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Tasar UK National Championship at Hayling Island Sailing Club

by Sarah Desjonqueres 11 Sep 2018 16:05 BST 7-9 September 2018

With the World Championships coming to Hayling Island SC in 2019, the Tasar Nationals enjoyed their best turnout in over a decade with 40 boats signing on to race. Early Friday 7th September, HISC opened its doors and welcomed the happy visitors with open arms for 3 days of highly competitive, thrilling sailing. With a sunny, breezy Hayling Bay calling, ripples of excitement spread around the boat park as the unmistakable sound of new sails being rolled out and tactical chit chat filled the air.

As always, the Tasar fleet is a wonderful mix of old and new, both boats and sailors (if I may say so). Racing competitively, toe to toe, were brand new boats just off the production line alongside 40 year old boats built in the early 1970s. Steering them skilllfully down the surf were helms of all ages, most notably our Dutch septuagenarian and an incredible 12 year old young lady called Gwen Sargant. The crews alike also spanned the ages, with 12 year Jan up the sharp end with his dad at the helm smiling from ear to ear and seasoned Dutch visitor Jan keeping the flag flying for the over 70s, he too, beaming up and down the legs with his helm Constantine.

So for day one, 40 boats left the beach and navigated their way through the chop hanging around the sandbar for a couple of solid races to kick off the championship. Under the beautiful backdrop of the Spinnaker Tower, the Tasar fleet, who had the pleasure of sharing the sailing space with 43 Contenders, had fun milling around the Committee Boat waiting to start. The sight of so many dinghies is always gorgeous, but it was a little like rush hour on a Friday night and it was not wise to take your eye off the ball.

Starting under a U flag made most of the fleet a little line shy, and caught out 4 overeager boats on first race of the day, including the HISC Commodore himself, Nick Peters. With a hint of Committee Boat end bias the fleet were a little bunched up on the line, but this soon dissipated as the fleet split, half out to sea, half in toward the beach. By now the wind had become a little unsettled, gusty and shifty and saw much place swapping as the boats criss-crossed their way up to the windward mark. Those who turned right toward the coast came out on top gaining places, and all up and down the beat, the leg rang with endless shouts for starboard, witnessed much dipping and called for countless quick tacks. All very eventful. The downwind legs were very broad favouring the those with good surfing skills as we all trailed in the wake of teams Sallis/Frary and Mcphee/Berry who by now had established a strong lead and were not letting it go. The race in the end went to Teams Sallis/Frary, followed by Mcphee/Berry and then Knight/Bell.

Race 2 only caught out one impatient boat on the start line and despite a quick shuffle to the left of the windward mark by the Race Team, the last race of the day was pretty much a repeat of the first, although first across the line this time was Team Mcphee/Berry, with HISC's Swann/Williamson taking second place, followed in by Dutch Team Shutte.

Conversations round the breakfast table on day 2 suggested less wind and far less sunshine to have fun with, however the countless hand held devices being consulted, confirmed that a sizeable dose of wind was already in Weymouth and definitely on its way up to Hayling Bay. And so, we all rigged and launched once more. The effect of wind over tide in such shallow waters had kicked up quite a swell and it was evident that day 2 was going to be a little more demanding than its predecessor.

Once more starting under the U flag, the whole fleet got away to a clean start and most headed left out to sea where it was paying dividends in the race to the windward mark. Again the beat rang to the chant of 'Starboard' and the meeting of many round the mark was a rather messy affair. The reaches were, for the second day, rather broad, in fact a little broader than day 1 and most boats reached for their whisker poles to get them to the gybe mark, a rock 'n' roll kind of fun with the waves the size they were and the leg bore witness to several capsizes. Team Mcphee/Berry were now in charge taking their second win, with Swann/Williamson in second and Sallis/Frary taking the third spot.

