Mar 06 2004

2004 Sandhopper Nationals

Published by at 15:04 under Sandhopper Nationals

This year’s championship event with five races over three days attracted 16 boats. The light winds proving quite a challenge for Race Officer Geoff Appleton.

Race 1 on Saturday with very light winds saw MBSC’s S40 sailed by Frank and Doreen Levy make a good start leading for some considerable time but were ultimately overhauled by last years TBYC Champions in S41 sailed by Peter Thompson with Steve and David Hopper followed by TBYC’s S156, one of the new Parker boats, sailed by Ken Herve with Gordon and Laura Sanders. These two boats, after a mud scraping dual, were the only finishers as the dying wind left the rest of the fleet drifting out of time.

The Sunday forecast was for 5 mph winds however it generally stood up to a force 2-3 allowing both races to be completed. Race 2 start from the Clubhouse with the SW wind favouring spinnaker work to Mundon buoy. The leading boats allowed too much for the tide allowing several followers to make up places. However Herve and Thompson kept the lead finishing first and second followed by Peter Smith and Brian Wells (S154) and with Dave Johnson and Darrel Williams (S150) fourth.

Race 3 was a river start from the “Stansgate” mark, but the beat planned was reduced to a fetch as the wind shifted NW and started to drop. This put those who had taken the longer route further inshore ahead at the first mark. With the falling wind the course was shortened and once again Herve and Thompson lead followed by Johnson and Levy.

Monday’s forecast promised more wind with plenty of rain, the morning looked calm but the forecast would prove accurate. With Herve on 4 points, Thompson on 5 and four races to count all could be settled on Race 4. The Clubhouse start saw three boats over the line with S40 failing to realise their mistake. Smith and S34 helmed by Roger Lambourn with Mike Stokes got a good start. The finish, in freshening winds and rain, gave victory to Smith with Thompson, Lambourn and Herve following.

One point separated Herve and Thompson so all was still to play for in Race 5. The start was at “Doctor” in deteriorating conditions giving a beat across the river to “Coopers”. An incident here had S10 gracefully retiring. The leaders Herve, Thompson and Primett were well on the way home at 4 buoy when a heavy squall hit the fleet, with increasing ferocity towards the back enders, laying them well over. S28 failed to respond quickly enough and was overwhelmed. The rest of the fleet recovered making the best of the squall with a fast reach to the finish with Herve followed by Primett ,Thompson and Smith making Herve and crew the 2004 National Champions.

Thanks to Maylandsea bay Sailing Club for hosting the event, Geoff Appleton for good racing, the competitors and the safety boat crews for the recovery of S28.

Overall Results:

Pos Sail No Boat Name Helm Crew Club Pts
1st 156 Apollo Ken Herve Gordon & Laura Sanders TBYC 5
2nd 41 Squiffy Peter Thompson Steve & david Hopper TBYC 7
3rd 154 Blue Jacket Peter Smith Brian Wells TBYC 14
4th 29 Wild Gull John Primett Kevin Whittle MBSC 20
5th 150 Little Wing David Johnson Darrel Williams TBYC 24
6th 34 Jubilee Roger Lambourne Mike Stokes MBSC 26
7th 15 Emma Tom Dayes Paul Ballard MBSC 33
8th 155 Freshsanda Peter Freshwater Vanessa Freshwater MBSC 35
9th 40 Whisperer Frank Levy Doreen Levey MBSC 36
10th 10 True Blue Bill Wright Barbara Wright MBSC 44

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