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Welcome Leader Sailors and all Visitors!


A warm welcome to the website for the Leader Class Owners' Association (LCOA) 2016!


Here you will find all sorts of useful information about the Leader dinghy, its class association, latest news and event information, plus details of pre-loved Leaders (second-hand boats).

Just click on the links at the left hand side of this page to access the web page of your choice. There are also links at the bottom of most web pages, or just click on the 'Back' button of your web browser to return to your previously viewed page!

Messages are e-mailed to members regularly and if your not receiving any please let me know - morses@btinternet.com

Happy navigating!!


What's New

19.10.16 - Leader Open at Milton Keynes on 22/23 Oct 2016 - See Calendar and there are updates (Leader II -  for sale) to the Leaders for Sale page here - take a look!


08.10.16 - Triple B at Buckenham Sailing Club.

An early start was the order of the day for the Leaders last visit to Norfolk this year. This was Buckenham Sailing Club Triple B race (a dinghy equivalent of the Yare Navigation Race held a fortnight earlier).
A steady ENE breeze was forecast and the Leaders set off at 8:10 with a view to getting to Breydon when the tide turned at around 10:30. Delays waiting for the railway bridge at Reedham to open meant a prospect of boats running out of time of finishing by 5pm. This proved to be the case with only one Leader (Trish Hudson and Sarah Cole) finishing in time. However one satisfying thing about this type of long distance river race is that time passes so quickly as the course, scenery, tactics are constantly changing.

As no other Leader finished within the cut off time it was decided at The Beuchamp Arms next door to allocate results as follows. Trish and Sarah first as finishers, Ian and Sharon Ayres as near finishers, Ben and Ben Rickard as near near finishers, Roger and Sybil Morse as the last to retire followed by Mike and Val Sherwen and Chris and Jane Wharmby who stopped for a pint at The Nelson in Reedham.
Another great weekend and thanks to B S C for all their efforts.

The last Leader event of the season will be at MKSC on 22nd and 23rd October 2016 with briefing on the Saturday at 12 noon. Further details on the Leader web site - http://www.leaderdinghy.org.uk/

Please note LCOA AGM will be held at the club house after racing on Saturday.


04.09.16 - Report on Camp and Sail in Chichester Harbour.

The four Leader crews who joined the MKSC Camp and Sail Weekend at Cobnor Point had an absolutely brilliant weekend. Leaders were represented by William and Amanda Heaps, John and Martha Carron, Dave Pickett with various crews and Chris and Jane Wharmby. The weather could not have been better with beautiful clear skies and warm breezes for the whole weekend – unbelievable! From the base at Cobnor Point some of the merry gang sailed on the first evening up to Chichester Yacht Club and enjoyed a drink on their lawn, sailing back before the wind and sun disappeared. On Saturday, in perfect weather and wind, we sailed on the tide down to Hayling Yacht Club for lunch, across to East Head for a game of rounders and then back to Cobnor. Sunday was a very gentle drift back to East Head, with a quick swim for some, onto Hayling for a bite to eat again, up towards Emsworth, and then back home after a fun water fight while progressing up the Itchenor channel. Some of the crews then sailed on up to Bosham, moored up in a very seamen-like fashion in the little harbour, enjoyed a lovely meal in the Anchor Bleu and drifted/rowed back to Cobnor as the sun set. Wonderful! The weekend finished with a sail up to Bosham for lunch on Monday and a dash back to Cobnor before the tide deserted us. Chichester Harbour looked absolutely beautiful all weeknd. As usual, the sailing was accompanied by food, drink and plenty of chat. A great time was had by all and it will definitely be repeated! - Jane Wharmby.


05.07.16 - Camp and Sail in Chichester Harbour.  Anyone who is interested can either check the MKSC site (http://www.mksc.org.uk/ ) or better still, contact me directly (David@davidpickett.co.uk - 07989 410879) so that I can give them costs and dates.
I will need to know who wants to attend this weekend by 25th July so that I can book them in and let them know about costs.
David Pickett - Leader 1135 Tel: 07989 410879 David@davidpickett.co.uk. Also, I have two competent sailors interested in crewing. Please let me know if interested.


