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Vortex 2021 National and Northern Championships at Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club

by Philip Whitehead 27 Jul 2021 06:48 BST 17-18 July 2021
Jonathan Lister wins the 2021 Vortex Nationals © Paul Hargreaves Photography

Champagne conditions with a force 2-3 warm breeze from the west greeted the usual fleet from a far as London and Largs. A warm welcome to Matthew Bonnar from Himley Hall SC for his first open at 16.

Race 1 started in light and shifty F1-F2. Phil Whitehead and Jonathan Carter made the best starts, read the shifts well and pulled away to finish clear ahead taking the only win if his weekend.

For race 2 the wind settled to a steadier F2, this time Jonathan Lister won the start and kept the lead with JC and PHil fighting for second. JC came out on top taking the second

After lunch the wind increased to a lovely F3 and the fleet revelled in the breeze. Phil and JL opened up a lead on the first beat; these two had a very close duel with Phil staying firmly in control and covering every move that JL made until the penultimate downwind leg when JL and JC found more pressure on the left hand side enabling JL to take the win with Phil second and JC third.

Phil and JL won the start of race 4 - an individual recall flag caused JL returned to re-start - the race team later informed him that he had started cleanly - Phil unfortunately didn't re-start and it later transpired that he should have done! Back on the race track the wind had increased and shifted right making it almost a fetch / reach course with limited passing opportunities. Phil and Angus Winchester blasted down the first reach into a big lead. JL gradually worked his way through the fleet, just passing Phil on the last downwind leg.Angus was third. Thanks to Dave Baxter and Louise for race officering.

Overnight three helms were in contention for the event: JL and JC were even on points with Phil not far off the pace once the discard kicked in and he could drop his OCS.

Sunday's R.O. Keith Escritt wisely postponed the start to await the arrival of some decent breeze.

Race 5 started in a pleasant F2, despite a poor start JL picked the best of the shifts and led from the windward mark however, just as he approached the line to finish his mainsheet uncleated leading to a hugely entertaining capsize to windward followed by a mad scramble to right the boat and get across the line. Amazingly it transpired that during the capsize his mast tip had just crossed the line by a margin of inches, to the dismay of the chasing JC and Phil.

The wind picked up to F3 with some lumps of F4 for the next couple of races. Phil and JC now needed to win all the remaining races and these were Phil's favourite conditions.

Race 6 saw Phil blasting off from the pin end with his trademark ballistic upwind speed with JL nipping at his heels. Although Phil was faster upwind JL managed to stay close enough to be able to put the pressure on downwind, eventually sneaking into the lead on the penultimate lap.

The fleet split on the first beat of race 6 with Phil leading a bunch left and JL and JC going right. JL had a nice lead at the windward mark but his kite snagged on the hoist letting Alex Winchester take the lead. The wind had gone right again and Alex was able to use his weight to advantage and make the leeward mark with his kite up whilst the lighter JL was having to drop early. Alex led the entire race until the last short beat to the finish line when a fluffed tack let JL through for his sixth win.

A great well deserved win by Jonathan Lister, Musto Skiff sailing helps the fitness! The prizes all through the fleet was much appreciated. Watch out for the next event on the website Vortex class website.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7Pts
1st1164Jonathan ListerYDSC‑5‑1111115
2nd2018Jonathan CarterRichmandsworth SC12322‑4‑410
3rd1218Phil WhiteheadYDSC2‑32(OCS)32312
4th1117Mick CollinsYDSC‑844345‑720
5th1181Angus WinchesterCastle Semple SC3‑6‑6553521
6th1175Alex GlendinningSolway YC‑97(DNC)466225
7th1046John TurleyYDSC4556‑7‑7626
8th2017Andrew StratonYDSC687(DNC)8(RET)DNS39
9th1112Matthew BonnarHimley Hall798(DNC)98(DNS)41

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