Craftinsure Wayfarer National Circuit Finale at Bough Beech Sailing Club 11-12 November 2023
by Sam Pygall 15 Nov 11:20 GMT11-12 November 2023
The 2023 Craftinsure Wayfarer National Circuit concluded over the weekend of the 11-12 November 2023 with the traditional “Finale” hosted by Bough Beech Sailing Club, a firm favourite amongst the Wayfarer racing fraternity.
The event brought a competitive 2023 Wayfarer Racing season for this all weather, all crew weight boat to a suitable conclusion following circuit events at Datchet, West Oxfordshire, Parkstone, Medway, Dabchicks, Blackwater and Blithfield and opens at Banbury, Waldringfield and Aldeburgh.
The 13 strong fleet of locals and travellers was comprised of a small but elite selection of several form teams of the year, including the 2023 National champions, Medway and Blackwater event winners Andrew and Tom Wilson, multiple 2023 event winners and 2022 Finale winners John Clementson and Mel Titmus and Martin and Donna in the immaculate “woodie” 88. We also had another wooden boat on the start-line in the shape of Colin and Lexie Goodman, runners-up at the recent open meeting at Blackwater and the “family competition within the competition” of Guy Marks taking on son Elliot, crewed respectively by Katy Seddon and Harrison Williams.
The competition for the Finale kicked off on the Saturday in a shifty F1-2 with the intent to complete three back-to-back races over a windward-leeward course owing to a forecast for diminishing wind over the course of the afternoon. Wasting no time, John Clementson and Mel Titmus laid down a marker for the weekend by taking over the lead after the first lap and claiming a well-deserved bullet, holding off the significant challenge of the Wilsons and local team Guy and Katy taking a well-deserved third from the impressive inland sailing skill demonstration from the O’Donnells.
There was little time for breath before the fleet moved into race 2. This time, Ian Foxwell and Sam Pygall found a nice wind lane off the start line and sneaked around the windward mark in first. Despite some shifting beats, they held off a charging John and Mel to take victory, with Martin and Donna taking a 3rd in 88. Consistency was clearly going to be key to a successful weekend based on the first two results with some up and downs in keeping with the shifts on the left- and right-hand sides of the course.
A third race on day 1 was squeezed in by the diligent Bough Beech race team before the wind disappeared completely for the day. John and Mel stormed back to take a commanding win and complete an ultra-impressive first day, with the Wilsons recovering from a tough second race to take a second runners-up spot. Strong performers at Bough Beech over the years Bill Whitney and John Shelton from Shoreham Sailing Club took a well -deserved 3rd place, having escaped with the two front running teams after the first lap. A quick sprint to shore then saw the competitors retreat to various evening entertainment that included a traditional pub dinner for many.
Day 2 arrived with much the same wind strength, but a 180 degree change in direction and a course change from windward-leeward to a triangle. Despite these variations, John and Mel carried on where they left on after day 1 and took a commanding win over the first lap, pulled away and sewed up the event with a race to spare. Seriously impressive sailing based on the challenging nature of the conditions! Behind there was a competitive group competing for the top 5 positions for nearly an hour which ended with Martin and Donna in the woodie 88 showing some light wind mastery coming in ahead of Ian and Sam who were pushing for a good overall position by claiming a 3rd. Mention should be made of Brian and Liz McKenzie who were pushing at the front for much of the race and showed how competitive the racing was over the course of the weekend with no one really out of touch in any of races.
The wind picked up slightly for the start of the second race on Sunday and 5th and final overall before dropping off steadily throughout the race. A traffic jam at the committee boat at the start meant that the fleet got spread out within the first 5 minutes of the race. This was not to detriment of John and Mel who led from the first mark to the finish and claimed yet another commanding victory. Another woodie with a rich history, W998, sailed by Colin and Lexie Goodman, took a brilliant and well-deserved runners-up spot and the local team of Guy and Katy ended their regatta on a high with a 3rd place.
Overall, John and Mel repeated their triumph from last year with a commanding Finale victory, claiming four wins out of five and demonstrating a mastery of the Wayfarer in light wind inland conditions that is to be applauded. The Wilsons showed both grit and determination to claim a hard-fought runners-up spot at this true test of inland sailing skill. Ian and Sam claimed 3rd place on count-back from Martin and Donna by virtue of their win in race 2. The family “competition within a competition” saw Guy and Katy snatch 5th from Elliott and Harrison. Kudos to Harrison who was our youngest competitor and won some Craftinsure spot prizes for his efforts. Colin and Lexie rounded out the top 7. John took the opportunity to thank Bough Beech Sailing Club, including the race and shore-based teams for laying on an excellent event once again for the grateful Wayfarer fleet.