05.07.16 - Leader Nationals Hickling Broad Sailing Club 25/26 July 2016

Hickling Broad Sailing Club was the venue for the Leader Nationals and a good turnout of ten boats to make this an eventful North Norfolk visit.
With the prospect of dying winds on Saturday afternoon (and the Broadshaven Tavern closed) the port turning mark for the race to Potter was set in Heigham Sound. This meant a mix of broad and river sailing with a special appeal for the first time visitors and on Sunday the Leaders had their own start alongside the club racing.
This was an event where local knowledge counted immensely. Tricia Hudson (and crews Sarah Cole/Brian Wilkins) from HBSC, after good results on Saturday and a tactical crew change on Sunday consolidated her position to secure the title of Leader Nationals Champions 2016.
Other results included Chris and Jane Wharmby, Ben and Ben Rickard, Ian and Sharon Ayres, Mike and Sally Newlove, Roger and Sybil Morse, David and Ann Lucas, Nev Robson and Bob Lovell, Andy Hobson and Crew, Patricia Rowe and crew.
Well done everyone, especially all who travelled and thanks to HBSB for putting on a wonderful weekend of sailing.
The next Leader event is the Camp and Sail in Chchester Harbour 12-13th August 2016.
Further details on the Leader web site - http://www.leaderdinghy.org.uk/index.htm


14.06.16 - Leader Open Reading Sailing Club 4/5 June 2016

Another weekend for sun cream with glorious weather and a steady wind. Reading was the venue this time.
We arrived at RSC on Saturday morning to a busy club in the middle of a working party which was well organised. Most of the pontoon had been replaced with new timbers and an excellent rubber edging to protect mooring boats.
Breakfast was tea and bacon rolls before setting off for a couple of races on a beautiful stretch of water. The visitors doing rather well with a first and second each.
A bbq in the evening with Nev and Mike supplying lovely tasty food and drink.
Sunday saw seven Leaders on the water joining in with the club fleets. First race caused a bit of confusion with the numerals on the committee boat not visible to all the starters. However three races followed with the home club making a comeback. There was an excellent performance from the two lady helms Sally and Hadley.
Chris and Jane Wharmby won the event with Newton Anthony/ Bob Lovell,  Roger/Sybil Morse, Mike/Sally Newlove, Nev Robson/Issy Jenkins,  Hadley Lines/Karen Smailes, David and Ann Lomas all doing well.
Thanks RSC for a lovely weekend.
Good news from the Three Rivers Race taking place on the Norfolk Broads - Ian and Sharon Ayres reporting...
'We were out representing the class (and beating all the Wayfarers!)
3 Rivers 2016 - 13hrs 30 mins (finished at 00:40!) by quite some way the earliest we've got back...... 24th of 78 finishers (about 100 entries).'


19.05.16 - Leader Open Rollesby May 7/8 2016

Sun cream was the order of the day last weekend but luckily there was good wind for some excellent sailing.
Ian & Sharon Ayres (Rollesby), Chris & Jane Wharmby (Milton Keynes), Trisha Hudson & Sarah Cole (Hickling), Mike & Val Sherwen (Bawdsey), Roger & Sybil Morse (Welwyn Garden) competed in beautiful surroundings which made a good start to the Leader season.

Next Leader event at Reading Sailing Club June 4/5. Details to follow.


29.04.16 - Leader Open Rollesby May 7/8 2016

This event is rapidly approaching.
The open itself is on Sunday 8th May, 3 races, 2 to count - including PM Eels Foot race. First race 10.45.
(Class start if sufficient entries otherwise mixed with Ents / Wayfarers)
There will be the opportunity to sail on Saturday afternoon (weather permitting). There is training on part of the broad
so I am working on an alternative to straight racing, possibly some personal handicap pursuit racing. 2 races
a bottle of wine for each! If the weather is inclement we'll find a local attraction to visit or somewhere to walk.
Evening meal on Saturday at a local pub (probably the White Horse - Upton) please let us know by Tuesday 3rd May
if you are likely to be eating with us - the more the merrier! Menu is on the pub website if you are interested. You never
know shareholder No.1 - Prince Charles might even be in for his Saturday pint if he's at Sandringham for the weekend!
As usual you are more than welcome to stay with us (200 yds from the pub!), first replies get the spare beds, but we also
have plenty of space for tents (sadly no camping allowed on site at RBSC).
Hope to see as many of you as possible.
Ian & Sharon

19.04.16 - There are updates (Leader I) to the Leaders for Sale page here - take a look!


