Harken National Solo Inland Championships at Rutland Sailing Club
by Will Loy, National Solo Class Editor on 9 Sep 2013
7-8 September 2013
As in previous years, the N.S.C.A held a training day on the Friday that preceded the main event and 34 association members were coached on and off the water by the team of class trainers. The N.S.C.A training scheme has been run very successfully for over ten years and gives the chance for the top Solo helms to pass on their knowledge to the newer members. Training days are run up and down the country and are free to association members.
The Main Event
A fantastic entry of 96 Solos' made the trip for the 6 race series set in the beautiful surroundings of Rutland Water. PRO Ralph Tingle led the briefing and Bill Brockenbank explained how he would be policing the fleet on the water from his jury boat. The fleet obviously paid attention to both as black flags and rule 42 infringements were few. The forecast was for 10-16knots dropping later and this was proved accurate, the sunshine was a bonus and the temperature was a very pleasant 18 degrees.
The committee boat looked favoured but a shift just before the start favoured those at the pin with Kevan Gibb 5399 and Paul Heath in the front row. At the top mark Kevan rounded first.
Kevan Gibb; "I started at the pin and held out to the left, tacked on the header and crossed the fleet. I rounded first with a couple of guys close behind."
The leaders were able to soak low down the reaches while the remainder of the fleet tussled for pressure. There was a large right hand shift up the second beat which favoured the chasing pack as they were on the inside of the lift. Anyone who had gone left early found themselves eating headers to get back to the middle of the course.
Kevan was already far enough up the beat to not be affected and held the lead down the run to the finish. Paul Heath and Paul Rayson took second and third respectively with a fast finishing Andy Tunnicliffe in fourth.
Kevan; "I held the lead down the reaches and went left up the second beat, tacking on the shifts and maintained until the finish. It is always tight racing in the Solo Class and great fun."
There was a lengthy delay before race 2 as the PRO hoped the wind direction would settle.
The pin end was favoured and the majority of the fleet wanted to start there so the result was a recall. I was especially pleased as I had started at the committee boat and the vision of the fleet crossing on port was like walking to your car and finding a parking ticket under your wiper.
The fleet finally got away and those who were able to tack onto port at the pin were away. I was pinned out to the left and despite pointing out very delicately that we would be reaching into the top mark, could not persuade my tormentor to tack until way too late. The leaders had worked back to the middle of the course and were able to play the shifts. Ross Harvey won the race.
Ross; "I started very near the pin, there was a pretty big left shift just before the start so I was able to tack onto it quite early after the start, just after a few other guys so rounded fourth."
Chris Brown in the new John Poulson/P+ B Solo led from Dave Winder and Micheal Sims and extended on the downwind legs but was very unlucky to find himself on the outside of another right hand lift up the second beat.
Ross; "I went further right than the leaders on the second circuit and hooked into a big right hand lift, taking the lead by the top mark. The chasing group made ground on me down the run as the wind filled in from behind but I was able to hold to the finish."
How do you find sailing the Solo downwind in these conditions?
Ross; "It is quite difficult racing these legs in non planing conditions as the boats behind can try and get above you so I try to sink low and encourage them not to go too high, at least that way we do not ruin both our races."
So Ross won race 2 from Micheal Sims and Dave Winder with Stuart Bush fourth.
The wind had dropped but was holding at 6-8 knots. The direction had changed and the race course was tracked round to the right accordingly. The fleet started fairly evenly and those at the committee boat end initially looked favoured but as the wind went left the pin end starters seemed to have the advantage. The wind continued to track left and now they were overstanding.
Paul Rayson; "I started in the middle of the line, the fleet split left and right but I played the shifts up the middle and rounded first from Dave Winder. The racing at the front was very tight but I was able to hold the lead down the reaches. Up the final beat I was able to maintain a comfortable lead but behind there was some significant place changing as the wind dropped and filled in from the right."
