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Superspars Solo UK Nationals at Plas Heli - Overall

by Will Loy 23 Jul 2016 15:11 BST 17-22 July 2016

Race day 6 sponsored by Milanes Foils

The final day of racing dawned with grey skies and supposedly light winds. Pwllheli now resembled almost any other UK town in the height of summer, discarded chip wrappings tumbled down the street like tumbleweed and puddles of water collected on uneven pavements. I followed the path of a leaf as it worked the wave pattern of ripples to its destination, breeze on? At the club, competitors slowly readied themselves for the days racing in a rather melancholy fashion, already contemplating their twisting journeys along roads that could feature in "Top Gear".

PRO Mike Butterfield was keen to get the race course laid and racing off on the revised start time of 10.30 and so the fleet were released promptly at 9.45am. It was soon evident from the Jury rib, which incidentally would also be my media ride, that there was a surprising swell and good pressure, contrary to all the weather stations normally accurate forecast.

Race 8

On the course there was 13 knots and, following a clean start the fleet were in play. The intention was for a triangle-sausage course so the windward leg was 0.75 of a mile long and had everyone hiking hard as they battled to be first around.

Tim Law took that honour and, after bending my ear in reception with regards to race management he was leading from the front on how to sail fast too. Tim has decades of yachting experience behind him, and I mean decades, so his advice is always worthy. Ian Hopwood, Andy Fox and Event leader Andy Davies were next round. Tom Gillard, Pete Mitchell and Martin Honour filled the next three positions as the fleet set off down the fabulous wave patterns of Pwllheli.

Law held at the gybe and Gillard and Davies were through to second and third. The second reach was just as fun as the first, the angles set by the PRO proving accurate. The second beat was a hard test of stamina and the leaders held their positions and drove downwind to finish in this order. Pete Mitchell and Ian Hopwood completed the top five. Oliver Davenport and Peter Ballentine, the two youths fighting for the Turnbull Trophy - which is a silver cigarette box - finished sixth and seventh.

Race 9

The wind was shifting considerably, first the right looked good, then the middle and then the left, yep, it was going hard left.

At the top it was Chris Brown who had done little right all week but would claim the President's Beer Voucher...probably the only prize that he would be collecting for his weeks efforts. Law was second and his steely blue stare was turning anyone near him to stone. Those that had gone middle and right were left stranded as the wind continued tracking left leaving Gillard and Davies in the low twenties.

Mike Sims who had rounded in fourth worked his P&B powered Winder downhill to take the lead at the gybe with Law, Martin Honnor, Steve Ede and Peerke Kortikaas (HOL) were improving with Davies and Gillard making up places like Bonner makes up stories. They were both inside the top 10 at the bottom. The windward mark was moved right as the wind veered, now the breeze was from out of Abersoch, which kept Brian Holland happy.

Law and Sims exchanged the lead down the last run to the finish with Sims gaining the inside lane and a few lengths advantage to ease his nerves. Gillard was just not close enough but took his second third of the day. Peter Ballentine secured first junior with fourth from Kortikaas and Davies with Martin Honour and Hopwood just behind.

Race 10

Race 10 could not be started, I will save you the details but something like recall, BFD, recall, BFD, recall. The wind continued right and reduced to 3 knots, as predicted but three hours later than anticipated. Finally, fireworks were ignited and burst from Banzai's deck, signalling the end of the regatta.

So Andy Davies wins the Superspars Solo National title and sailed impressively all week, in all conditions and without any BFDs to his name. A sublimely smooth technique, excellent tactical guile and his very relaxed approach has once again got him to the top of the pile.

Congratulations to our younger competitors, Ballentine, Davenport and Corby who have shown high skill and responsible drinking manners, we need to change that attitude.

Tim Law is first Grand Master, despite my misguided actions to try and keep him younger and once again showed us that age is just a number. First Veteran is Martin Honnor, and First Lady is Vanda Jowett. Paul Hoad won the First Solo under sail number 4000, and Ross Lonsdale was First Wooden Boat despite the "all white" disguise that had eluded my attention.

Well done to all competitors, it was a privilege to film you all racing.

NSCA President's Closing Speech

We had a wonderful week at this, the SUPERSPARS 60th Anniversary National Championship. It has been difficult on the water for both competitors and the race team, and especially difficult for the Principle Race officer, Mike Butterfield. Thanks also to Henry Wright who stepped into the PRO's Dubarrys on Black Wednesday and dealt with some very difficult situations, on and off the water. Unfortunately the rescue teams main action was to tow the fleet in and ensure Vince Horey was safe following his capsize on "windy Thursday". The only casualty on the water was the lad on the General Recall rib who is now on medical leave with a repetitive strain injury.