23.02.16 - Leader events for 2016 are now listed in the Calendar section.


10.11.15 - Leader Open meeting at Milton Keynes Sailing Club 10/11th October 2015

Beautiful autumn colours followed travellers to and from the Leader Open at MK last weekend.
In glorious weather of light to good winds and the occasional ray of sunshine a total of eight Leaders made the event one of the most memorable in recent years.
The Sherwen family were very welcome with son Tom and daughter Jenny, joining parents Mike and Val, making return visits to Leader Opens.
New member David Pickett also joined in on his first Leader Open.
The racing was very competitive with Ian and Sharron Ayres getting into the swing of things after the first race to go on to win the weekend event, followed by Chris and Jane Wharmby and Ben and Ben Rickard. Spirited performances by the Sherwens, Roger and Sybil Morse, Mike and Sally Newlove, Tom Sherwen and his young crew Bailey Coulson (who won the junior trophy) and David Pickett and crews.
On Saturday evening we all trooped off to enjoy a few beers and a meal at the local curry house. The wind on Sunday morning was a bit light but soon picked up.
Our thanks to MKSC for a superb event on a lovely inland lake. Definitely see you next year.


21.09.15 - Triple B - Buckenhan SC 19th Sep 2015.
Three Leader helms in the top five at the 25th Anniversary Triple B at Buckenham SC last weekend.
This is really an endurance race and the Leader has always featured prominantly.
It was a lovely day with light winds forecast and a tide which meant at early start. However some entrants fancied a later start with a promise of better wind. The race this year was re-routed slightly with a turning mark just past Rockland Broad after a return trip to Reedham.
Overall winner was Ian Ayers, although sailing his Solo, John Parker in his Norfolk Punt (4th) and Trish Hudson/Sarah Cole in the Leader coming in 5th. All the Leaders including Mike and Val Sherwen, Chris and Jane Wharmby and Roger and Sybil Morse finished in the top half of a 29 field race. All starters finished the race which is great credit to Buckenham SC for organising another successful event.


07.09.15 - The Leaders at Reading last weekend turned out to be the most interesting and the most noisy event for quite a while. Despite light airs there was enough wind to get boats around without being becalmed. Helms and crews called for water, encouraged each other and generally made the occasion a wonderful and lively affair. Hugh and Hadey provide most entertainment but, at the same time, were very competitive and had a great time.
The Nationals were won by Chris and Jane Wharmby with locals Newton Anthony and Bob Lovell in second place and the Rickards third. The Leader Endeavour trophy went to Tracey and Amy Thompson who never gave up during the whole weekend racing.
Further details, submitted by Paul Robson, can be found on the Reading Sailing Club web site or directly on the Yachts and Yachting web site ...
Thanks to RSC for great weekend.


02.08.15 - This is just a reminder our next Leader event will be at Reading Sailing Club Sat/Sun 5/6 Sep 2015.
RSC is situated on a large picturesque former gravel pit adjacent to the river Thames in Sonning near Reading.
This meeting will be the Leader Nationals so let's all make a big effort to put Reading SC on the Leader calendar.
Full details soon.


22.06.15 - Hickling Broad 2015
Thanks to Jane Wharmby for this report -
7 Leaders took part in the annual Leader Open at Hickling Broad this last weekend – 3 travellers joining the 4 local teams. On Saturday the fleet undertook the traditional passage race to Potter Heigham – and back. Sadly the Gods weren’t with them this time. It was a beat all the way in very light winds (won by Jane Pye who was back in a Leader after several years, with crew Sarah), only to find that the pub at Potter Heigham was closed! Nevermind, fish and chips all round washed down with lemonade. The race back soon became a beat, and the heavens opened, soaking one and all. Half way home the wind died completely and all boats were towed back by the safety teams.
The weather on Sunday was much better, with a building wind under sunshine and cloud. The two Bens stole the show with three hard-fought 1st places. Racing was close, with some great planing conditions in the gusts. Overall results were a 1st for the two Bens, 2nd for Jane and Sarah, 3rd for Ian and Sharon Ayres.
As ever, Hickling Broad SC put on a great event. Thanks to all who looked after us so well.


