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Shadow National Championships at Gurnard Sailing Club

by Elaine Phillips 20 Jul 2013 18:02 BST 12-14 July 2013
Shadow National Championships 2013 © Rick Newnham

This year's Shadow Nationals, hosted by Gurnard Sailing Club, took place on the Isle of Wight. The club kindly reduced the race fee for the travellers to a modest amount which was well received. This year's event was sponsored by White Formula.

Racing was scheduled for 12th – 14th July with competitors launching from Gurnard Marsh and making their way to Lepe or Thorness Bay. The majority of the fleet were Shadow Xs plus one Shadow sailor.

Light winds favoured the lighter sailors throughout the weekend. The first race on Friday saw Jules Salter lead half the pack towards the mainland whilst Robin Leather led the others out towards the middle of the channel. Robin's decision paid off as he led the pack round the windward mark ahead of the remaining fleet and took first place ahead of Mike Martin and Jules.

The sea breeze filled in for Saturday's racing which spurred Laurie Gustar to round the windward mark way ahead of everyone else. Unfortunately, he rounded it the wrong way which won him the much-prized Calamity Cup and last place for that race so his 'calamity' cost him dearly.

It's possibly no surprise to many Shadow sailors that Robin took 1st place in 5 out of 6 races and won the Championships overall. Second place went to Rob Forrester who consistently crossed the finishing line in the top 5, taking 2nd place in the 3rd race. Mike took 1st place in the 6th race which secured his position of 3rd overall.

Neil Phillips, a newcomer to Shadow sailing as he's only usually allowed on the Shadow to fix it, finished in a respectable 11th place. Although Shadow Xs dominated the racing, there is still room for the Shadow with its smaller kite.

Graham Tomlinson's highest position was 5th place in the 4th race which is the highest placing he has had in a Nationals event. Carl Blenkinsop broke his universal joint which meant that he had to retire from the 2nd race as tying the tiller extension onto the rudder arm bamboozled his steering.

Many thanks to Steve, the race officer from Gurnard Sailing Club who ran an excellent event and decided to get a fourth race in on the Saturday due to an ultra-light wind forecast for Sunday.

Shadow racing at Gurnard proved to be an amazing experience as sailors discussed tactics, shared knowledge and advice. Even so, no-one was able to beat Robin to the winner's podium. Gurnard is a fantastic venue for future events.

Overall Results:

1Robin LeatherGurnard
2Rob ForresterWeston
3Mike MartinGurnard
4Jules salterGurnard
5Laurie GustarGurnard
6Carl BlenkinsopGurnard
7Paul TannerGurnard
8Dave DownerGurnard
9Graham TomlinEastbourne
10Tony WyethGurnard
11Neil PhillipsHayling Ferry
12Pat MooreGurnard
13Mark JenkinsonGurnard

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