Thanks also to Neil and the team for allowing me onto the Committee boat and providing myself with a media rib and competent driver. My last driver was Jim Hunt who obviously had never done a RYA Powerboat course, I still have the bruises to prove it. Neil may lack eloquence in his vocabulary but he knows how to get the job done and is a real assist to Plas Heli.

We thank you, Bob Lowe for your hospitality this week and hope we can return one day.

There were many emotions each day as we came off the water, frustrations did sometimes, boil over. Fortunately, the sanctuary of the club bar was only 600 metres up the sandy beach, and by the time the sailors got there, they were all too knackered to moan.

All the bad memories were soon extinguished with a nice cold beer and the warm smiles from the bar team. Every day were all received the friendliest most efficient service. Even Kevin Gibb's big scary face could not break the Welsh resolve to make us happy.

Donna and the whole bar and Catering team are a credit to Pwllheli Sailing Club.

Many thanks to David Battye, our "on the water" jury and "off the water" protest man who has an incredible knowledge and perfect delivery of it to the competitors. There were very few infractions of the rules but his presence was much appreciated.

I would like to thank my committee for their contributions which are not just this weeks event but over the entire year.

Gordon, Alison, Sam Steve, Phil, Robert and Chris, your efforts to get the fleet of 83 Solos measured was necessary and was as efficient as ever. Thank you from myself and the fleet.

Thanks to our race day sponsors, Rooster, CB Trailers, P&B, North Sails, HD Sails and Milanes Foils, your generous prizes ensued the bar was packed out every evening.

Finally, thanks to Noble Marine who keep us on the water every week.

Next, we move on to our "celebration of the National Solo" event, Draycote Water, 20-21 August. Full details at