Bough Beech Results:
|1||11101||John Clementson||Mel Titmus||1||?2||1||1||1||4|
|2||11093||Andrew Wilson||Tom Wilson||2||?6||2||5||4||13|
|3||11170||Ian Foxwell||Sam Pygall||6||1||5||3||?8||15|
|4||88||Martin Collen||Donna Rouse||?7||3||4||2||6||15|
|5||11120||Guy Marks||Katy Seddon||3||7||7||?10||3||20|
|6||7470||Elliot Marks||Harrison Williams||8||5||?10||4||5||22|
|7||998||Colin Goodman||Lexie Goodman||?9||4||8||9||2||23|
|8||11282||Nigel O’Donnell||Belinda O’Donnell||4||8||?9||7||7||26|
|9||10688||Bill Whitney||John Shelton||10||9||3||8||?12||30|
|10||11118||John Goudie||Sam Boniface||5||10||6||?12||10||31|
|11||10686||Brian McKenzie||Elizabeth McKenzie||11||?12||12||6||9||38|
|12||11398||Richard Bailey||Ian Curtis||12||11||11||?13||13||47|
|13||11218||James Maynard||Ed Maynard||(DNC)||DNC||DNC||11||11||50|
As this was the final Wayfarer open meeting of 2023 for the fleet there was an opportunity to recognise the achievements of the fleet over the full year on the circuit. This included the Craftinsure National Circuit winners; John Clementson and Mel Titmus, followed closely by Andrew and Tom Wilson. These two teams have been the class of the fleet over the course of 2023 and have demonstrated superior boat-speed, handling and tactics over a wide range of waters. Ian Foxwell and Sam Pygall, following their podiums at Datchet, Medway and Bough Beech, took the bronze medal in their first season sailing on the circuit as a team. Circuit stalwarts the O’Donnells took 4th overall, which included scoring a maiden open meeting victory at West Oxfordshire. The Travellers Trophy for the lowest total score across all the events was comfortably won by the Wilsons, retaining the trophy from 2022.
There was also an opportunity to acknowledge the considerable support three major sponsors of the class: Craftinsure, Hartley Boats and McNamara Sails. Their support has been fantastic over the course of the season.
Top 5 in the Craftinsure Travellers Trophy: (all events to count)
1. Andrew Wilson & Tom/Martin Wilson – 11093
2. Nigel O’Donnell & Belinda O’Donnell – 11282
3. Tim Townsend & Jacqueline Townsend – 11012
4. John Clementson & Mel Titmus – 11101
5. John Goudie & Sam Boniface – 11118
Top 5 for the National Circuit: (three events to count but with one freshwater and one saltwater event)
|1||11101||John Clementson||Mel Titmus||3||Winners at Parkstone (SW) Datchet (FW) and Bough Beech (FW)|
|2||11093||Andrew Wilson||Tom Wilson||3.5||Winners at Dabchicks (SW? Nationals) Blackwater (SW) and Runner?ups at Bough Beech (FW)|
|3||11170||Ian Foxwell||Sam Pygall||8||Runners up at Medway (SW) and Third Place at Datchet and Bough Beech (FW)|
|4||11282||Nigel O’Donnell||Belinda O’Donnell||16||Winners at West Oxfordshire (FW)|
|5||11012||Tim Townsend||Jacqueline Townsend||21|
Overall, 55 boats took part in the Craftinsure UK Wayfarer Association (UKWA) circuit over the course of the season and across the wide variety of inland and saltwater venues. The Wayfarers now look forward to a short winter break before resuming with the start of the 2024 circuit on the 13/14 April 2024 at Datchet Water Sailing Club. We also have an exciting Nationals planned for Paignton (13-16 June 2024) and a European Championship to be hosted in France in September 2024. Hope to see you there!
Craftinsure Wayfarer National Circuit and Travellers’ Trophy Series 2023 Update
Supported by McNamara Sails and Hartley Boats
The UK Wayfarer fleet has enjoyed a fantastic Craftinsure circuit of seven events across the UK this year, including a highly successful Nationals at Dabchicks Sailing Club.
