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Albacore UK National and European Championships 2021 at Plas Heli Welsh National Sailing Academy

by Mike Banner 26 Aug 2021 11:40 BST 31 July - 6 August 2021
Albacore UK National and European Championships © Dave Whittle

With the planned internationals postponed until 2023 due to Covid travel restrictions, this week long-event reverted to the UK Nationals plus the Europeans both run as separate events on the beautiful sailing waters of Tremadoc Bay at the Welsh National Sailing Academy, Plas Heli, Pwllheli.

With 29 boats competing and the weather staying fine for most of the event the icing on the cake was the excellent race management by Henry Wright and his team which ensured a total of eleven good races were sailed in a variety of medium to light wind strengths. The use of the U flag ensured clean but competitive starts with only one OCS and the close racing resulted in most boats finishing within 10 minutes of the leaders!

Thanks must also go to event sponsors Noble Marine Insurance, local chandlery Firmhelm Ltd. and Portmadog-based brewery Purple Moose (definitely recommended!) along with CS Boats and Ovingtons. This ensured a fine array of prizes, vouchers and beer plus the famous top 10 hats!

The RYA technical team travelled to the event and provided electronic weigh scales and support during the registration and scrutineering. By Sunday 1st August the fleet was ready to race.

UK Nationals (7 races)

Husband and wife team Judy and Paul Armstrong showed their intentions from R1 with excellent boat speed to take the win from Matt Biggs/Mark Fowler closely followed by Mike Hartley/Mark Hinton. In R2 with the wind building to full planning conditions Matt got ahead of Judy to take the win with Mike Hartley again claiming third. Phil and Kirsten Sheppard had to retire when their shroud spectacularly exploded mid-race!

With three races on day 2, in lighter conditions, the contest was wide open. In R3 Judy again took the win from Mike Hartley with Pete Snowdon/Louise Carr claiming third. Tim Coleman and daughter Jo Sankey had a great race leading at the windward mark before eventually settling for 4th!

R4 saw a new name at the top of the podium with Jerry Rook and Jake Stow pipping Judy with Mike Hartley again taking 3rd. Jerry repeated his win in R5 though this time Mike Hartley moved up into second just ahead of Pete Snowdon. Class treasurer Matt Thompson crewed by daughter Heather had their best race storming to a great fourth place!

On the final day of the UK Nationals it was all to play for however Judy and Paul took the title with a race to spare by winning R6 ahead of Jeremy Shinton /Harry Ashworth with John Greenwood/Liz Potter in third. In the final race West Kirby hogged the podium as Jean-Louis Simmons/Octavia Owen won by some distance from fellow club boats sailed by Mike Hartley then John Greenwood.

So Judy and Paul Armstrong won their second UK Nationals title having previously claimed the title in 2016 at Llandudno. Worthy winners and loudly applauded during the informal tally prize draw and AGM that followed racing.

UK Nationals Trophy Winners:

1st J Armstrong/P Armstrong Racecraft Perpetual Trophy (R1), Breitling Challenge Trophy (R3) Lyme Bay Perpetual Trophy (R6), The Currey Plate (Championship Winner) Marlow Tray (1st Crew), Lady Helm Trophy, Swansea Bay Trophy (1st Husband & Wife)
2nd M Hartley/M Hinton Wayne Trophy (Championship Runner Up), Martin Cockram Memorial Trophy (2nd Crew)
3rd J Rook/J Stow Albacore Association Trophy (R4), City of Plymouth Trophy (R5) Albacore Masters Trophy (Highest helm over 60)
4th P Snowdon/L Carr Armed Forces Trophy (first boat 6001 - 7990)
5th J Greenwood/L Potter Graham Ebben Trophy (first boat 2001 - 6000)
6th M Biggs /M Fowler Albacore Founders Trophy (R2)
7th J-L Simons/O Owen Chairmans Goblet (Highest helm in first Nationals), Ayrton Rose Bowl (R7)
8th T Coleman/J Sankey Ruislip Gold Cup (Highest Gold Fleet not winning another award)
9th J Shinton/H Ashworth Prigmore Trophy (Winner Silver Fleet)
10th J Dellow/S Medd Helensburgh Trophy (Most Improved Helm)
11th J Woffinden/J Woffinden Anton McNamara Trophy (Highest helm not winning another award)
22nd M Reddington/C Anderson Geriatric Jug (Highest helm over 70)
29th A Burfield/J Burfield Nita Tapp Trophy (Last placed helm completing all races), Thorpe Bay Trophy (highest placed parent & child under 18), City of Portsmouth Trophy (highest helm within 50 miles of Nationals venue)

