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British Finn Association Northern Championship at West Riding Sailing Club

by Nina Ricks 19 May 23:52 PDT 13-14 May 2023

Three Champions still came out on top despite light winds at the British Finn Association Northern Championship at West Riding Sailing Club.

The weather forecast for the weekend seemed to put off several potential visitors and unfortunately proved to be over-optimistic in terms of wind strength. Despite this, three home boats and six visitors from as far afield as Scotland and the South Coast gathered at West Riding Sailing Club for the Finn Northern Championship. Saturday morning was cool and cloudy but there was evidence of breeze on the water.

Race Officer Tim Keighley and his team set a windward leeward course and the fleet made their way to the start line, just as the breeze began to disappear and swing from one side of the lake to the other. The decision was made to give it a go anyway.

In the first race, West Riding's Soeren Vonsild put his local knowledge to good use, using his own personal supply of wind to take the lead and pull away with and take the win, with the Hayling Island duo of Russ Ward and Ivan Burden coming in in second and third.

By the start of the second race, the wind had pretty much disappeared, only occasionally filling in from random parts of the lake, blowing in every direction. But as the fleet were out there and lunch wasn't yet ready, Tim sent them off again for another game of snakes and ladders.

Fergus Alan of Loch Earn Sailing Club showed patience and determination to build a healthy lead. David Kitchen of Port Edgar Yacht Club was however moving rapidly through the field. He dispatched Soeren at the end of the first lap by suggesting that he may like to do some penalty turns before reeling in, a becalmed Fergu,s to take the win.

The boats returned to shore, (very slowly) as the sun came out, making for a very pleasant lunch break on the club decking. After a couple of hours, it became apparent that the wind had gone for the day, racing was abandoned and the bar opened, with everyone enjoying a pleasant afternoon in the sunshine.

On the Sunday morning, the thick fog covering the lake didn't suggest much wind was on the way. The race team set a 12.00 deadline for starting the 3rd race, given the distances travelled by many of the competitors. The sun re-appeared but the deadline passed without a ripple appearing on the surface and the truncated event concluded.

Congratulations to Dave Kitchen for lifting the trophy with some great tactical decisions on the water to catch the shifts and puffs, second went to Ivan Burden, and third to Soeren Vonsild.

David thanked the club for the warm welcome and hospitality and assured them that he didn't hold them responsible for the lack of wind. Despite the lack of racing, it was still an enjoyable weekend, good atmosphere and craic for all who made the journey.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2Pts
1st51David KitchenPort Edgar YC415
2nd803Ivan BurdenHayling Island SC 246
3rd35Soeren VonslidWest Riding SC167
4th86Fergus AllanLoch Earn SC527
5th761Guy CokillWest Riding SC639
6th77Stewart MitchellSolway YC7512
7th4Russ WardHayling Island SC 3DNF13
8th555Neil WhittakerWest Riding SC8715
9th68John Mackie DNFDNS20

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