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Unicorn Nationals at Stone Sailing Club

by John Wade 13 Aug 2008 11:14 BST 4-8 August 2008

A fleet of ten Unicorns met for their Nationals as part of the superb Stone SC Regatta. Conditions during the week varied from a stormy F6 to barely a breath.

Race 1; F4~5; Dorks crept up on port and got off in the lead followed by Taylor and Toft. At the windward mark, Piper had hit the front followed by Wood, Dorks, Toft and Taylor. Piper took the win from Toft and Dorks.

Race 2; F5~6+; At the 10 minute gun 28 knot winds forced the entire fleet to hove to with 5 boats trapped on the course side of the start line. Piper powered off the start and held a commanding lead to the finish. He was followed by Taylor and Wade.

Race 3; F3~4; Weed proved to be the biggest problem in the starting area, stalling the boats out within seconds of clearing the foils. So it was a tricky start but Piper made it first to the windward mark followed by Wade and Dorks. Dorks passed Wade on the downwind reach and the order stayed that way to the finish.

Race 4; F4; Dorks led the fleet off the line followed by Toft, Taylor and Piper. On the downwind leg, Piper and Taylor forged ahead to create a 100m gap. Piper’s starboard rudder snapped on lap 1 but he continued to lead to the finish followed by Taylor. Race 5;F0~F2 Half of the fleet started on starboard, but Dorks got a flyer on port. However, Toft was first to the windward mark with Wade right on his tail. The wind died on lap 3 and the fleet bunched up. When the wind eventually filled Toft took the win followed by Piper and Dorks.

Race 6; F2; Half the fleet started on port but Wade crossed ahead on starboard and was first to the windward mark. Wade went inshore to avoid the tide and was followed by the fleet but Piper staying out in the tide got better wind taking the lead by the wing mark. On the 3rd lap, Wade was passed by Dorks and Toft.

Race 7; F4~5; The start was led by Piper followed by Dorks, Wade and Toft. Wade was right on Dorks transoms and had to take avoiding action at the leeward mark when Dorks gybe went out of control. The order stayed Piper, Dorks, Wade to the finish.

Race 8 – Friday 8 August, F5~6+; Wade led off the start line and was 1st to the windward mark but almost nose dived while Taylor made a perfect rounding and got ahead. The three screamed down towards the leeward mark, Taylor and Wade taking a good lead over Toft. It was then a second lap of thrills and spills but Wade could not make any impression of Taylor’s lead which he held to the finish with Toft 3rd.

Congratulations to Gary Piper on his 9th National Championship title, a truly dominant performance with six 1st places in a wide variety of sailing conditions.

Overall Results:

1st Gary Piper (Stokes Bay SC)
2nd Bob Dorks (Stone SC)
3rd Peter Toft (Stone SC)
4th Richard Taylor (Stokes Bay SC)
5th John Wade (Weston SC)
6th Julius Mach (Weston SC)
7th David Wood (Stone SC)
8th Geoff Moss (Stone SC)
9th Paul Conway (Stone SC)
10th David Taylor (Stone SC)

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