Fifty Wayfarer teams from Britain, Ireland and Denmark gathered at Arun YC, Littlehampton, for their National Championships over the weekend of 16th to 18th of June. The weather was fine and sunny and the wind forecast was favourable certainly for the first two days, although the forecast winds for Sunday were looking a little less promising. ...read more
Arun YC and its volunteers put on a fantastic event. Race officer, Tom Rusbridge, provided strong and stable leadership to his team on the committee and mark laying boats. The course was laid accurately each day providing an even start line, the opportunity to benefit from both sides of the beat and good down wind and spinnaker reaching legs.
Off the water, the social events were well supported too, with the live music on Friday and Saturday evenings a particular highlight (especially Chas Hammond and Richard Hartley’s karaoke duet).
It was good to see the two major sponsors of the event, Hartley Boats and Craftinsure, represented not only in the promotional materials but also on the water, as Richard and Mark Hartley and Mark and Alex Lee also competed.
Friday brought the firmest winds, a solid (for the most part) 12 to 15 knots from the west. The practice race, on a windward leeward course, was won by Bill Whitney and John Shelton from Shoreham SC, and they went on to win the first points race as well. The second race was won by Michael McNamara and Simon Townsend, the pre-event favourites, from Rollesby Broad SC.
It wasn’t all plain sailing for the other top competitors however, who were touted in our preview as being ones to watch. Len Jones and Peter Mitchell from Medway YC were leading the first race for a time until a brief swim put them into recovery mode. Andrew and Tom Wilson from Datchet water SC also suffered (as did others) in the second race as they plummeted from second place to the teens after a windshift caught them out. Another favoured team, Richard Stone and Catherine Gore from Medway YC, also had a day to forget and were lying in the late teens overall at the end of day one, well below their reasonable expectations.
Overnight leaders were McNamara/Townsend followed by Whitney/Shelton and Roger Challis and Mark Johnston from Waldringfield SC.
Saturday’s winds were from a similar direction but lighter at 7 to 10 knots. Originally three races were scheduled but because of an increasingly light wind forecast for Sunday, a landslide vote at the briefing brought forward a fourth race. Four races were duly completed over a triangle and sausage course.
McNamara/Townsend won races three and four and consolidated their overnight lead. A remarkable transformation for Stone/Gore brought them the runners up spot in both of these races improving their overall position at a stroke. Whitney/Shelton and Wilson/Wilson and Challis/Johnston remained resolutely consistent. Other frontrunners fell by the wayside in a coalition of chaos. Jones/Mitchell collected a black flag in race four while a mid-series crisis saw the decline and fall of Dave Roberts and Mike Bryant from Bough Beech SC from the leading positions. Colin May and Sarah Wallis from Parkstone YC, on the other hand, started a series of top ten results which would improve their position overall.
The fifth race could be described as the pivotal one of the event. Whatever the polls were now saying about Jones/Mitchell’s prospects of success, they defied the odds by leading from the start and winning the race by a country mile. Behind them, McNamara/Townsend were buried mid fleet at the end of the first beat. They didn’t hesitate to press the button, however, and improved their position leg by leg to finish sixth, a discard for the moment, but a counter against future disaster. All was not well elsewhere, however. In trying to improve his overnight position, Class boatbuilder and sponsor, Richard Hartley contrived to “do a Nathan” [Outteridge] and fell off his boat during a tack. Hoping the incident was unrecorded, Richard was nevertheless warmly reminded of his folly at the prize-giving.
Race six was also won comfortably by Jones/Mitchell putting them back in contention, but normal service was resumed behind them as they were chased around the course by McNamara/Townsend and Stone/Gore. The Wilson’s chances of overall victory were dealt a blow by collecting a black flag of their own.
Overnight party leaders were the Medway crew and others, first on the dance floor and leaders of a 50 person conga around the clubhouse which collected the race officer as it went by.
Overnight leaders on the water were McNamara/Townsend, Whitney/Shelton, Challis/Johnston and Jones/Mitchell. By now McNamara/Townsend were overwhelming favourites to retain their crown, but a last-minute slide on Sunday could still see them deposed.