This season has seen 52 individual competitors across the events so far, with an average of 13 boats per event. The fleet has had familiar faces at the front of the fleet, including Andrew and Tom Wilson (our new 2023 National Champions), who have won three events and John Clementson and Mel Titmus who themselves have won two events. Circuit stalwarts Nigel and Belinda O’Donnell have also enjoyed a maiden Circuit win at West Oxfordshire and Eden Hyland and Will Gould claimed the Inland Championships (supported by Hartley Boats) at Blithfield Sailing Club. Other podium placing teams at events across the course of the season include Ian Foxwell and Sam Pygall, Graham Hoy and Rob Haigh, Will Powell and Rob Gaskell, Colin Goodman and Lexie Goodman, Mattie and David Evans and Louise McKeand and Nigel Hall.
As Autumn draws in and with one Craftinsure UKWA event left to sail, Andrew and Tom Wilson lead the Travellers standings from multiple Travellers trophy winners Nigel and Belinda O’Donnell. The Travellers is decided on all the scores across all events. Tim and Jacqueline Townsend are currently completing the podium in the Travellers series. John and Mel and John Goudie and Sam Boniface completed the top five. In the Circuit standings (where scoring is based on the top three results and one salt water and one fresh water needs to be counted), Andrew and Tom Wilson are also on top, followed by John and Mel with Ian Foxwell and Sam Pygall in 3rd.
With the traditional Finale over the weekend of the 11th and 12th November and the National Circuit and Travellers overall standings will soon be decided, alongside a prize draw courtesy of the Circuits Sponsors, Craftinsure, Hartley Boats and McNamara Sails.
Craftinsure National Circuit and Travellers Trophy Results:
|Datchet Water||FW||John Clementson and Mel Titmus||Andrew and Tom Wilson||Ian Foxwell and Sam Pygall|
|West Oxfordshire||FW||Nigel and Belinda O’Donnell||James Nicoll and James Ball||Matt Batterton and Marion Turberfield|
|Parkstone||SW – Westerns||John Clementson and Mel Titmus||Michael McNamara and Simon Townsend||Andrew and Martin Wilson|
|Medway||SW – Easterns||Andrew and Tom Wilson||Ian Foxwell and Sam Pygall||Michael McNamara and Simon Townsend|
|Dabchicks||SW? Nationals (over 20 entries)||Andrew and Tom Wilson||Graham Hoy and Rob Haigh||Will Powell and Rob Gaskell|
|Blackwater||SW||Andrew and Tom Wilson||Colin Goodman and Lexie Goodman||Mattie Evans and David Evans|
|Blithfield||FW – Inlands||Eden Hyland and Will Gould||Louise McKeand and Nigel Hall||John Clementson and Mel Titmus|
Note: Southerns at Shoreham cancelled owing to adverse weather conditions
Current standings (Travellers):
The low points scoring system defined in Appendix A4 of the RRS will be used for the Travellers’ Trophy Series except that in events where there are 20 or more entries, the first three boats will score 0.5, 1.5 and 2.5 respectively.
|1st||Andrew Wilson||Tom/Martin Wilson||11093||64.5|
|2nd||Nigel O’Donnell||Belinda O’Donnell||11282||111|
|3rd||Tim Townsend||Jacqueline Townsend||11012||116|
|4th||John Clementson||Mel Titmus||11101||168|
|5th||John Goudie||Sam Boniface||11118||195|
Current standings (Circuit):
National Circuit Series Scoring The low points scoring system defined in Appendix A of the RRS will be used for the National Circuit Series except that in events where there are 20 or more entries, the first three boats will score 0.5, 1.5 and 2.5 points respectively. Three National Circuit Series events, at least one of which shall be sailed on Freshwater and one on Saltwater, are required to be completed to constitute a series. A boat’s score will be the total of her best three event scores provided that the three qualifying races include one Freshwater event (F) and one Saltwater event (S) as shown in the Schedule.
|1st||Andrew Wilson||Tom/Martin Wilson||11093||3.5|
|2nd||John Clementson||Mel Titmus||11101||5|
|3rd||Ian Foxwell||Sam Pygall||11170||11|
|4th||Nigel O’Donnell||Belinda O’Donnell||11282||15|
|5th||Tim Townsend||Jacqueline Townsend||11012||20|
|6th||John Goudie||Sam Boniface||11118||22|
Statistics and insights:
- There have been 52 separate entries to the Craftinsure National Circuit and Travellers so far.
