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MYA RG65 National Championship 2023 at West Kirby Sailing Club

by Peter Baldwin 27 Sep 2023 19:09 BST 23-24 September 2023
MYA RG65 Nationals 2023 at West Kirby © Dave Williams

Fifteen RG65 sailors finally made it to the starting line for the first race of this years RG65 Nationals being held at West Kirby Marine lake after moving the event from the Birkenhead Lake.

It had been hoped for a fleet of nearly 20 boats, but due to a variety of reasons some boats did not enter, others dropped out at the last minute due to health reasons and Peter Baldwin opted out to run the event as Race Officer.

It was a tricky first day at West Kirby for both the sailors and Race Officer alike. After setting up a proposed course prior to the briefing with what appeared to be a steady wind direction, the wind had swung through nearly 90 degrees during the briefing and so had to be reset. This caused a 20 minute delay to the start of racing, which got under way using the outer walkway as the control area. As the day progressed, the 6 to 12 knot wind kept the Race Officer and his mark laying team busy with changes or potential changes after every few races. There were two further major changes in course area and the minor changes continued even up to the final Race (16) which was completed by 18:00hrs, resulting in a slow race pace. by this time the course was now using the Promenade as a control area. A mix of top suit swing rigs and low aspect full sized A rigs were used on day 1 as the breeze varied in strength. The day was rounded out with Graham Elliott sailing an Electronica leading the event, with Spaniard Victor Izquierdo sailing an Ivy in second and Tobias Laux also sailing an Ivy in third.

Day 2 dawned with 14 knots, gusting 20 from a SSE direction with a forecast set to move this to a Southerly and increase in strength at some point during the morning to be 20 knots with gusts of up to 30. As the wind varied in strength, there were a number of rig changes using B and C rigs, as everyone tried to make the best of the breeze. Sometimes, unfortunately, boats became over canvassed and racing was temporarily halted for a rig change at the end of a race.

At least it was mild in the breeze and there was only a small amount of rain most of it falling during an early lunch break. Course changes today were also minimal as the breeze probably only changed in direction by 20 degrees and so all racing could be conducted from the good vantage point provided by the promenade. Graham Elliott (Electronica) continued where he left off after the first day and had a dominating day winning 9 of the 15 races sailed. There were 4 race wins for Victor Izquierdo (Ivy), plus one each for Rohan Williams (Uno) and Bill Culshaw (Ivy). Tobias Laux (Ivy) also had a very consistent day, but without a win to his name. Unfortunately the combined effects of the strong winds, leaking boats with salt water led to a good number of retirements from racing during the day, so that having started the day with a potential 12 boats racing, by the end of racing there were only 6 boats in each of the last 4 races.

The final result gave the Championship to Graham in first, well ahead of Victor in second who narrowly beat Tobias into third place. In his winners speech, Graham thanked the sailors for making the event enjoyable and thanked all of the volunteers from the club who gave up their time over the weekend, most especially to Peter Baldwin who also dropped out of sailing to run the event, all supported once again by wife Judith.

Overall Results:

PosSkipperSail NoClub/CityHullPts
1Graham Elliott9Birkenhead RS&PCElectronica47
2Victor Izquierdo68ESPIvy102
3Tobias Laux161Gosport MYBCIvy106
4Rohan Williams47Datchet Water RSCUno135
5Dorian Crease70Two Islands RYCUno146
6Chris Elliott74Lincoln RSCUno147
7Bill Culshaw21Birkenhead RS&PCIvy157
8John Brierley84Birkenhead RS&PCUno211
9Alan Bennett67Etherow MBCScurry263
10Vernon Appleton66Datchet Water RSCSkinny283
11John Tushingham51Keighley & District MESSliver Mk1301
12Liz Tushingham71Keighley & District MESScurry309
13Alan Watkinson23Birkenhead RS&PCUno315
14Wayne Stobbs42Gosport MYBCUno351
15John Carlin97Birkenhead RS&PCUno426

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