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Wealden Sailability Hansa TT at Chipstead Sailing Club

by Steve Thomas 15 Jul 2016 15:47 BST 11 July 2016
Hansa TT at Chipstead © David Barker

The Hansa Class Association UK Traveller Trophy for 2016 continued for the Southern Region, this time in Kent when Wealden Sailability hosted the 5th event of the season at Chipstead Sailing Club on 11th July.

It was an early start for all, and the Wealden Sailability Volunteers were out by 8am busy launching and rigging all the Wealden boats, while others were welcoming the Visitors and assisting them to prepare and launch their boats. Meanwhile the kitchen staff were busy beavering away preparing the bacon butties, teas and coffees to give all the visitors and volunteers.

Meanwhile, the weather forecast was proving to be a test, with dark clouds looming above, and wind strengths of 18 knots gusting to over 30 knots forecast to be present throughout the day, with rain predicted later in the afternoon, all of which would make for some exciting racing!

Race Officer Bob Marsh held his Pre-Race Briefing Meeting at 10.15 to an understandably apprehensive audience given the predicted weather conditions, and he set a triangular course to the west end of Chipstead Lake, which would provide the spectators with a grandstand view of the racing from the shelter of the clubhouse!

There were 16 entries in 4 classes, and Wealden Sailability were able to field David Mason and Peter Wagner in the Liberty Class, and Ann Frewer with Volunteer Helen Fairfax as crew in a 303 two person class. Wealden Sailability were also able to loan 3 Hansa 303's to visiting participants who were unable to transport their own boats to the venue. We even had one entrant, Rory McKinna, who travelled all the way from Scotland to take part!

The 1st race started with the Libertys, 303 Singles and doubles, and the 2.3's all fighting for position at the start line as they battled against the windy conditions, but the Libertys of Paul Phillips and Tessa Watkiss, both of Frensham, soon stormed ahead creating a clear lead, and finishing the race in 1st and 2nd places respectively. They set a precedent for the rest of the day, coming 1st and 2nd for the remaining 3 races. As all the boats came in after the 2nd race for a well earned break for lunch, the effects of the lively gusts of wind could be seen, with many boats having a generous amount of water in them!

With the lunch break finishing early, it enabled the race participants to be back on the water and for the race organisers to start the 1st race of the afternoon early to ensure they could finish before the forecast heavy band of wind and rain could reach us. Continuing strong winds ensured further excitement for all the racers, and also kept all the safety crews on their toes! Overall though the conditions enabled some close and exciting sailing to take place, and all were able to enjoy the day, even if a few did get a bit wetter than they had hoped!

Once the racing was finished the kitchen staff were busy again with teas, coffees and biscuits. Lastly, but by no means least, Chairman of the Trustees of Wealden Sailability, David Mckee thanked everyone for coming, and announced the proud winners of each of the 4 classes, and the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd placed helms and crews were each presented with their certificate and a bottle of wine by Ron Sawford, Secretary of the Hansa Class Association UK.

Overall Results:

Hansa 2.3 class
1st Lindsay Burns (Frensham)
2nd Lara Sturgis (Frensham)

Hansa 303 One Person Class
1st Leslie Philip (Tideway)
2nd Rory McKinna (Bardowie)
3rd Chris Atkin (Hanningfield)
4th Peter Lawrence (Hanningfield)
5th Brian MacCormick (Wealden)

Hansa 303 Two Person Class
1st Daniel Wilson and John Charles (Hanningfield)
2nd Peter and Peta Etherton (Frensham)
3rd Martin Hadley and Stephen Kitson (New Forest)
4th Ann Frewer and Helen Fairfax (Wealden)

Liberty Class
1st Paul Phillips (Frensham)
2nd Tessa Watkiss (Frensham)
3rd Peter Wagner (Wealden)
4th David Mason (Wealden)

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