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Wayfarer UK National and European Championships 2022 at Arun Yacht Club - Overall

by Tim Townsend 6 Sep 2022 03:45 PDT 18-21 August 2022

Arun Yacht Club at Littlehampton hosted the UK National and European Wayfarer Championships between 18 and 21 August 2022. A strong UK fleet was joined by competitors from Denmark, France and Ireland.

The event was blessed by sunny weather by and large (Friday morning was an exception) a packed social programme and a very warm welcome from the host club.

Thermal Thursday

The conditions on Thursday were perfect to start the event. Racing took place over a triangle/sausage course for the entire weekend and began with a practice race in a gentle force two which was won by John Clementson and Sam Pygall.

The wind increased as the day wore on and in a fully powered up force three, the first points race was led mostly by Ian Curtis and Richard Bailey followed by Tim and Jacqueline Townsend. Michael McNamara and Simon Townsend pulled clear of the chasing pack during the second lap and relentlessly pursued the leading pair, taking the lead on the final beat and defending it on the run. Ian and Richard finished a close second with Tim and Jacqueline not far behind in third place.

The second points race was sailed in similar conditions. This time it was Andrew and Tom Wilson who led for most of the race but these again were hunted down by Michael and Simon in the final stages of the race to take their second win and lead overnight. Andrew and Tom finished the race in second place while Richard and Mark Hartley completed the podium.

Feeble Friday

Friday began with drizzle and a breeze which struggled to settle... all day.

After a short delay the race team sent the fleet away for Race 3 with most teams fully hiking. However, what looked like encouraging winds shifted dramatically and faded at the end of the first beat. Boats that had been in the leading pack 100 metres away from the windward mark struggled to get around while others caught a zephyr and got away.

The backmarkers were still struggling to round the windward mark for the first time as the leaders were halfway up the second beat at which point the race officer sensibly pulled the plug and the race was abandoned.

Conditions were allowed to settle again but the next start resulted in a general recall and a third attempt to start the race in a gentle force two under the black flag was successful. This was the race where Sean and Helen Murray showed their faces at the front for the first time (this will probably be the last time they will be allocated to silver fleet!!) but by the end of the race it was Michael and Simon who were in charge once more, followed once again by Andrew and Tom.

Race 4 began in similar conditions but even to this untrained eye it looked like there was going to be a general recall....and there was. The race got away under the black flag at the second attempt. The pin end of the line but the right side of the course paid and it was John and Sam who got this right, leading the race from start to finish. In second place for much of the race were former French Olympian, Xhavier Phelipon, and his Danish wife and crew, Ida Moller Nielson, but they were unable to hold back the charging Michael and Simon who improved from sixth or seventh place at the first windward mark to take the runners up gun.

There was a problem at the start of Race 5 as well but for the life of me I cannot recall what was the cause. Eventually the race got away cleanly and normal service was resumed with Michael and Simon taking the winners gun followed once more by Andrew and Tom with Wayfarer builders, Richard and Mark Hartley, finishing third.

Overnight leaders were still comfortably Michael and Simon, with Andrew and Tom a few points behind. After their race win, John and Sam were now in third place overall, as the competitors, race team and volunteers settled down to a curry, live music and a few bevvies.

Super Saturday

Saturday was always forecast to be the windiest day of the regatta and so it proved to be. Racing started in about 12-15 knots of breeze but by the end of the third race of the day local weather stations were recording 24 knots. Combine those breezes with the shallow water chop off Littlehampton sea front and it was going to be an interesting day for everybody. Fortunately, we had the chance to acclimatise to the increasing wind and the result was some epic three sail reaches in the last race for those competent or foolhardy enough to fly the brightly coloured flappy sail and some distinctly unstable running legs.

The good news was that the wind was directionally more stable and the fleet more disciplined than the previous day and there were no big issues with the starts (just the one general recall all day!) and the reaching legs which had been very broad the previous day turned out to be about right in the final race of the day.

In Race 6 the big boys come to the table. Bill Whitney and John Shelton, who are known to excel in strong winds, took a wire to wire win. Michael and Simon chased hard but were not able to catch this pair. John and Sam consolidated their form of the previous day by coming home in third place.

Race 7 was sailed in slightly increased winds. This time Michael and Simon got off the start line in fine fettle and led the race from start to finish. They were chased, unsuccessfully, by Andrew and Tom, who finished second once more and by Ian and Richard who were sailing a fine regatta and collected their second top three result of the series. This race was an example of the close racing at the front of the fleet with fifth to tenth places crossing the finish line almost overlapped with several place changes on the final run.

The wind was increasing at the end of Race 7 and noticeably picked up another notch or two before the start of Race 8. This turned out to be the windiest race of the championships with many mid fleet teams opting not to fly the spinnaker on the reaches or, indeed, the run. Several of the teams capsized, in some cases more than once during the race. Nigel and Belinda O'Donnell had their customary fall from grace and lost their stock of bananas and energy drinks while Richard and Mark came to grief on the final run, rolling in to windward like an IOR inspired keelboat of the 1970's, breaking their mast and bringing a premature end to their series.

Race 8 really was one where a risk/benefit analysis was carried out before every downwind leg and even the teams at the front of the fleet considered that these were conditions where the helm should sit to windward (rather than to leeward) on the run. The top 8-10 boats flew spinnakers on the last leg, not all successfully, and it was just about possible to complete the run and the short leg to the finish line without gybing which was a relief for most. Michael and Simon came through to win once more but only a short distance ahead of Andrew and Tom, while Bill and John completed an excellent day in third.

