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18 Foot Skiff UK National Championship day 1 - Spectacular sailing

by Ben Clothier on 28 Aug 2011
Day 1 - UK 18 Foot Skiff National Championship 2011 Georgie Clarke
18 Foot Skiff UK National Championship is being held from 27th to 29th August 2011. Day one was a windy and wild adventure.

Sailing off the beach at Sandbanks, Parkstone Yacht Club and the Watersports Academy teamed up to provide a superb both shore based and on the water race area for the premier event of the UK 18ft Skiff Circuit.

The eight skiff teams assembled on the beach including two new teams competing in their first 18 regatta. Eighteen’s are not the usual beach toys to be found on Sandbanks and despite the cool and breezy start to the bank holiday weekend spectator interest was quickly growing on the shore.

Race one: A pin favoured line saw boats racing off to the left hand side of the course. Newcomers KKT Racing, sailing Gill Wet and Wild, were the one boat to split and go right and came back strong, only missing out on the lead after a poor tack at the weather mark. They had been sailing in the bay the week prior to this event and were chomping at the bit to see how close they were to the pace of the top teams. However it was Pica, fresh from great results on the European Grandprix, that took the lead followed by the bristling new boys on the block Team Carsington, with Investec and KKT in hot pursuit as the skiffs charged down the kite leg in the fresh North Westerly.


Up the second beat, Pica found the groove and romped off to an unassailable lead while a tight battle was underway for second between Investec, KKT and Team Carsington. A drop of the mainsheet and windward dunking saw KTT slip out of contention leaving Investec and Carsington to battle for second testing big vs little rig choice. On the line it was Investec who pulled through with the big rig, but only just leaving Carsington in third and KKT in fourth.

A decent result in those condition is an impressive start for Carsington Team who were clearly enjoying their first official 18ft race. When asked what they thought, a grinning Richard Allen shouted, 'That was awesome!' before returning to the pressing matter of keeping things upright.


Race two: Hyde Sails having gone hard right to the shore up the beat arrived at the first mark with Pica and Investec who opted for middle. The pressure was on for these team to prove their credentials with an improving fleet. Swapping the lead and pushing hard on this first lap both crews were fully exposed by their choice of the larger number 1 rigs in the building breeze. The flat water delivered by the north westerly wasn’t enough to prevent big rig choices and 20kt at the top mark cause full pitch poles resulting in a le mans style format as both Investec and Pica raced to get their boats upright. This opened the door for the Carsington team who had been hot on their heels the whole race. They cruised past the swimmers hoisting their kite and tearing off into the distance never to be caught. A surprise win for the new team Carsington, Pica in second and Hyde sails pulling though to third.

A good day on the water with fantastic conditions and a great dinner at Parkstone Yacht Club has set the fleet up for a further two days of sailing from Sandbanks in Poole Bay. Please drop by if you are in the area.

Quotes from Team Carsington:
'Fantastic. Champagne sailing. We are ecstatic about being so competitive on our first outing! Not bad for a bunch of RS700 sailors! Now if only we could stop telling each other how to drive.'

Quote from overnight leaders Pica - Jamie Mears
'This is the first time we have sailed off the beach in Poole. Fantastic venue. Great to see so many new teams here. The rest of the championship will certainly be challenging...and we are looking forward to some more spectacular sailing'.

Racing continues Sunday and Monday off the beach in front of the Watersports Academy in Poole. With racing for the rest of the weekend close to shore, plenty of opportunity to see all the thrills and spills. Stay tuned.

Results after three races (No Discards):

Team

Sail No.

Helm

Crew

Club

R1

R2

R3

    Pts

   Posn 

Pica

GBR92

Jamie Mears

Stewart Mears / Tristan Matt

RCYC / Stone SC

1

2

DNF

7.0

1

Carsington

GBR40

Richard Allen

Richard Bland / Peter Shaw

Carsington SC

3

1

DNF

8.0

2

Investec

GBR30

Mason Woodworth

Simon Hamilton / Jon Noonan

Watch Hill YC

2

DNF

DNS

15.0

3

Hyde Sails

GBR53

Jack Grogan

Mike & Sam

West Mersea YC

DNF

3

DNF

13.0

4

KKT

GBR11

Tom Kiddle

Stu Tinner / Matt Kiddle

UKCCOA

4

DNF

DNS

17.0

5

Aftica / Severn Sails

GBR16

Mark Watts

Dave Freemantak / Marc Humphries

Cardiff Bay Yacht Club

5

DNF

DNS

18.0

6

HPF

GBR43

Steve McLean

Nick & Simon

Hayling Island SC

DNS

DNF

DNS

22.0

=7

Rutland Skiff

GBR29

Tom Hill

Miguel Andrew / Mark Kudlinski

Rutland SC

DNS

DNF

DNS

22.0

=7


The story so far - UK Grand Prix leader board:

Team

Sail No.

Helm

Crew

Club

Rd1

Rd2

Rd3

Rd4

Pts

Posn

Pica

GBR92

Jamie Mears

Stuart & Tristan

Stone SC

1

1

-

-

2.0

1st

Investec

GBR30

Mason Woodworth

Jon & Simon

Datchet SC

2

2

-

-

4.0

2nd

Hyde Sails

GBR53

Jack Grogan

Mike & Sam

West Mersea YC

3

4

-

-

7.0

3rd

HPF

GBR43

Steve McLean

Nick & Stu

Hayling Island SC

4

3

-

-

7.0

3rd

Aftica

GBR16

Mark Watts

Dave & Alex

Cardiff Bay YC

5

5

-

-

10.0

5th

Rutland Skiff

X

Tom Hill

Michael & Ben

Rutland SC

6

5

-

-

11.0

6th





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