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Magic Marine Solo National Championship at the WPNSA - Day 1

by Will Loy 9 Aug 07:09 BST 8-11 August 2019
Event Leader Andy Davis on day 1 of the Solo Nationals at the WPNSA © Will Loy

A small but select fleet of Solos have arrived at WPNSA to contest the National Championship, no surprise really with an ominous forecast for Friday and Saturday before winds hopefully abate to a toothless force 4-5 by Sunday.

The majority of the SEVENTY sailors that have made the trip are clearly at the very top of their game, some are hungry for payback, some, eager to test themselves at the highest level and a few from the Hayling Island area, who just got lost and ended up here. Like many Americans, they generally don't travel. What is refreshing is that there are two female entrants in Ellie Cumpsty, who starred so brightly at the Nationals last year before one too many BFD and Justine Davenport from Burwain S.C. (where were you when we needed you in Carnac).

There are also two competitors still under the age of drinking. Ben Nicholl 17, from West Oxfordshire S.C. and Finley Dickinson 16, from HISC have rekindled my own memories of attending a Championship when I was young and brave and everything was exciting. Unlike me, these kids are obviously pretty handy and Finley especially so, 10th overall at the Youth Laser Radials and already looking very at home in this talented fleet. There are other entrants who have peeked my interest, Laser Radial National Champion Jon Emmett is here and his result in race 4 today backed up his talent, his expression though, as he put his boat away was not one you would wish to use in a commercial to promote the Solo. Clearly, the high octane performance of Jack Holt's design is not one that raises the heartbeat to arterial failure but the tight racing in a big fleet is a recipe that continues to taste good.

Our PRO, Paul Kimmens stood aboard the Committee boat and, communicating through his hand's free device, co-ordinated the marks into position. 110 degrees and 9-10 knots so the course would be triangle - sausage. The cloud dropped lower over Portland, obscuring the giant golf ball atop the Bill. Another one of Trumps golf centres I supposed as we went into the start sequence.

One recall later and we are in to Race 1. A clear start and the 70 competitors were away with murky skies above and some huge Jellyfish below, just to add a little extra to the complexities of a championship race. At the first mark it was no other than first beat specialist and class President Doug Latta who led the way from ex local hero Mark Lee with Ian Hopwood, who had only entered at the last minute when he saw the forecast was perfect for lunatics, third. Charlie Cumbley was fourth around with Finley Dickinson fifth. The reach was slightly processional, any temptation to breach rule 42, soon quelled with an icy stare by the On Water Jury. At the bottom Latta still retained the lead but the fleet had compressed, Lee second, Cumbley, in the fabled Winder 2 5705 third and Dickinson fourth. Davis sneaked inside Hopwood who just seemed happy to let him through, no doubt looking for a massive discount on a new HD sail. Richie Bailey also benefitted from the generosity of the OK Solo sailor (see what I did there)? as the fleet headed off to the leeward mark, progressively going higher as each competitor sought to keep their wind clear. This effect allowed the front of the fleet to extend and by the top of lap two Cumbley took the lead with Lee and Dickinson biting at his neoprene coated heels. Tim Law had worked his magic to get into fourth from Richard Lovering and Davis and with hardly any distance between the top ten, it would be a nail biter down the 5.5 of a nautical mile run.

The wind had dropped to 7 knots but Cumbley who had his hair cut short for the regatta clearly benefitted from the weight loss to hold off the young gun and Lee. Lovering squeezed through to finish fourth from Alex Butler, Law and Davis.

Straight into Race 2 with the breeze holding at 9-11knots, skies still grey and heavy cloud over Portland. I took a moment to ponder and imagine life for those poor souls who live in what must be the UK equivalent to a Brazilian Equatorial forest, how they get their washing dry is anyone's guess.

Clear start with the majority opting for the pin end, either it was favoured or they spotted me there with my Fuji S1 aimed at them. Inness Armstrong nailed the pin ahead of Adam Savage, with the wind direction swinging, choosing the best lay line in would be difficult. Davis, utilising the Superspars M2 with the HD sail picked a perfect path to round first with Savage, Armstrong, Davenport, and Grafham Water's Dave Lucus fifth. The reaching legs were again not much fun, the breeze, ironically, given the forecast for the next few days, a bit boring. My driver had skilfully positioned me into position with the accuracy of a lunar landing module to capture the action as the fleet descended on the wing mark. I clicked away, only to be alerted to a warning sign on the viewfinder... no memory. In a millisecond of recollection I remembered that deletion of the SD card needed to be done before this event. I held my hand steady, continued to aim at the action while my fingers surreptitiously selected delete frame. The camera bleeping with every successful removal while I pretended to capture the action. Whether he deemed 200 bleeps overkill for a wing rounding in 10 knots I will never know.

Davis, also in the Winder 2 consolidated up the second beat, loose covering his nearest rivals and holding for his first race win of the championship. Savage held on valiantly for second, holding off a late charge from Dickinson on the final reach to the finish with Guy Mayger, my podium pick for the event, fourth. Burwain's Innes Armstrong took fifth and the scalp of Cumbley, that's pretty much all that was left for him while Law posted a seven.

Race 3 and we were on schedule to get four races in today. The PRO did not hang about and, once some of the fleet who had chosen to take their lunch/change of clothes/phone/keys/wallet out and dump it on the committee boat rather than pack it on board were sated, we were into the race.

