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2021 Osprey National Championship at Tenby Sailing Club

by David Downs 6 Aug 16:48 BST 1-4 August 2021
Matt and Vyv lead the fleet during the 2021 Osprey Nationals at Tenby © Alistair Mackay

Forty five Ospreys arrived at Tenby for the 2021 Osprey National Championship on Saturday 31st July ready for the start of the regatta. There was some attrition from the fifty teams that had entered, partly Covid related and we send our best wishes to those who couldn't make it.

Racing was scheduled to take place over the four days of Sunday 1st August to Wednesday 4th August and 10 races scheduled.

Day 1

In Race 1, the fleet got away to a clean start under a U flag in a shifty and variable North North-West Force 2 to 3. Except that is Jon Gorringe & Dan Martin, who being late to arrive were still coming under spinnaker, and Richard & Mark Hartley who got tangled up with the pin end boat.

The shifty and variable beats were quite challenging with plenty of snakes and ladders to be found. Matt Burge and Vyv Townend showed the fleet how to do it winning the race by about a leg of the triangle sausage course.

After a bit of reconfiguration of the course to make the best of the shifty wind the fleet got away cleanly again for the second race, except for Jon & Dan who were again judged to be OCS. Some of the more fancied teams had a better race in this one with the Hartley's in their Mark 6 and Martin Cooney & Peter Frith both sporting new Hartley Boat sails showing amongst the leaders. However Matt & Vyv were not really put under great pressure winning again by around a leg of the course.

Race 2 was again in light shifty winds. With the start line set diagonally across the tide, starting at the committee boat end paid as boats attempting to win that end were carried sideways down the line. Matt Burge & Vyv Townend were tucked in nicely at that end and got a good start.

Some boats elected to tack off after the start, those that carried on were rewarded with an increase of wind and the opportunity to play the shifts. Matt and Vyv rounded first clear ahead with Richard & Mark Hartley second, Martin Cooney & Peter Frith third, Chris Gould & Nick Broomhall fourth ahead of Andy Barker & Rob Gardner sailing the Class Boat (welcome to the fleet Rob). With Matt & Vyv then disappearing over the horizon the real race was between these four boats.

At the second windward mark there was nothing between Richard, Chris and Martin. Chris attempted to get inside Richard at the mark - this proved fatal as they hit it gifting third to Martin and putting them behind Andy. The race ended in these positions with Matt & Vyv winning by nearly a leg.

At the end of day 1 it is looking very good for Matt & Vyv but there is along way still to go.

Day 2

Following a four hour postponement waiting for the wind to fill in the fleet finally put to sea around 14:00 for a 15:00 start. The wind did not blow from the forecast direction but although shifty was of sufficient strength to allow for two races to be held in the late afternoon.

A combination of the tide taking the fleet toward the pin end combined with a significant wind shift in the last few minutes before the start resulted in several teams being unable to lay the line on starboard and the resulting chaos at the pin end of the line left several of the top teams buried. This included series leaders Matt Burge & Vyv Townend. Matt assured us all that it was the conditions rather than the hangover after some over indulgence the night before that caused this.

This provided an opportunity for some other teams to come to the front of the fleet. Dave Griffiths & Maurice Clark from the home club coming through to triumph with Terry Curtiss & Simon Hawkes second and Emma Stevenson & Pete Lloyd in third.

The shifty wind played havoc with the start line for race four but at the third attempt the fleet got away as the sun finally came out. Matt & Vyv recovered to more normal service with a large lead by the end.

Consistency has been difficult to achieve in the challenging conditions but at the half way point Matt & Vyv have a commanding lead from Matt Currell & George Odling in the fantastic venerable Infidel (1085) with Chris Gould & Nick Broomhall in third.

A view of race 4 by George Odling:

After a couple of goes at getting the fleet on its way, finally got everyone away with a clear start. A glorious sunny afternoon with enough wind for a nice sail and a good race. Shifty enough for the shifty crews amongst us to to get away. Superb light wind weather of practicing perfect gybes unless your name is Adam who needed to venture out to the bow after a fraught rounding, which could be heard by all the 45 boat fleet. Clearly some close racing!

