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Magic Marine Solo National Championship at the WPNSA - Overall

by Will Loy 12 Aug 14:50 BST 8-11 August 2019
Wild conditions for day 4 of the Solo Nationals at the WPNSA © Will Loy

With gale force winds halting any form of racing at WPNSA and beyond on Saturday, the fleet reformed on Sunday for the conclusion to the championship.

I had spent another sleep deprived night in Portland Fudge, kept awake by the strong winds which made short work of finding their way into my room via some dubiously fitted window frames. I rose at 7 a.m. and wetted my face in the luxuriously named en-suite, being careful not to turn the cold tap further counter clockwise than 12 degrees. Earlier usage had left me with water stains down the front of my trousers. I passed the peeling wallpaper in the corridor, cursing under my breath, and headed off to the club.

The PRO had called for an earlier start time of 10 a.m., but with the club's TV screen displaying 24-30 knots, the cafe was running out of sausages, such was the run on fried breakfasts. Finally, the wind abated to a gentle 16-20 knots and the slightly depleted fleet kissed loved ones goodbye and ventured out into the race area.

The breeze was holding at a good 18 knots from 240 degrees and the left side of the course was favoured by much of the fleet. Charlie Cumbley, his leader Magic Marine rash vest clearly visible through the spray punched out of the line just a third up from the pin and pushed his nose ahead as the hulls bucked like broncos in the adverse chop. Solo rigs were being pushed well beyond the parameters of normal stress tests and the sailors bodies were already on the knackered side so the thought of two laps must of been hard to swallow. This is a championship though and Solo sailors are made of strong resolve so they battled their way up the arduous beat to the top mark.

Cumbley led at the top with Shane McCarthy second and Oliver Davenport third. Young gun Finley Dickinson was fourth around from Hopkins and Lucas proving the versatility of the Solo, he is only 72kgs. The competitors tore down the reach, plumes of spray filled my Fujifilm S1 lens and I knew a was standing in a special place... right by the gybe mark. I could not make out their exact expressions but fear and glee pre and post gybe would be my assumption.

Cumbley held off Davenport up the next beat as the breeze increased to 20 knots with some stronger gusts testing the reaction time of those that chose to cleat their mainsheets. Cumbley extended up the second upwind with Davenport rounding second, a healthy distance ahead of McCarthy and Dickinson who were having a battle royal. Hopkins, Davis and Lovering were also in close combat and at the end of the full on run it was Cumbley, Davenport, Dickinson, McCarthy and Hopkins.

In to race 7 and this would prove to be the final race of the championship. In a carbon copy of race 6, Cumbley powered into the lead, taking virtually the same route up to the top and rounding with Davenport this time on his tail. The reach was another awesome experience for the sailors, some going faster than they have ever and some going faster than they would have liked with the kicker of a gybe to negotiate. Lovering, Hopwood, who was clearly excited, screaming like an infant with too much sugar in his bloodstream and Mark Lee completed the top five as the fleet streamed down to the wing. A faint aroma of manure filled my nostrils as competitors made the turn yet I could find no fields of freshly cultivated soil. There were capsizes, and many, Steve, my driver carefully steering the 6 metre rescue/media rib away as my camera lens filled with faces etched with anxiety and the subsequent disappointment. Some seemed at first to be smiling, as does sometimes happen when death is faced but no, they were just crapping it.

Cumbley extended on Davenport up the last punishing beat, driving the Winder 2/North P2 through ever increasing waves, while Davenport in the P&B/JP did likewise, clearly enjoying the "fresh" conditions. Guy Mayger has finely come to the party and got himself up to third with Hopkins and Lee completing the top five but with Davis and Lovering right on their tails. Unfortunately all the hard work for these two would be in vain, UFD and poor old Hopwood would also be in that group but to be fair, he had looked a bit too punchy off the start line.

The drama was not over yet, Cumbley lost his footing halfway down the run and tipped it in, letting Davenport move through to the lead...until he ditched it in near the leeward mark. Cumbley recovered quicker than memory foam to retake the lead and with it his fifth bullet from 7 races and the title. Davenport just held off Mayger for second with Hopkins and Lee completing the top five.

With only one discard from the seven races sailed, the results would reflect consistency over a generally windy regatta. Cumbley was exceptional in the strong breeze while Finley Dickinson, at just 17 years old, finished an incredible second overall and first under 25, surely a future Olympic gold medal awaits. Jack Hopkins came to the championship not knowing how he would do, he had sold his Solo after a disappointing event a month ago at the same venue but excelled here with third overall. Andy Davis had a average last day which dropped him to fourth, more time in the single hander will surely mend that, the two bullets in day 1 frank his obvious quality and boat speed while for Jon Emmett, his first time in the Solo has resulted in fifth overall.

Richard Lovering was in third overall going into today but the BFD, like Davis, cost him dearly. Tim Law would be first GM in seventh, Mark Lee was first Vet in tenth, John Webster was first Septimus and Ellie Cumpsty, first Lady. Special mention to Justine Davenport who went out in the strongest of breeze to compete and to 16 year old Ben Nicholls who collected a rather nice bottle of Salcombe Gin (to give to his mother) as our youngest competitor sailing the oldest Solo, a Gosling 4239. There was also a bottle of Salcombe Gin given to PRO Paul as a thank you from the class (he also used to campaign Solo 2).

