Welcome to

Burghfield Sailing Club

Main Menu


Recent Updates



Any term All terms


Burghfield Sailing Club
Hangar Road
Berks RG7 4AP

01189 303 604



Blaze at Burghfield

Mind the trees

Blaze Open - 9th & 10th April 2016

The 2016 Blaze Traveller series starts off on 9th & 10th April with the Burghfield Open.

This year the format will build on last year's successful event. There will be a total of 6 races over the weekend, and this year it will be open to Halo & Fire variants who will share a separate start after the Blazes.

As before, Saturday will start with a practice session with some informal training. In addition we'll have boats set up with all 3 rigs, so it'll be a great opportunity to try a Blaze for the first time, or one of the alternate rigs. There will then be 3 back to back races after lunch.

On Saturday evening we'll be organising a meal. If there are sufficient numbers we'll put something on in the club, if not it'll be in a local pub or curry house.

Sunday will have 3 more races but these have to fit around the club races. The first will start at 10am before the first club race, and the next two will be back to back providing entertainment to the club racers while they have lunch.

  • 0900 - Club gates open
  • 1000 - Practice / Tweaking
  • 1130 - Registration
  • 1200 - Race Briefing
  • 1300 - Races 1-3

  • 0830 - Club gates open
  • 0900 - Race Briefing
  • 1000 - Race 4
  • 1100 - Club AM race
  • 1200 - Races 5+6
  • 1400 - Club PM race

Entry fee is £20 if pre-registered before Thursday 7th April, or £25 on the day. Anyone who can only attend one day will pay a lower rate of £15 in advance & £17 on the day.

Online pre-registration has now closed, but you can still enter on the day.

Download NOR

For further information please email

Blaze Open - 5th & 6th April 2014

There were 3 great race events this weekend. The Grand National, The Boat Race and the 2 day Blaze Class Open at Burghfield. There was a few fallers in the gusty conditions and the odd contact and some big margins between the front of the fleet and the tail enders. Unlike the Boat Race there were no protests and only one person over the line (twice) and he still finished second overall!

Saturday started with the traditional pre season training. This year a shore based discussion lead by current National champion Rob Jones and Miles Mence on how to get the best out of a carbon mast and general sail set up.

3 short races were run on Saturday around a trapezoid course. The wind from the south is not a good direction at Burghfield. So lots of wind shifts and holes plus the odd gust which could send you speeding away from the rest of the fleet or see half the fleet sail past you. The first 2 races followed the same pattern with local sailor Simon Beddows reaching the windward mark first and

leading for that lap only to be overtaken up the beat on the second lap by Ben Pickering. Apart from the first race due to an eager start they were followed by Rob Jones who got through to second place in the second race. Also in contention were Miles Mence, Andrew MacGaw and Ian Clark.
Downwind Back to the bar to share a beer and stories of large wind shifts and gusts that missed you. A hunting party set out to Theale to sample the local curry house and drink yet more beer. Then to the pub at the head of the lake for beer and a Blues band. Andy the Dancing Farmer had decided to give the event a miss after some spurious comments on various forums about his dancing frightening the newcomers.

Sunday started grey and damp as the few visiting campers emerged from their tents looking for water, food and a hangover cure. The wind had shifted to a southwesterly and gone up by several notches. Just as gusty and still on the shifty side. The race officer set a course around the club marks and off we went again. The same protagonist fought it out at the front of the fleet with Ben Pickering again getting all of the wind shifts right. This time Mark Asbury also got into the mix. Ben having got 5 straights firsts then retired to pack his boat up leaving the field wide open for the last race. Local sailor and event organiser Mike Bell roared away from the start and rounded the windward mark a country mile ahead of all the other boats and maintained this lead for much of the race until Rob Jones caught and passed him.
Rob Well done to Ben Pickering who never missed a shift and at 17 has many years ahead of him if he is to emulate our Association chairman Paul Taylor who at 71 is still competing.

