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Vortex Nationals at Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club

by Philip Whitehead 10 May 2010 21:58 BST 8-9 May 2010

A great turnout of 27 Vortexes from 12 clubs turned for Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club's first hosting of a national championship. All stops were pulled out to get a good turnout and the event was a great success with close racing throughout the fleet.

After a land based training session on Friday, as the wind was too strong for meaningful training, except for capsize practice, the fleet enjoyed the benefits of the new clubhouse with a local Indian takeaway.

Saturday's forecast was correct and winds of 23mph and gusts over 30 mph meant that our OOD in consultation with the fleet decided to postpone sailing to Sunday with a potential early start and 6 races planned! The fleet retired to the local pub in Appletreewick with refreshments courtesy of the association.

Racing in earnest started early with a pleasant but cool force 3 gusting 4 from the NE and sunshine, perfect Vortex conditions. All the top Vortex sailors were present from the home club, so it would be tough for visitors to break the home club’s traditional dominance.

The first race saw Phil Whitehead rounding the windward mark first only to mistake the gate buoy for the leeward mark and drop 3 places . Other casualties in this race were Keith Escritt who using a borrowed boat broke his tiller extension and his brother Ian who must have pulled his kite up too fast broke his chute and retired for the day. Jonathan Lister led for a couple of laps until his striker snapped and he had to sail two laps without a kite. Meanwhile Phil had managed to claw back to win the race followed by Terry Pressdee back on good form and a charging Neil Spink.

Race 2 saw Phil leading the fleet again only to capsize just before the leeward mark . Keith took full advantage of this situation and managed to keep Jonathan behind at the finish. Phil managed to crawl back to 3rd after a “calculated “ corner banging! Neil Spink came in 4th with Jonathan Carter from Rickmansworth in 5th.

Phil won the 3rd race with a commanding lead with Jonathan holding off a charging Keith and Neil Spink. Lunch time was very welcomed, until we realised another 3 races back to back were planned! Fortunately for some the wind was dropping to a manageable force 2-3 .

The lead changed several times in Race 4 and the first four boats rounded the last windward mark within inches of each other – it was Keith who found the best line downwind to take his second win keeping the Championship very much alive ...and as usual down to the last race. Phil just pipped Terry on the line with Jonathan close behind.

Race 5 was a nail biter with the closest finish yet. On the last downwind leg Phil and Keith were keeping a careful watch on each other and let Neil Spink slip by, whilst Jonathan found just enough extra pressure on the left to claim water at the last mark and hold the lead on the short beat to the finish. Jonathan was now only one point behind Keith who was only 2 points behind Phil; each of these could still win going in to the last race.

Keith had a great first beat and lead most of the race, until Phil had a storming last spinnaker leg and took out a good lead to finish first and become this year's National Vortex Champion. The last race mirrored the overall first 4 results with Keith second, Jonathan third and Terry fourth.

The standard fleet of 4 boats was dominated by Richard Robinson in all races followed by Chris Stanbrook from Draycote SC. Richard pulled off a great port flyer in race 4, was very quick upwind and downwind he managed to beat some asymmetrics to the mark. Time to buy the asymmetric kit Richard!

A huge thanks to Iain Williams from Corus SC our ODD and his team who with excellent courses and race management meant we could fit in the scheduled number of races. The fleet had enjoyed great racing over the weekend on a large inland water, great food and onshore facilities with comfortable spectator gallery in the new Clubhouse at Yorkshire Dales.

Overall Results:

PosFleetHelmSail NoClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1stAsymmetricPhil Whitehead1045YDSC1-312217
2ndAsymmetricKeith Escritt1053YDSC(DNF)1313210
3rdAsymmetricJonathan Lister1164YDSC-42241312
4thAsymmetricTerry Pressdee1174YDSC2-7535419
5thAsymmetricNeil Spink1048YDSC3446-8623
6thAsymmetricBen Rayner1136YDSC697114-1537
7thAsymmetricMike Gower1013Wilsonian-1612676839
8thAsymmetricIan Craven1160YDSC10698-14740
9thAsymmetricJonathan Carter1153Rickmansworth SC5148-1810542
10thAsymmetricAngus Winchester1181Castle Semple-128111071046
11thAsymmetricNeil Ashurst1193YDSC7-15105111447
12thAsymmetricSimon Raglione-Hall1064Grafham81613913(DNC)59
13thAsymmetricJim Trice1152Calshot SC141012149-1859
14thAsymmetricAndrew Straton1041YDSC-1513141315964
15thAsymmetricDave Hotton1123Draycote Water SC11-171615121670
16thAsymmetricJeremy Rushbrook1180YDSC18-191712161174
17thAsymmetricMike Collins1117YDSC-19111517181778
18thAsymmetricPeter J Varley1222SBSC13-201916191380
19thAsymmetricJames Mitchell1190Poole YC95(DNF)DNCDNCDNC86
20thAsymmetricSimon Middleton1156Wilsonian-21212020171290
21stAsymmetricEd Corteen1066Pennine1718181920(DNC)92
22ndAsymmetricSteve Carr1025Brightlingsea SC20-2221212119102
23rdAsymmetricIan Escritt1183YDSC(DNF)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC120