B race teams past and present. Given this it seemed an opportune time to catch up with a couple of the past race team members to see how they are going now and also highlight some of the pedigree…
The P&B race team has being going for nearly 20 years and with the likes of Graham Vials it has seen a constant stream of success.
Graham became part of the P&B race team prior to winning the Optimist national championships in 1994. 420 national champion in ’97 and ’98; and was the British representative at the ISAF Youth Worlds in 1997, winning a silver medal in the 420 Class; at the age of 19, he campaigned in the 470 Class for a place at the Sydney Olympics, coming third at the Trials; followed by a four year campaign leading up to the Athens Games, where he supported Rogers and Glanfield as training partner to attain their silver medal.
In 2004 Graham left the P&B stable to partner Hugh Styles in the Tornado class leading up to the 2008 games. Graham has since teamed up with Chris Turner from Ovington boats and their partnership with P&B continues again and with back to back Flying 15 World championships wins (2012 and 2013) this 20 year partnership is absolutely working…
Moving up a decade we come to a new name in the P&B archives one that is extremely active today in sailing terms. Exactly a decade after Graham Vials success, as part of the P&B race team Ben Saxton alongside his brother, dominated the 2004 Optimist Nationals with nearly 300 sailors taking part. Ben won 4 out of 8 races to demonstrate his pedigree and speed. Bens consistency of success has continued dominating the 420 fleet for a number of years before moving onto the rs200’s. In recent times Ben has won the Endavour championship and is looking odds on to represent Britain at the 2106 games in Rio in the Nacra class, having just returned with a Silver medal from the inaugural world championships. We obviously wish Ben all the best for the future.
There are a number of race team members that have tasted national or international success this season but 2 of the team have been nominated for the Y&Y awards of the year.
P&B South director and I14 guru who also dominated several classes this season… Ben Mcgrane and Northampton based sailmaker Tom Gillard who won back to back Fireball World championships recently in Slovenia. Full details of the awards and backgrounds can be found at Y&Y and don’t forget to vote!!
Finally we move onto the future and the questions is can the latest recruits to the P&B stable keep up the strong track record. As evidenced by the past the Optimist is a strong class to look for the future stars. P&B have just announced the P&B/Winner team for the 2014 season and with the likes of George Ford moving onto success in the Laser fleet the way is open for the ‘terrible trio’ to continue the success and industry leading name that is the P&B race team..
Step forward or even turn around….
Milly Boyle Charlotte Boyle and after a superb 2013 year with P&B welcome back Vita Heathcote
Good luck to the three P&B are glad to support you into the 2014 season and surely there is a trend here … Graham Vials 1994 – Ben Saxton 2004- ??? 2014….
Stop press blog:- P&B’s Vials and Turner win the Ff15 worlds and historic Winner team confirmed for 2014
After last weeks windy UK focus we move abroad this week and start with the excellent news reviews and report s from the Flying 15 World Championships taking place in Hong Kong.
With class stalwart and Pinnell and Bax founder Alan Bax in attendance and still battling for a top 5 place news hot off the press has reached us that the event has gone rather well for the P&B teams as a whole.
Following up from the Pre Worlds/Hong Kong national championship success we are pleased to report that Graham Vials and Chris Turner the 2012 World Champions have produced a stunning set of results to claim the overall title with a day to spare.
Vials and Turner are 2013 World Champions.
In a variety of conditions over the week the P&B team of Graham and Chris currently count 4 race wins and a second place. As it stands Graham and Chris are currently discarding a 5th place and with other results leading their way they are untouchable as the championship enters its final day.
Huge congratulations go to Graham and Chris and as if to show the strength in depth for P&B in this fleet (alongside the truly international flavour) it is our understanding that the Australian duo of Nick and Janet Jerwood (also using the full P&B inventory) look set to claim 2nd overall, again with remarkable consistency, with the Australian pairing of Grant Alderson Dean Mcaulley looking to close out a P&B clean sweep of the podium…
Further reports can be found on Y&Y and official confirmation should follow in the next few hours…
Graham’s success in this world championship continues a long history and tradition here at P&B of supporting upcoming sailors and developing a hugely successful P&B race team that benefits both P&B and sailors alike.