With the changing wind direction Infidel nearly threw away a good result trying to clear the committee boat at the finish. Another win Matt & Vyv (well done again!) with Chris & Nick close behind.

Day 3

Wednesday dawned with warm sunshine and no wind but the promise of more to come, so the fleet had another morning of boat bimbling and putting the world to rights.

By 14:00 a gentle South Westerly had set in and the fleet lined up to start. However the combination of a wind bend along the line, a weather going tide and an eager fleet made getting a start difficult. Eventually at the 5th attempt (I think as I rather lost count) a clean start was made leaving half a dozen teams on the naughty step.

The wind coming over Caldey Island was less shifty than previously and a good race was held.

Matt Burge & Vyv Townend showed that they remain the masters of these conditions once again winning by a handsome margin with Matt Currell & George Odling second and Chris Gould & Nick Broomhall third.

There was again some difficulty in getting the fleet away for race 6 but once away Matt and Vyv did their familiar thing and built up a substantial lead with the Hartley's picking up another well deserved second place.

Further back in the fleet David Downs head butted the main sheet hoop and came off decidedly second best. Rumours that Ros had hit him with the spinnaker pole after making a wrong call on the beat are strongly denied. Anyway suffice to say I don't remember a lot about the race.

So Matt & Vyv have it sown up with a day to spare but all to play for on the other places.

Day 4

Two races were scheduled for Day 4, the final day of the Championship and the NoR stated no warning signals after 15:00. The day dawned warm and sunny with the promise of a sea breeze building later, but would it fill in time!

After a one hour postponement the fleet were released from the beach in a very gentle Southerly breeze with the prospect of it building and swinging to the West.

The fleet got away first time with the right hand side of the beat paying off as the wind started to swing. On the second round the windward mark was moved further to the right and the wind built to give the best sailing of the week in the sunshine. This time it was Andy Barker & Rob Gardner sailing 1360 Blood and Thunder the Class Boat to victory with Terry Curtis & Simon Hawkes in second. Matt Currell & George Odling continued their consistent set of results with a third place.

The hoped for sea breeze didn't really build as much as had been hoped for the final race of the series but it was still good sailing. Matt and Vyv bagged another bullet making it 6 out of 8 races, a phenomenal performance. Matt and George continued their consistent form with a second to be second overall and Andy & Rob finished third and third overall;once again showing the potential of 1360 and the Mark 5 Osprey.

The walking (or perhaps not so walking) wounded today was Piers Strong who had sailed three days with a painful knee injury but had to resort to crutches and no sailing on day 4.

The scheduled around Caldey Island race on Thursday being cancelled due to the forecast strong winds that brings the event to a close.

The Osprey Class say a big thank you to Nigel Denchfield our PRO for getting us eight great races in unpromising conditions, Tenby Sailing Club for hosting us, all the volunteers, our sponsors Hartley Boats and all the people who helped organise the event.

The Osprey Class have announced that the 2022 National Championship will be hosted by Porthpean Sailing Club as a 4-day event including the weekend of 3rd & 4th September 2022. The Class are consulting members on their preferred date option.