With three races to pack in, race 4 was slotted in before the Contender start, but too many excitable sailors forced a general recall triggering a black flag the next start. The black flag sent an effective message and the second attempt to get going was clean and with that the battle resumed. Again Team Mcphee/Berry came out on top followed in by Sallis/Frary giving a well deserved 3rd place to HISC's Team Porteous. The tide was now ebbing and the wind had dropped a little which made the last race of the day ideal for those great at timing the perfect pump down waves. No course changes were necessary and but this time there was a change at the top as the bullet went to Team Sallis/Fray, pushing Mcphee/Berry down into second and Team Schutte into third.

But the day wasn't over. For the uninitiated, attempting to return home with the tide in full ebb over the sandbar is a real eye opener. After 5 hours on the water, exhausted and a little hungry most sailors just wanted to be back at the club with a drink in their hand, but the wind/wave/tide combination over the sandbar had other plans for us. Sailing back to shore was a proper, gunwhale clinging, fast and furious ride which would give the Nemesis at Alton Towers a run for its money; once more, this was not the time to take your eye off the ball. Two words, washing machine.

Back in the clubhouse, HISC had sorted a fabulous evening for the Tasar sailors, delivering a mouth watering offering of food and a cake selection so delectable that you could feel the pounds going on just by looking at them all set to the dulcet tones of a lovely Jazz singer. The company for the evening was delightful, Tasar sailors are jolly good fun and a very friendly bunch to share a glass or two with and the washing machine experience was discussed with great excitement and exagerration. Local knowledge was imparted however, the dos and the do nots of crossing the sand bar were explained. We all listened intently.

The last day of the championship brought more wind, still South Westerly but a blowing a proper 15 knots by the end of the day. With 3 more races promised, we got cracking and went once more into the fray of the busy start line. Race 6 was clearly too exciting for everyone. 2 general recalls saw the boats take three attempts to get under way as the fleet divided once more up the beat with most choosing the route out to sea. This time the reaches had been tightened and the Tasar sailors were treated to some truly sublime, screaming reaches. With the wind beginning to whip across the bay, the steep short waves of day 2 had become big long, rolling ones and the conditions could not have been more delicious. The perfect course, (thanks Race Team) delivered two long, fast reaches allowing the Tasar to do what it was built for and sit up on the plane and simply fly.

As the day went on, the wind filled in further and the legs just got better and better. Days like this are why we all love sailing and we could not have asked for more. At the front of the fleet Team Mcphee/Berry were untouchable bagging all 3 bullets and sealing their National Champion crown. Unfortunately for Team Sallis/Frary their campaign was over, a broken top section in the first race saw them towed home and have to end their battle with Mcphee/Berry. With the exception of Teams Mcphee/Berry and Schutte, the lead pack now had some new faces fighting for position. Perhaps it was time for the more windy weather enthusiasts to step up or perhaps it was down to the tips Q&A kindly and expertly run by Craig Mcphee the evening before. Who knows, but it was HISCs Team Sayce and Team Childs/Jessup who posted top 3 places in today's feisty conditions sealing themselves 2nd and 3rd place overall respectively.

By now the morning's dark clouds had left scene and Hayling Bay was bathed in sunshine as the happy Tasar sailors found they had finished racing in time to avoid the washing machine and were able cut the corner back to base allowing them to go home in a rather more sedate and seemly fashion than the day before. Back in the boatyard bruised legs and sore hands paled into insignificance as we all reflected on what a wonderful weekend we had all enjoyed.

Thank you to HISC for organising a really super Nationals, their support boat cover was excellent, the races were prompt and efficient and the results were always already up by the time we got back to shore. Big thank you to Woodsy the Race Officer, he managed to give us all 8 races and has certainly whet our competitive appetites for the upcoming Worlds next year and thank you to Peter Hickson for all his wonderful photography. See you next year.