Over the years some of these sailors have gone on to become household names such as current Olympic squad member Dylan Fletcher
and we feel we have some particularly good upcoming stars in the current stable. (Vita Heathcote, Aaron Holman … )
Graham is a prime example of how the program can work, supporting sailors and developing over time with them.
Graham initially joined the P&B race team around the age of 15 after a successful stint in the Optimist class moving through both the 420’s and the 470 classes with considerable success. Next week we shall (with their permission ) highlight some of the sailing names that have been through our race and development program like the Saxton brothers perhaps alongside some of those juniors that we have high hopes for as mentioned previously.
Bringing it back to the present day but staying on the same theme, slightly surprising but pleasing news landed on the P&B desk this week. Two members of the current P&B race team have made the shortlist for the Yachts and Yachting awards of the year 2014 and I quote …
“The past 12 months have seen some truly amazing sailing performances, exciting and innovative launches, and superb events.”
and it seems that those that are in the know in these areas believe P&B’s Tom Gillard back to back Fireball world championship successes (in wildly differing conditions) is worthy of a shortlist for the Achievement of the year award alongside such teams/names as Artemis racing and some fella call Joyon who only decimated the West to East 2925mile record time transatlantic route… singlehanded.
Tom has had a successful 2013. Winning not only the FB worlds for the second time but also the Streaker National championships a 2nd at the GP14 National Championships and winners of the Blithfield barrel series as well as Sail juice overall winners to name but a few successes.
Arguably the hottest contested shortlist of the year is the “Sailor of the year” category and among-st such luminaries as Alex Thomson and Jimmy Spithill sits P&B’s very own Ben Mcgrane! (Funny I thought some other bloke also called Ben did ok this year,) as the blurb mentions…
Ben McGrane rounded off last year by winning the 505 nationals and Contender nationals within a month. This year he and wife Roz also dominated the B14 Europeans, and took silver at the worlds.
Please feel free to add your vote to those already cast by clicking on the link here…
All this leads me on to the final announcement of the year. Again for the second year in a row P&B are proud to be working in conjunction with Team Winner to run the British UK optimist P&B/Winner team. After a record year for applications we are for the first time in the Winner /P&B history supporting an all-female team!!
Absolute congratulations go out to:-
Vita Heathcote – Vita’s results last year as part of the P&B team winner were particularly impressive and we would like to thank her for all the work and effort she put in last year and we are dleighted to include for again for the 2014 season.
Vita will be joined by Milly and Charlotte Boyle. The two sisters have been impressive last season in their consistency and demeanor on and off the water and we are delighted to include them in the P&B Winner team for this coming year.
We will be following all this up over the course of the season, although right now we are trying to think of a squad team name for the girls so any suggestions feel free to e-mail in to email@example.com
Just a final note for today. Although we seem to be celebrating present day success this week this is as nothing when compared to Ian Pinnells TV debut when invited onto the program for the 1990 BBC Sports personality of the year, (apparently a certain Paul Gascoigne took the title after his tears in Turin show. ) now all we have to do is find the video footage which is apparently somewhere on the BBC web site…
If anyone manages to download the RAM file and celebrity spots Ian please do let us know.
Thats all for this week folks – next week we catch up with the past and present P&B race team members and the Winter series are underway.
Over the course of the sailing season Monday mornings at P&B are always interesting for a neutral like my self. When the P&B team walk into the office faces can often paint a thousand pictures and over the course of the year I have seen everything from sad faces after a disappointing weekend of sailing, tired faces from the guys who work hard on the water as well as off it and the happy faces of the ones that have had a winning weekend. This week we were greeted with the latter and we didn’t have to travel far to work out why.
