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Craftinsure 2023 LEADERBOARD

Craftinsure Wayfarer National Circuit at Shoreham Sailing Club

by Sam Pygall 21 May 14:16 BST 18-19 May 2024
Craftinsure Wayfarer National Circuit at Shoreham © Warwick Baker /

The Wayfarer Craftinsure National Circuit had a great Inlands event at Datchet Water in April, and the National Circuit continued at Shoreham Sailing Club for the Pre-National event on May 18-19. This event was generously supported by Craftinsure along with Hartley Boats, McNamara Sails and Allen Brothers.

Nine boats took part in the event, with eight of them being visitors, including the current national champion and recently crowned Inlands winner Andrew Wilson, who sailed with Tom Morris as his crew this time. John Clementson and Mel Titmus, the reigning National Circuit Champions, returned to the competition after missing the Inlands, and Michael McNamara and Simon Townsend, who have won many National, European and International titles, also joined the Circuit again. The racers were relaxed as they prepared and briefed, then sailed out to the race area with a light south-west wind of force 1-2. McNamara and Townsend showed pace from the first gun, were fast from the start and led all the way to make an impression on the field. Wilson and Morris followed closely and finished second and John and Mel were also quick from the start and came 3rd. The teams were close together across the field so starts and upwind and downwind boat-speed were very important factors for success.

The wind barely stayed up to fit in a second race on the first day. Andrew and Tom led from the windward mark for the whole race to take the lead after day one. Ian Foxwell and Sam Pygall made their first appearance in the top positions and came second, holding off McNamara and Townsend by a few seconds on the finish line. With the wind fading, the race team decided to end the day and the fleet went back to the clubhouse for a tasty chilli meal and some lively conversation before some brave fleet members went to their tents or cars to sleep well ready for the second day.

Day two started with a somewhat doubtful forecast with a conflicting land breeze from the shore and the possibility of a sea breeze from the south-west and/or south-east. Having lost a scheduled race the day before, the race team tried a first race with the land breeze still prevailing. Some good decision making from Wilson/Morris and McNamara/Townsend on the first beat resulted in these two teams breaking well ahead. Slowly the land breeze was getting weaker though and eventually disappeared completely which resulted in an abandonment of the 3rd race.

Luckily for the event, a sea breeze kicked in and allowed two races to be completed. The light winds meant tide was a consideration with a steady wind. John and Mel got this right and led at the windward mark. Some tough downwind sailing between McNamara and Townsend and local team Bill Whitney and John Shelton allowed Foxwell and Pygall to slip through to second. Foxwell and Pygall then made a move upwind to take a lead that they kept for the rest of the race and take a crucial win that moved them up in the overall standings. Wilson and Morris, the most consistent team so far, pulled through to second, holding off McNamara and Townsend. This set of results made it interesting for the final race of the series as it was getting quite tight across the fleet in terms of overall scores and the running of a fourth race meant that a discard would kick in.

The final race of the series started with a dramatic start, with a collision at the pin end that increasingly was important to win. The result of this was a clean start for Clementson and Titmus and penalty turns for Wilson and Morris. John and Mel took full advantage of winning the pin and led from start to finish. Foxwell and Pygall kept them under pressure the whole way round and came second to cap off a great day and McNamara and Townsend showed consistency to take another podium and indeed were the only team to podium in all four races.

As is becoming increasingly common at Wayfarer events and testament to the general competitiveness across the fleet, the calculators were needed to determine the final results, especially with four different race winning teams across the four races. For the first time, Foxwell and Pygall won the event on countback from Wilson and Morris having finished level on points and the consistent McNamara and Townsend team in third.

As part of the generous sponsorship of Allen Brothers this year, there was the award of vouchers to teams outside of the top 3 and the lucky recipients on this occasion were Bill and John, Nigel and Belinda O'Donnell and new circuit team Tim Wood and Sarah Elliott. Well done to these teams!

Lisa Whitney deserves a special mention for her tireless organisation of the event across all aspects including registration, camping, results and catering and to Philip Ayton and his race team for skilfully laying on four races across a weekend which was not blessed with an abundance of wind. Sam Pygall took the opportunity to thank Shoreham for hosting a great event as usual and promised to try and come back soon for another event.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4Pts
111170Ian FoxwellSam PygallBough Beech SC‑42125
211093Andrew WilsonTom MorrisDatchet Water SC212‑65
311321Michael McNamaraSimon TownsendRollesby Broad SC1‑3337
411101John ClementsonMel TitmusChipstead SC3‑6418
511120Guy MarksSam BonifaceBough Beech SC‑545413
610688Bill WhitneyWill Carroll/John SheltonShoreham SC‑756516
711448Timothy WoodSarah ElliottWalton & Frinton YC‑887722
811012Tim TownsendJacqueline TownsendMedway YC67(DNC)DNC23
911458Nigel O'DonnellBelinda O'DonnellSwarkestone SC‑998825

The next Craftinsure National Circuit is the Western Area Championships, held at Banbury on the 1st and 2nd June followed by the very exciting National Championships at Paignton between the 13-16th June. Hope to see you there!

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