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2021 Solution Nationals at Great Yarmouth & Gorleston Sailing Club

by Joe Crabb 7 Sep 05:56 BST 4-5 September 2021
2021 Solution Nationals at Great Yarmouth & Gorleston Sailing Club © Darell Tuper-Carey

After a grey forecast leading up to the weekend, 15 Solution sailors turned up to a sunny Norfolk coast for the 2021 Solution Nationals hosted by Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Sailing Club.

Much to the trepidation of the pond sailors and sea sailors alike the first task of the day was getting into the sea. With F3/4 dead onshore and the launch scheduled at low tide, getting off the beach through the shorebreak and surf would be a test in itself. Fortunately a team of GYGSC members were on hand to lift each boat in, add the sailor and give them a shove between the waves to send them on their way, whether they were ready or not. The North Sea was on form offering the full sea sailing experience with unusually large swell, some chop and flowing tides. The course of choice for the class this year was a P course, which gave the sailors a chance to test every point of sail.

Race One got away cleanly with Josh Hamer claiming his first of many bullets, with Kevin Clark second and Joe Crabb in third sailing the very first (of two) boats Kevin Clark had made in 2006 when starting the class. An impressive swift recovery from a capsize saw Kathryn Partington-Smith get back to 4th. Race Two saw Josh with another win, followed by Jack Turnbull and Joe in third.

Race 3 saw Josh step aside for Jack to take the win with some impressive upwind speed, with Josh second and Kathryn third. Lots of surfing waves and long reaches gave for some exciting sailing with surprisingly few capsizes.

The next job was to get back on shore safely with the surf still rolling onto the leeshore. Sailors queued up taking it in turn to sail downwind directly at the brave GYGSC members who were standing waist deep in the surf ready to catch and turn boats head to wind and lift them out.

Once dry, there was a short AGM discussing exciting developments with a new boat builder Peak Dinghies. This was followed by what could only be described as a banquet of food and drink put on by GYGSC at the sailing club enjoying beachfront views. As everyone hobbled/ stumbled back home, to their tents in the boat park or hotel, Josh was sitting in first, Jack second and Joe in third. During the evening Joe was to learn that the unwritten rule in the fleet was who finishes third and has to write the report!

Day Two was Day One 'lite', with 8 to 10 knots from the East. Launching and recovery was the same slick operation but less adrenaline fueled. The race officer opted for a Starboard rounding course to work with the tide, this certainly stopped people getting stuck on the windward mark, but did make for some interesting boat on boat action at times.

Race 4 saw Josh and Joe OCS, they were kindly informed 200m up the beat and after ducking back tried their best to get back to the front pack, the caliber of the whole fleet was clear to see as gaining places once at the back was easier said than done! Kathryn took the win, followed by Iain Wilkinson and Mike Gower in third (sailing the second Clark-built boat).

Race 5 saw the two Clark boats leading the fleet with with Mike leading Joe for the first lap, Joshes up wind speed shone through taking the win ahead of mike and Joe in his usual spot, the tide was starting to kick in across the race course many sailors were caught out and a lot of place changes were seen as a result.The final race saw another win for Josh, followed by Kathyn in second. Mike finished in third showing he clearly has form in the lighter winds and maybe a sea convert being a local sailor at the inland Hickling Sailing Club!

Overall we saw a clear winner (taking the win even if you didn't give him a discard!) Josh Hamer who learnt his trade at GYGSC many moons ago now, from Glossop SC taking both the National Champion Title and the Masters Trophy. Kathryn Partington-Smith also from Glossop taking second, Joe Crabb from Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Sailing Club taking third along with writing the race report "award". The Ted Funnell Memorial Trophy for the centre of mid fleet went to Stuart Jones and a special shout out to Tim Clarke, winner of the "Sheep Dog Trophy" chasing getting everyone around every race.

Thanks go out to GYGSC which did a fabulous job at hosting some excellent courses set by the race management team, so many club members volunteered their time to catch and launch sailors on the beach in addition to providing rescue cover and preparing and serving the wonderful meals. Please do come and visit GYGSC; with prevailing southwesterly winds, the task of launching is rarely as exciting as it was this weekend. A personal thank you to GYGSC for having a club owned Solution and allowing me to take part in an excellent weekend of racing with it and thank you to the Solution Class for being so welcoming. Finally thank you also to all the competitors taking time to travel to Norfolk, a country that is beautiful but famously far from everywhere in the UK.

With such a friendly and sociable fleet, lots of sharing tips and improvements throughout the weekend made for some close racing all the way down the fleet with many sailors capable of getting to the front. The Solution is a wonderful boat to sail, I would recommend everyone try one out or persuade your club to buy one! It has the additional perk that the Solution has a very similar PY to a ILCA 7/ Laser (1092 vs 1100) so you can enjoy fleet racing with them but in comparative comfort. See www.solutionclass.org or the facebook group.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1st463Josh HamerGlossop112‑6116
2nd432Kathryn Partington‑SmithGlossop SC4431‑7214
3rd391Joe CrabbGYGSC335‑93418
4th419Jack TurnbullRedoubt SC5214‑9719
5th392Mike GowerHickling Broad sc6‑7632320
6th458Kevin ClarkLee on Solent26458‑1025
7th413Iain WilkinsonLeigh and lowton115‑1226832
8th416Stuart JonesHooe Point SC‑98775532
9th462Richard BrownGYGSC8‑11884634
10th456Martin TubbLeigh & Lowton7910‑1212947
11th443Peter BlackmanBurghfield SC(DNC)1091011DNF54
12th409David BriefGYGSC121211‑13101156
13th438Tim ClarkeArdleigh13‑141311131262
14th431Tony LordFelpham SC1013(DNC)14DNCDNC67
15th455Kathryn ClarkLee on Solent(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC75

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