Mar 06 2012

2012 Sandhopper Nationals

Published by at 09:08 under Sandhopper Nationals


Light airs met a fleet of 26 Sandhoppers for the 2012 National Championships, held this year at Thorpe Bay Yacht Club’s excellent Thames Estuary location. The gentle breeze played its part on day one, race one, with Paul Spratt and son Bruce, in ‘Apollo,’ pulling out a bullet to start the series. Previous National Champion Peter Thompson and his crew Paul Dell in ‘Pray’ collected a second and first place to lead the pack over night. Their boat was a competitor for Scrap Heap Challenge, having recently been salvaged, had there been stiffer breeze things would have been different but it did show that when things are calm the cream really does float to the top. As usual, in the Sandhopper fleet, the competition was as keenly fought further down the fleet with the race officer Colin Goodman deciding to call it a day at two races, hoping for a fresher breeze for day two, there was much to discuss in the protest room and the Bar over night.

Day two, race three, saw a little more breeze and on the building tide the introduction of the dreaded black flag. New entry to the fleet, Alan Burrell (of Finn Masters fame) and Paul Beasley sailing ‘Scruffy’ showing that the key to results is clean air, brought by just a little practice in sailing large fleets. ‘Apollo’ delivered a consistent second with Robin and Jane Foster-Taylor in Tripod third. Race four completed the series and was won in fine form by last years National Champions, Chris Clarke and Ollie Herve ‘Sandstorm’. Team Spratt, won bragging rights for at least 12 month by being crowned National Champions for 2012 with 5 points. Peter Thompson second with 7 points and Chris Clark third with 9. There were no less than four different winners in four races which is a testament to the Class and the level playing field that has been developed over the years.

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