- Excluding the nationals there has been an average entry of 11 boats per UKWA Craftinsure event
- Including the nationals there have been an average entry of 13 boats per event
- Three teams have competed in 6 out of 7 events
- Two teams have completed 4 out of 7 events
- Three teams have completed 3 out of 7 events
Wayfarer Inland Championships at Blithfield Sailing Club as part of Craftinsure UK National Circuit
The Wayfarer Inlands, hosted by Blithfield Sailing Club, marked a significant event in the UK Wayfarer Association Craftinsure National Series Circuit. The competition, held over the weekend of September 30th and October 1st, received generous sponsorship from Hartley Boats.
Notable teams who had already achieved podium finishes on the UK Wayfarer Crafinsure National circuit this year, such as National Champions Andrew and Tom Wilson, multiple event winners John Clementson and Mel Titmus, and Ian Foxwell and Sam Pygall, joined the competition. Additionally, the fleet welcomed newcomers and Blithfield local Eden Hyland crewed by Will Gould, Dave Whittle and Chloe Craig and Louise McKeand crewed by Nigel Hall from Leigh and Lowton. Established circuit regulars like the Townsends, the O’Donnells, John Goudie, and Sam Boniface also made the journey “up north” to take part. The event also had local juniors Lara Griffiths and Oliver Green borrow the club Wayfarer and enter as well.
Blithfield Sailing Club, renowned as one of the finest inland sailing venues in the Midlands, hosted of the Wayfarers for the first time in recent memory. The anticipation among the sailors was palpable as they arrived at the club following decent journeys from across the UK and began preparing their boats, equipped with the necessary bacon cobs. The participants also received a warm welcome upon arrival from Richard Hartley, a class builder and member of Blithfield Sailing Club.
The racing began in earnest in a gentle F1-2 winds. Interestingly, the newcomers and local sailors swiftly showcased their superior inland boat speed in the initial exchanges, while the seasoned circuit regulars grappled with fatigue from their early starts. McKeand and Hall impressed everyone by securing a well-deserved victory in their maiden Circuit event. The Hartley duo followed closely in second place, with Hyland and Gould clinching the third position.
As the second race began, dark clouds rolled in, accompanied by rain. Hyland and Gould made an extraordinary start, launching themselves from the committee boat end of the line and securing a comprehensive start-to-finish win. The Wilsons finished in second place, and Clementson and Titmus claimed third. Owing to the fickle conditions brought about by the rain, the planned third race was wisely postponed, offering the fleet a chance to seek shelter at the club.
Saturday night supplied an opportunity for the sailors to unwind and socialize. A delightful hog roast and wine, sponsored by Hartley Boats, filled the evening with camaraderie. Such social events have proven to be a key aspect of successful Wayfarer fleet weekends, and have been a common feature at various venues on the Craftinsure sponsored circuit this year.
Sunday challenged the competitors with a rearranged schedule featuring three back-to-back races, initially forecasted to be held in stronger winds. The conditions, however, largely mirrored those of the previous day, albeit with a different wind direction. Clementson and Titmus, known as a formidable pair at inland venues in recent years and having achieved dominant circuit victories at Bough Beech and Datchet Water, launched their ambitious charge up the leader board, securing a comprehensive win in the first race of the day.
The teams that had performed well on the first day hotly pursued them, with Hyland and Gould taking second place and McKeand and Hall finishing third. These strong results propelled both teams into promising overall positions in their first events.
Race four unfolded in the unfortunate combination of diminishing wind and persistent rain. Undeterred, Clementson and Titmus demonstrated their Wayfarer prowess once again by claiming another bullet, a remarkable achievement considering the challenging conditions and strong competition. The Hartleys resurfaced at the front of the fleet once again, capturing second place, while Hyland and Gould continued their consistent performance with a third-place finish.
