The Trinity Foundation’s Brixham Trawlers for WQSC Cadets in 2020 – Important Update

The Brixham Trawler “Leader”

Important Update

Unfortunately the Trinity Foundation have announced that they will be ceasing operations at the end of this year. As a result we will not be able to offer the Cadet trips detailed below.

However the Cadet team are looking for suitable alternatives as this year’s event was a particular success and the highlight of the year for many of our Cadet members. Details will be announced as soon as possible.

The text of Trinity’s announcement is as follows;

Dear Friends and Associates of Trinity Sailing Foundation (TSF),
I am writing to you today with the news that, after 20 years of a very successful venture providing invaluable and often life-changing experiences to thousands of disadvantaged young people and, at the same time, maintaining and operating some of the most important heritage sailing vessels in the UK, we have decided to cease the Foundation’s operations at the end of this year’s sailing season .
While this decision is regrettable, the Trustees of TSF have determined that changing circumstances over recent years have led to the model, that was so successful in the past, being no longer viable.
In recent years, our ability to raise funds has been affected because grant-making charitable trusts, faced with the recent economic situation and increasing demand, have had to reduce the number and scale of the grants they can offer. Also, various organisations who send their young people to take part in our personal development courses based on sail training have had their budgets for this cut or eliminated, increasing the level of bursaries that TSF has traditionally offered to cover the difference between actual cost and what client organisations can afford. At the same time, the costs to maintain our vessels — which are near or over 100 years old —remains high or is even increasing given their hard-working sailing season.
The consequence of these changes has been that TSF has in recent years had negative financial results from normal operations and has only been kept going financially by some extraordinary, one-off and unexpected income that cannot be relied upon to repeat.
Therefore, in order not to allow the Charity to risk developing a critical financial situation, the Trustees have determined that the necessary responsible decision is to stop the ongoing activities and find new homes for the vessels. With the expected surplus funds remaining, the Charity intends to continue to provide support in one way or another to disadvantaged young people.
The Trustees would like to thank all Trusts and other Benefactors who have made contributions over the years. Thanks also go to all past and present staff and crew members who have performed so professionally over the years, who have made Trinity Sailing what it is and whose enthusiasm has helped so many young disadvantaged people over the last two decades. The Trustees would also like to thank the organisations who have entrusted their young people to TSF and who have consistently let us know about both the short — and longer-term — benefits to those young people.
There are many other people, organisations and volunteers who have provided support in many different ways who deserve thanks. All of the above should feel proud of the results they have helped to achieve. We also appreciate the support and interest shown by those who have been on cruises, charters, RYA courses and Duke of Edinburgh adventures with us over the years.
Personally, I would like to thank the Trustees, most of whom have been in place for many years, and who have given their time, experience and professionalism to steer the Charity in the right direction. In particular, a special thanks for the outstanding contribution made by the Founder of TSF, Struan Coupar, who remains a Trustee, for his unstinting perseverance and belief.
For any future communication, please email
Yours sincerely,
Nick Reilly, Chair of Trustees

Original Blog Post Below :-

Voyage 1  –  4-10 April 2020

Voyage 2  –  4-7 May 2020

After the success of the trip on Leader earlier this year, we are keen to organise our voyage(s) for next year.

At the moment we are looking at two trips.  A longer one during Easter and a shorter one in May.

This is a chance to take part in an amazing adventure on-board these beautifully restored and well-equipped traditional sailing vessels, with lots of other cadets. During the voyage you will be fully involved with the running of the vessel, get to learn more about sailing and seamanship, explore new places, develop new skills and have lots of fun! 

The trips will ephasise the value of teamwork as well as the adventure of a first voyage at sea

We have provisionally booked these two voyages for next year as the only two that fit most of our requirements.

The voyages start and finish in Brixham and the exact itinerary will be determined by wind and weather, with safety always being paramount. The crews of Trinity’s vessels are immensely experienced, plus our group will be accompanied by two leaders (names to be confirmed) from WQSC.

Do take a look at Trinity’s website for lots more info and pictures:

The Details

The longer trip:-   4 – 10 April

The number of places will depend on the vessel allocated by Trinity. Cadets must be a minimum of 14 years old and a maximum of 25 years and a club member at the time of sailing.  

This will be an exciting and challenging trip, with the aim of crossing the channel and should involve night sailing.  If there are more applicants than places, priority will be given to older cadets as they may not have another opportunity in future.  

We appreciate that this trip is during the run up to the exam period but feel that a break like this can be quite motivating.

The shorter trip:-   4 – 7 May

The number of places will depend on the vessel allocated by Trinity. Cadets must be a minimum of 12 years old and a maximum of 25 years and a club member at the time of sailing.  

This is a super chance to experience the challenges of sailing a tall ship; working together as a team, to hoist the sails, clean the decks and navigate.  

