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CoastWaterSports 2014

Solution National Championship at Lee-on-the-Solent Sailing Club

by Richard Gibbon 15 Aug 2023 16:01 BST 12-13 August 2023

After a complete blow-out at Great Yarmouth and Gorleston SC when we first tried to hold the Solution National Championship, the re-scheduled event at Lee-on-Solent SC on 12th & 13th August attracted a dozen mostly local boats, coming from the home club, Calshot, Warsash and Burghfield. Martin Tubb was the only long-distance visitor, making the long trek from Leigh and Lowton while others from further afield were put off by the once-again forecast high winds.

Those predicted high winds came. By midday the breeze was up, with gusts later reaching over 30 knots and a challenging sea state; the decision to race was hanging in the balance. Launching conditions were tricky with a South Westerly blowing onto the shore. The go ahead brought 6 Solutions to the start line for race 1. Kevin Clark opted to take a dip just before the start leaving him late to cross the line; his exit from the boat was superbly captured on his GoPro, and is available for your entertainment on the class Facebook page.

Ian Morgan quickly established a strong lead from the biased pin end and never let go and this continued to be the pattern for the rest of the weekend. His was a dominant performance of heavy weather sailing par excellence. With Kevin out of the running on race 1, Richard Gibbon leaned into second place with Jon Steward in close pursuit and Martin Tubb was never far behind showing great form offwind throughout the event. Richard abandoned his second place by swapping a sausage for a triangle, but still managed a third. Jon's second place was a great result for a newcomer to the class. Conditions became brutal and further racing was cancelled; tea, cake and warmth awaited.

Sunday brought brisk conditions initially but the wind continued to build. Three races were completed but by 1 o'clock it was roughing up again and a potential fourth race was cancelled. Morgan and Clark finished 1,2 respectively throughout the day, with Kevin pushing Ian hard upwind. None could challenge the dynamic duo, although Gibbon was close on Clark in race 3 until an unruly yacht under power steamed into him breaking the grip of a lee bow on Clark. Mike Davis scored two thirds in races 2 and 3, bettering Gibbon on the screaming reaches before retiring from race 4 having proved his mettle.

The Sheepdog Trophy is awarded to the sailor who finished last having completed all the races and usually is a tail-ender with the responsibility of shepherding the fleet around the course. However, this year it went to 4th place Jon Steward from LOSSC, indicative of the number of retirees and DNC's thanks to the challenging conditions. The Ted Funnell Memorial Trophy was awarded for the mid-fleet 6th place to Mike Davis of Calshot. Third place usually only attracts the privilege of writing the race report, but this year a prize was also awarded, as Richard Gibbon won the masters trophy for being over 55. A comfortable second place went to Kevin Clark, another LOSSC homey; despite some difficulties staying upright on Saturday, he finished with a creditable three straight seconds after discarding the previous day's pain. Line honours went to the smoking gun of Ian Morgan of Warsash Sailing club, with a fully loaded chamber of bullets and retaining his title from last year.

Well done to all who made it round the course in one piece and lived to tell the tale. One of our close cousins in the concurrent Phantom open was less fortunate, dismasted with a ripped up deck, testifying to the toughness and seaworthiness of the Solution.

Thanks to the race team and all at LOSSC who managed to make the event happen in such challenging conditions.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1st408Ian MorganWarsash‑11113
2nd470Kevin ClarkLOSSC‑52226
3rd464Richard GibbonLOSSC3‑44310
4th455Jon StewardLOSSC2‑76513
5th456Martin TubbLeigh & Lowton455(DNF)14
6th417Mike DavisCalshot(DNC)33DNF15
7th407Colin SmedleyCalshot(DNC)68418
8th466Keith FisherCalshotDNS8‑9DNF23
9th414Mark JacksonLOSSC(DNC)97DNF25
10th463Peter BlackmanBurghfield(DNC)DNCDNCDNC39
10th450Steve SherwoodWarsash(DNC)DNCDNCDNC39

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