11.05.15 - Leader PY is now asserted at 1117 - see 'About the Leader' for details.


11.05.15 - Rollesby 2015
Another beautiful weekend in Norfolk sailing on a lovely secluded broad at Rollesby Sailing Club.
Sunday was the main event with club boats joined by Leaders and Bitterns. With the wind blowing force 3 down the broad there was a superb start and beat to the windward mark. After lunch we had the tradition Eel's Foot race to the adjoining Ormsby Little Broad.
Ian and Sharron Ayres suffered cleat problems which will have to be sorted prior to their Three Rivers Race in a few weeks time.
The Rollesby event was won by Mike and Val Sherwen with Trish Hudson and Sarah Cole and Roger and Sybil Morse close behind.
Thanks to Rollesby Sailing Club for another superb weekend.


28.04.15 - Note from Ian Ayers - Rollesby Sailing Club...

We are hosting our Leader Open this year on the 9th / 10th May.
Biggest thing of note for those travelling is that the A47 will be shut, at Postwick, just east of Norwich.
There is a diversion in place but there will be delays!
We intend to run two races on Saturday afternoon (first start approx. 2pm) with a bottle of wine for each race.
Might introduce a handicapping system for the second race to try and spread the prizes around!
Open is on Sunday, three races, two to count first start 10.45 and like last year includes an Eels Foot Race -
bring your paddle to help get through the cut... We are once again sharing with the Bitterns and a mixed multi-sail club fleet.
We intend to go for a meal at the White Horse in Upton on Saturday evening, if you would like to join us please
can you let us know by email by wed 6th so we can book a table.
Entry fee £5 each day, Lunches available on Sunday only, Tea, Coffee etc. will be available at the club on Saturday.,

Sharon and I should be at Rollesby from about midday on Saturday, if anyone needs to get in before that please let
us know.  Ian & Sharon ian@ayres1968.fsnet.co.uk 01493 750148



09.04.15 - There are updates (Leader II) to the Leaders for Sale page here - take a look!

03.04.15 - Leader events for 2015 are now listed in the Calendar section.

25.03.15 - Winter all but over and the new sailing season beckons. I hope you have your boats ready and in the case of sailors who sail through the winter hope it is just a case of checking over the road trailer.
This year we will have visits to Hickling Broad, Rollesby, Milton Keynes, Buckenham and our new venue at Reading. Details will follow in due course but keep an eye on our web site as well as club web sites.

11.08.14  - We are into August already and now we look forward to the re-scheduled Rollesby Open on Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th September 2014. 

Ian Ayres (Commodore at Rollesby) says - 'Unfortunately this won't include an eels foot race but our intention would be to organise a sail to the pub on the Saturday afternoon, probably with dinner in the White Horse, Upton in the evening, walking distance from our house for anyone needing to stay over!'
Rollesby Sailing Club is a little gem tucked away in the Norfolk Broads and the Leaders will be most welcome.

08.06.14  - There are updates to the Leaders for Sale page - take a look!

08.06.14  - We are into June already and the next Leader event is scheduled for 28/29th June 2014 at Hickling Broad Sailing Club in Norfolk. Club picnic race on Saturday 12noon and Club/Leader racing on Sunday.

30.05.14 - Leaders turned up at Rollesby hoping for good racing conditions. However extreme weather conditions meant helms and crews getting in some sailing practice on this beautiful Norfolk Broad. It is hoped to re-schedule this event later on in the season

21.04.14 - The Leaders will be at Rollesby Sailing Club on Saturday/Sunday  10th/11th May 2014. This is the second visit of the Class to Rollesby and is a beautiful setting in the heart of the Norfolk Broads

Please check Rollesby SC web site for full details http://www.rbsc.org.uk/

03.03.14 - The Leaders were represented at last weekend's Dinghy Show at Alexander Palace in North London and the show as a whole proved popular with the general public and Leader members. A number of members visited the stand and viewed Paul Dickenson's beautifully kept Leader 1255 .

