Please select your home edition
Henri-Lloyd 2022 December - YY LEADERBOARD

Swallow National Chamionship 2022 at Bembridge Sailing Club

by Mike Samuelson 18 Jul 2022 06:14 BST 16-17 July 2022

It was great to be able to welcome thirteen Swallows from Itchenor to Bembridge over the weekend for their 2022 National Championship. With temperatures around the UK threatening to break records, one would be hard pressed to find a better place to keep cool than sailing on the waters of the Eastern Solent.

Friday's passage race saw twelve boats making it to the finish at 'Hello Sailor', the new name for the mark closest to the moorings at Under Tyne. First by nearly five minutes was Osprey helmed by James Hartley; Mike Wigmore in Gwaithir was second, twenty seconds ahead of Bluff helmed by Nick Warner. Peregrine, the thirteenth Swallow had a problem on the last few tacks and so retired.

Saturday morning's forecast did not look too promising with only a light easterly breeze initially expected. In the event, when crews were dropped off on their boats, there was not even a smattering of a breeze, so the advice from the Race Officers was to remain on moorings and be patient. With the scheduled start time (11:30) passing, things were not looking too promising; however a gentle SSE'erly breeze slowly moved through the race area and it was decided to set the course up and have competitors head out to the start area to the west of Ruthven. By the time everything was ready, a 6 knot SE'erly had settled in and with the windward & spreader marks set up about.6 of a nautical mile away, the first race got under way with a clean start after a slight mix up over the buoy symbols had been resolved.

Start of Race 1

Although a few tacked early and headed inshore, those who played safe and used the middle of the course seemed to come out best. First round the windward mark was Mike Wigmore in Gwaihir with Harry Roome in Skua close on his heels. Although the former consolidated his lead over the next round and a half, the main tussle was for third place with Solitude, Echo and Migrant all in close contention. After a number of place changes, it was Migrant, helmed by James Leaver, who crossed the line ahead of the others.

With the breeze appearing to be holding steady at 8 knots, the course was extended to provide a one nautical mile windward leg. Despite the Committee Boat dropping back twenty metres on the anchor, the first start of the second race did not go well and ended up with a General Recall. After re-setting the pin, the second start went much better, albeit Skua at the far end of the line and Ghost mid-way over cooked it and were called OCS. Skua returned but Ghost appeared to have a problem with their radio and failed to pick up the Race Officers advising them of their transgression.

Start of Race 2 (General Recall)

Re-Start Race 2

Again most tacked early and went inshore, but a few did experiment with going up the left side of the beat. Migrant was first to round the windward mark with Osprey, helmed by James Hartley, not far behind. As in the first race, the front two maintained their positions for the rest of the race, and the battle was for third place with Blue Tit (Tom Clarence-Smith), Ptarmigan (Alistair Impey) and Gwaihir all in contention. The outcome clarified half way through the race when Gwaihir took over at the front of the chasing fleet. Having started at the back of the fleet Skua did really well and finished sixth.

The third and final race of the day got away to a clean start and having seen the inshore route pay off in the previous races, the majority played safe and headed towards the Bembridge shore.

Start of Race 3

First to the windward mark was Osprey. Hotly pursued by Skua but unlike the earlier two races, the battle was for second place with Gwaihir, Skua and Blue Tit all in contention. After two and a half rounds, it was Gwaihir who finished at the windward mark second, with Skua third and Blue Tit fourth.

Spinnakers during Race 3

All in all, an excellent day's racing in champagne conditions once the SSE'erly breeze kicked in. Sunday morning looked very promising for the final two races - a pretty steady Easterly F3/F4 with yet more sunshine. Starting just North of St Helens Fort, the one nautical mile first leg fell just short of Moreton. After a clean start, the fleet again split tacks with Blue Tit and one other weaving their way across the start line on Port.

Start of Race 4

Migrant was first to round the windward mark by quite a margin and never looked under threat from the other front runners, indeed by the end of the race was nearly two minutes ahead. Skua and Blue Tit initially played cat and mouse for second and third, but on the second beat both were overtaken by Osprey. Gwaiher was fourth.

After a short postponement to allow the windward mark and spreader to be brought in a bit closer so that Special Course 6 with a finish at the windward mark would remain within the target time of an hour and a quarter, the fifth and final race got away to another clean start (less Peregrine who had already departed for Chichester).

Start of Race 5

Although the majority tacked onto Port early and headed inshore, a few decided to chance their arm and took the offshore route. As in the previous race, Migrant showed the rest of the fleet a clean pair of heels and was well ahead by the time they reached the windward mark. On the second and third beats they further extended their lead to finish a country mile ahead of Gwairhir and Osprey who at times were match racing each other and finished barely a boat length apart. Skua was fourth.

