Please select your home edition
Edition
Upffront 2020 Foredeck Club LEADERBOARD

Hadron H2 open meeting at Chichester Yacht Club

by Alistair Glen 24 Mar 2019 13:24 GMT 23 March 2019
Hadron H2 open meeting at Chichester © Keith Callaghan

A fleet of ten Hadron H2s joined their slightly wider sisters, the Merlin Rockets, at Chichester Yacht Club for the joint open meeting on Saturday 23rd March. The day had dawned rather overcast and the first decision of the day was how many layers to risk as the morning chill was bound to be displaced by the heat of combat once racing got under way. During the briefing all the competitors were reminded that they would be faced with one of the biggest tides of the year, the Spring Equinox having just passed, and that would be taking them over the line for the first start. Anyway... enough of that and on to the racing.

A clean first start, in about 10 knots, saw last year's winner, Ian Dawson (Warsash SC), Alistair Glen (Starcross YC) and Dick Holden (Arun YC), together with Roger Millett from the host club sailing a demo boat, in roughly that order at the first mark. Over the first two laps of a figure-of-eight course Dawson and Glen remained in close order whilst building a small lead over the chasing pack.

It was all to change on the last lap as Andrew McGraw (Northampton SC) chose the path less travelled along the right-hand shore and established a lead at the windward mark that he would hold to the finish. On the last run against the tide, pressure from behind compressed the fleet with Chris Brown (RORC) being the biggest beneficiary, slipping into second place only to be pipped by Glen on the line.

The same recipe for the second race, albeit with a slackening tide, saw Roger Ewart-Smith (Itchenor SC) claim a handsome lead by the end of the first lap, pursued by Dawson and Holden. Unfortunately, your correspondent is unable to add much for colour to account being, as he was, back in a different time zone, spitting feathers! Suffice to say, Dawson slowly reeled in the escapee but Ewart-Smith managed to maintain enough of a lead to take the win. Glen, by this point able to judge the time difference with a watch rather than a calendar, had made steady progress to finish third.

The Race Officer conducted a quick 'shuffle' of the course and start line for the third race to accommodate a breeze that was becoming less stable and dropping and a tide that was, by now, ebbing and gathering pace. With five potential winners of the event it was, to borrow an overused cliché, all to play for! Chris Brown got the perfect port-end start but as the fleet worked its way up the left shore, it was Glen who emerged with a healthy lead at the first mark followed by Dawson and Holden. Glen extended his lead over the next two laps, continuing to work up the left shore on the beat.

Just to prove that either shore would have worked, had you been prepared to risk all, Holden and Dawson split tacks at the beginning of the final beat, each taking a different shore, and converged at the end of the beat with no discernible separation! With the wind at the top of Chichester Lake becoming somewhat 'funky' (an eminent Merlin sailor's description), Glen had to concentrate hard to pick his way around the 'snakes' and hope that Dawson and Holden didn't find too many long 'ladders'.

On the final reach down-tide towards the finish, Holden found a decent sized ladder to leave 'light wind flyer', Dawson, in his wake. So Glen held on to win the race, Holden was second and Dawson third. Ewart-Smith, winner of the second race, was, significantly, fourth, some distance back.

Overall, this gave the win to Alistair Glen, second place went to Roger Ewart-Smith whose counting combination of 1,4 pushed the slightly more consistent Ian Dawson with 2,3 into third.

Thanks must go to the team at CYC for putting on a very well run event in a welcoming atmosphere with a particularly warm thank you to all those involved in providing the 'sailors' tea' that greeted us on our return.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3Pts
1st126Alistair GlenStarcross YC2‑313
2nd122R Ewart SmithItchenor SC‑5145
3rd130Ian DawsonWarsash SC‑4235
4th121Richard HoldenArun YC(DSQ)426
5th128Andrew McGawNorthampton SC1‑867
6th127Chris BrownRORC37(DSQ)10
7th131Roger MillettCYC‑85510
8th1Jeremy PilcherWeston SC66(DNC)12
9th109Nigel CowanCYC7‑10714
10th114Adrian WilliamsWarsash SC99(DSQ)18

Related Articles

Deben Hadron H2 Open
Four back-to-back races in a gruelling, gusty breeze The eight sailors who came to the starting area for Deben Yacht Club's Hadron H2 Open on Saturday 2nd July certainly knew they had a day of racing. Posted on 4 Jul
Chichester Harbour Race Week preview
Last year saw 383 boats crewed by almost 600 sailors from 65 clubs The UK's pre-eminent sailing harbour will again be the setting for the country's most well-attended open regatta when Chichester Harbour Race Week takes to the water this August. Posted on 28 Jun
A Fine Line
Dinghy historian Dougal Henshall looks at race officers and start lines As the world around us reblooms after the constraints of lockdown, there is plenty of food for thought surrounding the debate as to something of a reset for dinghy racing. Older sailors talk in nostalgic terms of the delights of the 'golden era'. Posted on 22 Jun
Hadron H2 Solent Trophy at Warsash overall
A light sea breeze fills in for the second day As the competitors munched their hearty breakfasts at Warsash SC on the second and final day of the H2 Solent Trophy, the wind was looking to be as forecast - rather feeble. Posted on 25 May
Hadron H2 Solent Trophy at Warsash day 1
A dozen very keen H2 sailors, including several newcomers While not quite up to last year's record entry of 18 boats for this event, a dozen very keen H2 sailors, including several newcomers, were welcomed by the club which hosted the class's very first Nationals, back in 2017. Posted on 24 May
Hadron H2s at Chichester
Andrew McGaw was in majestic form Andrew Mcgaw was in majestic form winning the 4th Chichester YC Hadron H2 Open meeting with three first places. With impressive speed particularly down wind he was a convincing winner. Posted on 4 Apr
Hadron H2 Inlands at Burghfield
Self bailers overwhelmed by the deluge of rain The forecast for the Hadron H2 Inland Championships, hosted by Burghfield SC on Saturday, 2nd October, was 'rain and wind'. The rain arrived on schedule - it bucketed down - but where was the wind? Posted on 4 Oct 2021
Hadron H2 Nationals at Herne Bay overall
Sunshine and light to moderate breezes for the final day After two days of grey skies and brisk winds, the final day dawned with sunshine and a light to moderate Easterly breeze - much to the relief of many in the fleet. Posted on 6 Sep 2021
Hadron H2 Nationals at Herne Bay day 2
Stronger breeze whips up a steep chop for the helms to deal with Day 2 of the event provided a little more wind than the previous day, with an ENE breeze of 15+ knots which whipped up a steep chop, especially once the ebb had settled in. Posted on 5 Sep 2021
Hadron H2 Nationals at Herne Bay day 1
Nick Craig stamps his authority on the fleet It will come as no surprise to hear that Nick Craig stamped his authority on the fleet from the first gun. Posted on 4 Sep 2021