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Rock Belle Isle Open Meeting Preview

David Marlow - 20th April 2011

It is noticeable that as you walk into Rock Sailing and Waterski Club there is a large photo of Prince Charles and Lady Diana on the wall. This is the vital piece of evidence behind the real reason for the choice of wedding date by our future rulers. It is clear that William and Kate could think of no better gift to the country than to allow the Lark fleet to spend an extra day in Rock this year. Indeed, not only will everybody get more time in this sun-drenched haven of the aristocracy, but with a bit of luck most of the “locals” will be taking their seats in Westminster Abbey.

As a result of this blatant but effective attempt to increase the popularity of the monarchy, this year’s event promises to be one of the best in memory. That is if anybody can remember what happened at any of the previous visits. This is definitely a sailing holiday where the sailing comes second to the holiday.

When it comes to the race times, there is nothing conventional about this Open Meeting on the North Cornwall coast. Unlike Waldringfield, RSWC is unable to control the moon and so there can be a few issues with the tide. This can be great with no start until long after the hangovers have cleared or it can be slightly dangerous with members of the fleet still somewhat the worse for wear at the 8am start time!

It is also true to say that you are never sure where you are going to end up racing. You may get glorious sailing in the bay just outside the ominously named Doom Bar. Alternatively you might end up racing in the estuary. If you are really unlucky you could end up doing gate starts in a piece of river not wide enough for a Lark to sail for more than 30 seconds. Such is life, and these are but little flaws in this glittering gem of an event that has for years sat at the top of the Lark Class calendar’s crown.

When I was trying to think of downsides to this glorious riot of maritime endeavour I struggled. The beer is great (and Doom Bar ale is not as dangerous as it sounds), the weather is always amazing, the club is very friendly, the village is small and compact and the race times just add some variety. I think the only problem I have with this venue is probably the sand of which there is far too much and it gets everywhere, but maybe that is just me being picky…..

Have a great weekend and I will be thinking of you while I get irritated by the sand on the beach in Malaysia.


PS - All important details can be found below...

Dates: Sat 30th April to Mon 2nd May.
Entry: £55
Races: 6
Registration from 6pm on Friday and 10am Saturday
Briefing at 11am and first race on sat 1pm.

High tides:
- Saturday 30th - 16:42
- Sunday 1st May - 17:18
- Monday 2nd May - 17:48

On the social front, there will be a meal and disco on Saturday night, bring ya' meat BBQ on Sunday (butchers in rock only open until 12 on Saturday, not open on Sunday) with possible beach games (depending on weather).

The club will also be open all day Friday and will be doing a fish supper - order before 8pm.

It's gonna be sweet!