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Noble Marine Lightning 368 2021 UK National Championships at Carsington Sailing Club

by John Butler 31 May 23:17 PDT 22-23 May 2021

The Noble Marine Lightning 368 2021 UK National Championships were run at Carsington SC over the weekend of 22nd & 23rd May, in conjunction with the Inlands of the K1 single-handed keelboats, with both classes having separate trapezoidal courses in the centre of this large reservoir.

Race 1

2003 national champion, Ian Gore, showed that he'd lost none of his competitiveness upon his return to the class after many years away.

In a decent 10-12 knot breeze, Ian quickly establish a lead at the front, with Ian Ranson out-pointing a lot of those around him and rounding second ahead of Penny Yarwood. Ian Gore proceeded to extend his lead into an unassailable one, whilst Ian Ranson managed to hold off Penny until the very last upwind leg, when she finally managed to break through into second.

Although never really challenging the top three, veteran sailor and class boatbuilder, John Claridge, had his best result of the weekend with a fourth place.

Race 2

In conditions that really suited Penny, it was a surprise that John Claridge rounded the windward mark first by considerable margin, ahead of newcomer Luke Lazell.

Meanwhile, behind these two, the race was not without incident, with both Simon Hopkins and Ian Gore hitting the windward mark and having to take penalties.

Surprisingly, halfway down the first run, John had a very unusual and elegant wet gybe, leaving Luke with a large lead over Penny, who by now had worked her way through to 2nd at this stage chased hard by Ian Gore.

Whilst Luke was able to maintain his lead upwind, the superior downwind speed of Penny allowed her to pass him on the next run.

Ian was eventually able to haul in Luke, relegating him to 3rd by the end, with Jason Gallagher taking advantage of Simon's error and squeezing him out for 4th.

Race 3

Simon Hopkins had a fantastic start, but took the wrong side of the first beat, and Luke popped out ahead, followed by Penny, Ian Gore and Ben Twist. Ben found he had a knot in his mainsheet as he approached the windward mark, and was unable to bear away, but sorted it out and was able to maintain a distant 4th.

The order remained the same for the next few rounds of the beat/run sausage, then on the final upwind leg Luke went left, Penny went right and Ian went up the middle. Penny squeezed past Luke, then down the final run Ian got close to Luke and claimed water at the mark which allowed him past into 2nd. Simon recovered to 4th at the end.

On the Sunday the forecast was for a rising wind strength starting at 15 knots, with gusts rising to 30 knots. With an early morning start, the worst of the gusts were avoided, but by the last race it was well over 20 knots.

Race 4

In stronger gusty conditions, the day started with Simon Hopkins demonstrating his strong wind prowess. He rounded the windward mark well ahead of Ian & Luke, and maintained his lead on the first two downwind legs. On the second beat, there was a big right shift, which relegated Simon back to third. After a run with the positions unchanged, Simon took Luke on the second beat, but was still trailing Ian. In a reversal of earlier fortunes, Simon gained from another big right shift and passed Ian and held the lead to the finish. In the stronger winds, the best Penny could muster was a 5th behind Ben Twist, with Ian holding off Luke for 2nd.

Race 5

Simon again had a great start, but was held out to the left by the improving John Butler, whilst Jason Gallagher went to the far right and rounded with a large lead. It wasn't until the second beat that Simon was able to take the lead from Jason. Jason suffered the same misfortune at the top mark as Ben had previously, and with a knotted mainsheet was unable to bear away. This allowed Ian & Luke to get past, but Jason recovered by the finish to relegate Luke to 4th. Penny had her worst result of the weekend, only recovering from way back to 7th place by the end.

Race 6

Jason was upside down on the start line at the gun, much to the concern of many who were forced to avoid him, but Simon was again first to the windward mark with Penny on his heels, and was never headed.

Luke did pass Penny and held her off for a while, but Penny's superior offwind speed finally told, and she eventually consolidated second. Simon almost threw the race away by rounding the final leeward buoy and heading back upwind, but eventually backtracked when Penny planed off to the finish line, and he had enough time to turn back and redeem his error.

Although Ian finished in 4th behind Luke, for his worst result of the weekend, his consistent run of seconds and a win in the first race ensured his overall win over Penny.

Simon's great results on the second day hauled him up into 3rd place overall, and with Luke in 4th overall it was a clean sweep of the first 4 places for the Up River YC sailors.

A big thank you to Carsington Sailing Club for hosting an excellent event, with Commodore Phil Holland, Lead Organiser Alf Hawksworth, and Race Officer Keith Appleby providing excellent organisation both onshore and out on the water.

Overall Results:
If you finished in the top ten at the Lightning 368 nationals then enter your Gear Guide information here

PosSail NoHelmBoat NameClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1st404Ian Gore Up River YC12222‑49
2nd425Penny YarwoodMischiefUp River YC2115‑7211
3rd428Simon HopkinsMjolnirUp River YC‑65411112
4th430Luke Lazell Up River YC‑73334316
5th435Ben TwistElementBroadstairs SC‑96565527
6th417Jason GallagherOccam's RazorDenholme SC84943(DNC)28
7th427John ClaridgeBuzzRoyal Lymington YC477(RET)6630
8th441Ian Ranson Bolton SC3889‑11937
9th438Caroline HollierAuroraWest Oxfordshire SC5961110(DNC)41
10th433John ButlerAmadouSutton in Ashfield SC11‑121288746
11th257Duncan CheshireThunderstruckWinsford Flash SC12‑15107121051
12th407Bryan WestleySidratAldridge SC1311‑14109851
13th402Stephen HodgsonSeaBeeDenholme SC(DNF)131312131162
14th432Chris HillStormbringerUlley SC101011(DNC)DNCDNC63
15th409Lee BratleyAll the gearCarsington SC141415(DNC)DNCDNC75

Ladies Trophy
425 Penny Yarwood (Up River YC)

Veteran Trophy
427 John Claridge (Royal Lymington YC)

Giles Trophy for the highest placed Mk1 Giles Lightning
257 Duncan Cheshire (Winsford Flash SC)

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