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Harken Solution National Championships at Tynemouth Sailing Club

by Sam Davy on 22 Jul 2014 19-20 July 2014
Solution National Championships 2014 © Timothy Olin

9 solutions made their way to Tynemouth Sailing Club to join the 4 local boats for the 2014 Harken Solution National Championship. 8 boats took part in some sneaky race training given by Nathan Batchelor on Friday 18 July in some great conditions and gave those on shore some entertainment watching pond sailors fail to deal with the surf on their way back ashore leading to a few capsized boats.

Saturday started with a trip to the Ovington Boats factory to see how the great boats are made. The weather was not playing and a thick sea fog meant that racing was kept to inside the harbour. After a wait for shipping traffic to pass out the way, racing got underway with a strong current going out of the harbour and 5 knots of wind. A triangle course was laid and local sailor Ian Martin was first to the top mark with Sam Davy close on his heels and Nathan Batchelor following.

A long leg against the tide across the harbour was hard going and by the time they all got to the 2nd mark, Nathan had taken the lead with Ian in 2nd and Sam in 3rd after they went a bit too close to the harbour wall and got caught in the wind shadow. The top 3 held these positions until the end. The rest of the fleet had a good old merry-go-round of positions with everyone getting the hang of the challenging conditions.

Martin Tubb's capsize and swim at the bottom mark provided the best entertainment of the race. As the boats approach the finish, the wind dropped right off and with another ship due in, it was decided to call it a day and hope for better sailing on Sunday. A better forecast and the chance to be out at a sea had a big appeal.

Saturday night's entertainment was provided by local sailor Karl Milford and his band.

As Sunday dawned, the weather was clear with 6 knots of breeze allowing the racing to take place in the North Bay outside the harbour. Nathan took the lead at the first mark. Ian and Sam battled down the 2nd leg with Ian pushing Sam out at the 2nd mark to round ahead and again those positions stayed the same to the end.

In the 3rd race, Ian was too keen at the start and was called back. Niall Graham rounded the first mark in the lead, and he and Nathan battled all the way round. Nathan pipped Niall at the line to take all 3 race wins. Sam came in 3rd after a little cool-down swim on the run.

Thanks must go to Harken as their generous sponsorship meant that there were prizes for everyone in the fleet. Thanks are also owed to Tynemouth SC and the race team for putting on a great event and managing to get in 3 races in difficult conditions, to Ovington Boats for opening up the factory for Saturday's tour and to Karl Milford for getting off the water and straight behind the microphone to keep us entertained all evening.

More photos from Tim Olin

Overall Results:
If you finished in the top ten at the Solution nationals then fill in your Gear Guide information here

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3Pts
1st454Nathan BatchelorTSC‑1112
2nd422Ian MartinSouth Shields SC22‑44
3rd415Sam DavyHykeham SC‑3336
4th410Nial GrahamSouth Shields SC6‑1128
5th446Matrin TubbLeigh and Lowton SC‑74610
6th451Paul HargreavesBurwain SC46‑710
7th449Karl MilfordSouth Shields SC55‑810
8th436Peter FiskLlandudno SC‑88513
9th435Kathryn HayfieldDelph SC97(DNC)16
10th437Mark CrowtherRedditch SC‑119918
11th455Kevin ClarkDelph SC1010(DNC)20
12th424Julian HinesNetley SC12(DNC)DNC26
13th448Arthur ThaineHickling Broad SC(DNF)DNCDNC28

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