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Heron National Championship at Welton Sailing Club

by Steve Chilton & James Russ 19 Jul 2019 13:55 BST 13-14 July 2019
Heron Nationals at Welton © Steve Chilton

The weather forecast for the weekend was good and overcast with sunny spells, wind northerly 1-3. This proved to be very fluky making it tricky for the race officer to set good courses with a reliable beat.

There were fourteen boats in total with a mixture of single and crewed boats making it a varied and interesting competition. Three of the double handed Herons had spinnakers and there were a variety of boats of all ages, from brand new, to number 108. Competitors had travelled from all over the U.K, including Kent, Brightlingsea, Essex, West Kirkby and Yorkshire demonstrating the passion and enthusiasm that still exists in the U.K for the classic little dinghy. The competition was scheduled to have 5 races over two days with four to count. The first races commenced on Saturday lunchtime, which meant everyone was rested and ready to go after a relaxed morning getting their boats ready.

Race one started with moderate winds and was a very close competition with the lead changing several times. First to the pin was Roger Stevenson but the race was won by, Mike and Anne St de pear followed second by Matt Picket and third Dave Butler, who had been experiencing spinnaker problems due to some confused rigging.

Race two started with light winds and the winds slowed further, this time Dave Butler was first to the pin, but the lead changed several times throughout the race. First: Stan Lubner, second Dave Butler, third Mat Picket.

After breakfast, Day two of the open started with much better weather, the wind being quite constant (despite a few shifts) which slowly strengthened throughout the day which meant the race had some quite lively legs as the wind built up.

Race three, the course was set on land, however a change an increase in wind direction meant that the Race Office changed the course on the water and outlined the new marks on the committee boat.

Dave Butler having a good start was first to the pin. Positions changed and Matt Pickett was first to the next windward mark, confusion at the mark meant that the fleet bunched up as the course was changed from starboard to a port mark on the committee boat and doubt ensued. Those who held their convictions moved ahead and the race was won by: Dave Butler, second Matt Pickett, third Jim Robison and 4th James Russ Chipstead.

Race four, the wind increased further making some of the reach legs quite feisty and competitive at the marks. There was some very close racing, any one of the front runners could have taken this event. First to the pin Dave Butler. First place: Dave Butler, Second Stan Lubner, third Mike de St Paer.

Race five the wind had become more favourable, Mike de Dt Pear moved out front but unfortunately capsized and retired from the race. Positions did not change for the first three boats with: Stan Lubner in irst place, Dave Butler in second, and Tony Dufton in third, Jim Robison in 4th. However, with Herons there is only a 20s difference in the time for single handed and crewed boats, the racing was so close that Stan, Tony and Jim all lost on handicap and final results were first: Dave Butler, Second James Russ, third Stan lubner and fourth Tony Dufton.

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

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Trophies Awarded:

1st Race Yachting world bowl - Mike and Ann de st. Paer
2nd Race Findlay cup - Stan Lubner
3rd Race Bletchley bowl - Dave Butler and Emily
4th Race - Dave Butler and Emily Clixby
5th Race - Dave Butler and Emily Clixby
Ladies trophy - Andrea Gibson
Fen and Wood team trophy - Welton SC
Newton Crum tankard, over 65 - Stan Lubner
Junior tankard - Not attributed
Brolga trophy, helm over 50 - Dave Butler
Single handed trophy - Stan Lubner
Middle of the fleet - James Russ
West Wick endeavour bowl - Andrea Gibson
Clan trophy (related crew) - Mike and Ann de st. Paer
5th place overall - Mike and Ann de st. paer
4th place overall - Jim Robinson
3rd place overall - Matt Pickett
2nd place overall - Stan Lubner
1st place overall - Dave Butler and Emily Clixby
Silver Heron Overall winner - Dave Butler and Emily Clixby

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