Whilst at the show Paul purchased a fid and says he is now proficient at the art of splicing. One of the uses for the Leader is the 3ply halyard to connect to the wire jib halyard.
Check out ...http://www.yalecordage.com/splicing-instructions
 The show laid on lectures and talks by top class racers and coaches. These are very informative and the RYA is heavily promoting such events at 'Champion Clubs'. 
The Leaders also published the 2014 programme which is on the Leader web site. The first Leader event of the 2014 season is at Rollesby Sailing Club in May.


06.01.14 - I hope you all had a good Christmas and are now looking forward to the New Year.

This year the LCOA is exhibiting at the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show 2014 at the magnificent Alexandra Palace in London over the weekend of 01-02 March 2014.
We will be on Stand Number G42 in the West Hall so keep a look out for us or if you would like to help at the stand please let one of the committee members know.


06.01.14 - There are updates to the Leaders for Sale page here - take a look!


21.10.13 - 2013 Leader Championships at Milton Keynes Sailing Club 12th and 13th October.
We set off on Saturday morning to Milton Keynes in glorious weather, however the forecast for the evening was wet and windy.
Saturday sailing at the windmill lake was light wind conditions and this reflected in the results with three different winners.
Sunday was much more challenging for the first race but improved to lovely conditions for the last two races.
Leader Champions for 2013 are Mike and Val Sherwen followed by Chris and Jane Wharmby, Ben and Ben Rickard, Roger and Sybil Morse, Andy and Robbie Hobson.
Thanks to MKSC and all who helped out to make a most enjoyable event.


03.10.13 - Don't forget Milton Keynes Open on 12th and 13th October 2013. Briefing 1pm on Saturday at MKSC (MK7 8NE).

02.10.13 - Leaders participated in the annual Triple B race last weekend and four Leaders occupied the top nine places. This was despite stiff competition from Norfolk Punts, Javelins, Wayfarers and other quality racing boats. Thanks to Buckenham Sailing Club for organising a terrific weekend.


02.09.13 – We are told it is the start of the Meteorological autumn but we have two more Leader events for this year – The Triple B at Buckenham Sailing Club on Saturday 28th September 2013 . (for SatNav users the club postcode is NR14 6DH. It is situated on the southern bank of the River Yare, approximately 10 miles east of Norwich between the villages of Claxton and Langley and beside the Beauchamp Arms Public House) and Milton Keynes Open on 12th and 13th October 2013.


16.07.13 -   The Leaders found another gem last weekend in the form of Rollesby Sailing Club tucked away in the heart of the Norfolk Broads.
The sailing consisted of a mixture of round the marks and cross-country type race to the next broad via a cut where paddling was allowed. This brought out the ingenuity in sailor with hands and buckets also being used.
The conditions were challenging for local visitors and people from as far away as the South Coast. These conditions suited light air sailors where visitors from Welwyn Garden City Sailing Club did exceptionally well.
However the weekend belonged to local sailors Ian and Sharon Ayres with five out of six wins.
Thanks again to Rollesby for a fantastic weekend. Full report Yachts and Yachting - 
take a look!


24.06.13 - Last weekend was another fantastic weekend of sailing for the Leaders. In strong winds the Leaders took up the challenge and sailed to Potter Heigham on Saturday and then sailed with the club on Sunday again in fairly strong winds. It just goes to show the Leader is a great boat in all weathers.
The Hickling boys did very well over the weekend with Andy Hobson and son Robbie taking first place with Ben Rickard and son Ben taking second place with Chris Wharmby and crews in third place. New members Julius and Claire Mach joined us from Portsmouth and finished comfortably in fourth position.
The next event is again in Norfolk this time at Rollesby Sailing Club on 13 and 14th July 2013.

25.03.13 - There are updates to the Leaders for Sale page here - take a look!


04.07.12 - There are updates to the Leaders for Sale page here - take a look!

