Last week lots of CYC and RNYC members went to the West Road  
Crematorium to say goodbye to George Downey.   The place was packed  
with George's friends from his two favourite worlds of boats and motorcycles.

Like many others we always enjoyed George's company - at sea and in  
the clubhouse.   He was plain-speaking, knowledgeable, practical,  
amusing and sociable - always pleased to see you, have a chat and lend a helping hand.

George made people smile wherever he went.

He was a good lad - we'll miss him.

Posted on behalf of Peter and Jennifer Cossins.


Tuesday, 22 July 2014 19:43

CYC Regatta - 9th & 10th of August

We have the CYC annual regatta coming up weekend of August 9th and 10th. This is a great event each year with much sailing (hopefully), much merry making (guaranteed), much micky taking (probably) and much BBQ'ing.

Even if you don't normally race, why not give it a try? Not everyone shouts and balls at each other during the race...... Honest!

If you don't wish to race, perhaps you may be able to assist with the running of the event?

We need help on the water with the RIB for race mark laying both days. If you can't do both days perhaps you can do one? 

The bar tends to get quite busy. It's thirsty work NOT shouting during the race you know. Cliff and his team of merry pump pullers would appreciate some assistance. Even perhaps just for an hour at a time on the Friday or Saturday evenings?

2014 marks the 50th anniversary of Coquet Yacht Club.  In fitting with the occassion, and to celebrate the hard work put in by members in building the new balcony, we are planning a celebration on the 30th of August 2014.  Weather dependant, this will be a BBQ, out on the new balcony.  

Please forward names to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ASAP. Cost will be £10.00 per head (£5.00 for children).



Monday, 30 June 2014 13:45

Windmills Race 28th June 2014

A race of two wind systems or “Why don’t men ever listen to advice from a SatNav?”

Historically, this was a race from Amble around the Windmills at Blyth and back. I remember winning this race on Gothik the GK29; with Stuart Graham at the helm; and sailing perhaps too closely round the base of the large wind turbines whilst watching nervously up at the “blades” descending down towards the tip of the mast with me thinking “Remind me how much air draft is there again???” as we all listened to the rhythmic “wathump” of the turbine turning.

As time has progressed and access, thankfully, restricted around the windmills area the format has become a bit more fluid. Plus the weather has not always held for such a race meaning it’s been shortened or cancelled in previous year. The race still holds the name but is more commonly known as the marina trophy race.

With the Spring Series completed and Richard Hope on Sanda hoping to maintain his winning ways the skippers assembled in the clubhouse for the pre race briefing. Alas the nominated race officer was out carving a furrow through the waters of the West Coast so it fell to Kris Burnett on CBeagle to step up to the mark. It was agreed with the late tide and fickle wind forecast we would hold an extended bay race instead. At least you can still windmills from the North end of the Bay……

Course set, start at Warkworth, Beat to Middle (starboard), back to Warkworth (starboard), up to Middle (Starboard), across to Sewer (Starboard) North to Birling / Inner (Port) downwind to finish line at Warkworth. Forecast was for roughly North or North Easterly (or around about there depending upon which forecast you read) anything from 10 to 16 kts.

Five boats assembled at the start line, Jondalar II, CBeagle, Sanda Sund, Jalfrezi (first race from CYC) and yours truly January First. Wind was a bit fresher than expected with 20+kts in the gusts as 3 of the boats settled into a reefed sail plan. I had again relinquished the helm to Mark Phillips so I could work the sail trim and discuss rig technicalities (trying to sound like I knoew what I was doing but probably failing miserably!) with or third member of crew for the day Robbie Storrar. Robbie was with me as part of his excellent after sales care making sure my new Genoa was correct and basically enjoying some client facing duties away from his till.

