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WASZP End of Season Championship at Rutland Sailing Club

by Martin Evans 15 Nov 2022 03:23 PST 12-13 November 2022
Rooster WASZP End of Season Championship at Rutland © Jon Williams

An awesome season for the UK WASZP fleet came to a close at Rutland Sailing Club over the weekend with the End of Season Championships providing the last hurrah for 2022.

34 boats from as far north as Oban, as far south as Guernsey, as far West as Milford Haven and as far East as Blackwater gathered at Rutland - a favourite venue for the WASZP class with central location, flat water and on-site accommodation (allowing for great socials!).

The event, supported by class partners Rooster Sailing, kicked off with the new NASCAR course. Many sailors took the opportunity to dress up for the occasion in a host of quirky characters - we had a wasp on a WASZP, a cow, pirates, scientists, divas, spacemen, spongebob, a chef, a cricket player and even Batman took some time off fighting crime to join the fleet.

The NASCAR course consists of a reaching start and a squashed rectangle with long reaches. The course provides a cat-and-mouse style of racing where boats are constantly chasing each other around the short laps. This course is especially kind to newcomers to the class as it has minimal manoeuvres and gives the most chance of flying with the reaching angles.

In the marginal foiling conditions, the race was always on! One moment you were up on the foils in hero mode, screaming past boats like they were stationary; and the next moment you could be back at zero, stuck in the low-ride whilst a train of foiling boats rolls on by. It wasn't over until it was over!

European silver medallist and UK National Champion Ross Banham was on form with clean starts and early foiling to make the jump on the first leg. He scored an impressive 1,2,1. What is perhaps more impressive is that junior sailor Eve Kennedy (who is heading to San Francisco next year for the SailGP Inspire final after winning the female spot at the UK event) took the second race off Banham in a very clinical performance that saw the pair toe-to-toe around the course.

Banham, now part of the Athena pathway program, had opportunities to take the bullet, but Kennedy fought him off exceptionally well for the win and went on to score a third in race three to elevate herself to the podium. Will Crocker, the winner of the 2022 UK GP Series, scored two seconds and a six to put himself in the silver medal spot.

Alice Senior deserves a mention after excelling on the NASCAR course. Senior usually sails on the 6.9 rig and as such, regularly finds herself in the dog fight in the middle of the fleet. This weekend, she made the choice to step up to the 8.2 and was suddenly cruising past the competition at the sharp end of the fleet, scoring three top 10s!

The plan was to round off Saturday with the Two-Towers race - a distance race around the lake. Unfortunately, the wind was a bit light to venture too far afield, so the race officer ran a shorter option, finishing off the club. Steven Forteith of Oban (who won the master's division overall) cruised to victory in a very impressive performance, finding more flight time than his competitors.

A fantastic day of racing set the scene for an action-packed social. Hawaiian shirts and hula skirts at the ready, the fleet enjoyed a Hawaiian-themed dinner as they sipped their drinks from coconuts and indulged in rum and fruit punches. After dinner, games night kicked off, with fast-paced table football, ping pong, coconut skittles (messy!), hula hoop and putting before the grand final pineapple relay!

On Sunday, the fog was heavy and the wind was light. The AP went up and the sailors huddled inside to watch England win the T20 world cup. Martin Evans, WASZP Class Manager, took it for the team and ventured out into the fog to see if it was raceable. From 90 minutes of drifting around, there wasn't much to work with, although Evans did have 15 minutes of foiling glory at one point with foiling gybes and tacks, although this was conveniently (and suspiciously) out of sight of the other competitors due to the fog.

The call was made to pack up as the wind fizzled out to stillness, leaving Banham, Crocker and Kennedy on the podium. The points Banham earned from this event pushes him to the top of the WASZP Global Rankings, sneaking by Nick Zeltner of Switzerland.

The WASZP class now looks to a winter of training weekends, led largely by the new world number one! Plenty of new faces joined the swarm for the End of Seasons and we look forward to welcoming even more to what could be the most friendly and inclusive class in the UK.

It cannot be stressed enough that there really is no lower ability limit to joining the WASZP class and coming to events - the class will always, always cater for everybody and sailors are guaranteed to have a great time!

A massive thanks goes to Rutland Sailing Club and Rooster for their continued support of the UK WASZP class. These people are doing great things for UK sailing! The 2023 calendar will be announced very shortly as we look forward to more fun foiling next season!

Overall Results:

PosDivisionSail NoBoatHelmR1R2R3Pts
1Youth7SerenaRoss Banham1214
2Apprentice2515 Will Crocker26210
3Junior2301DorrisEve Kennedy101314
4Youth3154Aussie RulesArthur Fry37616
5Junior2976PamelaLewis Clark44816
6Apprentice2789BarbarosaAndrew Bridgman73717
7Master2794AliceSteven Forteith512522
8Youth1WinnieAlice Senior910423
9Master3236 Peter Deming119929
10Youth2799 Tom Pollard15111036
11Junior2698 Tom Williamson1781641
12Apprentice2511Stinging BelleMartin Evans8231243
13Master2375Blue BuoyChristian Smart13191345
14Youth2517Sendy Wendy IIBen Harris14161848
15Super Master2616Fast & FuriousIain Fergusn18171449
16Super Master2050FireflySteve Tylecote19141750
17Junior2704 Ross Ferguson16132251
18Apprentice3002IndefatigableSven Gauter (Germany)125UFD52
19Master2 Duncan Hepplewhite26181155
20Junior2305The Blue RocketRory Dixon615UFD56
21Super Master2610SplatAdam Raeburn‑James22221559
22Junior2927 James Clarke20212061
23Super Master3119Bruiser CruiserBruce Allan25201964
24Apprentice3235TraceyJoe Bird27242172
25Apprentice2156 Ben Miller23252472
26Apprentice2409 Pier Hugh Smith24262373
27Apprentice3AlfiePhilip Bendon21272775
28Apprentice2522 Chris Keatley28282581
29Master3244 David Annan29292684
30Super Master2074KappellskarRob Thomas31302889
31Super Master2905#neeinvitePhil Ewart30312990
32Junior (6.9 rig)3237 Lewis Agate32323094
33Junior (6.9 rig)3073 Jack WooltertonDNCDNCDNC105
34Super Master2928MarmiteDaniel Goodman (New Zealand)DNCDNCDNC105

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