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Ultra K1 National Championships at Royal Torbay Yacht Club

by Paul Handley 7 Oct 2013 11:23 BST 27-29 September 2013
K1 nationals in Torbay © Jean Border /

Spectacular sailing conditions in Torbay ensured that the first K1 Nationals held on the sea was one to remember for the 27-boat fleet. The conditions were testing as well as exciting, particularly for the 'pondy' regulars, but the exhilaration of high speed surfing down the waves without worrying about capsizing more than made up for it.

The event began on the Thursday afternoon with a training session run by Charlie Cumbley from North Sails, which the sailors found very helpful. Charlie followed this up on the water over the next few days with a master-class on wave sailing, taking the National title in his stride.

By Friday morning the fresh Easterly wind forecast had set in and the waves were starting to build across the bay. Launching was easy on the large Royal Torbay YC ramp into the protected harbour, but once outside the breakwater the boats were straight into large, steep, occasionally breaking waves and the full force of the wind became apparent.

When racing got underway the three boats of Charlie Cumbley, Ian Horlock and Wiclif McCready soon found their way to the front of the fleet, a pattern that was to become familiar throughout the event. Unfortunately for Charlie a rudder pintle failure put him out of the race which was won by Ian Horlock of Exe SC followed by the 2012 K1 National Champion, Wiclif McCready of Strangford Lough YC. Mike Ball of Papercourt SC took third and Alf Hawksworth of Carsington SC, the current K1 Inland Champion, finished fourth.

The second and final race of the day saw another battle between Ian and Wiclif at the front with Ian taking the gun, Jeff Vander-Borght of Wimbleball SC third, Tom Murthy from the National Yacht Club in Ireland finishing fourth and Hugh Duncan of Lyme Regis SC fifth. Whilst chasing the lead Wiclif still found time to watch his speed puck reach an impressive 15 knots offwind.

Overnight it rained hard and the rain continued throughout Saturday, with the visibility so poor at first that racing was postponed for over an hour. When the visibility improved the fleet set sail with wind and waves building as the day before. Charlie took the gun for the first race of the day followed Ian, Wiclif, Tom and Mike Ball. Race 4 saw the same top three with Jeff fourth and Alf Hawksworth fifth.

On Sunday the wind moderated a little but the sea was still big with plenty of surfing offwind. Three more races were held and the top five positions were the same in each race; Charlie first followed by Ian, Wiclif, Jeff and Paul Handley of Chipstead SC fifth. In the first race of the afternoon it was good to see Andy Clear, the only teenager in the fleet, up in sixth position.

Overall Charlie Cumbley won the K1 Ultra National Championship with Ian Horlock 2nd, Wiclif McCready 3rd, Jeff Vander-Borght 4th and Mike Ball 5th.

Our thanks go the Royal Torbay YC for hosting the event, particularly the individuals in committee boats out in the waves including the photographers Bridgette Cooke and Jean Border (see more photos here), and our sponsors Ultra for their support and presenting a very smart new trophy.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7Pts
172C CumbleyRYA(DNF)(DNC)111115
26I HorlockExe SC11(2)(2)2228
337W McCreadyStangford Lough YC22(3)(3)33313
486J C Vander BorghtWimbleball SC(DNF)3(DNC)444419
574M BallPapercourt SC3(DNF)5(DNF)86628
659T MurphyNational YC644(8)(7)7728
770A HawkesworthCarsington SC4665(10)(12)829
869H DuncanLyme Regis SC55(11)611(DNF)1138
925A ClearWimbleball SC(DNC)(DNC)8768938
1051R Wyniatt‑HuseyShoreham SC777(9)99(14)39
1157E HoldenTeign Corinthian YC(DNF)81010(12)101048
1230D HumeBroxbourne/Datchet SC9119(13)(13)111353
1321M DeaneSouth Windermere SC109(13)11(14)131255
149K FisherDeben YC8101412(17)14(16)58
1588J LeggettWeirwood SC12121214(15)(15)1565
162P HandleyChipstead SC(DNC)(DNC)DNFDNC55571
1768C QuereeBaltic Wharf SC141316(DNC)18(DNF)DNC89
1885R PotterTeign Corinthian YC(DNF)(DNC)DNFDNC191617108
1934P CunninghamTeign Corinthian YC11(DNF)(DNC)DNC16DNCDNC111
2067A HolmesBaltic Wharf SC13(DNF)15DNFDNCDNCDNC112
2176M GreenWimbleball SC15(DNF)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC127
2210A SkittBlithfield SC(DNF)(DNC)DNFDNCDNCDNCDNC140
2256G BowermanTeign Corinthian YC(DNF)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC140
2277J ShimellChew Valley SC(DNF)(DNC)DNFDNCDNFDNCDNC140