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Solo class Vintage Championships and open meeting at Leigh-on-Sea Sailing Club

by Colin Walker 12 Jun 06:32 PDT 8-9 June 2024
4040 leading the fleet home - Solo class Vintage Championships at Leigh-on-Sea © Dave Smith

NSCA Solo Class Vintage Championships - 8th June 2024

Well well well, it doesn't seem like a year has gone by since the last Vintage Solo Championships at the Leigh-on-Sea Sailing Club was held, but it is. Again, the club welcomed all visiting vintage Soloists on a fortunate sunny but breezy day.

The event on behalf of the NSCA with support from Rooster Sailing is a testament to the quality, robustness and the character of the older solos and there were many of the old boats builders represented throughout the ageing fleet, such as Goslings, Threshers, Seven Marines, Don Marines and Holts and more!

A late high tide meant that a late breakfast was on offer and a chance for everyone of the 21 entries, to chat about their boats. A briefing by the PRO Steve Corbet of the day explained the trapezoidal style course and a 3 minute count down to the start of the three races for the Championship.

A committee boat start was in order and with a strong westerly tide against a moderate west wind, everyone was keen to get going. A clean start and the fleet split into two, one heading for the better tide the other heading to the right.

A wind shift favoured the right hand side so it was LSC Commodore Rob Tothill (3958) to lead at the windward mark, leading from Doug Rivers (3961). Closely followed by Alan Roberts (3121) and Cass Monk (3983) from the seaward side. The rest all followed tightly behind. Tothill, Rivers and Roberts all held their places to the shortened course finish but there were many changes within the following fleet.

With a short turn round for race 2 saw many boats suffering from the gusty conditions which was a shame for them after just one race. However, the remaining fleet set off cleanly again and it was past champion Jonny Wells (3994) showing the way around the first windward mark. Many suffered again from the constantly shifting and increasing wind and it was past champion Dave Goudie (4040) who followed Wells and by with the rest of the closely knitted fleet of old boats.

At the finish of again a shorten course the fleet were led home by Wells and Goudie and Nick Hann (3875) in third place. There was no clear winner at this point of the championship as seemly everyone has had at least one bad race.

By the time of the third and final race was scheduled the tide had changed, the wind had swung and increased. The fleet were now down to 15 boats. This time Goudie took the lead, with the course favouring the left hand side this time. The top six boats jostled all the way to the finish but it was Goudie who increased his lead and led the diminished fleet home first and to win his second title. Past Solo class committee man Mike Barnes sailed a stormer for second place followed by Matt Tothill (3987) and Wells (4th).

All returned back to the shore with the sun shining, a hot shower and the clubs usual hospitality.

The prize-giving supported by the NSCA and Rooster Sailing was presented by Russel Trudgett, the Solo Class Captain and the LSC Commodore Robin Tothill.

The Oldest boat and furthest travelled prize went to Martin Hampshire (1435), a 1971 GRP Slater Marine boat from Lilliput Sailing Club, Poole.

First LSC boat went to Rob Tothill (3958).

1st place was Dave Goudie (4040), Grafham Water SC, 3 points, and the NSCA Vintage Championship Trophy for 2024.

After the prizes were presented Dave Goudie thanked Russel and Robin and all of the LSC for all the hard work which goes into an event.

So another Vintage Championships completed in which saw many of the old boats from all different builders represented and performing to their limits.

Long live the Solo Class.

Solo open meeting - 9th June 2024

Following on from the previous days Solo Vintage Championships a fleet of much newer boats were welcomed to add to the clubs' vintage fleet of older Solos. The weather was as the Saturday, sunny with a few clouds but coming from a slightly more northerly direction and coming from over the land making it shiftier than yesterday.

An even later high tide meant there was plenty of time to rig and tune the boats before a early afternoon start for the 14 entries.

A briefing held by Steve Corbet, the PRO of the day explained the trapezoidal style course and the 3 minute count down for the three race event.

Much like yesterdays racing the fleet got away from a committee boat start line cleanly. A heavily biased port end favoured those on that side of the course and it was Vince Horey (6080) showing the fleet around the windward mark first with local visitor Jonny Wells (5597) second and Tim Lewis (6010) third. The newer boats sped away with the fleet closely behind.

