The Wingnut is awarded each year at the National Rally for acts of gross under-achievement or stupidity on or off the water. These are the stories so far….


At prizegiving (with yet more cake!) the Wingnut award was contested between Chris Barlow for taking a boat successfully club raced all season, but deciding to change the mast and forgetting to put on a gooseneck, and Nessa for taking the CVRDA custom of bringing a boat never sailed before to the extreme by collecting it on the way (well, it is if you go from Huntingdon to Banbury via Oxford) and then entertaining us with contortions to fix the rudder and a graceful descent of the mainsail mid-race. A vote overwhelming awarded Nessa the (currently virtual) wingnut.


The winner was in a boat which while approaching the slipway, hooked a submerged trolley with the mainsheet. Not noticing, the boat continued sailing, dragging the trolley. The helm then decided to jump out, not realizing that 1, the water was still deep, and 2, he had the mainsheet wrapped round his ankle. So, picture a Merlin Rocket sailing along happily with both a trolley and a person being dragged along behind. Congratulations, Tim Bury!


The wing-nut award for gross under-achievement on or off the water this year went to Tom Moore. He was up early on Sunday morning, trying to plug the many leaks he had discovered in his Minisail the day before. However, his tube of sealant (the sort of tube that works like squirty cream) had a blocked nozzle. Our intrepid hero was not to be put off that easily, but decided to drill the blockage out. However, the sealant in the tube was under pressure… following the explosion, Tom was found with sealant pretty much everywhere but on the boat he was trying to mend!


Albacore 5198 took the Wing-Nut award for gross under achievement. Showing everybody her transom at the 1st mark in race 3, a commanding lead hers for the taking, she decided to take the windward mark away instead, wrapped around the rudder. The sight of helm bending over the back on the boat trying to lift the rudder whilst the crew had the jib beautifully powered up to extend their lead down the first reach was one that was witnessed by the whole fleet as they happily sailed past…


This year’s competition was fierce, with entries including Kate Penfold walking off the deck of the Wayfarer onto a jetty that wasn’t there, but the people’s choice was for the Skua, sailed by John and Jane Andrews, who capsized. Nothing unusual in that, except that the Skua has a large keel on the bottom of it, and was thought to be self righting! John is reported to have sat on the deck saying “She’ll come up in a minute, She’ll come up in a minute” as she was blown flat. She didn’t…


Ed – trapeze and swimming skills


Jamie and Alex – for breaking the GP centreboard right off and sailing on without realising!


Chris Barlow for demonstrating how not to bump start an Albacore


John Gardiner for a slight lack of buoyancy in his boat!


Nigel Osborne and Simon for a lone capsize.

If anyone can remember more Wingnut awards or add to the stories, please post on the forum topic (under Events, topic is Best of… the Wingnut)