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The Cruising Village 2021 - LEADERBOARD

Unicorn National Championships at Stone Sailing Club

by Julius Mach 4 Aug 2013 22:03 BST 28 July - 2 August 2013

Despite some notable absences, entry numbers matched those of 2012. The event started on Sunday evening with a Reception hosted by the Commodore with free wine and ample snacks to fill up and weigh down the lighter sailors.

On the Monday morning the racing started with the first race being held in the morning in force 4/5 winds with strong gusts over an ebbing tide. A fast close reaching start favoured those who could hold the powerful rigs and Gary Piper went on to win the race. The second race scheduled to take place in the afternoon was postponed to the following day as, once the tide had turned and added 5 knots to the apparent wind strength, the conditions were considered too severe for all of the fleets taking part in Stone Week to sail. In the evening the fleet were entertained by an Elvis impersonator whilst sampling the variety of beers, lagers and ciders.

By Tuesday the winds had abated and the postponed race was started in a force 1-2 and again a strong ebb tide. The wind had strengthened to force 4-5 for the second race of the day and although abating slightly for the afternoon race, the flood tide against the wind made it seem windier and a number of competitors chose to stay ashore and play their discard. Gary Piper again showed his superiority by winning all three races coming from behind in every race. In the evening there was the serious business of trying to win the quiz whilst continuing with the sampling of alcoholic beverages.

Wednesday was the rest day with an option to take part in a pursuit race followed by rounders and a barbecue and then team games. Those who had overindulged in the lager the night before rested, whilst a few took part in the pursuit race where two Unicorns finished in the first six boats. The team games in the evening were as usual hilarious and ended with the traditional egg roulette.

Thursday came with fresh winds still from the South West and racing was held in the bay with Committee boat starts. The morning race was won by Owen Cox who managed to pressurise Gary Piper into a mistake which saw him capsize and fail to finish the race. After lunch it was business as usual with Gary Piper winning again. The rock band that evening played many familiar numbers and were much enjoyed by those who had not a care for their hearing.

Friday finally saw lighter winds. Gary Piper again led the fleet home despite having been second for about 99% of the race. Gary now had six race wins and with only six races to count sat out the final race allowing Julius Mach to take the race win. The day ended with with a prizegiving and supper with every sailor also getting a useful commemorative haversack (small rucksack).

Congratulations to Gary Piper (Stokes Bay SC) the 2013 UK National Champion, winning 6 out of 8 races. His self built tortured plywood constructed boat, with Caws sail number 1100, was once again sailed expertly in all types of wind conditions. Owen Cox (Weston SC) sailing 1088 with a GP sail was second, also sailing a Piper built boat, was very competitive and often lost out by the narrowest of margins. Julius Mach (Weston SC) sailing 1095 was third using a CAWS sail for the first half of the week and a GP sail for the second half and also sailing a Piper boat. Peter Toft (Stone SC) was 4th, Bob Dorks (Stone SC) was 5th, David Taylor (Stone SC) was 6th, Arthur Brooks (Stone SC) was 7th, Harry Mach (UEA) was 8th, John Moore (Datchet Water SC) was 9th and Matt Stephenson (Blithfield SC) was 10th.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the excellent racing and social activities provided by the Stone S C. A great venue.

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