Laser Vago Open North at Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club

Vago Open North 2017 got underway at Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club with a questionable weather forecast. The week leading up the May Bank Holiday three day event had predicted varying conditions ranging from flat calm with torrential rain and lightening through to bright sunshine and a Force 5!

The reality turned out to be a mixture of all the above and 15 Vagos from as far afield as Cambridgeshire, the Midlands and Wales took it all in their stride, with a social sail on Friday night for the early arrivals getting Paul back onto the wire and giving Andy a chance to show off his new dry capsizing skills.

With the daily briefing and some video coaching to get everyone thinking about how they could improve their boat handling over the day, some start training preceded the first set of slightly short format races on Saturday.

The winds proved interesting, starting light, dropping to nothing and then switching direction to give a brief but wonderful windward/windward course before scattering the fleet as the wind swung back and forth after the kites went up!

The frustration and entertainment was quickly followed by some blasting for the leaders and a mad dash for cover for the less experienced as the wind build to a Force five over the last 20 minutes of racing!

With boats sailing single and double handed, the conditions really showed off the different Vago rigs through the day.

Dave & Kate, Terry & Vanessa and Lee & Dan all shared the bullets in some tense racing. No wonder everyone was ready for the Class Association Saturday ‘Spag Boll’ extravaganza: great job Gaynor and all the Vago catering team.

Sunday dawned and the breeze quickly built as the Vagos joined the first YDSC Club race before heading ashore to lighten the load on an already busy safety team. The benefit of the dynamic format of the event is that the training and coaching groups can be moved on and off the water to compliment the racing, whatever the weather. At one point, four groups were running simultaneously with Ed Deacon working with rig and settings, Kate Mellor running dry trapezing class, Dave Baxter coaching asymmetric trapezing on the water and Mike Woodhead coaching boat handling from the rib!

The wind dropped off over the day meaning more races before finishing off with a Sunday BBQ by the fire pit.

Monday started with training before lunch and then some ten minute short format races in the afternoon, including the double point medal race. This proved decisive in the final positions: starts were critical and slight mistakes at the front were heavily punished. Paul & Victoria and Ed & Gaynor/Eleanor moved up into the top three but Dave & Kate held onto their Open North title.

Prizes at Open North aren’t just about winning, they’re also about improving, so special prizes were also given out in recognition of the many achievements reached by the newer sailors. Congratulations go out to those who completed their first race event, finished races without capsizing in difficult conditions, nailed their starts or flew the kites in a breeze. Everyone had a story to tell!

Overall Results:

Pos Helm Crew Sail No Club R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 Medal Pts
1 Dave Baxter Kate Mellor 1814 Yorkshire Dales SC 2 3 1 1 1 3 1 2 8
2 Ed Deacon Gaynor/ Eleanor 164 Hunts SC 4 2 5 4 5 1 3 4 18
3 Paul Fuller Victoria Rose 463 Redditch 3 5 2 5 4 2 2 8 21
4 Dan Trowsdale Lee Carter 742 Yorkshire Dales SC 1 4 4 3 3 4 4 10 25
5 Clive Sleath 892 Draycote SC 10 DNC 7 9 6 5 6 12 45
6 Chris Everitt Eleanor Everitt 408 Yorkshire Dales SC 7 DNC 6 DNF DNC 7 5 6 47
7 Terry Presdee Vanessa James 538 Yorkshire Dales SC 8 1 3 2 2 DNC DNC DNC 48
8 David Smith 680 Yorkshire Dales SC RTD DNC DNC 8 7 6 7 14 53
9 Andy Stenson 130 Port Dinorwic 6 DNC 10 10 8 8 9 16 57
10 Paul Delamere Steve Evans 1083 Yorkshire Dales SC 9 6 8 6 9 DNC DNC DNC 70
11 Bill Anderson Toby Anderson 772 Yorkshire Dales SC DNC DNC 9 7 DNC 9 8 DNC 81
12 Mark Dawes Kathryn Dawes 694 Yorkshire Dales SC DNC DNC DNC DNF DNC 10 10 18 83
13 Kat Morse Mo 535 Yorkshire Dales SC DNC DNC DNC DNF 12 11 11 20 83
14 Phil Taylor 97 Yorkshire Dales SC 5 DNC 11 11 11 DNC DNC DNC 86
15 Chris Lightly 1349 Yorkshire Dales SC DNC DNC DNC 12 10 DNC DNC DNC 102

Special Awards:

  • Cleanest sails award (for the most capsizes): Kat and Mo
  • Travel Guro (for the longest journey): Ed
  • Most improved: Andy
  • Demolition Derby award (collision expertise): Ed and Eleanor
  • Youngest Competitor: Kathryn

The next Vago event at Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club is Summer Camp in August:)

UK Vago Association Appoints New Chairperson – Kate Mellor



Well hello to you all from my comfy sofa in front of a log fire – a stark contrast to the winter wonderland of the Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club where I, my frozen digits and partner-in-crime reside when aboard the faithful ship, ‘Sharknado’.

