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ILCA 6 class during the 2021 UKLA Masters Inland Championship at Grafham Water Sailing Club

by Paul Heath 19 Oct 17:30 BST 16-17 October 2021
Start line action during the 2021 UKLA Masters Inlands at Grafham © Paul Sanwell

Over the weekend of the 16th/17th October Grafham Water SC hosted the ILCA 6 Master sailors Inland Championships.

Saturday started dry and bright but as the scheduled midday start time approached there was next to no wind over the entire course area so a one hour postponement was signalled enabling the sailors to stock up on even more tea and cake. During this time a light 4 knot breeze filled in which was all the excuse the OD needed to get the 32 strong fleet afloat.

With the fleet sailing an inner loop course across the width of the water it was certainly a 'heads out of the boat' day to spot the odd gust on the water, to avoid the holes and spot the shifts which all made for a mentally tiring day.

Race 1 saw a postponed start as into the starting sequence the wind shifted but the line was quickly sorted and away we went. First out of the blocks, and showing all the youngsters around, was Kevin Pearson (Thames SC - Master Legend) who took the win from amateur master Jon Emmett (Weir Wood SC - Amateur Master) with Ian Gregory (Frensham Pond SC - Master) third.

Race 2 saw Paul Heath (Leigh & Lowton SC - Grand Master) lead from start to finish although he did need some help when he headed off to the ILCA 7 set of leeward marks before realising his error (Thanks Jonesy) Ian Jones (Dovestone SC - Master) finished second with Rob Cage (Thames SC - Grand Master) third.

The final race of the day was won by Jon Emmett closely followed by Ian Jones with Kevin Pearson coming back into form with a third place finish.

After racing the sailors meet up in the clubhouse for a fabulous meal, on the spot prize-giving and a draw for a sailing holiday with prizes supplied by the fleets generous sponsors. Bob Draper from Stokes Bay SC walked way with the Minorca sailing Holiday, Alison Stevens and Howard Green won quality Vaikobi Bouncy aids and others won some very nice kit.

An early Sunday morning start for the fleet but with the promise of more breeze had everybody on the water for 10.30am. The wind was in the same southerly direction as yesterday and racing got away promptly in around 6 knots of breeze but increased throughout the race and the rest of the day to make for some great racing.

After a general recall the black flag make appearance in Race 4 but all got clean away on the restart. Ian Gregory took a convincing win from Jon Emmett with Ian Jones in third.

Race 5 saw Gregory and Jones hit the front and pull well away from the rest of the fleet so it was difficult to see whether the lead was swopped but in the end it was Jones who took the win, Gregory second and Richard Smith (Master) third.

At the start of Race 6 Emmett traded blows with Jones and sailed what he(wrongly) thought was his title rival to the farthest right of the course. While this was going on Ian Gregory headed to the left, tacked and cleared the fleet and rounded the windward mark first and was never headed. Behind him Alison Stevens (Queen Mary SC - Amateur Master) was up there again and this time held on to finish second. Emmett sailed himself from near back of the fleet to get into, and finish, third but it was not enough overall to prevent Ian Gregory from winning the event overall.

So with 6 races over 2 days, 5 separate race winners, variable wind conditions, a helpful, friendly but competitive fleet, an organiser and committee that pulls out all the stops to make it an inclusive event for all level of sailors, a fantastic prize-giving and sponsors plus a Grafham race team that were incredible and got everything right in setting lines, courses and marks.

We are proud to be sponsored by:

  • Sailingfast - Duncan brings his battle buss down from Scotland for most the big events, which is so ridiculously well equipped, you could replace everything on your boat. Although based in Scotland they will get anything to you super fast. He also supplied many of the prizes for the draw on Saturday evening. sailingfast.co.uk

  • SouthEast Sailboats - Max brings bespoke quality at affordable prices to the class. His passion for detail has made his products a must have for anyone who wants quality. He also supplied many great prizes for the event. southeastsailboats.co.uk

  • Ovington Boats - Chris Turner lives dinghies and has been a significance presence in the boat building world for decades. OB are now the official UK builders of ILCAs. A very smart new Ovington ILCA Dinghy was on display at the Masters event. www.ovingtonboats.com

  • Vaikobi - A brand born on the waters of Sydney Harbour, out of a passion for all ocean sports. Across the team, we paddle, Surfski, SUP, Wing Foil and Sail. Sailing has been a passion within the business right from the start. The senior management team at Vaikobi comprise more than fifty years of marine industry and sailing experience between them. www.vaikobi.com

  • Minorca Sailing Holidays - Specialists in sailing holidays in Minorca. Whether you'd like to learn to sail, windsurf or just improve your sailing Minorca Sailing Holidays will guide you with great instructors and a perfect and safe environment. minorcasailing.co.uk

Overall Results:

PosSail numberHelm NameAge CategoryClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1st200510Ian GregoryMFrensham Pond SC3‑7412111
2nd216115Jon EmmettAMWeir Wood SC2‑6124312
3rd213589Ian JonesMDovestone SC72231(DNC)15
4th211458Richard SmithM ‑95963629
5th203323Kevin PearsonLegendThames SC1‑123109730
6th196727Keith McQuillinMRAFSA and Spinnaker SC5‑9658933
7th213641Rob CageGMThames SC1035115‑2434
8th214189Paul HeathGMLeigh & Lowton SC1217‑1561036
9th213093Michael KinnearLegendGrafham Water Sailing Club411‑194191856
10th218860Max HuntGMWhitstable YC14‑328871956
11th219047Alison StevensAMQueen Mary SC‑3013132111260
12th205147Vittorio BoccoliniAMSeafarers SC164‑1716121664
13th219061Bob DraperGGMStokes Bay SC188151310‑2164
14th205151Bruce SnellingGMBurghfield SC13‑281020131167
15th213542Jonathan JonesGGMWaveney & Oulton Broad YC6161125‑291371
16th203157Mihail YankovMQueen Mary SC1518‑317171572
17th198964John ReayGGMIsland Barn Reservoir SC251412916‑2776
18th213516Niall PeeloMQueen Mary SC2021‑261814477
19th215377Richard MajorGGMGrafham Water Sailing Club191022‑2623579
20th195029David WilliamsGMGrafham Water Sailing Club82623‑2815880
21st210047Glyn PurnellGGMLeigh & Lowton SC‑26221412201482
22nd215375Nick LivingstoneGGMOxford SC11202124‑251288
23rd210779John MastersGGMChipstead SC171916‑292725104
24th215230Gareth EdwardsGMQueen Mary SC‑272720191823107
25th213579Ian RawetLegendGrafham Water Sailing Club2824‑29142220108
26th146162Zoe McCaigAMNewhaven and Seaford Sailing Club22251817‑2826108
27th205337Mike SteeleGGMSt Edmundsbury Sailing & Canoeing Assoc24152722‑3022110
28th177861Jo WestAM 23‑2924272128123
29th182220Mark HejlGMStewartby Watersports Club‑313128232617125
30th206502Hilary ThomasLegendLocks SC2923‑30302429135
31st209958Ant LawLegend 213025(DNC)DNCDNC142
32nd215416Peter GeeGMGrafham Water SC321732(DNC)DNCDNC147

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