Sunday morning came with desert heat, clear blue skies and muzzy heads for some. Undeterred, the fleet rigged and prepared to head to the battlefield. As feared, however, the weather gods were saying their piece. A gentle breeze was struggling to settle and the sea breeze was not kicking in. Some boats launched but was sent back while the rest of the fleet was held ashore. After waiting as long as he sensibly could, the race officer pulled the plug on proceedings, provisional results were made final and we could proceed to the prize-giving.
Wizards though they are (but not mutton headed old mugwumps) Michael McNamara and Simon Townsend were crowned the Wayfarer National Champions for 2017. According to the records, this is Michael’s 19th time as Champion since 1986 (“You’re joking, not another one”, Brenda from Bristol was heard to exclaim) and Simon has been his crew for all but one of these. Congratulations to them, the deserved champions who succeed on conservative starting strategies and superior speed and boat handling skills around the course.
In his victory speech, Michael thanked the organising committee and host club for their hard work in putting on such a good championship. They will be a hard act to follow.
|Pos||Sail No||Fleet||Helm||Crew||Boat Name||Club||R1||R2||R3||R4||R5||R6||Pts|
|1||10648||Gold||Michael McNamara||Simon Townsend||The Poacher||Rollesby Broad||3||1||1||1||-6||2||8|
|2||10688||Gold||Bill Whitney||John Shelton||Big Dipper||Shoreham||1||6||-7||6||4||4||21|
|3||10992||Gold||Roger Challis||Mark Johnston||Revival||Waldringfield||6||2||3||7||3||-16||21|
|4||11067||Gold||Len Jones||Pete Mitchell||Rumours||Medway||8||12||4||(BFD)||1||1||26|
|5||11093||Gold||Andrew Wilson||Tom Wilson||Restless||Datchet Water||2||8||5||3||14||(BFD)||32|
|6||10768||Gold||Colin May||Sarah Wallis||Pork Pie Chaser||Parkstone||4||-20||8||8||2||10||32|
|7||11050||Gold||Guy Marks||Melanie Titmus||Absolute Fiasco||Bough Beech||7||5||-21||10||7||6||35|
|8||10974||Gold||Richard Stone||Catherine Gore||Medway||-21||17||2||2||12||3||36|
|9||10936||Gold||Barry Wolfenden||Alan Ritchie||India||Bough Beech||9||3||6||4||15||(BFD)||37|
|10||10673||Gold||David Roberts||Mike Bryant||LBV||Bough Beech||5||4||-17||17||13||9||48|
|11||11170||Gold||Brian Lamb||Sam Pygall||Whizo||Wilsonian||12||7||9||13||-17||12||53|
|12||10947||Gold||Stewart Coltart||Peter Dilly Catriona Coltart||Quicksilver||Medway||20||10||11||-21||5||13||59|
|13||11124||Gold||Meilke Frank||Jens Riber||Langi||Ho Bugt Sejlklub||16||-21||12||11||9||11||59|
|14||10918||Gold||Richard Hartley||Mark Hartley||Just chance||RYA||-28||9||22||5||20||5||61|
|15||11012||Gold||Tim Townsend||Jacqueline Townsend||Intermezzo||Medway||10||14||-19||15||19||8||66|
|16||10686||Gold||Brian McKenzie||Elizabeth McKenzie||Hurcules Hound||Medway||15||11||16||14||-32||15||71|
|17||11152||Silver||Monica Schaefer||Miriam McCarthy||Lakka||Greystones||13||-38||25||26||21||7||92|
|18||7110||Gold||Trevor Fisher||Emily Watt||Apple||East Down||42||22||10||9||11||(BFD)||94|