30.06.12 - Hickling Broad Sailing Club welcomed the Leaders last weekend for the annual Open event and the Leaders welcomed a new participant in Ian Ayres and his wife Sharon.  They had bought their Leader 1153 a few weeks earlier having surveyed a number of similar boats and settled on the Leader because of its good all round racing and sailing characteristics. 

The OOD summed up the weather at the weekend as medium winds with unfriendly gusts on Saturday and friendly gusts on Sunday!
 The weekend sailing consisted of the usual picnic race to Potter Heigham on Saturday and the Leaders joining in the Club racing on Sunday (with the Leaders having their own start). 
After some very close racing newcomer Ian won the series by a very short margin from Chris and Jane Wharmby and Mike and Val Sherwen. These were followed by (not in any particular order) the Morses, the Rickards, Tricia Hudson and Sarah Cole and the Hobsons.
 Thanks to HBSC for another superb weekend both on and off the water.


28.06.11 - The Leader events calendar has now been published - see here for full details!


01.05.12 - Brief report of Leaders at Melton Mowbray - full report to follow:-

A nice fresh breeze welcomed the Leaders at Melton Mowbray Sailing Club last Saturday for the annual Leader Open meeting at the club. The usual fare of good racing, pork pie lunch and excellent company was the order or the day and we weren't disappointed. Chris and Jane Wharmby came first overall followed by Pete Driver and Annette and Richard and Christine Morris. Thanks to Ron Stimpson who organised the event and made us all welcome. Full report on the Leader Dinghy web site in due course. Meanwhile we wish the club good luck in their quest to continue sailing at their present site in light of development proposals by the new owner.


23.04.12 - There are updates to the Leaders for Sale page here - take a look!


17.04.12 - See attached poster for details of the first Leader Open of 2012 at Melton Mowbray - poster.


16.04.12 - Don't forget the first Leader event for 2012 at Melton Mowbray Sailing Club, Saturday 21st April 2012. The first race is scheduled for 11:30am

There are updates to the Leaders for Sale page here - take a look!


30.01.12 - The 2012 series of Leader events will be published soon!

The Leader Class Owners' Association will be exhibiting at the RYA Volvo Dinghy Show. So get the date in your diary -  the RYA Volvo Dinghy Show 2012 will be held on the 3 and 4 March at Alexandra Palace, London.


01.11.11 - The last Leader Open event of the 2011 season took place at Milton Keynes Sailing Club on 8/9th October.

 The weather was forecast medium winds on Saturday with stronger wind for the club Open meeting on Sunday.

 Caldecote Lake is set in lovely surroundings to the south of Milton Keynes with walkways and cycle routes in abundance.

 Saturday racing saw all boats participate with an ever changing lead position.

 The LCOA AGM took place after racing on Saturday evening and topics included future Leader events, the web site and the Dinghy Show.

 The overall results were a win for Chris and Jane Wharmby followed by Mike and Val Sherwin, Roger and Sybil More and Duncan Summerfield and his son Ben. Chris and Jane put in a powerful performance and came third overall in the Milton Keynes Open.

01.10.11 - Report - Leaders at Triple B at Buckenham Sailing Club Saturday 1st October 2011.

This was the 21st Triple B event held at the club and a good attendance of 21 boats entered.  There seems to be a resurgence of passage racing especially in East Anglia with the Three Rivers Race at Horning as the jewel in the crown. There had been beautiful weather all week with a blocking high pressure system over the near continent and extended its influence over most of the UK. A lovely welcome on the Friday evening greeted some of the traveling Leaders and discussing of the impending race at the Beauchamp Arms sporting a newly refurbished dining room. 

On Saturday morning Phil Webster in his 1897 steam propelled launch, Banjo, motored down to the turning mark which was set at Reedham to time the boats in and then out for the return leg. Two Norfolk Punts and a Javelin were prominent in the results appeared in the top three places. Four Leaders traveled to the event and came a respectable 5th and 6th and two boats just outside the finishing time of 5pm. Saturday evening we returned to the Beauchamp Arms and tucked in to some excellent value food including a 16oz steak for ₤8.99. We were also entertained to jive dancing (with no music) by John Parker and Sarah Cole!  

Thanks to Janet Gilmour and all the Buckenham crew for a superb weekend.   


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