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Wessex Resins 2019 - Pro-Set - 728x90

UKLA ILCA4 Qualifier at the Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy

by Max Steele 27 Oct 2021 07:21 BST 23-24 October 2021

Epic, breezy racing scheduled for the 23rd and 24th of October brought the ILCA 4 sailors from all over the UK together, to see who could withstand the wrath of mother nature the best.

With a punchy start the regatta we all launched our boats out into the harbour. The wind started off reasonably moderate at around 10-15 knots blowing Easterly, but then as we all waited for the ILCA 7's to start, it picked up somewhat.

For some of the lighter sailors in our fleet, they had to start de-powering with lots of cunningham and kicker to try keep the boat flat and driving through the chop, but for the rest of us, we were enjoying having a powered-up sail and blasting the boat around upwind.

Around 80% of the sailors realised that the starboard end was indeed favoured due to the pin being quite low down, and so it was a rather busy line. As the committee boat sounded its horn for the go flag, we all charged upwind towards the mark. This regatta was very much about boat speed, and therefore the sailors who were fastest in the fleet generally shot out ahead. The winning strategy was shown by the ILCA 7's start and was that if you started out on the committee boat and peeled off almost straight and continued for a long time, eventually you would get that knock close to the lay line which you could tack onto and get lifted right to the mark. I personally did this, and ended up around about a football field ahead of 2nd place.

This optimal strategy was the same for the 2nd race. However, not all of us read the back of the committee vessel to check which course it was, the front of the pack got very confused on which way to go, including me! By the time I had made my way to the incorrect, inner course downwind gate, I looked back and saw that half the fleet started reaching towards the outer loop as instructed to do so. However even though I was now quite far behind first, I did the same as in the first lap, taking into account the wind was turning anti-clockwise, and managed to catch up to come out on top once again.

In the third race, the wind had finished turning anticlockwise, and oscillations reduced. The pin was raised higher, and the wind filled in more towards the middle left of the course than the right; therefore the winning strategy was to start at the pin, keep trekking towards the left hand side, and then tack close to the lay line once you reached that lift. It got particularly shifty right at the upwind mark, where most of the place changing took place. I was leading all the way up to the last upwind mark with Henry Redmond challenging me very close behind in second. Unfortunately, we misjudged the lay line, and tried to pinch up towards it. Cleverly, Toby Smith who finished the event in 3rd place went slightly past the lay line, and then rapidly footed down on top of us, securing a well- earned victory in that third race.

On the second and final day, the wind howled even stronger than it did the previous, really testing the fleet's endurance. The winning strategy all day was to start pin, tack on the shifts up towards the mark, as it was less consistent and more to do with position management. In the first start, I started starboard, hence not leading up at the first upwind mark, however soon I figured out the strategy and overtook the temporary leader. In the second race, 90% of the fleet started starboard. At first, it was lifting right, and I thought to myself, "Damn, I messed up". But I kept at my strategy knowing I had a discard in hand, and eventually I got that left lift I saw in the standards, which was so much it allowed me to tack onto it, crack off and cross the entire fleet at the mark. I won that race with a very comfortable distance, just because I persevered with my plan.

In the last race, someone managed to have an excellent start and port tack the fleet right off the line, however he shot out to the right side of the course and missed out on that crucial left lift on the left side of the course. Henry Redmond was my main challenger again. We both executed the same strategy, and we finished again 1st and 2nd. Archie Burton did well to come third in the last race (4th overall), with young Toby Smith showing a lot of promise (as he did in the Tera fleet), coming 4th in the last race and 3rd overall.

Well done also to Imogen Palmer and Aimee Bray who came first and second amongst the girls, ahead China's Yizhuo Liu in third place.

The awesome regatta was concluded with a swift and efficient prize-giving, including some awards relating to the national championships. The exhausted sailors went back home with a positive, reflective mood. The weekend tested boat speed, decision making and fitness, and was one to always remember.

Thanks once again to the on shore team and race team at WPNSA and all the great volunteers who helped put on another great event. Also thank you to our terrific sponsors:

  • 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.

