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Tornado and Formula 18 UK National Championships 2021 at Whitstable Yacht Club

by Robert Govier 22 Sep 2021 10:36 BST 18-19 September 2021

Whitstable Yacht Club hosted the UK National Championships for the Tornado and Formula 18 catamaran classes on 18th and 19th September. The 4 local Tornados were joined by 8 more Tornados and 11 F18s, with sailors looking forward to a classic Whitstable weekend of sailing and social.

The competitors were greeted by bright blue skies and unseasonably warm temperatures on Saturday, bringing with them a rather shifty southerly wind ranging from a few knots up to a high force 3 at times. The race team did a great job laying a course and getting the fleet off in time with the Tornado fleet starting first.

John Payne and Simon Northrop set the pace, and started a precedent for leading the fleet which put them on course to an unbeatable three wins over the day, leaving the rest of the boats to compete for 2nd and 3rd place, trying to avoid the wind holes in the course and battle the strong tide. Some of the gusts took boats by surprise, with new Tornado sailors Adrian Howe and Fen Williams snapping their spinnaker chute, putting them out of the competition for the remainder of the day. However, what they lost in racing, they made up for with boat tips, as like most of the fleet, much time before and after racing was spent catching up and swapping rigging and trim suggestions.

The F18 fleet had the benefit of starting second in the first race, and used the path of the Tornados to better spot the wind shifts ahead of them. Adam Piggott and Oli Egan got off to a good start with a first place, with William Smith and Julian Bosch close behind but never quite catching them, to take 2nd place overall. Class Chairman Nathaniel Ward and Caleb Cooper, also gave them a run for the prize, with a 1st place in race 2, but with a 6th in race three, could only manage 3rd place overall.

Saturday after racing saw both classes hold their AGMs, then Whitstable Yacht Club put in a barbeque for the competitors and guests, followed by an evening in the bar catching up with friends, many of whom had not seen each other since the start of the pandemic.

Sunday brought another warm and sunny day, but unfortunately a rather glassy sea with wind on the Committee Boat not rising above 2 knots. A welcome early call was made by the Race Officer to abandon racing for the day, allowing for an early prize-giving and trip home for the visiting sailors.

Thanks to Whitstable Yacht Club's team of volunteers for putting on another quality catamaran event, and to the visiting sailors who made the trip to the north Kent coast for the weekend.

Overall Results: (top three)

Tornado (full results here)
1st John PayneSimon NorthropBrightlingsea Sailing Club
2ndAaron YoungRob ButterfieldEmsworth Sailing Club
3rdPaul PalmerRobert PalmerThorpe Bay Yacht Club
1st WYC BoatPeter WilsonStephen HodgesWhitstable Yacht Club
Formula 18 (full results here)
1stAdam PiggottOli EganWeston Sailing Club
2nd William SmithJulian BosheGrafham Water Sailing Club
3rdNathanial WardCaleb CooperWorthing Sailing Club

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