Thanks to our race officer Ian Bullock for an extremely professional job as race officer and also to Burghfield for allowing us to slot in between club racing on the Sunday. Our next event is at Felpham April 26/27. There will also be a large turnout for POSH at Paignton on May 10/11.

Report: Simon Beddows.
Photos: Mike Proven


Blaze 6-Pack Wnter Series 2013/14

The informal winter race series returns this year following popular demand!

A total of 12 races run over 6 days - the first 3 Sundays in December and the last 3 in January:

Races 1+2: 1st Dec
Races 3+4: 8th Dec
Races 5+6: 15th Dec
Races 7+8: 12th Jan
Races 9+10: 19th Jan
Races 11+12: 26th Jan

Races will be as part of the normal club racing (fast handicap fleet) from which the results will be extracted.

The series is open to visitors - £5/day or £25 for the series.

Blaze Open - 6th & 7th April 2013

The successful start of the season combined a 2 day Burghfield Open and training meeting for Blazes being resurrected after a gap of a couple few years. 26 Blazes from 7 clubs raced joined in the revival demonstrating that winter had truly ended ... at last.

Saturday began with a double act of Steve Townsend and Mike Lyons in the classroom talking about something called SPIRE and boat lengths and how to successfully gybe without getting wet. This was quite well illustrated by Mike between races on day 2 when he ‘decided to check his slot gasket’ !

Out onto the water to practice gybes and tacks followed by a short training race.

After lunch the racing began in earnest, well we all set off at a fast drift for the start line. Even before the first gun went two main halyards broke and were duly fixed ... well it was the first outing for some time for a few. There was also a most bizarre capsize which saw 2 Blazes become entangled ‘head to head’. Each then capsized in perfect harmony, the sails arching away from each other like the petals of a flower opening.

Race one saw the fleet split up the first beat with the majority going up the ‘safe’ (!) left hand side. A smaller group lead by Rob Jones and Simon Beddows ambitiously headed up the right side to meet a great looking patch of wind coming down the lake ... you have to take the ‘odd’ risk after all. This of course turned out to be a huge header so game over. At least it should have been until half of the fleet decided to add an extra mark into the race later on. The race was won by Mike Lyons closely followed by Dave Smith, a local Laser sailor, who had borrowed a boat for the event. The second race followed without many incidents in the dying breeze and was again won by Mike Lyons this time with Simon Beddows being the chaser.

The sailors retired to the shore to repair boats, discuss enormous wind shifts, and more importantly drink beer. The Warsash boys decided to emulate the missing Welsh contingent by attempting to drink their weight in beer, possibly to prepare themselves for a night in freezing temperatures in a tent. Well someone has to maintain the fleet reputation.

The second day started with sun, warmth and a good atmosphere. Everything required except for a bit of breeze. Boat bumbling and coffee fuelling commenced as RO decided to delay ... on this occasion to universal support.

An hour or so later a doubtful fleet were sent afloat as the breeze struggled to establish. 15 minutes more and the missing ingredient did finally arrive, sufficient for most tastes anyway. The sequence started, the fleet bunched, the wind swung, the fleet decided to ‘push’ on a bit too enthusiastically. The result, another general recall and the Committee boat shuffled off to the other end of the lake to this time offer a real ’proper beat’.

R3 finally got away with Myles Mence showing the locals how to reach the windward mark first in some style and by some way. The pack slowly got their acts together and reduced the deficit on the downwind legs. Eventually Lyons got reasonably close but looked unlikely to overhaul Mence …. that is until a club racing Solo managed to pin him to the leeward mark in what looked like a very improbable manoeuvre that involved a bit of gelcoat and the acquisition of number ‘1’ racing mark under a wing. Lyons went through and as the wind perked up pulled away to win by 200m. Martin Preston and Stuart Brown of the home club followed Mence.