|19||11119||Silver||Ben Davies||Olivia Davies||Second Chance||Aldeburgh||19||-30||13||20||29||17||98|
|20||11118||Gold||John Goudie||John Hewat||Happy Ever After||Wilsonian||11||-29||23||19||27||19||99|
|21||10828||Silver||Derek Lambert||Sue Risbridger||Nutcracker||Datchet Water||(RET)||18||14||37||10||24||103|
|22||10906||Gold||Ian Clarke||Jeremy Shinton||Papillon||Bartley||-27||13||20||25||23||22||103|
|23||10616||Gold||Mark Lee||Alex Lee||Risky Business||Broxbourne||14||16||32||16||25||(BFD)||103|
|24||10614||Silver||Mark Penny||Gail Penny||Loose Knots||Medway||18||24||29||22||-35||18||111|
|25||10018||Silver||John Turner||Elain Vogan||Anamcara||Ramor||32||25||30||12||16||(BFD)||115|
|26||11204||Silver||Mike Shallow||Judith Shallow||Kite Runner||Orford||-31||28||15||29||30||20||122|
|27||10803||Silver||Jonathan Christie||Simon Harrington||No Strings Attached||Aldeburgh||22||-34||24||27||26||28||127|
|28||11183||Silver||Mike Weighill||Carl Martin||Nomad||Swarkstone||30||15||18||35||-37||30||128|
|29||10706||Silver||Mike Pearce||Steve Ash||Plane White||Blackwater||25||33||-37||30||18||23||129|
|30||11129||Silver||Paul Hughes||Mark Nicholls||YOLO||Arun||-36||19||27||33||22||29||130|
|31||11189||Silver||Nigel O’Donnell||Balinda O’Donnell||Guinness||Swarkstone||23||27||26||32||-38||25||133|
|32||10935||Silver||Margie Crawford||Robin Anderson||Mistral II||East Down||33||23||-35||23||34||21||134|
|33||11000||Silver||William Cleverley||Liz Feibusch||Cassie||Orford||29||-40||34||39||24||14||140|
|34||10596||Silver||Gordon Jess||Rachel Bevan||Hart?Beat||East Down||-35||35||28||18||33||26||140|
|35||10601||Gold||Jamie Wheatley||Hector Wheatley||Hitch?Hiker||Aldeburgh||17||32||-42||31||36||27||143|
|36||10798||Silver||Peter Redshaw||Janette Redshaw||Cair?vie||Aldeburgh||34||26||-41||24||28||31||143|
|37||10716||Silver||Chas Hammond||Mandy Hammond||ZigZag||Shoreham||26||36||31||28||31||(BFD)||152|
|38||11167||Silver||Kenneth Underhill||Mark Perriton||Whataripper||Aldeburgh||24||42||40||(BFD)||40||32||178|
|39||10710||Silver||Giles Vincent-Wright||Stuart Hall||Quiver||Royal Harwich||(DNC)||DNC||33||34||8||BFD||179|
|40||404||Silver||Rodney Hall||Janet Hall||Sink the Pink||East Down||37||31||-44||38||41||33||180|
|41||28||Bronze||Chris Tyler||Mark Tyler||Chreselen||Emsworth Slipper||39||37||36||36||-42||35||183|
|42||10916||Silver||Philip Powell||Mike Board||Sapphire||Parkstone||38||-44||38||41||39||34||190|
|43||10939||Bronze||David Nixon||Paddy Murphy||Black Beauty||Greystones||40||41||39||40||-44||38||198|
|44||376||Bronze||Simon Nicholls||Andy Rigg||Moody Blue||Arun||41||39||-43||42||43||37||202|
|45||11117||Bronze||Robert Boughton||Ed Kerr||Wanderlust||Redsmere||43000||43||45||(RET)||45||36||212|
|46||10963||Silver||Elise Beket||Evert Beket||DoeiDoei||Vremdijck||(DNC)||DNC||DNC||DNC||DNC||DNC||260|
|46||1162||Bronze||Kate Mellor||John Mellor||Aeowen||Notts County||(DNC)||DNC||DNC||DNC||DNC||DNC||260|
|460||8598||Bronze||Jeremy Norman||Chris Codling||Gandalf||Yorkshire Dales||(DNC)||DNC||DNC||DNC||DNC||DNC||260|