The Fireball and Scorpion fleets took to the Northampton SC waters over the weekend with P&B’s Dave Wade, Tom Lonsdale and Oli Wells all amongst the competitors. Strong winds were predicted over the weekend which promised to produce some eventful sailing and we were not disappointed. Luckily for us Anthony York (ChunkyPics) was on hand to capture some great sailing footage.
19 Scorpions battled it out at Northampton SC for the title of Scorpion Inland Champion in what turned out to be a all around clean sweep for P&B. Over the six races taken place during the course of the two days Andy Mckee and crew Chris Massey came out overall winners with two bullets, three 2nd’s and one discard. This not only gave them the title of Scorpion Inland Champions but with this event acting as the final event of the Silver Scorpion Series the duo also claimed a second title. On a individual level for Andy this also marked his 5th successive Silver Scorpion title in a row, a feet that has never been done before.
Completing a excellent weekend for P&B’s Scorpion fleet was the results of long time P&B customers Janet and Alan Ritchie who finished 3rd overall who were just being pipped by Steve Hall and crew Oli Wells who claimed 2nd. Amongst the many great pictures taken at the event we found this, which is fair to say gives you an insight into the conditions. As we know its no easy feet foiling a Scorpion!
Elsewhere on the reservoir was 19 Fireballs who were competing for the Fireball Sprint Championships. P&B’s in-house Fireball expert Dave Wade teamed up with another member of the sail loft team in the form of Tom Lonsdale. More commonly a single handed sailor in the OK fleet Tom decided to return to the Fireball for this event with his only previous experience in the class being a 3rd place finish at the Swiss Nationals. Nevertheless the duo proved to be a winning combination as Dave’s experience and Tom retro hiking style proved too strong for the rest of the fleet.
With success comes challenge and this saying proved to be the case for Dave and Tom as Tom was also caught going for an untimely swim at one point, much to the pleasure of Dave who later described the days sailing as ‘interesting’.
Another P&B member with a smile on his face this week is Alan Bax as the veteran sail maker and former Flying 15 World Champion flew across the globe to Hong Kong for this years Flying 15 World Championship. Thus far the 15 fleet have sailed in the National Championship with the leader board littered with P&B sails. Four out of the top 5 including 1st and 2nd all used P&B sails and we’re all hoping this can be repeated in the fourth coming Worlds. results…
Talking of sails…Its the last chance to get an extra 5% off sale prices for all P&B sails. The offer ends today but not to worry, we will still be running our usual 15% off sails & covers right up until the 20th Decemeber.
Posted: October 30th, 2013 under Race Team.
Winter dawns, Winter Tips and Winter Warms..
Maybe its because I’m feeling a little under the weather or the thick fog this morning or incessant rain and grey skies of the normally lovely Burnham on crouch at the weekend but the feeling inside me is that winter is approaching this week.
However this is not a woe is me winter moan, It’s a celebration of the winter season and all it brings. From top tips on sailing your dinghy to the dawning of the winter season handicap racing spectaculars and the ‘warmness’ of the update in sailing kits..
As we know the staff at P&B have been sailing for many years and throughout the seasons, including the soul hardening, skin cracking eye wateringly cold winter season. Many of the team were breaking the ice off the sheets in the days before drysuits were even a twinkle in Typhoons or Musto’s eye.. when the idea of keeping warm hands was 2 pairs of ‘nice’ wool gloves covered over by the black extra strength washing up gloves. (a personal favourite of mine) and non-slip covering consisted of beer mats ‘borrowed’ from the local hostelry sewn on over the behinds of one piece red overalls or yellow sou’westers…
To this… These days the winter kit has come a long long way in enhancing our sport.
