Reading Offshore

Sailing Club

Newsletter July  2017
July is a quite month as far as club news is concerned, no commodores report and we don't have a committee meeting as you are all suppose to be out sailing or enjoying yourself somewhere.
I have included some topical articles to amuse this month. -MR
  Dave Turner manning the grill.
ROSC Summer BBQ  5th June 2017  UTMYC            by Linda Scottorn
Dave and Lynda Turner braved the summer rainstorms on the 5th June to provide ROSC members with yet another terrific summer barbecue.  The newly restored Upper Thames Motor Yacht clubhouse along the banks of the river Thames in Sonning is an idyllic setting for this popular annual event (as well as our monthly meetings throughout the year).  Richard and Judy (UTMYC members) manned the well-stocked bar. 

Dave donned his BBQ apron and then gradually, from within a rather smokey marquis (which was set up adjacent to the clubhouse), a variety of grilled meats began to appear on the serving tables inside the clubhouse. Conversations began to cease and a queue quietly formed at the serving table.  Together with a variety of salads, breads and puddings (contributed by members) there magically appeared a feast fit for a king (or queen)! Both Dave and Lynda were applauded at the end of the meal for their commitment, hard work and great organization of this well-loved and always well-attended event.

A pleasing conclusion to the evening was the presentation of two Yachtmaster Certificates to two ROSC members, Andrew Dean and Damien Greene, who had recently completed their Yachtmaster Course with Phil Missen, ROSC’s RYA Training Instructor.  Many congratulations to Andrew and Damien!  
Forthcoming events

Your attention needed


 It would be extremely helpful if you could express your interest in either of the two August events to your commodore in the next week or two please. This is so that he can get a rough idea of numbers for booking and costing.

Monday 7th August: Curry Night and Short Walk.

The proposal is to meet in Caversham for a circular walk around Reading's waterways, the Thames and the Kennet, passing a few locks and historical/industrial sites along the way. The walk is likely to take about 90 minutes so an early start of 6.30 p.m. would be required. After the walk we could eat either in the River Spice restaurant (Indian) or across the road in the Moderation (Thai) at 8 p.m. The cost of the meal would depend on numbers but not likely to be expensive in any case (probably no more than about £15). Members could bring friends and turn up for just the walk or just the meal or both (just like Christmas all over again!).


Saturday 22nd August: Rally to Lymington.
There being no official organiser for this event Ian will agree to do so informally depending on availability of boats. If boats are available and willing to find a berth themselves then we could organise a meal ashore in town, depending on numbers, and find suitable entertainment for the day/days.

Please contact Ian the organiser at


Round The Island Race
Round the Island is on July 1st
with 1321 entries

The annual Round the Island Race, organised by the Island Sailing Club, is a one-day yacht race around the Isle of Wight. The race regularly attracts over 1,600 boats and around 16,000 sailors, making it one of the largest yacht races in the world and the fourth largest participation sporting event in the UK after the London Marathon and the Great North and South Runs.
Americas Cup news
Peter Burling and Emirates Team New Zealand win the 35th America's Cup
Another dominant race win for Peter Burling and Emirates Team New Zealand in race nine of the America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton, gave the Kiwi team victory on the Great Sound in Bermuda, sparking wild celebrations on board their America’s Cup Class  boat, and the team’s support boats on the Great Sound. Burling now adds the 35th America’s Cup to the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup trophy he won in San Francisco, 2013.

The Kiwi team dominated the final stage of the 35th America’s Cup, winning eight races to ORACLE TEAM USA’s one race win, giving the New Zealanders a final winning scoreline of 7-1.

The America’s Cup was last won by a team representing New Zealand in 2000 and they are now the Defenders of the America’s Cup for the 36th installment of the competition for the oldest trophy in international sport.

