Please select your home edition
Edition
P&B Autumn Sale 2018 - Leaderboard

2016 Battle of the Classes at the Southampton Boat Show

by Simon Lovesey 29 Sep 2016 14:32 BST 25 September 2016
Tom Collyer & Aaron Chadwick win the Battle of the Classes at the 2016 Southampton Boat Show © David Martin

With a record entry of 41 boats, 14 past and present Champions competing, the 2016 Battle of Classes at the Southampton Boat Show was all set to be a classic event. A brisk breeze and sunshine all added to a great atmosphere, and ensured plenty of spectators watching the various class associations.

As the fleet gathered at Southampton Water Activities Centre (SWAC) for a leisurely 12.30pm briefing, there was plenty of time to catch up with old friends in other classes and compare notes from their Boat Show visits.

The experienced race team from Royal Southampton Yacht Club, got the 2016 Battle of the Classes away efficiently at the scheduled 14:30 start time with Nigel Thomas, sailing his Mirror single handed, leading the way for the 90 minute pursuit race.

Next away at 14:33 was 14 year old Sam Cooper, the current Topper National Champion and recently back from being placed 3rd at the World Championships. It took Sam around 17 minutes and half a lap, for his Topper to overhaul the Mirror. At the end of the first lap, Sam had a good three minute lead over the next boat and was now faced with a gaggle of the faster boats, such as the 505 and B14, who had just started their first lap.

With winds gusting well over 20 kts, the SailRacer GPS trackers were regularly posting ever faster speeds on the reaches. Topping the speed charts, were the father and daughter pairing of Ralph and Sophie Singleton in their RS800, hitting 19.8 kts. The Singletons are no strangers to high speed, being winners in the MUSTO Speed Challenge during last winter's GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series.

With a decrease in the wind strength during the second half of the Pursuit race, the faster boats were finding it hard to make up time on those who started earlier. At the halfway stage, the front of the fleet broadly followed the starting order, with the Topper leading from the Mirror, with the Miracle Champions, Hannah and NIck Smith still some 7 minutes behind.

One sailor making some progress, was Iona Dixon in one of the Europes which was very impressive given she was sailing a borrowed £500 boat and her first time in the former Olympic Class.

Other boats starting to make progress through the fleet were the 420 of Youth Squad sailors, Tom Collyer and Aaron Chadwick, the OK of Richard Burton, and past RS200 Champion Matt Mee and Emma Norris. The 420 team had made easy work of some of the more challenging gusts earlier in the race, and regularly posting speeds over 15 knots on the SailRacer GPS trackers and topping the adjusted Speed Wall.

With five minutes to go to the finish, the young Topper Champion, Sam Cooper was still leading the star studded fleet and maintaining his first place for over an hour. But with a wall of faster boats getting ever closer, Sam was unable to maintain his position, letting the 420 of Tom Collyer and Aaron Chadwick power through on the upwind leg.

At the 90 minute mark, the 420 took the winning gun, with the Topper a distant second, and the OK of Richard Burton completing the podium. Tom Collyer and Aaron Chadwick, are the first Youth winners of the prestigious Battle of the Classes Pursuit race, taking home both the overall and youth trophies.

The prize giving was held on the main stage of the Southampton Boat Show, with Royal Southampton Yacht Club Commodore, Brian Hinde presenting the prizes.

It was great to see such a diverse range of classes and dinghy types represented, with sailors ranging from 14 to 80 years old, male and female, demonstrating how inclusive sailing is.

With thanks to British Marine, Royal Southampton Yacht Club, SailRacer, Southampton Boat Show and SWAC for supporting the 2016 Battle of Classes.

Overall Results: (top 3)

PosSail NoBoat TypeCrewClub
154536420Tom COLLYER & Aaron CHADWICKAldenham SC & Fishers Green SC
247768TopperSamuel COOPERWest Lancashire Yacht Club
32183OKRichard BURTON Oxford SC

Full results at Battle.SailRacer.org

Related Articles

2017 Battle of the Classes
Held at TheYachtMarket.com Southampton Boat Show Held on the first Sunday of TheYachtMarket.com Southampton Boat Show and open to dinghy class associations to enter two boats representing each of their boat types. Posted on 21 Sep 2017
2017 Battle of the Classes Preview
At TheYachtMarket.com Southampton Boat Show on Sunday The 2017 Battle of the Classes Pursuit Race will feature at TheYachtMarket.com Southampton Boat Show on 17th September 2017. The annual pursuit race is a fantastic show case for the diversity of the UK dinghy racing scene. Posted on 16 Sep 2017
Online entry now open
For the 2017 Battle of the Classes The 2017 Battle of the Classes Pursuit Race will feature at TheYachtMarket.com Southampton Boat Show on 17th September 2017. Posted on 10 Aug 2017
Europes and Finns at the Battle of the Classes
Racing during the Southampton Boat Show Team Dixon were the first to arrive at SWAC followed by Team Tweedle and finally myself who rolled in at a leisurely 10:30am. After rigging, attention turned to finely tuning John Tweedle's newest addition to the family fleet – daughter Caitlin's Europe. Posted on 27 Sep 2016
All set for the 2016 Battle of the Classes
At the Southampton Boat Show on Sunday This Sunday's pursuit race, where various Dinghy Class Associations will Battle it out in front of the Southampton Boat Show crowds to find the best, is all set to be a classic event. Posted on 24 Sep 2016
2016 Battle of the Classes
Online entry is now open The 2016 Battle of the Classes Pursuit Race will feature at the Southampton Boat Show on 25th September 2016. Posted on 2 Sep 2016
Battle of the Classes 2015
Classic pursuit race, from Topper to International 14 The 2015 Battle of the Classes held at the Southampton Boat Show saw entries from 31 dinghy classes and a star studded cast, including 6 current National Champions and many top sailors, all battling it out to see who would be top. Posted on 15 Sep 2015
Battle of the Classes preview
Sunday at the Southampton Boat Show The 2015 Battle of the Classes, kindly hosted by the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club and Southampton Water Activities Centre (SWAC), will see 35 boats representing 30 Dinghy Classes, race in front of the Southampton Boat Show. Posted on 12 Sep 2015
Battle of the Classes 2015
To be held at the Southampton Boat Show The 2015 Battle of the Classes will be held at the Southampton Boat Show on Sunday 13th September. Posted on 27 Aug 2015
2014 Battle of the Classes
Bart's Bash at the PSP Southampton Boat Show Be part of a Guinness World Record attempt at the PSP Southampton Boat Show on 21st September and show your support for the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation. Posted on 11 Sep 2014