P&B are obviously proud to support this and stop some of the intriguing fashion styles of yesteryear. we wear has increased our enjoyment exponentially, with names such as superwarm or steamer becoming synonymous with warmth and flexibility. http://www.pinbax.com/index.asp?selection=category&cg=4&mc=41&cct=3&TypeSearch= the increase in the quality of the wetsuits and the invention of the dry suit has changed the face of the winter sailing community. http://www.pinbax.com/index.asp?selection=category&cg=4&mc=29&cct=3&TypeSearch=
To show our support we are offering the Gul drysuits with the lovely warm combination of fleece suit, socks and dry bag all thrown in for free. See www.pinbax.com for the offer. Intriguingly there are also a number of other winter offers on the site at the moment.
Alongside the increased performance of the kit there seems to have been a small revolution in sailing circles of how we sail the winter season. More and more we have seen sailors prepared to travel to venues and join in bigger fleets. To highlight but one last year, sail juice ran a series involving 6 premier events over the winter as a whole (particularly ‘refreshing’ memories of a slightly fruity sail at Yorkshire dales last year…
with over 600 sailors from different classes taking part on a handicap format with the P&B Fireball team of Tom Gillard and Simon Potts coming out as overall winners and the Scorpion Zhik P&B team of Oli Wells and Steve Hall in 5th overall.
Details have been a little lacking on the forthcoming events but from a personal perspective it always proved worth the trip. Having said that a quick e-mail to Andy Rice proves that the first is confirmed for 23rd /24th of November the Draycote Dash.
Alongside this there seems to be a number of winter series up and running that are worth a look through for us here we tend to get a chance to stretch our legs at Blithfield barrel Sunday series.
So finally for this week we look at some of the top tips for sailing comfortably this winter…
Obvious but true make sure the kit fits – there really is no excuse now… Tom Stewart P&B director and a seasoned campaigner of winter series makes the valuable point that gloves like the GUGL1230 are invaluable… “get yourself a pair of 3 mill neoprene gloves that you can rig the boat in, keep the extremities warm especially when rigging the boat and you can sail in anything” is his view.
Me- It’s food. Food is fuel, other sports like ultra runners take their food whilst on the go. It keeps the body alive and the brain working (always good) especially in cold conditions. Simply put, keep eating. Eat as soon as you come off the water and last thing before you go out. It is also noticeable how a bit of food/energy can change your whole outlook. For me it is the Torq energy bars and gels.. just keeps the concentration going and keeps me smiling which is important as far as I’m concerned. Personal favourite TORQ – Gel Black Cherry Yoghurt
And Tom Gillard, current Fireball world champion believes in the hiding behind the mask that is his drysuit for him it’s the Goretex MPX pictured at the start of this blog in action in December 2012. With the addition of the layering systems that go underneath. However his main point is that the kit must fit, especially in winter. With different manufacturers seeming to size different it makes sense to go and try kit on…
It is at this point I unashamedly mention P&B’s Northampton retail superstore…
(some would say) with a huge range of wetsuits dry suits in the same building as the boat repairs maintenance new boats and sail loft for both repairs and new sails/covers etc.. )
Well what to write about this week? With light winds prevailing over the last weekend we thought it time to delve into the past a little and look back at the history of the Flying 15 and its nearly, 30 year history with Pinnell&Bax and with the fleet setting off for the Hong Kong worlds in a few weeks’ time, it is probably worth a mention that Alan in his happiness to be going over is offering 15% of F15 covers and 10% off F15 sails.
Finally this week we shall take a little look forward to the end of season big event. The 2013 Champion of Champions Endeavor trophy, by asking P&B’s Tom Gillard and Oliver Wells for their brief thoughts on the event for this year.
In 2012 the pair were sailing together at the Endeavor and came away disappointed with their 12th overall however this year they are sailing against each other… A rare chance for Zhik/P&B race team members to go head to head in classes unsailed by them aside from last years Endeavor trophy.
Oli- I’m sailing with Steve Hall this year, a calm sailor who knows the water and is extremely switched on and I think that’s what you need for the Endeavour. As it is pretty full on. 5 races back to back both days so it’s easy to lose your head a bit. However to be blunt because of the standard it’s possible to finish anywhere and not feel like you have done a lot wrong so I’ll be happy if we come away not feeling like we did last year and feeling we have done ourselves justice.