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

PosSail NoHelmCrewClub(s)TeamNatR1R2R3R4R5R6R8R8Pts
11353Matt BurgeVyv TownendPoole YC / Bough Beech SCPoole AENG11‑13111‑616
21085Matt CurrellGeorge Odling  WAL3‑8432‑63217
31296Andy BarkerRob GardnerRYA ENG‑845‑11431320
41311Chris GouldNick BroomhallLymington Town SCBlithfieldENG456239‑10‑1829
51362Emma Stevenson FPete LloydWeymouth SCWeymouthENG6‑1238‑1859637
61290Martin CooneyPeter FrithPoole YCPoole AENG‑1237667‑13938
71175Caroline Croft FTim BowdenWeymouth SCWeymouthENG‑216877‑2371651
81234Terry CurtisPeter GreigWeymouth SCWeymouthENG714217‑20122‑2354
91352Piers StrongPhil AngravePoole YCPoole AENG219910511(DNC)(DNC)56
101349Robert ShawIan LittleKielder Water SC ENG14‑202058‑215456
111276Dan JacksonChris MackayTenby SCTenby AWAL11‑1812417‑2241058
121381Richard HartleyMark HartleyBlithfield SCBlithfieldENG22216‑30112(UFD)861
131312David GriffithsMaurice ClarkeTenby SCTenby AWAL237116(BFD)88‑2463
141366Stewart MurdochAlexander BremnerRoyal Tay SCScotlandSCO9‑3118(UFD)1617151489
151369Roger BlakeJames BlakeGreat Moor SC ENG‑27‑261113919201991
161348Oscar ChessDavid CharlesTata Steel SCTata SteelWAL179‑3320‑2420141191
171363Alistair RaynardRob BurdekinCarsington SC ENG‑26172425154‑26792
181314Viola Scott FMichael ScottKielder Water SCScotlandSCO1313172222(DNF)‑3215102
191291Nigel SkudderNick WillisHayling Island SC ENG‑29222826(BFD)16115108
201198Angus HemmingsAdam BowersCastle Cove SCCastle CoveENG5151415(BFD)14(DNC)DNC109
211342Ted LewisLucas BoissevainTenby SCTenby AWAL192319‑31141819‑26112
221350Alec MamwellArthur ButlerConiston SC ENG‑31‑32102119271728122
231114Ros Downs FDavid DownsTata Steel SCTata SteelWAL1028311913‑3222‑37123
241298Michael AtkinsonPaddy LewisPoole YCPoole BENG‑3321251812‑312820124
251183Russell WheelerMark MawhinneyIsle of Sheppey SCIOSSCENG182926‑40(BFD)102125129
261166Mike MurrayPam Murray FTata Steel SCTata SteelWAL15‑3627‑3429132421129
271316Keith McDonaldAndy BrittainSmall Heath YC ENG25‑392223211530‑33136
281292Paul HeatherJonathan OsgoodTeignmouth SC ENG3525‑382410‑373113138
291373Richard MarshallStuart MaunderPoole YCPoole BENG30113014(BFD)26‑3327138
301372Mick GreenlandLee MarriottWilsonian SCIOSSCENG‑282421‑3223282517138
311367Alan HendersonNick ArranPrestwick SCScotlandSCO‑362723‑2827241622139
321334Jaime BohataTim GriffithsTenby SCTenby BWAL16‑373712(BFD)252330143
331207Jon GorringeDan MartinParkstone YC ENG(UFD)(UFD)159BFDBFD1812146
34854Richard PackerKevin FrancisBristol Corinthian YC / Castle Cove SCCastle CoveENG24102927‑302929‑36148
351338Ken BrownChris ButtersIsle of Sheppey SCIOSSCENG2030‑35292630‑3629164
361328David PlesterPaul GriffithsTenby SCTenby BWAL‑403432‑3632331231174
371341Willy CrichtonJon BattRibble Cruising Club / Blithfield SCBlithfieldENG3716‑40‑4125403538191
381273Jo Mahy FRichard BowersCastle Cove SCCastle CoveENG32‑40‑423534352735198
391286Mike StaceDeanna Stace FTenby SCTenby BWAL‑413534332836‑3732198
401374John ShentonSteve OfferWilsonian SC ENG‑393336‑3933383434208
411365Peter MallabandRob PantingWhite Friars SC ENG34(DNF)39383134(DNC)DNC222
421310Michael RichardsonTBCPoole YCPoole BENG38‑41‑413735414139231
431371Nigel YoungDarren HamiltonBristol Corinthian YC ENG4338‑4543363938(DNC)237
441261Richard JohnsCarwyn OwenTenby SC WAL‑4242‑444237423940242
451330John MckellarChris ThompsonTenby SC WAL‑444343‑4438434041248

Club Team Results:

PosFleetPos
1Poole A1
2Weymouth2
3Tenby A3
4Blithfield4
5Scotland5
6Tata Steel6
78IOSSC78
8Castle Cove8
9Poole B9
10Tenby B10

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