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2021 UKLA ILCA 4 Inland Championship at Rutland Sailing Club

by Imogen Palmer 8 Nov 2021 11:00 GMT 30-31 October 2021

All eyes were on the weather for the ILCA inlands taking place at Rutland Sailing Club. The storm was coming but could the Inlands go ahead? As the event drew nearer all forecasts were predicting huge gusts and high wind speeds across the region.

Saturday dawned with conditions looking somewhat benign from the shore and 140 sailors from all three rigs launched to race a course that made the best of both the weather and water.

Making my way towards the race course I was excited as the windy conditions favoured my skill set. Whatever the results I was going to enjoy a blast.

In the first race the conditions were very tricky as the were huge gusts and equally big lulls and the top sailors demonstrated exceptionally good and consistent boat speed at the same time as recognising the favoured side. In this race I achieved a 19th place and considering the prevalence of tidal sailing I have been practising in was relatively pleased with this result. I felt I was adapting to the more unpredictable inland conditions. The first race was won by Robin Phipps from Parkstone Yacht club who sailed well for the entire event.

The wind increased in time for the second race and the right side of the course was favoured on the first beat. I was second around the mark but lost places on the second beat as the wind shift was so significant the sailors on the left benefitted at the expense of those of us who had favoured right. I finished the race in 4th place which is my first top 5 position in a national ILCA event. Noah Evans from Royal Victoria Yacht Club took the bullet in this race With Max Steele finding his usual excellent form taking second place.

By now the wind was dropping and conditions became increasingly unpredictable. Archie Burton from Pennine was the winner of this race.

On return to shore all conversation was centred on the forecast for Sunday with gusts of 52 knots predicted.

On arrival at the club on Sunday morning there was some uncertainty regarding launch. I was desperate to sail. It looked like fun. At last the launch was blasted and I was one of the first to take to the water. The wind was immense. I literally flew to the tower and couldn’t understand why I wasn’t being followed. I was planing in the mist with three other boats when the safety ribs ordered us back to shore. I don’t think I have ever sailed so fast and was so surprised to see all the sailors sitting on their boats not even attempting to launch. The launch had been cancelled as 44 knot gusts had been recorded at the tower.

We launched in a very disappointing lull making our way to the race course. All I can say about race 4 is the best strategy was to hold on tight and prepare for lift off. We flew around the course. Righting the boats after capsize was exceptionally difficult in these extreme conditions. This was adrenaline rush sailing at its best! The bullet was achieved by the very talented Max Steele.

We started race 5 and the wind continued to increase. The consistent wind between 25-30 knots and gusts up to 40 knots. The mist and rain were becoming more relentless and the racing conditions deteriorating. As the gust hit me on the run I was catapulted about 50 metres from my boat as was literally surrounded by inverted boats. The result- Race 5 abandoned and 140 sailors returned to shore with more epic tales of sailing adventures to bore their family and friends with!

I have reviewed other write ups for events and usually they are written by the winners -that is the best sailors. I am nowhere near the best but I train really hard to be my best. My first laser event was the laser inlands in 2019 and I came last. An eventful lockdown year and as a result of outstanding support, encouragement and coaching I achieved 10th place and 1st girl at this year’s inlands. Thank you to all of my coaches, fellow sailors, friends, my mum and race committees for facilitating my improvement. Sailing is my passion and you made it happen. So, until March when we race together once again.

Thank you to Rutland Water Sailing Club for hosting a brilliant event and thank you to all the competitors for racing on the second day especially those that were unsure of the conditions. Everyone from RSC and UKLA deserve thanking but a special shout out to the RO, Mike Haynes and the on-the-water team who did a brilliant job at managing two challenging days.

Hats off to our 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. sailingfast.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
Happy training everyone!

Overall Results:

PosHelmSail NoClubAge GroupR1R2R3R4Pts
1stHenry Redmond206839Covenham SCU18‑65229
2ndArchie Burton207087PennineU165‑71410
3rdFred Salter201703Gurnard Sailing Club / Brading HavenU18434‑1311
4thRobin Phipps213644Parkstone Yacht ClubU161‑308312
5thMax Steele216648Wembley SC; Stokes Bay SCU18102‑14113
6thTed Ball216766Draycote water sailing clubU18266‑1014
7thFreddie Sunderland216023Draycote WaterU163‑163915
8thNoah Evans207299Royal Victoria Yacht ClubU16‑1719616
9thToby Smith184151Rutland SC / RHSU1611‑125521
10thImogen Palmer218036Royal Hospital School/Rutland sailing clU16‑19417728
11thDaisy Fisher201358 U18‑211071128
12thTom Moss206331Scaling SC / Ripon SCU16128‑22828
13thTom Thwaites212026 U16714‑151233
14thFreddie Maclaverty215695Llandudno SC/ Rydal schoolU1681910‑2737
15thWill Fearn201529 U18141112‑2237
16thMegan Thomson216513Island Barn Reservoir Sailing ClubU169920‑3238
17thWai Chak Tsui209950Parkstone Yacht ClubU16‑1515111440
18thAngus Beale195154Corinthian Otters/Royal Hospital SchoolU16181816‑2452
19thAmelie Hacker192770Rutland SCU16281313‑2954
20thAimee Bray212037Banbury & Draycote Water Sailing ClubU16132319(DNC)55
21stCameron Bignold‑Kyles176779RLymYCU1616‑27251657
22ndHarry Courts179640 U1625‑26181558
23rdToby Bush171988Waldringfield SCU182317‑292161
24thHenry Smith210241West Riding SCU1620‑21212061
25thHarry Burge206191Rutland SCU162225‑271764
26thGrace Coleman Reaston Brown209697Provo Sailing AcademyU163024‑421973
27thFinn Goodman216870Teesdale Sailing & Watersports ClubU1626‑35341878
28thAlex Canham212224Dabchicks Sailing ClubU16292031‑3380
29thFinn Evans146084Royal Victoria Yacht ClubU16352223(DNC)80
30thHamish Collingridge210220Waldringfield SCU163128(RET)2382
31stLauren Attwell204013Rutland SCU1624‑33332582
32ndNathan Russell185604 U1627‑31282883
33rdJoseph Henderson198827Welsh Harp Sailing ClubU163229‑382687
34thJemima Cook192783Corinthian Otters/Burnham Sailing ClubU18333226(RET)91
35thLucia Aikman204564 U18373424(DNC)95
36thElena Hattam201649Rutland SCU1834‑41323096
37thHarriet George207649Royal Hospital School / Royal CorinthianU16‑38373034101
38thSpirit Alderson209061 U16‑43393531105
39thEmily Shears186842Reading SCU18364036(DNC)112
40thHugh Andrews201872Blackwater SCU16403839(DNS)117
41stJemima Day21200 U16(UFD)3637DNC124
42ndStella Nygard182539Draycote Water Sailing ClubU16‑48444635125
43rdNathan Flynn177612Corinthian OttersU16444340(DNC)127
44thJosie Kelly195244Felpham SCU16424244(DNC)128
45thEthan Hague173352Royal Corinthian Yacht ClubU16394743(DNC)129
46thTatiana Hazelwood209984Royal Hospital SchoolU16464541(RET)132
47thNathan Williams183954Llandudno Sailing ClubU16414945(DNC)135
48thFreya Halsall167848WOSCU16454647(DNC)138
49thMaxwell Haynes208427 U18474848(DNC)143
50thEthan Mitchell‑Clarke208933 U16495049(DNC)148

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