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Hornet National Championships at Brightlingsea Sailing Club - Days 1-3

by Jon Williams 19 Aug 2013 21:18 BST 17-20 August 2013

Six race winners after seven races

The first race on Saturday blew the cobwebs away starting in a force 4 and a difficult chop rising to force 6 by the end. The current was the main factor to consider but some sizable wind shifts complicated the game plan. There was plenty of place changing at the front, in the end it was Hornet stalwart Mike McNamara with Tim Riley crewing who led when it mattered. Second was our European Champion Dick Garry and Matt McGrath, third was past Flying Fifteen world champion Mike Hart with Duncan West. With the wind threatening to go silly the second race was cancelled.

Sunday had three races scheduled. The wind was force 3 to 4 and Mike Mac showed again he still has the black magic to shovel a boat through the water quickly. Second was Strangler and Pippa Rogers who found some form after a disastrous Saturday.

Race three saw locals Chris Bines and Dave Gibbons take the gun and Mike Hart slotting in a second. In race four Toby Barsley Dale and Gareth Russell used their impressive reaching speed to get to the front and take the gun.

Today the forecast was for around 8 to 10 knots but as the fleet left the beach the wind went up a notch. Mike Hart led race five for two laps and then the wind rolled the dice. Dick Garry followed by Strangler both did their shifty wheeler dealing to the front finishing in that order. Chris Bines took an early lead in the next one taking the gun from Strangler and current Hornet Youth champions Dave Conlon and Ed Gibbons.

The final race today saw some big shifts but the current was still a major factor. Mike Hart led to the gybe mark but superb girlie spinnaker gybing from Pippa Rogers put her and Strangler ahead which they kept to the end despite Jon Silk and Martin Arnison threatening them on the last beat.

Will it all hang on the last two races tomorrow or will the wind gods have their say with not enough to race? Strangler has volunteered to help the race officer to put up the abandoned flag.

Results after Day 3: (top seven)

1. Strangler and Pippa Rogers, 10pts
2. Mike McNamara and Tim Riley, 11pts
3. Richard Garry and Matt McGrath, 13pts
4. Chris Bines and Dave Gibbons, 17pts
5. Mike Hart and Duncan West, 19pts
6. Toby Barsley-Dale and Gareth Russell, 20pts
7. Barney Broach and Alex Rogers, 27pts