Unfortunately Tom declined to comment at this point…
Oli – it’s a mix for us. Generally I will try and do upwind and Steve downwind, extremely important especially with the A-Symmetric style of sailing and the normally short courses at the Endavour the fleet is very closely bunched so it’s all about downwind really! Or at least that’s my excuse in early!
and Tom who does the talking in your boat…
Aah well….Well thank you both and good luck for the Endeavor 2013 and especially Tom – strong words softly spoken as they say!
Apologies for the slightly more technical nature of the blog this week. Good luck to those that are sailing this weekend and apologies from the blog writer for the slight artistic licence with the interview
My (Pete Jacksons) work leads to increased performance and higher place results and customers sailing enjoyment.
As we approach the end of the sailing season for many (aside from those hardy souls that sail throughout the winter) we start this week by chatting to Pete Jackson, our workshop and boat fixing ‘guru’ asking him about the extraordinary claim above.
As Pete clarified, he cannot improve your performance in the boat however he can improve the performance of the boat….
However before we delve further in to this claim we decided to give a little context and background into the man that is without a doubt our go to person not only for us at P&B but also for many in the industry when it comes to boat maintenance/upgrades/touch ups and solutions to problems…
Pete career at P&B started in the year 2000. About to start another year at a local school after spending time as the head of the Sculpture department with what is now Northampton University Pete was also an active member of Hollowell sailing club where he sailed the ever popular Solo alongside Larks and N12’s. Pete was informed of the vacant position at P&B by another sailor and according to Ian Pinnell was the:-
“stand out candidate with his depth of sailing experience and boat work allied to his extensive knowledge of how materials bonded and worked together due to his Sculpture background. “
Pete’s experience now means he is able not just to do work that is required but also able to advise on the class history and the build differences within that class. This extensive knowledge gathered through nearly a decade and a half with P&B alone can and does make a difference, especially when looking at changing layouts or putting increased/ upgraded system controls on the dinghies.
During 1998 Pete also developed designed and built his own singlehanded trapeze boat called a Mutant.. and as befits this extraordinary man once he had proved it could ‘fly’ he promptly burnt it!
During the 2013 season alone, Pete has overseen and worked through some major projects. (some of which have been highlighted earlier in this blog). Such as the complete strip back and make over of one of the dinghy scenes iconic classes, the Flying Dutchman.
Arriving at the P&B workshop Lady K as she is now named came with original Teflon cleats on and other original layout dating back from the late 1950’s (rumoured to be Keith Musto’s Old FD ) and had lain literally untouched for a number of years. During the complete re build process the boat was totally stripped down and lovingly and sympathetically restored and brought up to date.
On the other side of the coin Pete has literally just done a rather smaller job on a RS FEVA replacing a leaking hatch cover.
As the oft used phrase goes no job is too small or too large it seems!
So back to the claim that was made at the start of this blog…
The theory goes that (and to be fair it does stand up to scrutiny…) with the help the workshop offers and the advice that is, freely given, from the depth of experience that is available here at P&B not only are we experts in repairing hulls, wood or fibreglass but also with the re-designing work we have done and do, do for customers this can and does all lead to a change in sailing style.
Initially this knowledge is seen on the new boats we send out (witness the reconfiguration of the ever popular SOLO and other P&B fitted out new boats) but is transferred over with Petes and P&B’s expertise to other dinghies. The increased ease of sailing and ability to change the characteristics’ of the rig whilst sailing lead to a change in sailing style directly influencing results and just as importantly the enjoyment of sailing.
What was it Kodak once said.. “we are in the business of preserving/creating memories not processing photos.” it seems Pete would also say something similar – he is in the business of increasing enjoyment not just fixing boats (sorry Pete!)
So thanks Pete for the increase in enjoyment brought about by your dedication and experience!
