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UKLA ILCA 7 National Championships at Weymouth & Portland Sailing Academy - Update

by Jake Farren Price 17 Aug 19:48 BST 14-18 August 2021

2021 is a special year. It was 50 years ago the then-named Laser now the ILCA, was introduced to the world at the New York boat show. Since then over 219000 boats have been built and it's likely that well over a million people have sailed one. To celebrate this UKLA organised a mass sail out to the race courses in Weymouth Bay on the first day of the 2021 ILCA National Championships.

Leading the fleet of about 270 competitors was a 50 year old boat with wooden foils and the original sail. Unfortunately as all the boats were congregating in the harbour the rather fragile sail gave way. As is the resourcefulness of the members of the fleet a fitting lash up was done on the water.

Seeing the fleet sailing out the harbour in the warm August sunshine and gentle breeze was a deeply moving sight. However it wasn't long before boats peeled off to their race courses.

A real mix of conditions over the first three days of the event has really brought the cream of the crop towards the top of the leader board. With only two more days of racing will the favourite Micky Beckett close out the competition to be crowned the champion or will Sam Whaley, who stole a win off his British Sailing Team rival today, snatch the victory? Or could it be any of the other stars whose favoured conditions we are about to see in the coming days?

Saturday - day 1

In the light fickle breeze it took what seemed about a week to get to the race course. When we finally made it to the white cliffs of Dover, we were glad to see the committee boat was displaying AP to give us a moment or two to catch our breath and check out the course. Light to medium breeze from the West, with slight differences in pressure made for testing race course.

In the first race of the regatta, Beckett showed his class coming through picking his way through the fleet up the first beat to round second before leading the rest of the race.

A good battle for second left Jake Farren-Price in tears as he was luffed by some ILCA 4 sailors on the final reach trying to protect their wind, while he watched Whaley slip through below (some say Whaley paid off an ILCA 4 sailor to do the deed). Beckett again pulled the right strings after the start to lead round the first mark and through textbook defensive play kept Farren-Price and Whaley at bay for the second race of the series.

Each day, after racing, there is a breathtaking number of entertainments all organised by the incredible team of volunteers and led by Tony and Nette Woods. Table tennis, hike offs, themed dinners, daily prize-givings and magnificent prize draws. The prize draws have become hugely popular. The event sponsors have been incredibly generous with dozens of prizes handed out each day. The event sponsors have been incredible generous with dozens of prizes handed out each day. Ovington, Vaikobi, SailingFast, SouthEast Sailboats and Fernhurst have all given very generously.

Sunday - day 2

Stronger winds and grey skies greeted the sailors on Sunday morning. Racing was planned for the harbour, which the ILCA 4s appreciated after the mammoth expedition of returning to shore on Saturday. Beckett again proved difficult to pass after race one of the day with Sam Whaley and James Juhasz of Canada following behind.

Race 2 and Whaley and Krishan Bhogal, heavy weather specialist, come flying out the blocks. By the first mark, Krishan leads with Whaley in hot pursuit. On the first run the fleet gets caught by a major squall and speeds of 30 knots were recorded on the harbour wall. Beckett flew downwind and played the next beat well to get ahead of Bhogal.

Four bullets to his name now, was this streak going to be broken?

Monday - day 3

A cold North Westerly breeze descended over Weymouth Bay for the third day of the Nationals. With large shifts and big differences in pressure it was anyone's game today. Whaley capitalised on the shifts In the first race and managed to hold off the claws of Beckett to take his first win of the series - could this be a chink in the armour of Beckett?

The second race brought a big split; Juhasz, Whaley, Beckett and Ben Flower lead the charge from the pin end trying to get across the fleet. Farren-Price and Norman Struthers, another fellow Canadian, lead the charge to the right-hand side from the Starboard end. At the top mark it was all very close with the whole fleet bottlenecking onto the reach. Struthers, Whaley and Beckett managed to get away from the pack on the first downwind and fought it out from there.

Becket reasserted his dominance by winning the final race of the series followed by a tight battle between Struthers and Whaley in which Struthers pipped Whaley on the line.

Two more days to go and the forecast is looking like we may get some more swell and breeze out in the Bay - keep your eyes peeled and expect some heated battles as we get to the pointy end of this regatta.

Tuesday's racing will be followed by a grand gala dinner. With special guest Ian Percy, UKLA will be looking to raise money for the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation. An auction of yet more amazing donations will help this great charity bring sailing to a broader group of youngsters.

Full results below

Sponsors

Sailingfast - Duncan brings his battle bus down from Scotland for most the big events, which is so ridiculously well equipped, you could replace everything on your boat. Although based in Scotland they will get anything to you super fast. He also supplied many of the prizes for the draw on Saturday evening.

SouthEast Sailboats - Max brings bespoke quality at affordable prices to the class. His passion for detail has made his products a must have for anyone who wants quality. He also supplied many great prizes for the event.

Ovington Boats - Chris Turner lives dinghies and has been a significance presence in the boat building world for decades. OB are now the official UK builders of ILCAs. A very smart new Ovington ILCA Dinghy was on display at the Masters event.