Andy Tunnicliffe had started at the committee boat end and after one circuit he was in the twenties. He worked his way through the fleet and went hard right up the last beat, hooking into pressure and finishing fourth behind Paul, Dave Winder and Chris Mayhew in the wooden Poulson Solo.
So Andy Tunnicliffe would be the over night leader and would wear the event leader yellow jersey on day 2. The forecast was for lighter winds so the fleet retired to their accommodation, tents and cars with nervous anticipation and the taste of beer lingering in their mouths.
What was the secret yesterday Andy?
Andy; "Keeping clear air off the startline was key, not doing anything too stupid and not losing your head when things go wrong! Staying calm and focused. The wind was oscillating so not committing too early to one side of the course was important. I tended to stay near the middle of the line until a minute or two before the start to gauge which shift would be the right one to be on at the gun. Today I will just be looking at the bigger picture, not getting too involved with my nearest rivals and tacking on the shifts!"
The sun was shining and the wind was around 8 knots. There was a delay of nearly an hour as the wind settled. Eventually the fleet were away with Michael Sims stamping his intent with the bullet.
Michael; "With two minutes to go before the start there was a big right hand shift making the committee boat end favoured. I had planned to start at the pin so tried to get as far back down the line as possible. I made a good start and played the right of the course to round first. I was able to sail my own race on the downwinds and lose covered the fleet upwind and took the win."
Stuart Gibson, one of the Scottish contingent this weekend finished second with Jon Jowett a very creditable third. Nigel Davies and Brenda Hoult completed the top five and overnight leader Andy Tunnicliffe was seventh. Ross Harvey had a bad race and would need to come out all guns blazing to re-ignite his chances.
There was drama as the black flag was wielded, some numbers were taken and dreams crushed for another year. Brenda Hoult, Stuart Bush, Paul Rayson and Andy Tunnicliffe among the fallen. At the top mark it was Ross Harvey, making amends for the folly of race 4 from Chris Mayhew who was showing good form in the wooden Solo. Michael Sims rounded third.
Michael; "I rounded behind Ross and Chris and was able to get through into second by the bottom of the triangle. I lost ground on the next upwind when caught on the wrong side of a left hand shift at the top of the beat. I maintained fourth to the finish."
So Ross Harvey took the race win from Chris Brown and Chris Mayhew with Micheal Sims fourth and now leading overall.
The wind continued to deviate in strength and direction and when the deadline time limit of 2.25pm was reached, racing was abandoned.
Michael Sims had defended his title he won in 2012 from Ross Harvey who is a very welcome addition to the National Solo fleet and Andy Tunnicliffe who continues to make the podium, third. Chris Brown is back in the hunt for titles and his fourth overall a good platform for 2014. Paul Rayson showed he is a big fleet player in fifth and Chris Mayhew has come of age with sixth overall.
Michael thanked Rutland Water S.C. for the professional running of the event, especially the PRO who provided fair race course management in very tricky conditions.
Thanks to Bill Brockenbank for his expertise and guidance as jury boat, to Harken for their generous sponsorship and to Noble Marine who support the N.S.C.A. A special thank you to all the association members who attended this event, big fleets, fair racing and friendly people.
