The second major of the season and Act 2 of the North Sails Super Series
Veterans GrandMaster and Septimus Series Results
With the shocking news that dinghy sailing is in decline I arrived at Draycote Water Sailing Club with the deportment of a broken man.
The excellent report by David Henshall certainly identified a growing problem within our sport, the demographic of the average sailor is growing older and despite new designs bursting on to the market with the sort of financial backing older more established classes can only dream of, they seem to be missing the mark.
Actually I would argue that there is no problem with the designs, they embrace all the latest construction methods and hydrodynamic break-throughs. Third generation technology taking on designs that were sketched on tablecloths, beer mats and built in work sheds and bomb shelters, backyards and backrooms in the post war era. The problem lies with too many new designs coming onto the market. How can a new class establish itself when a newer, lighter shinier one is just around the corner. It is the dilution of single handed classes which has led to lower open meeting attendees and smaller club fleets though menagerie fleets have risen, whoopee.
With regard to the younger generation not following in their Javelin wearing parents bootprints, well the great thing is they are still sailing but are drawn into the 21st century pyramid of youth sailing. Bracketed into the classes that most suit their weight and height and, understandably but crucially, are supported in sports ribs and camper vans by the very people who provided the weave that held the club racing together, their parents. With these thoughts feasting on my grey matter I shuffled into the dinghy park on race day, the weather was a very pleasant 10 degrees with a light to moderate west-south westerly, that is from just to the left of the sumptuous clubhouse if you have been there. XC Weather (other weather stations are available) forecast 10-12 mph dropping to 5mph by midday and then increasing to 14-20mph by 4pm. They once again nailed it, Is it any wonder that entry levels fall when the forecast is inclement. The reasonable forecast did little to lift my hopes of a decent attendance, so weighty was the silver dream racers article in Y+Y. National Solos' continued to arrive as I looked down into my coffee, attempting to nullify the empty feeling in my gut with a bacon filled bap. PRO John Rhodes, ably assisted by Chris Avery delivered his briefing to the competitors including myself, my inclusion at least swelling the number of boats on the water by one, though as an over fifty it would do nothing to dispel the theory that the Solo is for old buggers. Out on the water and with the wind dropping off to around 8mph a good clean start would be essential, even more so as there were 70 Solos' on the line. 52 entries three weeks previously at Chew Valley and now 70 at the Spring Championship. My back straightened and I sat a little taller as the five minute countdown inevitably reduced to zero.
The majority of the fleet chose the committee end and, with just one competitor over the line the race had begun. I was in a group at the pin end and we headed left, the words of local hotshot Chris Brown still ringing in my ears, "go left and wait for the header off the shore". Charlie Cumbley, National Champ and victor at Chew in the Noble Marine Winters was surprisingly only a few hundred yards ahead and had shunned the masses on the right of the course. It was looking ugly but Cumbley is no muppet and with the timing of a circus ring trapeze artist (quote courtesy of Paul Elvstrom) he tacked into a nice left hand lift and rounded first. Martin Frary who had chosen the middle of the course was second from Vanda Jowett. The PRO had chosen a windward leeward course and the fleet split left, right and middle as they searched for pressure and a shadow free angle. With the wind light, on water Jury Steve Watson's presence was as welcome as a hair in your soup but the fleets behaviour, save for only two rule 42 penalties was very British. As a nation we are experts at queuing and there was plenty of that at the bottom mark. Charlie Cumbley held on for the duration of the race with Frary, Guy Lonsdale, Andy Davis and Andrew Wilde completing the top 5. The breeze was picking up and there was some excitement as the remaining fleet dead ran through the finishing line to the bottom mark as those in front headed back up. Vanda Jowett had dropped to sixth but still a great result, dispelling the rumour that Solos' are not for women. 7 of the top ten in race 1 were not old enough to be Veterans, old man's boat?
