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Solution National Championship at Pembrokeshire Yacht Club sponsored by Bainbridge International

by Jack Turnbull 12 Sep 11:08 BST 1-2 September 2018
Solution Nationals at Pembrokeshire © Pembrokeshire Yacht Club

Seven travellers and six local boats made for a very good nationals with a mix of local knowledge and travelling enthusiasm. With a 4 nautical mile sail to the racing area everybody made it, even if Paul Nix only had 4 minutes to spare.

With everyone vying for position to get a good first race, it was Christian Smart who led around the windward mark followed very closely by Martin Tubb as the left hand side of the course was seeming to pay. Sam Davy & Jack Turnbull followed, with the latter being the first of those who had gone further right. There was a very tight group coming into the mark with a mix of ports and starboards which caused a bit of havoc. As the race went on Christian started to pull away as Martin and Sam fought it out for second place with that honour going to Sam and Martin taking third.

The second race started with a couple of the fleet over the line and having to go back... or not if you didn't realise. The majority of the fleet stuck to the left hand side of the course this time with Christian and Jack going round the mark simultaneously, a few perfectly timed pumps and the extra speed from Christian was all the gap needed to drop Jack on the following downwind leg, with Sam following past him as well. By the last lap the front three positions were sorted as Kevin Clark had emerged from the congested fleet behind.

The third race again saw a couple of the fleet over and having to return. This time Ross "the Shadow" Prytherch got a storming start and joined Christian up front around the windward mark. The following windward leg Sam Davy overtook Ross as did Jack, who then lost it again on the downwind leg, until the following upwind leg.

The evening entertainment was a quiz and BBQ and, with the weather being as dry as it can be for Wales, was a very good evening, proving that the Solutions have better brain power than the Cherubs!

The second day dawned to a glorious Welsh summer's day... and all 13 boats re-launched and sailed a much shorter distance to the new race area of the day. With Christian making a rare mistake and ending up being the boat over the line (3 recalls in a row is unheard of in the Solution fleet!), Jack took advantage and lead around the windward mark after a small tacking duel to get clean air. Ross "the Shadow" was right behind though, and downwind took advantage with superior downwind speed. Ross then held the lead for a couple of laps as Sam and Christian worked their way up the fleet, both managing to get past and all but mathematically securing their final positions with 2 races to spare.

The fifth race got underway as the wind increased slightly to give the best reaching of the weekend. Kevin Clark re-discovered his mojo and pushed Christian all way with Sam watching from a safe distance in between them and the pack. An interesting situation at the leeward mark unfolded, as 3 boats tried to round at the same time as kindly as they could. Unfortunately, reinforcing the nickname, Paul "Basher" Nix ended up swimming after colliding with boats and the buoy but still recovered well, passing several boats.

There was a short delay for the 6th and final race as the wind shifted around and the course was re-laid to suit. After the start, the wind decided to carry on round and those few that got caught on the right hand side had to sit and watch the rest of the fleet fly to the first mark. Once the positions were sorted there was limited overtaking in the mid-fleet this time, as everyone formed an orderly queue upwind and only minimal gains possible downwind. Up front sealing a full house of victories was Christian Smart, who sailed a near-flawless regatta.

Paul Nix was 1st Master and also winner of the Ted Funnell Memorial mid-fleet trophy. Rhys Rackley was 1st Youth.

Huge thanks to everyone involved at Pembrokeshire Yacht Club for a great event and thanks to Bainbridge International for splendid prizes and sponsorship too.

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

1st Christian Smart - 4pts
2nd Sam Davy - 8pts
3rd Jack Turnbull - 14pts
4th Ross Prytherch - 15pts
5th Kevin Clark - 17pts
6th Martin Tubb – 20pts
7th Paul Nix – 26pts (Ted Funnell Memorial Trophy & 1st Master)
8th Rhys Rackley – 27pts 1st Youth
9th Peter Fisk – 32pts
10th Jonathan Swift - 34pts
11th Alan Watkins – 35pts
12th Kathryn Clark – 46pts
13th Rob Main – 48pts

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