If you were present at the Vago AGM back in mid-October, you’ll know that the role of Chairperson has finally changed hands after 6 years (possibly to the relief of former chair, Ed Deacon). If you weren’t present, it’s me; Kate Mellor!

I’ve been crawling around boats since I were a nipper, but am a fairly recent new-comer to the Vago class. I was introduced to the Vago when I returned to my home club of Yorkshire Dales SC back in 2012. The Tigger-like Northern Liaison Officer bounded across and asked on a particularly windy day if I wanted a blast across the reservoir in an asymmetric. The boat didn’t half shift and we barely had half the boat in the water – what a blast and what an introduction to the boat! A year or so later the trips out in the Vago became more of a regular occurrence, rather than my ‘windy day alternative’ and myself and Dave Baxter started putting in the hours practicing, rehearsing, ‘discussing’ and perfecting techniques which paid off in 2015 when we attended my first Vago National championships and won! Top job! It’s been onwards and upwards practicing and trying out new helm/ crew combinations which recently (October 2016) included my first solo trip out, trapezing downwind with the kite up.

As far as committees go, I’ve dabbled in club committees and have heard the ramblings of a Chairperson from another Class association so I like to think I might have a bit of an inkling as to what to expect.

I want to thank Ed for all his efforts for the past 6 years with the Vago class, and his helping hand whilst I get settled in with the committee – not much settling to do though as all the Vago members are very friendly and welcoming.

I am already busy helping plan the Vago events for next season, along with the other members of the committee – so plenty to look forward to next season – onwards and upwards!

Kate Mellor

UK Vago Class Association Chairperson


Laser Vago Open North Event 2016 at Yorkshire Dales SC – Report and Results

event title Results 0Y4W9848DSC04135Club: Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club

Location: North Yorkshire

Class: Laser Vago

Date: 30th April – 2nd May 2016 Bank Holiday Weekender

Photos: Paul Hargreaves, Dan Trowsdale, Dave Baxter, Gabi Breithaupt.

Logo: Dave Baxter

Author: Dave Baxter


Starting a Vago event on a Saturday usually means people will begin arriving on Friday night. Open North 2016 took things a stage further with the first guests arrived at lunchtime to beat the traffic chaos threatened by the Tour de Yorkshire event as it passed the club on Friday afternoon.


More boats started arriving from 5pm to take advantage of Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club hospitality and free camping!

And so began the biggest Open North event so far. 18 boats graced the waters of Grimwith reservoir over the three day Bank Holiday weekend experiencing a cold snap from the weather contrasted by under floor heating in the changing rooms, with hot food from Rural Recipes who covered breakfast, lunch and evening meals throughout the event.


In the training room, Dave, Ed and Mike provided advice on technique and tactics to go along with Vago specific video coaching. These lively Q&A sessions are always part of the event and cater for Vago sailors of all levels: beginners to advanced. As usual, the emphasis was on fun so some of the single handed beginners decided to double up in each others boats while others took advantage of the volunteers waiting to join the fleet and have their first taste of a Vago.

On the water coaching preceded the first 4 races on Saturday afternoon which saw National Champions Dave and Kate hold off World Vago Speed Record holders John and Jack sporting their new orange foils followed by former Northern Champion Ed. Clive, David, Frank and Thomas with their crews battled ahead of the pack. Special congratulations go to Lee and Dan who could have been in 4th place at the end of the afternoon but instead received the first DSQ in a Vago Open North event… or any other Vago event… ever! In doing so they retained the ‘Demolition Derby’ prize yet again as they proved that port flyers don’t always work when you’re in the middle of the line. Smiles all round and plenty of capsizes as a squall came through left everyone ready for tea before another early evening sail to get some of the beginners helming and on the wire.

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Sunday morning saw a strengthening wind as the fleet joined the Windward Leeward Open event with their own start. This gave some of the beginners the option to go and practice their handling, or join the race with more room on the line but still plenty of action around the course against some faster boats. Meanwhile, Kate jumped back into a 29er and disappeared into the distance leaving Dave sailing single handed in the stronger winds. With late arrivals Stuart and Julian hot on his tail, Dave managed to hold on at the front with Lee and Dan powering up to third in front of Ed in 4th. Clive and Miles were both close behind with Paul helming from the trapeze for the first time!

Then the wind picked up even more so the fleet decided to do some training after lunch instead, working on boat handling and mark rounding. The increasing wind provided lots of thrills and spills with additional sound effects from Jenny and Eleanor as they teamed up for the first time.


