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Tasar Nationals at Penzance Sailing Club

by Robert 19 Aug 2004 22:33 BST 8-13 August 2004
Tasar Nationals at Penzance (8th to 13th August 2004)

Steve and Tom Birbeck from Babbacombe showed the strength and depth of their quality in winning races on all five days of the Tasar Nationals – and all extremes of sailing conditions.

Penzance SC provided an excellent Nationals – managing two very different fleets (Ospreys too), confined launching and recovery and some marginally sailable racing conditions.

An excellent turnout of 35 Tasars made this event the most popular in 10 years (excluding Worlds years), with fleets travelling from Holland, Babbacombe, Whitstable, Llangorse, Queen Mary and many others.

Following a short practise round, Race 1 was sailed in a lighter-side of Force 3 and the Birbecks confirmed the top position already claimed in the preparatory race. In this race, Tim and Mayumi Knight from Lymington claimed their best result followed by David Morgan and Alex Pickett from Llangorse, and Neil Spacagne and Anne Panther from Babbacombe.

Day 2 provided what most saw as ideal Tasar sailing conditions of consistent force 4 and a relatively flat surface. Rien Zilvold and Julie Nuttall from Whitstable clocked-in a strong 2nd in Race 2, followed by Spacagne and Panther and Chris Brealy and Jack Kilburn from Whitstable.

Race 3 saw the re-emergence of hardy perennials. Behind the ever-leading Birbecks, Constantine Udo and Jan Slotemaker from Oostvoorne crossed the line second, followed by Steve Mitchell (welcomed back to the fleet) and his new crew, Laura Mitchell.

Morgan and Pickett produced two top-3 results in the 4th and 5th to set them in the running, and Dan Spratling and Helen Standen from Whitstable scored a 4th to reserve their space in the top 10. The 4th day provided some taxingly heavy sea conditions and in the 6th Udo and Slotemaker came home first, beating the omnipotent Birbecks and forcing them to accept an almost humiliating 2nd for a discard! Morgan and Pickett crossed third, followed by Mitchell and Mitchell in 4th. The Birbecks returned to top form in the 7th – with added emphasis as Charlotte Birbeck and her helm, Peter Ellis took 2nd place followed by Spacagne and Panther and Robert Dangerfield and Claire Ellis from Llangorse.

Day 5 – race 8 saw conditions that would have been unsailable before recent World Council rule changes and many opted to say on terra firma, including the leaders who did not need the result. However with 2nd, 3rd and many top-10 positions hotly contested 14 boats took to the water and looked anxiously as the waves crashed alarmingly on the lee shore of St Michael’s Mount.

Morgan and Pickett led the diminishing fleet with apparent comfort in the slamming wave-crests and scooting valleys and finished first, followed by Spratling and Standen, Zilvold and Nuttall, Ellis and Birbeck and Spacagne and Panther.

Overall Results:

1. Steve and Tom Birbeck, Babbacombe
2. Neil Spacagna and Anne Panther, Babbacombe
3. David Morgan and Alex Pickett, Llangorse
4. Rien Zilvold and Julie Nuttall, Whitstable
5. Pete Ellis and Charlotte Birbeck, Babbacombe
6. Constantine Udo and Jan Slotemaker, Oostvorne
7. Steve Mitchell and Laura Mitchell, Porthpean
8. Dan Spratling and Helen Standen, Whitstable
9. Tim and Mayumi Knight
10. Ian and Yvonne Parrott, Whitstable

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