R4, A port flyer would have been impressive... in the last 30 seconds of the countdown a sudden wind swing meant not a single boat could beat to the pin end ….. as many had planned. Much gnashing of teeth but again Mence was perhaps the least disadvantaged as virtually every boat tacked onto port for a drag race to the ‘windward’ mark. Fickle luck helped some and punished others .... seemingly without motive around the mark 8, many places being won and lost in a fast dropping wind. The majority elected to follow the leader’ in close formation. Way back Rob Jones of Warsash followed by Lyons decided a bit of an alternative route was the only game still available. Their longer route looped around one of the larger Burghfield islands to the leeward mark - but they had a little bit more of that vital ingredient denied the pack. They managed to ‘undercut’ the pack completely and get back in the game. A wind shift on the next beat again helped them and somehow they got through the leaders - from ‘zero’ to ‘whatever’ in half a lap ! Lightweight Beddows managed to catch ’heavier’ Jones on the last run and very nearly took the lead from Lyons. R5 result was Lyons / Bedows / Jones / Mence / Barbrook.

Final race ... a nice breeze to start, and another late shift to tease all. The race was a mix of drifting and planning in successive swinging gusts as they came down the course. Mence plus several of the locals pulled away and were then looked unlikely to be caught for the remainder of the race. In the end it was Lyons and Beddows who led the last legs of the race with Lyons just holding on over the line. Mence followed by Brown and guest helm Dave Smith followed.

The Blaze fleet seems in remarkably good health after a long and tough winter of freezing conditions. A return to a 2 days Open at Burghfield proved popular and the class looks forward to returning again next year. It is now looking forward to its next formal travellers series event at in Paignton in May.

Full Results


Blaze Training Day - March 31st 2012

Open to all Blaze and Halo sailors. If you're new to the boat come along to meet the fleet and get some hints and tips, established sailors welcome too (with the possibility of trying a carbon stick to tempt you?)

The day will start with a welcome at 9:30. It will start with a mixture of land and water training with some races at the end to put it all into practice.

Pre-registration has now closed, but you can still turn up. Entry fee is £12.

Also, so we can tailor the day to suit you please email to let us know what your Blaze experience is and any specific things you want to get out of the day.

Blaze 6-Pack Wnter Series 2011/12

A total of 11 boats compteted in the 6-pack - an informal race series run over 6 weekends either side of Christmas.

There was a variety of weather conditions finishing with a flat calm for races 11 & 12 which were cancelled.

Results after 10 races, with 6 to count:

Pos Helm Rig S/N Points R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 R10
1 Pete Barlow Blaze 758 6 1 (5) 1 1 (3) 1 (4) 1 1 (DNF)
2 Mike Bell Blaze 604 17 2 1 (DNC) (DNC) (DNC) (DNC) 3 5 3 3
3 Stuart Brown Blaze 752 18 (DNC) (DNC) 2 2 2 2 DNF 2 (DNC) (DNC)
4 Paul Taylor Blaze 751 21 (6) 4 3 3 4 3 (6) 4 (DNF) (DNF)
5 Paul Hemsley Blaze 761 25 4 2 (DNC) (DNC) (DNC) (DNC) 1 DNC 2 4
6 Dave Angwin Halo 710 27 3 3 (DNC) (DNC) (DNC) (DNC) 2 3 4 DNC
7 Steve Townsend Blaze 533 46 5 DNC DNF DNC 1 (DNC) (DNC) (DNC) (DNC) DNC
8 Brian Powel Blaze 744 55 DNC DNC DNC DNC (DNC) (DNC) (DNC) (DNC) DNF 1
9 Simon Beddows Blaze 767 56 DNC DNC DNC DNC (DNC) (DNC) (DNC) (DNC) DNF 2
10 Dave Entwistle Blaze 682 61 DNC DNC DNC DNC (DNC) (DNC) 7 6 (DNC) (DNC)
11 Rob Garlick Blaze 570 65 DNC DNC DNC DNC (DNC) (DNC) 5 (DNC) (DNC) (DNC)


Blaze Open - 21st May

The forecast on Monday looked like it was going to be a repeat of last April's meeting. Fortunatley things improved - the sun was out and the wind was (on average!) perfect for Blazing.

