Please select your home edition
Edition
RS Sailing 2021 - LEADERBOARD

Blaze class 2021 Summary and 2022 Calendar

by Blaze Class 11 Dec 2021 18:19 GMT
Blaze Nationals at Paignton © Paignton SC

Firstly, a summary from the 2021 Season - and what a season it was!

The season started with some uncertainty as to how well attended the events would be due to Covid. Fortunately, the first open meeting of the year at Burghfield Sailing Club got lucky. 16 sailors arrived for the one day event, five of them visitors. Mike Lyons went onto win the first event of the year.

Read the report here.

Next up and with Covid restrictions still looming which unfortunately had an impact on travellers' accommodation was the Northern Championships. Due to Covid the event had a low attendance with just 7 sailors able to take part.

However, it wasn't all bad news for first time hosts Dee Sailing Club. The competitors would be among the first to lay eyes on the new design sail.

Newcomer to the fleet, Will Gould, took home the Northern Championship trophy and with it a target on his back for the season!

Read Northern Championships report.

With Covid restrictions easing the attendance for the Southern Championships was hopeful, only to be dashed by a very windy forecast for Sunday. However, the eager ones who were chomping at the bit to get back into fleet racing made the journey.

Four of those attending had been lucky enough to get their hands on the brand new sail design developed by Hartley Boats. This soon turned into the "official" launch of the new sail. As they were hoisted the fleet came quickly pacing across the dinghy park to check it out. First impressions were good!

Ben Harden went onto win all three races, with the new sail, followed by Eden Hyland in second also with a new sail - however, in third and only beaten on count back was Nic Tolhurst who was using the old sail. So, it wasn't seen as a clean sweep for the new design.

Read the Southern Championship report and find out about the new sail.

Then it was time for the big one, and boy was it a big one!

In fact, the biggest one in history...

With Covid restrictions relaxed the Blaze fleet came back with a vengeance as 70 boats made the start line at the 2021 National Championships, hosted by Paignton Sailing Club.

The Blaze fleet, seeming keener than ever, started to arrive to the English Riviera in dribs and drabs from the Wednesday, some of whom joined the club racing in the evening. However, the majority of the fleet arrived throughout the Thursday, with some even making the journey from as far north as Aberdeen.

During Thursday morning it was quite common to see Will Gould from Hartley Boats being swamped by the masses who had new sails on order and were chomping at the bit to see it in the flesh! Many of whom were keen to get out on the water to test the new sail and make the decision on whether they would stick with the North, which they had tried and tested rig settings for or opt to go for their new Hartley Boats (HB) sail.

After two days of racing, it was Ben Harden from Burnham-On-Crouch who took the win, with a day to spare. Unfortunately, for the rest of the fleet racing was cancelled on Sunday as the wind never arrived.

Top 5 overall:

1st - Ben Harden
2nd - Eden Hyland
3rd - Ben Pickering
4th - Malcolm Hutchings
5th - Mike Lyons

View full Nationals report here.

Next up on the calendar was the Western Championships. As no other Blaze specific event had been organised in the west this event was tagged onto the Paignton Open for Single Handers, an event usually well attended by the Blaze fleet.

Chris Dyer of North Devon Yacht Club finished an amazing second overall. And with it taking the Western Championship title.

See results.

Heading into the end of August, when the weather is supposed to be nice, and it was the turn of the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club to host the Blaze fleet for the eastern Championships. Home to the largest fleet in the country, it was expected to see a good entry, and a good entry it was with 27 getting on the water.

The two days of racing sandwiched an excellent social evening with plenty of fun and games taking place in the RCYC bar.

Nic Tolhurst gave Ben Harden a good battle through all 6 races which were sailed in a variety of wind strengths. However, Nic didn't quite manage to get past Ben by the finish line, so it was Ben Harden who took the Eastern Championships title.

Eastern Championships full report.

The last event of the season was hosted by Hornsea Sailing Club, competitors started to arrive on the Friday to beautiful October weather which promised much in the way of lovely sunshine, views, and scenery around Hornsea Mere but less so of wind.

What followed was a weekend of light and shifty racing, where catching every gust was just as important as the shifts!

Burnham boy Charlie Mathews kept his cool through out the two day event and took his first major championships win!

Top 5 overall:

1st - Charlie Matthews
2nd - Josh Hyland
3rd - Mark Blackham
4th - Richard Woodcock
5th - Tony Ridley

Read Inland Championship report.