As is always Sods Law the wind dropped just before the start of race 2 though my position in the third row of the grid was probably a factor too. The fleet had amassed at the committee end like a colony of ants drawn to a discarded sweet wrapper, save for a few who had sniffed out the impending shift to the left. There was panic as the seconds evaporated and with the sound of the gun, a mass tack onto port. Phil Sturmer, Jeremy Atkins and Jon Clarke, in that hardy moment of self awareness, knew the race was theirs. Like the aftermath of a party for five year olds it was a mess behind them. Davis was buried and Cumbley was just in front of me, he was in a place he knew not. The National Champ tacked off to the right and the next time I saw him he was 500 yards ahead and just outside the top ten. Davis though was stuck in a dearth of Solos' and no matter what he did it was Pete Tong. Back to the pointy end of the race and Jeremy Atkins was ahead but Olly Wells who was hitting the right of the course on every beat was up to second with Sturmer in a holding pattern in third. These positions would remain until the finish but behind there would be drama as dark clouds and rain rolled in from the hills of Banbury. The leaders hooked in to the new breeze, control lines and hiking straps adjusted, quadriceps beginning to flex. Close hauled on starboard was a good point of sailing and no better time than with 60+ Solos' heading down on every other point of the sailing compass. I kid you not. Faces and other things contorted as the fleet converged on the little orange buoy, poor thing must have wished it was still in the boat shed. There were bail-outs a plenty as the three length zone was obliterated by the panic stricken sailors but amazingly no carnage. At the gun it was a very chuffed Atkins from Wells, Sturmer and Martin Honner, all the way from St Mary's Lock, Scotland. Jon Clarke claimed fifth from Mike Sims and Vanda Jowett.
The wind was doing what XC said it would, granted slightly earlier than forecast, providing a gusty start to the final race. Sailors dug into their tanks for more fitting attire as the temperature dropped. Some went for the pin end, well it had worked last time. Alas, no way back from there as the fresher winds tracked in from the right. Cumbley, Davis and Jonathan Swain squirted out of the middle of the course, hooked into a little land mass created left lift and rounded in that order. The PRO, hopeful that the surfing conditions would hold, had set a triangle sausage course and the spectators got a great view as 70 Solos' broad reached passed the club bar to the wing mark. Cumbley and Davis exchanged the lead with Davis finally shaking of his rum induced coma from race 2 to take the win. Swain had been chipping away at Cumbley and eventually broke through with Honner claiming his second fourth of the day. Steve Ede was fifth with Andrew Wilde sixth.
So congratulations to Charlie Cumbley, who has won the Spring Championship with a 1-8-3 scoreline. We wish Charlie all the luck he needs to reach the top of the International OK fleet and we thank him for taking all our games to another level. Andy Davis, with a 4-dont talk about it-1 gives him second overall from the consistent Martin Honnor in third with 29-4-4. Martin is also first Vet (50-59). Vanda Jowett finished seventh with 6-7-25 and is also the Ladies Champion. First Grandmaster (60-69)is the consistent John Webster 19-24-23 in twenty fourth overall. Congratulations also to Brian Fisher, our only Septimus qualifier (70 and over) but highlighting the balanced polite nature of the Jack Holt design and the skills and resilience of it's more mature members.
A massive thank you to Draycote Water for delivering a great event, also to NOBLE MARINE who continue to sponsor the NSCA, and most of all a big thank you to all NSCA competitors who continue to turn up at National Solo events up and down the country.
You can build new designs, you can throw money at marketing but the National Solo Class continues to buck trends and deliver BIG fleet racing. 60 years old but like the sailors who race her, you would not know it.
If that is not enough, the Nation's Cup, which is to be held in just twelve days time (April 22-24) in Medemblik, Holland, promises another great event with around 60 National Solos registered to date. With currently 27 British entries, the UK fleet is taking the fight to the Dutch on the magnificent Ijsselmeer. I will be there to report and video the action, on the water, in the dinghy park and in the bar and look forward to sharing all the drama with you. It is never too late to enter so grab your passport, hitch up your Solo and I will meet you there.
Will Loy President NSCA.
