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Ocean Safety 2021 - LEADERBOARD

Javelin Nationals at Southwold Sailing Club

by Jeremy Taylor 27 Aug 2003 17:18 BST
Action from the Javelin Nationals at Southwold Sailing Club © Jeremy Taylor

The August Bank holiday weekend was the busiest of the year for the members of Southwold Sailing Club as they hosted the Javelin Nationals, together with their own August Bank Holiday Regatta.

The first competitors began to arrive on Friday evening and set-up camp in the field behind the clubhouse, the first entertainment of the weekend came as they were woken by cows that had strayed into the campsite overnight!

Racing began on Saturday afternoon with two back-to-back races scheduled. The course was set off the Town and the first fleet away was the Javelins. The race set the scene for the weekend, as local crew Mike Pickles and Richard Fisher showed the fleet the way round, followed by Brian and David Earl in 2nd and Richard Smith and Ed Dyson 3rd. These three would continue to battle for the national title over the remainder of the weekend.

The club handicap fleet started 5 minutes later and quickly became a battle of the Laser 4000’s, Cath Fox and Charlie Brown led at the windward mark but were passed by Dave Houghton/John Symonds and Mike Brown/Dirk Bougard. Mark Nowell and Rupert Taylor came through the fleet to take line honours, but on corrected time the race was won by Houghton/Symonds, with Brown/Bougard 2nd and Geoff Brown and Johan Ribenfors continuing their recent good form to take 3rd.

The course was adjusted for the start of the second race as the wind swung further to the east and dropped in strength. The Javelins again got away to a clean start and this time it was the Earls who led from the start to win from Brian Dixon/Katherine Partington-Smith 2nd and Katrin Deinhart/Olav Schlister 3rd. This meant the Earls were the early event leaders ahead of Pickles/Fisher and Smith/Dyson.

The club handicap fleet race almost mirrored the first, with Houghton/Symonds and Brown/Bougard battling it out for 1st place, but this time Brown/Bougard got the upper hand with Houghton/Symonds 2nd, and Brown/Ribenfors having a consistent day with another 3rd. In the slow handicap fleet Ian Whitehead got a jump on his rivals with two 1st places.

A lively Saturday night followed with a BBQ at the club and the short walk to the campsite ensuring the bar did a roaring trade.

The competitors awoke on Sunday morning to a North Easterly force 3-4 wind and sunshine to give near perfect sailing conditions for the three back-to-back races. Due to the wind against tide situation the course was this time set in Walberswick Bay. Once again the Javelins got away first and the Earls began to stamp their authority on the event with another first place, they were followed by Smith/Dyson 2nd and Pickles/Fisher 3rd.

The club fleet was up on numbers from the previous day with Tom Seppings taking to the water in his shiny new carbon-masted Contender, Barry Hursell’s Albacore making its annual outing and other crew changes in evidence as a few rattles were seen flying across the dinghy park.

Houghton/Symonds won the race, ahead of Brown/Ribenfors’ Buzz with Tom Seppings 3rd in his Contender. In the slow handicap fleet Dirk Bougard won by a big margin from Richards Pither/Woods in their Wayfarer and BarryHursell/Karen Simms in their Albacore.

By the start of the next race the wind had increased further and a number of capsizes kept the rescue crews busy. The conditions were perfect for the Javelins and the Earls won again. The race for second place was extremely tight with Pickles/Fisher crossing the line 1 second ahead of Smith/Dyson.

In the club fleet there was another laser 4000 battle at the front between Houghton/Symonds and Richard Seppings/Adam Wright. This was won by Seppings/Wright in the second close finish of the day. Cath Fox, now being crewed by Dirk Bougard who had moved to his 3rd different boat of the weekend, took 3rd. In the slow handicap fleet Pither/Woods beat Hursell/Simms.

The tough conditions were taking their toll and by the start of the third race of the day there were some very tired crews, with a few deciding to head back to the harbour.

In the Javelins, Pickles/Fisher won their 2nd race of the weekend, ahead of the Earls, with Smith/Dyson 3rd. This meant the Earls led the Championship by 2 points from Pickles/Fisher, with Smith/Dyson a further 4 points behind.

The club handicap fleet saw yet another 4000 match race with Houghton/Symonds this time getting the better of Seppings/Wright. Behind them Brown/Ribenfors sailed another great race to take another 3rd place.

The crews returned to the clubhouse for the highlight of the weekends social programme, the Hog Roast, this was attended by over 150 people.

The wind continued to increase through the night and the forecast from the coastguard was less than promising with the North Easterly wind set to increase to Force 5-6 and swing further to the East. Due to the ebb tide and the sea the conditions in the harbour entrance racing was postponed and subsequently abandoned for the day.

This left the results from the previous day to stand and the Earl brothers added to their European title won at Filey a few weeks previously to become 2003 Javelin National Champions.

In the club fleets Houghton/Symonds won the fast handicap fleet ahead of Brown/Ribenfors and Fox/Brown. Ian Whithead won the slow handicap fleet, with Hursell/Simms 2nd and Pither/Woods 3rd.

Despite the loss of a days’ racing the event was a great success with 5 good races on excellent courses sailed in perfect conditions. The competitors enjoyed themselves and 3 javelins are set to return to the club next season.

At the prize giving, club commodore Greg Brown presented the prizes and thanked the members for their hard work over the weekend both on and off the water and the Javelins for attending. Javelin Class Secretary Gavin Johnson thanked the club for organising the event and the winning helm Brian Earl praised the race committee for the quality of the courses and start-lines.

Overall Results: (Javelin Nationals)

PosHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1Brian EarlDavid EarlChichester YC211125
2Mike PicklesRichard FisherBuckenham SC163217
3Richard SmithEd DysonGlossop3423311
4Brian DixonKathryn Partington-SmithGlossop4245414
5Roger BeavisDanny GrimmondBlakeney9864523
6Ian WinterburnJo AllenGlossop6576623
7Nick FaulknerJohn MeacherG&GSC12757726
8Katrin DeinhardtOlav SchluterDWSC5311111029
9Ben FisherIan WilliamsBuckenham SC8998934
10Phil RobinsonChris DaviesCarsington101189835
11R DaltonMike RobinsonCarsington7101313RTD43
12Steve LeighPedro WhiteG&GSCDNC1214101147
13Chris ToothillSarah ToothillBuckenham SC111312121247
14Sarah FreeNick JonsonHarwich Town SCDNCDNC10141358

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