In the final press conference of the 35th America’s Cup, Grant Dalton, CEO of Emirates Team New Zealand, also announced that the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron has accepted the challenge of Circolo della Vela Sicilia, who will be the Challenger of Record for the 36th America's Cup and will be represented by Luna Rossa.
Red Bull Youth America's Cup
This was the actual moment we won the youth Americas Cup..!                by Mike R
If you didnt watch the Youth America's Cup racing then you missed some excitement....We were on the last leg of the last race in the whole series and in 5th place which would mean we did not have quite enough total points to win overall despite being top of the leader board most of the series. A couple of bad starts and a penalty for passing the start line split seconds too early in one of the races caused to loose our position but then this happened to the Swedish and the German team.
The German and Swedish teams were second and third in this final race when the Swedes cut up the Germans at a gate, the German boat piled head on into the marker bouy, piercing it. Sweden caused it and gained a penalty so (an understatement)had to wait to go behind the Germans to resolve their penalty. This took time to sort out and  meanwhile we passed them both, coming in third in this final race, which gained us enough points to win the trophy. Winning by other teams errors is still a win !
Disappointing (an understatement I am sure) for New Zealand as they won that race potentially giving them the points needed and presumed they had the trophy but if this hadn’t happened they would had retained the trophy but with GB coming in third instead of fifth gave us the points overall to bring the trophy home.
These are two screenshots from my MAC taken from the video. The top pic is a side on view of the German boat stabbing the buoy taken from the Swedish team's boat, the lower one is head on view from the German team of the same situation.
It is an important moment as it won GB the trophy from NZ.
News to amuse

"The USS Fitzgerald Is At Fault.     This Is Why " June 19, 2017

An interesting view from a professional seaman.             research by Mike R
Under COLREGS, whenever two ships touch each other, both ships are to blame.
but read on ....

Every ship, regardless of nationality or purpose, is required to carry one terse book . This book is titled the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions but is better know by its acronym “COLREGs”. The chapters are short and to the point and ship officers are required to make marks of 90% on COLREGs tests taken to keep up their licenses. In order to pass this stringent requirement sailors have developed mnemonic aids to help them remember the contents. When the crew loses control of steering, the COLREGs demands that the ship display two red lights in a vertical line. The mnemonic for this rule is “Red over Red, the Captain’s dead”. Sailboats are required to display a red and green light and its said “Red over Green, sailing machine”. There are many more like this but one important rule for avoiding collisions with Navy warships is missing: “If it’s grey stay away.”

While the media, with a very little hard data, attempts to understand the erratic manoeuvres of the containership ACX Crystal on the night of her collision with the Destroyer USS Fitzgerald… professional mariners are certain that a long investigation will find the US Navy ship at fault.
Is this conclusion the result of professional arrogance? Or maybe because of resentment and jealousy over the fact that Navy captains are praised and decorated by the public and media while merchant ship captains live mostly unnoticed. Or is it because they are correct?
As a ship captain along with years working with the U.S. Navy both aboard ships and ashore – here are the reasons why I believe they are correct. The USS Fitzerald was at fault.

Communication Failure

Despite recent advancements in electronic collision avoidance (AIS), the three most important tools for avoiding a collision are a Captain’s eyes, tongue and ears.

Eyes, looking out the windows of his ship, are important because they can process information – like erratic course changes – faster and more accurately than electronic RADAR and charting systems.

A tongue because the quickest and most effective way to predict how a ship is going to manoeuvre in the minutes before a collision is to call the Captain of the other ship on the VHF radio and ask.

Ears are important because language barriers and cultural differences are prominent at sea and you must listen intently to the other ship’s reply if you want any chance of understanding her intentions.
The USS Fitzgerald’s Captain used only one, or possibly none, of these tools when communicating with the ACX Crystal.

In the moments leading up to a collision a merchant ship captain has to do everything but steer the ship himself. With the help of one officer he has to watch the RADAR and AIS, plot the relative courses of nearby vessels, communicate with the Engine Room, talk with other ships on the VHF radio and issue orders. But on a navy ship each of these jobs is performed by a small team of sailors who report changes to, and obey orders from, the officer of the deck.
This system of many team members – each working on equipment they have been very well-trained to operate and reporting through a command structure that filters all but the most important information to the captain – is highly effective in war when a warship is exchanging salvos of high speed torpedoes and missiles with numerous hostile targets (anyone doubting this should read Jeff Edward’s excellent book “Torpedo). But this structure is ineffective when dealing with a single slow moving merchant ship.

