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Stewart Brewing Squib UK National Championships 2024 at Royal Forth Yacht Club - Day 1

by Vincent Delany 17 Jun 16:56 BST 15-21 June 2024
Stewart Brewing Squib UK Nationals at Royal Forth Yacht Club Day 1 © John Robertson

When the weather forecasters talk about light winds, the heavyweights of the Squib fleet groan. And today, in The Royal Forth Yacht Club, there was quite a lot of groaning, until the Squibs got afloat.

In the practice race, PRO Howard Steavenson was given a hard time by the fleet. We never know whether the Practice Race is a practice for the Race Committee or for the competitors. Today, in about 6 knots of wind from the west, the Squibs were too hasty, and there were four attempts to start the practice race. Each time a bunch (helped by a flooding tide) near the 'unmanned' pin mark broke the line some 20 seconds before the gun, so the PRO had no option to pull the fleet back.

For the first race of the series, the wind had dropped to about 5 knots with the remains of a chop which made for challenging sailing. Dick Batt and Pete Richards in the oldest boat of the fleet 'Squib' starting near the pin mark started in clean air sailing about five degrees lower than most of the fleet. This enabled him to pull clear of the fleet along with Mike Hughes and Gary Caterall in 'Alexa' and one or two others who headed out to the middle of the Firth. The wind held firm for most of the first beat, and 'Alexa' rounded first followed by Tom Jeffcoate and Mark Hogan and 'Squib'.

On the second beat the wind pressure collapsed, and the boats sailing nearest the shore avoided the worst of the tide and held a 3 knot breeze. Unfortunately for the 'Alexa' crew from South Caernarvonshire Y.C. they repeated teir tactics which had favoured them in the first race, but they fell victim of the change of tide and failed to cover the Squibs behind.

For another lap and a half of the windward-leeward course, 'RicO'Shea' held the lead from sailmaker Batt in 'Squib'. These two pulled away from the rest of the twenty-nine boat fleet.

Following the racing all the discussion was about the tide which was flooding for the practice race and was ebbing for the first championship race which was held in bright sunshine. Racing continues until Friday.

Results after Day 1:

PosBoatSailNoClubHelmCrewR1Pts
1RicO'Shea136South Caernarvonshire YCMark HoganTom Jeffcoate11
2Squib11Royal Victoria YCDick BattPeter Richards22
3Spoof811Royal Corinthian YCMicky WrightAlexandra Porteous33
4Croc855Waveney and Oulton Broad YCChris JordanGillian Jordan44
5Willpower832Royal Forth YCWill DaviesKevan Gibb55
6Alexa444South Caernarvonshire YCMike HughesGary Caterall66
7Quickstep III820Royal North of Ireland YCRoss NolanGordon Patterson77
8Kitten85South Caernarvonshire UCJamie PopeJames Pritchard88
9By The Lee868Royal Corinthian YCJason PhelpsJo Tribe99
10Alchemy800Royal Yorkshire YCGerard DysonTony Saltonstall1010
11White Magic828Royal Torbay YCDavid WinesKeith Davies1111
12Flare67Royal Forth YCDerek GibbAlistair Reid1212
13Elevation837Humber Yawl ClubRobert SmalesPeter Wood1313
14Lady Penelope819Royal Corinthian YCMalcolm HutchingsAndy Carley1414
15Magic Flute805Royal Forth YCMark BradshawRobin Jarvis1515
16Moonstone96South Caernarvonshire YCMalcolm BlackburnSteve Allso1616
17Guy Fawkes72Royal Corinthian YCPhillip AspinallFiona Huchison1717
18Crossfire797Haven Ports YCPatrick WiltonMike Taylor1818
19Discord91HPYCDavid PinnerJonno Baker1919
20Harry VI908South Caernarvonshire YCMike BuddMark Thompson2020
21Winkles Retreat881Felixtow Ferry Boatyard LtdAndrew MoorePeter Hallinan2121
22Riverdance740Royal Tay YCMalcolm WorsleyDanielle Worsley2222
23Dry Run842Royal Forth YCCharles MortonFiona Drennan2323
24Shifts and Giggles848Royal Corinthian YCMark FlynnJonathon Beale2424
25Dream On789South Caernarvonshire YCBrian HollandRichard Roberts2525
26Hera158Royal Forth YCMichal TaskerMarco Bauder2626
27Black Pig874Royal Corinthian YCBen LuddongtonBill Wright2727
28Femme Fatale24Lough Derg YC & Royal St George YCVincent DelanyJosh St John2828
29Kachina526Portsmouth SCJames VineerTunca Obuz2929

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