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Shadow National Championship at Eastbourne Sovereign Sailing Club

by Pat Moore 2 Jun 2015 13:41 BST 29-31 May 2015
2015 Shadow National Champion Paul Tanner complete with celebratory cup of tea © Pat Moore

A bit of a blow

The 2015 Shadow Nationals were held at Eastbourne Sovereign Sailing Club, on the south coast, from 29-31 May.

The three day event was reduced to a single day, as bad weather prevented sailing on the Friday and Sunday, with Saturday providing challenging but sailable conditions.

Eight boats lined up to take part on a lengthy upwind / downwind course, with the usual broad mix of sailing skills ensuring that, as always, there would be something for everyone at the Shadow Nationals.

A 25 knot, south westerly wind, against the tide, created some large swells which provided an additional interesting dynamic to the sailing conditions, requiring some forethought before tacking or gybing to avoid problems.

A port start, at the pin end, was the best choice - as demonstrated in the first race when the port tackers made it to the windward mark many boat lengths ahead.

Strong gusts made it hard work to keep flying upwind, while downwind all were kept busy watching the spinnaker and rolling waves, with the potential reward of some wave-driven extra speed.

Mastery of the gusty conditions belonged to Robin Leather, Paul Tanner and Rob Forrester, who demonstrated great speed and control both upwind and down. It was these three who would challenge for the top three places over the course of the Nationals. The rest of the fleet quickly established its own running order which remained unchanged throughout the series of races.

Leadership of the event passed between Robin Leather and Paul Tanner with both on equal points at the end. Paul Tanner was awarded the championship as he won the last race, powering through the building gusts to record an impressive win.

And many thanks to Eastbourne Sovereign, who did a cracking job hosting the event in tough conditions. The club has a proud volunteering tradition and this was evident both on the beach, where a small team ran a very efficient launch and recovery operation, and later in the galley where fine home cooked meals were a welcome reward for hungry sailors.

Overall Results:

1. Paul Tanner
2. Robin Leather
3. Rob Forrester
4. Pat Moore
5. Mike Martin
6. Graham Tomlin
7. = Mark Jenkinson and Elaine Phillips

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