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British Sharpie Championship at Wells Sailing Club

by James Case 10 Jun 20:05 BST 7-9 June 2019
Imminent capsize for GBR69, Rob & Sally Wynne, at the British Sharpie Championship © James Case

Wells Sailing Club proudly hosted the 2019 British Sharpie Championship, showing their customary hospitality, afloat and ashore.

Race Officer, and OK dinghy stalwart Andy Turner, had to use all his experience to provide great racing in challenging conditions, ranging from storm force forecasts, to light and shifty winds on the final day.

Fridays Easterly wind helped the fleet get away on the first of the tide, to sail out to Holkham bay. The fresh breeze gave wind over tide conditions, leading to increasingly rough seas during the day. Adam Anthony & crew Charlie Andrews in GBR127 revelled in the conditions, and led from start to finish, easing away from GBR12 Chris Gibbs & Charlie Orton in 2nd, and GBR135 Martin Read & Immy Gibbs 3rd. 17 starters were reduced to 11 finishers due to gear failure or capsizes.

This trend continued in the second race of the day, with GBR127 joining the casualty list, sailing the boat under, after shipping too much water upwind. Conditions reduced the fleet to only four survivors. GBR12 won, with GBR69 Rob & Sally Wynne adding a 2nd to their first race 4th, GBR134 Will & Tim Adams in 3rd, GBR128 Alex Smith & Paul Beachell 4th. Rescue boats were fully occupied, returning all crews and boats to the safety of the harbour, expertly towing submerged boats through the worsening conditions in the harbour entrance.

With Saturdays daunting forecast, many expected, or prayed for, a lay day. Despite the BBC forecast showing a succession of 45mph winds for the day, our PRO decided a harbour race was possible, as the strongest winds had not yet arrived. This proved to be a good call, however only five boats were willing to race. They enjoyed a bracing sail in the building SW breeze. GBR16 Andrew Cracknell & Justine Sykes won, with GBR111 Charlie Borthwick & Tim Ashby rapidly closing them down to finish 2nd, third was GBR128 who almost rolled in to windward, planing flat out, before hitting the huge wind shadow behind the RNLI boathouse! Another creditable 4th place went to GBR69, who capsized, walked the boat ashore, bailed out,and finished just within the time limit. PRO Andy Turner sent them all home, having beaten the forecast, to get one more race on the board.

Sunday dawned with blue skies, and a perfect force 2-3 SW wind, with three races planned to fulfil the 6 race schedule. The breeze was fitful, making for some interesting manoeuvres if you misjudged the approach to the windward mark, in a strengthening foul tide. The conditions suited GBR135, winning from GBR123 James Nunn & Henry Burkitt, with GBR12 in 3rd.

With a lightening Westerly breeze and stronger tide, shorter legs were laid. Mid race, the wind filled from the NW, but for only half the fleet, thus relegating some of the early leaders. GBR134 finished 1st, GBR16 2nd, and GBR127 3rd.

The final race got away with a heavily Starboard biased line, as the wind swung further North during the start sequence, with time & tide ruling out a re-set. Winners GBR123 showed the fleet the way, with GBR135 second, and NED226 Richard Mulderij & Alastair Ogle 3rd.

Congratulations to 2019 British Champions, GBR127 Adam Anthony & Charlie Andrews, with GBR135 second, and GBR16 third overall.

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

PosSail NoBoat NameHelmCrewR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1GBR 127SkybirdAdam AnthonyCharlie Andrews1(DNF)(DNS)64314
2GBR 135PoelsnipMartin ReadEmmy Gibbs3(DNF)(DNS)21915
3GBR 16TitaniaAndrew CracknellJustine Sykes(11)(DNF)176216
4GBR 134PoesjeWill AdamsTim Adams73(DNS)5(8)116
5GBR 128CapellaAlex SmithPaul Beachell543(8)(13)416
6GBR 69AdventurerRob WynneSally Wynne424(12)(7)717
7GBR 12RockabyeChris GibbsCharlie Orton21(DNS)(DNS)3DNF24
8GBR 123LuffaJames NunnHenry Burkitt(DNS)(DNS)DNS12526
9GBR 111Southern CrossTim AshbyCharlie Borthwick9(DNF)29‑10828
10GBR 125WindspielWill GibbsAlastair Drew / Tim Gibbs8(DNF)(DNS)4121135
11NED 226FuutRichard MulderijAlastair Ogle(DNF)(DNS)DNF351036
12GBR 92GarganeyDick PrattJeremy Drummond6(DNF)(DNS)10111340
13GBR 115Tiger SharkMartin FewBen Cracknell(DNF)(DNS)DNS119644
14GBR 118CymbaSimon NealeHarvey Gunhouse(DNF)(DNS)DNS13151258
15GBR 77Maid of ArnhemJohn CorneyBen Corney10(DNF)(DNS)DNS14DNF60
16=GBR 95Tern IIIDavid Pentney SmithAlex Pentney Smith(DNF)(DNS)DNSDNSDNFDNS72
16=GBR 70PatienceWilliam FillinghamWill Richards(DNF)(DNS)DNSDNSDNSDNS72

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