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Allen Enterprise Nationals at South Caernarvonshire Yacht Club - Overall

by Phil Bevan 19 Aug 2017 22:08 BST 5-11 August 2017

The Enterprise Class held its National Championship this year at Abersoch, hosted by South Caernarvonshire Yacht Club, from 6th to 11th August. The event was generously sponsored by Allen, Rooster, Selden, SpeedSix, and T&L Leasing.

Attendance was down on recent years, but it was still very competitive on the water and very sociable off the water. In this one design class boats ranged from the latest epoxy creations to the traditional varnished wooden boats. Two of the top three were over twenty years old, Tony Prior built boats.

An interesting development this year was the number of fathers attending with their daughters. The girls both sailed and partied hard!

The first day was disappointing with no racing taking place, but this was of little consequence in what turned out to be an absolutely excellent week of racing. The Race Team, led by Chris Hoppins, did a brilliant job with very little waiting around on the water and great courses.

In the first day of racing, Monday, 3 races were held in a nice F3 out in the bay. Phil and Laura Bevan won the first race, followed by Dave and Beth Porter (note the "father / daughter" theme). Race 2 and 3 were won by Jeremy and Rebecca Stephens (another "father / daughter" team). Phil Ford and Jane Humpage (not father and daughter) were second in Race 2 and Martin and Abigail Honnor (yes – "father / daughter") were second in race 3.

The second day brought more wind, F4. This proved to the liking of Paul Hobson and Craig Wheatley who banged in two bullets in races 4 and 5. There was a slight drama during race 5 when Paul and Craig got to the windward mark only to realise they had no idea where the wing mark was. The fleet blindly followed them towards the shore, until eventually the mark was spotted way downwind. The fleet then peeled off to go virtually side by side down what was now a run. Martin and Abigail came second in race 4 and Jeremy and Rebecca second in race 5.

Racing resumed on the Thursday after the lay-day. Race 6 was held in light winds F2/3 with the windward mark under the cliffs towards Pwllheli. This resulted in some big holes and interesting wind shifts. There were some big place changes; one of the more dramatic being when Phil and Laura whilst near the front of the fleet took an extreme left route on the second beat leaving the rest of the fleet to head out to sea – only to lose at least 10 places. At the end, it was the reigning National Champion, Tim Sadler sailing with Millie Pryke that mastered the conditions to get the win. Ann Jackson and Alan Skeens were second.

For the second race of the day (race 7), the course was re-set towards the west in better wind. A slight pin bias and a favoured left side saw the leading group of boats emerge from there. Phil and Jane, Phil and Laura, and Tim and Millie, rounded the windward mark in that order. Tim however timed his gybes to perfection to pull ahead on the run. These three pulled out ahead and after a close battle, it was Tim and Millie who got their second win of the day, followed by Phil and Jane, then Phil and Laura.

The entertainment for Thursday night included the very popular band "Elephant Juice". It all got very lively with the fleet going for it in their fancy-dress costumes. Two new Selden booms were on offer – one auction, one raffle. Seeing what was to come the following day, this was very appropriate. The fancy dress was "Pirates" or "name of your boat". Charles Morrish sails "Tutu Won One Too" (boat number 22112 get-it?) and hence, after bribery of £200 to the RNLI, he actually wore a tutu!

The forecast for Friday had always been rather scary looking. So, when the fleet gathered on the beach with the wind howling, there was more than a degree of trepidation. However, this turned out to be one of those days that anyone taking part will never forget. What followed was "the mother of all dinghy races", a day of drama, for some a day of carnage. Getting down to the start was exhilarating enough, but then the wind and waves increased! Ges Brown and Julie Moore decided to live up to their boat name "Wimp" and headed in.

This was the Facebook conversation that took place when the crews were asked about their recollections of the race:

  • "Race 8 – it was too windy and Millie wanted to cry for the majority" - Millie
  • "I was terrified and thought I was honestly going to die" - Becca
  • "I cried" – Beth
  • "Had a lil' birthday girl paddy" - Beth
  • "Think I got whiplash from them waves" - Meg
  • "It was literally like being waterboarded for the entirety of the beat" – Millie
  • "At least nobody died" – Millie
  • "Race 8 us and the Bevans were always right next to each other on the runs and me and Laura just pulled terrified faces at each other the whole way down" - Becca
As the boats lined up for the start, there was a large bunch at the committee boat. Phil and Laura came close to T-boning the committee boat, only to be saved at the last minute. The boat below, Andy and Sarah Gomm, got a bit too close to Nick Jackson and Molly Nixon their boom snapped as it touched Nick and Molly's foredeck. They were the first of many retirements. Phil and Laura therefore fluked the perfect start.

The beat was hard work with mains frequently flogging. Paul and Craig were doing well when their kicker failed and they had to stop for repairs. At the windward mark it was Martin and Abigail first closely followed by Phil and Laura. If the upwind leg had been full on, what came next was a whole different league. The wind had been against the tide and a big swell had built up. Martin on rounding the spacer mark and bearing away onto the run, immediately got swept out of the boat, followed by a spectacular capsize and an "expletive deleted". For those who successfully bore away, the run involved going airborne off the waves with frequent wild rolls and mighty crashes into the backs of waves. With a gate at the bottom, it was in theory possible to get round without a gybe, but most had to do at least one gybe a lap. Down the first run Jeremy and Rebecca showed outstanding (foolhardy, idiotic) downwind speed to fly past Phil and Laura to lead through the gate. However, Phil and Laura had mastered the upwind better and were clearly ahead by the windward mark. They nearly lost it though when, after bearing way onto the run, they had a coming together with a boat on the beat. Yet again Jeremy and Rebecca went for broke and let it rip downwind. They sneaked into the lead just before the finish, but having sailed hotter angles needed to do two extra gybes to get through the gate. This allowed Phil and Laura to get on the inside and claim their second race win. Slightly further back, Tim and Millie had rounded the windward mark in 3rd place – enough to get them on the podium overall. Unfortunately for them a charge to the left of the run didn't work out and Ann and Alan, Jon Woodward and Karen Alexander, and Paul and Craig got through.

