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Unicorn National Championships at Stone Sailing Club

by John Wade 7 Aug 2001 23:10 BST

Stone Sailing Club played host to this years Unicorn National Championships in conjunction with their Regatta week held between 30 July and 3 August 2001.

As forecast, Monday's racing started with light winds and temperatures in excess of 30C. Short tacking into the ebb tide put a premium on boat handling on the windward legs, with Stone sailor Peter Toft combining local knowledge to point the way for his visiting rivals. Toft took second place with Dan Jarman from Stokes Bay SC, the 2000 National Champion taking the gun for 1st place.

Race 2 started in a westerly F3 trapezing conditions, Gary Piper and Jarman picked up more breeze on the northern side of the estuary to build up a comfortable lead, only to be jeopardised by the easterly sea breeze trying to kick in. All went calm between the conflicting winds but Jarman and Piper managed to hang on to take 1st and 2nd place respectively.

Tuesday morning provided a steadier westerly F3 with John Wade from Weymouth & Portland SA heading the fleet around the first lap of race 4. After several place changes came the most notable performance of the week, Bob Higgins from Stone SC, who many consider to be the grand masters of the fleet scored a stunning victory, his first national win in 3 decades of Unicorn sailing. Taking the lead half way through lap 3 the expected shorten course did not come but Higgins extended his lead to take an emphatic win from Jarman. A series of excellent results and this win earned Higgins the Endeavour Plate.

By the afternoon the wind had increased to F4 and Jarman made the most of the fast reaches on the 'P' shaped course to lead home Phil Chester and Bob Dorks.

Following a layday midweek, Thursday dawned overcast but with a steady F3 Jarman extended his points cushion further by winning race 5 from Chester and Dorks.

As the wind went lighter the afternoon race was dominated by Chester and Dorks. Chester had struggled all week to find the winning form he showed at the previous weekends Weymouth Regatta, but finally scored a 1st followed by Dorks adding a 2nd to his consistent scoreline.

Competitors were treated to a moderate breeze and sun for the final race on Friday. Chester led out of the starting blocks but had mistaken a mark further up the course allowing the fleet to pass. Although clawing his way back through to 2nd place it was not enough to catch Jarman who retained the championship for the 2nd year running.

Event Photos: (click thumbnail for full image)

Overall Results:

PosHelmSail NoClub
1stDan Jarman1088Stokes Bay SC
2ndPhil Chester1094Stokes Bay SC
3rdBob Dorks1073Stone SC
Endeavour PlateBob Higgins1089Stone SC

More Information:

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