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57th Shearwater National Championships at Brightlingsea Sailing Club

by Shaun Allen 3 Sep 2013 21:00 BST 18-23 August 2013

The 57th annual Shearwater National Championships were held at Brightlingsea Sailing Club from the 18th August. A club with a considerable history and association with Catamaran Racing in the UK, providing an excellently run competition for the longest established Class of Racing Catamaran. An eight race series with practice race, was held over a week, for a twenty boat fleet. The latter included a new all Carbon Fibre boat, built and sailed by Class Chairman Nigel Stuart, and his wife Sarah.

After scrutineering in the sunshine on Saturday, the practice race was held on the Sunday, in light north westerly winds. The Race area was in open water in the Colne and Blackwater Estuary. Murray Greenhill and Nick Winram on Dilligaf taking the gun after a close fought race.

The first Championship Race began at 11.05hrs on Monday morning, in bright sunshine and another light north westerly with ebbing tide. Defending Champions, Shaun Allen and Claire Williams on Carbon Footprint were first to the windward mark, followed closely by Ben Farnborough and Jenny Allen on Genesis, Carbon Footprint was able to defend their lead and take the gun.

Race 2 commenced in the same wind and tide, with Grace and Derek Williams on UFO leading the pack to the Windward Mark. By the second beat of the four lap race, Carbon Footprint and Crowns had broken away from the pack, Carbon Footprint gaining the upper hand on the final beat to take the gun.

Tuesday morning brought Race 3, and a new southly westerley breeze. Crowns (Nigel & Sarah Stuart) was first of the Line and quickly into clear air. Dion and Anna Allen on Take5 lead. Crowns defended their lead and the gun.

Race 4 started in an increasing sea breeze. Carbon Footprint being quickly away, followed closely by Nick and Kerry Elliot on Cajensa, with Gensis and Take5 leading the pack. A wind shift on the penultimate lap, and subsequent change of windward mark caused some confusion for the pack, allowing the leaders to consildate their positions, with Carbon Footprint taking the gun.

A delayed start on Wednesday, allowed the afternoon Sea Breeze to establish itself. Crowns lead the Fleet from the start, followed by Genesis, Alan Howland and Rob Britton on Alley Cat, with James and Kate Gibbons on So Tango leading the pack, Crowns consolidated their lead, defending to the final gun.

Race 6 started quickly in a persisting sea breeze. So Tango crossed the line at speed, leaving Carbon Footprint with an intimate knowledge of the Committee Boat. Crowns overhauled So Tango on the second lap, with Genesis and Alley Cat in close company. Despite a slow start Carbon Footprint was able to keep clear of the battling pack, and close with Crowns, to follow her over the Line for the final gun.

Thursday morning brought an overcast sky and still air. The inevitable postponment was eventually extended to all racing that day.

The postponed Race 7 began on Friday morning in a fresh south westerly and now flooding tide. So Tango was first and quickly away, followed by Cajensa, both opting for the flatter water but stronger tide on the left hand side of the course. So Tango failed to hold her lead when a Spinnaker Halyard failed, being quickly overhauled by Cajensa and Carbon Footprint, who took the gun.

The final Race 8 was started in bright sunshine and a consistent south westerly. Despite a busy start line, Carbon Footprint worked quickly away from the pack. Canned and Unable leading the pack. Carbon Footprint defending their lead to take the Gun, and the National Championship Title.

Congratulations to Shaun Allen and Claire Robinson on Carbon Footprint, who retained their National Championship title for an unprecedented fourth year in succession. This despite an extremely competetive Fleet, and a variety of wind and tidal conditions. Particular thanks to Brightlingsea Sailing Club for hosting a superbly run event, including not least a lively social schedule. Also thanks to our main sponsor BlueWave, and Jamie Gibbons and his brothers for their varied and vital roles in the running of the event.

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

PosBoatSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8Pts
1Carbon Footprint1999Shaun AllenClaire WilliamsFelixstowe Ferry SC11‑21‑42117
2Crowns2010Nigel StuartSarah StuartMRSC321(DNF)11‑7614
3Genesis1990Ben FarnboroughJenny AllenRYA2‑3‑73233215
4Cajensa1976Nick ElliottKerry ElliottMRSC6‑8827‑122328
5Alley Cat2006Alan HowlandRob BrittonFelixstowe Ferry SC105‑17(DNF)345431
6Dilligaf2003Murray GreenhillNick WinramRYA474(DNF)‑874733
7Take 52005Dion AllenAnna AllanChapman Sands YC5(DNF)345811‑1236
8UFO2004Grace WilliamsDerek WilliamsStone SC‑1245(DNF)10118543
9So... Tango2009James GibbonsKate GibbonsRYA7109865‑12‑1345
10Caned & unable1987Matt WisemanLauka WisemanHastings‑1666(DNF)969945
11Space Odysey2001Luke DraperGarry HillKGSC9‑13‑18613136855
12Airflow1989Louise CurryGreg WilcoxHastings81111(DNF)‑159101059
13Shear Flamboyance2008Darren TolleyChloe StuartRYA13910(DNF)1110‑161164
14Ruby1996Roger CrooksSimon CampbellStone SC11‑15127141415‑1673
15Foreifner1988Alex WilcoxBen AsplinHastings15‑16135‑1615141577
16China Crisis2002Robert HameltonTamla PlayfordHastings‑1814159‑1716131481
17Orwell1984Richard HillJohn HillStone SC171216(DNF)2019(DNC)DNC105
18SIMSEK2007Malcolm GreenhillWilliam StuartRYA14(DNC)14(DNC)1917DNCDNC106
19Cosmic Shear199Nicholas BristowChris RiversRYA(DNF)(DNC)DNFDNF1220DNCDNC116
20Couer de Verre1985Judith RossZac ElliottStone S.C(DNC)(DNC)19DNC1818DNCDNC118

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