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Unicorn Nationals at Stone Sailing Club

by John Wade 7 Aug 2006 22:57 BST 31 July - 4 August 2006

A fleet of nine Unicorns met for their Nationals as part of the superb Stone Sailing Club Regatta on the Blackwater River.

Race 1 - Monday 31 July, F5~6 gusting F7

Dorks and Piper led the fleet closely followed by Wade and Taylor. As conditions worsened at the end of the second lap, Dorks retired as had most of the fleet. This left Piper, Wade and Taylor to battle on to the end and they finished in that order. However, it emerged that all the leading boats had rounded the top mark in the wrong direction and a protest led to all the finishers being disqualified.

Race 2 - Tuesday 1 August, F5~6, squalls of F7

Piper led the way in the strong winds followed by Dorks, Taylor and Toft. At the leeward mark, Piper was well ahead and he continued to stretch out a massive lead in the extremely testing conditions. Taylor sailed a very determined race and was holding 2nd place when his halyard failed a few hundred metres from the finish line. Dorks, who said he had to stop and ‘take a breather’, took second place ahead of Toft.

Race 3 - Friday 4 August, F5

With the wind set in the north, the course was mainly a series of high speed reaches. Taylor was first to the windward mark but Piper sailed through the fleet to take the lead which he continued to build through to the finish. Dorks took the 2nd place with Taylor in 3rd.

Race 4 - Friday 4 August, F5

Toft took the lead followed by Dorks but Wade powered passed on the fast reach on the second lap and then set about catching Toft. The pair swapped position lap after lap, Toft was ahead at the final leeward mark but Wade managed to regain the lead by the line to take his first national race win.

Race 5 - Friday 4 August, F4

Conditions had eased a little in the afternoon, an ideal F4 coming in from the north. Piper, Dorks, Toft and Wade pulled away from the pack as they battled for honours. It remained very close throughout the race but Piper gained and held a slender lead over Dorks and Toft at the finish.

Race 6 - Friday 4 August, F4

The deciding race, Piper had to finish ahead of Dorks to retain his title. Wade got a flying start but over stood the 2nd mark to loose the lead to Dorks, Piper and Toft. Piper again worked hard to gain the vital lead from Dorks with these positions maintained to the finish.

Gary Piper once again showed he was the master of all conditions with virtually a clean sweep of wins but it couldn’t have been a closer finish to the championship. Piper and Dorks were tied on equal points but Piper took the National Championship title by virtue of his four wins.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubPts
1st 1098 Gary Piper Stokes Bay 12 
2nd 1073 Bob Dorks Stone 12 
3rd 1074 Peter Toft Stone 18 
4th 1088 Richard Taylor Stokes Bay 24 
5th 1092 John Wade Weymouth & Portland 26 

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