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Hadron H2 National Championship sponsored by Allen Brothers at Royal Torbay Yacht Club - Day 1

by Keith Callaghan 12 Sep 12:32 BST 11-13 September 2020
Ian Sanderson leads the fleet down the run in race 1 on day 1 of the Hadron H2 Nationals in Torbay © Keith Callaghan

The fourth Hadron H2 National Championships got under way at Royal Torbay YC on Friday (September 11th). The day dawned with little sun and little wind but after a short postponement the shifty WSW wind steadied somewhat and increased to over 5 knots and the first start was under way.

The fleet may be smaller than usual (you know why!) but the quality of the entries is very high, with any one of them capable of winning the event. Spectators' attention, however, was on the potential tussle between Richard Leftley, current Inland Champion, and Ian Sanderson, National Champion for the last two years. Richard led Ian at the weather mark but the lighter helm clawed back the lead on the off wind legs. However, he was not alone - Ian Dawson (Warsash SC) and Robin Parsons (Deben YC) also passed Richard off wind. Ian Sanderson took the winning gun by about 15 seconds from Richard, who had improved his off wind speed in the latter half of the race. The rest of the fleet were not far behind, however, with new H2 owner Robin Parsons sailing his first Championship race in third place. Dave Barker (Draycote Water SC) came fourth.

The wind was strengthening for the second race, which gave some advantage to the heavier Richard. His superiority upwind was increased, which was sufficient for Ian to have difficulty in closing the gap on the off wind legs. Richard held off a final attack by Ian on the last run to take his first winning gun. The jubilation was apparent! After finishing mid fleet in race 1, Adrian Williams (Warsash SC) found the sweet point in 'Tangerine Dream' to finish in third place with Ian Little (Thorpe Bay YC) also improving to finish 4th.

In race 3 the wind maintained a steady(ish) 10 knots which enabled Richard and 'H2oligan' to stay just ahead of Ian's 'Shifty Fades Away' to record his second win (more jubilation from Richard!). Andrew Mcgaw (Grafham Water SC) sailed a good race to finish third, giving him third place over all after day one. Ian Little posted another fourth place to improve his ranking over all.

So the theme has been set for the next two days - it's going to be a battle between Leftley and Sanderson for top honours. But the rest of the fleet was never far behind in any of the three Friday races - there is no doubt that it is getting more competitive - so it's still all to play for.

I was out on one of the support boats all day and was very impressed by the practised and professional organisation of the racing - excellent work by the enthusiastic team from Royal Torbay YC.

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