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Hansa UK National Championship at Frensham Pond Sailing Club

by Jim Morley 11 Oct 2014 08:57 BST 8-9 October 2014
Hansa UK Nationals at Frensham Pond © Tony Machen

This was so very nearly the meeting that never happened. The UK Hansa class, formerly Access, was stuck for a venue before Frensham, with long experience of successful open meetings stepped in and organised the event. The National Championship event was open to all but on Wednesday a UK-only competition was raced for, a Travellers' Trophy event with separate prizes.

In reality this became an International championships with a large contingent from France and Holland. The weather to say the least was challenging. Periods of warm sunshine were broken by torrential rain and twenty to thirty knot squalls as well as thunder and lightning strikes in the lake. As will be seen these brought some moments of high drama.

Eventually only five of the seven planned races were sailed as on both days the wind strength increased and the last race of the day had to be cancelled.

The Hansa design has four variants and all competed on the two days. The challenging conditions seemed to make little difference to the leading helms and crews. The heavy gusts were the cause of several incidents. Hansas are self righting but can be subjected to knock downs. In the second race on Wednesday a disabled sailor suffered a knock down and was projected out of his boat with a leg trapped inside. By now he was in very serious danger, being head down in the water. Another competitor seeing this diverted from their course and freed the sailor and then waited for the safety boat. The rescuers were a visiting French crew from Berck near Calais, Stephane Collier and Jérémie Chauchoy. This was a well placed crew who lost ground in the race but could not claim redress because shortly afterwards they had a gear failure and retired; their sportsmanship won them the Endeavour Trophy to go with second place overall in their class.

The two person Hansa 303 class was dominated by the visitors. With five first places the runaway winners were Akko Van der Veen and Liza Elburg from Zeewolde Netherlands. The home sailors were happy to clean up the prizes for the single-handed 2.3 and the single-handed 303 Hansa. Lindsay Burns of Frensham already European champion had a hard fight with French entry Gerard Eychenne but it was Lindsay who had five straight wins. In the single handed 303, home sailors took the first three places the winner being Frensham's Monique Foster followed by James Woosnam and Kate Hedley, fourth place was Tony Barkes of Waveney SC. The single-handed Hansa Liberty was dominated throughout by visitors including three competitors using full servo control. The event was taken by Ric Cassell of Rutland SC with five straight wins.

The seventh and last race on Thursday had to be cancelled with squalls of up to thirty knots hitting the lake and the need for the cross Channel visitors to catch their ferry.

Special praise must go to the kitchen team who provided a fine dinner on Wednesday evening and after the Thursday winds and rain provided all with warm soup.

Also the race team led by Graham Howlett braved all the conditions in the open committee boat. Thanks also to the Mayor of Farnham Councillor Jeremy Ricketts who presented the main prizes along with Frensham's commodore Keith Videlo and Sailability's Kate Richardson.

Overall Results:

Hansa 2.3
1st Lindsay Burns (Frensham)
2nd Gerard Eychenne (France)
3rd Pat Crowley (Rutland SC)

Liberty Class
1st Ric Cassel (Rutland SC)
2nd David Durston (Whitefriars SC)
3rd Tom Harper (New Forest Sailability) using full servo
4th Vince Barton (New Forest Sailability)

Single handed Hansa 303
1st Monique Foster (Frensham)
2nd James Woosnam (Frensham)
3rd Kate Hedley (Frensham)
4th Tony Barkes (Waveney SC)

Hansa 303 Two Handed
1st Akko van der Veen and Liza Elburg (Netherlands Zeewolde)
2nd Stephane Collier and Jérémie Chauchoy (France CEV Berck)
3rd Frederic Magnier and Jean Philippe Lepetre (France CEV Berck)
4th Peter and Peta Etherton (Frensham)

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