Despite the wind practically disappearing, the race committee managed to squeeze in a crucial third race of the day, which would contribute significantly to the overall standings by allowing participants to discard their worst race. Making the most of the dwindling wind, McKeand and Hall, along with Hyland and Gould, appeared as the frontrunners, rounding the top two marks. Ian Foxwell and Sam Pygall joined them at the front of the fleet, marking their first appearance near the leaders during the weekend. Ultimately, the finishing order remained the same as the placings around the windward mark, with Clementson and Titmus making an impressive charge through the fleet but ultimately settling for fourth place.
Following meticulous calculations on shore, the tightly contested inland championship concluded with Eden and Will narrowly clinching the top spot in their first Wayfarer event, narrowly edging out Louise and Nigel in second place. John and Mel completed the podium, showcasing their remarkable comeback on the second day despite the unpredictable conditions.
Thanks again are due to Blithfield for laying of a high quality event, both on and off the water, delivered by a team of 13 led by Andy Watterson (and also thanks to those that had checked and stocked the bar and cut the grass ahead of the weekend).
More photos available on Blithfield SC website gallery: www.blithfield.org.uk/shared-gallery/4d389b88-7158-4004-83db-f60a6acd7bbc
The final event of the Craftinsure National Circuit will take place at Bough Beech Sailing Club for the traditional “Finale” on November 11th and 12th. This event will also coincide with the unveiling of the winners of the Crafinsure National Circuit and Travellers competitions that have been running throughout the season. Competition for the Travellers Trophy appears to be between the Wilsons, O’Donnells and Townsends while the National Circuit (counting the best three results across salt and fresh water) is contested between the Wilsons, Clementson and Titmus and Foxwell and Pygall.
Throughout all the Craftinsure National Circuit events since April and spanning Datchet, West Oxfordshire, Blackwater, Medway, Parkstone and Dabchicks, a total of 53 entries have enthusiastically taken part in the circuit, contributing to its overall success and demonstrating the versality of the Wayfarer and the strong competition throughout the fleet.
If are a club interested in hosting the Wayfarer fleet for an event in 2024, perhaps as part of another event, please do get in touch with email@example.com.
|1st||10866||Eden Hyland||Will Gould||Blithfield||1||2||2||2||7|
|2nd||10747||Louise Mckeand||Nigel Hall||Leigh & Lowton SC||1||4||3||1||9|
|3rd||11101||John Clementson||Melanie Titmus||Chipstead SC||3||1||1||4||9|
|4th||11093||Andrew Wilson||Tom Wilson||Datchet Water SC||4||2||4||4||14|
|5th||11323||Richard Hartley||Mark Hartley||Blithfield||2||6||3||5||16|
|6th||11170||lan Foxwell||Sam Pygall||Medway Yacht Club||5||6||5||3||19|
|7th||11282||Nigel O’Donnell||Dave Moore||Swarkestone SC||7||5||8||6||26|
|8th||11118||John Goudie||Sam Boniface||Wilsonian||7||9||7||8||31|
|9th||11012||Tim Townsend||Jaqueline Townsend||Medway Yacht Club||8||8||9||9||34|
|10th||11422||Dave Whittle||Chloe Craig||Whitefriars||8||10||10||10||38|
|11th||10170||Lara Griffiths (Junior)||Oliver Green (Junior)||Blithfield||11||47|
UKWA Craftinsure Travellers event at Blackwater Sailing Club: Report published in Y&Y
Over the weekend of 2nd – 3rd September Blackwater Sailing Club hosted the latest event in the Craftinsure Wayfarer Travellers series, combined with the Snipe class.
by Steve Perkins 10 Sep 16:27 BST2-3 September 2023
Late summer holidays and other family commitments kept some regular travellers and home club sailors away, but the eight boats competing were a quality fleet. We had the Wilsons, fresh from their victory at the Nationals, travelling regulars team Townsend looking to find extra speed with their new sails, two-time Fireball world champion, Colin Goodman with his daughter Lexire, GBR Olympic development squad member Mattie Evans sailing with her father Dave, and Nationals runner up Rob Haigh drafting in Steve Perkins to replace his normal helm Graham Hoy who was holidaying in Croatia.
Warm sunshine and a steady F3-4 Easterly provide near perfect conditions on Saturday afternoon, and the first race set the scene for the day, with Andrew and Tom Wilson showing blistering upwind speed, chased hard by local pairing Steve Perkins and Rob Haigh, and Colin / Lexie Goodman, sailing their beautiful woody, number 998 showing that you don’t need to buy a MkIV to compete at the front. The Wilsons pulled out a commanding lead, leaving Perkins / Haigh, the Evans and the Goodmans trading places all around the racecourse for the next few places.
