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Vortex National Championship at Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club

by Phil Whitehead 26 Apr 2023 11:45 BST 22-23 April 2023
2023 Vortex Nationals at Yorkshire Dales © Vortex Class Association

Nine sailors from as far as Scotland and London descended on Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club over the weekend for the National Championship.

Race 1 started in a light 10 knot westerly. Jonathan Lister, Phil Whitehead and Angus Winchester all picked different routes but arrived at the top mark together. Phil's spinni halyard came undone on the run necessitating a pit stop and an early discard. Mick Collins found a band of pressure to pass Angus on the next downwind leg and held second place to the finish behind Jonathan.

A good close start in race 2 with fairly even pressure across the course but Phil stayed hard left and worked the bend around the shore to pop out in the lead at the first mark. Jonathan Lister took the lead downwind with Phil holding second and Angus third at the finish.

The wind went left for race three. Phil and Jonathan port tacked the fleet; Phil just squeezed in front of a line of 14 Contenders, Jonathan didn't and dropped to the back of the fleet. Downwind Angus and Mick passed Phil, only for Phil to find a fabulous lift from the left on the next beat to re-take the lead. Surely this would be Phil's victory? Jonathan gybed off early on the last downwind taking the lead whilst Mick passed Angus for third.

We all retired to the clubhouse and hot tubs with a beer courtesy of the class association. The meal provided by our caterers Karen and Dave was outstanding and an opportunity to catch up on old times and a quick AGM. Definitely the class to join with free entry, free meals, beer sponsored by Nick Fleming's microbrewery and hot tub !

Early Sunday morning was cold and damp with a low cloud base and a fresh North Easterly blowing at 20 knots. Phil and Angus the strong wind specialists romped up the first beat. Phil should have led but misjudged his final tack to the mark and was just below the lay-line. Angus found a hole downwind letting Jonathan through, but he managed to capsize on the final gybe (hint - release the kicker downwind in a blow!). Angus kept cool and led for the rest of the race. Jonathan chased hard and recovered from last place after the capsize to second - assisted by Phil capsizing on a tack (hint - release the main sheet when tacking in breeze!). However there was a question mark over whether Jonathan had missed the gate on one lap so he retired letting Mick take second and a very well deserved 3rd and fourth places to newcomers Andy Spencer and Nick Fleming.

The wind eased for race 5, Andy port tacked the fleet and was looking good but Angus found a nice shift on the left. Jonathan found the right shifts on the first downwind leg and held the lead with Mick second and Angus third. Luigi Guarda had travelled all the way from Santa Croce Italy to collect a boat scored a creditable 5th having never sailed a Vortex before this weekend.

A great weekend of sailing and socialising. A great result for Jonathan Lister our new National Champ.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1st1164Jonathan ListerYorkshire Dales111(DNF)115
2nd1181Angus WinchesterCastle Semple SC33(4)13212
3rd1117Mick CollinsYDSC2(4)322413
4th1048Andy SpencerYDSC4(5)534319
5th1208Nick FlemingSt Andrews Sailing Club6(7)646527
6th1218Phil WhiteheadYorkshire Dales Sailing Club(DNF)22DNCDNCDNC34
7th1089Lester MulliganYorkshire Dales SC767(DNC)DNCDNC40
8th1041Luigi GuardaSanta Croce ‑ Belluno Italy(DNC)DNCDNFDNC5DNC45
9th2017Andrew StratonYDSC5(DNF)DNCDNCDNCDNC45

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