Mar 03 2009

2009 Sandhopper Nationals

Published by at 14:18 under Sandhopper Nationals

Sandhopper National Champions 2009

Champagne sailing conditions supplied the backdrop for the 2009 Sandhopper Nationals at TBYC. Glorious sunshine with 20mph westerly breeze was the order of the weekend.

29 boats entered the event, which was spread over 4 races with an upwind downwind course.
The first start was extremely exciting with 27 boats storming into the pin end on starboard with seconds to go and one brave soul attempting a port hand flyer!

With a few raised voices and a few 720s later the race was underway; many battles ensued throughout the fleet with Satisfaction 158 (Crawford/Kennedy) taking the first bullet of the day followed by Sand Star 159 (Thompson/Hopper) in second and Squiffy 41 (Binnendijk/ Saunders) in third.

Sandstorm 12 (Clarke/Barnes) missed the first two races due to rig failure 2 minutes before the start, this racing duo were with the hot favorites to win the title as they did in 2007, a massive disappointment for them especially as Chris Clarke had spent weeks preparing his boat just for this championship, however tireless work over night saw them compete on the Sunday.

Race two again was very close with Sandstar 159 taking the bullet, Squiffy 41 in second and new boy to the fleet Scruffy 11 ( junior Binnendijk and paul Dell) taking third.

Overnight positions were:

Sandstar, Squiffy, Scruffy, Blue Jacket, Satisfaction, On-the-hop, Windrush, Nemesis, Apollo, Talitrus, Pearl, Zeus,
Littlewing, Spyder, Krystal, Prey, Phoenix, Spindrifter, Speedy, Sundancer, Seajay, Sandpiper, Sandfly,
Flying Tortoise, April Fool, Sandspirit, Sea Phantom, Cracker, Sandstorm DNS.

Thorpe Bay Yacht Club hosted the Saturday night sailing supper, 88 sailors enjoyed great food and superb banter, a few crews tried to sabotage other helms with drinking games but most managed to swerve this like a port hand flyer!

Sunday’s first race witnessed the first general recall as competitors were desperately vying for the best start, with nerves calmed the second start was clear and battles ensued.

Sandstorm 12 took the bullet and proved their status as worthy championship contenders followed very closely by Sand star 159 in 2nd and Apollo 156 in third.

Apollo again was one of the favourites but had a 13th and 4th on the Saturday, to be in the chocolates they needed good results on the Sunday, an overnight phone call to Martins sailing guru (AKA Paul Spratt) in Tenerife obviously worked and I’m sure he will be buying him beers for the rest of the season.

This result confirmed Sandstar 159 as the 2009 National champions as the instruction allowed for one discard. With big smiley faces Peter Thompson and Steve Hopper relaxed and readied themselves for the last race.

Race 4 saw some extreme wind shifts with a building swell Apollo 156 popped out a mile ahead around the windward mark with Phoenix 18 (padbury/spratt) close on their heels, many places changed around the course with Apollo 156 taking the bullet, sandstorm 12 were 2nd with Phoenix 18 in third place.

The final results were first place and National champions for 2009 Sand Star 159 Peter Thompson and Steve Hopper. Second place was Apollo 156 Martin Eyre and Alan Burrell. Third place Squiffy 41 Martin Binnendijk and Gordon Saunders.

The winners chose a brand new Hyde Genoa for their prize, we then held the draw for the new Hyde spinnaker, you had to compete in all the races to enter which was the whole 29, Charlie from Hydes was the man with his hand deep in the tin and pulled windrush 39 as the very lucky and extremely happy recipient .

The points pairing winners were Apollo 156 and Sundancer 27 with the runners up being Zeus14 and Phoenix 18 who also walked away with Hyde goodies.

Many thanks to all of those who made the event so spectacular especially Lisa Farrall for organizing the evening supper, Jo and her team from Affordable Caterers for the fantastic weekend food. Tony Clarke and crew for his support boat cover, Geoff Appleton and Anne McKinley for officiating the races.

A final big thank you to Hyde sails for sponsoring the main prizes.

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