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Leader Nationals at Felixstowe Ferry Sailing Club

by Jane Wharmby on 25 Jul 2007 21-22 July 2007

Felixstowe Ferry provided an exciting and challenging venue for this year’s Leader Class Association National Championships.

Saturday’s racing took place in Force 5-6 winds and a very steep chop - with at times breaking waves. After several capsizes and gear failures before the start, 4 of the boats retired to the safety of the shore, leaving 3 to compete in the first race. The Morris family started but retired due to seasickness before the windward mark, leaving Mike and Val Sherwen of Deben YC and Mike Fitzgerald and Tim Dormer of Dell Quay SC to battle against the conditions. The Race was won by Mike and Val who established a clear lead. The remaining races on Saturday were cancelled.

On Sunday conditions were much better, with a Force 3 building to a Force 4 and a much smoother sea state. Race 2 was won by Mike and Val Sherwen, who used their local knowledge to move well ahead up the first beat, a lead which they never lost. They were only threatened by the Wharmbys and Fitzgerald/Dormer who were gaining on each spinnaker reach. Roger Morse and Ashley Smith of Welwyn GC SC were never far behind, and the junior Fitzgeralds (Scott and Matt) fought a close battle with the Morris’s.

So the Sherwens started Race 3 in a strong position to take the Nationals trophy with two firsts already under their belts. But as the wind built during Races 3 and 4, the boats flying spinnakers were able to draw more and more advantage (as long as they could stay upright) and the Wharmbys won Races 3 and 4, followed closely by Fitzgerald and Dormer.

At the final reckoning only 2 points separated the first three boats... with the Wharmbys retaining their National Championship title, the Sherwens second and Fitzgerald and Dormer third.

Overall Results: (Click here to fill in Gear Guide information)

PosSail NoBoat NameHelmCrewClubPts
1st 1083 Birubi Chris Wharmby Jane Wharmby Milton Keynes SC 
2nd 26 Naiad Mike Sherwen Val Sherwen Deben YC 
3rd 555  Mike Fitzgerald Tim Dormer Dell Quay SC 
4th 118 Pickled Newt Roger Morse Ashley Smith Welwyn GC SC 13 
5th 331  Scott Fitzgerald Matt Fitzgerald Dell Quay SC 14 
6th 43 Kirstie Richard Morris Chrissie and Sally Morris Notts County SC 18 
7th 1230  Andy Hobson Michael Hobson Hickling Broad SC 27 

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