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GJW Direct 2024 Dinghy

2022 Hansa TT hosted by New Forest Sailability at Spinnaker Sailing Club

by Malcolm Bentley 9 May 2022 12:10 BST 4 May 2022
New Forest Hansa TT - 303 Start © Chris Wales

This was held on Wednesday 4th May 2022 at Spinnaker Club near Ringwood with very pleasant weather although early on the prospect of having insufficient wind was worrying.

There were at least three notable absences in Lindsay Burns and Paul Pearson, lying first and second in their respective fleets prior to this TT, and Leslie Philip, and we hope they will return to competition for future events.

Entries were good at 19 boats and a good spread across classes with between 4 and 6 in each class. The one person and two person 303s started together giving a fleet of 10 on the line and plenty of work for the timekeepers as the laps progressed. 9 boats were representing Frensham, nearly half the fleet, and this must say something about the enthusiasm, support etc. that Frensham Club engenders: very impressive.

The Hansa 6 boat unit is a great innovation, both reducing the burden on individual competitors to transport, launch, rig etc. their own boat but also making the handling of boats for 6 competitors much more efficient. Whether they are as competitive is a different question as mentioned by one competitor: they should be, being almost new, although there may be some disadvantage to not having a boat set up for personal use.

At the first warning signal just after 11am the wind remained very light and was coming off the shore near the start from the race hut. On a lake using a fixed race hut start it isn't always possible to lay a true windward first leg but lake conditions provide no shortage of challenges with varying pressure and direction. For example, by the second morning race a wind shadow had extended over the leeward fourth mark giving tricky sailing. Staying high on the final leg was also often crucial to weather the ODM, acting as a gate each lap as well as finish. Those having to tack or pinch to round were at a disadvantage.

The five Libertys went off first, four of them in close company as one expects from that fleet. The series leader Dave Durston didn't maintain that consistency in the first race, dropping to a fourth but pulled back by winning the second race. Unfortunately, Ric Cassell was forced to retire in the second race and did not compete in the afternoon. By lunch time Paul Phillips and Chris Atkin were tied for first place with 4 points, closely followed by Dave Durston with 5.

In the afternoon, the wind filled in very nicely albeit maintaining the lake sailing characteristics of extreme variations in direction and gusts. This made for some lively competition helped or hindered by sudden surges in acceleration.

Continuing with the Liberty report, Tessa Watkiss stormed back from the rear of the fleet to win the third race but didn't compete in the fourth. Dave Durston stayed consistent with a 4:1 with Paul Phillips and Chris Atkin holding the middle of the fleet. The final results were close with only a point separating each place: Paul Phillips 5; Dave Durston 6; Chris Atkin 7; Tessa Watkiss 8, with Ric Cassell unfortunately having too many DNCs.

This leaves Dave Durston well placed in first in the series to date, now followed by Paul Phillips with Paul Pearson no doubt hoping to discard his DNC from New Forest in due course.

The 303 one person continued as competitive as ever, particularly at the top of the fleet between Rory McKinna and Mike Everitt. Individual races may not have been tightly fought although there were definitely some close instances. Rory and Mike may have recalled Richard Bickford of New Forest, who successfully won the 2021 New Forest TT and gave them strong competition this year, neatly splitting them in the overall result. Each of these three won a race but Rory won two and came out on top, with Richard just a point behind and Mike two further points off.

This will strengthen Rory's position at the top of the series and Mike and James Woosnam are in second and third respectively.

A mooted protest was fortunately resolved between competitors, helped by input from the rules advisor.

The two-person fleet continues to be less well represented but at least up to four entries against only three so far in the series and compared to 10 at the New Forest TT in 2019 pre-pandemic. It may be that pandemic restrictions on sharing boats pushed people to sail single handed and they have continued to do so. Colin Freeman and Simon Meehan were competing for the first time, at least this season, and had an introduction to the not uncommon vagaries of result keeping in the race hut and the technicalities of course shortening. Fortunately, the results were all sorted out with sportsmanlike input from the sailors.

Philip Hall from Chesil, with so far varying crew, and Steve KItson and Jane Knight, are the only people to have completed more than one TT in 2022 and they maintained this competitiveness at New Forest each winning two races. Tim Worner and Angela Cosford, regulars at New Forest but not on the TT circuit, managed to catch some weed in the second race in the morning and had to retire. Weed can be a major problem on the Spinnaker lake but rarely this early in the season and they were unlucky. Anyway, they performed well in the afternoon and gained two seconds, pushing Steve and Jane into third places.

This left Philip Hall and David Hughes free to claim first place overall, despite a problem in the second race, which they could discard, and Steve Kitson and Jane Knight were second followed by Tim Worner and Angela Cosford.

In the 2.3s, so far only competed by Lindsay Burns and Rowena Marsh, it was good to see the return of Lara Sturgis and first time TT entries from Andrew Lebec and Ray Bedwell. Unfortunately, as mentioned, Lindsay Burns was not at New Forest. This allowed the experienced Rowena to be rather dominant, storming home first in all four races, a bit reminiscent of Lindsay in seasons past. Lara was consistent with three seconds and Andrew close behind. Ray had an unfortunate OCS in the first afternoon race due to some confusion with the fleet timing but was fortunately able to discard that race.

Overall Results:

303 one‑person class
1Rory MckinnaClyde Cruising
2Richard BickfordNew Forest
3Mike EverittFrensham
4Judith RiggsFrensham
5James WoosnamFrensham
6Andy HolmesNew Forest
303 two‑person class
1Philip Hall and David HughesChesil
2Steve Kitson and Jane KnightNew Forest
3Tim Worner and Angela CosfordNew Forest
4Colin Freeman and Simon MeehanFrensham
Liberty class
1Paul PhillipsFrensham
2David DurstonWhitefriars
3Chris AtkinsHanningfield
4Tessa WatkissFrensham
5Ric CassellRutland
2.3 class
1Rowena MarshNew Forest
2Lara SturgisFrensham
3Andrew LebecFrensham
4Raymond BedwellFrensham

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