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Minisail National Championships at Hunts Sailing Club

by Rupert Whelan 28 Aug 2013 04:44 PDT 24-26 August 2013
Minisail nationals at Hunts © Nikki Clarke

Hunts Sailing Club hosted the 3rd Championships of the new era of Minisail class racing over the August Bank Holiday, in conjunction with the CVRDA National Rally.

Whilst numbers are still small, the 8 attending boats and 10 competing sailors is a jump up from last year, and the standard of sailing and condition of most of the boats was also improved.

Most significantly, the event saw the launching of the 1st Minisail built in perhaps 30 years. Number 9000 was built by Ronny de Gruyter in Belgium, in plywood to the Sprite variant of the design. She looks beautiful and moves rather well, too, with her new R&J sail. With 2 other competitors coming from the Low Countries, a truly international flavour was guaranteed, and with our home country sailors coming from as far apart as York, Norfolk, Southampton and Swindon, there is no doubting the spread of the Minisail geographically!

The Saturday was spent ensuring the boats were lake worthy, and for some, taking part in some short practice races in with the cvrda fleet, followed by scones and Pimms for all! Sunday was the main race day. 3 races were held, with the wind increasing in time for the 3rd so we were able to get planing on occasion – something that Minisails do very well indeed. John Banks, in a borrowed boat, showed some excellent speed and tactics, but was unable to hold off the serially poorly starting Rupert Whelan, who used his greater experience in sailing the boats to pop out in front each race. All through the fleet there was close racing.

Monday was pursuit race day for the cvrda, and though Minisails are fun, they really aren't that fast, so they were the 1st to start. However, a course with a short beat and lots of reaches had been set, so the Minisails were able to have some fun in the clear air before the fast boats started the chase! Planing was a rarity, but there was still enough wind for Rupert not only to take the Minisail win, but also hold out against the other 30 or so boats in the race.

Though the sailing was good, the best thing about the weekend was the food. I've been to many sailing clubs and eaten some great meals, but Hunts tops the lot! Andy and his race team were understanding of the lack of race experience shown by some of our sailors - thank you for that! - and the safety boat teams helped out on a couple of occasions with grat skill, as well as acting as photo boats. The biggest thanks have to go to Nessa and Nikky, who allowed the Minisails to piggyback their Nationals onto the fantastic cvrda Rally they organized this August.

Overall Results:
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1 Rupert Whelan
2 John Banks
3 David Argles
4 Ronny de Gruyter
5 Dean Martin
6 Peter Matthews
7 Frans Stoop
8 Tom Moore
9 Paul Rogers
10 John Carter

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