Eventually the fleet headed for shore and food in the increasing wind before a couple of boats went back out in the evening for some additional training.

An exhausted fleet managed to stay conscious through the quiz before heading for the tents.

Monday’s wind was wild and the decision was made to stay in the training room for tactics and theory before lunch.

The early afternoon saw work on rig settings and trailing techniques while Stuart and Julian went out to join the windsurfers and have a crack at the speed record. The waves proved too much of a hindrance, but they still topped 17mph. Great job!

Back on shore, there were a few entrants for the annual trapeze speed tacking competition. With defending champion Lee unable to compete, there were some good efforts by Jenny and Victoria but Kate took the title with 11.5 seconds.

20160502_142040 DSC04101

The final closing ceremony wrapped up the event and handed out lots of prizes for two days of racing and special ‘achievements’. Well done everyone!

With the event over, the fleet is now looking towards Carsington and Tudor before returning to Yorkshire Dales again for Vago Summer Camp!

Thanks to everyone involved with the event, especially Paul, Gabi, Dan and Chris for the photos, Rural Recipes for the food, Mike and Ed for the coaching, all the escort boat teams, the stand-in crews, YDSC for the facilities and Dave for the event management.





Proposal for Dyneema / D12 Lower Shrouds for Laser Vago

Proposal for Improved and Safer Dyneema / D12 Lower Shrouds for Laser Vago

By Gerry Fisher, Vago #578 “Kingfisher” (November 2015)

Standard Laser Vago Lowers and their difficulties

The standard lowers are 3mm stainless wire, shackled at the bottom and tied at the top to an eye on the mast with a 3mm Dyneema strop as mentioned in the Vago rigging manual. The strops are difficult to reach. Inverting the lower shroud makes the strops easier to tie.

There is a potential safety problem. After a capsize the crew may be trapped in the lowers. Cutting the stainless steel to release the crew is difficult. Rope would be easier to cut.

One approach is to replace the wire and short strop with an all rope lower. Dyneema is a suitable material as under load it stretches or elongates very little. I have used 3mm Dyneema cord. To give strength and ease of adjustment the Dyneema is tripled up, as explained below.

Dyneema Lowers – Design and Fitting

Materials – 5.5m/side of 3mm Dyneema, 11 m in total.

Remove the original lower leaving the shackle at the bottom. Tie one end of the Dymeena cord to the mast eye. Then thread the other end through the shackle, back up mast eye and back down to the shackle. Loosely tie off the cord with a round turn and quite a few half-hitches.

To tension the lower shroud, hoist the jib. This puts tension into the main shrouds. It is easy to over tighten the jib halyard so it is a good idea to use a Loose Gauge to check the tension in the main shrouds. It should be 70 kg max.

Re-tie the lowers to be just tight. Check the mast is not pulled sideways by uneven tensions in the lowers. You can also measure the lengths.

In light winds my Vago sails faster when the lowers are slightly shorter. To achieve this, ease the jib halyard and re-tie the lowers to take up 1 cm of the Dyneema cord. As there is a 3 to 1 “gearing” this reduces the overall length of the lowers by 1/3 cm. Re-Tension the jib.

Adjusting the lowers with jib halyard tight can be tricky. Where the Dyneema cords go through the mast eye some cords can get trapped below other cords. Easing the jib halyard before adjustment avoids this problem. A series of reference marks on the Dyneema (use a permanent marker) makes adjustment more accurate. Re-tighten the jib halyard.

Alternative – Use D12, and splice rather than tie knots.

3mm D12 is a braid of 12 strands of Dyneema with a hollow core. A locking eye splice joins the D12 to the mast eye. (Google – marlowropes d12 locking eye). For the bottom end a non- locking splice is used. It is similar but the rope is not inverted during the splice and has a longer tail. The extra tail length is left coming out of side of the braid. When not under tension the loop is pulled to lengthen or tail pulled to shorten. With the jib halyard eased and with reference marks accurate adjustment is easy.

Note: For a quick trial the top splice can be made without the inversions.

2x 5.5 meters of 3mm Dyneema ie 11 meters total. Cost £14.63

(Marlow Excel Racing – Dyneema @ £1.33 / meter – Purple Marine)

2x 6 meters of 3mm D12 ie 12 meters total. Cost £39.12

(Marlow Excel D12 Max @ £3.26 / meter – Purple Marine)

(D12 needs to be a little longer to allow for the length of the splices)

Barts Bash Final Results – 32 Vago’s Ranked – @BartsBash @LaserPerform


The second Barts Bash event was held back in September 2015, pitching sailors of all abilities, from all over the world against each other.  The organising team have worked tirelessly to calculate the results for the 14,357 entrants and have now published the final numbers for 2015.

