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National Swallow Championship 2021 at Itchenor Sailing Club

by Mike Wigmore 3 Aug 09:11 BST 31 July - 1 August 2021

The National Swallow Championships were hosted by Itchenor Sailing Club over the weekend of 31/1st August with a Covid-respectable fleet of 15 boats enjoying extremely competitive racing in Hayling Bay.

The Swallow is currently enjoying a bit of a renaissance with several previously resting boats back racing this year and, with many of the competitors being ex dinghy racers of note, the competition was as fierce as ever.

For race one the race officer Ian MacDonald Smith laid a windward/leeward course in a shifting 10 knot westerly and it was Osprey, (James Hartley, Rob Sutherland, and Miles Palmer) first out of the blocks with the win. Another ex Int14 Champion Jonathan Pudney in Spectre made an early showing but it was recent championship winner Marengo second in the end with Gwaihir (Mike Wigmore, Charles Hyatt, and Keith Bliss) third. In race two, after a general recall, the defending champion Skua (Harry Roome, Prue Roome, and Tim Barker) sailed a perfect first beat and windward mark lay line and was never to be caught. In the last race of the day, it was a newcomer to the front of the championship fleet in recent years Svala, sailed by Nigel Masding, Hugo Fisher and Richard House, that secured the win. Osprey were second again, by now building a solid series score.

With a few sore heads after an excellent evening the night before, Sunday brought a similar wind direction but less of it. Thank goodness for the Swallow's waterline length and soft lines to deal with the left over chop in a breeze which was seldom more than six knots all day, and often less. Marengo (Carolyn Brigg, David Sloper, and Philip Pascall) were on their usual light air form in race four and led from the start but were eventually caught by the team in Osprey at the last mark. Their second win securing them the 2021 Championship with a race to spare.

So, the scene was set for a final decider for the runner up spot. Four boats went into the last race with nine points, or ten and a race win, so it was all to play for. No double points required in this medal race to make it a nail biter. With the tide now stronger, and the wind lighter, the start line became a hazard on its own but it was the four protagonists who were in the end the best away. Svala judged the tidal cross for the spreader mark best and was gone for their second race win giving them second overall. Marengo and Gwaihir changed places for the rest of the race with Marengo taking it at the last mark to complete the podium.

Next year's event will avoid the clash with Cowes Week and some local events so look forward to a fleet of 20 boats for that event. The great thing with a national class where most of the sailing is in one area is that the racing will be just as good next week, next month and next season. To find out more go to

Overall Results:
If you finished in the top ten at the Swallow nationals then enter your Gear Guide information here

PosBoatNameSail NoHelmCrewR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1stOsprey95James HartleyRobert Sutherland / Miles Palmer1221‑86
2ndSvala89Hugo FisherNigel Masding / Richard House‑6414110
3rdMarengo82Carolyn BriggDavid Sloper / Philip Pascal2‑552312
4thGwaihir93Mike WigmoreMike Wigmore / Charles Hyatt / TBA333‑5413
5thSkua3Harry RoomePrue Roome / Tim Barker514‑6616
6thSpectre91Adrian FiskJonathan Pudney / Mike Jeffries46‑99221
7thSolitude67Andrew ReidAnthony Lunch / John Houghton786‑12728
8thCockersootie92Charles PrescotSimon Hamlyn Mimie Currey99‑123930
9thBluff64Austen ScullyClare Durgan / Paul Durgan‑1313107535
10thEcho87Simon SlaterSimon Miller James Baron Tim Boswijk(DNF)77131037
11thBlue Tit80Paul GilesTom Clarence‑Smith / Marcus Irwin‑Brown1010810‑1338
12thSpreadeagle85George MillerHal Miller; Carl Snelling81113‑141244
13thArchon74Malcolm GreenElizabeth Pattison / Caroline Marriage11‑1411111144
14thPtarmigan68Alistair Impey 14‑151581451
15th 76Mark Walker 121214(DNC)DNC54

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