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South Loch Gin VX One National Championship at Royal Forth Yacht Club

by Keith Lockey 22 Jun 19:26 BST 16-18 June 2023
VX One Nationals 2023 © Royal Forth YC

The VX One class held its first post-Covid nationals on the Firth of Forth's superb sailing waters against a backdrop that includes the Forth Bridges and Edinburgh Castle.

The race committee set windward/leeward courses with reaching finishes that saw close racing, with every boat taking at least one first or second place across the 8 race series.

Day one provided brilliant blue skies and 8kt NE sea breeze building to 12-15 kt. Trevor Darcy and Alan McClernon from the newly formed VX One fleet at Carrickfergus SC laid down a marker by leading throughout the first race only to be passed by Tony Lewis and Andrew Cutting on the last run. Lewis and Cutting were able to win the second race more easily, with Keith Lockey and Paul Adams holding on to second place by a narrow margin from a hard charging Nathan Batchelor, Melanie Landamore and Rosie Kincaid.

For the day's final race the Race Officer set a longer 4 lap course. Bachelor, Landamore and Kincaid led followed by Darcy and McClernon until they included an unnecessary detour to the finish line in their third lap. This allowed Lockey and Adams into second place, and then an inherited win when Batchelor, Landamore and Kincaid crossed the finish in silence due to a premature start.

On the Friday evening the Fleet and its supporters enjoyed an excellent dinner laid on by the Royal Forth with additional refreshment from sponsors South Loch Gin. This alone was worth the trip to Edinburgh!

Saturday was more demanding, with a stronger breeze of up to about 18 kts and a short chop. The day's 3 races were dominated by the team of Batchelor, Landamore and Kincaid, who took three firsts with Don Maclean and Ken Hutchinson, Darcy and McClernon, and Lewis and Cutting taking successive second places.

Going into the final day the championship was still open with only 2 points after discard separating the top three places. The wind, waves and sunshine rose to the occasion by providing classic VX One conditions of demanding upwind legs and adrenaline fuelled downwind rides of 17kts or more.

While the Bachelor, Landamore, Kincaid team pulled away to win Sunday's first race, the rest of the fleet stayed in close formation with multiple place changes and all finishing within tens of seconds, on a spinnaker reach.

The second race on Sunday though was to provide a dramatic finale. After 3 laps in a breeze now gusting to over 20 kts Darcy and McClernon led and were in sight of the win that had slipped through their fingers all weekend - only to capsize on the final gybe within 200 meters of finish. This allowed John Robson and Tom Giles who were planning flat out neck and neck with the Bachelor, Landamore, Kincaid team, to take the lead.

At the leeward mark and start of the short reach to the finish Robson and Giles chose valour over discretion and held on to their kite (...just!) to win the race. Bachelor, Landamore and Kincaid dropped their kite and two-sailed, to take second place in the race but win the championship. Lewis and Cutting were second overall, on equal points with Darcy and McClernon but edging ahead on the last race tie break.

The VX One class extends its thanks to the Royal Forth Yacht Club and its hard working volunteers who made the event happen. The Club was genuinely welcoming, the hospitality outstanding and the race management first class.

Overall Results:
If you took part in the VX One nationals then enter your Gear Guide information here

PosBoat NameSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8Pts
1VixenGBR 191Nathan BatchelorMelanie Landamore Rosie KincaidTynemouth SC‑43(OCS)111129
2BattleshipGBR 202Tony LewisAndrew CuttingUllswater YC113‑5‑424314
3Sheep DawgGBR 203Trevor DarcyAlan McClernonCarrickfergus SC2‑423232(RET)14
4GBR 300GBR 300John RobsonTom GilesUllswater YC‑5‑544543121
5Group TherapyGBR 149Keith LockeyPaul AdamsUllswater YC‑6216355(RET)22
6179GBR 179Donald MacleanKen HutchinsonUllswater YC3652(RET)(DNS)DNSDNS30

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