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Sharpie National Championship at Wells Sailing Club

by James Case 21 Jun 2017 10:24 BST 16-18 June 2017

The British fleet was boosted by the much appreciated presence of five Dutch and one German Sharpie. The tight racing schedule was immediately tested on the first day. Committee boat "Serafina" had a lively ride into Holkham bay, hoping the gusty Westerly f 4-5, would be manageable, albeit testing. Once the Sharpies arrived at sea, it became clear conditions would dictate a course in Wells harbour, to the relief of many crews.

Despite neap tides limiting options, a tight Olympic course was set. The Dutch boats revelled in the conditions, with Daan Versteeg / Patrick Neal in NED14 & Dennis Van Vliet / Patrick Van Raalte in NED135 both posting a first and second, with Jan Peter Braam / Jeroen Liesveld in NED 8 having, what proved to be their worst day, posting a 4th & 3rd. Martin Read / Imogen Gibbs GBR135 were a creditable 4th in race 2. Several capsized others float tested their crews, but the harbour course allowed for easier recovery of boats and sailors.

Day 2 the fleet got to race at sea, with a Westerly force 2. After a clean start, the fleet split, with the majority proving the inshore option was the way to go. NED8 rounded with a huge lead, son & father, Will and Chris Gibbs GBR125 second, and NED135 third, all holding their positions to the finish.

With a fading breeze, the course was compressed for the second race of the day. The fleet behaved at the start, slowed as the wind reduced, and finished with a rapidly arranged shortened course, and an increasingly influential cross tide. The now familiar sail numbers NED8, GBR125, & NED135 crossed in that order, with another son/father team, Will & Tim Adams GBR134 in fourth.

The final day was a scorcher, with a stronger than anticipated breeze. The conditions suited the Dutch once again, with NED8 winning their third consecutive race, Peter Jonker / Peter Verkerk in NED118 second, & GBR125 third.

The soaring heat played havoc with the wind, clocking round from West to East during the course of the day, requiring numerous buoy movements. It also meant the strengthening tide, was pushing the fleet over the start line for the final race, leading to the inevitable general recall. This brought the black flag out for the restart. Eight boats fell victim, and headed home for a cooling shower. The vastly reduced fleet brought new faces to the fore, with Andrew Cracknell / Justine Sykes GBR16 delighted to win their first Nationals race. Second was NED14, NED8 was "only" third, following a safe late start, with the series already won. Fleet newcomers Mark Elson / Alastair Drew GBR132 had a much improved final day in their borrowed boat, scoring a 4th & 5th.

NED8 won the series, and Spring Rice trophy, with NED135 second overall. Third on points, and best placed Brit, Will Gibbs, became the youngest ever British Sharpie Champion, proudly crewed by father, Chris.

The Sharpie European Championship takes place at Alkmaardemeer Netherlands, from 30th July – 4th August.

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

PosSail NoHelmCrewR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1stNED 8Jan Pieter BraamJeroen Liesveld‑4311139
2ndNED 135Dennis Van VlietPartick Van Raalte2132‑5412
3rdGBR 125Will GibbsChris Gibbs35233(BFD)16
4thNED 14Daan VersteegPatrick Neal1277‑10219
5thGBR 135Martin ReadImogen Gibbs641057(BFD)32
6thGBR 132Mark ElsonAlastair Drew117‑12104537
7thNED 15Piet KraanTon Van Berkel781566(BFD)42
8thNED 118Peter JonkerPeter Verkerk12101192(BFD)44
9thGBR 134Will AdamsTim Adams89144‑201146
10thGBR 118Simon NealeHarvey Gunhouse(RET)1361512652
11thGBR 12Bob BradshawCharlie Orton(RET)613168952
12thGBR 69Rob WynneSally Wynne1314‑16149858
13thGBR 128Alex SmithPaul Beachell(RET)12912171060
14thGBR 16Andrew CracknellJustine Sykes(RET)1742118161
15thGBR 47Chris HardyKieron Scillitoe10111717‑19762
16thGBR 111Tim AshbyCharlie Borthwick1418‑2011161271
17thGBR 133Paul GoakesWilliam Fillingham(RET)1681314BFD74
18thNED 226Richard MulderijAlastair Ogle5(RET)181811BFD75
19thGBR 2Ben CracknellJacob Cracknell915212015(BFD)80
20thGER 122Uwe PetersGunter Daubenmerkl(DNS)DNS19813RET86
21stGBR 77Tim GibbsTom Gibbs(DNC)DNC519RETBFD93
22ndGBR 79Philip JonesMartin Few(DNC)DNCRETRETDNCDNC115

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