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K1 National Championship at the Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy

by Hilary King 7 Sep 2021 07:36 BST 3-5 September 2021

The K1 National Championship was held over a long weekend of 3rd to 5th September at WPNSA in Weymouth. Competitors started arriving on Thursday to set up their boats ready for the two points races to be held on Friday and subsequent six points races to be held over Saturday and Sunday.

For those unfamiliar with the Olympic venue of 2012 it is a fabulous site which encourages both young and old on the water and has the enviable position to look over Weymouth bay which is absolutely glorious.

Geoff King together with the excellent race team led by Paul Kimmens, Bill Barker, Ken Porter Bridge and Sally Reynoldson held briefings each morning to determine the race area, launching procedures and ensured a Covid safe regatta.

Friday was a warm, sunny day with steady light breeze from the East. The two races were to be held inside the harbour and courses were faultless.

The first race gave an insight into the likely front runners, Simon Hawkes gave a masterclass in taking shifts where appropriate and using the wind bends to maximum advantage. He was pushed all the way by Ian Duke, Jeremy Hudson and Paul Birbeck who were swapping places regularly. Further down the fleet the racing was just as lively as places changed both up and down wind so staying in pressure was key. Finishing places were First, Simon, followed by Ian, Jeremy and Paul. The second race saw a pin end favoured start and once again Simon led the fleet closely followed by Ian and Paul. John Wayling, very new to the K1, together with Jeremy ensured that the front runners did not make any slip ups. The finishing places for race two were First Simon, followed by Ian,Paul and John.

Saturday dawned with a slightly stronger breeze and distinctly stronger sunshine. Hydration definitely required as the racing was to be held in the bay.

The sail through the harbour wall with sun reflecting off the water was just magical. The easterly breeze had swung slightly and the courses again mirrored the swing and sea state was slight. Simon again led but Ian was in close attendance, as indeed were a group of John, Paul, Jeremy, Guy Woodhouse and Geoff King The run saw the fleet concertina and large gains were being made if you were able to catch both wind and waves in sequence. The finishing positions were First Simon followed by Ian, John and Paul.

The start of race two saw us joined by a pair of extremely playful dolphins, that sight of these majestic creatures literally within arm's length of your boat will linger long in the memory. The black flag adopted by the race committee ensured all starts were clean and it is uncanny how the good sailors just seem to have clear tracks and excellent boat speed. Simon was kept honest this time by Paul, Jeremy and Guy. A distinct fleet split over the race course saw large gains heading towards the harbour and mid fleet huge changes were taking place. The finishing order was First Simon followed by Paul, Jeremy and Guy.

The third race was started in similar conditions and it was little surprise to see the same faces fighting for the win. Simon again reigned supreme followed by Paul, Jeremy and John. By the end of day two Simon was in an extremely strong position but the next few positions were very close and all to play for on the last day.

A fleet bar b q was held on Saturday night which was a wonderful time to catch up with old friends and their wives/partners. We are fortunate that the fleet is incredibly friendly and everyone is generous with their time and expertise.

Sunday was again sunny and the breeze this time was reduced so the racing was held in Harbour. Simon only needed to score a reasonable result to clinch the championship, but with the lighter wind it was felt that it may favour the lightweight helms. However the old adage that cream always comes to the surface proved true. Simon was pushed firstly by Ian and Jason King with Paul in close attendance. The slender lead looked vulnerable in the light conditions as the fleet made its way downwind. Again place changes were happening throughout the fleet which made interesting racing even if the leaders were a good distance away. At the finish Simon was again First giving him the championship with a perfect score. Second was Ian followed by Paul and Jason.

The Second race demonstrated that even the best of us do make errors and this time John led at the windward mark closely followed by Paul, Simon and Ian. A battle royal developed and Paul took the lead never to be overtaken with John second followed by Simon and Ian.

The last race was to determine who would finish second overall as both Ian and Paul were very close with Paul carrying the better discard.

The wind swung and the race officer again reset a perfect course. Normal service was resumed with Simon using the wind bend to great advantage. Jeremy was going extremely fast in a different direction and Ian and Paul were playing the shifts equally as well down the centre of the racetrack. A really close race ensued with Simon winning followed by Ian, Jeremy and Paul.

It was unsure who had secured second overall at this stage as the points were so tight. In the end Ian had secured overall second by one point from Paul.

It was also great to see Chris Turner, MD Ovington boats who now manufacture the K1 taking a keen interest in the development of the class to ensure continued growth.

Simon is a very worthy and popular champion last winning the K1 National Championships 10 years earlier.

We also celebrate our demographic and John won the masters age group, Ian won the seniors age group and Mike Commander the veterans age group.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8Pts
1st92Simon Hawkes ‑111111‑316
2nd73Ian Duke 222‑5‑524214
3rd84Paul Birbeck ‑43‑42231415
4th123John Wayling 543‑64‑62523
5th120Jeremy Hudson 35‑633‑86323
6th130Guy Woodhouse ‑11‑16546710840
7th151Laurence Maunder ‑128‑97955640
8th121Graham Butler 10‑11‑1111797751
9th138Geoff King 9788‑1110‑121052
10th62Mike Beckett 7‑14712811‑161459
11th161Hilly KingFrensham Pond SC‑1310121012128‑1564
12th103Michael CommanderTeign Corinthian YC86‑161515‑1614967
13th74Jason King ‑15‑151413134111368
14th98Nick Ryles ‑149‑1714141391271
15th160Alfred Hawksworth ‑181315‑171615151185
16th135David Stockton 6121016(DNS)(DNC)DNCDNC86
17th106Mike Deane 17‑1913‑181714131690
18th157Jeff Vander BorghtLyme Regis SC(DNC)(DNC)DNC910DNCDNCDNC103
19th159David Pritchett 1617(DNC)(DNC)18171817103
20th163Julian LeggettWeir Wood SC(UFD)1818‑1919181718108

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