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Leader Nationals at Milton Keynes Sailing Club

by Jane Wharmby 6 Oct 2004 08:26 BST 2-3 October 2004

The 2004 Leader National Championships took place at Milton Keynes SC on 2-3 October. The weather was wet and windy and made for an exciting event with plenty of thrills and spills.

Saturday’s races took place in strengthening winds, gusting F6 at times. Mike and Val Sherwen established a good lead early in the first race, only to lose it by heading for a wrong mark. This allowed Mike Fitzgerald and Tim Dormer and Chris and Jane Wharmby to come through. Close racing followed, with Mike and Tim bravely flying their spinnaker in the gusty conditions. With several boats capsizing, and some sustaining damage, Chris and Jane Wharmby drew out a convincing lead and won the first race.

Such was the wind strength for Race 2 that Mike and Val Sherwen decided to reef down, which looked like it might be a winning strategy. Unfortunately for them the wind dropped to more manageable levels10 minutes after the start and left them in an uncompetitive position. Wharmby took line honours, followed by Fitzgerald, with the Sherwens 3rd and Nick Connelly and Dave Boyle 4th.

Sunday started more calmly but with the wind and rain forecast to sweep in later in the day.

The third race was won once again by Chris and Jane Wharmby, giving them the Nationals title.

In the fourth race Mike and Val Sherwen drew away from the rest of the fleet, with Wharmby and Fitzgerald crossing the line in a photo finish… Fitzgerald inches ahead. The next pack was never far behind, led by Nigel and Anastasia Ridley and closely followed by Mike and Jane Broomfield.

The final race saw the Wharmbys and Sherwens fighting for first place. The Sherwens rounded the final mark first but were beaten to the finish line by a boat length by the Wharmbys.

Final positions were the Wharmbys in 1st, the Sherwens 2nd and Mike Fitzgerald and Tim Dormer 3rd.

Prizes were also won by Anastasia Ridley for Best Junior Crew, the Sherwens for the furthest travelled team and highest placed wooden boat, and Mike and Jane Broomfield for Endeavour.

With a new National Champion the Leader fleet left Milton Keynes having had a fantastic weekend both on and off the water. A huge thank you to all at MKSC for an extremely enjoyable event.

Overall Results:

PosBoat TypeSail NoBoat NameHelmCrewClubPts
1st Leader 1083 Birubi Chris Wharmby Jane Wharmby Milton Keynes SC 
2nd Leader 26 Naiad Mike Sherwen Val Sherwen Deben YC 
3rd Leader 331  Mike Fitzgerald Tim Dormer Dell Quay SC 
4th Leader 1099  Nick Connelly Dave Boyle Milton Keynes SC 12 
5th Leader 1130  Nigel Ridley Anastasia Ridley Milton Keynes SC 13 
6th Leader 1060  Mike Broomfield Jane Broomfield Draycote SC 17 

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