Please select your home edition
Stoneways Marine 2021 - LEADERBOARD

Waszp Virtual UK National Championship 2020

by Joe Pester 8 Jun 2020 11:45 BST 6-7 June 2020
WASZP Virtual National Championship © Virtual Regatta

Last weekend should have been the Waszp UK National Championship so the class decided to get together and hold a two day virtual equivalent. The title was to be contested over 8 races via Virtual Regatta in the fabulous foiling F50s which are linked to the Waszp class through the SailGP Inspire programme giving pathways to young sailors into the professional sailing world. A video conference call was enjoyed before, during and after the races and virtual trophies had been made specially for the event too!

Competitors didn't travel to the event from as far afield as Scotland, North East England, Wales, South Coast England and Newport Rhode Island US of A! There were a couple of top guns missing though - high flying Bell Rock had to work and Hats was busy having a happy birthday!

Even before racing began Zac Blomley was doing some fine stalking in pre start showing some serious intent! But it was Sam Whaley who hit the front and took the first race ahead of Adam Raeburn-James and James Gray. Iain Ferguson peaked early and got his best result of the series with a 4th. Race 2 saw the order switched around with James getting it followed by Sam and Adam. Ross Banham had a run in with Phil Ewart at the final mark and the resulting penalty made for some exclamations and chuckles over the chat as others overtook him on the way to the finish line! Race 3 saw things change and Sam be absent from the podium due to getting around 6 consecutive penalties in one incident! James took the win followed by the super quick youth sailor Ross Ferguson and definitely senior sailor Ross Banham. The last race of day 1 saw a tight battle throughout with the leaders still all together at the last mark before James edged it followed by old(er!) Ross then Sam.

So James led overnight by just one point from the tied Sam and Adam! Chats were then had before a fun race in Offshore Racers with an extra rule that the leader around any mark must stand up and do a physical 360... Speedy Sam had to do around 5 spins and it gave Iain a chance to pip him to the win with myself in 3rd! Chat continued late into the night as the sociable species that is the Waszp class enjoyed a good catch up and some fun!

Melissa Wellbourn must have had good overnight preparation as she shot into the lead at the start of race 5 crossing the line at around 40 knots just 0.08 seconds after the start gun! Sam showed his usual race speed to get in front and take another win followed by Zac who'd joined in the chat then James. Rachael Jenkins made a guest appearance and got a good 7th. Race 6 was very busy with lots of lively chat on the video call! Sadly 'Daddy' Ferguson had 'virtual gear failure' dropping out of connection while young Ferguson stormed to a very impressive 2nd behind Sam and ahead of James! Andy Marshall joined in from here getting some good consistant 6thplaces. Race 7 went the way of Sam again with James 2nd and myself having a rare spell towards the front in 3rd. So going into the last race Sam was ahead of James and possibly about to clean up... At the start James got bashed back down the fleet while Sam shot off into a lead he would never lose taking the line ahead of 'old' Ross, 'young' Ross and a recovering James in 4th.

Congratulations to Sam Whaley for becoming Waszp Virtual UK National Champion! He races under the name WhaleX and went like the SpaceX rocket this weekend! Runner up James Gray and 3rd place overall Ross Banham. Congratulations also to Melissa Wellbourn for lifting the Ladies Virtual Crown and to Ross Ferguson for clinching the Youth Virtual Title. Thanks go to Petrina for firing up the virtual foundry and making all the trophies and also to Iain for some fantastic photoshop skills making the virtual prize-giving look so real!

Happy chat ensued again into the night with more welcome guest appearances, some telling of their wonderful returns to the real water and all shipmates feeling good having had some togetherness. The virtual racing has been very beneficial for skills practice as well as for the socialising, and just like real life Waszp events there were all abilities represented and having fun! Hope to see you all sailing again sometime soon!

Related Articles

Big fleet at 2021 WASZP Nationals at Wakatere
27 boats competed in the 2021 NZ WASZP National Championship racing and Sunday Slalom 27 boats competed in the 2021 NZ WASZP National Championship racing and Sunday Slalom making it the second largest Nationals fleet ever. Youth sailors made up the bulk of the fleet with 19 entries Posted on 21 Apr
Hong Kong Waszp Nationals 2021
11 boats, 9 races, and only 1 point in it Eleven competitors, two days, nine races, one RO, two AROs, two mark layers and a photographer. You have to start somewhere with a new class, right? Posted on 19 Apr
Ullswater YC Daffodil Regatta Preview
The club's first open event since 2019 Ullswater Yacht Club's first open event since 2019, the Daffodil Regatta is being held on Saturday and Sunday, May 22 & 23. Posted on 6 Apr
SailGP INSPIRE Racing Program applications open
Have you ever dreamed of racing in front of tens of thousands of spectators? Have you ever dreamed of racing in front of tens of thousands of spectators lining the foreshore, sailing under the banner of your home country? Well here is your opportunity! Posted on 27 Mar
Take Off with Foiling
Join Foiling Coach, Shaun Priestley as he shares his top tips to get foiling Been inspired by the America's Cup racing? Want to learn how to foil? Check out this session from the RYA Dinghy Show with foiling guru Shaun Priestley to find out how to get started and progress. Posted on 16 Mar
WASZP announces EuroCup Circuit for 2021
Set up off the back of demand from sailors that love to travel This year, the WASZP class will enjoy its first ever EuroCup circuit. Due to the growth of the class across Europe, the event series has been in high demand for the last couple of years but had to be cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic. Posted on 16 Mar
2021 Victorian WASZP Championship
Contested on the waters of Corio Bay in Geelong The 2021 Victorian WASZP Championship was contested on the waters of Corio Bay in Geelong. A new venue on the WASZP circuit, there was great anticipation with the forecast of good wind and flat water. Posted on 16 Mar
Entry open for 2021 WASZP Europeans
Over 20 nations expected to compete in Norway With light at the end of the COVID tunnel, WASZP is looking forward to welcoming back its sailors at the premier event for the European season. Posted on 10 Mar
Sailingfast hopeful for the 2021 Sailing Season
All set for the virtual RYA Dinghy Show this weekend Sailingfast are looking forward to the 2021 sailing season with great hope. Even before the virtual RYA Dinghy Show this weekend, the phone has started ringing with customers excited to be getting back on the water as soon as possible. Posted on 25 Feb
Waszp fly at Kiel Week
30 of the foilers expected at the event Once again, Kiel combines tradition and innovation. Up to 30 Waszp are expected in June. There were already registrations from Denmark, Germany and Great Britain at the end of February. Posted on 22 Feb