HISC won the Wetherall club trophy and incredibly they had three in the top 6.

Class President Doug Latta thanked WPNSA, especially PRO Paul Kimmens and WPNSA's Sally Reynoldson for the incredible effort the club have put into the regatta. This was echoed by Charlie Cumbley in his speech.

A massive thanks to all our sponsors, Magic Marine (though the courier has lost the big boxes of prizes) North Sails, Milanes Foils, Hyde Sails and Noble Marine for your generosity.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7Pts
15705Charlie CumbleyWarsash SC1‑6131118
25629Finley DickinsonHayling Island SC23(UFD)1253631
35732Jack HopkinsHayling Island SC13‑242825434
45787Andy DavisSouth Staffordshire SC7131816(UFD)36
55864Jon EmmettWeir Wood SC11‑1610237740
65831Richard LoveringHayling Island SC4146646(UFD)40
75743Tim LawSalcombe YC5759‑1210945
85840Oliver DavenportNorthampton SC149164(BFD)2247
95808Shane MacCarthyGreystones SC‑16114111141556
105130Mark LeeLymington Town SC31313‑24158557
115691Guy MaygerFelpham SC1741116‑1814365
125782Nigel DaviesDraycote Water SC1017713‑22132080
135781Alexander ButlerHayling Island SC61518‑3614221489
145835David LucasGrafham Water SC338(RET)146181190
155645Ian HopwoodNantwich SC1537155169(UFD)97
165742Adam SavageElton SC212833‑352316103
175827Ewan Birkin‑WallsGrafham Water SC262514‑42171512109
185850Vincent HoreyKing George SC34‑451210202513114
195803Kevan GibbLargo Bay SC‑43101721242024116
205834Chris BrownRYA3534227712(UFD)117
215813Innes ArmstrongBurwain SC1251922(BFD)3532125
225393Simon DerhamLittleton SC31‑57343510118129
235804Steve EdeArdleigh SC‑32312117192122131
245793Ellie CumpstyChew Valley Lake SC30213225(BFD)1710135
255816Richie BaileyHayling Island SC923(UFD)40253018145
265735Andrew VoyseyHayling Island SC2312‑3820293825147
275865David WinderHollingworth Lake SC25‑382830262417150
285750David MitchellWarsash SC19‑443118361938161
294973Paul RobinsonPapercourt SC282729‑32273223166
305381Fraser HaydenPapercourt SC38‑59939322830176
315763Steve DenisonRYA2033(UFD)38283128178
325745Andrew FoxLeigh & Lowton SC40‑492723234026179
335786John SteelsStarcross YC‑45203327304133184
345704Tim LewisRYA37‑433734213421184
355569Nick RawlingsHayling Island SC‑62473526342919190
366000Doug LattaHayling Island SC854231533(UFD)RET204
375666Andrew BoycePapercourt SC‑57322437442740204
385796Andrew HylandLymington Town SC27403941(DNS)3327207
395406Jarvis SimpsonBrightlingsea SC2430261940(RET)DNC210
405612Tony Weatherell 2228(UFD)28BFD2635210
415801Willie ToddLargs SC18183044(DNC)44DNS225
425487Roger BennettSilver Wing SC4426252941(DNC)DNC236
435670Nigel ThomasHill Head SC39482049(RET)4541242
445354Robin MilledgeLymington Town SC464642‑51314334242
455724Terry PalmerNorfolk Broads YC3635364837(DNC)DNC263
465842John WebsterCarsington SC50194345(RET)37RET265
475570Malcolm BuchananLymington Town SC54415343(DNS)3936266
485259Roger WilsonRollesby Broad SC476050‑62453629267
495778Shaun WelshLymington Town SC‑56364754434839267
505466David MansonBough Beech SC485544‑56394244272
514921Chris MayhewRoyal Harwich YC5942415013(DNC)DNC276
525560Charles StimpsonSpinnaker SC65505431(RET)5042292
535547Peter WarneNorthampton SC51515158(DNC)4637294
545736Iain CarpenterNorthampton SC41224646(DNC)RETDNC297
554239Ben NicollWest Oxfordshire SC49‑636355424743299
565844Peter MitchellWarsash SC29(DNF)DNSDNS9DNCDNC322
575824Tom CampbellLymington Town SC68294047(DNC)DNCDNC326
585632Glenn BoltonBurghfield SC60665967(RET)4931332
595858Patrick BurnsRYA42395263(DNC)DNSDNC338
605617Stephen RestallElton SC5358586138(DNC)DNC339
614715Justine DavenportBurwain SC67676165(RET)5145356
625377Stephen WaiteHighcliffe SC52535653(DNC)DNCDNC356
635721Graham WilsonNorthampton SC55525760(DNC)DNSDNC366
645644Paul BottomleySouth Staffordshire SC61564564(DNC)RETDNC368
655718Craig ClarkePapercourt SC64684952(DNC)DNCDNC375
665665Paul AlridgeBrightlingsea SC58655557(DNC)DNCDNC377
675731Vernon PerkinsSouth Cerney SC69644859(RET)RETDNC382
685846Paul TaskerChichester YC636160(DNS)DNCDNCDNC397
695648Simon StrodeRollesby Broad SC66626266(DNS)DNCDNC398
705623Rob GascoigneElton SC706964(DNS)DNCDNCDNC416

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