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West Kirby Sailing Club 'Fun Sailing Week' 2020

by Tony Marston 9 Sep 16:58 BST 31 August - 3 September 2020
West Kirby 'Fun Sailing Week' replaces the International Canoe UK Nationals © Tony Marston

40 boats took part in the first West Kirby Sailing Club 'Fun Sailing Week' hastily put together in place of what would have been the International Canoe National Championships which had to be cancelled because of the Coronavirus. It was called a fun week to differentiate it from a more formal event with expectations of prizes and demands upon the club which couldn't be undertaken in this difficult time of the virus.

And 'FUN' was enjoyed by those club sailors and some visitors from the IC Class who ventured to WKSC in the hope of meeting up with friends and with a bit of luck, having some racing. This all seemed very relaxed but scrape the surface and you discover that within the competing IC sailors were numerous national champions, a five time World Champion and an ex International 14 World Champion.

Relaxed they may have been, but their coming together at WKSC meant a bit more than FUN; there was a level of checking what the opposition was up to in this strange season when virtually every national event has been cancelled.

There were four races sailed under PY handicap average lap time, around a four buoy course. Wind conditions varied from ideal for the first race to very light in the second race which had to be abandoned when the the wind died altogether. The last two races enjoyed a brisk breeze.

Jean Louis Simons won the first race in his Finn. There were eight different classes represented in the first eight boats on handicap. The four-buoy course took the form of a rectangle so pretty much a windward leeward. Two canoes went off like bullets but they forgot buoy number 4 on their first lap and had to sail back against the tide which ruined their chance of success on handicap.

Eleven IC's, a D-Zero, a Finn and a Falcon were the only boats that completed a lap in the second race before it was abandoned through lack of wind. The twelve other boats were going backwards with the ebb in no wind at all. Had the race not been abandoned Jean Louis would have won the series but it was and he didn't! It was a fun week after all.

Glen Truswell from Poole YC sailing his Morrison 3 designed IC won the third race. This rocket ship, launched earlier this season has a T-foil on the rudder which does clever things to the IC meaning it goes quick. Then he has an over rotating mast which means he goes quicker still and finally he points it generally in the right direction and doesn't capsize. The net result was he finished 5 minutes ahead of the second IC sailed by Gareth Caldwell and beat the 420 sailed by George Creasy by some 4 minutes on corrected time.

The WKSC youth featured large in this 'Fun Sailing Week'. George Creasy recorded a second and a first in the last two races respectively. When the wind is up he and his crew David Bromilow are a hard team to beat. Winning the series overall was George Colquit sailing his laser Radial. Consistency is important when there are no discards in the series and George had that, recording a tenth, sixth and third for his overall win.

His elder Brother Alex sailing a forty year old IC was first one design canoe in the first race out of eight one-designs. He suffered some technical issues in the last race resulting in submarine like qualities leading to a retirement. Simon Hall was sailing a Slurp OD. In the last race he took the lead at one stage but a capsize or two robbed him of line honours.

The forecast for the last race spooked all the top IC sailors who didn't go afloat, there was a battle royal in the fifth and last lap between five of the One Design ICs as the forecasted stronger winds came to fruition in time to kick up a choppy sea as the ebb got going making challenging conditions.

Andrew Potter succumbed to a capsizing spree and was first to retire, Alex Colquit as previously mentioned was taking on water fast and needed a rescue boat to get him back to the slipway, leaving Al Alston, Steve Fleming and Simon Hall battling it out for survival and the honour of being first IC to finish. It was a question of who would capsize the least and that fell to Al Alston, Steve Fleming second and Simon Hall third. All three of them had been in the lead at one stage in that final lap.

Meanwhile Steve Ferrington in his Solo was first to be finished after three laps followed by Liz Potter sailing her Contender four laps and Octavia Owen sailing a Firefly also completing three laps. The joys of average lap time racing.

The Race Office kept to the planned 90 minutes for the last race which was a fitting finale to the 'Fun Sailing Week'. All competitors reported an enjoyable time in a crazy season and seemed grateful for the chance of some good racing.

Overall Results:

PosClassSail NoHelmPYR1 MonR3 WedR4 ThuPts
1stLaser Radial206331George Colquitt1145106319
2ndSolo5907Steve Ferrington1143157830
3rdIC OD275Alastair Alston905255434
4thFirefly3809Octavia Owen11721115935
5th42053872George Creasy1105DNC2144
6thIC OD303Steve Fleming9052119545
7thIC335Gareth Caldwell85053DNC49
8thIC OD Slurp333Simon Hall9053012749
9thFinn715Jean Louis Simons104519DNF51
10thIC344Robin Wood85074DNC52
11thIC350Glen Truswell850131DNC55
12thD Zero187Liz Potter1029311DNC55
13thLaser1Steve Jardine1099614DNC61
14thIC OD196Alex Colquitt9052017DNF78
15thIC OD257Andrew Potter9052316DNF80
16thHilbre38Bob Jarvis12783110DNC82
17thContender2523Liz Potter969DNCDNC284
18thAlbacore8182Thomas Teubner10452DNCDNC84
19thSolo5005Martin Hartley11434DNCDNC86
20thLaser212Pete Jones1099DNCDNC688
21st42052756Patrick Bromilow1105DNC8DNS90
22ndFalcon46John Burthem10458DNCDNC90
23rdIC338Rob Bell8509RETDNC91
24thLaser 4.7212109Arwen Fflur12083218DNC91
25thFalcon49Mike Hartley104512DNCDNC94
26thLaser151359Stuart Dawson1099DNC13DNC95
27thIC321Dan Skinner85014RETDNC96
28thFalcon63Martin W Jones104516DNCDNC98
29thLaser195201Ioannis Koutsokeras109917DNCDNC99
30thMirror70499Angus Armstrong138318RETDNC100
31st470843Trevor Jenkins97319DNCDNC101
32ndIC OD278Simon Whitehead90522DNFDNC104
33rdHilbre27Peter Bramley127824DNCDNC106
34thFalcon35Jonathan Atkinson104526DNCDNC108
35thIC OD Slurp332Perham Harding90527RETDNC109
36thIC OD Slurp315Stuart Dawson90528DNCDNC110
37thFalcon62Kay Eggleton104529DNCDNC111
38thStar6Nick Ledingham1433RETDNCDNC123
38thMirror7001Barrie Weaver1383RETDNCDNC123
38thHilbre6 1278RETDNCDNC123

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