Photo © Fleetwood Model Yacht Club
The 2012 UK Marblehead Nationals will be held at Fleetwood MY&PBC on the weekend 23rd & 24th of June.
With this year's World Championships to be held in Ploermel, France this coming October, the first since the 2006 UK Fleetwood Worlds, the International Marblehead class has seen a stunning resurgence across the globe with prominent skippers from the IOM and other classes looking to step up to some high speed racing. Sporting up to 6 rigs with trends of profiled rotating masts, unstayed carbon rigs, pocket luff mainsails, pre-preg carbon hulls and fins with a wide scope for design freedom, the Marblehead class exhibits all things cutting edge in radio sailing design at 1290mm in overall length.
This year's Nationals sees an entry list of 31 that reads like a who's who of the UK's best Radio sailing skippers sailing a variety of top class designs that makes any kind of form guide difficult to formulate. Added to this we have a contingent of International skippers representing GER, FRA, ARG and the USA looking to surprise the locals.
The event website and full list of entries can be found here.
Try picking a winner from this lot:
Martin Roberts – Birkenhead
Current Marblehead World Champion, past IOM World and Euro Champion looking to once again stamp his mark on this class at the scene of his 2006 victory. Will be sailing the same Creed Starkers design as 2006 with updated rigs and foils.
Peter Stollery - Guildford
Current Marblehead National Champion, World and National IOM class Champion. Will be sailing a newer variation of the Crazy Tube design with updated swing rigs.
Graham Bantock - Chelmsford
Multiple World, Euro and National Champion in every International Radio sailing class. Missed the 2006 Worlds and will be looking for a strong lead in event to this years Worlds. Will be sailing his own current Prime Number design.
Martin Crysell - Guildford
Currently the number one ranked skipper in the UK and looking to justify his top position. Will be sailing his immaculately prepared Bantock ROK design.
Brad Gibson - Birkenhead
Past IOM World and National Champion looking to upset the top seeds by improving on his fifth place at the 2006 Worlds. Will be sailing a new boat based on his winning BritPOP IOM design.
Robert Walsh - Fleetwood
Past National Champion and World class IOM skipper who knows the lake like the back of his hand. If this local lad gets his eye in, he is very tough to get past. Another Creed Starkers with updated rigs.
Jon Elmaleh – New York USA
European Champion.., Jon makes his class return after a long absence with a new own design. Responsible for the RC Laser design and production, it is great to see Jon once again so entusiastic about Marbleheads. Look for him to feature if winds are light!
John Tushingham - Keigley
Top European Micro Magic and National IOM class skipper who will be right amongst the top placings with a borrowed Creed Starkers.
Derek Priestly - Fleetwood
Past International A Class World Champion who has litterally grown up on Fleetwood lake. Will push hard to upset some of the more fancied rivals in his borrowed Starkers, all whilst overseeing a fantastic Hotpot dinner and quiz in the clubhouse over the Saturday evening.
Darin Ballington – Manor Park
Hi recent 4th placing in a 73 boat UK IOM Nationals leaves Darin as a skipper to keep an eye out for. His first event in the Marblehead class but he will not be afraid to take a few big name scalps in his borrowed Starkers.
Roger Stollery - Guildford
Long time designer and sucessful skipper, Roger will be sailing the other new Crazy Tube design at the event. Watch him go if the wind goes light!
John Taylor - Fleetwood
Another local with a new own design named Pixel looking for a solid result.
The young PUPS
Josh King - Windrush
Another Marblehead first timer with a borrowed Bantock Paradox design who will take little time announcing his arrival in the class.
Agustin Moreno - ARG
Under the guidance of Graham Bantock, Agustin is quickly moving up the Marblehead ranks. Will be sailing a new Prime Number with swing rigs and looking to lay a platform for solid future results.
Add to this mix a few International unknowns and some local skippers looking to make the top 10 and we get an idea of why this will be of the most eagerly watched UK Marblehead Nationals in recent times.
Racing will start from 10am each day so why not come along and take a look!