Please select your home edition
Musto 2017 728x90 Superhuman

South West Challenge 2019 - Overall

by Richard Willows 3 Apr 2019 10:15 BST
Ben and Simon Hawkes in the Roadford Rocket (part of Sailing SouthWest Winter Series) © Lottie Miles

The original Southwest Challenge Series over three events was truncated this year by the cancellation of the Starcross Steamer and therefore comprised just the Roadford Rocket and the Wimbleball Beastie. With 25 entries to the Rocket and 36 to the Beastie, both events were well-supported by sailors from across the south-west, but only eight boats entered both events.

Lying high up in Exmoor, the Beastie was relatively benign this year with sunshine and a relatively warm wind, but still became quite a test as the north-westerly wind increased in strength and became very gusty, with boats experiencing a full-on blast followed by a lull in very short periods, catching some people out... and the bottom end of the lake being very quiet, and requiring inland water skills and not suiting most of the trapeze boats.

The biggest start was the K1 and RS aero 7, and they had overhauled the Challenger trimaran by the end of the second lap. The Blazes and RS Aero 9s started together, and Peter Barton and Chris Dyer set off at a fast pace. Further back, the Osprey crewed by local sailors Ben and Simon Hawkes appeared to make light of the conditions and made their way up to tenth place. The Contender of Iain Horlock and the Fireball and Merlin Rockets struggled to make headway and at the finish the K1 of Andrew Snell of ASA, and the RS Aero 9 of Peter Barton, were about a boat length apart, followed by two further K1s.

Ben and Simon Hawkes (with third and tenth) were the South-West Challenge winners, with Chris Jones in RS Aero 7 second (with eighth and ninth), and Chris Dyer in a Blaze third (with tenth and eighth).

These two events were part of the Sailing Southwest Winter Series, and many thanks to them for their help in organisation and support and sponsorship.

Related Articles

Roadford Rocket 2020 rescheduled
SSW Winter Series will now end a week later than expected Storm Ciara hasn't been too kind to the SSW Winter Series lately, with the loss of the Roadford Rocket and most recently the Channel Chop due to the poor weather. However, we do have some good news! Posted on 13 Feb 2020
Sailing Southwest Winter Series overall
A battle of eight pursuit races It all started back in October, with the Wrecker Pursuit at NDYC. The tricky conditions caught out many, but it was Ben Flower in his laser who took a close win ahead of Ian Horlock in the Contender. Posted on 16 Apr 2019
Sailing Southwest Winter Series update
Just 6 points separating the top five boats With six of the ten races complete, competitors in the Sailing Southwest Winter Series are heading into a final mad dash throughout March to find the 2018/19 champion. It is tight – very tight at the top with just 6 points separating the top five boats. Posted on 25 Feb 2019
Penzance Pirate pursuit race
Sailing Southwest Winter Series round 2 The second round of the SSW Winter Series dawned with better than expected weather with southerly 10kn breeze and 10 degrees C in the UK tropics of Penzance. Posted on 15 Nov 2018
Gul Wrecker at Instow
Round 1 of the SSW Winter Series The weather forecast all week was suggesting a hairy 25-32 knots with Northerly winds veering North East. The morning of the Wrecker brought several phone calls and messages to check if the race was on... Posted on 12 Oct 2018
Southwest Winter Series Standings
Ben Flower takes the lead after the Starcross Steamer Following the Starcross Steamer, held last weekend in 10-20 knot winds from the East, the leader board is shuffling quite a bit. Posted on 1 Mar 2018
Portishead Channel Chop Pursuit
Inaugural event is Sailing Southwest Winter Series Round 6 The Channel Chop was held for the very first time this year. 24 dinghies were faced with a grey wet day and a blustery SSW wind, a two-hour pursuit race was run with two laps of the bay before venturing out across the tide and shipping lane to Newcome. Posted on 15 Feb 2018
Exe Sails Roadford Rocket
Sailing Southwest Winter Series Round 5 RS Aero world champion, Steve Cockerill won the Exe Sails Roadford Rocket charity race in a tight finish on Sunday. Posted on 30 Jan 2018
The Christmas Cracker at Paignton
Sailing Southwest Winter Series Round 4 The 4th round of the Sailing Southwest Winter Series took place at the south coast Rivera resort of Paignton on Sunday 3rd December in a NE wind force 2-3. The chilly weather did nothing to dampen the festive spirit of the Christmas Cracker. Posted on 8 Dec 2017
Penzance Pirate abandoned in 40kt winds
Dolphins spotted escorting competitors home Into Mounts Bay and the sole remaining Enterprise of Colin Stephens and Simon Lees blasted off on the downwind reaching start. Touching speeds of 14.8 knots, the Enterprise was moving rapidly to the gybe mark and the first of several capsizes. Posted on 14 Nov 2017