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K1 Travellers Trophy 2023

by Hilly King 31 Oct 2023 12:17 GMT
K1 2023 Travellers Trophy prizes © K1 Class

Having just finished the K1 Travellers Series at Broxbourne Sailing Club with another fabulous Open Meeting held on Saturday 28th September it is time for me to look back over the brilliant Season the K1 fleet has enjoyed, and not only celebrate the success stories, but thank those that work so hard in the background to make the Open Events a joy to be part of for everyone.

Firstly thank you to Geoff King for putting together a really enjoyable varied programme of events which takes place across the whole country and supports those clubs who are keen to promote the K1 and see numbers increase on the water. A similar thank you goes to the Class Captains and Clubs who work tirelessly to provide great racing, rescue cover and personnel at the venues to make our time with them so enjoyable.

As always the season starts with the RYA Dinghy Show held in Farnborough which was incredibly successful again for the K1 Class with a packed stand most of the weekend and interest from literally all over the world. Thanks to all who helped not only put the show together but gave up significant periods of time covering the stand and imparting invaluable insight regarding the K1.

The Travellers Trophy racing started this year at Datchet Water with the National Inland Championships. Held in chilly conditions with wind variations from force 3-5 which ended up a great tussle between Ben and Simon Hawkes. Ben was victorious, with Simon second and Richard Sims completing the podium. It was clear even at this early stage of the season that very close racing throughout the fleet was going to be the order of the year. In April with the weather improving, lighter winds greeted the K1's as they moved North to Carsington Water for the Northern Area Championships where Richard won another close event closely followed by Ian Tinker and Geoff.

May saw the fleet descend on Paignton for our Southern Area Championships which were held as part of the POSH event. Bright sunshine and light to moderate winds saw a complete domination of the event by the K1s filling seven of the top ten overall positions. Simon this time gave a master class winning every race with Ian Jay finishing second and Jeremy Hudson third.

Early June and again bathed in sunshine the fleet descended to Kent for the K1 Long Distance race which was run as part of the Medway Marathon. Medway Yacht Club were keen to run the full Marathon course in medium winds which was a triumph as all the K1s finished within two minutes of each other after four hours of great racing. Hilly King was the winner this time followed by Ian Duke and Jeremy in third.

The following week we were in Exmoor enjoying very mixed conditions at Wimbleball. The wind strength varied from nothing to a force 3 and distinctly less sunshine, (I guess it was too good to last!) Ian Jay put on a masterclass to win the event from Jeremy and Chris Dyer in third.

The Midland Championship was held in July with light to moderate winds and baking sunshine at Rutland Water. This event was a battle royal between Hilly and Jeremy both tying on points with two wins and two second places, however Jeremy won on his last race position again demonstrating how close the events have been this year, Ian Duke finished third.

So going into the National Championships we have had a different winner at each of the events, showing the strength of competition in the K1 fleet. The Mountbatten Centre in Plymouth hosted the Championships and on our first day we unfortunately had a major medical emergency on the water.

Words cannot express my thanks to everyone from The Mountbatten Centre and K1 fleet who worked as one to provide a positive outcome in an extremely difficult situation. I believe in that instance the whole fleet became exceptionally close as a collective and bonded like an extended family. We will all certainly move forward as a unit making the K1 Class camaraderie very special indeed. On the water the competition was exceptional with close racing throughout the fleet. One mistake could easily cost you multiple places so concentration in the light to moderate winds was key. The place changing throughout the week made for an exciting series with only Andrew Wilson winning more than one race in the six race Championships. Our very worthy National Champion was Simon, with Ben Flower second, Ian Jay third, Andrew Wilson fourth and Jeremy fifth.

The last Open Meeting of the 2023 Travellers Trophy was sailed at Broxbourne which is always great fun and well supported. Again the racing proved incredibly close and indeed the Open Meeting was only decided on the last off wind leg to the finish, a wonderful climax to a fabulous year. Broxbourne was won by Andrew, second Simon Patterson and third Geoff.

Jeremy despite injuring himself a few days before the Broxbourne Open had already secured the 2023 Travellers Trophy, with Hilly second and Geoff third.

We all cannot wait now for 2024. So as always we start at the RYA Dinghy Show in Farnborough on 24th/25th February 2024. Please drop along to the stand and say hello, you too may catch the K1 bug.

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