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Goodall Roofing Sonata National Championships at the Island Sailing Club, Cowes

by Mark Angell 24 Aug 2021 09:47 PDT 15-18 August 2021
Goodall Roofing Sonata National Championships at Cowes © John Green

Strong Costa del Solent conditions greeted the 19 One Design Hunter Sonatas that made the trip to the Island Sailing Club in Cowes to join the 12 strong home fleet for the postponed Goodall Roofing supported 2020 Sonata National Championships on their first return to the Solent for 15 years.

With the event starting on Sunday, visiting boats had time to travel and launch on the mainland (with thanks to Drivers Wharf for their support in getting all the boats safely craned in and out on time). Special mention to Tom White who sailed 140nm from Mevagissey to attend the event!

When Sunday did arrive, the fleet headed out into the Solent to 25-32 knots from the South West racing on the choppy waters of the Bramble Bank. Safe and consistent boat handling was key to the day, with Steve Goacher and his team on Eric the Boat showing all their experience to nurse the boat around the course and take a 1,2,1 in the three races on day 1, with Max Richards in Little Scarlett (rescued from the brink of an argument with an angle grinder and a trip to the nautical scrapyard last summer) maintaining the pressure with a commendable 2,1,2.

Considering the age of the boats, it was miraculous to see them come through the strong conditions of the day with minimal damage (just one mast and one rudder!). Meanwhile in the lifting keel fleet, Jim Lawrence and team onboard Fiddler's Elbow produced a respectable 1,2,1 to lead the way after three races.

Monday morning soon arrived, bringing with it a few sore heads and bodies following an opportunity to explore Cowes on the previous evening. There was a freshening 15 knots from the North West and the associated complexities for Race Officer Richard Palmer and his team. From the start of race 3, it was clear that the slightly more manageable breeze was going to compress the fleet, making some already fantastic racing even tighter.

This was highlighted particularly by the three different race winners for the day: race 4 going to Max Richardson and Team in Little Scarlett having had a close battle with team Joey, race 5 to Steve Goacher and team in Eric the Boat, and race 6 to a dominant Mark Angell and Team in Minim (another boat rescued by the class association and masterfully restored by Mark).

Day 3 delivered a similar gift from the wind gods (not so much champagne sailing, but still a very enjoyable bitter shandy type day). After a series of windshifts in sequence caused a series of postponements and an unorthodox method of mark retrieval from the mark laying RIB, a flurry of enthusiasm lead to a few general recalls before racing finally got under way.

With the early front runners Little Scarlett and Eric the Boat trading blows at the front of the fleet, the pecking order of the boats behind was slowly being established, with Lucian Stone's White Noise showing the type of form that earned them a podium place at the 2018 Nationals in Medway, and Minim showing the pace which delivered the goods for the Covid-weathered Cowes Open Meeting in 2020, and Joey posting results sufficient to keep them in the chocolates.

Heading into the final day with all to play for throughout the fleet, the pressure was on Little Scarlett to keep their nose clean and keep their discard available (for the 13th they suffered in race 5 following a start line raft up with Minim and Joey - never start next to your local rivals...).

15-20 knots from the southwest and the turn of the tide provided ideal conditions to battle for the final points. In the end, Little Scarlett produced a masterclass of consistent sailing to hoover up three bullets on the final day, whilst Eric the Boat was close behind to take a comfortable second, followed by another consistent day for Joey to round out the podium.

A podium result for Joe Cross and the Duette team, on his return to the class having won the nationals in 201,8 shows an ominous return to form to be watched!

Special mentions must go to the crew of Maverick for making up the youngest team at the event and mixing it with some excellent teams in challenging conditions, to Araya for making it back onto the water after losing their rig in race 2, and to the lifting keel fleet for holding their own against the fin keel boats in tough conditions!

Thanks must go to the Island Sailing Club for an exhibition on how to run a sailing event, but especially to Mark Angell for his relentless push to make this event happen to the level it did, to Richard Palmer for his excellent race management, to Cowes Harbour Commission for providing berthing for the fleet, and also to Luke Goodall and Goodall Roofing for their overall support of the event.

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

PosSail NoBoat NameTeamR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9R10R11R12Pts
4GBR 8032NMINIMMARK ANGELL47699127‑1233758
58361WHITE NOISELUCIEN STONE(OCS)3105210536122361
8GBR 8405NWASPLUKE GOODALL7‑1256766910811681
98420WATERSONGPAUL HOPPER897105‑16712313121197
1066NDORISOLIVER KING1815812(OCS)9881917104128
1114NSARABANDMARK TAYLOR9161315101317‑199999129
12GBR8872NWHITE MAGICDAVID MATHEWS1061514(OCS)1116138161412135
138199FRANKIE THE RHINOTONY WOODS(OCS)11113OCS1412141471914149
1473NKALMSTEVEN LYONDNF(DNC)DNC11121211101110613159
15GBR 8038NPIZZICATOTOM WHITEOCS10(DNC)18415141517141615169
16GBR 8373NBEE SHARPJAMES CLIFF1313‑25161418192320111318178
178377PRESTOKEVIN CROSS17(OCS)12221117152116211717186
188504DICK DASTARDLYDAWN BEE202221201521202724‑281519224
19GBR 8305NPICCOLOJOHN PUTT191917191752526(DNF)2327DNS227
20GBR 8084SONICROBIN LEATHER152314131822272425‑292620227
2164NMAVERICKMOLLY&JACK NUTTER23172227(DNS)DNS222515151816230
22GBR 8404NKALLISTACHRIS HALEWOOD1426232320232118182623(DNF)235
25GBR 432PHOEBEOWEN KERR24‑2520252225232022192422246
27GBR 8406ORIONMADELEINE FOWLER JONES12241924(DNS)28263023222123252
28253FIDDLERS ELBOWJIM LAWRENCE21211626212624292825(DNS)DNS267
29224BLU VJOHN RIDOUT222018282327292829‑302821273
30GBR8036XANDTJAHVARA KNIGHT252724‑292424282226272224273

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