Mar 06 2003

2003 Sandhopper Nationals

Published by at 15:05 under Sandhopper Nationals

In glorious sunshine and with moderate wind and wave a good turnout of 20 Sandhoppers graced the startline for the Sandhopper National Championships held at Thorpe Bay yacht Club over the weekend of 31st May-1st June.

Sandhoppers are the shoal draft derivative of the National Squib keelboat and recognisable on the water by blue sails .The class has seen great enthusiasm since forming a National Association a few years ago, and Parker Boats have been busy building new Sandhoppers that are competitive ‘straight out of the box’.

Saturdays first race began with a freshening Easterly sea breeze, favouring the left hand side of the course and making the pin end of the start a popular place to be .Peter Thompson, Steve and David Hopper in ‘Squiffy’ and Chris and Ken Clarke in ‘Sandstorm’ made good starts from this end, leading the fleet round the windward mark to the finish in front of 3rd place Brian and Jonathan Wells in ‘Bluejacket’. Race 2 was a textbook repeat performance for ‘Squiffy’ and ‘Sandstorm’ with Phil Crawford and Matt Rainbow in ‘Pray’ a close 3rd.

Sundays racing was delayed for an hour, just long enough for a gentle sea breeze to fill in, and Saturday nights hangovers to disperse .Once again ‘Squiffy’ tore up the beat,’Sandstorm’ close behind, both losing out however, when on the final beat ‘Bluejacket’ tacked out to sea and came from 5th to take the lead at the finish.

Race 4 saw a general recall in strong ebb and fading wind, but eventually a notable start from Mark Dell and Toby Speller in ‘Speedy’ saw them first at the windward mark, however ‘Bluejacket’ and ‘Pray’ squeezed through on the reach to take 1st and 2nd with Brian Whistler, Sally Ellingford and Richard Gaylor in ‘Spindrifter’ enjoying their weekends best result in 3rd on a shortened course.

Final results 1st ‘Squiffy’ Peter Thompson ,Steve and David Hopper ,2nd ‘Bluejacket’ Brian and Jonathan Wells ,3rd ‘Sandstorm’ Chris and Ken Clarke ,4th Pray Phil Crawford and Matt Rainbow ,5th ‘Emma’ Tom Dayes and Andy Lomas .

Notable performances came from 49er sailors Mark Dell and Toby Speller in ‘Speedy’ 6th ,old hands from Maylandsea ,Bill Wright and Paul Gray in ‘True Blue’7th ,excellent three person teamwork by Brian Whistler ,Sally Ellingford and Richard Gaylor in Spindrifter 8th ,nice to see Phantom National Champion Alan Burrell with Margeret Kennedy in ‘Sandwitch’ 9th ,new owner and 1st outing Paul Clarke and Nic Barnes in ‘Sandspirit’ 10th ,consistency afloat and behind the bar from Chris and John Richards in ‘Sandfly’11th .

Overall Results:

Pos Boat Type Sail No Boat Name Helm Crew Club Pts
1st Sandhopper 41 Squiffy Peter Thompson Steve & David Hopper TBYC 4
2nd Sandhopper 154 BlueJacket Brian Wells John Wells TBYC 5
3rd Sandhopper 12 Sandstorm Chris Clarke Ken Clarke TBYC 7
4th Sandhopper 17 Pray Phil Crawford Matt Rainbow TBYC 11
5th Sandhopper 15 Emma Tom Dayes Andy Lomas MBYC 12
6th Sandhopper 153 Speedy Mark Dell Toby Speller TBYC 15
7th Sandhopper 10 True Blue Bill Wright Paul Gray MBYC 17
8th Sandhopper 38 Spindrifter Brian Whistler Sally Ellingford/Richard Gaylor TBYC 20
9th Sandhopper 37 Sandwitch Alan Burrell Margeret Kennedy TBYC 20
10th Sandhopper 152 Sand Spirit Paul Clarke Nic Barnes TBYC 26

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