There are plenty more photos on the HISC website here.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoNatHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8Pts
1st2932GBRCraig McpheeGillian BerryClayton Bay Boat Club‑211121118
2nd2815GBRDavid SayceFiona SayceHayling Island SC‑1141110423236
3rd2835GBRSimon ChildsKate JessupHayling Island Sailing Club10108‑12932446
4th2876NEDWillem SchutteLuna SchutteZV Noord AA(UFD)31583510347
5th2154GBRJim TaylorJan TaylorHastings & St Leonards Sailing Club5(UFD)496107748
6th175GBRIan SwannGraham WilliamsonHayling Island Sailing Club1222(BFD)7128952
7th2933GBRRod PorteousMo PorteousHayling Island Sailing Club17610316(BFD)4561
8th1273GBRTim KnightPeter BellRoyal Lymington Yacht Club312517‑241151164
9th2802GBRJohn ReesMari ShepherdHayling Island Sailing Club‑1511136129131074
10th351GBRAlex ButlerTony ButlerHayling Island SC1614147‑196121483
11th2955GBRLachlan Pearman Whitstable yacht club/datchet sailing cl132091414(BFD)11687
12th742GBRPatrick SeylerSarah DesjonqueresPorthpean Sailing Club7(DNF)251811861590
13th2801GBRKeith WalkerRobert MastermanHayling Island Sailing Club2291715813‑24892
14th2921GBRChris SaillisMatt FraryGt Yarmouth and Gorleston15321(DNF)DNCDNC96
15th2629GBRRick PerkinsSarah PerkinsWhitstable YC67613184(DNC)DNC96
16th298NEDConstantijn UdoJan SlotemakerRotterdam sailing club813‑351117162016101
17th619GBRSimon HursfieldKatie BurridgeArmy Sailing Association‑2121161913211412.5116.5
18th274GBRTessa LancasterNick LancasterHISC1822‑33162071919121
19th2816GBRNeil SpacagnaSteve EusticeBabbacombe Corinthian SC(DNC)DNC12510151526125
20th2635GBRRob WilderHelen WilderTamesis Club1428183325189(DNC)145
21st2875GBRJon BloicePhilippa Bloicewhitstable2515‑282821251618148
22nd2832GBRColin CoardSimon FirminPevensey bay sailing club27‑31272222172212.5149.5
23rd2877GBRNick PetersKate PetersHayling Island SC(UFD)8745DNCDNCDNC150
24th2515GBRJudith MasseyJess ReganHISC1917212123(BFD)2623150
25th2640GBRJohn LawtonPhil CloseBabbacombe Corinthian Sailing Club23251924‑32221825156
26th669GERStephan HeimSusanne SchwickertPaderborner Yacht‑Club918‑323227262322157
27th1294GBRJosh CrispJess HunterArmy Sailing Association26‑30202928231720163
28th2633GBRZanna GoochLiz NorthWhitstable20272623‑30242824172
29th2631GBRMatthew SargentGwen SargentArmy Sailing Association(UFD)33232529202721178
30th281GBRRupert StockSteph StockRoyal Lymington(DNC)DNC2220151425DNC180
31st2522GBRIan ButterworthSue ButterworthMilton Keynes Sailing Club242624272627‑2927181
32nd2305GBRPhilip BlurtonMargaret BlurtonHastings and St Leonards30193131‑33283028197
33rd2156GBRDave ReasonRobbie MayHarwich Town Sailing Club(UFD)16DNCDNCDNC192117199
34th2513GBRAndrew YatesEd MaggsOlton Mere Sailing Club2932302634(DNC)DNCDNC235
35th2935GBRElizabeth PescodRoger PescodQueen Mary Sailing Club423(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC237
36th1258GBRBenedict WhybrowNathan ComptonClevedon Sailing Club2834293431(BFD)DNCDNC240
37th988GBRMatthew WetzWill FarrantSouth Cerney SC3236343036(DNC)DNCDNC252
38th2502GBRDavid MoseleyChris EvansBlithfield3429373535(DNC)DNCDNC254
39th278GBRStuart ColesAlex ColesEmsworth Slipper SC3124(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC265
40th2308GBRVeronica MooreJohn MooreWhitstable33(DNC)36DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC279
41st1189GBRGreg SwiftJanet SwiftHISC3535(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC280

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