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Yachting World Dayboat National Championship at Brixham Yacht Club

by David MacFarlane 3 Aug 2022 22:52 BST 23-29 July 2022
Yachting World Dayboat National Championships at Brixham © Fiona Macfarlane

A strong fleet of 22 boats gathered at Brixham Yacht club over the week of the 23rd July, to compete in the YWDB Class National Championships. All the major clubs with fleets of DBs were well represented.

In addition, we were also joined by two entrants who travelled hundreds of miles to be in Brixham. Tommy Bennett from Scotland brought his fastidiously restored 1956 clinker built boat, and 20 year old Jack Young from Royal Cork Yacht club joined us with his immaculate cold moulded version built by his grandfather Don Young.

This year we also had six young sailors aged between 7-14 years old, crewing their fathers on alternate days.

Brixham Yacht Club is an ideal venue for DB Week as they are able to accommodate the boats either on shore or afloat on their pontoon.

The programme consisted of 5 points races and a stand-alone Long Distance Race on the Tuesday. In addition, there was an 'Opportunity race' which gave the chance for ladies, crews and cadets to take the helm and compete for three separate trophies. Another tradition of DB week is to run different style courses each day which keeps the Race Officer and mark layers on their toes.

After registration and welcome drinks on Saturday evening, and an excellent fish and chip supper provided by the host club, we were ready for the hot competition of the week ahead:

Day 1 - The course for Race 1 on Sunday was a 4 lap triangle/ sausage with an 18-25 knot westerly wind forecast. 16 boats made it to the start line. The first clean start of the week soon saw some of the heavy weather crews powering to the front of the fleet and thoroughly enjoying the surfing conditions on the offwind legs.

The race proved to be a battle amongst three generations of the Hewitt family. Father Peter, crewed by Chis Lockett (DB 669 Poole YC), his son Michael Hewitt with Steve Creasy crewing (DB678 RYA) and James Hewitt (DB676 Bosham SC) crewed on the day by his 9 year old son Henry.

The race for the lead was very tight until Michael found a significant port hand lift off the cliffs to establish a winning lead which he held to the finish. He was followed by Peter & Chris and then James & Henry in third place.

Day 2 - The forecast for Tuesday's scheduled back to back points races was only slightly less than on Sunday. The course selection for the day was a trapezoid.

The first race witnessed a fantastic piece of seamanship when the gooseneck on Jack Young's boat (DB657 Royal Cork YC) sheared off mid race. Jack and his crew Ellie Aneiros managed to lash the boom back to the mast, but the problem they then had was that on each tack the boom had to be manhandled to the other side of the mast! To their huge credit they not only overcame this significant handicap but also sailed brilliantly to take first place ahead of Peter & Chris with James & his 7 year old son William finishing in third place.

The Hewitt dynasty reigned supreme in the second race of the day with Peter & Chris taking a hard earned 1st place with sons Michael in 2nd place, and James picking up a consecutive third place finish. It was a slightly diminished and pretty exhausted fleet that made their way back to the club.

So, after the completion of three points races the Hewitt's had a very strong hold on the leading overall positions. After a discard, Peter was leading on 3 points but equal on points with Michael, and James third on 5 points.

Monday evening is quiz night and the tradition is that whoever won the previous year has to take over the role of quizmaster the following year. So, Bob and Kath Davis (the class treasurer and membership secretary) stepped up and ran a hugely enjoyable and successful evening.

Day 3 - The wind on Tuesday was markedly different from the previous days, with barely a ripple across the whole of Torbay. The scheduled race of the day was the Long Distance Race.

The original plan was an extended race around buoys in the bay, finishing outside the Marina in Torquay, followed by a sandwich lunch at the Royal Torbay Yacht Club before a leisurely and very informal reverse pursuit race back to Brixham. Unfortunately, by the time a slightly feeble 3-4 knot breeze filled in, there simply wasn't enough time to get over to Torquay and back, so a large triangular course was set on the Brixham side of the Bay.

The right-hand side of the initial beat proved to be the way to go and three boats took that option breaking clear of the rest of the fleet. Peter & Chris showed their all-weather ability and led at the windward mark followed closely by relative newcomers to DB sailing Nigel & Isabelle Russell (DB614 Bosham SC) and David & Fiona Macfarlane (DB597 Bosham SC) in third place.

There was no change of positions down the long broad reach to a buoy off Paignton pier and the three boats maintained the same positions at the finish off Brixham Harbour.

Day 4 - The light conditions continued into Wednesday when the fourth points race was due to be run, followed immediately by the Opportunity race. The PRO Peter Lytton very wisely kept the fleet ashore for an hour by which time a steady 6 knot breeze had developed. The course for the day was a windward/leeward with a spreader and gate.

