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Beneteau First 31.7 Nationals at Lymington Town Sailing Club

by Richard Phillips 29 Sep 2009 23:01 BST 25-27 September 2009

Lymington Town hosts first Nationals for the ‘First 31.7s’

A perfect summer weekend was the occasion for the first National Championship of the Beneteau First 31.7s, hosted by the Lymington Town Sailing Club.

Friday 25th, Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th September produced some of the best weather we have seen all summer, and, inevitably, the attendant light airs.

On Friday morning there was very little wind, but just before the Skippers Briefing at 1315 the breeze had swung to SW at Hurst and picked up to what became a fairly steady 10 to 11 knots.

Race Officer, Richard Phillips, started the first race on time at 1430, followed by a second before the breeze died away. Manaru took the lead in both races.

The sailors enjoyed a reception in the LTSC Club House followed by supper.

On Saturday a 1000 start to the racing was planned, but with even lighter conditions than the Friday, any racing at all seemed to be doubtful. With an initial two hour postponment, the crews sunbathed on the club balcony or their yachts, and waited patiently. By early afternoon, in about five knots of wind, the boats set off, and again managed to complete two races before the fickle breeze again died away. Kurketrreker won the first race of the day with Manaru winning the second.

On Saturday evening fifty sailors attended the Championship Dinner at the Lymington Town Sailing Club. The general consensus was that they had done very well to complete four races and had a very enjoyable evening!

Sunday dawned blue, sunny and warm - and almost a flat calm. However, the yachts managed to complete a fifth race which was won by Aviva in a dying breeze. This turned out to be the final race despite the best endeavours of the Race Committee on Club member Jim Sey’s Maxi 1100, Second Rebellion to find sufficient wind for a sixth race.

The racing throughout the Championship was close with many exciting moments on windward/leeward and round the cans courses.

The prizegiving ceremony took place in the Club, with trophies generously donated by INEOS and prizes by Harken, Force 4, Henri Lloyd and Saunders Sails.

The magnificent trophies from INEOS were presented to the National Champion, Tony Dickin (Manaru) and Stephen Parry (Kerketrekker) as best IRC boat (excluding the National champion).

The sailors declared that the weekend had been greatly enjoyed by all, and looked forward to visiting again next year.

Overall Results: (top 6, Fleet & IRC)

1st Manaru, 5pts
2nd Kurketrrekker, 7pts
3rd Aviva, 10pts
4th Gemstone, 15pts
5th Touraine, 16pts
6th Electra, 24pts

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