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Solo Nigel Pusinelli Trophy at the WPNSA - Overall

by Will Loy 17 Jun 16:43 BST 15-16 June 2019

We motored out to the race course with optimism boosted by the arrival of sunshine. Ashore, sailors pulled rain sodden covers from their Solos and contemplated on what this day would bring.

Wind readings of 20 knots with gusts of 29 did nothing to alleviate race day nerves but out on the course the conditions, as we travelled downwind at 15 knots seemed to abate. Oh yeah, probably a reduction in apparent wind then.

Ordinarily I would have just stuck my finger in the air and remark that it's bloody windy, but here, at the home of elitism something weird happens to the brain. Our minds analyse the readily available data and then we formulate a race strategy based on this. This is called the 'Olympic effect' and only happens when we visit WPNSA.

The fleets were released into the harbour and with a solid 20 knots from 220 degrees, a nice dead run to the start would blow cobwebs away and quickly focus the mind.

Race 4

PRO Paul Kimmens instructed his troops to lengthen the start line by 20 metres and reduce the race duration to 40 mins. He fed this information into the super computer which identified that the beat length would need to be 0.65 of a nautical mile based on the average speed of a Solo/Europe. This was I am sure, a relief to the assembling fleets were were still hurting from the previous days exertions.

Clean start with the left paying handsomely again, a busy pin end but accurate line setting ensured the fleet were pretty evenly spread. Richard Lovering converted his considerable strength and weight advantage on some of the others to round the top mark first with Gillard, McCarthy, Davenport and Hopwood in the mix. The competitors enjoyed a bumpy but exhilarating ride down to the gate with Gillard claiming the lead from Lovering and Davenport. These two chose separate ends of the gate with Davenport choosing the favoured left of the upwind course. Gillard consolidated on the second lap, finishing in a plume of spray as the sailors planed through the finish. McCarthy roared through second with Lovering competing the podium. Disaster for Davenport though who had capsized when gybing on the penultimate leg. To his credit he still achieved a fourth with Dave Mitchell a strong fifth.

Race 5

Another quick turnaround assisted by clean starts from the competent Europes ensured the Solos were not left hanging around. The wind speed was holding at 18-20 knots though it must have felt stronger on board as waves crashed around the fleet. The pin was busier than the M25 on a Friday afternoon, or any afternoon come to think of it. The beat looked brutal and thirty years ago I would have lapped that up, but for now I was happy to share their pain from the comfort of the salubrious Committee boat. Davenport, refreshed and mentally driven after his swim owned the beat and rounded with a healthy lead from Lovering, Gillard, who is less than 75kgs, big Dave Mitchell and McCarthy. May I remind you that Shane had started the regatta with an OCS so his following scores of 3-3-2 were pretty impressive. Davenport maintained the lead at the gate but Gillard had gained considerably to round second with Lovering third. Mitchell dumped it in approaching the gate which effectively ended his race as the fleet set off up the final lap.

Davenport was not to be denied and took the bullet to thwart any attempt by Gillard to clinch a clean sweep. Lovering was third with McCarthy and Vince Horey completing the top 5.

Race 6

James Boyce absolutely nailed the pin end as the fleet bludgeoned their way up the course, the left again looking strong. It was Hopwood though who utilised his hiking super power to gain the lead at the top mark from Davenport, Gillard, McCarthy and Chris Brown. The run was again a relentless call on balance, bravery, skill and finesse with Davenport and Gillard's pincer movement successful, Hopwood falling to third. McCarthy and Horey were flying and the fleet returned upwind for one final effort. Muscles, swollen with lactic acid no longer burned, replaced by numbness, the hiking pads provided the exoskeleton from which to lever the hulls against wind and sea.

The final lap was the hardest and Davenport was the victor, holding off another Gillard downwind rampage to claim the winners gun and second overall with a score of 3-2-2-4-1-1. Gillard had won the regatta already but his second place was classy completing a score of 1-1-1-1-2-2. McCarthy in third represented another great performance from the Irishman and this would comfort him on the long drive back to the ferry at Holyhead. Fourth across the line and fifth overall was Ian Hopwood who had avoided a capsize all weekend, the mantle of "Capsize King' was no more. Richard Lovering in fifth had defended his title valiantly and fifth in this race confirmed his overall finish of fourth.

Chris Brown was first Veteren in 6th, Dave Mitchell first GM in 11th and Ray Collins, who completed all 6 races was first Septimus in 25th. A quite incredible achievement for a 70+ sailor in those conditions.

A massive thank you to Paul Kimmens and team who impressed us with his handling of the event and to WPNSA for the use of their fine establishment. The catering team laid on a great curry and the thanks also to the very friendly Europe fleet. It is great to see the rebirth of such fantastic boat in the UK. The Solo fleet hope you will consider future shared events and socials.

Thanks to Noble Marine for their continued support of the Solo Class and to North Sails who support the Super Series of which this is a qualifying event.

We now turn to Carnac and the Nation's Cup in July 13-16 where there are currently over 60 entries.

See you on the water.

Overall Results:

15675Thomas GillardSheffield Viking SC1111‑226
25840Oliver DavenportNorthampton SC322‑4119
35808Shane MacCarthyGreystones SC(UFD)3324315
45831Richard LoveringHayling Island SC/Whitstable YC‑74633521
55645Ian HopwoodNantwich SC(RET)751010436
65834Chris BrownRYA651113‑18843
75115James BoycePapercourt SC1098‑117943
85730Vincent HoreyKing George SC511‑221251346
95827Ewan Birkin‑WallsGrafham Water SC9109811(RET)47
105835David LucasGrafham Water SC821766(RET)48
115750David MitchellWarsash SC198135(RET)752
125130Mark LeeLymington Town SC1112‑19991253
135782Nigel DaviesDraycote Water SC‑1714416141664
144921Chris MayhewRoyal Harwich YC161915‑228664
155755Graham CranfordSmithSalcombe YC13131414‑161064
165792David GreeningSalcombe YC14‑241615121471
175561Tim LewisRYA121818‑21151780
185745Andrew FoxLeigh & Lowton SC2220‑277211181
195804Steve EdeArdleigh AC21‑252319131591
205597Jonathan WellsEssex YC2623101719(DNC)95
215666Andrew BoycePapercourt SC1815212024(DNC)98
225235Jack HopkinsHayling Island SC2617(RET)DNCDNC103
235134Robert LaurieHarlow Blackwater SC2316291817(DNC)103
245851Roger GuessSalcombe YC41712(RET)DNCDNC111
255596Ray CollinsLocks SC27‑2920232220112
265747Roger LumbySalcombe YC‑302828282019123
275634Howard EdwardsPapercourt SC20303225(RET)18125
286000Doug LattaHayling Island SC/Portchester SC152224(RET)DNCDNC139
295063David NeweyPapercourt SC34‑3636262321140
305786John SteelsStarcross YC25273124(RET)DNC146
315715Nicholas MardenBough Beech SC242625(DNC)DNCDNC153
325354Robin MilledgeLymington Town SC(DNC)332627RETDNC164
335778Shaun WelshLymington Town SC293130(DNC)DNCDNC168
345670Nigel ThomasHill Head SC283433(DNC)DNCDNC173
355822Jonathan HillBough Beech SC323235(DNC)DNCDNC177
365560Charles StimpsonSpinnaker SC333534(DNC)DNCDNC180
375846Paul TaskerChichester YC31(RET)DNCDNCDNCDNC187
385137Derek MayhewRoyal Harwich YC(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC195

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