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Ker 11.3 Nationals at Royal Southern Yacht Club Overall

by Philip Crebbin 1 Oct 2001 09:26 BST

The first spectacular season for the Race1 Ker 11.3s finished with the inaugural National Championships of this exciting class, run by the Royal Southern Yacht Club on September 29th and 30th. All of the first seven boats competed except unfortunately for Michael White’s On A High, which had been one of the star performers of the class during the summer.

On the first day Chief Race Officer David Arnold set 3 windward leewards, each of 3 laps. The legs were quite short for these fast boats which put a premium on boat handling and tactics. The wind was initially quite light and shifty from the south. The first race for the Quantum Sails (Parker and Kay) prize saw Cracker (David Pinner) get the shifts right to lead at the first mark, followed by I-Site (Robbie Cameron-Davies) and Kerisma (Chris Bull). Cracker increased her lead over the next two laps while the rest of the fleet had a close battle, but on the last run Cracker fell into a light patch, then went round the less favourable leeward gate mark and saw both I-Site and Kerisma get through to finish first and second. Fair Do’s V (John Shepherd) was fourth.

The second race for the Hyde Sails prize saw the wind building to 12 to 14 kts from the south-west. Kerisma, helmed by the 11.3 designer Jason Ker with Graham Sunderland as tactician, led at the first mark followed by I-Site and then El Gringo (Nick Hartshorn with Phil Crebbin as tactician), the latter on its first day out sailing. Kerisma maintained her lead from I-Site throughout the race, but the fight behind them was quite intense. Eventually Minnie the Moocher (Anthony Richards) got ahead of El Gringo to finish third.

The wind increased to 16 to 18 kts for the third race for the Yachts and Yachting prize which made the very close racing even more exciting. I-Site, helmed by Dave Lenz with Kevin Sproul enjoying his first ride on an 11.3 as tactician, led at the first mark followed by El Gringo and Minnie the Moocher. While I-Site established a safe lead, there was a real battle for second place, which Minnie looked like winning for a while. However, at the third windward mark Minnie managed to get badly hooked up with it, dragging it off downwind. This allowed El Gringo back into second with Fair Do’s V third. Kerisma had a bad first leg and only managed to recover to fourth.

At the end of the first day, the Vision Yachts (builders of the 11.3) prize for the day went to I-Site on 4 points, with Kerisma in second with 7 points and El Gringo third with 11 points, one point ahead of Fair Do’s V. El Gringo was then in the lead for the Owner Driver trophy ahead of Minnie and Cracker.

Race four for the B & G / Diverse prize on the second day was a longer race using regular Solent marks. There was a strong southerly wind gusting to 24kts with a forecast of more to come. The first leg to Gurnard saw El Gringo show really good speed to lead followed by Minnie and Fair Do’s V. There was then a gusty asymmetric spinnaker leg to Seascope which caused some problems for the less practised crews. I-Site took the lead followed by Minnie with El Gringo now in third. After going upwind to Prince Consort there was another asymmetric spinnaker leg to Bainbridge. Kerisma did well on this leg to pull through to third ahead of Fair Do’s V and positions then remained the same to the finish, with I-Site first and Minnie second.

This confirmed the overall win for the Race1 ChampionshipTrophy and Vision Yachts crew prizes for I-Site and second place for Kerisma, but there was then a tie between Minnie, El Gringo and Fair Do’s V which would have been resolved in that order. However, Fair Do’s V retired from the race because she had been sailing with an extra person and so was over the crew weight limit. This brought El Gringo up one place in the race so that she took 3rd overall and won the C Spars Owner Driver Championship Trophy by one point from Minnie, a great result for Nick Hartshorn’s first weekend sailing his new boat. Winner of the statuesque bird trophy (described as a male chicken) for the best deliberate mistake was Minnie for the attempt to moor to the windward mark in Race 3.

Event Photos: (©: Jeff Morgan, click thumbnail for full picture)

Overall Results:

PosBoat NameOwnerPtsOwner Driver Pos
1stI-SiteRobbie Cameron-Davies5 
2ndKerismaChris Bull10 
3rdEl GringoNick Hartshorn151st
4thMinnie the MoocherAnthony Richards162nd
5thFair Do’s VJohn Shepherd19 
6thCrackerDavid Pinner223rd

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