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Cyclops Marine 2023 November - LEADERBOARD

Seafly National Championship 2023 at Blakeney Sailing Club

by John Claridge & Pete Sanders 14 Jul 2023 14:21 BST 8-9 July 2023

The 2023 Seafly National Championship saw them return to Blakeney Sailing Club in Norfolk which, with its strong tides and congested water, has often proved challenging for the visitors.

The first start was in a gentle force 2 to 3 in a perfect direction for a good beat but was unfortunately subject to a general recall with most of the fleet being pushed over the line by the strong tide. At the restart Team Lymo in 704, sailed by John Claridge and Pete Sanders make the best start and went on to establish a large lead only to suffer gear failure allowing Merlin 477, crewed by father and daughter team of Amy and Alan Robinson, to overtake and take the win, with 646, sailed by Roger Beavis and Amy Howes third.

The second start in similar winds saw the fleet much better behaved and again Team Lymo was able to pull clear, only to mis-read the course and end up at the back of the fleet. Merlin, after a battle with Grace 702, sailed by Tim Uren and local stand in crew Laser sailor Rebecca Bunting plus Marsh Mellow 703, sailed by father and son, Marcus and Jacob Burley,were able to pull clear. Team Lymo in the meantime, anxious to make up for their mistake and with the benefit of being able to see what was going on at the front, made some good tactical decisions and were able to pull through the fleet and overtake Merlin just before the finish, with Grace (who had to sail both races without a Spinnaker) third.

So, the first day ended with the two top boats tying on points and some of the other competitors using the time to sort out various problems that they had encountered during the day before going off to the Beer and Folk Festival at the Blakeney Harbour Rooms, which by happy coincidence was also running the same weekend.

The next day's forecast was for less wind, and this indeed proved to be the case with the first race starting in about a force one. It was a fairly even start on a well-set line but Merlin and Grace secured a significant advantage by tacking off early to get to the seaward shore and get out of the tide. With the wind almost totally failing Merlin and Grace battled it out with the former eventually gaining the upper hand, pulling away, closely followed by Team Lymo who managed to overtake Grace on the second leg. With barely enough wind to make headway against the tide Merlin judged the rounding of the third Mark to perfection and continued to extend their lead before crossing the line first on a shortened course, followed by Team Lymo and Grace.

Although the wind filled in a little, the Senior Race Officer, John Myers, sensibly decided to send the fleet 3 times around a shortened course that he set in the upper harbour. With the points so close both Merlin and Team Lymo required the win to clinch the championship, but it was Grace that 'aced' the start doing a port end flyer that saw them cross the whole fleet and get to the windward mark first. However, they were unable to hold off Team Lymo on the next reach who went on to pull ahead and win the race. Merlin had got boxed in at the start, and whilst they caught up well, they were unable to overtake Grace despite exchanging places with her several times and ended up finishing third.

We all enjoyed a weekend of incredibly close racing that was brilliantly organised both on and off the water.

Overall Results:
If you finished in the top ten at the Seafly nationals then enter your Gear Guide information here

PosSail NoBoat NameHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1st704Team LymoJohn ClaridgePete SandersLymington Y. C.‑21214
2nd477MerlinAmy RobinsonAlan RobinsonBlakeney S.C.121‑34
3rd702GraceTim UrenRebecca BuntingTISC‑53328
4th620ZipideeSimon HibberdAlan CollettBlakeney S.C.4‑54412
5th648 Roger BeavisAmy HowesBlakeney S.C.367‑816
6th703Marsh MellowMarcus BurleyJacob BurleyBlakeney S.C.84‑9618
7th653KittiwakeFreddie HarcourtAngela HarcourtBlakeney S.C.7(RET)5719
8th652Summer BreezeTom RileyAndrew BassettBlakeney S.C.(DNC)DNC6523
9th173SpiderAndrew BassettSusan GregoryBlakeney S.C.6RET(DNC)DNC28
10th652Summer BreezeSimon StewartSteve PailingBlakeney S.C.RET7(DNC)DNC29
11th173SpiderDavid FairbrassSusan GregoryBlakeney S.C.(DNC)DNC8DNS30

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