The News

2017 July Latest News

I have just finished sailing at Stone once again in Force 4 /5 winds against the tide which creates the infamous Blackwater chop off Breezy Point. These conditions are difficult to beat into, as it is difficult to keep good forward boat speed to slice through the water, while pointing reasonable high. If your speed is too low then the boat stops and bounces up and down in the three foot short chop. Down wind I find it difficult to trapeze a broad reach in these conditions as one is easily thrown off the rear beam in the wave formation. At 74 Kilos (11 stone ) this is my limit in preventing a nose dive. Those 13 stone plus sailors usually relish the conditions. The above photos show Gary Piper and William Dawson tuning their boats on the Solent in similar windy conditions as preparation for the Nationals this year at Stone in Essex.Anybody that has previously attended a National at Stone will already have received an entry form and detailed information regarding the event to be held from 31st July to 4th August. This year the Fee for the weeks sailing, plus all socials and a BBQ plus the prize giving dinner is £100 for each competitor, with a £10 discount if your entrance form is received by the 23 July.Entrance forms and full information regarding the event can be found on the Stone SC web site www.stonesailingclub.org.uk  This is a MUST attend event if you wish to test your  skills sailing a Unicorn in a Class Fleet, enjoy the banta and excitement with similar minded people or just enjoy a great Family vacation. l look forward to meeting everyone again in four weeks time. Best wishes Peter Toft

2017 May Latest News

Arthur Brooks at full stretch!

Last weekend I managed my first Sail of the Season. Having missed the nice weather in late March, on the East coast we have had strong Northerly winds for the last month, which for older sailors like myself, tempts one to stay in the warm until May. The sail on  Sunday was good, with a Force 3 to 4 and reasonable flat water. This allowed me to check the boat and tuning which had taken place over the Winter. With no other Unicorn, Shearwater or Hurricane on the water I managed to easily see off the Darts, 505's and 470's. So far so good but today my body is creaking a little, especially in the knees and hip joints. The joys of sailing when you are in your mid 70's !

I have not seen or received any further reports of activities in other Clubs or events. Perhaps you too have have had a return to the Winter blues.

I have been contacted by Scott Greengrass who having completed the re-issue of the latest updated Unicorn Plans has decided to apply his skills and enthusiasm to MG cars as a new project. He has placed an advertisement in the Parts for sale section of this web site, which is very extensive and includes parts which many of you may be interested in purchasing. In particular the specially constructed Unicorn building bench is perhaps something the Association should consider purchasing and hire or loan out to new builders of Wooden hulls. On behalf of the Unicorn Association we thank him for his work over the last two years and wish him Good Health and enjoyment in his retirement.

Enjoy your time on the water sailing a Unicorn and tune it ready for the Nationals at Stone in the first week of August. Peter Toft

2017 February Latest News

Happy New Year to everyone. Your committee have been working hard to complete the identified assignments at the AGM to ensure the Unicorn Association is kept up to date and is ready for the start of a new season in April. In particular our Treasurer Julius Mach has developed a new membership form which is available in the membership section on the web site. This can be completed off line, copied and sent as an attachment with your payment details to him. Confirmation of your payment will be sent to you. It is very important that your membership renewal is completed accurately, to enable us to communicate with you, and register which boats are being actively owned and sailed. Membership payments each year are due by no later than the 1st April, and only paid up members by this date will be eligible for the discount rate when attending and competing at the Nationals. As advised in my pre Christmas report, Scott Greengrass has now built two new hulls to the latest Gary Piper ( GP ) design and is hoping to complete fitting out of the boat during 2017. He has also prepared a new addition of Unicorn Technology to assist builders of new wooden hulls on how to complete the project without too many problems. The drawings are in PDF and therefore can be sent electronically anywhere. When a boat is built and measured, a registration fee must be paid to recover some of the costs and maintain a register of approved boats, making them eligible to compete in official events. This helps maintain the value of competitive boats and keep Unicorns being an established Class with a competitive handicap. Gary Piper has been having discussions with GP sails for them to develop a standard competitive sail, which will be available to anyone wishing to buy a new sail. He will also try to recommend the type of batten, shape and poundage. Anyone who has already used a GP sail and can pass any good or bad information about these sails to Gary. it will assist him in arriving at a competitive final design. The committee wish everyone a healthy and competitive 2017 season. Book your Summer vacation dates now to coincide with the Nationals at Stone from July 31st to August 4th 2017. Peter Toft

2017 April Latest News

The 2017 Sailing Season has started with good weather and has tempted some Unicorners to launch their boats, namely Julius Mach and Gary Piper to my knowledge. Gary has recently managed to repurchase 1094, one of his favoured  National championship winning boats. It has been repainted and re-rigged for testing with the new GP Mylar sail.

 

It looks very smart and recent sea trials have shown the sail to be very good in winds over 10 Knots but some batten development is still required for the lighter airs. Gary will issue further reports as he gains experience with the new sail.

Owen Cox has purchased 1081 and is busy renovating it and hopes to compete with it soon. Oliver Murray has a new sail for 1062 made by Gorcher Sails. It is great to see that new younger sailors in Scotland are becoming active. We look forward to receiving reports from you and especially regarding the performance of the new sail. Any news from Howard Smallwood and 1075 which had an accident last Season? It is important that you all try to attend Open Meetings, for Class racing, and to test the latest SCHRS of 1.175 for the Unicorn.

I wish everyone a good 2017 Season on the water and look forward to meeting many of you at Stone for the National Championships. Remember, Unicorners do it standing out!  Best wishes Peter Toft

2016 November Latest News

Most sensible people have packed up their boats and either put them into storage for the Spring and are working on them in preparation for the new Season 2017 or others just lower their masts, put on the boat cover, ensure it is securely tied down and then walk away and enjoy the Feastive Season expecting the boat to be ready for the new Season. Which type of Unicorn sailor are YOU? At Stone SC we have just completed our Winter workday, to service the rescue boats and prepare the racing marks for the next Season. We also have a general tidy up of the grounds and facilities so we can continue meeting each Sunday for lunch through out the Winter,relax and enjoy a drink with a clear conscience.  What is happening at your Club ?

UK unicorn News - Scott Greengrass has completed the construction of another hull to the latest drawings and both Bob Dorks and myself put the official gauges on and found it complied to the Association specifications. He is now building the second hull. He has used a special method to scarf the plywood sheets which can be seen in the photograph.

 We also welcome back to the Unicorn fleet Dan Jarman who has recently purchased his old championship winning boat 1088 and is busy tuning it for the new Season. Dan has been keeping his sailing expertise upto date, sailing successfully several different types of larger two handed catamarans.

Steve Pooley has been busy purchasing a new B & B business in Wales called Bryn Melyn Farm House Cottages. We wish him and Gulin every success and hope he will find time to compete in some events during 2017.

Our current National Champion Owen Cox has invested in a Dart 18 to sail with Emma but plans to sail his Unicorn when Emma is working!

Finally I have confirmation that 2017 Stone Week including the Unicorn Nationals will take place from July 31st through to 4th August. It will commence with the usual Commodores reception on the Sunday July 30th. Please put this date in your new diaries so we can have  a good turnout.

May I wish you all a very happy Christmas and successful New Year 2017

Peter Toft

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