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Ocean Elements 2018
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Seafly National Championship at Blakeney Sailing Club

by Robbie & John Claridge 29 May 2018 20:39 BST 19-20 May 2018
Seafly Nationals at Blakeney SC © Steve Soanes

The Seafly class continued its resurgence by holding its third National Championship since it was reformed at Blakeney Sailing Club in Norfolk over the weekend of the 19th and 20th of May. The fleet, consisting of six local boats, five visitors and including four of the new self draining versions had a challenging weekend sailing, with brilliant sunshine, light shifty winds, strong tides and (at times) an absence of water.

Race one saw Lymington's John Claridge and Pete Sanders pull out an impressive lead to win by a big margin, however, as the wind fell there were many changes in position amongst the rest of the fleet and it was Amy Robinson crewed by her father, defending champion Alan, who worked their way through to take second with Alan Jackson and Luke Lavender third.

Race two looked as if it was going to be a repeat of the first with John and Peter getting a good lead only to be overtaken by Amy and Alan when they ran aground. Inexplicably the front of the fleet then rounded one of the marks the wrong way, allowing Peter Blick and Robbie Claridge to take line honours, with Angela and George Harcourt second and Tom and Julie Scailes third.

Day two saw slightly more breeze and again it turned into a battle between locals Amy & Alan Robinson and John & Peter for the lead. Amy and Alan sailed brilliantly to hold off the Lymington duo who had sailed the wrong side of the channel marker and had to go back. Alan Jackson crewed this time by Jane Armstrong, finished a comfortable third.

With the results very much in the balance the final race saw Amy and Alan make the best start with John and Peter getting entangled with a channel marker, breaking their rudder downhaul. After sorting this, they managed to work their way through to second-place but there was no catching Amy and Alan who took the win and the championship with Alan Jackson and Jane coming third. This tied Alan and Jane on points with Peter Blick and Robbie Claridge, and it was the latter crew that took third overall on count back.

With John Myers and Roy Perryman setting courses that made the most of the winds and tidal courses, it was another super event at Blakeney sailing club who were, as usual, the perfect hosts. It is perhaps interesting to note that Amy and Alan Robinson were sailing one of the original wooden boats whilst the next three were the new "self drainers" indicating that the Class have done an excellent job of keeping the new boats on par with the old.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoBoat NameHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1st477MerlinAmy RobinsonAlan RobinsonBlakeney S.C.2(RET)114
2nd704 John ClaridgePete SandersLymington Y. C.1‑4225
3rd701SeafleePete BellRob ClaridgeLymington Y. C.‑51449
4th703MarshmellowAlan JacksonJane Armstrong Luke LavanderBlakeney S.C.3(RET)339
5th639WaterlooT. SkailesJ. SkailesOuter Bath S.C.(DNC)38617
6th653KittiwakeAngela HarcourtGeorge HarcourtBlakeney S.C.1027(DNC)19
7th620ZippideeSimon HibberdAlan CollettBlakeney S.C.8(RET)6519
8th644RascalMatt BorehamSteve SoanesBlakeney S.C.7(RET)5719
9th702GraceTim UrenBen UrenChichester Y.C.4(RET)9922
10th198FirebirdRobert OdlingGiles OdlingChew Valley S.C9(RET)10827
11th173SpiderHugh AmberyAngela HarcourtBlakeney S.C.6(RET)DNCDNC30