UK Nationals Team awards:

Little Ships Trophy Scaling Dam
Buddy Trophy West Kirby
Silver fleet
1st J Shinton/H. Ashworth
2nd C. Moss/J.Young
3rd M.Reddington/ C.Anderson

UK Nationals Results:
If you finished in the top ten at the Albacore nationals then enter your Gear Guide information here

PosBoat NameSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7Pts
1stTotally Ratted8228J ArmstrongP ArmstrongScaling Dam SC121241‑711
2ndM Hartley8187M HartleyM HintonWest Kirby SC33232‑7215
3rdRunning On Empty8128J RookJ StowLyme Regis SC4511114‑1226
4thHead Honcho7920P SnowdonL CarrScaling Dam SC943‑12361136
5thCastor & Pollux5897J GreenwoodL PotterWest Kirby SC11885‑123338
6thBullitt6922M BiggsM FowlerBartley SC21‑1313610941
7thFugly8177J‑L SimonsO OwenWest Kirby SC86‑14101012147
8thOutrageous Grace8254T ColemanJ SankeyLeigh & Lowton SC10‑1749551649
9thIt Wasn'T Me8158J ShintonH AshworthBartley SC‑271698152555
10thDaedalus6918J DellowS MeddWeston SC1515107‑178661
11thThe Usual Suspects8213J WoffindenJ WoffindenMaidenhead SC121112‑141411464
12thYou Can Call Me Al8253S ChallenJ ChallenCovenham SC796‑268202171
13thAlbaholic8152P SmithS CarrWest Kirby SC514‑20157171775
14thAl8132B WicksS WicksSouth Cerney SC13‑191618913877
15thPappajo8131T O'TooleS LawLyme Regis SC6(DSQ)7613RET1981
16thUffa Fox Sake8255M ThompsonH ThompsonTewkesbury161217416‑221883
17thLake Safari8182T TeubnerS JardineWest Kirby SC20135112323‑2695
18thGarden Leave8130H WittD YoungMaidenhead SC14718212515‑28100
19thFifty Shades8233M BannerL CoopLeigh & Lowton SC19102317229‑25100
20thWhite Lie8209C MossJ YoungLyme Regis SC172115‑28191420106
21stFoxtrot Alpha7987R SmithT MckowenBenfleet YC1818‑2516182115106
22ndOdie7426M ReddingtonC AndersonBartley SC‑24242222111910108
23rdArnold8157A BellL BellWest Kirby SC2220‑2625211622126
24thNemesis6504S BaileyJ WallaceNottingham252221‑29281814128
25thAvatar8133I ClarkeTom KenwardBartley SC23251919‑262424134
26thDog Woof6654C GimsonP MchenryNotts County SC2127242420‑2823139
27thSilver Fox8189P SheppardK SheppardNottingham28(RET)2823242513141
28thBlue Jay7525A PearceI SimpsonMaidenhead SC262327202726‑29149
29thFidelio6673A BurfieldJ BurfieldBala SC‑29262927292727165

Europeans (4 races)

With the European championships being run as a separate event toe the Nationals it was all to play for with the slates (well it was in Wales!) wiped clean. Due to an excessive wind forecast the event start was brought forward to the lay day and four races sailed to ensure a series with one discard. As it turned out this proved to be the right decision as the next scheduled day was unsailable for the majority of the fleet.