An eye on the target and direct communication – Captain to Captain – is the most effective means of avoiding collision but this never happens on Navy ships. When a merchant ship attempts to call a U.S. Navy warship he first has to establish contact. Calling another merchant ship is relatively easy, you find the name of the ship on your AIS and hail it on the VHF. But the US Navy often turns off its AIS transmitter to prevent enemy’s from tracking warships via internet sites like which pick up the AIS signal via commercial satellites and publish the positions online.

The alternative way to contact a Navy ship is by calling out its hull number (painted in huge white numbers on the bow) but, for various reasons, the Navy doesn’t always respond to this number.
Provided you do establish contact with the oncoming destroyer you run into another major obstacle. The person who responds to your call is not the Captain but junior officer who then relays the message to the Officer Of The Deck or the Captain. The Captain’s response then has to go back down the chain where time and information is lost, mistakes are made and the delays occur. Hard data is, more often than not, conveyed accurately, but more nuanced information – like the sound or anger, hesitation or exhaustion in the captain’s voice – is lost.
The communication problems don’t stop there. Navy ships require that information from complex systems move quickly between officers and they carry this out with a large vocabulary of acronyms, abbreviations and units of measurement that are highly effective for communication between American naval officers but are gibberish to foreign ship captains.

For example… a foreign ship captain will order his helmsman to turn port or starboard but an American captain orders left and right turns. Merchant Captains prefer true bearings based off the compass but Navy Captains prefer relative bearings based off the centerline of his own ship. And most frustrating of all, merchant mariners use Nautical Miles to denote distance but the Navy measures everything in yards.
Small differences? Maybe but a series of small discrepancies can lead to big problems.
Was VHF contact established between the two vessels before the collision?

Why was the USS Fitzgerald Captain in his stateroom and not on the bridge looking out the window? Was he tuned into the VHF radio monitoring the conversation? Was the containership captain fluent in English and, if not, did the navy radioman listen with patience and speak with simple clarity? Did they communicate externally with international accepted standards or use U.S. Navy centric jargon?


TOKYO, June 26 (Reuters) – A U.S. warship struck by a container vessel in Japanese waters failed to respond to warning signals or take evasive action before a collision that killed seven of its crew, according to a report of the incident by the Philippine cargo ship’s captain.
This is the track of containership ACX Crystal at the time of the acciden
World’s First Remotely-Controlled Commercial Vessel Put to the Test in Copenhagen
"Advances in digital technology are driving the development of our remote capabilities"
Rolls-Royce and global towage operator Svitzer have demonstrated what is believed to be the world’s first remotely operated commercial vessel in Copenhagen, Denmark, Rolls-Royce said Tuesday. 

During the demonstration, the 28-meter-long tugboat safely conducted a number maneuvers in Copenhagen harbor while controlled by a Captain ashore. From the quayside in Copenhagen harbor, captain, stationed at a remote base at Svitzer headquarters, berthed the vessel alongside the quay, un-docked, turned 360 degrees, and piloted it back to the Svitzer headquarters, before docking again

Dont forget to take any photos during the Summer season that are of interest to yourself or the club as there will be a show board to display them at the AGM in November..  .
Click here for The Reading Offshore Web Site where all the club news, information & updates can be found
We have regular meetings the first Monday of the month at the Upper Thames Motor & Yacht Club (UTMYC) in Sonning. If you would like more information on any aspect head to our website or if you would like to discuss any point with a committee member about our sailing club or visiting us on a Monday to say hello, click here to email Linda, our publicity officer, who will be happy to answer any questions.
ROSC was established in 1971and continues with regular meetings. You don't have to own a boat as many rallies are available by land, meals in a local hostillery are arranged with pre-meal drinks often on one of the attending boats.
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