Vaikobi - a brand born on the waters of Sydney Harbour, out of a passion for all ocean sports. Across the team, we paddle, Surfski, SUP, Wing Foil and Sail. Sailing has been a passion within the business right from the start. The senior management team at Vaikobi comprise more than fifty years of marine industry and sailing experience between them.

Noble Marine - Ian MacManus (the man behind the name) has crafted a very competitive and excellent insurance product for all Laser/ILCA sailors. A very personal service and a extremely useful website help make this the 'go to' company.

Fernhurst Books - Jeremy Atkins has put together an incredible list of the most useful dinghy racing books. If you have books on racing you've probably got at least one Fernhurst book.

Results after 8 races:

PosNationSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8Pts
1stGBR219091Michael BeckettSolva SC1111‑21117
2ndGBR217866Sam WhaleySwanage SC232‑4132215
3rdGBR217303Jacob Farren‑PriceStokes Bay SC32‑76445327
4thCAN216284Norman StruthersStokes Bay SC5‑1363623429
5thCAN215613Ben Flower ‑8487354637
6thCAN217718James Juhasz ‑9535577537
7thGBR215695Jack HopkinsHayling Island SC76‑98766747
8thGBR211012Gordon Cogan SivarajanClyde Cruising Club6713‑201412141581
9thGBR210020Alistair Goodwin 11‑171512131081281
10thGBR169126Joe WoodleyGrafham Water SC13‑26141491191181
11thGBR218436Gareth KellyLeigh and Lowton16‑21121311913882
12thGBR174621Nick HarrisonStokes Bay SC15‑271111188121085
13thGBR217871Mark LyttleQueen Mary SC28181010813(DNC)996
14thGBR213657Scott ForbesHelensburgh SC171116‑1812161613101
15thGBR210233Theo GumbleyWeir Wood SC‑239172120231722129
16thGBR214610Tony WoodsQueen Mary Sailing Club24‑31302410151118132
17thGBR215390Thomas BrindleyRedesmere SC141521‑3121192220132
18thGBR219069Finlay TulettDalgety Bay Sailing Club20192017232418‑25141
19thGBR197369Ross WilliamsQueen Mary Sailing Club2112242519‑272626153
20thGBR215244Thomas Parkhurst ‑3416221922292817153
21stGBR213966Dan KeenanTamworth SC‑2722232716222519154
22ndGBR214415Chris EllyattQueen Mary SC33321816(RET)143316162
23rdGBR213590George Graham 18142734173023(RET)163
24thGBR211133Adam FermorStrangford Lough YC‑2525252225251924165
25thGBR27Neil PetersPevensey Bay SC(DSQ)DSQ191530181514170
26thGBR211324Rhys JonesCardiff YC‑3823292833202121175
27thGBR216500Peter SherwinChew Valley Lake SC2924‑343326172931189
28thGBR217429Guy NobleQueen Mary SC31282823‑35332028191
29thGBR216065Krishan Bhogal 10842(DNC)DNCDNCDNC201
30thGBR213545George Sudnerland 223733(DNC)24262732201
31stGBR216373James Percival‑Cooke 41059(DNC)DNCDNCDNC205
32ndGBR215375Nick LivingstoneOxford SC(DNC)34263034323123210
33rdGBR199009Jamie BlakeGreat Moor SC1920‑403637363929216
34thGBR202316Harry NewtonWhitstable YC36293732‑40282436222
35thGBR213708Craig PalmerLancing SC30403129‑44343835237
36thGBR208715Sam DavisPoole YC263339352921(DNC)DNC242
37thGBR211257David CasaleQueen Mary SC37‑42352639313638242
38thGBR178441Sam PettySpinnaker Sailing Club42354139‑43383034259
39thGBR142793David ShillingDerwent Reservoir3936‑434332423537264
40thGBR197694Greg Cornes 45(RET)443831373733265
41stGBR195029David WilliamsGrafham Water SC323942403835‑4339265
42ndGBR210191John PitkethlyTynemouth SC‑4343323741393441267
43rdGBR215423Andy WeatherspoonDerwent Reservoir SC3538(DNC)DNC36433227270
44thGBR214125Jake BowhayStokes Bay SC12(DNS)DNCDNC15DNS10DNC273
45thGBR215788David PopperQueen Mary SC‑4645384142444140291
46thGBR216611Adrian LynhamStokes Bay SC(DNC)DNCDNC4228404230300
47thGBR211111Howard Green 414136(DNC)2741DNCDNC304
48thGBR142019Paul Woods 403046(DNC)47DNSDNCDNC340
49thGBR214682Michael PappStaunton Harold444445(DNC)45DNSDNCDNC355
50thGBR165130Brett LewisMedway YC(DNC)DNCDNCDNC46DNS40DNS381
51stGBR216890Finn Lynch (DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC413
51stGBR195867Tim LawSalcombe YC(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC413
51stGBR218413Chris TurnerLyme Regis(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC413
51stGBR183153Matthew FletcherIsland Barn SC(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC413
51stGBR216101Ewan McMahon (DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC413
51stGBR208933Simon WeatherspoonDerwent Reservoir SC(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC413
51stSUI217823Nick ZeltnerRegatta Club Oberhofen(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC413
51stGBR218218Andre Granadeiro (DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC413

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