  • Noble Marine - Ian MacManus (the man behind the name) has crafted a very competitive and excellent insurance product for all Laser/ILCA sailors. A very personal service and a extremely useful website help make this the 'go to' company.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Overall Results:

PosHelmSail NoClubSailing AgeGenderAge GroupR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1stMax Steele216648Wembley SC; Stokes Bay SC16MU1711‑21115
2ndHenry Redmond206839Covenham SC16MU17233‑42212
3rdToby Smith184151Rutland SC / RHS13MU163415‑6417
4thArchie Burton207087Pennine15MU167‑10423319
5thRobin Phipps213644Parkstone Yacht Club15MU16‑206835527
6thNoah Evans207299Royal Victoria Yacht Club15MU1648‑14114734
7thWai Chak Tsui209950Parkstone Yacht Club14MU1657‑16810636
8thEdwin Cross216656Shoreham/Island Barn15MU16951278‑1441
9thFred Salter201703Gurnard Sailing Club / Brading Haven16MU1711966‑12941
10thFreddie Maclaverty215695Llandudno SC/ Rydal school13MU1662132019‑2660
11thFreddie Sunderland216023Draycote Water14MU1610247137(DNC)61
12thSamson Cross163353 13MU161911516‑211364
13thAimee Bray212037Banbury & Draycote Water Sailing Club15FU1613161710‑231268
14thImogen Palmer218036Royal Hospital School/Corinthian Otters15FU1612141512‑261770
15thMax Tait188584 14MU16817189‑332173
16thAngus Beale195154Corinthian Otters/Royal Hospital School15MU1616189‑35131975
17thReuben hudson185603Shoreham Sailing Club/Island Barn Sailin15MU16‑25201917241090
18thYizhuo LIU217034 15FU16‑2926101829891
19thDaisy Fisher201358 16FU1724‑31282191193
20thAmelie Hacker192770Rutland SC14FU1627‑281119221897
21stHenry Keegan214081Parkstone YC15MU1631122914‑3916102
22ndJack McCormick198317Parkstone YC15MU16181520‑292723103
23rdLauren Attwell204013Rutland SC14MU16222721‑331422106
24thKaitlyn Wyatt189059Shoreham SC15FU162319272711(DNC)107
25thJude Stanley183526 16MU17211325‑322524108
26thMillie Lewis215283Medway YC15FU16282122‑301720108
27thEdward Sitton206428Warsash Sailing Club16MU17‑372223241525109
28thCameron Bignold‑Kyles176779RLymYC14MU161725312218‑37113
29thFinn Evans146084Royal Victoria Yacht Club15MU16‑402324283027132
30thAlex Canham212224Dabchicks Sailing Club15MU161429332638‑39140
31stSamuel Osborne21 14MU1615(UFD)44232831141
32ndAlex Cogan Sivarajan217873 16MU1726‑4126253634147
33rdHarry West198211Royal Lymington Yacht Club13MU16(DNC)DNSDNC151615148
34thMax Bromilow195819Parkstone Yacht Club14MU163432‑41372028151
35thMatthew Botten210368Weir Wood SC16MU1733‑4537313235168
36thElena Hattam201649Rutland SC16FU17413832(DNF)3129171
37thJemima Cook192783Corinthian Otters/Burnham Sailing Club16FU173636(DNC)413730180
38thGeorgia Hughes160507Llandegfedd SC16FU173542383434(DNC)183
39thHarriet George207649 15FU1644343044(DNC)32184
40thSam Ellis200748Elton Sailing Club16MU17‑423735394033184
41stGeorgiana Caldecott190719 14FU16393336‑454136185
42ndNathan Russell185604 14MU1632303443(DNC)DNC190
43rdArran Goodman189695Hill Head SC13MU1630354036(DNF)DNC192
44thGrace Coleman Reaston Brown209697Provo Sailing Academy15FU16‑434042403538195
45thJacoby Keegan210618 14MU1645444538(DNC)41213
46thSam Lowbridge156260Rutland SC12MU164743434242(DNC)217
47thFreya Pembery201587 17FU19383939(DNC)DNCDNC218
48thStella Nygard182539Draycote Water Sailing Club14FU16464647(RET)4340222
49thTatiana Hazelwood209984Royal Hospital School14FU164847464644(DNC)231
50thJoshua Inglesfield209017 15MU16494848(DNC)DNCDNC247

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