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Graduate National Championship at Notts County Sailing Club

by Alistair Roaf 31 May 2018 07:18 BST 26-28 May 2018

During the May bank holiday weekend, the Graduate sailors gathered at Notts County Sailing Club for their 2018 National Championships. With the forecast of thunderstorms for the weekend, it was a pleasant surprise to be greeted with blue skies and a force four northerly wind.

Two races were scheduled for Saturday, three on Sunday and one on Monday.

Race one favoured those who went left. First round the windward mark were John Clementson and Melanie Titmus closely followed by Andy and Sue Flitcroft, and Richard Abenostern and Izzy Waterfall. The racing remained close with positions within the bulk of the fleet changing at each mark. It was John and Melanie who crossed the line first. Second and third were Richard and Izzy, and Andy and Sue, respectively. After the racing was over, three teams learned they were OCS which shows how competitive the fleet is.

Race two started similar to race one with John and Melanie in the lead. However, they chose to cover boats on the left of the second beat and missed James Webber and Helen Recardo screaming up the right hand side, giving James and Helen the lead for a couple of legs. John and Melanie eventually pushed through to take their second bullet. The rest of the fleet were closely packed together with lots of shouting at the marks. Second and third were reversed from the first race with the Flitcrofts coming second.

Race three was John and Melanie's who started at the front and were never to be caught. However, it was Paul and Isabelle Craig (aged 10) who were enjoying the race in the developing wind of Sunday morning.

Race four saw the wind increase and shift to northeast with exciting gusts rolling down from the hill. The first beat was very tight with everyone having to fight hard for their position. However, when the gusts hit the reaching boats, the fleet was opened up with the lead boats getting the most pressure. John and Melanie fought through from mid fleet to take first followed by the Flitcrofts and Richard and Izzy.

Race five saw Sam (aged 12) and Tony Cooper first round the windward mark, keeping John and Melanie behind with the rest of the fleet following closely. Again John and Melanie pushed through to take the lead and win. The real battle was between Andy and Sue, and Richard and Izzy who were competing for second place in the race and overall. This saw these two boats match racing each other all the way to the finish. Richard and Izzy prevailed to take second and then promptly capsized!

Monday started with the crews/ladies race. The race started with the Race Officer flying code "X," and a couple of boats returned back to the line. Melanie Titmus took the early lead. Alistair Roaf was first to the windward mark followed by Melanie and Tony Cooper. By the end of the run Melanie and Tony had passed Alistair. Working her way up the fleet was Isabelle Craig and by the end of first lap was lying forth. The positions remained the same to finish. It was only at the end that Melanie learned she was OCS. This meant Tony Cooper won the crews race and Isabelle Craig was the best lady helm.

The final race was in lighter winds compared to the rest of the weekend. This did not stop John and Melanie demonstrating they are winners in any wind. They took the lead and continued to extend it throughout the race. Roger Cherill and Meg Warren were leading the chase for most of the race but lost out near the end. Enjoying the conditions were Paul and Isabelle Craig who worked their way up to second place which they held to the finish. Also liking the lighter conditions were Richard and Jane Thorpe who were in the leading pack and finished third.

With six wins the clear winners were John Clementson and Melanie Titmus who are the 2018 Graduate National Champions. Thank you for Notts County for hosting the Nationals and for providing the great social after the sailing which made an excellent event enjoyed by all.

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

PosSail NoHelmCrewR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
12979John ClementsonMelanie Titmus-1111115
23013Richard AbenosternIzzy Waterfall23242-813
33001Andy FlitcroftSue Flitcroft32323-413
42928Paul CraigIsabelle Craig-54534218
52873Sam CooperTony Cooper4-11857933
63015James WebberHelen Recardo-OCS77651136
72962Roger CherrillMeg Warren-OCS64DNC9538
83020Bob MurrellMaggie Murrell-OCS5676RET38
93004Richard ThorpeJane Thorpe9-1010910341
103016Rob RiddelsdellSally Riddelsdell79910-DNC641
112901Hamilton RoafAlistair Roaf881188-1243
122896Sam MckayAnna Coppinger6-DNCDNCDNCDNC755
133014David LockwoodKadriye Lockwood10-DNFRETDNCRET1062

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