On a slightly more serious note Pete and the rest of the workshop crew’s work extends across the range and is particularly relevant at this end of the season as boats become tired, rigging needs replacing, gel coat fixing and wood restoring. As Pete says we can deal with and have dealt with everything that needs fixing repairing or redesigning on an dinghy be it caused by a lack of boat maintenance due to heavy sailing, dinks/crashes, general wear and tear or just end of season tiredness. The key in Pete’s eyes is to be proactive and prevent the problems occurring don’t ruin your future enjoyment.
For those that are winter sailing now is the time to get the boat fixed up, before the harshness of the winter season comes and for those that are not its time to get the boat fixed up before it gets put away for the winter and forgotten about.
For those that wish to have a go at doing some repair work themselves have a look at P&B’s you tube page, http://www.youtube.com/user/pinnellandbaxltd or feel free to phone Pete and have a chat to him.
We shall end this week by briefly mentioning a post that appeared on our FB page earlier in this week. Some vintage footage of Ian Pinnell at the F/B world championships in 1990. Wherever it appears from there is no doubt this is superb sailing from one of the Uk’s most talented and is also an interesting look back at styles!
Enjoy and turn up the volume as the soundtrack is something else:- https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10202332352896399&set=vb.1419249882&type=2&theater
OK so I was wrong about one prediction last week – the AC is still battling its way to its big showdown tonight. Keeping us oldies up later than we like. Just hoping for the Emirates elusive win (apologies for the blatant bias there but that’s where I am. No offence Ben!) So as I rub the sleep from my eyes and put the pen to paper it appears the Fireballs are back in the yard and the sailors have arrived back safe and sound.
Grabbing a sailor straight after the 24hr drive home (probably not aided by a celebratory shandy or two the night before) was probably never going to make this the most in-depth of interviews one would have thought. However we couldn’t resist the chance to have a few words with P&B sailor Tom Gillard (a man of few words normally!) .Tom had just arrived back having just managed the rare feat of winning back to back world championships in the Fireball and in hugely differing conditions. Initially in 2012 in Australia and then in the recent 2013 world championships in Slovenia.
First off well done Tom, second time around as a World Champion how does it feel?
Eer OK, anything else to add to that…
Nope (it should be said here that the grin on Toms face pretty much says it all at this point!)
Obviously the venue was very different from Australia did that affect how you raced at all?
Well with the Europeans happening the week before (where the fleet only sailed 3 out of 9 races) and with the history of the Slovenian venue we knew it would be light shifty with very flat seas so almost like an Inland water.. a bit like sailing at Sheffield Viking SC where I grew and where my heart still is… the shifts would come non stop so it was definitely a place to keep your head out of the boat and be ready to change gears! To that extent we changed the layout of the fireball a little this year (more on that later) and I think the whole fleet put themselves on strict diets so we sailed a lot lighter than in Australia. However overall the ability to change gears was key alongside constant communication with the crew.
Whereas Australia was completely different. Windy, steady breeze with frankly huge waves at times. Essentially fitness and setup played a much bigger part. Also to be blunt Solvenia was much more about patience (no always my most prevalent trait!) and ‘staying in the game’.
And a different crew this time around, why the change? Any particular reason?
To be honest we just felt the conditions would suit us more and from a personal point of view I felt that the chance to sail with someone of Simons experience and knowledge (and calmness) could only be beneficial. Simon had sailed for a long time at the top of various fleets and had huge experience. Also we were away for a long time and during the time we were away we were going to be spending a huge amount of time with each other so it was also important that we got on both on and off the water. I’ve known ‘pottsy’ for a long time and his rather dry sense of humour tends to make me laugh at the right time and just relax me.
Any other differences? Has the fleet changed at all over the past 18 months?
A large number of new sailors have joined the fleet recently, bringing to some degree new challenges and a different style of racing. Although I was a little surprised as to how much the British sailor’s dominated the overall results at both the Euro’s and the Worlds. I think one thing the FB class does really well is to have a class boat that is given for a season to promising youngsters and I think it is something other classes should look at. For example Matt Rainback and Simon Foskett sailed the class F/B this year and P&B kindly loaned them a set of sails they had an excellent Euros finishing 3rd and 6th at the Worlds so I will certainly be watching them for next season and im sure they will be staying in the class now.
