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Vortex Northern Championship at Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club

by Jim Trice 2 Aug 2015 08:39 BST 18-19 July 2015
Vortex Northern Championship at Yorkshire Dales © Paul Hargreaves Photography

Day 1 dawned and it was pretty darned windy! A steady-ish F6 with some gusts thrown in just for fun. RO Gareth Ede set a windward leeward course and several competitors elected to stay in the warm clubhouse to watch those daft enough to venture out. Ian Craven led round the first mark from Jonathan Lister, until wrapping his kite around everything and having to spend the whole leg trying to sort it, allowing Jonathan to squeeze through to leeward.

Jonathan led for a couple of laps and stamped his authority by pulling out a comfortable lead, but then complacency struck as he bore away at the windward mark and executed a "perfect pitch pole" according to the spectators. Ian took advantage to reclaim the lead, whilst Jonathan righted and continued in second place until the last downward leg where he yet again hoisted the kite to try and catch Ian - all went well until the drop when the halyard tangled and the inevitable happened, letting Andrew Straton and Jonathan Carter through. Angus Winchester kept hooking into a great lift as he rounded the leeward mark, threatening to cross the fleet, but it never quite happened.

Race 2 saw a few less boats on the start line, with Andrew Straton blasting out underneath Ian Craven off the line. Ian and Jonathan were in hot pursuit and managed to catch Andrew at the by windward mark and rounding neck and neck together. With the spinnakers now an unused fashion accessory in the building wind Jonathan claimed the lead for a lap or two but then put the bow in a wave letting Ian past. With wind up a notch or two Ian, Jonathan and Andrew were all blasting down the lake waiting for a lull in the wind to make the gybe. The lull never came and the sailors had no choice but to gybe. Jonathan and Andrew emerged unscathed but Ian was trialling the anti foiling method as the bows went down and the resultant pitch pole was caught on camera. Ian's luck held though and the boat somehow remained upright which allowed the Yorkshire Dales sailors to claim 1,2,3. As the breeze picked up Mick Collins almost ran out of water waiting for a suitable opportunity to harden up at the leeward mark.

After a shore break for a cuppa, all decided to call it a day, visit the local caves and wait for Sunday with a more benign forecast.

Sunday dawned even windier, RO Gareth Ede laid a course and manned the committee boat - several brave souls hoisted sails and tried to stop the boats bouncing off their trolleys, but as the hardy souls were about to launch it got even windier and a group decision emerged to hold off until the wind abated. The F7 continued to blow and with racing subsequently abandoned Ian Craven emerged as a worthy winner and a delighted Andrew Straton claiming second.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmR1R2Pts
11160Ian Craven112
22017Andrew Straton235
31164Jonathan Lister426
42014Jonathan Carter347
51181Angus WinchesterDNF514
61117Mike Collins5DNF14
71090Michael DoddsDNCDNC18
72016Ed CorteenDNCDNC18