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September 2023

Hadron H2 Open at Brightlingsea Sailing Club

by Keith Callaghan 14 May 18:42 BST 13-14 May 2023
Josh Hamer leads Dave Barker at the leeward mark in the first race during the Brightlingsea Hadron H2 Open © Keith Callaghan

The third open event of the 2023 H2 calendar was hosted by Brightlingsea SC over the weekend of 13-14 May. This famous Essex club promised some super sailing, in conjunction with the friendly company of the Merlin Rockets and the GP14s.

The entry numbers were slightly disappointing but several of the top helms were present, promising some close and intense racing.

The plan was for 3 races per day in the estuary of the River Colne and racing got under way in a shifty northerly breeze of 10 knots or so - not easy for PRO Philip Rust but interesting for the competitors, with many place changes during each race. Race 1 turned into a dual between class chairman Dave Barker and Josh Hamer, competing in his new H2 for the first time. At the last mark and with just a very short reach to the finish to go, Josh was 100 metres ahead but his euphoria caused him to forget the old adage "in sailing, it is NEVER over until you cross the finish line". He sailed the wrong side of the line and by the time he realised his mistake Dave, Richard Le Mare and Robin Parsons had already finished. Still, Josh was very happy - his new H2 was going well.

Race 2 was sailed in similar wind conditions but the tide was turning, producing a typical Colne wind against tide chop. This time Josh did not make a mistake and finished ahead of Dave, with Robin in third. The third race saw even more place changing and a slight increase in the wind brought two of the heavier helms to the fore: Neal Liilywhite and Ian Little had a real ding-dong battle for first place with Neal finishing first - delighted at his first H2 open meeting win.

As everyone was enjoying the conditions and the forecast for the following day predicted little or no wind the PRO decided to have a fourth race even though the competitors had already spent more than four hours on the water. With Josh on 8 points and Dave on 9, it was going to be a close tussle. With a good breeze now it was the younger and slightly heavier Josh who took the winning gun from Dave, with Neal getting another good result in third place. Josh's win put him just a gnat's whisker ahead of Dave so there was everything to play for on Sunday. However, that was not to be, as the forecast was unfortunately quite accurate, with not enough wind to stem the tide. Thus when NA was hoisted at the clubhouse Josh Hamer was confirmed as the winner. Congratulations to him on winning his first H2 open event and also to Neal Lillywhite for winning his first H2 open race.

The Hadron H2 Class Association thanks Brightlingsea SC members, staff and especially the race team for organising such a well run and sociable event. We hope to be invited back soon!

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1159Josh HamerGlossop SC‑41315
2148Dave BarkerDraycote Water SC12‑625
3153Neal LillywhiteBurghfield SCDNC61310
4135Robin ParsonsDeben YC33‑4410
5102Ian LittleThorpe Bay YC‑652613
6146Andrew McGawGrafham Water SC545DNC14
7127Chris BrownRORC7DNC7519
8156Richard Le MareCastle Cove SC2OCSDNCDNC20

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