|1st||5302||Michael Sims||Carsington SC||7||2||‑8||1||4||14|
|3rd||5340||Andy Tunnicliffe||Royal Windermere YC||4||7||4||7||(BFD)||22|
|4th||5464||Chris Brown||Draycote Water SC||8||9||12||‑40||2||31|
|5th||5181||Paul Rayson||Fishers Green/Salcombe YC||3||22||1||10||(BFD)||36|
|6th||4921||Chris Mayhew||Royal Harwich YC||16||19||3||‑21||3||41|
|8th||5362||Chris Goldhawk||Chew Valley||11||13||13||6||(BFD)||43|
|9th||5225||Steve Ede||Ardleigh SC||14||‑26||9||9||12||44|
|10th||5446||Ian Pinnell||Northampton SC||‑44||8||14||17||8||47|
|11th||5465||David Winder||Hollingworth Lake SC||36||3||2||‑37||9||50|
|12th||5157||Stuart Gibson||CC Bardowie||20||16||‑29||2||18||56|
|13th||5312||Paul Heath||Police Sailing UK||2||17||20||23||‑33||62|
|14th||5388||John Blundell||Staunton Harold SC||15||‑28||27||14||6||62|
|15th||5399||Kevan Gibb||Largo Bay SC||1||5||41||‑42||16||63|
|16th||4803||Godfrey Clark||Fishers Green SC||‑47||23||15||8||19||65|
|17th||5191||Stuart Bush||Shustoke SC||23||4||23||16||(BFD)||66|
|18th||4991||Stuart Hydon||Shustoke SC||32||11||18||‑41||5||66|
|19th||5130||Mark Lee||Weymouth SC||‑31||24||22||13||7||66|
|20th||5421||Nigel Pybus||Draycote Water SC||25||18||‑44||15||10||68|
|21st||5326||Nigel Davies||Draycote Water SC||22||‑39||19||4||26||71|
|22nd||5280||Vince Horey||King George SC||19||12||21||25||(BFD)||77|
|23rd||5386||Stephen Graham||Burwain SC||35||6||10||28||(BFD)||79|
|24th||5126||Vanda Jowett||Littleton SC||42||14||(DNC)||12||13||81|
|25th||5398||Andrew Fox||Leigh & Lowton||24||20||‑40||11||28||83|
|26th||5339||Simon Maskell||Hunts SC||30||10||32||‑34||22||94|
|27th||5321||John Webster||Carsington SC||6||30||36||‑44||24||96|
|28th||5263||Steve Denison||Hollingworth Lake SC||‑40||35||7||38||17||97|
|29th||5134||Robert Laurie||Tollesbury SC||13||‑49||30||20||34||97|
|30th||5067||Bernard Clark||Ripon SC||‑50||27||26||19||27||99|
|31st||5026||Jason Aldous||Papercourt SC||29||‑40||16||35||29||109|
|32nd||5115||Andrew Boyce||Papercourt SC||‑53||34||28||45||20||127|
|34th||5377||Stephen Waite||Highcliffe SC||49||‑60||46||18||23||136|
|35th||5147||Richard Ball||Chipstead SC||‑51||21||48||27||42||138|
|37th||4589||Ian Ayres||Rollesby Broad||‑56||29||33||43||38||143|
|38th||5205||Tim Davison||Draycote Water SC||39||33||42||29||(BFD)||143|
|39th||5102||Jon Jowett||Littleton SC||46||56||(DNC)||3||39||144|
|40th||5158||James Mead||Fishers Green SC||17||54||‑55||32||41||144|
|41st||5373||Phil Sturmer||Royal Burnham YC||‑84||41||34||33||36||144|
|42nd||5226||Keith Smith||King George SC||45||50||‑63||36||14||145|
|43rd||4832||Hamish Whyte||Forfar SC||34||‑52||35||51||30||150|
|44th||5098||Phil Kilburn||Notts County SC||73||32||‑79||26||21||152|
|45th||5037||Alistair Raynard||Carsington SC||41||48||‑50||50||15||154|
|46th||5320||David Walford||Broadwater SC||27||45||38||55||(DNC)||165|
|47th||4768||Jon Cawthorne||Shustoke SC||‑52||47||39||46||45||177|
|48th||4903||Bill Knights||Grafham Water SC||‑76||51||24||48||55||178|
|49th||5159||Chris Biglin||Shustoke SC||26||31||25||(DNC)||DNC||179|