Two visitors and eight local boats took to the water. The first race was a beat up most of the lake followed by a number of runs & reaches back to the start. Paul Hemsley took first, followed by Martin Saveker and Rob Garlik. After lunch there were two races back to back on a slightly shorter course. In the second race Martin beat Paul and Rob kept a consistent third. The final race had Martin first, followed by Rob & Steve Pollard.

The final results were:

1. Blaze 774 Martin Saveker (Bartley Green SC)
2. Blaze 761 Paul Hemsley (BSC)
3. Blaze 570 Rob Garlik (BSC)
4. Blaze 766 John Abbott (Oxford SC)
5. Blaze 751 Paul Taylor (BSC)
6. Blaze 604 Mike Bell (BSC)
7. Blaze 649 Steve Pollard (BSC)
8. Blaze 682 David Entwistle (BSC)
9. Blaze 718 Neil Lillywhite (BSC)
10. Blaze 742 John Wood (BSC)

Many thanks to the safety boat & committee boat teams, especially the race officer Rob Martin for running the races very efficiently & setting 'Blaze Friendly' courses.

Mike Bell
Blaze 604.

Blaze open 2010

Blaze Open 23rd October 2010-Report

We were back at Burghfield as the open in April was rescheduled due to a lack of wind " sharing with Phantoms, Solutions and OKs.
Eight BSC Blazes participated " a strong turnout " but visitors were few; partly perhaps because the Inland Nationals were only a fortnight earlier. This time there was wind blowing which turned out to be up and down all day from force 2 to force 4 from the South West which allowed for beat to be sailed the length of the lake.

11 Blazes started the first race with the fleet splitting up the first beat. Mike Lyons, Simon Beddows and Nick Creak went left while the rest lead by Alastair Barbrook went right. Mike rounded first followed by Alastair 2nd and Simon 3rd. After the first downwind Mike and Alastair were well clear while there was battle between Nick and Simon for 3rd as well as in the pack. The wind eased slightly which benefitted Simon who then closed in on the battle between Alastair and Mike. Mike Lyons held onto his lead defending any attack from Alastair and Simon to win race one, with Simon Beddows second and Alastair Barbrook 3rd.

After lunch races 2 and 3 were sailed back to back. There was a change in course so instead of a long run, it was shortened with a wing mark to sail after the windward to make more reaching which the Blaze likes. Race 2 resulted in the same finishing order with Mike Lyons first, Simon Beddows 2nd and Alastair Barbrook third.

Eight blazes stayed out for race 3. Mike Lyons got himself caught up in the pack so was not to sail off into the distance from the start. The fleet was all within a few boat lengths at the first windward mark with Simon Beddows rounding first and Nick Creak in Second. Simon sailed ahead, but Mike was not held back for too long as he soon broke through the fleet. Mike caught up with Simon who had a great battle to the end of the race. Mike won the last race with Simon second.
With the wind shifting around up the beat Bob Yates almost came in third having passed Nick who was in third place most of the race, but fortunately for Nick, Bob’s luck ran out as he lost the breeze which allowed Nick to finish 3rd.

The event was won by Mike Lyons (Burghfield SC , Simon Beddows 2nd (Burghfield SC), Alastair Barbrook 3rd (Burghfield SC) and Nick Creak 4th (Hamble River SC)

Reported by visitor Nick Creak of Hamble River SC.

Too windy for words...


Well what can I say? Saturday morning, cloudless sky and not a whisper of wind in the hanging air. And so it stayed for the entirety of what should have been the Blazes' inaugural 2010 Open Meeting, at Burghfield Sailing Club earlier today.

Over twenty helms between them " may be more, could be less; only two signed on " showed intent by turning up, with others having ducked out beforehand upon sight of the weather forecast.

