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K1 class at the POSH regatta at Paignton Sailing Club

by Jeremy Hudson 14 May 11:49 BST 11-12 May 2024
K1 class at the POSH regatta at Paignton © PSC

The K1 fleet made a welcome return to one of its favourite venues of Torbay, for the POSH regatta (Paignton Open for Single Handers). 2023 POSH served up perfect conditions for the K1s, with consequent excellent results (such are the vagaries of handicapping, that some classes are always favoured in certain conditions!), so reputations were firmly on the line for 2024!

The earlier forecasts predicted perfect conditions of bright sunshine, warmth and winds in the mid teens... As often found, the forecasts lied and while it was warm and sunny, the winds were light and patchy. A challenge to all, in the politest sense, but perhaps playing into the hands of the K1 fleet as favoured conditions?

POSH always attracts a large and competitive fleet with numerous current and past national champions in various classes and 2024 was no exception with many quality helms on the entry list. The K1s were also running their own travellers trophy open meeting within POSH such that as well as the overall handicap results, K1 results would also be extracted for individual class results which, as shown in 2023, this can change the order from the POSH results.

Could Simon Hawkes be challenged? What about the upstart Andrew Wilson? (current Wayfarer National and inland champion as well as former OK national champion.)

With the forecast not looking great for Sunday the excellent PRO of Nick Ripley chose to try and run 4 races on Saturday which he did to great effect, just in time as the wind was dying at the end of race 4. The fleet launched into a steady gradient wind from the NE of 6-8 kts but the building sea breeze threatened to fight it all the way.

Race 1 and Simon Hawkes led the way, with Andrew and Jeremy hot on his heels. Chris Swallow was also showing amazing boat speed and firmly in the mix. All the K1's were battling it out with each other and the other classes in the handicap fleet, including Liz le Mare in her first big multi class open event. Simon hung on for the race win followed by Andrew and Jeremy. This was to be the first of many second places for Andrew!

Race 2 followed in similar conditions with similar results but this time Chris put Jeremy firmly in his place by rounding out the podium. Race 3 started in a little more wind and Richard Sims and Ian Duke woke up and went flying up the first beat. Unfortunately the wind softened again and they were reeled in by Simon, Andrew and Jeremy who finished in that order.

Race 4 and Simon was obviously feeling complacent. Jeremy took a gamble and headed out to sea looking for more breeze and luckily found some and was 100M clear round the windward mark. He managed to hold off the closing pack in the dying breeze and was very grateful for the shortened course resulting in Jeremy, Andrew and Ian at the finish with Simon picking up a fourth! Would Simon live to regret this uncharacteristic result?

Overnight and overall it was a K1 1,2,3 in the overall results but many other classes very close behind on handicap, so all to play for on the Sunday. A very nice curry was provided by the host club and a great evening of banter and fun prevailed.

Sunday morning dawned with much tired bodies, some sore heads and some pessimism regarding the forecast.... But the tea and bacon butties were great.

The glorious sunshine prevailed and the PRO was confident in there being enough wind to complete all racing and went out to sea to search for it. His optimism was rewarded with a Solid 6kts slowly veering to the South.

Race 5 arrived and there was even some hard hiking up the first beat. These conditions again suited Richard and Ian, who shot out of the blocks to a strong lead. Ian went onto win, but Simon managed to overall Richard for second place and Jeremy in fourth.

For the last race, Simon lent his boat to local young gun sailor Luca Mitchell (who had broken his Aero again!), weighing in at less weight than our keel! In the very light breeze, with his skill, local knowledge and lack of ballast, he led from start to finish, just managing to hold off Andrew and Richard.

So to the results and there was lots of doubts as to final placings in both Handicap and K1 fleets. Had we managed to hold off the charging Phantoms and Blazes? Had Simon in fact been unseated in the K1 fight?

Well in the end, for POSH is was narrowly a K1 podium of Simon, Andrew and Jeremy. Another great achievement for the class who once again benefitted from their perfect handicap conditions. This will clearly change next year if they manage to get any decent wind for the event!

For the K1 open, we had Simon and Andrew both on 9 points! And so it came down to tie break in Simon's favour by virtue of his three 1st places. Jeremy rounded out the podium. The Veterans Trophy went to Richard Sims, the Seniors to Ian Duke and the Masters to Gordon Keyworth. Also congrats go to our first lady helm in her first multi class open, Liz le Mare, a very respectful 33rd out of 57 and improving all weekend.

Many thanks to Paignton for providing such a fun and well run event and we look forward to returning for another battle on the English Riviera in September for our Nationals, next door in Brixham.

Overall Results:

PosSailHelmSailing ClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1st185Simon HawkesCastle Cove11142(DNS)9
2nd97Andrew WilsonDatchet2222‑5210
3rd120Jeremy HudsonFrensham34314‑515
4th180Richard SimsCarsington‑65453320
5th170Ian DukeDatchet5‑6631621
6th181Chris SwallowBurton435‑66422
7th129Gordon KeyworthN/A7877(DNS)1140
8th53Liz La MarePorchester‑99997741
9th98Cedric JakobsenDatchet8788(DNS)DNC42
10th1850Luca MitchellPaignton(DNS)DNCDNCDNCDNC145

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