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Shearwater Nationals at Newhaven & Seaford Sailing Club

by Shaun Allen 26 Aug 2010 22:42 BST 15-20 August 2010
Shearwater nationals at Newhaven and Seaford Sailing Club © Michelle Smith

The 54th annual National Championships for the Shearwater Catamaran Class took place at Newhaven and Seaford Sailing Club from 15th-20th August. Sixteen boats and crew, with accompanying families attended the week long 8 race Championship series, which began with a practice race on Sunday 15th. This being was won by Class Chairman Nigel and Sarah Stuart, on Simsek, having established a commanding lead by the second beat.

The competition proper began with Race 1 at 11.05 hours on the Monday, with a fresh south westerly, and choppy conditions from the start. Shaun Allen and Claire Robinson on Carbon Foot Print were first to the windward mark, and maintained their position despite constant challenges from Derek and Grace Williams on UFO, and Ben Farnborough and Louise Curry on Genesis. This order remained until the final gun, with Greg and Alex Wilcox on Foreigner, and Simsek leading the pack home.

After a short recess ashore for refreshments Race 2 was conducted in increased wind speed and seas. Genesis and Carbon Foot Print relishing in the conditions, breaking from the pack by the end of the second reach. UFO and Alan Howland and Rob Britton on Alley Cat leading the battle for the minor places. Carbon Foot Print took the lead on the second beat, and defended the position until the final gun.

Monday night brought Champaign Cocktails, followed by a variety of Party Games. The Games are a firm favourite with all, particular the younger members who enjoy the competition, and the Champaign affected performance of the adults. Much hilarity was experienced by all, as well as the tremendous hospitality of the Newhaven and Seaford members. All of whom became firmly entrenched in the week long Social programme.

Tuesday morning brought Race 3, a brisk south westerly and significant swell. Much excitement was experienced launching through the surf. But the ever present shore crew, lead by Clive Farnborough, always ensured that all launched and returned safely. Foreigner lead the pack from the line with Alley Cat and Genesis in close company. Carbon Footprint had closed by the first reach, revelling in the surfing conditions. By the second beat Gensis, Foreigner and Carbon Footprint were beginning to break from the pack. Carbon Footprint was forced to retire with a broken jib halyard before the windward mark. Genesis defended their lead from Foreigner, while Alley Cat lead the pack to the final gun. As the wind began to gust in excess of 25 knots consistently, the Race Officer Garry Philips, sensibly decided to postpone Race 4 for the day.

Tuesday evening brought a Fish and Chip Supper, courtesy of a “Chip Van” that had travelled especially from Surrey. Admittedly a land locked county, the quality of the food, and the news paper it was wrapped in, was second to none. The latter part of the evening was taken up with amusing songs and tall stories in the comfort of the Club House lounge. The latter affording a pleasant vista, occasionally broken by a passing ferry arriving or departing the nearby Port of Newhaven.

Race 5 began as scheduled on the Wednesday morning. The previous days south westerly having backed and reduced to a fresh breeze. The fleet remained tightly packed to the windward mark, Simsek being first around followed closely by UFO, Carbon Footprint and Genesis. The remainder of the Fleet being lead by Barry Duck and John Wiseman on New Flame, Dion and Anna Allen on Take5, and Roger and Bonnie Crooks on Ruby. By the third beat Carbon Footprint had established a narrow lead over Genesis, with Ruby leading the pack. This order remaining until the final gun.

After a short break for lunch, Race 6 commenced with a steady Force 3 from the south, and bright sunshine. Despite a poor start, Carbon Footprint took advantage of tide and a clear air, to reach the windward mark first, and continue to develop a commanding lead through out the race. Genesis defending second position against Simsek, Alley Cat and Foreigner, to finish in that order, with New Flame leading the pack home.

Wednesday evening was Fancy Dress night, “London Underground Stations” being the theme. Angels, Elephants, Castles, Cockerels, Australian Larger and tennis balls were all in abundance. With one or two of the taller crews confirming their reputation as Barking! The added refinement to the party was a professional Line Dance teacher, who managed to get the entire fleet to co-ordinate their footsteps, and Shimmy with the best in Nashville.