Racing was postphoned by unanimous consent from 11.30 to maybe 12.30, at 12.30 to maybe 1.30, and at 1.30 or thereabouts it was given up for another day. In all probabilty that would have been the decision regardless, for by then the nature of the event had changed as we lapsed into to an afternoon of easy conversation, a pint or three of London Pride and an unexpected suntan on our very own Balcon of Burgfield Lake.

Thanks to everyone who did come " particularly the visitor helms " their support and conversation was appreciated; thanks as well to the two Phantom race officers Simon Smith and Alan Powell (they volunteered, they weren’t rostered), commodore Jeremy Carey and to everyone else in place to support the event. Burghfield has kindly offered to restage both Finn and Blaze Opens later in the year " confirmed dates tba " with every expectation of more wind than today.

But what of the training day? The Friday was windy and, as a Blaze coaching session, offered tremendous benefit to those who participated.

Training was provided both on and off the water by Ian Martin " a born and bred Burghfield sailor, a former Olympic contender and now a professional sailing coach. One of his unexpected strengths proved to be that, as Ian had never sailed a Blaze, he had no preconceptions as to how it should be tuned or sailed, and was able to address both by purely what he saw.

With only seven boats (he wanted 6-8), it was possible for him to coach helms individually as well as the group as a whole, using copious video footage that would later be dissected and discussed before going back on the water after lunch. From the rescue boat driver’s perspective (me) all seven visibly improved throughout the day and, interestingly, there appeared to be a greater uniformity of sailing as the day developed across the courses and exercises set.

Any key tips? It was personalised, so different people, different tips. One big one is that you should consider using him at your own club or within your fleet event " find him through Pat at Burghfield on 01189 303604.

General Blaze tips: work the boat, don’t just kneel there; make full physical use of your kicker and downhaul when the wind blows, and let them off the second it doesn’t; use more windward heel on entering into a gybe, letting the boat do the work for you; pay special attention to the top leech tell-tale, it is the most important; and pay attention as well to the position and draught at the bottom of the sail " too much draught too far back interrupts airflow and compromises performance. These are random tips really and you needed to be there to get the benefit in context. Perhaps next time.

Roger Williams
Blaze 762

GPS track for Blaze 713

Stuart's GPS tracks

Here are Stuart Brown's GPS tracks for Blaze 713 on Sunday 3rd December.

Stuart: "I was late for the start - playing catchup. You can see where my rudder broke before getting towed in (thanks chaps).

Thanks to Pete Barlow for the loan of the rudder blade!

The GPS recorded a maximum speed of 15.0 knots in the morning race and 15.5 knots in the afternoon."

Morning Track...
Afternoon Track...


8th April


The 2014 Blaze Traveller series starts off on 5th & 6th April with the Burghfield Open.

As in previous years, Saturday will have training in the morning followed by two races after lunch. There will be 3 more races on Sunday, which will be interleaved with club racing.

  • 0900 - Club gates open
  • 1000 - Registration
  • 1100 - Training
  • 1230 - Race Briefing
  • 1400 - Races 1+2

  • 0830 - Club gates open
  • 0900 - Race Briefing
  • 1000 - Race 3
  • 1100 - Club AM race
  • 1200 - Races 4+5
  • 1400 - Club PM race

Entry fee is £15 if pre-registered before Thursday 3rd April, or £17 on the day.

Pre-registration form

View entries

Notice Of Race

For further information please email

Update - The BSC race team have decided to allow Halos to compete. If sufficient Halo pre-registrations are received before Thursday 3rd April, a separate Halo start will be run after the Blaze start. Anyone interested please register prefixing your sail number with 'H'.

Created on 17/01/2006 08:52 AM by Ian Bullock
Updated on 08/04/2016 12:06 AM by Mike Bell
 Printable Version

Contact the
Powered by phpWebSite





Coming Soon...


Log In



Remember Me