The shifty offshore wind made for many position changes in the race and the course was shortened to two laps. However, it was Horey, Wells and Lewis who held on to finish in that order. Jarvis Simpson (6016) made it up to fourth place.

A quick turnaround as many are accustomed to at Leigh and race 2 was cleanly started similarly to race 1. A shortish beat to the windward mark was again led by Horey followed by Simpson and then Wells.

Race 2 was very much similar with that of race 1 and many position changes throughout the race with the wind gusting and changing direction which caught a few out. Another shortened course prevailed and it was Horey, Simpson and Wells holding their positions from the first windward mark. Mike Barnes (3847) got the shifts correctly and came in 4th.

By the time of the third and final race started the wind had easing and the tide changed direction holding back the fleet from the line. Another clean start and although Horey had won both the previous races, he was as keen as ever. After a few close calls Horey just got around the windward first again followed by Lewis and Barnes. Old boats can complete against the newer models it would seem.

The fleet spread out over the full three lap course with such close racing behind the leaders. It was a glorious end to the meeting for the minor places. Horey won the race with Lewis 2nd, Barnes 3rd, Wells 4th and Simpson 5th.

The tired fleet returned to the shore where a BBQ awaited and a prompt prize-giving. The prize-giving supported by Rooster Sailing was presented by Russel Trudgett, the LSC Solo Class Captain and the LSC Commodore Robin Tothill.

First LSC boat went to Matt Tothill (3987), 6th place, 12 points . 1st place Vince Horey (6080), King George SC, 2 points, and the Mighty Oak Brewery Trophy for 2024.

After the prizes had been presented Vince thanked Russel and Robin and all of the LSC for all the hard work which goes into an event.

A thoroughly good event was closely fought for all the places. The importance of the first beat seemingly proving the theorists correct once again!

The club looks forward to next year's open meeting among the increasing number events for the Solo class in the area.

Vintage event results - Saturday:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3Pts
1st4040Dave GoudieGrafham Water SC‑11213
2nd3994Jonny WellsEssex YC‑8145
3rd3958Robin TothillLeigh on Sea SC14‑65
4th3847Mike BarnesRYA Lagos YC5‑827
5th3961Doug RiversLeigh on Sea SC25(DNF)7
6th3987Matt TothillLeigh on Sea SC‑6639
7th3875Nick HannLeigh on Sea SC73‑1210
8th3121Alan RobertsLeigh on Sea SC3(DNF)912
9th3909Richard KnightLeigh on Sea SC‑97512
10th3802David BraunLeigh on Sea SC‑149716
11th3886Russell TredgettLeigh on Sea SC‑1511819
12th3978Rodger SmithLeigh on Sea SC10‑131121
13th4023Colin WalkerLeigh on Sea SC1210‑1422
14th3552Phil DowsettLeigh on Sea SC‑16141024
15th3936Dave GentleLeigh on Sea SC‑13121325
16th3983Cass MonkEssex YC4(DNC)DNC26
17th1435Martin HampshireLilliput SC‑18151530
18th358Simon GroverEssex YC17(DNF)DNF39
19th3648Nick RangeLeigh on Sea SC(DNF)DNCDNC44
19th3923Richard BeechyLeigh on Sea SC(DNF)DNCDNC44
19th1403Mark WatsonEssex YC(DNF)DNCDNC44

Open event results - Sunday:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3Pts
1st6080Vince HoreyKing George SC‑1112
2nd6010Tim LewisDatchet SC3‑525
3rd5597Jonny WellsEssex YC23‑45
4th6016Jarvis SimpsonBrightlingsea SC42‑56
5th3847Mike BarnesRYA/ Royal Lagos‑9437
6th3987Mathew TothillLeigh on Sea SC66‑812
7th5249Nick PighillsFishers Green SC‑77613
8th3958Robin TothillLeigh on Sea SC59‑1314
9th3121Alan RobertsLeigh on Sea SC8‑11715
10th4023Colin WalkerLeigh on Sea SC‑1381018
11th3886Russell TredgettLeigh on Sea SC‑1110919
12th3936Dave GentleLeigh on Sea10‑121222
13th3552Phil DowsettLeigh on Sea SC12‑131123
14th3983Cass MonkEssex YC(DNC)DNCDNC30

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