On finishing everyone then turned left and headed back to Itchenor where a prize-giving was held. With three firsts, a third and a fifth (discarded), the overall winning boat was Migrant, helmed by James Leaver and crewed by Barnie Hartley and Jonathan Turner. Second after a tie break was Gwaihir, helmed by Mike Wigmore and crewed by Charles Hyatt and Keith Bliss. Third was Osprey, helmed by James Hartley and crewed by Rob Sutherland and Jeremy Sibthorpe.

An excellent couple of days racing; we look forward to seeing them again in three years time. Finally a big thank you to Tony Glover, who although he did not actually race, did most of the organising and liaison between the Class and BSC.

Additional photos at

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

PosBoat NameSail NoHelmCrewR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1MigrantS 86James LeaverBarnie Hartley and Jonathan Turner315116
2GwaihirS 93Mike WigmoreCharles Hyatt and Keith Bliss132528
3OspreyS 95James HartleyRob Sutherland / Jeremy Sibthorp621238
4SkuaS 3Harry RoomePrue Roome and Tim Boswijk2633412
5Blue TitS 80Tom Clarence‑SmithPaul Giles7444919
6EchoS 87Simon SlaterCharles Hindson / Simon Miller4776724
7PtarmiganS 68Alistair ImpeyChris Griffiths / Oli Gordon95871029
8BluffS 64Nick WarnerPaul Durgan / Clare Durgan / Austen Scully810610630
9SolitudeS 67Andrew Reid & Anthony LunchRodger Roberts5999831
10CurlewS 70James BaronPeter Baron / Christine Graves12121111539
11GhostS 96Philip SwatmanJohn Parkinson / John Crawley10N1281141
12PeregrineS 84Bob SharpClaire Sharp / Ed Sharp1381013S44
13ArchonS 74Malcolm GreenChris Creak / Simon Hamlyn111113121246

Related Articles

Bosham Regatta 2023
A perfect day on the water for the 140 boats and 250 sailors Last Saturday 140 boats and 250 sailors took part in the annual Bosham Regatta. Champagne conditions, canon finishes, and a superb regatta tea meant it was the perfect day on the water. Posted on 7 Sep
Cowes Classics Week surveys needs your help
Competitors can influence future decisions Thank you to all that completed the online wash up survey. Whilst we received in excess of a 20% response rate the more we have the better the data on which we can determine future decisions. Posted on 17 Aug
2023 Cowes Week day 7
Enigma wins White Group, and the week overall too Cowes Week 2023 finished on a high note today with a northwesterly breeze between 7-12kts allowing all classes to enjoy a glorious day of tactical racing. There was so much to play for in what turned out to be a no-discard series. Posted on 4 Aug
2023 Cowes Week day 6
Less wind, but more tide, and no discards Having lost two days of racing because of high winds this week, it was a relief that today's penultimate day of Cowes Week produced slightly less bracing conditions that allowed all fleets to enjoy a good, solid day's racing on the Solent. Posted on 3 Aug
2023 Cowes Week update
Winner of inaugural Youth Trophy announced To celebrate Youth Day at Cowes Week on Wednesday 2 August, a new trophy - Cowes Week Youth Trophy - was awarded at a reception hosted by Montgomery Estate Planning this evening. Posted on 2 Aug
2023 Cowes Week day 4
Women's Day highlight's the huge impact women have at Cowes and is to inspire Celebrations started early today when competitors were greeted with classic Cowes Week conditions of sunshine and winds ranging from 18-22kts, which led to another bracing day on the water. Posted on 1 Aug
2023 Cowes Week day 3
Royal Navy Day and Charity Day in the presence of HRH the Princess Royal With a forecast indicating a good chance of getting back on the water today following yesterday's abandonment of racing, there was an air of excitement this morning. Even the miserable early morning drizzle failed to dampen the spirits of competitors. Posted on 31 Jul
2023 Cowes Week Day 2
Strong winds force abandonment of racing Competitors were greeted with sun and a good working westerly breeze early this morning but with the predicted weather front sweeping along the Channel sooner and with more intensity than initially expected, racing for all classes was abandoned. Posted on 30 Jul
2023 Cowes Week Day 1
Off to a thrilling start with winds gusting well over 20 knots Cowes Week 2023 got off to a thrilling start today with sparkling sunshine, and winds gusting well over 20kts from the southwest. Posted on 29 Jul
National Swallow 75th Anniversary Championship
Held during Cowes Classics Week 2023 Another glorious few days of racing! 26 boats joined the fun and this time Gwaihir did not have it all her own way. Posted on 21 Jul