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Squib National Championship at Holyhead Sailing Club - Preview

by Vincent Delany on 11 Jun 17-23 June 2017
A perfect week for the 40th Anniversary Squib nationals © www.tuckettphoto.com

Holyhead Sailing Club are the Welsh club hosting this year's premier event for the National Squibs from Britain and Europe, from 17th – 23rd June 2017. The Championships has not been held at Holyhead since 2004, and, to date, there are 43 entries, with more boats still expected to arrive. The majority of Squib keelboats entered come from Wales, with ten from South Caernarvonshire Y. C. and nine from the home club. From outside Brexitland, Periquin and Allegro will be representing the European Union.

This is the first championship, since the RYA authorised the Rondar 19 to compete at National Squib Class events. Both competitors, and Squib owners around the country, will be very interested to see how the two Rondar built, self draining, sandwich foam constructed boats perform. Tony Gibson and Eric Lee's No. 900 'Top Dog' and Andrew Moore and Peter Hallinan's no. 905 'TBC' are the two new boats to watch.

This season Malcolm Hutchings and Andy Ramsey in No. 819 'Lady Penelope' showed great form by winning the Squib Gold Cup at the RCYC Burnham over the May Bank Holiday. Last year's Championship winners were Nigel and Jack Grogan. Unfortunately, the RYA have ruled their boat No. 881 'reHydrated' out of class, by virtue of its forward buoyancy bulkhead, so Nigel and Jack will be sailing No. 105 'Helmut Schoing II' which is just as fast. In 2004, the Holyhead championships were won by Chris and Mark Hogan's No. 136 'Ric O'Shea', who still hold the record for more championship wins in 'Ric O'Shea' than anybody else. Unfortunately, Chris passed away, within the past 12 months, so the boat will be sailed by Josh Metcalf crewed by the formidable Mark Hogan- another great pairing.

It would appear that the British public are permitted to vote one week before each of the Squib Championships. Last year, as a result of the voting, the Irish entries were required to apply the letters EU to their sails to distinguish them from the Brexiteers. This year, the outcome of the election has created a special place for Northern Ireland. According to the grapevine, Simon Watson and Brian Kelly's 'Volante' from Killyleagh S.C. in Northern Ireland will be receiving special treatment in this year's Championship. Perhaps they will be permitted to start each race one minute before the rest!

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