At this point I have to say congratulations to Gareth on Jalfrezi for doing something we’ve all wanted to do but rarely have the nerve to, unless you’re Allen Brunton of course. He took a very close to the pier exit route from the river as fishermen cast out their collective lines hoping to hook a large spicey yacht with crew. He calmly left the helm, drew his machete like knife (for all those members remembering Crocodile Dundee films “call that a knife? Know that’s a knife…..”); and sliced his way through. I don’t think a shout could be heard from the stunned fishermen….. WELL DONE Gareth – I commend you!

Despite abuse from crew to the youth at the wheel we crossed the start line in second place well to leeward of Sanda who had a blistering start. Rich looked like he meant business as he sailed his way through the remnants of the previous night’s whiskey fug. With wind freshening I continue to complain we should have put that reef in and muttering “you’re pointing too high Mark she’s a yacht not a insert appropriate expletive of your own choice in here please enterprise. She feels numb bear away……” As always with the youth of today they never listen and do what they want anyway!

Onwards we go now hunting for the elusive Middle Mark. We on January First tack off early and leave the rest of the fleet to push along the coast. I’m watching the track versus bearing on the handheld GPS and keep voicing concern we are too high……. Now for all those ladies out there this will ring true….. why don’t men listen or believe the directions on a SatNav? Eventually we listen to reason (I convince the other two I may be correct) we look to leeward of us and see the mark about half a mile to the South. We bare away and Mark whoops in delight thinking how the others are so far to North aiming for the same imaginary position we had just been going for. I blame the orange lobster pot markers!

Of course, us finding the mark now assists the back markers who can change course earlier and we watch Jondalar and CBeagle tack off to go straight for the mark we are now leaving behind. Positions around the first mark January First followed by a sprinting Jalfrezi now flying her kite, Sanda close on his transom goosewinging then Jondalar / CBeagle fighting it out. We mustn’t be too eager to congratulate ourselves I remind Mark, remember CBeagle has the deduction from elapsed time for being race officer AND he’s going well. Jondalar’s smaller main seems to be helping them as the continue sailing well under full main now too.

And so the race continued with us continually looking over our shoulders and I now have to put up with two dinghy sailors trying to sail the boat like it was an Enterpise or National 12…….. Still, it kept them happy whilst I ran around the cats cradle of ropes spewing from the various winches and cleats. I really do remember why I normally helm now! It’s hard work this crewing malarcky! Especially as I offer to do all the winching giving Robbie’s weakened wrists a rest – no comments about RSI on men’s wrists please….. he blames the years of sail making!

First two “sausages” down we all race towards the Birling (or Inner dependent upon your point of view) mark. Wind is still gusting and we watch Gareth on Jalfrezi putting a reef in. At last we put one in on January First and I can feel she’s happier. Got to say, there’s a lot of adjustments to do when you de trim the main to put the reef in to trim her back up to then less than 5 minutes later shake the reef out again! I’m sure it’s all good practice….. Yes the wind is dropping. It’s now down below 10kts. Hang on though, unlike normal the wind is not reducing from the front of the fleet letting the rest of the fleet catch up, it’s actually died from the rear most boats first. We’ve gone around the last windward mark and dead run to the line in an ever decreasing wind.

We cross the line hoping the 10 visiting Dutch boats keep out of our way as we watch the rest of the fleet power up again heading towards Sewer mark. Sanda and CBeagle seem to be having a great tussle and we call in the crossing the line shout.

Still I’m not able to prise the wheel from the exuberant Mark’s hands so I can enjoy the freshening wind but you have to encourage the “younger members” don’t you? He is 13 years my junior and it was his birthday recently…… Ah bless! I bet he still had jelly and ice cream too…. Sorry Mark, well perhaps a little!

Marina bound I discuss the now required reduction in forestay requirements with Robbie in the now blazing sunshine with zephyr like breeze in the river.

And so it ended. The fleet was split in two both with what appeared to be totally different weather patterns. One giving good dry (apart from the odd cresting wave over the bow of errant spot of rain) winds and the other in fickle gusty winds ending in horrendous rain squall at the end.

January First gets a First and wins the trophy, Jalfrezi 2nd, Cbeagle fights back to a valiant 3rd, Sanda gets a fourth and Jondalar a 5th.