There were some UFD casualties, Tony Weatherall, Steve Denison, Richie Bailey and Dickinson. I cannot say it was really the exuberance of youth for the first three, Finley, yeah I get it. The breeze had increased to 12 knots but still crap over equatorial Portland. Savage proved that his race 2 result was no fluke, I thought we would never see him again, to round ahead of Davis with Jack Hopkins in the JP Poulson third. Cumbley, Law, Shane McCarthy and Nigel Davies all rounded within few metres as the remainder of the fleet queued up into a formal starboard lay line.

I thought Davis would extend but halfway up the second beat a big left shift left Davis above the port lay line which left him exposed from below, which is never nice anywhere. Cumbley and Hopkins took advantage and by the gun it was Cumbley who took his second bullet of the day. McCarthy and Law completed the top five and with a fourth race and discard coming into play, the scene was set for a crucial finale to day 1.

Race 4 and Hopwood nailed the pin, I did say left would pay Chris Brown and at the top mark Hoppy tacked under Taxi to lead, Danny the Dolphin acting as lead boat for the lad. Unfortunately Hopwood continued to follow the mammal while those closest sunk deep and at the wing mark Davis had the lead. Lovering and Davenport took advantage as Hopwood regained some focus to round fourth with Jon Emmett improving to fifth. The second beat saw Davis control the fleet and at the gun he took his second bullet of the day with Emmett a creditable second while Cumbley, Davenport and Hopwood completed the top five.

So, overnight it is Andy Davis who leads the Magic Marine National Championship with Charlie Cumbley, Richard Lovering, Finley Dickinson and Tim Law completing a very talented top five.

It has been a long afternoon on the water and I will not get the chance to provide a video tonight but with some serious wind forecast for tomorrow I feel there will be time!

Results after Day 1:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4Pts
15787Andy DavisSouth Staffordshire SC‑71315
25705Charlie CumbleyWarsash SC1‑6135
35831Richard LoveringHayling Island SC4‑146616
45629Finley DickinsonHayling Island SC23(UFD)1217
55743Tim LawSalcombe YC575‑917
65732Jack HopkinsHayling Island SC13‑242823
75864Jon EmmettWeir Wood SC11‑1610223
85808Shane MacCarthyGreystones SC‑161141126
95840Oliver DavenportNorthampton SC149‑16427
105130Mark LeeLymington Town SC31313‑2429
115782Nigel DaviesDraycote Water SC10‑1771330
125742Adam SavageElton SC2128‑3331
135691Guy MaygerFelpham SC‑174111631
145645Ian HopwoodNantwich SC15‑3715535
155813Innes ArmstrongBurwain SC12519‑2236
165781Alexander ButlerHayling Island SC61518‑3639
176000Doug LattaHayling Island SC8‑54231546
185803Kevan GibbLargo Bay SC‑4310172148
195835David LucasGrafham Water SC338(RET)1455
205735Andrew VoyseyHayling Island SC2312‑382055
215850Vincent HoreyKing George SC34‑45121056
225834Chris BrownRYA‑353422763
235827Ewan Birkin‑WallsGrafham Water SC262514‑4265
245801Willie ToddLargs SC181830‑4466
255750David MitchellWarsash SC19‑44311868
265804Steve EdeArdleigh SC‑3231211769
275406Jarvis SimpsonBrightlingsea SC24‑30261969
285816Richie BaileyHayling Island SC923(UFD)4072
295793Ellie CumpstyChew Valley Lake SC3021‑322576
305612Tony Weatherell 2228(UFD)2878
315786John SteelsStarcross YC‑4520332780
325487Roger BennettSilver Wing SC‑4426252980
335865David WinderHollingworth Lake SC25‑38283083
344973Paul RobinsonPapercourt SC282729‑3284
355381Fraser HaydenPapercourt SC38‑5993986
365745Andrew FoxLeigh & Lowton SC40‑49272390
375763Steve DenisonRYA2033(UFD)3891
385666Andrew BoycePapercourt SC‑5732243793
395393Simon DerhamLittleton SC31‑573435100
405796Andrew HylandLymington Town SC274039‑41106
415842John WebsterCarsington SC‑50194345107
425670Nigel ThomasHill Head SC394820‑49107
435724Terry PalmerNorfolk Broads YC363536‑48107
445569Nick RawlingsHayling Island SC‑62473526108
455704Tim LewisRYA37‑433734108
465736Iain CarpenterNorthampton SC4122‑4646109
475824Tom CampbellLymington Town SC‑68294047116
485858Patrick BurnsRYA423952‑63133
494921Chris MayhewRoyal Harwich YC‑59424150133
505354Robin MilledgeLymington Town SC464642‑51134
515560Charles StimpsonSpinnaker SC‑65505431135
525778Shaun WelshLymington Town SC‑56364754137
535570Malcolm BuchananLymington Town SC‑54415343137
545466David Manson 485544‑56147
555547Peter WarneNorthampton SC515151‑58153
565259Roger WilsonRollesby Broad SC476050‑62157
575377Stephen WaiteHighcliffe SC5253‑5653158
585644Paul BottomleySouth Staffordshire SC615645‑64162
595721Graham WilsonNorthampton SC555257‑60164
605718Craig ClarkePapercourt SC64‑684952165
614239Ben NicollWest Oxfordshire SC49‑636355167
625617Stephen RestallElton SC535858‑61169
635665Paul AlridgeBrightlingsea SC58‑655557170
645844Peter MitchellWarsash SC29(DNF)DNSDNS171
655731Vernon PerkinsSouth Cerney SC‑69644859171
665846Paul TaskerChichester YC636160(DNS)184
675632Glenn BoltonBurghfield SC606659‑67185
685648Simon StrodeRollesby Broad SC‑66626266190
694715Justine DavenportBurwain SC‑67676165193
705623Rob GascoigneElton SC706964(DNS)203

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