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Zhik Paris 2024

RS Elite Zhik UK National Championship at the Royal Southern Yacht Club

by Debbie Jarvis 9 Jul 05:53 BST 4-7 July 2024
Riff Raff, race 7 winner in the Zhik RS Elite UK Nationals at Hamble © Debbie Jarvis

The 2024 Zhik RS Elite UK National Championship saw Riff Raff sailed by Russell Peters, Greg Wells & Zeb Elliott executing a masterclass performance in the breezy conditions.

Race Officer Stuart Childerly & his amazing Royal Southern YC team, kicked off the championship in sunshine & 20 knots. Leading at the first mark was the 'guest' team sailing Russell's spare boat #7. Andrew Jameson, James Grant & Matt Alvarado looked like they were going to upset the 'regulars' but the problem with sailing someone else's spare boat is that all the good gear is on the other boat. Their event was marred by breakages but when the boat held together then they were flying. Riff Raff won the first race with Disco Inferno sailed by Matt Abbiss, Ali Hall & Nick Jones flying downwind & climbing to 2nd. Race two & the wind picked up big time, with gusts of over 30 knots, a third of the fleet scored DNF. After a great start Disco lead at mark 1 & extended their lead downwind, however, Riff Raff had the edge upwind. The course had been extended to 5 legs giving the fleet a shorter sail home but thereby allowing Riff Raff the extra time to overhaul Disco & take their 2nd win.

The forecast for day two was wet & windy with the wind dropping later so the start time was put back until 12.30. The rain had cleared & we raced in 14 - 20 knots, the race team executed three pitch perfect races. In race 3 it was Disco leading from start to finish with Craic Addict sailed by Simon, Paul & Kato Childs pressing their speed boost button to take 2nd. In race 4, Riff Raff dominated from the start leaving the chasing pack to battle it out. Team Childs again climbing through to 2nd. The final race of the day was another 5 leg course, so Riff Raff again revelled in the extra upwind time to win for the fourth time & extend their overall advantage, the chasing pack had a shake-up with #76 coming in 2nd.

Day three & the forecast was still 'lively' but hopefully a wind range in the mid 20's would be manageable for the fleet. We heard that the Etchell's had been cancelled & the Finn's at HISC, but we crossed our fingers & headed out of the River Hamble. All looked good as the expert race team laid the course. A few boats stayed ashore, a few turned round & sailed home, but for those who stayed out it was another exhilarating roller coaster ride. Disco were flying off the start & lead at the top, just in front of Riff Raff. But it was team Childs who climbed from 5th at the first mark through to first. The leaders were match racing their way up the 2nd beat which ended up as the final beat. The course was shortened at the top due to some 30 knot gusts arriving. AP over H was hoisted & the fleet headed to shore as the wind increased even further.

After an hour on shore it was clear that the gusts were not going to abate so the sailors sat on the balcony awaiting kick-off of the England game. The club set up a TV with tables for our gala dinner nearby. It took some cajoling to get us sat down but luckily the winning penalty shot was taken just before the food came out of the kitchen. After dinner Class Chairman Jo Hewitson introduced the 'mini' prize-giving with the highlight being the Duckham Trophy compered by Tom Hewitson who explained why the trophy is an oak board with a piece of green carpet stuck to it. There were many funny nominations but lifting the trophy was Sapphire sailed by David Nicholls, Carol Fiddaman & David Watson. It was a story to do with needing the loo & having to make do with a bucket!

Big black shower clouds were the order of the final day. Two races were completed in 14 - 20 knots with the wind increasing in time to propel the HISC boats home straight after racing. Riff Raff jumped the gun & came back to restart way behind the rest of the fleet. They were forced to head out right to keep their air clear. The wind went right & they came out smiling winning race 7 comfortably & thereby taking the title. Craic Addict took 2nd with Disco Inferno 3rd which closed the gap on the other potential podium places. As the wind picked up, #7 showed their form again leading from start to finish in the final race with #76 helmed by Tim Peters crossing the line 2nd.

The majority of the fleet headed home to HISC on a two sail reach after dropping a crew member off to get to shore with the race committee. The final points were tight but Matt, Ali & Nick held on to the runners up spot; team Childs took 3rd; More T Vicar sailed by Ossie, Mike & Tom have been the most consistent team this season in varied conditions, & finished 4th. Elite 76 sailed by Tim, Aids, Louis & Pasty (on different days) peaked when it mattered to finish 5th whilst Elite 7 sailed by Andrew, James & Matt took 6th despite counting a DNC which is pretty impressive.

A huge thanks to hosts Royal Southern Yacht Club, & Zhik for their support with prizes. Next year our Nationals are at Cowes when we join the Royal Thames 250th Anniversary Cowes Regatta.

Overall Results:

PosBoatSail NoHelm NameCrew 1Crew 2R1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8Pts
1stRiff Raff20Russell PetersGreg WellsZeb Elliott1131121(DNF)10
2ndDisco Inferno 3.261Matt AbbissAli HallNick Jones2213‑643520
3rdCraic Addict15Simon ChildsPaul ChildsKato Childs5722‑812423
4thMore T vicar67Ossie StewartMike McintyreTom Stewart33‑84435325
5thRS Elite 7676Adrian WilliamsTim PetersPasty Vigus‑175135286241
6thMusto30Andrew JamesonJames GrantMatt Alvarado4(DNC)66DNC54145
7thLazy Daisy66Andy PartingtonGareth EdwardsChris Witty765876‑9746
8thSoak Therapy100Tom HewitsonColin SmithJo Hewitson84993‑148647
9thVagrant65Toby StraussAidan MitchellRob Cruickshank697105(DNF)101057
10thFreebie Knot25Andrew ArchibaldPippa ArchibaldTom Payne911‑157111271269
11thUrafiki92James YearsleyJohn CostardIan Jubb14810‑179714971
12thAll the Gear107Neil FulcherChris RobertsBryan Haynes(DNF)DNC41110DNC11882
13thLite Bloo6Adrian WardTom DavidsonSarah Ward16101116169‑171492
14thEclipse44Elliot CaldwellSteve FisherMark Bowers10(DNF)DNF121211151392
15thCenturion101Jonathan HenryDan BeltonMark Stokes1212121515(DNC)121593
16thTheo89Steven HammondNigel HammondChris Hulb15(DNF)161313DNC1311100
17thBlind Squirrel83Bill BlankStuart PinchSharon Blank11(DNF)14141410DNFDNC101
18thSapphire69David NichollsDavid WatsonCarol Fiddaman13(DNF)DNF18171316DNF115

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