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Osprey National Championship at Weymouth Sailing Club - Runners and Riders

by Kevin Francis 28 Jul 16:58 BST 16-19 August 2018
Perfect conditions at the Osprey nationals in Weymouth © Mike Rice / www.fotoboat.com

August 16th-19th sees the Osprey National Championships taking place from Weymouth Sailing Club. With only a little under three weeks to go and the entry already at a point that will surpass the previous Weymouth best of 40 boats it's time to look down the list of competitors and pick out some teams that are likely to be fighting it out at the top.

1. 1322 Peek a Boo, Matt Burge & Stuart Maunder
This team are always a welcome regular at the Osprey Nationals and have had a very successful track record over previous years. Matt seems very at home in Stuarts Hartley Mk IV and as such is predicted to be a top 3 contender. The club have put in additional supplies at the bar to keep Matt hydrated during the evening socials.

2. 1234 Plan B, Terry Curtis & Peter Greig
Current National Champions, this hugely experienced team will take some beating. Having restored an older Mk III for this campaign there are still some tweaks to be made and a few more open meetings would have helped the preparation but it's still very likely that they will have found the fast button in time. Terry having just returned from a great performance at the OK dinghy Worlds is also match fit and keen to prove the new boat.

3. 1356 Shippy McShip Face, Ben & Simon Hawkes
Well known father and son combo that have really dialled in the boat and teamwork this year, so far they have been in great form sweeping up a number of Open wins on the bounce and looking ever more dominant. Simon has returned to crewing duties and has sacrificed some Phantom ballast for a leaner meaner look. Over time they have helped develop Exe sails for the boat and now look to have the speed and height needed for the big one. This pairing is anticipated to be right up there at the front.

4. 1290 Swiftwun, Martin Cooney & Peter Frith
Great ambassadors for the class and Multiple Nationals winners, this team know all there is to know about the Osprey and will be keen to teach the new generation a few lessons. Still super consistent they last won the trophy in 2015 but are more than capable of putting that right especially if they get away from the pack.

5. 1116 Lethal Weapon, Sam Barker & Mikey Greig
A newly formed team for this year, Sam is well known locally and beyond for his exploits successfully helming pretty much anything that floats and will get the most out of the Osprey, Mikey is a hugely experienced crew and the owner of the legendary Lethal Weapon, so especially if it's a windy event these could well be the surprise package.

6. 1363 Robbers Alley, Alistair Raynard & Rob Burdekin
Another relatively new team to the Osprey these boys hail from Carsington and have quietly set about refining the new Mk V boat to great effect. They have been ever present in 2018 especially in the favoured lighter winds and have claimed several Open wins to help boost the confidence. If conditions suit them they will be ones to watch.

Rumours abound that Adam Bowers will return this year in Blue Moon complete with new paint job and if this is the case then yet another former Champion will be sure to mix it all up.

Preparations are now well in hand, the social programme is being finalised and plenty of beer is on order. If you own an Osprey, new or old and have never attended a Nationals then this would be the year, we are a friendly, family orientated class that enjoys exciting racing and relaxed socials, find out more at www.ospreysailing.org. The class would like to take this opportunity to thanks its generous sponsors for their continued support: Hartley boats, Sea Sure, Allen, Marlow Ropes, Rain and Sun, Moatt Sails, Gul and Clam Cleat.

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