A total of 44 Vagoer’s in 32 boats competed across the world, with the top Vago honors going to our current traveller series and national champion, Dave Baxter in Vago 1814, “Sharknado” from Yorkshire Dales SC.  In second place, sailing 0.21008 m/s slower were Richard & Hannah Barnes in Vago 200, “VeeBee” from Tudor SC, followed by Lee Carter in Vago 742 in third from Yorkshire Dales SC.

To see the full Vago league table results on the Barts Bash website click here.



Noble Marine Laser Vago Traveller Series 2015 Results

In the inaugural year of the Noble Marine Laser Vago Traveller Series there were 22 Vagos competing across the 4 series events. This is a fantastic turn out in the classes 10th Anniversary year, with lots of new faces making an appearance at our events.

Congratulations to our Traveller Series Champion Dave Baxter, sailing Vago 1814, “Sharknado” to victory with his ace crew Kate Mellor, from Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club.  The awesome duo sailed at 3 of the 4 traveller series events, winning each and every one of them, proving that team Sharknado are the team to beat looking ahead to 2016.

Class Association members have been enjoying the subsidised entry to our events, and the sponsored training events have been a real hit and have yielded some new Vago’ers to come and join in the fun.  The UKVA are keen to support our members, with a focus on friendly, fun and competitive racing.

The full results can be viewed on the class association website, or by clicking the link below:

Noble Marine Laser Vago Traveller Series 2015 Results

Sailwave results for Noble Marine Laser Vago Traveller Series 2015 at 2015

Laser Vago 10th anniversary T shirt offer! @LaserPerform

Come to the inland championship at Rutland SC on the 17th / 18th October to be eligible to claim a FREE T SHIRT (t shirts free to class association members and regular crew only).
Choose, order and pay for a t shirt from the selection below, you will be able to claim back the cost from Andy after the Rutland event. In order to get a t shirt before the event orders need to be placed by the end of the week.

Noble Marine Laser Vago Inland Championship – Rutland SC – 17th / 18th October 2015 #LaserPerform


The UK Laser Vago class association are pleased to be returning to Rutland SC on the weekend of the 17th and 18th October 2015 for their 2015 Inland Championship event, sponsored by Noble Marine.

The notice of race has been published on the Rutland SC website here:  NOR

Entry to the event is as follows:

Double handers: £29 per boat members of UKVA, £35 non-members

Singlehanders: £24 per boat members of UKVA, £30 non-members

Registration is open at the Rutland SC Office from 9am on Saturday 17th October.

A competitors briefing will be held at 11am on Saturday 17th October in the wetside bar.

On Saturday 17th October there are 3 back-to-back races scheduled, with the first warning signal at 11:55.

A similar format will follow on Sunday 18th October, with the first warning signal at 10:25.

The event is shared with other classes.  The starting order will be: 4000, 3000, Vortex, 2000, then Vago.

Scaling Dam SC Vago Training Day Review

On Saturday (22nd August) Dave Baxter one of the excellent coaches from the Vago Class Association came to the Scaling Dam Sailing Club to coach the slowly growing group of Vago Sailors. In total there were 5 Vagos on the water, 4 Club Boats and 1 visitor from Carsington Sailing Club, the sailors covered a range of abilities, although most of us hadn’t done a lot of racing, and therefore the day was focused around boat handling. The day started with a bit of class room tuition, followed by shore based trapeze practice. Then out on the water practicing roll tacks, gybes and tight circling, in the light winds that were available to us. After lunch we had more time on the water playing with the spinnaker improving boat handling and balance. All in all it was a great day and wonderful to see a group of Vago’s out on the water. Everyone hopes to repeat similar next year and to make sure we get out on the water all together more regularly. The day was sponsored by the Class Association and Noble Marine, without their support events like this wouldn’t be possible, and wouldn’t encourage more sailors to get on the water and gain confidence.


Vago Class August Offer @LaserPerform


Vago Summer

The summer is here and we are all clock watching, counting the hours down before it’s that time to get the Vago out. The last thing you need is that small part that breaks and loses you a day of sailing.

Score big on new parts and Hurry to save 8% off with our August-only coupon code “NEED4SPEED”

It’s go time and just what you need for the Vago training day at Scaling Dam Sailing club on the 22nd of August with none other than the Vago guru Dave Baxter, for more information click on the link below:


Online Parts Locator

Don’t forget to help you find that part you need, we have Parts locators online for you to save time which can be found on our web site, just click on the link below and look for the PDF file called “ Parts Locator “ half way down the page .


Important Info: To take advantage of this offer, all orders have to be placed online and before the 31st of August to be able to use the Vago

class offer.

If you need anything from the Team please call 01327 841600 or email