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Finn UK Masters Championship and Open at Warsash Sailing Club

by Martin Hughes 14 Oct 20:26 BST 12-13 October 2019
Finn UK Masters at Warsash © Robert Deaves

Warsash Sailing Club hosted the Finn UK Masters and Open event on 12th and 13th of October. The week before the event saw a deep Atlantic low pressure system hit the UK, providing the organisers with a real headache as to whether the event would go ahead, However, as the week progressed a weather window appeared to cover the entire weekend and sailors were told the event would go ahead.

Saturday 12th October dawned with a flat calm - much as was predicted. Twenty-five sailors entered the event despite the forecast. Principal race officer, Nigel Russell, was deeply pessimistic that any racing could take place. However, local sailor and BFA Secretary Martin Hughes was more optimistic and persuaded the PRO to get everyone afloat and out to the racing area on time. Once afloat the wind began to fill in from the southeast to 6- 7 knots with intermittent rain, allowing most of the fleet managed to sail the 2 miles to the starting area against the weakening tide, with only a few stragglers receiving a tow from the escort boats.

After the first starting attempt when almost everyone was over the start line, forcing a general call a second attempt at a start was made under the U flag. The fleet got away cleanly with John Greenwood taking the favoured, pin end start towards the weaker tide inshore. Others, including Lawrence Crispin took the opposite route out into the tide where they found more pressure and a gentle lift into the windward mark. On completion of the two lap windward leeward course Lawrence was still in front to take line honours from Allan Burrell.

PRO Nigel Russell was having no messing about and started the second race under the U flag. Again a clean start and again a division of the fleet up the first beat, with no significant difference between inshore and being out in the tide. Simon Percival led at the windward mark pursued closely by Roman Khodykin and Kristian Sjoberg. Simon held his lead to take the win followed by Kristian and Lawrence Crispin.

The third race started in the best conditions of the day with all sailors able to hike at the start. However as the tide began to weaken and turn the wind seemed to vanish. Simon Percival led for much of the race but was pipped into second by the omnipresent Lawrence Crispin who somehow found a good route with pressure to climb from deep within the fleet to finish the race in second, as the course was shortened at the windward mark.

The mark laying crews and race team were all treated to a Coop meal deal at lunchtime. Warsash Coop kindly sponsored the meals for the crews for both days of the event.

The final race of the day took some time to get going as the wind was playing games, flicking through 120 degrees and threatening to increase then die altogether. The race team identified the wind pattern and set a course and start accordingly. John Greenwood was first to the windward mark closely pursued by Martin Hughes and Lawrence Crispin. These three went on to finish the race in this order.

On return to Warsash competitors were treated to tea coffee and cakes and there began the post-race reviews and banter. Once boats were put away for the evening sailors and partners retired to the club house bar. Before the evening meal, the esteemed Olympic Coach David Howlett led a review of the day, with some entertaining video and feedback on sailor performance - although the video footage was more suitable for Southern Hemisphere viewing! (See pic!)

Everyone gained lots from the session and were keen as mustard to put their newfound knowledge into play the next day. This was followed by an excellent end of season dinner supplied by Too much Spinach, in the Warsash Sailing Club.

After dinner the BFA Travellers Trophy was presented to John Greenwood whose overall score, no matter how bad a Warsash event, could not be bettered for the BFA Sliver Finn Trophy. Impressive new trophies for each competitor age group have been made and were awarded for the first time this year, together with £100 grants towards each age group's entry to a Worlds or European Championships.

Sunday dawned much as predicted with heavy rain, a grey gloomy sky and lots of wind. After much debate (about 10 seconds worth!) and watching the Fast Forties exit the river Hamble then quickly return, it was decided to cancel the racing and pack boats away before the worst of the rain showers. Unfortunately for some but to the benefit of others the overnight scoring had included an incorrectly applied discard, as the sailing instructions said no discard till five races had been completed. However the final results continued to show 'Mr consistent Crispin' to be the overall winner with every race result inside the top 3! The prizes were awarded by PRO Nigel Russell for the open meeting and David Howlett for the Travellers Trophy. Many thanks again to the Coop for providing the much needed support for this event.

Overall Results: (top three in each category)

PosLegendGGMGMMasterOpenU 23
1Ray NewJohn GreenwoodLawrence CrispinRoman KhodkinHector SimpsonJames Skulczuk
2Didge EverettMartin HughesAllen BurrellKieron HoltJames DownerCallum Dixon
3Richard HartPeter BlickIvan BurdenSimon PercivalPeter McCoyJack Arnell

The Warsash event brought to a conclusion the 2019 BFA season with the award of all the other age category trophies for the Travellers Series. An exciting programme is planned for 2020 with more events in a wider range of locations.

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