2015 Solo Spring Championships Draycote Water S.C. Overall Sailed: 4, Discards: 1, To count: 3, Entries: 62, Scoring system: Appendix A Rank Fleet Boat Class SailNo Club HelmName Crew Name Rating R1 R2 R3 R4 Total Nett 1st 5566 Blithfield SC Andy Davis 1.0 2.0 1.0 (5.0) 9.0 4.0 2nd 4927 West Oxford SC Tom Lonsdale 3.0 (8.0) 4.0 1.0 16.0 8.0 3rd 5387 Teign Corinthian Charley Cumbley 2.0 3.0 (16.0) 10.0 31.0 15.0 4th 5491 - Michael Sims 10.0 6.0 2.0 (17.0) 35.0 18.0 5th 4357 Draycote Water SC Richard Pye 5.0 5.0 (9.0) 8.0 27.0 18.0 6th Veteran 5580 King George SC Vince Horey 8.0 (18.0) 10.0 2.0 38.0 20.0 7th 5564 Draycote Water SC Chris Brow n (7.0) 7.0 7.0 6.0 27.0 20.0 8th 5509 Hayling Island SC Peter Mitchell 20.0 1.0 (63.0 BFD) 3.0 87.0 24.0 9th Veteran 5363 Warsash David Mitchell 4.0 17.0 3.0 (63.0 RET) 87.0 24.0 10th Veteran 5478 Draycote Water SC Nigel Davies (22.0) 16.0 6.0 9.0 53.0 31.0 11th Veteran 5312 Leigh & Low ton Paul Heath (24.0) 10.0 12.0 14.0 60.0 36.0 12th 5559 Carsington Jonathan Sw ain 6.0 12.0 (27.0) 21.0 66.0 39.0 13th Veteran 5130 Weymouth SC Mark Lee 19.0 9.0 (33.0) 11.0 72.0 39.0 14th Grand Master 5488 Carsington John Webster 23.0 13.0 (46.0) 4.0 86.0 40.0 15th Veteran 4748 Draycote Water SC Jon Clarke 12.0 11.0 (45.0) 19.0 87.0 42.0 16th 5492 Carsington Andrew Wilde 9.0 14.0 25.0 (63.0 DNC) 111.0 48.0 17th Grand Master 5539 Rugby & Daventry SC David Liddington 14.0 (32.0) 11.0 25.0 82.0 50.0 18th Veteran 5504 Shustoke Stuart Hydon 18.0 (24.0) 17.0 15.0 74.0 50.0 19th Veteran 5320 Fishers Green David Walford 13.0 28.0 (35.0) 12.0 88.0 53.0 20th Veteran 556 Largo Bay SC Kevan Gibb (40.0) 4.0 24.0 28.0 96.0 56.0 21st 5524 Northampton SC Kev Hall (41.0) 22.0 22.0 13.0 98.0 57.0 22nd 5168 Island Barn Tim Lew is (26.0) 19.0 14.0 24.0 83.0 57.0 23rd 5480 Leigh & Low ton Ian ? 11.0 30.0 18.0 (63.0 DNC) 122.0 59.0 24th Veteran 5362 Chew Valley Chris Goldhaw k 16.0 15.0 30.0 (63.0 DNC) 124.0 61.0 25th 5585 Northampton SC Law rence Creaser 31.0 27.0 5.0 (34.0) 97.0 63.0 26th 5198 SHSC Craig Williamson (34.0) 26.0 8.0 29.0 97.0 63.0 27th Veteran 5563 Bough Beach Dave Griffiths 21.0 23.0 20.0 (35.0) 99.0 64.0 28th Veteran 5443 Staunton Harold Tim Gray (36.0) 21.0 13.0 33.0 103.0 67.0 29th Veteran 5246 Staunton Harold Richard Pepperdine 27.0 (43.0) 19.0 27.0 116.0 73.0 30th 5507 Draycote Water SC Nigel Pybus 15.0 (63.0 DNC) 39.0 22.0 139.0 76.0 31st 5176 South Staffs Jonathan Woodw ard 28.0 (37.0) 23.0 26.0 114.0 77.0 32nd 4503 Earlsw ood Lakes SC Ian Ingram 33.0 (41.0) 28.0 