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Challengers at the RYA Multiclass Regatta at Rutland Sailing Club

by Marion Edwards 10 Aug 2022 08:52 BST 6-7 August 2022
Pursuit race start sees close work by the Challenger fleet at the RYA Multiclass Regatta - Rutland in 2022 © Tony Mayhew

Thirteen Challengers were ready to take part in the RYA Sailability Multiclass Regatta held during the weekend 6-7 August at Rutland Sailing Club with substantial support from Rutland Sailability. Thirteen was clearly an unlucky number as one vehicle sprang a fuel leak and the number of sailors was reduced to twelve.

There was only one visiting boat: Allan Wall (308) from Peterborough Sailability brought a unique Challenger with both an electric mainsheet winch and electric steering.

However, there were two more visiting sailors. Ben Foulsham from Oxford Sailability was sailing the Class Association Challenger 263. Lynn Steward from Wigan and St Helens (WISH) SC, who is very new to Challenger sailing, was very kindly loaned Challenger 257 by Val Millward.

The weather forecast was for sun and light winds so it would be ideal for novice sailors in all classes but it was unlikely to be sufficient to allow the Challengers to shine.

After the briefing the fleet was launched into a F2 gusting F3 north westerly breeze. The format for the day was three handicap races round a trapezoidal course. The Challengers shared the first start with the other fast boats and the Hansa class formed the second (slow) start. In total there were 39 boats across eight classes.

Race 1 was not good for the Challengers. While Nick Bett (261), Val Millward (312) and Graham Hall (270) were the first three Challengers they only managed 16th, 18th and 19th respectively.

There was a certain amount of confusion around the start of race 2 but what was critical to the results was the race officer's decision to split the fleet by stopping some boats after a single lap. The four Challengers, led by Steve Lee (301), who did two laps came home second to fifth overall, whereas the rest of the Challengers were well down the fleet.

Race 3 saw a close and competitive start in the fast fleet. Again Nick seized the initiative and led the Challengers round the course to achieve second overall. Graham and Val were second and third Challengers respectively. Caz Jerromes (313) had her best race of the event in twelfth overall.

So with three handicap races completed the discard kicked in and overnight Nick was lead Challenger in third with Graham a single point behind. Bill Ridlington (297) was third Challenger and 13th overall.

On Sunday the wind was again light and north westerly. The 90 minute, non-discardable, pursuit race was postponed for an hour to allow the wind to fill and stabilise.

Unfortunately Allan Wall's race was over before it began. Just before the start his electric steering began to behave erratically and he decided for everyone's safety it was better if he retired.

The Challengers started 25 minutes into the race and set off to hunt down the Hansas (and the solitary 2.4mR); All the Challengers made a very good start. Lynn was especially pleased with hers as she thought, that for once, she had managed to nail it! Again Nick took the lead but was over taken by Graham on the second beat.

After about 40 minutes the leading Challengers began to pick off the Hansas and in the final minutes Graham had worked himself up to second but the wind faded and an attempt to overtake Paul Phillips in his Hansa Liberty was not to be. Nick came off the water under the impression that he had not managed to pass Pat Crowley (in a Hansa Liberty) but the race officer thought differently and placed him fourth behind Mike Everitt (in a Hansa 303).

Ben had by far his best race of the event to come home fourth Challenger and 11th overall. He was just beaten by Bill who was tenth overall. There is over seventy years difference in age between these two sailors which shows that the Challenger suits all ages.

The results were collated with help from the GPS trackers. This is the first time trackers have been used at the Multiclass and hopefully in the future they will remove the need to use tallies.

In the Challenger fleet, thanks to his performance in the pursuit race, Graham had a one point advantage over Nick, so was awarded the Millar Challenger Trophy. Bill put together a remarkable light wind performance over the two days to come third.

The final trophy awarded was the Ken Ellis Trophy given to the overall winner and, as Joff McGill (RYA Sailability Manager) announced, just one point separated the first four places. Second, third and fourth were separated on countback and Nick was the unlucky sailor in fourth place. Third was Rory McKinna in a Hansa 303 and second Paul Phillips. Much to his surprise, Graham was first overall and, for the first time since 2014, a Challenger sailor got to take the Ken Ellis Trophy home.

Thanks are due to RYA Sailability, Rutland Sailing Club but above all to Rutland Sailability who provided the many, many volunteers needed to make the event run smoothly.