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

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R5R6R7R8R9Pts
1st5597Andy DavisBlithfield SC‑4112113‑69
2nd5675Thomas GillardSheffield Viking SC18(BFD)‑9352322
3rd5491Michael SimsCarsington9‑142452‑12123
4th5651Peter MitchellWarsash SC3‑995464(DNC)31
5th5599Tim LawSalcombe Yacht Club117121‑13‑161234
6th4834Peter BallantineSalcombe Yacht Club664‑10‑1087435
7th5637Oliver DavenportRedesmere Sailing Club‑1512(DSQ)32106942
8th5658Steve DenisonHollingworth S.C7536‑184‑211843
9th5645Ian HopwoodNantwich‑2718776‑435851
10th613Peerke KortekaasWSVR‑131361399(DNC)555
11th5608Steve EdeArdleigh SC10105(BFD)‑2613151265
12th5314Leo DixonWest Kirby SC & Hayling Island SC‑3023‑441173202488
13th5398Martin HonnorOgston SC21‑34‑291816189789
14th5130Mark LeeWeymouth‑3438192220‑262092
15th5668Oliver WellsNorthampton Sailing Club220(DNC)26‑327113197
16th5665Iain McGregorSalcombe Yacht Club‑40‑492414822161498
17th5656Kevan GibbLargo Bay Sailing Club RFYC‑4611131621‑41241398
18th4982Nick BonnerHayling Island sailing club‑671911‑351921101999
19th5363David MitchellWarsash SC16‑36(BFD)1511151730104
20th5573Chris CleavesSalcombe Yacht Club39‑51261223‑441310123
21st5595Andrew FoxLeigh And Lowton SC‑7015‑4183339833136
22nd5507Nigel PybusDraycote Water122828281725(DNF)(DNF)138
23rd5369Andy RitchieHykeham Sailing Club‑5517(BFD)1720262236138
24th5444Graham CranfordSmithSalcombe Yacht Club824‑46232932(DNF)26142
25th5569Nick RawlingsHayling Island Sailing Club25‑383121143823‑44152
26th5657Tim PolglaseHayling Island Sailing Club414719(BFD)12‑481817154
27th5234Alex CorbyChew Valley Lake Sailing Club363510(BFD)40‑591915155
28th4975Andy BaylissHykeham Sailing Club202620‑503923‑5628156
29th5553Alec PowellHayling Island Sailing Club & Lock SC183027‑44‑44362523159
30th5547Ian HoustonRYA‑5416(BFD)2236313325163
31st5514John DixonWest Kirby SC333316(BFD)252731‑51165
32nd5469Guy LonsdaleSouth Cerney32430‑39‑38343432166
33rd5643Chris BrownDraycote Water5227(BFD)(BFD)15293016169
34th5670Vince. HoreyKing George S.C.373732(BFD)‑59401411171
35th5134Robert LaurieRYA22‑59252035‑542941172
36th5524Kev HallNorthampton Sailing Club454122(BFD)301227‑56177
37th5682James RowlandHamble River26‑74183041‑472834177
38th5300Doug LattaPortchester SC‑74‑39233237173237178
39th5126Vanda JowettLittleton Sailing Club52(BFD)3649‑535342187
40th5406Jarvis SimpsonRYA2355(BFD)‑6334193721189
41st5596Ray CollinsLocks SC44‑521541451441‑54200
42nd5655John WebsterCarsington38‑504031282844‑58209
43rd5023Brian HollandSouth Caernarvonshire Yacht Club‑65‑61173427513548212
44th4503Ian IngramEarlswood lakes47(DNF)144524‑565038218
45th5324Steve CorbyKGSC2932(BFD)38‑47374245223
46th5610Gerry GoodfellowSt. Mary's Loch Sailing Club‑69‑66373742354627224
47th5332Roger LumbySalcombe Yacht Club1921524256‑6636‑57226
48th5494John SteelsStarcross Yacht Club284438404830‑60‑49228
49th5685Thomas HootonRYA‑53435048311148‑53231
50th5535Tim JacksonPapercourt43223949‑504543(BFD)241
51st5102Jonathan JowettLittleton Sailing Club‑5948(BFD)2446504539252
52nd5644Geoff HoldenNorthampton Sailing Club62‑67214760(BFD)3929258
53rd4927Ross LonsdaleWest Oxfordshire31403554‑64‑696440264
54th5416Tony SampsonSouth Caernarvonshire Yacht Club49‑6543(BFD)43425243272
55th5683Andrew HylandSpinnaker SC73643633(BFD)2447(BFD)277
56th580Arnold JippesKWS‑66565925(BFD)643835277
57th5352Mike WilkieDesborough Sailing Club42423355(DNC)(DNC)4964285
58th5570Malcolm BuchananLymington Town SC‑72‑70455163525522288
59th4679Mark FullerPapercourt60544746(BFD)4640(BFD)293
60th5403Adam SavageElton Sailing Club3529(BFD)275168(DNC)DNF297
61st5647Patrick BurnsRYA2446625262‑7061‑63307
62nd5574Malcolm BellSalcombe Yacht Club576048575733(DNC)(DNF)312
63rd5373Phil SturmerRoyal Burnham Yacht Club5831346261‑73‑6767313
64th5312Stuart NorrisShropshire SC48‑68545355‑625847315
65th5306Adrian GriffinSalcombe Yacht Club‑75‑78582968575450316
66th5024Robert MitchellChew Valley Lake Sailing Club565349435463(DNC)(DNF)318
67th5575Shaun WelshWeston Sailing Club505851‑60‑67605160330
68th5496Paul McCombieSt Andrews Sailing Club63‑75(BFD)5652585761347
69th5087Stephen OwenPwllheli Sailing Club144542(BFD)(BFD)DNCDNCDNF362
70th4538Eric PaalmanBudworth Sailing Club‑68626164‑70676346363
71st5237Derek JackmanChichester Yacht Club‑71‑69606165616652365
72nd4506Andy AndersonHunts(DNC)(DNC)55DNC66496255374
73rd5220Andrew BorneSalcombe Yacht Club797757655355(DNC)(DNF)386
74th5649Alan BishopGirton1725(BFD)(BFD)DNCDNCDNCDNC390
75th5479Nigel AnnettLlangors647667595871(DNF)(DNF)395
76th5436David MoodyHayling Island Sailing Club777156586965(DNC)(DNF)396
77th5185Ian NobleBudworth Sailing Club‑8072646674‑765968403
78th5003Paul BottomleySouth Staffs Sailing Club‑7673637071‑746562404
79th3822Paul HoadClwb Hwylio Clywedog‑81‑81656872727065412
80th5536Michael DaviesBudworth Sailing Club‑78‑79666975776859414
81st4572David RedpathSt. Mary's Loch Sailing Club515753(BFD)(BFD)DNCDNFDNF422
82nd5021Mark ClearyBudworth Sailing Club‑8280(DNC)6773756966430
83rd5617David GreeningSalcombe Yacht Club6163(DNC)(BFD)BFDDNCDNCDNF472
84th5302Shane MacCarthyGreystones SC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCBFDDNCDNCDNF522
84th5639Andy TunnicliffeBurwain SC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC522
84th5630Jonathan MoonWeston Sailing Club(DNC)(DNC)BFDDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC522

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