No scheduled racing for next two weeks. Cruise scheduled for next week. No formal destination set. It’s a turn up and see where the wind takes you followed by East Coast Week on the first weekend of July. Next CYC series race scheduled for 26th July. This is also the weekend of the Sunderland Air Show which is always a good trip resulting in the best seats and no crowds to battle your way through to toilets or home thereafter.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014 20:24

Castle & Islands Report & Results

The 2014 Castles and Islands Challenge reminded us that it really IS a challenge to complete the course in 24 hours.

Gone were the winds and good breezes of earlier years. This year it
was ghosting south in little zephyrs and out with the oars for those that brought them.

Only two boats completed the Challenge in 24 hours; Sheevra in Class
1 and Trillium in Class 2 - congratulations!

C Beagle had the fastest runners and Sheevra had the best corrected sailing time.

Line honours this year went to Trillium - who beat Sheevra home by 1 minute and 20 seconds!

Download the results here.

Thank you to all the competitors for taking part - we look forward to seeing you and other participants in 2015.

Peter Cossins
CYC Castles & Islands Committee.


Peter Coulthard's (January First) race report:

Unfortunately I can't report on the race post about 1AM Saturday morning. However, at that time the wind was coming along nicely then forecast to drop off.....

A crowded CYC Clubhouse was visited for the pre race briefing hosted by Pete Hammond on Friday evening. Desperate appeals were made for any volunteers to run as yacht Runaway's had pulled out. It seemed to be a year for runners going missing what with Jondalar II losing theirs days before the event. Very remiss of you Steve.....Don't lose the next ones please.

The runners onboard January First seemed to be taking it all in their stride (every pun intended!) arriving 2 minutes before the briefing started as they had stopped off at the Widdrington inn for steak and kidney pie with all the trimmings! Strange I thought before a race but they know best.....

As the chimes struck 7PM in Alnwick the runners set off into a warm evening with gentle breeze. Ideal for running but for sailing????

My runners complained about getting lost turning right instead of left at Buston Barns and getting a stitch 3 miles into the race. They blamed the seasick tablets for the stitch - I blame the steak and kidneys...... Getting lost - no excuses!

First runners arrived and shot off to their boat with a steady stream of runners arriving shortly thereafter. As the runners arrived for January First we were watching CBeagle executing a perfect high speed handbrake turn around B Hammerhead in the marina - RACE ON!

Runners on board sails up as we leave the harbour and away we go. January First 4th out of the marina chasing CBeagle, Sheevra and Trillium. Charisma (she'd been tied up at the quay wall making their runners go that little bit extra - as if they weren't running far enough!) and Émigré in hot pursuit behind us.

Sewer boy, engine off, Ipad out, course set let's go! Charisma tried an overtaking move to windward to get past January First - nice try ......

Around the Island, spinnakers up ad Northward bound.

It was amazingly warm with a steady wind as the fleet progressed North. January First and Émigré were having a good tussle with Émigré continually trying to get close enough to nip at our heels which only drove us on gradually overtaking CBeagle and gaining on Sheevra.

As we passed Boulmer Style we could just see Trillium disappearing over the horizon but his spinnaker was clearly hanging limp. a chance to catch up as ours stayed full or a sign of things to come?

Now as most sailors know, there's nothing quite like sailing along on a evening in good company but with the threatening sounds of breakers to your port side? This was the scenario at Boulmer. Slight nerves were kicking in on January First as we had no echo sounder working - I'm sure it'd be fine!

Ahead we see Sheevra's spinnaker collapsing, come on we've got them now! Yes, Emigre's has too and now CBeagle's. Ours stays full as we follow the wind away from the coast. is that a mistake for Sheevra as they stay well inshore in no wind?

Light starts to fail as night draws in and we watch everyone put the navigation lights on. Runners nicely tucked up in bed snoring happily, January First creeps ever onward as Mark continues to munch his way through all things food and "Ket" related.