And the boats, any changes there? We see you were sailing with a Winder hull with Allen fittings fitted out by P&B, any particular changes you made for this year?
Yeah I think as mentioned before the layout was changed a few small details but probably the most beneficial has been leading the Cunningham and jib cars to the side tanks. (an idea we got from the Scorpion) the key was making sure I had everything to hand so especially in the shifty changeable breeze we could change gears easily and keep the head out of the boat.
I think full thanks must go to Pottsy who helped with this layout and also the P&B fit out team lead by James who totally got behind it and did a superb job, making sure we could sail with confidence and not worry about the fit out.
Just a quick question..whats with the boat name ‘Olly loves Owls’?
Ha haa, basically I come from Sheffield and there’s another sailor that supports a rival football team (a better one most would say) I sailed with him last year in the Scorpions, its just a little dig at him. Really winds him up when he sees it.
Obviously you were sailing with a full complement of P&B sails – How have the sails changed over the past 18 months?
Yeah look I think that is the really interesting side… There is no doubt our sails were absolutely great but the really interesting thing is people always assume that change is always a good thing or we must be doing something new … particularly in the sails.
Over the winter we tried many different cloths, particularly on the main. Going from the D4 cloth to the ODL6 and the ODL5 cloth and even the ‘back to black ‘cloth which looked fantastic, initially! (some of you may remember the pictures from the Sailjuice series over the winter) All sorts frankly but the simple fact is that with the experience P&B have in the class and at the top of the class (from a sail making perspective) they make fast sails full stop. We eventually ended up back where we were 18 months ago. We used a set of well-made standard P&B sails. From a personal point of view I like this, it shows there is no difference. Frankly all the sails are good (as the results show) and it depends on how you sail them it’s the reliability and consistency that counts and these have both.
One thing we did spoil ourselves with was a new jib which was a bit of luxury frankly but one I would advise if possible!
It must have been pretty tense on the final day as there were obviously huge shifts out there and a few boats in the running, how did you stay calm? Did you have a specific plan for the day? Identify any main competitors to keep an eye on?
In the run up to the last day we just made sure we knew the points situation but really it was just about keeping calm and that’s where the ‘humour’ of Mr Potts came in frankly. As the clock ticked down (there was no racing on the final day) we just tried to stay switched on just in case.
Pottsy reckons a G&T just before the 5 minute gun generally helps, me I have no comment to make on this! Having said that it was definitely hard just sitting around waiting!
Obviously a good result for P&B as a whole in both the Europeans and the Worlds, what is it would you say that makes the P&B sails so quick.
Look its not just the Fireball fleet that the sails are quick in. P&B have pretty much placed top of the tree in every championship over the years and I think it’s a culmination of this experience over those years that makes us quick now. This year I think P&B have won at least 10 major championships and finished in the top five in every single one. Just in the building alone I think we have 5 potential Endeavour invites for this year (although I think only me and Oli are going)
Add to this the fact that Alan (I think) won his first worlds somewhere in the 80’s and definitely before I was even born and then you also have the likes of Ian Pinnell who has won more championships than I can dream of added to the experience of people like Dave Wade, Steve Graham and Tom Stewart and the overall experience is immense.
P&B have been making sails and involved in the dinghy industry for a long time and I like the fact that they make the sails here in Northampton you know the people who are making the sails are the ones that have and do sail the boats. That’s a major factor for me.
And the future?
More sailing.. and more sailing… its funny I read an article with Nick Craig earlier on today and just thinking about Ians championships wins and the fact that people like Vyv Townend and Chips have both won the FB worlds at least 4 times means I have a lot to learn frankly.
I’ve recently sold my Moth as I didn’t really get time to sail it and have basically swapped it for a Solo and am looking forward to some close racing next year in large fleets.
