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2021 Tasar UK National Championships at Whitstable Yacht Club

by Ali Nicolson & Rick Perkins 8 Jun 15:47 BST 5-6 June 2021
2021 Tasar UK Nationals at Whitstable © Sam Turner

After a fallow year caused by lockdowns the 2021 UK Nationals was the first event for both the class and the host club, Whitstable YC, since the end of 2019.

For many there were still concerns, but with Covid protocols in place a safe event was planned for the Tasar class with the event shared with the Merlin Rockets.

The visitors started arriving in torrential rain on the Friday but the forecast for the weekend was for dry and warm weather, but with light winds predicted.

The forecast proved correct on Saturday and as the boats prepared for sailing, the wind was stable but very light... the fleet launched on time but were soon send ashore by Race Officer Tom Bruton as the breeze had faded and his preference was to hold people ashore whilst the breeze built.

After a short delay the fleet were again launched and this time we were quickly into a start sequence and the championships was under way... all starts were under a black flag and so there were no general recalls.

Early in the race the boats that started at the port end of the line were favoured but as the first beat progressed it was clear that the boats to the right had gained an advantage and at the first mark it was John Rees and Ming Speyer (HISC) who lead from clubmates Rod & Mo Porteous with a chasing pack hot on their heels.

The leaders then got into a battle working high on the reach creating an opportunity for Rick & Sarah Perkins (WYC) to slip through at the gybe mark... the second reach was quite tight offering little opportunity for passing and with the light breeze fading the course was shortened to one lap with Rick and Sarah taking the win from John Lawton and Andrew Probert (Babbacombe Corinthian Sailing Club) who just pipped their club mates Neil Spacagna & Steve Eustice. With the wind fading the fleet were then sent ashore after a single race.

Usually at that point the legendary WYC hospitality would have kicked in with a BBQ & Band or other similar entertainment, but as we were operating under covid restrictions, socialising was limited to groups of 6. WYC table service did their best to keep sailors well catered for.

Sunday dawned bright but with very little wind and so the AP was soon raised. However, after a relatively short delay the wind had filled in enough for racing to start.

Race 2 got away with a tight start with boats crossing tacks frequently to gain advantage as the wind was very stable in direction but still light. Rick & Sarah Perkins lead at the first mark closely followed by Dave & Fiona Sayce (HISC) and Ian Swann and Graham Williamson (HISC). These positions held for the following two laps.

Race 3 was quickly turned around and again the fleet got away first time under black flag with a very even spread. At the first mark, Rick & Sarah Perkins lead from Stephen & Mei Baker (WYC) with David & Fiona chasing hard but with a pack behind... David & Fiona managed to pass Stephen & Mei on the reaching leg and at the finish it was Rick & Sarah from David & Fiona with Stephen & Mei in 3rd.

As the remaining boats finished race 3 the wind turned to the south and so the race officer quickly pivoted the course around the committee boat to start the 4th race.

With a new direction came new challenges as the fleet needed to recalibrate their lay line judgement with the tide. First around the windward mark was Rod & Maureen followed by Jim & Jan Taylor (Hastings and St Leonards SC) with a pack chasing... the pack however got in a bit of a log jam as the tide pushed the boats onto the mark... the resulting melee allowed the leaders to create a bit of a gap.

On the second beat Rick and Sarah managed to pick a few good shifts and pull through into the lead followed by David & Fiona and Jim & Jan... the positions were maintained on the run but on the final beat to the line Jim and Jan slipped past David and Fiona for 2nd.

The fleet were then sent ashore as the breeze was fading. So, with 4 races complete Rick and Sarah were crowned the 2021 National Champions with a score line of four bullets.

The fleet was very pleased to have completed 4 races; at 10am on Sunday that prospect looked distant. Credit must go to Whitstable Yacht Club and their army of volunteers who ran a faultless event from the on-line briefing prior to the event, through to the sound race management on the water and the regulation compliant prize-giving at the end... a fine performance and a massive thank you from all the Tasar sailors.

The Tasar class enjoys a wide range of competitors and so a number of category awards are also made at the nationals:

  • 1st Master (combined age > 100) John Lawton and Andrew Probert
  • 1st Grand Master (combined age > 120) David & Fiona Sayce
  • 1st Female Helm Liz Prescod
  • 1st Couple Rick & Sarah Perkins
  • 1st Junior Helm Felix Goodman
  • 1st Junior Crew Jan Taylor
  • 1st Club HISC

Overall Results:

PosSail NoBoat NameHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4Pts
12629 Rick PerkinsSarah PerkinsWhitstable Yacht Club‑11113
22815 David SayceFiona SayceHayling Island Sailing Club‑72237
32816 Neil SpacagnaSteve EusticeBabbacombe Corinthian Sailing Club34‑9714
42802 John ReesMing SpeyerHayling Island Sailing Club4‑74614
5175 Ian SwannGraham WilliamsonHayling Island Sailing Club537(DNF)15
62154 Jim TaylorJan TaylorHastings & St Leonards Sailing Club86‑10216
72933 Rod PorteousMaureen PorteousHayling Island Sailing Club6‑96416
82640 John LawtonAndrew ProbertBabbacombe Corinthian Sailing Club2512(DNS)19
92908 Stephen NationLiz NorthWhitstable Yacht Club9‑105519
102643OlyStephen BakerMei BakerWhitstable Yacht Club‑11831122
11611 Andy JacksonYvonne JacksonWYC‑181181029
122935 Liz PrescodRoger PrescodQueen Mary SC10‑1311930
132627 Iggy McNallyFelix GoodmanWhitstable Yacht Club13‑1513834
14638 Ali NicolsonJo PhillipsWhitstable Yacht Club‑1712141339
152165 Andrew ProvanPaul KellyWhitstable Yacht Club1214‑171642
16652 Peter GoodmanAbi LeightonWhitstable Yacht Club15‑16161243
172308KookaburraVeronica MooreJohn MooreWYC16‑17151445
182156 David FinchAngela HowittHythe & Saltwood14‑18181547

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