You will notice that although the first day is a bank holiday, the cadets would miss 3 days of school.  We would hope that the school would look favourably on students taking part in such a life changing and educational experience.  WQSC would support an application to the school for time off.


Included is all food for the trip and loan of sailing gear (waterproofs and lifejacket). The only thing not included is transport to/from Brixham (start & finish point) but lift shares can no doubt be arranged if this is a problem.

The Trinity Sailing Foundation provide a bursary which we apply for as a group. In addition there are plans for all participants to be involved in fundraising activities to further reduce the cost.  We do not know the full cost of the trip, mainly because of the uncertainty of which vessel will be used for each sailing.  Going on our experience from the last trip, the final amount you need to pay should be substantially reduced.

There is also a small residue, in club funds, from the trip earlier this year.  We will not expect you to “sign up” and pay a deposit until we have a clearer idea of costs.

DO NOT let cost put you off – please speak to us first, in confidence. Additional funding is available from various sources and we can help with applications.

What next?

And in case you thought that these trips were an escape from schoolwork and revising for exams, there’s plenty of practical geography, mathematics and phsyics involved in navigating a sailing vessel safely!

If you want to go, let us know no later than WEDNESDAY 25th SEPTEMBER.

Please email Katherine and Alan Duncan who have offered to be the trip organisers. Contact them at

We’ll aim to confirm your place as soon as possible and then will ask for a booking form and non-refundable deposit of £90 by FRIDAY 25th  OCTOBER.

Any questions about the trip before you reserve a place?

Please email

Sue’s daughter Jo (one-time WQSC cadet and instructor) now works as mate on Trinity’s vessels and Sue sailed with the cadets on Leader in April this year.

This is a fantastic opportunity to get a taste of life on a traditional sailing vessel.

Chances like this don’t come up very often, when they do: grab them!

The Tankard 19. Can anybody help?

The club has been contacted by Lisa Graves regarding a Tankard 19 which she has recently purchased.

The boat is believed to have been built in GRP by Tankard Yachts at Weir Quay in the 1970’s and may have been a continuation of a wooden design based on the Blackwater Sloop.

The Tankard 19 currently named “Prudence” was known as “Bali Hai” until 2002 and Lisa is keen to trace any previous owners or anyone with information about the class, the builder or the boat’s history. 

Prudence is now at Ron Cradick’s yard at St German’s and looks likely to be the subject of a major refit project.

For those unacquainted with Tankard Yachts and in particular its founder Brian Tankard, there is an interesting article on the Weir Quay Boatyard website by their shipwright Saul Thomas remembering Brian, the original founder of the boatyard. The article can be found here;

If any of this has jogged your memory and you can help Lisa in her quest to learn more about her boat, you can email her directly at or and we will pass your information on to her.

The Wanderers Return!

After 3 years of wandering the Atlantic Ocean in their Pan Oceanic 43, Dandelion, WQSC members John and Sue Chadwick have returned to their home mooring at Holes Hole.

After a voyage that included Brazil, Argentina, the Beagle Channel, the West Indies and most recently a 10 day passage from the Azores, Dandelion took Sunday’s flood tide up the Tamar to complete their voyage.

John takes up the story, “After we left Holes Hole in July 2016 we headed pretty much south to call in at a number of harbour’s in NW Spain and Portugal before we pushed off for Madeira, Salvegens, Canaries, Cape Verdes, Salvador (Brazil) and on to Uruguay.  Then a sort of pit-stop in Buenos Aires for storm repairs and then on down the Argentine coast to Patagonia and the Beagle Channel.  A quick loop round the Horn (as you do) and slowly home via Isla del Estados, the Falklands, Brazil, Suriname, Antigua, Turks and Caicos, Bahamas, Cuba and the Azores.”

Isla del Estados, just of the southern ‘hook’ of South America is one of the most remote islands in the Southern Hemisphere.  
“Other than a two-man outpost of the Argentinian Navy it is completely uninhabited. 
The best shelter  – Puerto Hoppner – is on the north coast and almost completely enclosed within a horseshoe of sharp-edged, steep-sided mountains. It has an inner basin which, in my opinion, is one of the world’s best anchorages, a special place, a haven; a gorgeous, pristine lagoon overlooked by forest and greenery and rocky cliffs and peaks and waterfalls.  
In the SE corner are a couple of tiny islands. We nudge in behind one and find there a space of maybe twice our length. The Mate and M jump down into the RIB, take a bow line to the island and make fast to a stout tree. I hold us in place whilst the two stern lines are attached to trees on the ‘mainland’ and we’re secure in the centre of a rope ‘Y’.”
The Turks and Caicos 
” What really puts these islands on the map (at least as far as DDLis concerned) are their proximity to the serious ocean deeps.   
DDL is attached to one of the handy moorings laid for commercial dive boats off West  Caicos The mooring is smack bang over the lip of a serious drop-off.  Looking down from the front of the boat we can clearly make out the details of the seabed, 15 or 16 metres down.  Over the stern there’s just a blue void.  The Mate and I kit up and use the barnacle-and-mussel-encrusted mooring line to descend slowly to the sand-and-coral seabed directly below Dandelion.  
Finning off towards  the edge we find coral formations becoming increasingly fantastic.  Shapes like huge Roman vases, giant tubes, massive brains, branches, fans – corals of every shape and colour imaginable and then, beyond the edge, a blue infinity falling away to Gawd-knows where.  About 20 metres below us, an eight or nine-foot reef shark is cruising effortlessly along the cliff, as far as we can tell, not in the least curious about the two bubble-emitting intruders.  Let’s hope it’s been well-fed…”

