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National 18 75th Anniversary Championships at Hayling Island Sailing Club

by Jeremy Vines 2 Aug 2013 23:05 BST 21-26 July 2013
Das Aquaholics (347) and Howling Gael (339) were never far apart during the National 18 75th Anniversary Championship © Malcolm Butler

National 18s from England, Ireland and Scotland gathered at Hayling this year for the annual championships, almost in sight of Cowes where Uffa Fox drew the lines of the first hull in 1938.

This Championships comes to England once in four years. This time, it was HISC that provided wonderful facilities ashore and expert race management afloat while a 3 clubs committee of members of the Blackwater, Bosham and Tamesis Clubs provided the flavour of the class and organised a social programme. Bosham SC also helped with rescue cover. In intervening years the championships are in Cork, Findhorn and the Isle of Man.

The 30 boat entry was divided almost equally between the modern Ultimates and the Classic fleets, starting five minutes apart. The latter consisted mainly of wooden boats with hulls lovingly restored and modern rigs with a performance that was not far short of the modern boats. They came from Tamesis and Cork, but mainly from Bosham where there is enormous enthusiasm for classic boats. All have a story to tell and the oldest, No15 Tinkerbell was built in 1938 and performs as well as any.

Also sailing with the Classics were Chichester Harbour 18s which have a similar performance. A practice race on Sunday was followed by ten races back-to-back over the next five days, and all in Hayling Bay. Winds were variously light, moderate and fresh and mainly from the South, and there was plenty of sunshine. Courses set by Race Officer Mark Wood were excellent, black flags were few and there was the sleigh ride over the ebb and the harbour bar to enjoy at the end the day. In other words, it could not have been more perfect sailing conditions.

In the Ultimate fleet, though close among the top eight boats with five different race winners, a battle royal developed between Das Aquaholics from Ireland and Howling Gael from Scotland. Equal on points at the start of the final race, the former had a bullet and was therefore the winner. The latter was runner up.

In the Classic fleet, Toucou from Bosham was the early leader, but it was Nimrod from Ireland that took over and became unbeatable, finishing with the perfect score after discards.

The social side to any championships is very important. Right from arrival when people renewed friendship in the dinghy park to Wednesday's Class dinner, to Tommie Dwyer's rendering of Paddy M'Ginty's Goat late on Friday night, all was a great success.

Overall Results:

1st Das Aquaholics (Tom Dyer, Peter Hassett, Willie Healy) Royal Cork YC
2nd Howling Gael (Stuart & Richard Urquhart, Ross Young) Royal Findhorn YC
3rd Happy Days (Colin Barry, Andrew Moynihan, Peter Stokes) Monkstown Bay SC
4th Muc D'hoo (Mark Dicker, Kim Waterford, Duncan Hare) Blackwater SC
5th Jaffica (Martin Cruden, Ali Davis, Phil Hemiston) Royal Findhorn YC
6th Fat Girl Racer (Jessica & Hugo Berney, Gregor Davidson) Blackwater SC

1st Nimrod (Colman Garvey, Roy Derrer, Brian Heneghan) Royal Cork YC
2nd Theorette (Tom Reis, Mimie Curry, Nick Phillips) Bosham SC
3rd Tinkerbell (Richard Stirrup, Jono Prosser, Dave Hall) Bosham SC

Other Categories

Pen Ultimates without trapeze
1st White Tiger (Jeremy & Max Vines, Matthew Peretti) Tamesis

Chi Harbour 18s
1st Seafire (David Edmund Jones, Andrew Young, Kit Chapple) Bosham SC