20.0 122.0 81.0 33rd 5134 RYA Robert Laurie 25.0 (42.0) 34.0 23.0 124.0 82.0 34th 5037 Carsington Alastair Raynard (35.0) 31.0 21.0 32.0 119.0 84.0 35th Grand Master 4736 Northampton SC Graham Wilson (46.0) 40.0 15.0 30.0 131.0 85.0 36th Lady 5432 Hayling Island SC Brenda Hoult 30.0 25.0 32.0 (63.0 DNC) 150.0 87.0 37th Veteran 5205 Draycote Water SC Tim Davison (63.0 DNC) 20.0 63.0 BFD 7.0 153.0 90.0 38th Veteran 5595 Leigh & Low ton Andrew Fox 17.0 35.0 38.0 (42.0) 132.0 90.0 39th 5373 Royal Burnham YC Phil Sturmer 43.0 (48.0) 36.0 16.0 143.0 95.0 40th Veteran 5577 Notts County SC Kevin Andrew s (54.0) 34.0 26.0 46.0 160.0 106.0 41st 4716 Carsington Jim Scott 38.0 29.0 (47.0) 41.0 155.0 108.0 42nd Veteran 4860 Northampton SC Peter Warne 42.0 (45.0) 29.0 38.0 154.0 109.0 43rd Veteran 5511 Notts County SC Paul McHenry 37.0 44.0 31.0 (45.0) 157.0 112.0 44th Septimus 4882 Notts County SC Brian Fisher 49.0 (51.0) 37.0 31.0 168.0 117.0 45th Grand Master 5561 RYA Patrick Burns 48.0 33.0 (50.0) 37.0 168.0 118.0 46th 5446 Island Barn Paul Playle (44.0) 38.0 43.0 39.0 164.0 120.0 47th 5043 Rudyard Lake SC Martin Couch 29.0 36.0 (63.0 DNC) 63.0 RET 191.0 128.0 48th Veteran 5501 Carsington Gavin Vaughan 51.0 47.0 (63.0 BFD) 36.0 197.0 134.0 49th Veteran 5399 Notts County SC Ian Firth 47.0 39.0 48.0 (49.0) 183.0 134.0 50th Grand Master 5332 Salcombe SC Roger Lumby 39.0 (54.0) 52.0 44.0 189.0 135.0 51st Grand Master 5358 Redditch David Day (59.0) 52.0 41.0 43.0 195.0 136.0 52nd Veteran 4551 Tonbridge Bill Hutchings (57.0) 55.0 44.0 40.0 196.0 139.0 53rd Veteran 3604 RYA Will Loy 32.0 46.0 (63.0 DNC) 63.0 DNC 204.0 141.0 54th Veteran 5398 Ogston SC Martin Honnor (63.0 BFD) 63.0 DNC 63.0 BFD 18.0 207.0 144.0 55th Veteran 4548 Notts County SC Clive Gimson 56.0 (63.0 DNC) 42.0 47.0 208.0 145.0 56th Veteran 5384 Ripon SC Colin Mather 52.0 50.0 (63.0 BFD) 48.0 213.0 150.0 57th 4120 Banbury SC Duncan Syme (58.0) 53.0 49.0 50.0 210.0 152.0 58th Grand Master 5352 RYA Mike Wilkie 50.0 (63.0 DNC) 40.0 63.0 DNC 216.0 153.0 59th 5152 Chipstead Andrew Thompson 55.0 49.0 51.0 (63.0 DNC) 218.0 155.0 60th Septimus 4755 Draycote Water SC Michael Partington 53.0 (63.0 DNC) 63.0 BFD 51.0 230.0 167.0 61st Veteran 5593 Prestw ick SC Jim McGillivray 45.0 (63.0 DNC) 63.0 DNC 63.0 DNC 234.0 171.0 62nd Veteran 4860 Draycote Water SC Jeremy Atkins (63.0 BFD) 63.0 DNC 63.0 DNC 63.0 DNC 252.0 189.0 w w w .draycotew ater.co.uk Sailw ave Scoring Softw are 2.9.7 w w w .sailw ave.com
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