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Unicorn Nationals at Stone Sailing Club

by John Wade 9 Aug 2005 01:24 PDT 1-5 August 2005

A fleet of 9 Unicorns met for their Nationals as part of the Stone Week Regatta. Four stunning Piper built boats were among the fleet but the glass built boats featured strongly all week.

Race 1 and 2 were held around the club marks in a F3. Gary Piper made a flying start and was never challenged. Bob Dorks, John Wade and Peter Toft fought over 2nd spot and they eventually finished in that order after changing positions many times. In race 2, Piper took the lead at the start but was harried all the way to the finish by Wade and Dorks.

Race 3 and 4 were CB starts around a ‘P’ course. Race 3 was sailed in a F2 and race 3 in lighter winds. Piper and Dorks disappeared into the distance in race 3 leaving Wade, Toft and Richard Taylor to fight over 3rd place. Race 4 was fiercely contested with Dorks leading Piper by a few boat lengths right up to the final mark. Then Piper took advantage of some ‘regatta traffic’ and squeezed through to take the win by 5s.

Race 5 and 6 were CB starts around an Olympic course giving much more scope for tactical sailing. Race 5 started in a F3 with Dorks and Wade heading the pack up the first beat. Piper, having stopped to repair his trapeze harness gradually clawed back the deficit and took the lead by mid race. Wade closed on Dorks in the final lap to miss 2nd place by 4s. Race 6 was sailed in a light F2 with Piper taking the lead chased hard by Dorks and Wade throughout the race. These two rounded the final mark together and this time Wade took 2nd place by a few seconds.

Friday brought race 7 in a brisk F4 around the club marks. Piper took the lead and was never headed. Toft was finding a new CAWS sail to his liking and the extra drive took him to 2nd place ahead of Dorks. Race 8 was held in a freshening F5 with Dorks leading to consolidate his 2nd Championship place. However, his tiller extension snapped after a very dramatic reach and he was forced to retire. Wade needed a win to snatch 2nd place in the championships and was given the chance by Toft when he got caught in irons tacking at the windward mark. However, in the excitement Wade damaged his boat and also had to retire leaving Toft to win the final race with Rogers in second.

Piper, sailing one of his superb wooden boats with a Dewen designed hull dominated the Championships with a clean sweep of wins. Dorks showed his immense experience and a glass boat can still challenge the latest design and finished a solid 2nd place. Wade, having recently bought a Piper boat was delighted to finish in 3rd. Our thanks to Stone Sailing Club, this is a Regatta not to be missed.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubPts
1st 1098 Gary Piper Stokes Bay SC 
2nd 1073 Bob Dorks Stone SC 14 
3rd 1092 John Wade Weymouth & Portland SA 17 
4th 1074 Peter Toft Stone SC 18 
5th 1088 Richard Taylor Stokes Bay SC 29 
6th 1084 Iain Rogers Weston SC 32 
7th 1085 Paul Conway Stone SC 47 
8th 1075 Geoff Moss Stone SC 49 
9th 1067 David Taylor Stone SC 62 

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