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National 18 English Championships at Bosham Sailing Club

by Andrew Young 13 Jul 2022 18:53 BST 2-3 July 2022
N18 Ultra number 424 'Ace' wins the National 18 English Championships at Bosham © Claire Veysey

Bosham SC welcomed two visiting N18 Ultras, Oli Houseman & Jeremy Vines's 'Ace' based at Chew Valley Lake SC, and Mathew Jones's 'Optimus Prime' and his crew from Tamesis Club. They joined with nine local Classic N18s and Chichester Harbour 18s for a testing series of 5 handicap races over the 2 days, in breezy conditions.

Saturday's 1st race was concurrent with the club's CDB fast fleet, which added a Jolly Boat and 12 Sq.M Sharpie, to the fleet mix. It was a long, hard beat to Dunes, with some respite on the downwind legs, but tricky, with winds averaging over 18kts and peaking just short of 24kts.

The testing conditions resulted in a few gear failures and retirements but only one capsize. The bright sunshine belied the hard work in keeping these powerful rigs upright.

The experienced local team of Richard Stirrup, Dave Hall & Jono Prosser in 'Tinkerbelle' n18/15 (built 84 years ago, is the oldest known n18 & still racing!) helped them survive to take R1 on handicap, with the lighter Ultra's breaking in their crews, to breezy harbour sailing.

The wind eased slightly for Races 2 and 3 with an average of about 17.5kts gusting 21.5kts. Nick Fox, our RO and his team, set some shorter courses, which were appreciated by some already tired crews. There were fewer starters due to the attrition from Race 1.

Race 2 & Race 3 saw the Ultra 'Ace' get to grips with conditions and fizz around the course with their novice 'wire man / trapeze artist ' Alison Hindley, who had bravely volunteered to stand in on the day, for her first sail in an 18. By all accounts she did a great job and was still smiling at the end of the weekend. Maybe a new convert to n18 sailing?

The local Chichester harbour 18s enjoyed these strong breezes and Bellatrix, with team McCormack on board, were starting a consistent run of results.

Some, like your correspondent in n18/368 Toucou, never featured on day 1 due to some self-inflicted technical issues.

After a hard afternoon afloat, there were some tired but relieved crews who came ashore to enjoy a sunny Saturday evening on the terrace and a well attended club supper.

Day 2, saw an easing of the wind, to a mere average of 14kts gusting 19kts for the final 2 races. With a few repaired boats back out to the start line, racing was tight and competitive. Tom Reid's Classic, Theorette n18/133 with her repaired jib halyard, enjoyed the breeze and started to feature but Ace yet again took these last 2 races and with that, the Championships.

The last race saw some places traded after the gybe mark at Deep End, on the spinnaker reach coming down the channel to the finish, on the Quay Line.

Amanda Mirams handed out the prizes, with the National 18 English Trophy being awarded to the winners: 424 'Ace': with Oli Houseman, Alison Hindley and Jeremy Vines. (A nice circle completed, as Jeremy and the late Richard Howells had donated the trophy for this event some years ago)

In 2nd places was Chi 18, 'Bellatrix', with Finn, Frank & Maddie McCormack, In 3rd place was N18 classic 'Ruby Tuesday', with Will King, Matt Gray, Stuart Reed/George Storton.

Thanks as usual to the people who make these events work i.e. the RO Nick Fox and his team on the committee boat to the patrol boat volunteers, who also kindly provided the pictures, our tea makers and of course the club staff afloat and ashore.

Overall Results:
If you finished in the top ten at the N18 nationals then enter your Gear Guide information here

PosTypeSail NoBoat nameHelmCrewPYR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1stUltru424AceHOUSEMAN OliverVINES Jeremy & WATTON Steve910‑311114
2ndChichester9BellatrixMcCORMAK FinMc CORMAK Frank & Maddie10714322(RET)11
3rdClassic316Ruby TuesdayKING WillGREY Matt & REED S10205235‑5.515
4thClassic225FinolaMIRAMS PaddyAngus Dipak102064(DNC)4317
5thClassic133TheoretteREID TomPHILIPS Nick10202(DNC)DNC3219
6thUltru421Optimus PrimeJONES MatthewBANKS Alex & Matt910(RET)DNCDNC7435
7thClassic368ToucouHOOLAHAN BrianYOUNG Andrew & HOOLAHAN Paula1020(DNS)RETDNC65.535.5
8thClassic15TinkerbelleSTIRRUP RichardPROSSER Jono & HALE David10201(DNC)DNCDNCDNC37
9thClassic1332ToledoNUTALL PeterHINDLEY N & Jamie1020(DNS)5RETDNCDNC41
10thChichester8Red FlightSTIRRUP MandyRADFORD Catherine & STIRRUP Sam10727(DNC)DNCDNCDNC43
11thClassic107DandyBAILEY RobertMARTELL Michael & Murray1020(DNS)DNCDNCDNCDNC48

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