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Tasar South West Area Championships at Porthpean Sailing Club

by Lionel Rigby 16 Jul 2012 15:06 BST 14-15 July 2012
Tasar SW Area Championship at Porthpean © Chris Bilkey

Porthpean SC was once again hosts to the Tasar SW Area Championships. The competition was quite fierce with the current National Champions battling it out with 2 other former National Champions. A 6 race series was sailed over the weekend of July 14th & 15th. Porthpean will be the host Club for the 2012 Tasar Nationals at the end of August and it was an ideal time & opportunity for the Race Officer, Ron Barrett & Safety boat coordinator Nigel Dowrick to hone their skills.

The conditions were almost ideal, with a moderate north westerly breeze blowing out from the shore, which gave ideal launching conditions from the sandy beach and flat water out as far as the horizon. The Race Officer took us well over 2 miles offshore, which made shore watching just about impossible as the modern mylar sails just blend into the background. Saturdays racing was set over a "p" shaped course with the intention of giving the Tasars some very tight reaching angles. Both races were dominated by Jeremy & Suzanne Hawkins, whilst Lionel Rigby with Ken Fobbester and Steve Mitchell with Polly Newman took a 2nd and 3rd each. Competition further back was well fought with John & Jackie Lawton proving to be the fastest of the visitors in the first race and Guy & Jan Hester in the 2nd race.

Sunday brought 2 more visiting boats including John & Susan Tripp who had made the long trip down from Scotland to holiday in Cornwall as well as sail in our event. The other visitor was ex National Champion Malcolm Davies, crewed by Sam Richardson.

Sunday dawned almost cloudless, the breeze was still an offshore westerly, which gave us a very flat sea. It was such a shock to see so much sun after what seems like a lifetime of cloud and rain and it was so nice to be able to walk around in Tee shirt & shorts in quite pleasant temperatures. This was more like the July weather that we had been expecting. What's more the sun decided to shine all day which meant us sailors covering up in sun screen, whilst the beach was filling up with holiday makers. Yes it is also the start of the main holiday period.

The format for Sundays racing was to be 4 races sailed over an Olympic type course. The sailing area was moved closer to the shore to allow us less distance to have to cover to get back for the lunch break, but it still meant a sail of almost 2 miles to reach the starting area. The reaches were stretched out a bit and gave some fantastic planes where some vital overtaking took place. The offshore breeze had moved up a notch or two. The nearby weather station at Polruan showed the breeze to be hovering around the 20 knots, occasionally moving up to 25, which was enough wind strength to test the stamina and strength of competitors and boats alike. Needless to say there were several capsizes, retirements and breakages. Those who survived any carnage were treated to some hard but rewarding sailing. The beats gave enough shifts for large gains and losses to be made as could often be seen at the end of the various beats.

The first of the Sunday races was taken by Jeremy & Suzanne, giving them a grip on the title, but with Malcolm & Sam finishing 2nd still left them in with a chance, especially when they took the 2nd race and were leading in the 3rd. That's when fellow Club mate Steve Mitchell & Polly Newman played a blinder, starting the 2nd beat in 3rd place, they found a mega lift on the beat to take them into a commanding lead. Their down wind speed was immense and they held a good lead to the end. This meant that the Hawkins lead could not be bettered, so they sailed the last race in a more relaxed mode and took another win, with Malcolm and Sam taking 2nd to give them 2nd place overall.

It was well after 6.00pm before the prize giving took place after a tea of scones & jam. I for one felt well & truly shattered and no doubt many of the others felt similar. I can assure anyone who hasn't had the pleasure of sailing a Tasar before to jump at the opportunity of a sail if offered. You will be well rewarded by the performance and comfort of one of Mr Bethwaite's finest designs.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
12833Jeremy HawkinsSuzanne HawkinsPorthpean111-2-314
22628Malcolm DaviesSam RichardsonTeign Corinthian Y.C.(DNC)(DNC)21227
3274Steve MitchellPolly NewmanPorthpean-32(DNF)3139
42576Lionel RigbyKen FobbesterPorthpean233-4-4412
52305Paddy SeylerSteve CoelloPorthpean445-65-618
62835Denis BrayBrian PhillipsPorthpean-97456-922
72507Tim MartinOwen MartinBabbacombe Corinthian767-10-8525
82640John LawtonJackie LawtonBabbacombe Corinthian5867(DNF)(DNS)26
92832Chris HazelJohn MarkPorthpean6-9-997729
101184John TrippSue Tripp (DNC)(DNC)889833
112645Guy HesterJan HesterBabbacombe Corinthian85(DNF)(DNS)DNSDNS37