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Astral Azure 2000 class Nationals at Castle Cove Sailing Club

by Pete Vincent 26 Aug 13:58 BST 14-19 August 2022
Astral Azure 2000 class Nationals at Castle Cove © Rich Bowers

Castle Cove showed how to run a National Championships when they laid on champagne conditions, tremendous race management and wonderful relaxed shore back up for the Astral Azure 2000 Nationals. A very healthy fleet of 57 boats showed yet again the 2000 class is on the up and this year featured a marked step up in quality with a number of new faces at the front of the fleet. We also welcomed back a number of 2000 sailors who were returning to the Class after long absences.

One of the great things about the 2000 is that it caters for everyone regardless of age, gender and size. So this year the racing featured 6 year old Ben Pascoe winning three races, 89 year old Ernie Hatton nearly getting round a windward mark in the top five, an Olympic gold medallist from 2012, people who only started sailing two years ago, a very healthy number of parents racing very competitively with their children and an increase in the number of female helms.

The week started with very gentle winds with 6-8 knots for the first three races. An extremely sensible decision to move the lay day from Wednesday to Tuesday allowed racing to take place on Wednesday in nice medium winds and easily catching up the lost race. One of many great calls made by PRO Bill Barker and his excellent team. Their rapid laying of the alternative windward mark during races kept true courses throughout.

The final two days racing then took place in total champagne conditions of blue skies, sunshine and glamour winds of 13-20 knots. Literally something for everyone. Another genius move was to have an ice cream van at the club after racing on the hottest day when we tallied off; free ice creams for all competitors thanks to Astral Azure.

Sam Pascoe was Castle Cove's main coordinator for the event and he had the ideal preparation for the event by catching an over night ferry from Cork where he had just finished second overall at the 505 Worlds to arrive home at 04.00 the day the Championship started. Luckily his son Ben was up to the task and guided Sam through to win the first three races by big distances. How Sam hung on up wind in the breeze later in the week to still score numerous top ten results I will never know. His second overall was remarkable.

The class act though was Lijia Xu (Lily) and Callum Farnden who put in a near faultless display to record results never outside the top seven, using a borrowed boat. Always getting glorious starts it was very hard to remember them missing a shift upwind. You may recall that Lily was the women's Laser Radial gold medallist at the 2012 Olympics. She has now made Weymouth her base/home and Castle Cove is her home club.

Talking to her afterwards, the 2000 Nationals is the first event since 2016 Olympics in Rio where she had finished the full series of races due to ongoing shoulder injuries. It is also the first time she has done an event in a boat with shrouds and the first time in a two-person boat. Rumour has it was Thursday before she told Callum they were tacking in advance!

Defending champions Rob and Sarah Burridge were one of the few boats able to consistently challenge Lily but frequently finally lost very close tussles to eventually finish third overall. Just behind in fourth were their club mates Paul "Spanner" Cullen and Richard "Fresh" Abendstern who showed real speed in the fresher condition.

Fifth overall was another Weirwood boat father and daughter Jonathan and Louisa Ching who scored a fine race win on Wednesday and earning Louisa a Champagne Moment for her first win.

In sixth place was newcomer to the fleet Pete Vincent with last minute stand-in crew Sophie Bentley who he had never met until Monday's race. Just behind were previous National Champions Simon and Katie Horsfield in seventh with first youth helm Johnny Sargent eighth overall.

Events like these are not possible without the sterling efforts of the Castle Cove Sailing Club volunteers and the generosity of our sponsors:

If you want to know more about 2000 Class sailing then contact Mark Foley on or 078 3333 2055.

Class websites are: /

Overall Results:

