Dave Acres 2015Profile:
Started sailing a Heron at Cookham Reach on
the River Thames when I was 9 and loved it. Then sailed a topper on the sea at Bosham where my Grandparents lived. Mine was fibreglass, before polypropylene was
invented. Did my first Nationals in the Topper at Bognor and realised
just how much fun big waves were. That
was followed by an OK (with wooden mast and boom) and then one of those modern
Laser thingies. Did lots of club and
youth racing with Glyn Charles who was close mate and taught me a lot. He won the Laser Nationals at 18. Went to Kingston Poly and got into team racing
in Larks. Learnt to drink and won the
BPSA team racing Championships. Came 12
in the Lark Nationals as a student and then started sailing Laser 2s with Lea
(now wife). Managed a 12th at the Laser
2 Worlds (~200 boats) and 5th at the Nationals. Also raced Laser 5000s, RS600s & 700s and
then moved on to the 300 in 2009. Easily
the best boat so far.
Don’t take unnecessary risks. It
is best to stay upright. Same rule applies
when drinking. Don’t do the Yard of Ale (unless
you can do it without pouring all over yourself). It rarely pays to bang corners (unless you’re
last). Stay inside the lay lines and try
and be on the favoured tack as soon as possible. If it’s windy use lots of
kicker and keep the boat, flat and fast. There is always something new to learn so try
different things and see if you start going faster than the guys around you.
Remember, ‘Bars’ are good. Good
for waves, good for drinking and good for chocolate. Get well acquainted with your bar. You may well get caught in one with Mr Bolland,
so acclimatise your body. Stay up late the week before the Nationals and drink a
large range of beverages. Practice the
Boom of Doom or Mast of Disaster with your mates. Always start a championship with a full
breakfast or a good bacon butty and don’t drink lager unless you can burp.
Good luck and look forward to sailing against you all at the Nationals
next year. Dave
Like Mr Bolland I started sailing in a Heron at Cookham on the River Thames with my Mum when I was 9, and loved it. Roll tacking and Gybing up the bank with the wind going round in circles was a great way to learn. At some point (my memory is faded) I became the Southern Area Junior champion. I also sailed a topper on the sea at Bosham where my Grandparents lived. Mine was fibreglass rather than a modern plastic one. I did a Nationals at Bognor and realised just how much fun waves were. That was followed by an OK (with wood mast and boom) and then one of those really modern Laser thingies. Did lots of club sailing and was lucky to race against Glyn Charles who also sailed at Bosham. He won the Laser Nationals at 18 and taught me a lot. Went to Kingston Poly and got into team racing in Larks. Did some serious drinking and won the BPSA team racing Championships. BUSA was a separate event for clever folk at University. Came 12 in the Lark Nationals as a student and then started sailing Laser 2's with my girlfriend (now wife). Best place was 12th at the Laser 2 Worlds and 5th at the Nationals. Also raced Laser 5000's, RS600's & 700's and then found the 300 which is easily the best boat for harbour racing.
Try not to take risks and where possible stay out of trouble. Don't bang corners unless you're really sure there is only one way to go and then stay inside the laylines. Make use of the full range of rig controls to try and get the boat fast, flat and balanced. Practice and try different things with other 300 mates. There is always something new to learn and I know I could go much faster given the time. My boat handling is no where near where it should be and nor is my fitness so my challenge for next year is to set some goals to try and improve these areas.
Got the bug in the early seventies crewing for dad in a GP14 at Troon SC. Found a bit of speed somehow and went on to race in 420s with Gavin McGill to win Scottish Youth Championships. Represented GBR in IYRU Youth Worlds in 1977 under the watchful eye of Jim Saltonstall and came top ten of 32 countries entered. Tips:
Having raced numerous boats moved into RS300 around 2014, winning locally but at national level. Started to shine in the top ten three years later. In 2019 against Steve Bolland, Steve Cockerell and Steve Sallis won the Nationals.
Won the UK Flying Dutchman Nationals (with Mark Taylor) and been runner up at D-Zero Nationals in 2019 against Mr Bolland. Stork says “that was a bit of fun that one, I turned up as an unknown and unranked player, with a boat I’d bought the week before and had sailed once and set about upsetting the form book with Steve, we both sailed RS Style with loads of kicker and between us owned the pin! ….. who are these RS300 guys, where’d they come from! ….. Steve and I ended up on 14 and 15 points, 10 points ahead of 3rd ….. if you can sail an RS300 …… you can sail anything.”
Tips: Sail regularly 3 to 4 times a week because the RS300 takes a lot of time on the water if you want to go fast.
Best speed tip ...hike 'til your legs fall off, keep it flat and in a breeze give it all the kicker you can going, upwind - downwind don't sit still and work hard.
To win regularly, live like a saint and never drink at night with Bolland, Acres, Sargent or that bloke McVicar.
Current Boats: RS300, D-Zero, Foiling Moth, B14 and Hornet
Learnt to sail in the family Heron and GP14 before crewing for my brother in a Mirror, Enterprise and Merlin in pre-teen and teenage years.
Started helming at university in a Lark in the 1980s before eventually winning the Lark Nationals (at the thirteenth time of asking) in 2000. Moved into the RS300 in
2002 and has been National Champion since 2008. Currently sails at Bristol Corinthian YC having been a member of Draycote Water for many years.
Get fit and practise. Run, go to the gym, whatever. The 300 is a physical boat and fitness has a huge impact on speed. I’m
a lot closer to 50 than 40, let’s face it I’m closer to 50 than I am to 45, so
I have to stay fit to keep up with the young guns. Practise heeling the boat to
windward upwind and never stop working downwind.