Please select your home edition
Noble Marine 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Hornet National Championship at Stone Sailing Club - Overall

by Tom Guy 7 Sep 2019 11:33 BST 17-20 August 2019

Stone Sailing Club, situated on the River Blackwater, played hosts to Hornets National Championship over four days (17-20 August). Leading up to the championship, the forecasts suggested that sitting on the sidedecks would not be an option, perching on an upturned hull was more likely.

Day One

The fleet were greeted by bright sunshine and a freshening south westerly breeze likely to cause a few thrills and spills. The fleet was particularly eager at the first start not helped by the flooding tide sweeping the boats upwind. The fleet quickly spread across the race course as the capsizes started having an impact. Skudder with Hills started well and demonstrated great speed downwind on the broad reaches. However, final honours went to third placed Bines with Gibbons followed by mixed crew Strangler and Pippa Roger with the Dells making third as OCSs kicked in.

For race 2 the tide had turned so the boats would have to fight their way upwind in the blustery conditions. On the second triangle, the wind shifted to the left and Bardsley-Dale / Nurse enjoyed a blistering reach leaving the rest of the fleet trailing in their wake. Garry and Woolner made amends for their earlier OCS to finish second, with McNamara / Chatterton in third.

Day Two

After a brief foray in winds peaking at 32 knots, racing restarted later in the afternoon. A tough fought race 3 saw Bardsley-Dale and Nurse continue their fine form from the previous day and pick up another win, from Bines / Gibbons and McNamara / Chatterton.

The ebb tide kicked for race 4 and combined with some stronger gusts of over 25 knots, the steep chop made progress upwind relatively slow. McNamara and Chatterton demonstrated superb speed upwind and by the end of the race had built up a considerable lead with Bardsley-Dale / Nurse second followed by Terry Curtis and Terry Palmer.

For the final race of the day, the race officer made the wise decision to shorten due to the strong tide and the need for the sailors to retain some energy for the forthcoming games night. Garry and Woolner sailed well to take this race.

Day Three

The breezy one! Following a recall, the fleet started cleanly with little between them at the windward mark. McNamara and Chatterton enjoyed a slim lead but gradually this extended to the finish line as their superior upwind speed shone through.

In race 7, McNamara and Chatterton again led the way but were heavily pursued by Storky / Mark Taylor and Strang/Rogers. These 2 boats swapped places throughout the race but on the final reach, the flying Scotsmen flew past to take second. Race 8, the wind stepped up a notch (touching 30 knots), the fleet simply went faster... in between the capsizes. Although McNamara and Chatterton were leading, again Strang/Rogers and Storky/Taylor were hot on their heels. On the final run, the breeze kicked in big time. Several boats lost control and went for swims.

As the fleet approached the leeward mark on starboard gybe, some of the leading boats chose to play safe and wore for a port approach: Many chose to gybe, some survived, others did not. To add confusion the S flag inadvertently and very briefly, unfurled itself as the leading boats approached the leeward mark. As a result the fleet concertinaed again for the final lap. McNamara and Chatterton took the gun for a very successful day's racing, followed by Strang/Rogers and the Dells.

Stone's catering team served a fine meal for the annual Dinner and many a glass of wine was taken with the competitors and the members of Stone SC. Various generously donated items including sails were auctioned off by Class Commodore Richard Barnes.

Day Four

Going into the final day, the wind had moderated to a very welcome south westerly force 4. Race 9 started quickly with the fleet splitting to both sides of the course trying to gain best advantage of the flood tide. Skudder / Hills finally got their act together, rounding the windward mark first and romping home to the finish, followed by the Dells and Storky / Taylor. The final race was held in similar conditions but at the head of the pack was the ever-present "Rhythm Stick" winning by a good margin from Garry / Woolner and Bardsley-Dale / Nurse, in the process winning the championship.

