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British 12sqM Sharpie National Championships 2024 at Wells Sailing Club

by James Case 28 May 18:12 BST 25-27 May 2024
British 12sqM Sharpie Nationals at Wells © Steve Leeding

The challenge of hosting a Championship over a three day Bank Holiday was duly delivered by Wells SC, however sea courses set 1.5 miles away in Holkham Bay required 0500 alarm calls for the first day's 0700 start time! The volunteer rescue crews cajoled and towed the 17-boat fleet to the course on time, despite a windless launch area.

After the over enthusiastic excitement of a general recall, the ever-welcome Dutch boats felt completely at home sailing in a gentle NE breeze on relatively flat water, leading the Brits by a distance of Brexit proportions! NED14 & NED145 comfortably delivered a double one, two. Third in both of the day's races were Tim Gibbs and Andrew Cracknell in GBR125.

Day 2 saw PRO Andy Turner set an ambitious sized course, with a cross tide beat inshore in a force 2-3 SE breeze. Daan Versteeg and Ton van Berkel in NED14 continued their dominance with a further two bullets, the chasing boats shuffled slightly, with Paddy Spink & Will Ellison in GBR9 getting up to speed with a second followed by NED145 Dennis van Vliet & Job Volwater in race 3, backed up with another second in race 4, with GBR125 once again in third.

The late arrival of boats to the course area made for a challenging return sail back to the club against a fast-falling Spring tide!

The final day brought the best conditions, with an offshore force 4 SW to greet the fleet, once the RIBs had hauled the fleet through the tricky sheltered Wells quayside route. Race 5 conditions delivered a much longer beat against the tide which suited GBR125, comfortably leading from start to finish. GBR9 continued to put a series together with another second, NED145 making up the top three.

The sixth and final race finishing positions do not tell the story of the late place changes. NED145 having aced the start and first beat to lead, was pursued by chasing pack whittling down their lead as the race was concluding.

A bold cross tide early tack on the final short beat to the finish by NED14 paid dividends to leapfrog from 4th at the mark to win! GBR9 consolidated with another second place, and Brancaster Staithe SC fleet captain James Nunn & Mark Whittaker in GBR136 enjoyed a creditable third.

Both Dutch boats recorded their discards during the final days racing, but their dominance earlier in the week had comfortably secured the top two places for the event.

Daan Versteeg & Ton van Berkel won the Spring Rice Trophy for the championship, followed by Dennis & Job in Second Place. Their enthusiasm and attendance are greatly appreciated by the British Sharpie fleet, both crews clearly enjoying the challenge of tidal sea course conditions they rarely experience in Holland.

The Sharpie constitution means that despite the Dutch dominance, the British Championship Trophy goes to the first British boat. Making a welcome return to the fleet, and crewed by his long time crew's son, Paddy Spink and Will Ellison in GBR9 took home the very familiar silverware to Brancaster Staithe SC, becoming 2024 British Sharpie Champions.

Thanks go to all the Wells SC members who delivered on every requirement for a successful championship, ensuring the volunteer shoreside catering and bar staff teams matched the sterling efforts of the race and rescue crews afloat.

Overall Results:
If you finished in the top ten at the Sharpie nationals then enter your Gear Guide information here

PosBoat nameSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1st Jan van GalenNED14Daan VersteegTonVSC1111‑415
2ndWodanNED145Dennis van VlietJob VolwaterVSC22323‑412
3rdAnnamarieGBR9Paddy SpinkWill EllisonBSSC542‑62215
4thWindspielGBR125Tim GibbsAndrew CracknellWSC33‑1131717
5thRockabyeGBR12Will GibbsCharlie OrtonWSC4‑9556626
6thRakkerGBR123James NunnMark WhittakerBSSC‑76675327
7thMaid of ArnhemGBR77Chris GibbsSam MooreWSC674‑107529
8thSiriusGBR138Sam NeilMarcus FlintBSSC‑115749833
9thSkybirdGBR127Adam AnthonyGus Marshall‑AndrewsBSSC8898‑111043
10thCapellaGBR128Alex SmithPaul BeachallBOSC1010‑1298946
11thMirandaGBR106Bruce KempBill KnightsBSSC1213812‑141358
12thSouthern CrossGBR111Tim AshbyCharlie BorthwickWSC‑13121013131159
13thFuutNED226Richard MulderijAlex MulderijWSC911‑1919101966
14thPoelsnipGBR135Keith PainterRosie PainterWSC‑17151414121267
15thCassiopeaGBR75Ben GoakesEllie BeachallBOSC15161311‑191973
16thCymbaGBR118Simon NealeDarnell EmpsonWSC14141515‑191976
17thTern IIIGBR95Dave Pentney SmithSally WynneWSC16171616‑191983

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