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The Foiling Dinghy Book by Alan Hillman
The Foiling Dinghy Book by Alan Hillman

Zhik WASZP UK National Championships at Rutland Sailing Club

by Keith Bedborough 5 Jun 22:51 BST 28-31 May 2019

The second edition of the WASZP UK Nationals sponsored by Zhik were held at Rutland SC from 28-31st May 2019 and served up the now customary WASZP menu of EPIC racing, AWESOME culture and AMAZING fun. The weather gods were particularly kind and provided four days of sunshine and foiling conditions - and with a top class race team (and even more impressive bar/catering team) the fleet were extremely well looked after on and off the water.

The WASZP is as much about inclusive culture as it is top class performance and this event was a great example of families, elite athletes, weekend warriors and "here for the beer" sailors all mixing together and helping each other out. This event was one of the first UK events to be sailed on the new larger foil which is now standard on all WASZPs and all sailors agreed this has been a great change for the class. The boat now foils even earlier in the wind range, and is more stable through manoeuvres such a foiling gybes and tacks which previously were pretty challenging for newcomers.

The Racing

The fleet has recently attracted many new faces with a noticeable and impressive scattering of names from the British Sailing team at the front end. Fresh back from his win at the 2019 International WASZP Games in Perth Scotsman Rory Hunter was the pre-event favourite but he certainly didn't have it all his own way. The video links below from the amazing Hartas Productions provide a day by day account of the racing as it unfolded and provided fantastic apres-sail footage to be enjoyed on the big screen in the bar each evening.

Day 1 Racing Video / Day 2 Racing Video / Day 3 Racing Video / Day 4 Racing Video

The Social

Off the water one of the reasons the class loves Rutland SC is that the launching, club and camping areas are in very close proximity and everyone tends to stay on site. This lent itself to a very sociable atmosphere over the championships with the daily SailingFast sponsored "apres-sail" beers very popular and also the WASZP Band making an appearance with some acoustic strumming on the balcony in the evening.

The karaoke night was a surprisingly massive success, and particular mention must go for Dave "Angus Young" Lilburn's amazing rendition of AC/DC Thunderstruck which registered quite highly on the local Richter scale. Comedy gold award went to Max Todd for his tenor solo which was unwittingly broadcast around the lake prior to the karaoke guy realising his radio mike was on the same frequency as the Rutland PA system.

The Class

The concept of an affordable one-design foiler has proven extremely popular globally and the class has grown rapidly since its inception in 2016 with over 700 boats worldwide and 75 in the UK. Hence the UK class AGM was a necessary and important part of the event in which several volunteers stepped forward to expand the UK team and ensure the class continues to represent the needs of the sailors as it grows.

There was some important discussion around the need to establish the classes PY rating, and a focus on promoting the smaller 6.9 rig particularly with youth and female sailors.

Special thanks and recognition were given to WASZP UK Dealer Duncan Hepplewhite of SailingFast, and the class secretary Victoria Payne who have been instrumental in the growth and success of the class in the UK. With Max Todd taking on the role of UK class Chairman the class are confident of an exciting future.

The Prizegiving

...was as exciting as the weeks racing:

  • With 4 sailors from overseas it was great to see Elliot Savelon (NED) finish in 2nd place and take the International title
  • Andy Hutchison (Scotland) finished in 11th place and picked up the Grand Masters and 90KG+ trophy.
  • Dan Welbourn-Hesp from Carsington sailed a fantastic series (including a bullet on the final day) to finish 6th overall and was crowned Youth National Champion.
  • Victoria Payne from Hayling Island was crowned the 2019 Ladies Zhik WASZP National Champion (Queen).
  • The 2019 Zhik WASZP National Champion (Scoring ten bullets and discarding two 3rd places) is Rory Hunter. Rory sailed an incredible series demonstrating an outstanding performance both on and off the water. Rory adds the Zhik UK National title to the International WASZP Games Title he won in Perth Australia in January.

The Future

Next up in 6 weeks' time the fleet returns for the third year in a row to foil-tastic Lake Garda for the WASZP European Games and with an expected entry of more than 100 boats the UK contingent can't wait for more of that special WASZP formula. Watch this space to see if the flying Scotsman's reign can continue, or will the fresh talent flowing into the class be enough to knock him off his foils? Will the class band have learned any new songs? Will Willow the WASZP continue with his pointless claim of "never drinking again" by the halfway point of the regatta ?

The WASZP is suitable for a wide range of weights and abilities and welcomes newcomers with open arms. With second hand boats becoming ever more available if you fancy EPIC racing, AWESOME culture and AMAZING fun contact right NOW arrange a demo flight.

The Results

PosCountry CodeSail NoHelmClub (Sailor)R1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9R10R11R12Pts
1GBR2681Rory Hunter 111111111‑31‑310
2NED2729Eliott Savelon ‑6555535(OCS)225239
3GBR2519James GrayStokes Bay SC5‑103424644‑133742
4GBR2236Sam Whaley 2‑9(DNC)66732888151
5GBR2231Maxwell ToddRydal Penrhos School82224‑14259‑119952
6GBR2237Daniel Wellbourn HespCarsington SC774‑128886‑1116459
7GBR2521Jamie CalderDalgety Bay SC/Loch Tummel SC1037331093‑15‑1721262
8GBR2513arran holmanHollowell SC48681124(OCS)‑13124564
9GBR2429Ross Banham 368‑976775‑97864
10GBR2707Anthony ChapmanRoyal Hospital School949795‑11874‑11668
11GBR2333Andy HutchinsonLoch Earn SC‑13‑141111101310111261013107
12GBR352Paul BartlettStarcross YC111110(DNC)1311‑1496141311109
13GBR230GRAHAM PRIESTLEY 12‑131310129131310712‑14111
14USA2475Peter Deming 14121213(DNC)(DNC)12103151410115
15GBR2520Joe Pester ‑1815141514121512‑1951516133
16GBR2061Stuart Swan 17‑1916‑181718161816101615159
17GBR2379Duncan HepplewhiteLoch Lomond SC‑1917171416‑19171614191718165
18GBR2400KEITH BEDBOROUGHDalgety Bay SC151615171515181418(DNC)(DNC)DNC170
19GBR2696Felix CorsonRydal Penrhos School1618(RET)(DNC)1816211917161817176
20GBR2701Laurent Brel ‑2222(DNF)192017202020202019197
21NZL275Sam SparksRoyal Port Nicholson Yachts club NZ2020181619(DNC)1915(DNC)DNCDNCDNC208
22 7Dave LilburnRoyal Bay Yacht Club(DNC)(DNC)DNF20DNCDNC2217DNC1819DNC231
23GBR2388Victoria PayneHayling Island SC2121(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC21222221236
24GBR2030Sean PurdyOcean Cruising Club(DNC)(DNF)19DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC212120243

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