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Selden 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Warsash Sailing Club Dinghy Championship

by Richard Jarman 15 May 22:19 PDT 11 May 2024
Warsash Sailing Club Dinghy Championship © Chris Hughes

The Warsash Sailing Club Dinghy Championship was held on Sat 11th May. As the day of the Championship approached, it dawned on the organising committee (notably the Race Officer, Dinghy Chairman, Rear Commodore Sailing and this author) that perhaps the marketing of the event had got a little out of hand when nearly 80 boats had signed up to participate. Was it the lure of 4 races or the post racing Greek Street Food van? I guess we'll never know!

In most classes this would be a good turn out for a Nationals and perhaps only the Optimist or Topper fleet could expect more boats for an Open meeting. For Warsash Sailing Club, this "members only" event simply demonstrates what a thriving club we have. Friendly, fun, world class sailing on the edge of the Solent with a brand new extension ready to welcome thirsty and hungry sailors once back on shore. Our junior and youth programme is thriving with over 180 sailors involved in 2024.

Some statistics... we had entries that covered the spectrum of speed from Optimists to a 49er. We had sailors that ranged in age from 5 years old to our very own Finn Super Legend. We had sailors with the full range of experience from World Champions & Olympic medalists to those just starting racing. 13 Finns joined in for their pre-Masters Worlds tune up, 9 RS400s entered for pre-Euros preparation and 6 RS Fevas enrolled for a pre-Nationals speed test.

Our race officer, Peter Knight, did a stunning job of running 4 races for 5 classes in 3.5 hours, in an area constrained by tide and the main Southampton shipping channel. Electing to run average laps around a quadrilateral course, the fleets were (mostly) well behaved with clean starts and only a few OCS each race. The notable exception was the Finn fleet first start, where some overenthusiastic starting resulted in a general recall.

After all that, some racing was held in glamorous conditions of bright sunshine and 8 to 10 knots of breeze. Your author had his head down lifting marks, so did not really observe any of the tactical brilliance, amazing boat handling or outstanding boat speed that he heard about it in the bar afterwards! He did see some big smiles and plenty of action at mark roundings.

Results wise, it was clear that some boats enjoyed the congestion and close racing more than others. In the fast fleet, it was an RS400 1,2,3 with Ian Walker and Anna Warren in first place, from 2nd placed Alex Horlock sailing with his dad, and third placed David Swift and Rob Burgess. The Finn fleet was won by Nick Craig from Tim Carver and John Heyes, whilst in the medium fleet, Tim Norris in his RS Aero7 won from Ian Dawson and Adrian Williams in Hadron H2s in 2nd and 3rd respectively. In the Slow fleet, James Moreland sailing with son Milo (our youngest competitor) in a YW Dayboat won from a clutch of keen youth sailors, with Alfie N in an ILCA 6 in 2nd and Ethan R with Josh B in an RS Feva in 3rd. In the Junior fleet, Sam W won in his Optimist from Max E in a RS Tera Sport. Special mention must go to Emily S in her RS Tera Pro, who sailed the entire last lap of the course after the finish signal was raised, whilst the rest of the fleet made a beeline for the shore.

The prize-giving was held in the garden of Shore House in the blazing sunshine and thanks to both North Sails and Baltic for the selection of goodies handed out to the prize winners. Such an event cannot operate without a big team of volunteers, and our thanks go to all the race committee, rib drivers & crews, bar volunteers, results processor and trophy cleaner!

In case you're worried I've already booked the same weather for 2025!

Full results can be found here.

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