The drama hadn't finished though, as a whole fleet of beating offshore racing yachts with dozens of crew on the rail decided they had to sail the Enterprise course and one went right through the leeward gate!

With enough excitement having taken place, the race officer decided to call it a day – and the end of the championship. That just left a long, long beat in something close to a F7 to get back ashore!

With the points all added up it was a clear and well deserved overall win for Jeremy and Becca Stephens. They finished in the top 10 in all races with a discard of 7th. This is their first National Championship victory and are a popular and well-liked team. Phil Ford and Jane Humpage came second, for the second time in a row, with Phil and Laura Bevan in third. Last year's winner Tim Sadler came fourth.

Silver fleet was won by Andy and Sarah Gomm. Bronze fleet was won by Paul Young and Emma Coleman. First under 21 helm was James Driver and first under 18 crew was Molly Nixon. First Lady helm and first Veteran was Ann Jackson crewed by Alan Skeens, who were only one place ahead of Alice Allen and Sharkey. First married couple was Jane and Nick Scutt.

Rooster donated sets of jib sheets for the boat that came last in each race – but you couldn't win more than one set. So, with 9 races planned – a lot of boats now sport some fancy new ropes. The lowest placed boat, all races completed (not last overall and including that last race!) went to Robin Broomfield and Paul Bloomfield, who also won the Allen Best Improver nomination for demonstrating the most competitive improvement over the championship week.

It was an excellent championship; superb sailing, brilliantly organised, and fantastic fun! Once again, many thanks to our valuable sponsors: to Allen for the very generous overall prizes; to Selden for donating two booms for raffle and auction; to T&L Leasing for sponsoring the social events, to SpeedSix for their great race day prizes and hull polish for all; and Rooster for the last place jib sheet prizes and neckwarmers all round.

The next National Championship event will be the Youths (under 21) to be held at Bristol Corinthian YC on the weekend of 23rd / 24th September, this having had to be moved from Barnt Green SC on 2nd/3rd September due to maintenance work and lack of water. There will be training on the Saturday provided by acclaimed coach, Adam Bowers, and the actual championship races on the Sunday.

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

PosSail NoBoat NameHelmCrewClubFleetR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8Pts
1st22652THAT'S ENTERTAINMENTJeremy StephensRebecca StephensPenzance SCGold‑7116245221
2nd23270KITTYPhil FordJane HumpageBristol Corinthian YCGold32655‑202831
3rd22439FLOOZYPhil BevanLaura BevanGrafham Water SCGold131394‑143134
4th23384 Tim SadlerMillie PrykeYorkshire Dales SCGold114310‑1411636
5th23411BLUE JOB ON TOPPaul HobsonCraig WheatleyBeaver SCGold‑1671011311538
6th22619RIOT VANMartin HonnorAbigail HonnorOgston SCGold8922(DSQ)541242
7th23349TO INFIRMITY & BEYONDAnn JacksonAlan SkeensBurghfield SCGold48121432(DSQ)346
8th22501BLUE JOBAlice AllenSharkeyBristol Corinthian YCGold5‑1874109161364
9th23344HUNKY DORYJames DriverStephen DriverNorth London SAGold(DSQ)108126714764
10th22102 David PorterBeth PorterWest Lancs YCGold21511‑1988191679
11th23410WIMPGes BrownJulie MooreSouth Caernarvonshire YCGold121141816139(RET)83
12th23015WEDG‑ENick JacksonMolly NixonBurghfield SCGold62125711108(RET)88
13th22418LIMITED EDITIONAndy GommSarah GommOgston SCSilver131318818613(RET)89
14th22451 Ben HillGabe HillWest Lancs YCSilver195‑2421201171093
15th22112TUTU WON ONE TOOCharles MorrishMarc HegerSt Mary's Loch SCSilver21‑255131215151495
16th23089SIMPLY REDJon WoodwardKaren AlexanderSouth Staffordshire SCGold(DSQ)24143719DSQ4100
17th19876SUBSONIC WHINKLEMatt JohnsonHannah SadlerWeir Wood SCSilver106202319‑24617101
18th22702ESPADARTEJane ScuttNick ScuttMiddle Nene SCSilver1417‑191615181011101
19th22272CATCHMEIFUCANCharles AdamsMegan AdamsWest Lancs YCSilver9161520‑2316179102
20th23346BAD BOUTROSPhil SnewinRos ColemanSouth Caernarvonshire YCSilver201291713‑231815104
21st23351BIG SUMMER BLOW OUTJohnny AllenJames HobsonBristol Corinthian YCSilver1519211591220(RET)111
22nd22901OUT OF THE BLUEPaul YoungEmma ColemanMidland SCBronze1820221121‑261220124
23rd22935MALABARChris PalmerBeatrice BotticelliPenarth YCBronze17141724221722(RET)133
24th21932UMBen BurrowsBeatrix BurrowsWest Oxfordshire SCBronze232216252421‑2621152
25th23140MY AIM IS TRUERichard LeachChris KeatleyPenarth YCBronze22‑26232217252419152
26th22705TWO BEE'sRobin BroomfieldPaul BloomfieldMinima YCBronze26‑28272827222318171
27th23312AKANGRAPeter RendallHelen CumminsPenarth YCBronze24232626252721(RET)172
28th23245 John BerryNeil BawdenEtherow SCBronze25272827262825(RET)186

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