Challenger Results:

PosSail NoHelmClub
1270Graham HallRutland Sailability
4261Nick BettRutland SC
10297Bill RidlingtonRutland Sailability
14312Val MillwardRutland SC and Rutland Sailability
15301Steven LeeRutland Sailability
22263Ben FoulshamOxford Sailability
23313Caz JerromesRutland Sailability
28315Alan BradleyRutland Sailability
33257Lynn StewardWISH (Wigan & St Helens) SC
34290David RichardsonRutland Sailability
35298Sarah ThreapletonRutland Sailability
36308Allan WallPeterborough Sailability

Full Multiclass Results:

PosClassNatSail NoHelmCrewClubPYR1R2R34PPts
1ChallengerGBR270Graham Hall Rutland1173‑1935210
2Hansa LibertyGBR2557Paul Phillips Frensham Pond14802‑118111
3Hansa 303 singleGBR2284Rory Mckinna Clyde Cruising Club15801‑74611
4ChallengerGBR261Nick Bett Rutland SC1173‑1652411
5Hansa 303 singleGBR2554Mike Everitt Frensham Pond15805‑157315
6Hansa LibertyIRL33Pat Crowley Rutland14804‑279518
7Hansa LibertyGBR3229Chris Atkin Hanningfield1480312‑16722
8SKUDGBR42Paul PearsonRichard JohnsonRutland SC1060‑14831324
9SKUDGBR10Jazz TurnerJohn HenriesNewhaven & Seaford1060(RET (42))617932
10ChallengerGBR297Bill Ridlington Rutland1173‑224191033
114MRGBR162Carolyn Turner Newhaven and Seaford1240‑25113234
12Hansa LibertyGBR1066Ric Cassell Rutland1480818‑21834
13Hansa 303 singleGBR3220Hannah Nicoll Whitefriars SC1580614‑272040
14ChallengerGBR312Val Millward Rutland SC and Rutland117318‑28101240
15ChallengerGBR301Steven Lee Rutland1173242‑281541
16Hansa 303 singleGBR2144George Paxford Whitefriars15807‑24132141
17Hansa LibertyGBR2723Simon Harle Rutland1480913‑301941
18Hansa 303 doubleGBR2314Philip HallTom HepburnChesil16301010‑202444
19Hansa LibertyGBR2599Chris Emmet Rutland1480(RET (42))2361645
20Hansa 303 singleGBR3223Andy Guy Dart158013‑22112246
21SKUDGBR257Christine SprayMike McEwingRutland1060209‑241847
22ChallengerGBR263Ben Foulsham Oxford117321‑29231155
23ChallengerGBR313Caz Jerromes Rutland117326‑30121755
24Hansa 303 singleGBR3219Leslie Philip  158015‑21152555
25Hansa 303 doubleGBR2271Lottie RogersMalcolm KirkRutland1630‑3517142657
26Hansa 303 singleGBR2884Owen Boar Waveney15801126‑292360
27Hansa 303 singleGBR3222Robert Boyd Dart15801219.5‑223061.5
28ChallengerGBR315Alan Bradley Rutland117323‑31311468
29Hansa 303 doubleGBR3147Millie MoodyWendy AlexanderRutland1630‑3619.5262974.5
30Hansa 303 singleGBR2973Jeremy Ballam Waveney15801716‑25RET (42)75
31Stratos KeelGBR1228Jane ScottNeil WilkinsonRutland110327‑33183176
32Hansa 303 doubleGBR3221Charlotte JonesFrancesca BenjaminWhitefriars SC16302925‑322781
33ChallengerGBR257Lynn Steward Wigan & St Helens117330‑35342892
34ChallengerGBR290David Richardson Rutland117328‑36363498
35ChallengerGBR298Sarah Threapleton Rutland11733332‑353398
36ChallengerGBR308Allan Wall Peterborough117331‑3433RET (42)106
37RS Venture ConnectGBR232Logan BellBeverley JacquesRutland111234‑373737108
38RS Venture ConnectGBR233Milly EvansAndrew St JohnRutland111232(DNC (42))DNC (42)35109
39Hansa 303 doubleGBR3146Bertie BelderbosSteve OsborneRutland163037(DNF (42))3836111
40ChallengerGBR188Alex Hovden Papercourt SC1173(DNC (42))DNC (42)DNC (42)DNC (42)126
40Hansa LibertyGBR1010Tessa Watkiss Frensham Pond1480(DNC (42))DNC (42)DNC (42)DNC (42)126

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