John and Sue have kindly agreed to give us a talk about their adventures during the coming series of Winter Talks, so further tales of their journey will have to wait until then. Or until you buy them a sundowner or two at The Plough……

Cadets’ Weekend Sail to Fowey

We were approaching the last weekend of the school holidays and the weather was not looking good. Strong westerly headwinds of F5-6 were forecast for the Saturday plus rain as a front was due to pass overhead, writes Rosie Hinge.

But Sunday looked better, with moderating breezes plus some welcome sunshine.  So, our organiser, Chris Coomber crossed his fingers and agreed that the event should go ahead as planned albeit that some of the smaller yachts decided not to take part.

Beth West Helming Rapport with Rosie Hinge Watching On

So, on the Saturday morning our four participating WQSC yachts: Wacabone, Love Knot, Sea Nymph and Rapport collected their crew, including four cadets and set off towards Plymouth Sound.  The idea was to race on the outward leg and so we duly noted our times at the starting line just off the western end of Plymouth breakwater.

As expected, we found a strong SW wind with big seas to the south of Rame Head and we soon got used to being knocked about as we heeled over on our beats to windward and our destination of Fowey with its finishing line at the harbour entrance.  The rain thankfully passed over pretty quickly and did not amount to much.

It is fair to say that not many of the crews were particularly keen on spending time below in the confused seas but preferred instead to study the horizon in a bid to settle their stomachs! But as the afternoon wore on, boats started to arrive at Fowey, thankful for the chance to rest and were duly directed to the pontoon that had been reserved for the Weir Quay fleet.

Wacabone Arrives at the Fowey Pontoon with Steve Kirby, Chris Coomber, James Glascoe and Schaeffer Mann

Some of us had rather a late lunch, after which we shared our tales over tea and cake on Rapport.  It’s so nice to be in harbour after a tough sail and a voyage like that is much better in retrospect!

Tea and Cake on Rapport for Beth, James and Schaeffer

Not long afterwards, the crews retired to their own boats to prepare their suppers.  Hmm – rather soon after lunch/cake perhaps but the sea air does improve the appetite ..

And after another get-together on Rapport we all sunk into our bunks.

Chris Miller, Patsy Bennett and Allan Seward – Enjoying the Morning Sun

Sunday dawned bright and sunny and after breakfast, tenders were despatched to take the cadets and others ashore to explore Fowey and locate some (sweet) shops.

Beth, James, Schaeffer and Chris Paddling Ashore due to Engine Trouble (rope round their prop!)

At lunchtime, we all set off for the journey back to Weir Quay.

Sophie Dandy on Love Knot, Ready for the Trip Home

The weather on the way back was much kinder, with bright sunshine and a fair NW breeze, however, still quite strong at F4/5.  We romped towards Rame Head at a much faster speed than the day before.

Love Knot with Allan and Sophie Running Downwind off Rame Head

The final leg northwards across Plymouth Sound was surprisingly windy and we found ourselves heeled hard over as we headed for the Bridge passage west of Drakes Island.

The boats arrived back at their moorings from late afternoon to early evening.

This first cadets’ two-day sail to Fowey was judged a success and the yachts enjoyed having such youthful and enthusiastic cadet crews with them.

The results of the race to Fowey will be published soon.

A gallery of images from this event can be found here.

All photos by Sue Coomber.

Bob Turner Memorial Bench

Anne Turner has presented a teak bench to the Hub Club site in memory of her husband, Bob Turner. The ceremony took place at our last Pop Up BBQ on Friday 26th July.

Bob was instrumental in starting the Tamar and Tavy Gig Club and was a keen supporter of youth sailing at Weir Quay.

The event was attended by members from both the Gig Club and the Sailing Club and by others who knew Bob.

Following a few words from our Commodore, Anne presented the bench and spoke about Bob’s love of water sports at Weir Quay.