|50th||5408||Kevin Vials||Ripon SC||43||62||‑75||31||47||183|
|51st||4267||Iain Carpenter||Northampton SC||70||‑71||17||54||49||190|
|52nd||5310||John Olson||Aberdeen & Stonehaven SC||12||‑81||51||76||53||192|
|53rd||5449||Chris Robinson||Hollingworth Lake SC||54||77||‑81||30||32||193|
|54th||5413||Ian Smith||Ripon SC||60||64||31||39||(BFD)||194|
|55th||5104||Bob Taylor||Tata SC||38||55||5||(DNF)||DNC||195|
|56th||5237||Derek Jackman||Chichester YC||59||38||‑69||52||50||199|
|57th||5070||Ian Firth||Notts County SC||10||44||53||(DNC)||DNC||204|
|58th||4810||Andrew Smith||Draycote Water SC||33||‑85||70||65||37||205|
|59th||5352||Mike Wilkie||Littleton SC||‑68||43||37||66||63||209|
|60th||5012||Claire Clark||Fishers Green SC||‑69||66||43||57||46||212|
|61st||5078||Malcolm Buchanan||Dell Quay||57||46||‑64||47||62||212|
|62nd||4186||Kevin Hopkins||Midland SC||‑67||57||56||49||52||214|
|63rd||5027||Ken Twemlow||Notts County SC||48||25||45||(DNC)||DNC||215|
|64th||4598||Adam Scase||Shustoke SC||‑89||61||58||59||43||221|
|65th||5273||Tim Wade||Spinnaker SC||21||(BFD)||62||BFD||44||224|
|66th||4384||Paul Williams||Spinnaker SC||62||53||49||60||(DNF)||224|
|67th||4400||Jonathan Moon||Spinnaker SC||66||‑82||57||62||40||225|
|68th||4741||Steve Jones||Wraysbury Lake SC||61||‑67||60||64||48||233|
|69th||5243||Richard Christmas||Hunts SC||‑74||74||72||53||35||234|
|70th||5204||Brenda Hoult||Hill Head SC||58||78||(DNC)||5||BFD||238|
|71st||5138||Patrick Overs||Paxton Lakes SC||55||68||47||‑74||70||240|
|72nd||4857||Charles Stimpson||Spinnaker SC||63||59||54||‑69||69||245|
|73rd||4548||Clive Gimson||Notts County SC||65||‑75||59||67||54||245|
|74th||5230||Mick Healy||Chipstead SC||75||‑76||68||56||56||255|
|75th||4504||Hywel Morris||Spinnaker SC||‑82||65||74||58||58||255|
|78th||3977||Dave Rudman||Chipstead SC||‑85||73||67||68||64||272|
|79th||3931||Brian Fisher||Notts County SC||72||‑91||71||72||59||274|
|80th||5151||Andy HAGUE||Ripon SC||79||‑86||77||70||51||277|
|81st||4888||Colin Mather||Ripon SC||71||80||‑87||61||75||287|
|82nd||5279||Mark Dunne||Hunts SC||‑83||83||66||75||65||289|
|83rd||3618||Bill Ridlington||Rutland SC||80||72||‑85||81||57||290|
|84th||4551||Bill Hutchings||Tonbridge SC||81||‑90||65||78||66||290|
|85th||2845||Nick Robinson||Spinnaker SC||‑92||70||82||79||68||299|
|86th||4177||Gareth Jones||Brading Haven||77||‑84||80||77||67||301|
|87th||3859||Shaun Welsh||Spinnaker SC||87||69||‑89||73||72||301|
|88th||3061||Rob Trend||Chipstead SC||86||‑88||88||71||61||306|
|89th||5152||Andrew Thompson||Chipstead SC||(DNF)||42||78||DNC||DNC||314|
|90th||5448||Robert Cartwright||Blithfield SC||64||79||84||(DNF)||DNC||324|
|91st||3398||Stephen Whiteside||Hunts SC||‑88||87||86||80||74||327|
|92nd||4660||Keith Turtle||Chipstead SC||90||‑92||83||82||73||328|
|93rd||5002||Graham Tarran||Chipstead SC||93||89||76||(DNC)||71||329|
|94th||2507||Will Yallop||Rutland Watersports||‑94||94||91||83||76||344|
|95th||3786||Les Brown||Chipstead SC||91||93||90||84||(DNF)||358|
|96th||4616||Peter Fryer||Littleton SC||(DNC)||DNC||DNC||DNC||DNC||388|