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J Composites 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Vane A National Championship at Gosport Model Yacht & Boat Club

by Mervyn Cook 13 Aug 2018 11:05 BST 29 July - 3 August 2018
Vane A Nationals at Gosport © Gillian Pearson

Sponsored by Dean and Reddyhoff.

This historic Championship has been held biennially at Gosport since 1923 except during the war years. The yachts are the largest model yacht class, up to 2.1m long and weighing up to 23 kilos. They are individually designed and built to a rating formula devised to enable widely different boats to race on an equal footing.

The boats are 'vane steered', with no radio control. With a minimum crew of two boats race in pairs, the length of the lake each way; three points for the beat out and two for the run. Between legs boats are retrieved and re-trimmed, rigging spinnakers if the wind suits.

This year there was a fleet of twenty boats racing through the week for the National Championship, the Scrutton Cup, plus five more for the mid-week Yachting Monthly Cup.

The Championship enjoys considerable status in the model yachting world; the fleet included past national champions in numerous classes, including full sized boats. This year there were nine younger people sailing as skippers or 'mates', as crews are known, a token of hope for the future of this fascinating class.

The first day coincided with the first storm of the summer, with driving rain and winds gusting over 30 knots. Surprisingly, after a demanding day's racing, one of the lighter designs led; Robert and Margaret Bell's Simpson designed Lightening. In second, one point down, were Graham Butler and Keith Wiseman sailing a Bantock Shield design, a longer, heavier yacht.

Monday and Tuesday's racing was fleeted. Although still unstable the wind gave fast, close racing. By the end of Tuesday, the lead had changed. Martin Roberts and Bernie McNulty, sailing a mid-weight Simpson M'Aidez, had taken a three-point lead from Butler and Wiseman.

The Wednesday of the Yachting Monthly Cup brought sun and lighter breezes. Raced over a single day knock-out competition, the finalists compete in a best of three, if necessary decided by a run.

This format is ideal for spectators as the progress of each boat is easy to follow. In the quarter finals some heats went to spinnaker runs. Two very different yachts reached the final. An iconic seventies Stollery design, Clockwork Orange, raced by younger skipper, C.J. Vice, mated by dad Rob, versus Peter Fothergill and Paul Edwards new Hollom design, Reference Point. Fothergill and Edwards, of the home club, won the cup by taking both beats.

The light shifty breezes of Thursday backed during the day through 120 degrees. After a long, hot day, Roberts and McNulty had widened their lead to five points, now from David and Alan Bell sailing a lightweight Simpson boat. Butler and Wiseman were one point behind.

The final day saw the best conditions of the week, with a light but steady south easterly. Roberts and McNulty had it all to lose as their boat was not ideal for light winds. However, they sailed superbly to increase their lead to nine points from David and Alan Bell, with Butler and Wiseman seven points behind in third.

Race Officers Roger Stollery on Sunday and Monday, Jacque Cook for the rest of the week, and the team of volunteers from Gosport Model Yacht and Boat Club, worked tirelessly in the challenging conditions to make the event one of which the club can be justifiably proud. Appreciation is also due to event sponsors Dean and Reddyhoff, Haslar Marina, without whose timely support the championship may not have taken place.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoSkipperMatePts
149Martin RobertsBernie McNulty102
279David BellAlan Bell93
310Graham ButlerKeith Wiseman86
499Shaun WyethThomas Wyeth 83
586Peter FothergillPaul Edwards77
697Peter WhitesideEddie Greenwood74
742Mike DannEric Meighen71
881Robert BellMargaret Bell69
825Chris HarrisMark Dicks69
1076Anthony WarrenLester Gilbert69
11167Derek PriestleyShaun Priestley61
1221CJ ViceRob Vice56
1332Zak RobertsBrillie Vice54
1488Graham WyethRay Baker52
1534Peter HopkinsMax Buttimer50
1677Lewis WyethRussell Wyeth49
171Dave GeldardAmber Geldard38
1867Arjan van der CingelEric van der Cingel35
1945Damian AckroydAdam Taylor31
20199Martin Bandey / Bill PrattSusanne Lewis31

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