A late shift during the starting procedure created a hint of port bias and the boats that were able to tack onto port immediately after the start had a significant advantage. At the windward mark last year's Day Boat champions Alastair & Jacqui Seaton (DB653 Bosham SC) very narrowly led from David & Fiona.

This order was maintained for the next lap. However, on lap 3, Mark & Shirley Stanton (DB673 Bosham SC) took full advantage of a favourable offshore shift and took over the lead which they extended and held to the finish. All three of the overnight series leaders scored results that would later count as their discards.

After a brief delay to swap crews a very encouraging 14 boat fleet came to the line for the Opportunity race, sailing a shortened version of the morning course. The start was highly competitive which resulted in the only occasion in the week when a general recall flag was flown!

The three individual winners of the race were Ellie Aneiros (1st Lady), Chris Lockett (1st crew) and Genevieve Bullingham (1st cadet) Following the annual class AGM, the entertainment on Wednesday night of DB Week is traditionally devoted to shanty singing. And the team from Gravesend SC, very ably led by Steve Davies, provided a wonderful evening which was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

Day 5 - Another light wind day was forecast for the final points race on Thursday. All three Hewitt boats, Pete, Michael and James were still in with a chance of taking the overall prize.

The course for the day was a reverse "P" which had the mark layers scratching their heads!

Alastair & Jacqui Seaton took the inshore route to the first mark and emerged with a narrow lead from Nigel & Isabelle Russell. Crucially, Pete Hewitt & Chris Lockett worked their way up through the fleet and rounded third with their other adversaries for the overall title in mid fleet. These positions were held to the finish which earned Pete & Chris the Champion Dayboat title.

Alastair & Jacqui's last race win moved them up into the runners up position and Jack & Ellie's 4th place in the final race earned them 3rd place overall. (Full results below)

On Thursday evening, Brixham YC laid on an excellent prize-giving dinner, which was briefly interrupted by a sighting of a school of dolphins just off the club's pontoon!

The YWDB class, originally designed in 1949, has over the years amassed a huge array of magnificent trophies and these were awarded by Fiona Macfarlane to many deserving winners.

Our thanks go to Richard Spreckley, Commodore of Brixham YC for hosting the week and to Adrian Morrall, the event director who was hugely involved organising all the logistics leading up to the week and was a key member of the mark laying team. A special thanks goes to Peter Lytton the PRO and his committee boat team who delivered outstanding race management throughout the week.

We are already looking forward to next year's DB Week at Rock SC which is scheduled to take place from 24th-30th June 2023.

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

PosSail NoBoatHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1st669MerlinPeter HewittChris LockettPoole YC321‑539
2nd653MojoAlastair SeatonJacqui SeatonBosham SC4‑762113
3rd657Papa IIJack YoungEllie AneirosRoyal Cork YC‑8154414
4th673IcarusMark StantonShirley StantonBosham SC‑6641516
5th676MaloryJames HewittHenry/William HewittBosham SC233‑13816
6th678GroovieMichael HewittSteve CreasyRYA142‑111118
7th597Yellow PerilDavid MacFarlaneFiona MacFarlaneBosham SC78‑93927
8th677GenevieveSimon BullinghamGenevieve/John BullinghamAvon SC99‑146731
9th649MandarinWendy DaviesRoy DaviesPoole YC‑1158101033
10th664TiGerTim WilcockGerry WilcockBosham SC5RET(DNC)7636
11th621DaydreamerMatt StrakerCora/Hugh StrakerHamble River SC1010119‑1340
12th614CasspianNigel RussellIsabelle RussellBosham SCDNS(DNC)DNC8248
13th565AvocetTim ParkinsonRichard TwymanThornbury SC12121212‑1448
14th650HullabalooSue ClaytonHoward ClaytonPoole YC(DNC)137141650
15th675AuroraSteve WilsonAnnette WilsonPoole YC(RET)1110151551
16th632Don't PanicJohn LokierPhil LokierPoole YCDNS1415(RET)1256
17th572AttilaDave AllenAlfie AllenThornbury SC14151316‑1758
18th660WidgeonSteve DaviesPenny DaviesGravesend SC13RETDNS18‑2066
19th655EmmaChris SmithKaren SmithGravesend SCDNS1716‑191967
20th674Liquid LuckBarry ColgateJan ColgateBosham SC(DNC)16DNS171868
21st302SamanthaTommy Bennett Unattached(DNC)DNCDNCRETRET87
22nd612Hazy DazeRichard Twyman Gravesend SC(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC92

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