And finally top tips for others..
Sail, lots sail lots of different types of boats there is always something to learn. Don’t blame the kit all the time and sail with a smile on your face.
Cheers Tom not bad for a man of apparently few words!
So a slightly unusual blog this week and not full of the normal pretty pictures but worth while all the same i think… However this is completely overshadowed by the most exciting news of the week….
Congratulations to both Steve and Charlotte Farmer… Ivy Elizabeth FARMER born yesterday… all’s good and well so we here and according to Charlotte, Ivy already has more hair than Steve manages these days although this is obviously yet to be confirmed!
After another day of tricky and shifty wind, three general recalls and some good sailing, we’re proud to present our new european champions (the P&B teams of) Matt Burge and Richard Wagstaff, vice-champions Dave Wade and Tim Hartley
This is the opening quote on the Fireball International website, and it appears the trend is continuing. The latest race reports coming into the P&B headquarters from the Fireball World Championships are that the Zhik/P&B race teams of Tom Gillard/Simon Potts and the new paring of Dave Wade/Tim Hartley are currently lying in first and second overall. As such it would seem curmudgeonly not to open this week’s blog with this news and after a light wind week last week it seems the breeze has returned, judging by Tim Hartley comments:-
“Thanks Dave Wade first worlds race win! And it was sunny and windy. glamour!!”
Shame its not quite the case over here! As the Southampton Boat show continues apace its seems the crowd have not been put off by the changeable forecast. For anyone heading that way P&B are located on Stand J004 with some stupendous deals available:
However whilst Southampton boat show is mainly focusing on the yachting side of the sport P&B’s renowned experience and expertise in the dinghy market has led to us having a number of new boats and almost new boats available immediately and for sale. So no long lead times, in fact all can be ready and be sailed within the week!
Amazingly, for one of the most popular classes in the UK we currently have two Solo’s that are here at P&B fully fitted and ready to go.
One being the ever popular Winder Solo. This boat is brand new and still in the workshop only hours away from being finished. The final touches are being added to the full Harken fit out and it is untouched by anything liquid therefore still available with a choice of sails, mast and covers. Please call and speak to Ian or Oli on 01604 592808 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Alongside this we have one of the JP Ovington built Solos immediately available. This boat was sailed by Ian Pinnell for a week at this years nationals and also at the Inland championship weekend. After winning a race at this year’s national championships we are delighted to say the boat is up for sale. With an absolute full championship spec this Solo contains everything and is obviously quick. Full HK fit out, Selden D+ mast and medium cut laminate sail. Trolley and trailer combi and covers or not as the case may be. The sail even includes full Carbon battens! All available for immediate delivery and over a thousand pounds off the list price.
Alongside these boats we have in stock and ready to go a brand new Phantom again with Harken fit out with the ability still to decide on the mast and sail selection and after one of the windiest Phantom national championships in years this is one boat that is untouched by the wilds of the wind and waves.
Finally we are in the fortunate position of having a Fireball hull here at P&B. This boat is ready to be customised and with the boats currently lying first and second at the world championships who could argue with the chance to cut out the build time and have a new Fireball on the water in almost the time it takes to drive back from Solvenia!
For any of the above please contact Oli on 01604 592808 or e-mail email@example.com
However this week’s blog is really about one piece of news. Following on from a successful season for Team Winner /P&B 2013 and in line with the revamping of the P&B range of super quick Optimist Sails (link) we are pleased to announce that we are taking expressions of interest for those that wish to be considered for Team Winner or Team/Winner/Zhik 2014 please e-mail your details and a brief covering letter to Oliver Wells:- 01604 592808 firstname.lastname@example.org
That is all for this week by the time we write next week the Fireball sailors will have returned and the Americas Cup will be finished, probably.. !
Pinnell and Bax Ltd, Kings Heath, Northampton. NN5 7QP - Tel: 01604 592808 - Fax: 01604 592818