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Noble Enterprise Youth National Championship at Bristol Corinthian Yacht Club

by Emma Coleman 29 Sep 2017 11:34 BST 24 September 2017
Archie and Ollie Hawkins win the Noble Enterprise Youth Nationals © Carol Ford

This year's Noble Enterprise Youth Nationals was held at Bristol Corinthian Yacht Club on Sunday 24th of September. Following a brilliant day of coaching from Olympic coach Adam Bowers the previous day, the 8 youth teams were prepared for some hotly contested racing. The conditions were perfect for the event - a force 3 south-easterly breeze and a mild, mostly dry, cloudy day.

Race One started cleanly, Archie and Ollie Hawkins (Looe SC) led the fleet round the windward mark with Joe Jackman and Jack Sargent (Looe SC), and Molly Nixon and James Hobson (West Lancs YC/Beaver SC) following behind. Ben and Gabe Hill (West Lancs YC/Bolton SC) managed to pass all three boats on the second leg to briefly steal the lead. But Archie and Ollie regained their lead at the gybe mark, pushing Ben and Gabe into second. The second beat saw Archie and Ollie extend their lead, whilst Molly and James overtook Ben and Gabe. In the relatively consistent wind these positions were held to the finish.

Race Two was sailed back-to-back in slightly shiftier conditions. This time Molly and James rounded the first mark in the lead with Archie and Ollie in second place. Disaster struck for Molly and James as their rudder became stuck in some weed allowing Joe and Jack to squeeze past into the lead. The excitement was high as the entire youth fleet was bunched together and places changed frequently. The second beat was very shifty allowing for big gains and losses. Joe and Jack got the wrong side of a wind shift and dropped from first into fifth - being overtaken by Ben and Gabe, Archie and Ollie, Molly and James and Sarah and Victoria Gomm (Ogston SC). On the third beat Ben and Gabe made full use of the shifts up the middle of the course to take the lead. Sarah and Victoria sailed to the far right and came out smelling of roses in 3rd place. Ben and Gabe held their lead to the finish with the Hawkins brothers second and the Gomm sisters third.

After lunch the third race began after a slight change to the trapezoid course. The youth fleet all sailed well up the first beat and were very close together rounding the windward mark. On the third mark of the course Molly and James sneaked into the lead by gaining water at the mark on Ben and Gabe. However it was not to last long as Ben and Gabe then got room on Molly at the 4th mark of the course. The fleet was once again bunched together at the windward mark with Molly and James and Ben and Gabe slightly ahead of the rest of the boats. An altercation at the gybe mark between Joe and Jack, Archie and Ollie and Thomas Langan and Jacob Owen (Looe SC) allowed Sarah and Victoria to pull away into third place and Ella Mason and Emma Coleman (Midland SC) to pass the three Looe boats and take fourth. On the final lap Ben and Gabe held off Molly and James to the finish; whilst Archie and Ollie sailed hard to pass Ella and Emma and Sarah and Victoria, to take third place.

With Ben and Gabe on 4 points and Archie and Ollie on 5 - with discards yet to come into play, it was all still to play for in Race 4 and started on the same course as Race 3 though not as cleanly with one boat having to dip back behind the start line. Molly and James led at the windward mark and held on through a tense downwind leg in absolute silence! The wind dropped significantly throughout the race and the youths were quickly caught up by the adults sailing an open meeting three minutes behind the youths - who usually only overtook the back of the fleet. The light and shifty conditions sent the competitors all over the course on the beats making it often hard to judge who was in the lead. In the end it was Archie and Ollie who came out on top with Molly and James in second and Joe and Jack third.

This meant that Archie, the youngest helm in the fleet, and Ollie had won the Youth Nationals with only one point separating each of the top 3 places! Archie also won the trophy for 1st under 15. Molly won trophies for being 1st lady helm and 1st helm under 21. Ella and Emma won the trophy for 1st old boat. There were Rooster jib sheets awarded to the last finisher in each race and the Club Trophy went to the three boats from Looe SC. Every team was well rewarded with prizes and everyone left with a smile on their face. Archie Hawkins thanked the organisers of the championship and training day, in particular, Johnny Allen for overseeing the whole weekend and Steve Bolland as Race Officer. He added that he was looking forward to the next Enterprise Youth event.

Finally, huge thanks to the event's overall sponsor, Noble Marine, and also to Rooster and Allen for their contributions to the excellent prizes.

The next major event in the Enterprise calendar is the Norths / Peak Dinghy Winter Championship at Northampton SC on 11th/12th November, which is also the final event of the Enterprise National Circuit. This year the event will be shared with the Larks and Scorpions so a large turnout is expected and a Black Tie Supper is planned for the Saturday night. Online entry can be found on the Enterprise website,

Overall Results:

PosSail NoBoat NameHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1st23270IN AKA KITTYArchie HawkinsOllie HawkinsLooe SC12‑314
2nd22451 Ben HillGabe HillWest Lancs YC / Bolton SC311‑45
3rd22501BLUE JOBMolly NixonJames HobsonWest Lancs YC2‑5226
4th23123MICK 'E' FINNJoe JackmanJack SargentLooe SC44‑6311
5th22418LIMITED EDITIONSarah GommVictoria GommOgston SC‑734512
6th20361EISVOGELElla MasonEmma ColemanMidland SC6‑75617
7th22166CHURCHFIELDThomas LanganJacob OwenLooe SC56‑7718
8th22901HARRY'S GAMEHannah SpashFreya MasonMidland SC‑888824