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Noble Marine 2020 - LEADERBOARD

WASZP GP at Carsington Sailing Club

by Martin Evans 25 Oct 06:58 BST 23-24 October 2021
Hattie Rogers during the 2021 WASZP European Games © Anna Suslova / 2021 WASZP European Games

The final UK WASZP GP of the season took place at Carsington Sailing Club over the weekend. Twenty boats made the trip from as far afield as Dublin, Plymouth and the Isle of Wight and were greeted with perfect foiling breeze and a chilly seven degrees. Layered up to the max, the sailors took to the water for a fast and thrilling four races on day one.

Four sailors emerged consistently at the top of the fleet. Hattie Rogers of Royal Lymington Yacht Club took the first race in a hotly contested battle with Tom Pollard of St Catherine's Sailing Club. Pollard took second but fought back in race two with a bullet, leaving Rogers to take second and the scoreboard even at the top. Martin Evans from Gurnard Sailing Club knocked in two third places whilst local Carsington sailor Dan Wellbourn Hesp scored a fourth and a DNC owing to a dodgy makeshift boom assembly using half a windsurf boom after he misplaced his WASZP boom end!

Wellbourn Hesp managed to find a suitable replacement part during the second race where he took the DNC and came back out fighting in race three and four, winning both. Pollard took two more second places and Rogers two thirds. Evans took a fourth and his share of bad luck with a breakage forcing him to retire from that final race of the day.

The competitors took the opportunity to warm up Saturday evening with a fantastic class meal and well-stocked bar. The social aspect of WASZP events has always been a fundamental part of the class but has been partially stifled by the pandemic. It was refreshing for the sailors to rekindle the classic WASZP atmosphere in Carsington and enjoy a great social in relative normality.

The forecast for Sunday was looking punchy, with gusts of around 25 knots expected throughout the day. Sailors suited up and psyched themselves for what everybody anticipated would be a full-on day on the water, but it turned out the conditions were somewhat underdelivering on the forecast. Sailors were presented with lighter but predominantly foiling conditions with a high gust to lull ratio, meaning linking the pressure to stay on the foils would be the key to success.

Hattie Rogers threw down the gauntlet in the first two races with two bullets on the trot, displaying a total masterclass in marginal downwind sailing. The Lymington sailor consistently stayed on the foils for the duration of the downwind legs and glided through gybes effortlessly, whilst her nearest rivals found themselves in the painful situation of low-riding from time to time as Rogers shrunk into the distance. Pollard and Wellbourn Hesp exchanged a second and third each.

The wind dropped off in the final two races, with the deciding factor for success being the tactical trade-off between sailing extra distance in search of pressure to get foiling versus low-riding and sailing the minimum distance. The final downwind leg of the third race saw three boats neck and neck - Rogers, Evans and Eve Kennedy, who had stormed the first upwind leg with the most flight time of any sailor. A shortened course part way down the leg meant Rogers was unfortunate to find herself on the outside of the three as they approached the final turning mark. Kennedy had the inside and Evans had to work the middle. Evans, a former laser sailor, was consistently quick downwind in low-riding mode and managed to wiggle free of Kennedy, breaking the overlap just before the zone to allow him to gybe and take the race win. Kennedy took second and Rogers third. Wellbourn Hesp and Pollard were down in fifth and eighth allowing Sven Gauter fourth position.

The final race was almost exclusively low-riding, save for a brief burst of pace from Dan Wellbourn Hesp at the top of the first beat, which saw the 19 year old do enough to get on the foils momentarily and launch himself into a comfortable lead. Evans rounded in second, holding off a challenge from master, Adam Raeburn-James. The top three remained the same for the duration of the race. Pollard managed to find the foils in a late charge on the final downwind but couldn't do enough to better fourth. Rogers found herself in a disappointing sixth.

Keeping track of the maths had been too difficult on the water, so the competitors had to wait until they returned to shore to see who had taken the win after an incredibly hotly contested series. Hattie Rogers had done enough to seal the overall victory by two points, with Tom Pollard in second and Dan Wellbourn Hesp in third. Evans had to settle for fourth. The masters category winner went to Adam Raeburn-James from Datchet, who edged out Dan Goodman thanks to his podium finish in the final race. Rogers is now on a growing list of female foilers that have taken the top spot in WASZP regattas, with USA SailGP team member CJ Perez recently winning the US WASZP nationals and Norwegian star Mathilde Robertstad winning the WASZP EuroCup at Kiel Week. The WASZP class continues to offer talented foiling sailors an amazing platform to showcase their skills, with the typical prize for 'first lady' soon to become a thing of the past.

A massive thanks goes to Carsington Sailing Club and Melissa Wellbourn Hesp for organising such an enjoyable and successful event.

As we head into winter, the WASZP class will be as active as ever with training camps for all abilities and all rigs, including the new WASZP_X junior rig! If you are interested in joining the swarm, get in touch with to find out more about the foiling opportunities waiting for you with WASZP!

Overall Results:

PosBoatSail NoHelmR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8Pts
1st 2932Hattie Rogers1233113‑614
2nd 2799Tom Pollard212232‑8416
3rd 2237Dan Wellbourn Hesp4(DNC)11235117
4thStinging Belle2511Martin Evans334(DNC)441221
5th 3002Sven Gauter7685‑1064541
6th 2522Toby Bloomfield955477‑10845
7thSplat2610Adam Raeburn‑James6867‑13107347
8th 2928Daniel Goodman877‑11686749
9th 8Eve Kennedy13910(DNC)91121064
10th 3031Elysia O'Leary10109989‑131267
11th 3140Thomas Parkhurst‑141111101112111379
12th 2704Ross Ferguson‑151414121213121188
13th 2475Peter Deming(DNC)DNCDNCDNC559994
14thWillow the Waszp2520Joe Pester1113126(DNC)DNCDNCDNC108
15th 2616Iain Ferguson1212138(DNC)DNCDNCDNC111
16th 3120Jasmine Boote(DNF)16DNCDNC14141414116
17th 2698Tom Williamson54(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC119
18th 2797Andrew Voysey1615(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC141
19thBad Romance2388Victoria Payne(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC154

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