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2021 Seafly National Championship at Blakeney Sailing Club

by Alan Collett 16 Sep 10:44 BST 11-12 September 2021

With high tides and almost perfect winds the 2021 Seafly National Championships hosted by Blakeney Sailing Club proved a great venue for some close and entertaining sailing.

Race one

With a beat into a strong tide Alan Jackson, best known for his Merlin rocket exploits with his crew Frenesi Ewing as well as defending champion John Claridge and crew Pete Sanders opted for the port side of the course pulling clear of the rest of the fleet. In the ensuing tacking duel between them, Alan & Fren had to take a penalty allowing the Lymington team to round the windward mark with a comfortable lead only to sail in the wrong direction allowing Alan & Fren followed by Amy Robinson crew Amy Howes to take the lead with the race finishing in this order with John & Pete recovering to 3rd place and Tim & Debbie Uren fourth.

Race two

With the tide now pushing the boats towards the line the next start was very contentious, with the individual recall flag up John & Pete incorrectly decided that they were over and returned. At the front the two Amy's and Alan & Fren were again battling it out; John & Pete managed to get back in contention once again close behind the "Amy's" but made the mistake of following them after the second mark only to discover that they were going the wrong way! Luckily the race was long enough to "catch up again" with the two Amy's sailing brilliantly to take line honours followed by Alan & Fren with John & Pete in third followed by Hugh Jones crewed by Angela Hardcourt in fourth.

Race three

After a brilliant evening hosted by Race Officer John Myers, a few of the sailors were slightly jaded the next morning, but all got afloat for the final two races.

With similar conditions to the previous day the racing took a familiar pattern with John & Pete rounding the first mark in the lead only to (once again) go the wrong way relinquishing the lead to Alan and his replacement crew Paul Farmer, the two Amy's and several other Seaflys. After playing "catch up" John & Pete managed to get up to second after cross tacking with the two Amy's causing the latter to take a penalty. Lack of local knowledge saw John & Pete find themselves back in third at the windward mark leaving Alan & Paul and the two Amy's to have a two boat dual on the run before two exciting Spinnaker reaches to the finish which enabled John & Pete to slip past the "Amy's" claiming second place behind Alan & Paul with Hugh & Angela fourth.

Race four

With the championship result still very much in the balance the final race was certainly eventful, with Alan & Paul making the better start, along with John & Pete. By the downwind leg these two Seaflys had opened up a large lead, however, the rest of the fleet (lead by the two Amy's) came up with the new wind, making the turning mark very exciting. In the resulting melee Alan & Paul and the two Amy's had a coming together allowing Hugh & Angela to come out in front with John & Pete unable to catch them before the line, the Amy's finished third and Alan & Paul fourth which was good enough to give them the overall championship, with the Amy's second, John & Pete the first visiting crew third, and Hugh & Angela fourth.

In a class that only a few years ago had virtually died, the entry of 13 boats was very encouraging, with many restored old wood boats proving still very competitive with the new fibreglass self draining Seaflys.

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

PosBoat NameHelmCrewSail NoClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1stMarshmellowAlan JacksonFrenesi Ewing/Paul Farmer703Blakeney S.C.211‑44
2ndMerlinAmy RobinsonAmy Howes477Blakeney S.C.12‑336
3rd John ClaridgePete Sanders704Lymington Y. C.‑33227
4thKittiwakeHugh JonesAngela Harcourt653Blakeney S.C.‑64419
5thMistressRoger BeavisDavid Blogg648Blakeney S.C.5(RET)5717
6thZippideeSimon HibberdAlan Collet620Blakeney S.C.‑866618
7thWaterlooTom SkailesJulie Skailes639Chew Valley S.C.7(RET)7519
8thGraceTim UrenDebbie Uren702Thorney Island S.C.499‑1022
9thRascalMatt BorehamPaul Wren644Blakeney S.C.‑978823
10thFirebirdRobert OdlingGeorge Odling198Highcliffe S.C.‑11811928
11thSummer BreezeEric Arthur 652Blakeney S.C.105(DNC)DNC29
12thSpiderDavid FairbrassSusan Gregory173Blakeney S.C.‑1310101131
13thSkyeGeorge HarcourtSteve Pailing481Blakeney S.C.1211(RET)1235

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