The radio squawks to life as we near Newton and we try to decipher whether that is Trillium dropping runners off or collecting them. I'd previously decided to go into Newton first and then catch the tide going North but with the little wind we have I decide to head straight for Staple Sound with the tide now with us.

Finally I relinquish the helm for a while only for the new helm, Stuart graham, to comment on the wind instrument showing 180 degrees out. I look and see it doing strange things..... Craster Triangle strikes again. Hang on, the lights have gone out on the instrument too.

Yes, we have lost battery power. Mast head light looks like a rather poor imitation of a guttering candle. Both batteries showing 6 volts! Please let there be enough to start the engine and get some juice flowing. Nope - not even enough to turn the engine over.

I've got a perfect course to get through Staple, good wind and good boat speed. do I carry on? I still have navigation on the Ipad...... Runners have travelled up from Lancashire just for this do I want to waste their time? I could bear away and head for Seahouses, drop runners off and try to nab a friendly fisherman to give me a boost - hold on Seahouses and friendly fisherman???? Reluctantly I admit we need to turn back and sail for home whilst we still have wind. The thought of losing the wind in the morning and being stuck without engine is not a nice one. MArk threatens to get off if we have to call the lifeboat out. Nah we tried him pushing the boat last week and it didn't work. South and home it is.

We make good speed South shining torches on the sails when we are near other boats to alert them of our position. Please let the wind hold and go to the North as forecast. We could salvage some pride and sail home then sail into the marina!

We arrive at Warkworth mark too quickly and it's rock bottom of the tide. We anchor up in a horrible sloppy swell and Stuart starts breakfast with a range of bacon / bacon and egg / bacon egg and black pudding rolls. The runners awaken to ask is that Holy Island (seeing Coquet Island to our stern)? We announce the problems and they retire back to bed!

We can't sit here all morning we were going to sail in! Tide's rising let's try the approach to the harbour. We've got nothing else to do. Would you believe it? The wind's Westerly straight down the harbour and there's a continual stream of boats leaving the piers. I daren't make the run with out engine whilst having to dodge other boats..... We wait.

On the final attempt we have fenders out ready and we are going for it. We are just about to scrape past the North Pier (we wanted to be right up here then bear away up the river) along comes Richard Hop in the club Rigiflex to offer assistance. I'd not normally say Richard is a sight for sore eyes, or even pleasing to the eye; but my eyes were tired and sore and I'll say no more.

So, how do you tow a 35 foot yacht with a small boat and a 10Hp engine. Alongside and very slowly is the answer.

We make it into the berth and we go to reawaken the second runner - time to go home I'm afraid.

January First is put to bed, we can't recreate the battery issue no matter what we try and we trudge home thinking perhaps the boat was telling us she didn't want to be there. Sometimes you just have to listen to your vessel!

Temperature rises, wind drops (as we feared) and I later find out that only two boats made it back in the time limit - Trillium and Sheevra. Well done to them and it just goes to show it is not just a race but truly can be a challenge.

The results are in - photos from the prize giving.

Monday, 14 April 2014 20:13

Lift in - Friday 18th

The LIFT IN date is nearly here (Friday 18th)

For those who have still to submit their forms and payments, please forward them to Ian Gibson ASAP.  Form can be found here.

Monday, 14 April 2014 20:07

Coquet Yacht Club Emails

It has been brought to our attention that some members aren't recieving all of the emails they should be.  If you feel you aren't recieving emails from our mailing lists, then please can you email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we'll investigate.  Additionally, please check your Spam or Junk mail boxes to ensure that the emails aren't being routed there instead. Many thanks.

Sunday, 23 March 2014 12:40

Italian Evening - 29th March

Italian Evening - 29th of March

Our next social event is fast approaching, make sure you let Phil or Cliff know that you are coming.


Mozzarella with Tomatoes
Melon and Ham

Chicken in a creamy panchetta sauce
Beef Lasagne

Italian Ice Cream

Cheese & Biscuits

£15.00 per head.