A massive thank you to Stone sailing club for a very warm welcome and great socials events. On the water, the race management was superb, particularly on Monday where the course was constantly re-jigged in a very timely manner despite the very challenging conditions. Finally thank you to our sponsors, Exe Sails, Marchbanks Architectural Planning and Canine Enterprises Inc for providing prizes and supporting this championship.

The next Hornet event will be the Herne Bay open on 21st & 22nd September where we hope to see the first of the new rule spinnakers that are now class legal. Then to round off the racing calendar, we are off to Netley for the Final Fling 5th & 6th October where we shall be enjoying an experimental sprint series with the Contender fleet. If you want to join us, why not try our class boat (Championship winning in 2017)? Hope to see you there!

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

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9R10Pts
112115JO POWELLRICHARD ROBERTSPDSC4‑1398‑16101111101073
142182KEVIN BURTBARRY MILLERNETLEY1112141415‑17141212‑17104
152171TOM GUYROBERT SMITHNETLEY/STONE1210‑171517‑1817131315112
172178LUCY PRIESTALEX ROGERSPDSC141616(DNF)(DNC)1516141416121

Related Articles

Bob Fisher's last wave
Something very special took place at the Hornet Europeans In a year that has been anything but normal, something very special took place at the Hornet European Championship, which was recently hosted by Brightlingsea Sailing Club. Posted on 10 Sep
8 Bells: Bob Fisher - Mr America's Cup
The larger-than-life yachtsman, journalist and author passes away at 85 Bob Fisher, the larger-than-life yachtsman, journalist and author crossed the bar peacefully on January 25 surrounded by family. He was 85. Posted on 26 Jan
Bob Fisher - The second Wise and Witty Man
A key influencer in the world of sailing Key influencers in the world of UK dinghy sailing, like London buses, can often come in twos, with the best example of this being how the development of the sport here was driven by the shared presence of not just Jack Holt, but Ian Proctor. Posted on 14 Jan
Hornet Nationals Runners & Riders
Racing starts on the River Blackwater tomorrow Only one day to go before the start of the RYA National Hornet class championships hosted by Stone Sailing club within the River Blackwater estuary in deepest, darkest Essex (17-20th August). Posted on 16 Aug 2019
Hornets at Port Dinorwic
The third of three consecutive weekends racing in North Wales for the fleet The open weekend at Port Dinorwic SC on 4th-5th May saw the third of three consecutive weekends racing in North Wales for the Hornet fleet, which was trialling a multi-venue Mini-Series. Posted on 10 May 2019
Bala Easter Regatta and Hornet Welsh Open preview
Enjoy some beautiful views of Llyn Tegid! With the Bala Easter Regatta just around the corner and the weather on the up, it's looking like we will have a great Easter weekend of sailing ahead. Posted on 4 Apr 2019
Hornet Final Fling at Rutland
Competitors from Scotland, Wales and England Ten Hornets made the trip to Rutland for the Final Fling on 20-21 October, coming from Scotland, Wales and England. Most travelled on the Friday evening, although the Scots didn't arrive until 0330 after a seven hour drive. Posted on 30 Oct 2018
Hornet Europeans at Thorpe Bay
Fleet greeted with hailstones from hell A strong entry of 30 Hornet congregated for its biennial European championships at Thorpe Bay situated on the Thames estuary. Interesting conditions were forecast as was highlighted when the class was greeted on the Friday night with hailstones. Posted on 29 Aug 2018
Hornets at Stone
You don't need a weather man to know which way the sea-breeze blows It was a forecast of light winds for the Hornet open meeting at Stone Sailing Club Essex, but you don't need a weather man to know which way the sea-breeze blows. Posted on 19 Jul 2018
Early entry deadline approaches
For the Hornet Europeans at Thorpe Bay The Hornet Class is pleased to be returning to Thorpe Bay Yacht Club for their European Championship from 11 to 14 August. The Class last held a championship at this venue in 2001 when a fleet of fifty boats competed. Posted on 24 May 2018