In R1 Mike Hartley took his first bullet just ahead of Judy with Jerry Rook completing the podium. R2 saw Matt Biggs take the win with Jerry second and John Greenwood third. A new face came to the front in R3 with long-time Albacore sailor Johnie Dellow and crew Simon Medd beating Judy in second and Mike Hartley in third. With all to play for in what turned out to be the final race Jerry Rook took the win and (with it the European Title) with John Greenwood second and Judy third.

At the prize-giving for both events a vast array of trophies and prizes were awarded. National Champions Judy and Paul Armstrong thanked everyone for attending and paid tribute to the excellent race management throughout the event. New European Champions Jerry Rook and Jake Stow paid similar tributes as they proudly collected their prizes.

European Championship Results:

PosBoat NameSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1stRunning On Empty8128J RookJ StowLyme Regis SC32‑1016
2ndTotally Ratted8228J ArmstrongP ArmstrongScaling Dam SC2‑7237
3rdBullitt6922M BiggsM FowlerBartley SC415(DNC)10
4thM Hartley8187M HartleyM HintonWest Kirby SC183‑912
5thCastor & Pollux5897J GreenwoodL PotterWest Kirby SC‑838213
6thHead Honcho7920P SnowdonL CarrScaling Dam SC‑1144715
7thOutrageous Grace8254T ColemanJ SankeyLeigh & Lowton SC56‑14415
8thDaedalus6918J DellowS MeddWeston SC7‑2111220
9thPappajo8131T O'TooleS LawLyme Regis SC‑14107522
10thThe Usual Suspects8213J WoffindenJ WoffindenMaidenhead SC(OCS)1361029
11thFifty Shades8233M BannerL CoopLeigh & Lowton SC‑181212630
12thIt Wasn'T Me8158J ShintonH AshworthBartley SC‑21913830
13thUffa Fox Sake8255M ThompsonH ThompsonTewkesbury17511‑1933
14thLake Safari8182T TeubnerS JardineWest Kirby SC61120‑2137
15thAlbaholic8152P SmithS CarrWest Kirby SC13‑1791638
16thFugly8177J‑L SimonsO OwenWest Kirby SC9‑20171339
17thAl8132B WicksS WicksSouth Cerney SC15‑19151141
18thAvatar8133I ClarkeTom KenwardBartley SC1218‑241545
19thFoxtrot Alpha7987R SmithE WoodhouseBenfleet YC161418‑2548
20thOdie7426M ReddingtonC AndersonBartley SC‑2415161748
21stYou Can Call Me Al8253S ChallenJ ChallenCovenham SC1916‑211449
22ndWhite Lie8209C MossJ YoungLyme Regis SC10‑25221850
23rdDog Woof6654C GimsonP MchenryNotts County SC20‑23192261
24thArnold8157A BellL BellWest Kirby SC22‑24232065
25thNemesis6504S BaileyJ WallaceNottingham2522‑262370
26thBlue Jay7525A PearceI SimpsonMaidenhead SC2326‑272675
27thSilver Fox8189P SheppardK SheppardNottingham26‑27252475
28thFidelio6673J BurfieldA BurfieldBala SC272828(DNC)83
29thGarden Leave8130H WittD YoungMaidenhead SC(DNC)DNCDNCDNC90

Looking Ahead Next Albacore event is the Southern Champs at WPNSA over 4th/5th Sept 21 Next year's UK Nationals will be held for the first time at the Royal Lymington Yacht Club on the Solent over the long weekend of Fri 5th Sat 6th & Sun 7th August just ahead of the Uffa Fox regatta which the Albacores will be proudly competing in at Cowes a few weeks later.

The 2022 Europeans are due to be held in the Shetlands in July - further details to follow.

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