Afterwards, there was one of the famous WQSC Pop Up Barbeques (P.U.B.s) where we all enjoyed the evening sunshine and the good company.

My thanks to Ian Kilpatrick and Rosie Hinge for the photographs and account of the event.

The Dandy Hole has moved!

The new era of citizen charting, bought about by the latest chart plotters that can record and share their data, is enabling more up to date and detailed information for small boat navigation.

The latest area to receive this treatment is the well loved Dandy Hole on the River Lynher.

Local sailor Mike Rossiter has shared this recent survey shown below.

Recent amateur survey showing the current position of the deepest part of the Dandy Hole anchorage compared to the UKHO charts.

For those able to use ‘KAP’ charts that can be shown in OpenCPN or other suitable PC navigation programs, Mike has also made available a .kap file. Unfortunately, we can’t upload this file to our website for security reasons, but if you would like a copy emailed to you, please contact the Website Editor at

As always, please use this information alongside all other sources of navigation support and exercise good seamanship at all times.

WQSC 2019 Regatta Dinghy Results

The results from the dinghy mini series at this years regatta are now available to view online. Go to to download a pdf of the results

Steve & Aaron Kirby in their Lark

Congratulations to Steve and Aaron Kirby for their series win! A special mention is also due to Bill Verity and Sophie Dandy for a well deserved 2nd place in the series with a performance that improved race by race. A 4th place in the first race was followed by 2nd in the second race and then a bullet in the final race.

Bill Verity & Sophie Dandy

James Platts was third in the club Solo. A full report will be published shortly.

James Platts

Tamar Bridge Race Results 2019

A race run in aid of the RNLI

The Tamar bridge race is the longest running event in the WQSC calendar, a simple handicapped race from the slip down around the central pillar of the bridge and back.This years event was different to previous years in several ways.- The race was run around low tide. This seems to work well as the slower boats weren’t further handicapped by stronger current on the way back.- The wind was good! SW/W 3-4 gusting 5 occasionally- Everyone got home with little or no drama.

The fleet consisted of six boats with an upriver start with a short upwind leg before heading south. Steve Kirby in the Laser showed his intent early with a good start but Aaron’s Catamaran was too fast for him to keep the lead to the windward buoy. Richard Platts in another Laser, Rob Kirby in a Pico, Rosie and Daisy Duncan in a Laser 2 and Edward Horler in another Pico gave chase.

For once the wind favoured Cats and Aaron quickly left everyone for dead, one tack almost all of the way. The wind was shifty, messy and gusty around the bridge ( as usual) but he made it around without losing too much ground to his Dad who was giving his abs a good workout clear of the rest of the fleet. Richard was going well but suffering from a lack of pies, he couldn’t get the speed he needed to get close to second place. But he did well to stop the Kirby family taking all of the podium spots.

The biggest drama medal goes to Rosie and Daisy who capsized and disconnected the boom of the Laser 2 just before the 5 minute gun but managed, with just a little help form the safety boat, to get back in order in time to make the start line in reasonable time.

Edward Horler needs a special mention for completing his first race. Well sailed Edward!

  • Overall results
  • Aaron Kirby 1st Dart 16
  • Steve Kirby 2nd Laser
  • Richard Platts 3rd laser.
  • Rob Kirby 4th Pico
  • Rosie and Daisy Duncan 5th Laser 2
  • Edward Horler 6th Pico.

As ever a great event. Huge thanks to everyone who took part,  especially to James and Julie Platts who manned the committee/safety boat and to Alan Duncan for timing the boats across the finish line.

We’ll have to muster a bigger field next year, the number of surnames on the trophy is very short! – Chris Coomber Dinghy Officer WQSC

PS –

Aaron entered his Dart 15 the Plymouth Regatta this weekend (15 – 16 June) and won the fast handicap series. 

On Saturday 15 June, Brendan Seward set off in Aaron’s F18 on the trail of  John Harris around the Eddystone and back.  Although the F18 could not qualify as a competitor in the event, the F18 completed the course in some 2hrs 45mins.  Guess this was slightly faster than most of the yachts doing the same. – Steve Kirby

Darryl Mitchell.

Darryl Mitchell aboard Ian Kilpatrick’s Cylesta in 2011

Longstanding members of Weir Quay Sailing Club will be saddened to hear that former member Darryl Mitchell passed away on Tuesday morning.

Darryl was an active cruiser for many years and owned or had a part share in a number of boats and Ian Kilpatrick tells me that Darryl was a member of WQSC when he joined some 45 years ago. Darryl retired from sailing and left WQSC 10 years ago in 2009 due to ill health and those issues left him in extreme pain in recent months. 

Our sympathies are extended to his wife Judy and the whole family.

We will update you with details regarding funeral and memorial arrangments as we have them.