An exhausted and somewhat battered fleet sat down on Saturday evening for the excellent Championship dinner which was followed by a prize draw of excellent sponsors prizes, more bevvies and dancing to half an Abba tribute band (the better half!). Did anybody know that when we thanked them for the music Guy Marks turns into a Duracell bunny on the dance floor?

Serendipitous (for some) Sunday

Going into the final day it was clear that Michael and Simon had won the event with two races to spare. They came out to play however and continued to show their relentless pursuit of anybody in front of them.

Race 9 started first time in a gentle force 2. The adverse current favoured the right side of the course but those who started at the favoured pin end carried on for a couple of hundred metres before tacking onto port also benefited from a slight increase in velocity. Four boats did this successfully led by Xavier and Ida who sailed away to a comfortable (and very happy) race win. They were followed by Ian and Richard. Rounding the windward mark in third place were Henry and Elaine O'Friel who had a place swapping tussle with Tim and Jacqueline for a couple of rounds before pulling away on the final beat to secure third place and a great result after what had been for the most part, for them, a challenging weekend. With the exception of Ian and Richard, the other boats in the leading places overall had a more difficult race so there was still business to be done in the final race.

The final race of the Championships was sailed in slightly increased winds and although there was still pin end bias at the start, this time the task of getting from the left to the favoured right hand side of the course was more difficult and the teams that started at the committee boat end dominated the first beat. Leaders at the first mark were Bill and John and they sailed away to win the race followed by Sean and Helen, while Michael and Simon gained places throughout the race once more to finish in third place.

Michael McNamara and Simon Townsend therefore retained both their UK National and European Championships. Andrew and Tom Wilson were consistently near the front of the fleet and took second place while John Clementson and Sam Pygall held on for third place overall.

The UK Wayfarer Association must thank not only David Robinson and his team at Arun YC for organising a hugely successful event, and Tom Rusbridge and his team for the racing but also the event sponsors, Hartley Boats, Craftinsure, McNamara Sails and Wayfarer Wines for their generous sponsorship.

The next event for the UKWA is the Eastern Championships at Blackwater SC on 10/11 September. For more information about the Wayfarer and the UKWA visit

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

PosFleetBoatSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9R10Pts
1stGoldThe Smuggler11321Michael McNamaraSimon TownsendRollesby Broad SC11121211‑6‑310
2ndGoldRestless11093Andrew WilsonTom WilsonDatchet Water SC622‑72422‑13525
3rdGold 11101Sam PygallJohn ClementsonChipstead SC5‑74143475‑1033
4thGoldBig Dipper10688Bill WhitneyJohn SheltonShoreham SC4‑121046153‑20134
5thGold 11398Richard BaileyIan CurtisRollesby Broad SC26655‑13382‑1937
6thSilver 11139Sean MurrayHelen MurrayParkstone YC‑11(RET)3698664244
7thGoldAbsolute Fiasco11120Guy MarksMel TitmusBough Beech SC‑1245‑1212712512461
8thGoldSenior Moment11211Mark LeeAlex LeeMedway YC85‑13101167410‑2061
9thGoldWita10787Jan KjeldsenJorgen BinzerHerslev Strand Selklub109111475‑209‑19772
10thGold 10812Xavier PheliponIda Moller NielsenMiddelfart Sejlklub14139310‑16‑15141973
11thGoldIntermezzo11012Tim TownsendJacqueline TownsendMedway YC3816‑181399107‑1875
12thGold 11323Richard HartleyMark HartleyBlithfield SC203793108(RET)(DNS)DNS91
13thGoldHappy Ever After11118John GoudieSam BonifaceWilsonian SC131112814(RET)1615‑17695
14thGoldHurcules' Hound10686Brian McKenzieElizabeth McKenzieMedway YC‑15108151512‑191215895
15thGoldMuffin10974Richard StoneCatherine GoreMedway YC715‑181181713‑18111496
16thGoldCaptain Jack10866Jackie DobsonDavid MitchellParkstone YC9(RET)15‑24181111131412103
17thSilverPoseidon11406Ian SergeantAnjali SargeantParkstone YC1622‑2913161517(DNS)813120
18thGoldLBV10673David RobertsMike BryantBough Beech SC211719(RET)(RET)191411924134
19thSilverLoose Knots10614Mark PennySharon MasonMedway YC17‑2514192122‑23172111142
20thSilverKnot Rushin'11405Philip ClarabutEd Hobart‑SmithMedway YC‑25TPO‑2717221421161616142
21stSilverGuinness II11282Nigel O'DonnellBelinda O'DonnellSwarkstone SC‑23181722202010(RET)1823148
22ndSilverZigZag10716Robin HobsonMandy HammondShoreham SC19142020‑242118(RET)2217151
23rdBronzeYOLO11129Paul HughesJeremy RoseArun YC‑29(RET)2516171826212322168
24thBronzeNut Cracker10828Derek LambertSue RisbridgerDatchet Water SC‑2424222319232219(BFD)21173
25thBronzePippin10556Michael DillistoneAndrew CriswickCastle Cove SC22232321232525(RET)24‑26186
26thSilverOystercatcher10757Steve PerkinsDianne PerkinsBlackwater SC18212126(RET)27(RET)DNSBFD15190
27thBronzeDye Happy Again11414/11268Henry O'FrielElaine VoganEast Down YC27(RET)26252628(RET)DNS327193
28thBronzeSapphire10916Philip PowellMike BoardParkstone YC2620‑28‑28272624202525193
29thBronzeTeal3Mark NichollsTristram WebbArun YC281924272524(RET)(DNS)2628201
30thBronzeMoody Blue8383Cam HughesNick RusbridgeArun YC30(RET)302928292722(BFD)BFD226

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