Thursday morning, brought the postponed Race 4 and now reliable south westerly Force 3, with moderate seas as a consequence of an overnight storm. A Port biased to the Line encouraged some daring starts from Murray Greehhill and Joe Hill on Dilligaf, Simsek and Genesis. The latter taking advantage of such to reach the winward mark first. Closely followed by the starboard starters lead by Carbon Footprint, Ruby and Take5 and Alley Cat. Genesis defended their lead throughout, to take the gun, closely followed by the pack lead by Carbon Footprint.

Race 7 followed in the constant weather conditions. Simsek, Foreigner and New Flame leading the Fleet to the windward mark. Ruby, Genesis and Carbon Footprints staying out to sea on the second beat, and pulling away of the subsequent downwind leg. Carbon Footprint taking particular advantage of three sail down wind surfing, to take the lead. Defending such to eventually take the gun.

Thursday night was taken up by the Class AGM, the election of officers, and the various details involved in maintaining the Class, and meeting the needs of its members. Greater emphasis being placed on Catamaran Opens for 2011 TT series, in support of our fellow multi-hull sailors, and the promotion of Catamaran Sailing as a an exciting and rewarding family activity.

The concluding Race 8 of the Championship began at 11.05 on the Friday, in a light Force 2, and the smoothest sea state experienced all week. Despite having already won the competition by virtue of 5 bullets in the previous races, Carbon Footprint soon broke the pack on the upwind leg, chasing Rob Hamilton and Tayla Playford on China Crisis around the windward mark. Eventually taking the lead when turning inside the first wing mark. Despite repeated challenges from Ruby, Simsek and Genesis, Carbon Footprint maintained a commanding lead to the final gun.

Congratulations to Shaun Allen and Claire Robinson on Carbon Footprint on winning the 54th Shearwater National Championships. They displayed consistent performance, despite extremely close competition throughout the Fleet. Particular thanks must go to Rupert Smith, Commodore of Newhaven and Seaford S.C, for exceptional hospitality, and the provision of superb facilities, not least an excellent and lively Prize Giving Supper on the Friday night.

Overall Results:
If you finished in the top ten at the Shearwater nationals then enter your Gear Guide information here

PosBoat NameSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8Pts
1stFoot Print1999Shaun AllenClare RobinsonFelixstowe SC0.750.75(DNF)0.750.750.75-20.754.5
2ndGenesis1990Ben FarnboroughLouise CurryHastings & St Leonards SC320.752-420.75-410.5
3rdSim Sek2007Nigel StewartSarah StewartMengham Rythe SC65-7423-8222
4thUFO2004Derek WilliamsGrace WilliamsStone SC23435(DNF)5-822
5thRuby1996Roger CrooksBonnie LloydStone SC4-8673-83326
6thAlley Cat2006Allen HowlandRob BrittonRYA-743-6644627
7thForeigner1988Alex WilcoxGreg WilcoxHastings & St Leonards SC59210-1156-1137
8thDilligaf2003Murry GreenhillJoe HillHastings & St Leonards SC(DNF)6(DNF)5979RDGb46
9thNew Flame2000Barry DuckJohn WisemanHastings & St Leonards SC9-115-1110671047
10thTake Five2005Dion AllenAnna AllenRYA812(DNS)97(DNF)10551
11thShear Flamboyance2008Catherine HowlandDarren TolleyRYA(DNF)7(DNF)881011751
12thFrantic1986Peter CharrodRichard PlayfordHastings & St Leonards SC(DNS)(DNS)DNF12159121479
13thOrwell1984Richard HillGary HillStone SC1013(DNS)(DNS)1211DNSDNS82
14thChina Crisis2002Rob HamiltonTayla PlayfordHastings & St Leonards SC1114(DNS)(DNS)1313DNS1382
15thSpace Odyssy2001John HillClifford HillStone SC(DNS)10(DNS)DNS1412DNS1284
16thCaned & Unable1987Matthew WisemanJade WoollettHastings & St Leonards SC(DNS)(DNS)DNSDNSDNFDNSDNS998

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