So, there we have it, a quick summary of 2021! A cracking season despite some of the setbacks.

We recoded a total of 102 different boats entered across each of the seven events. Which means the promise from Richard Hartley of a new class association boat if we can get 100 entries at the 2022 National Championship might not be far from our reach! So, if you know of any Blaze owners or have seen an old Blaze sitting around at your club - do your best to get them back onto the water and to the 2022 Nationals or other events!

A quick thank you must go to all who helped with organising our events this year and a special thank you to our wonderful sponsors who have provided lots of goodies for each of the events. Please support our sponsors where possible: Allen, ADM Sails, Hartley Boats, Rooster, The Old Salt Loft.

Now for 2022

Here's what you can look forward to. Make sure to put the dates in your diary and we will see you there for another epic season of Blaze sailing!

19th March - Burghfield Open Meeting 2022 - Burghfield Sailing Club
7 & 8th May - POSH Open Meeting 2022 - - Paignton Sailing Club
21st & 22nd May - Southern Championships 2022 - Warsash Sailing Club
10th to 12th June - National Championships 2022 - Stone Sailing Club
20th & 21st August - Eastern Championships 2022 - Royal Corinthian Yacht Club
10th & 11th September - Northern Championships 2022 - Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club
1st & 2nd October - Inland Championships 2022 - Draycote Water Sailing Club

Please remember the Blaze Class Rules have been updated and come into effect 1st January 2022.

See the class rules here.

Related Articles

Blaze National Championships at Stone
Ben Harden wins with a day to spare, for the second time in a row Sponsored by Hartley Boats, Allen, the Old Salt Loft. 45 Sailors travelled to Stone sailing club situated on the river Blackwater in Essex. With a promising forecast, it was set to be a brilliant event, and it certainly was! Posted on 14 Jun
Blaze Southern Championship
Warsash is one of the most welcoming clubs Warsash is one of the most welcoming clubs and offers some of the best racing. The race officer made the class aware that the forecast was to build throughout the day and started off with an enjoyable 10-12 knots and build to 18-22 knots. Posted on 31 May
Get ready to enter the Blaze Nationals
Reduced rate for first 10 sailors, first 20, first 30, and so on Entry for the Blaze National Championships will open on the 24th March at 11am! Set your alarms, because there's a reason to be ready... Posted on 23 Mar
Blaze class set for RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show
The best boat to see this weekend? Come along to the RYA Dinghy and Watersports Show this weekend to see possibly the best boat on display... Well, that's the opinion of the Blaze Class Association anyway! Posted on 24 Feb
Blaze Inlands at Hornsea
A challenging weekend for the race officer, but beautiful sailing Hornsea Sailing Club played host to the 2021 Blaze National Inland Championships with 23 boats entered. The competitors started to arrive on the Friday to beautiful October weather which promised much... but less so of wind. Posted on 14 Oct 2021
Blaze Eastern Championships at Burnham
Miniature boat racing adds amusement to evening social The 2020 Blaze Easterns was my first event in the Blaze and it was a matter of hanging on (quite often to the centreboard) for survival in the strong winds. This time round I was prepared and had even acquired a Fire sail "just in case". Posted on 24 Aug 2021
Aberdeen & Stonehaven YC Annual Regatta
Not all dolphins followed the SIs Following the easing of restrictions, it was good to see 13 visitors joining a healthy local fleet for the annual ASYC regatta held in Stonehaven bay. The 10 strong D-Zero class looking to use this Northern traveller event as a warm up for the nationals. Posted on 22 Aug 2021
What's their secret?
We speak to the classes which are seeing a boom in attendance The sailing landscape is changing just as fast as life in general. While some classes have struggled with this, others have embraced it and are seeing huge growth as a result. Posted on 28 Jun 2021
Blaze Nationals at Paignton
Biggest turnout in the history of the class! The Hartley Boats Blaze Nationals took place over the 11th - 13th June, hosted by Paignton SC on the waters of Torbay with an astonishing 70 boats making the final score card. Posted on 18 Jun 2021
Blaze National Championships Runners and Riders
Entries about to hit an all-time high as the fleet gets set for Paignton Entry for the Blaze Nationals is about to hit an all-time high and with only one weekend left before the fleet takes to the big open waters of Torbay at Paignton Sailing Club we thought it would be great to establish "who to put your money on". Posted on 1 Jun 2021