PosSail NoBoat NameHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9R10Pts
122674ResilienceLijia XuCallum FarndenCCSC22‑711‑6114113
22190Cat boySam PascoeBenjamin PascoeCCSC1114332‑116‑721
32458Wet n WickedRob BurridgeSarah BurridgeWeir Wood SC56422‑1236(UFD)432
422607Just One MorePaul CullenFresh AbendsternWeir Wood SC/ RDNBYC6456‑11‑14532334
5227222 Peachy CheeksJonathan ChingLouisa ChingWeir Wood SC333‑14411012‑16844
622713The Good the Bubbles and the UglyPeter VincentSophie BentleyBristol Corinthian/ Llandegfedd‑13‑2195510643648
722658 Simon HorsfieldKatie HorsfieldThorney Island SC/ ASA16‑196810‑231221257
822700No nameJohnny SargentMatt SargentASA/Emsworth‑217‑129887571061
922631Rarely At frontSimon GreenhalghBonny GreenhalghRAFSA452‑1712‑28157141372
1022098WolverineJonathan BaileyMatthew BaileyWeir Wood SC‑22911‑3762418201181
112355ZoomyGwen SargentClare SargentASA/Emsworth1416107748(UFD)26‑2792
1222675 Stu WilliamsAlice PowellASA913‑3610‑40341185595
132411FreedomSkip AtkinsJulia BottenStone SC191515‑23145(RET)191718122
1422268Wiley CoyoteChris DoePeter DoeThorney Island SC10251811‑30‑399171321124
152854Jumpin Jack SplashTim HulleyLinda HulleyWeir Wood SC823839252623(UFD)‑29125
1622361HawksMiles WadeAnderley WadeASA/Weir Wood SC1112231816‑2616‑252317136
172947SerefeAndy BaylissCarmel RoystonStettisham Beach‑34101319‑242118162222141
1822676StanMatt HartleyMerry RichardsASA‑3218172517‑4217131819144
1921103Juliette / 21103Adrian StellRoz StellHayley SC/ Llandegfedd‑412626‑281313131027RDG149.9
202882LightfuryNic BarnesFreddie BarnesStone/ Corinthian Otter128‑3720279212436(DNC)157
2122064The Last JediMatt LarkinOliver Larkin/ WilliamWeir Wood SC72019‑392116233325‑34164
2221650Cool LuffingsBen RichardsonPeter BellCCSC29‑3924263417(UFD)15109164
2322340ImpMatthew WrightAlex PepperKeyhaven YC‑4222‑412726312991114169
2422547SurpriseMark FoleyLaura ShortSnettisham2711253320714‑4835(DNC)172
2521394Bit of BlueMartin BoydeCarrie BoydeGuernsey YC4038201325‑43‑4220812176
262204Dr Lavender / 2204Iain YardleySarah Yardley200020‑4030‑35321119213023186
2721555AMYGOAmy HulleyJohn DaseyWeir Wood SC1817(UFD)21373724‑391915188
2822619RoosterJoe GallivanMikeMcEwingWeir Wood SC/ RAFSA‑45372124‑41363214916189
2922694Bunwoo 2Alistair RoseGemma BurridgeUllswater SC‑3629‑4015232930271224189
3022564SwordfishHelen PhillipsAndrew PhillipsCardiff Bay23‑302912‑332725222926193
3122612Peachy CheeksPaul JenkinsAmy ChingWeir Wood SC241414(OCS)3522283133(DNC)201
3222527 Laurie DengateJoanne NorringtonHerne Bay SC26‑34283022‑3820321530203
332248Mercury RisingJohn BestTom CallanLee on Solent SC17332222283027‑4031(DNC)210
342615Recycled HarpEmily ElmsMartin ElmsThornbury SC3132(UFD)‑36192422262828210
352057Toros4Martin RootsPaula Foscarini‑CraggsCardiff Bay30‑3633‑38361535292120219
3621285Wave Hopper/Shifty LiftyMatthew BottenRichard BottenWWSC25‑4135161832‑44383431229
3722558HurricaneJonathan McVeyBen HawkesRAFSA35‑42274115‑4433283932250
38248Jaffa / 248Charles FelgateCledwyn GriffithsCardiff Bay37‑474432‑504636302425274
3921072BossTrevor BradleyRachel GuestThornton Stewart SC‑552739‑47394034354037291
402741RhapsodyErnie HattonColin HattonWeir Wood SC3828312938RET31(DNC)RET(DNC)305
412234Jammy DodgerRobert BoydenPenny BoydenCCSC434542‑53481845(DNC)3233306
422817 Valerie HaguePaul HagueBowmoor SC‑5031324345194845‑50RET309
4321663 Dirk MeyerLeif MeyerHunts SC33‑4838454620‑53444642314
4422642 Jen KehoeIsaac LucasASA51‑5434314248403637(DNC)319
452374BuffaloJonny HepworthLou DuffyEmsworth SC39434334434539(DNC)43(DNC)329
462587DragonflyGuy BoswellJulie BoswellLlandegfedd SC‑54‑554746444137473838338
4722139New X‑perienceSally FieldingMartin FieldingCCSC4751‑5340314938(DNC)4541342
4821914 Andy HockeyJane LambertWilsonian46‑494544‑474743414136343
4922677 Stephen KingDarren KirkhamASA4944465129354746(DNC)(DNC)347
5021669Zingalong / 21669Chris NinhamOscar HickmanCCSC48‑52‑5242495046344439352
5122653 Adie ParryAdi KennASA‑53464950‑525241374235352
5222656Ship Faced AgainNatalie JohnstonNeil RoachRoyal Navy SA153516(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC356
5321405EquinoxJanina WallisChristopher WallisWilsonian44‑504848(DNC)3349434843356
5421646Duck and DivePeter BarfootJeremy DobbsCCSC52‑565049(DNC)5351424740384
552198 Sam BarkerGrace ThorneCCSC2824(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC400
562523 Zoe RalphJane DrummondWilsonian‑57575452515152(DNC)49RET412
5722630 Will StubbsIzzie HodgensASA5653515453545049(DNC)(DNC)420

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