Race two followed a similar pattern, with Tim and Jacqueline Townsend joining the tussle behind the Wilsons. Perkins / Haigh chased the Wilsons hard, coming home 2nd only to hear silence from the committee boat confirming what the rest of the fleet had been telling them that they were OCS. A mistake that was to prove costly when the points were added up at the end of the weekend! The Townsends were finding good pace now, happily taking a well-earned 2nd place.
Race three was a repeat, the breeze building to the strongest of the weekend, with the Wilsons dominating, followed by Perkins / Haigh and then the Townsends.
On Saturday evening everyone enjoyed pizza and a late bar, taking full advantage of later start on the afternoon tide on Sunday giving plenty of time for the hangovers to clear!
Sunday was a different game, the wind had decreased significantly, making it a better day for the lighter crews. The Wilsons had to work a lot harder, as the Goodmans and the Evans were powered up and sailing fast upwind and showing an extra turn of speed downwind. These three traded places from the start of the Race 4, and after the first lap the Goodmans were in front and it looked as if there were going to stop the Wilsons unbeaten run. However, the Wilsons broke through the loose cover from the Goodmans on the final beat, then once ahead they held on for another victory.
Race 5 saw a great first beat by the Evans who played the shifts brilliantly to be first to the windward mark, and they held on to a narrow lead from the chasing Goodmans and Wilsons until the final gybe mark, when the slick boat handling and spinnaker work from Colin and Lexie paid off and they took the lead, holding on to take the bullet in the final race of the weekend. The Wilsons cane home third, having already won the event, with the Townsends holding off Perkins / Haigh to take fourth.
A great weekend’s racing, fantastic sailing conditions, close racing throughout the fleet, and everyone leaving Essex with big smiles. Thanks to our sponsor, Craftinsure, who donated prizes, including a very nice sailing jacket which was raffled by boat number, the lucky winner was the Townsends – a perfect fit for Jacqueline!
|Pos||Boat Name||Sail No||Helm||Crew||Club||R1||R2||R3||R4||R5||Pts|
|1st||Restless||11093||Andrew Wilson||Tom Wilson||Datchet Water Sailing Club||1||1||1||1||?3||4|
|2nd||Argo||998||Colin Goodman||Lexie Goodman||Bex Hill SC||4||4||?6||2||1||11|
|3rd||Nomad||11183||Mattie Evans||David Evans||Blackwater Sailing Club||3||3||?4||3||2||11|
|4th||Jay Jay||10925||Steve Perkins||Rob Haigh||Blackwater Sailing Club||2||(OCS)||2||4||5||13|
|5th||Intermezzo||11012||Tim Townsend||Jacqueline Townsend||Medway Yacht Club||?5||2||3||5||4||14|
|6th||11356||Alan Hoy||Janet Hoy||Blackwater SC||?6||5||5||6||6||22|
|7th||Summer Breeze||11349||Anthony Harris||Emma Reeve||Blackwater Sailing Club||7||6||(DNC)||7||7||27|
|8th||Pelican||10621||Jeremy Featherstone||Martin Maloney||Marconi Sailing Club||8||7||(DNF)||8||8||31|
The UK Wayfarer Association Craftinsure Travellers circuit has two events left for the year: the Inlands to be held at Blithfield Sailing Club on the 30th September/1st October and the traditional Finale at Bough Beech on the 11 and 12 November. The 2024 circuit is shaping up with events scheduled including a return to Blackwater, Datchet, Banbury, Arun and Bough Beech.
Y&Y: Craftinsure Wayfarer National Circuit 2023 – Mid Season Report
Wayfarer Nationals at Dabchicks © Tim Wood
We are over the half-way point of the 2023 Craftinsure UK Wayfarer Association Travellers Circuit. This milestone presents an opportunity to both reflect and look forward for the Wayfarer racing circuit that continues to attract series regulars and newcomers to this competitive, versatile, and social fleet.
In headlines, the Circuit has had 45 different competitors compete in at least one event with different faces at the front of the fleet, demonstrating the general competitiveness of the sailing. There has also been a mix of venues across estuaries and inland.
Winners in the Craftinsure Wayfarer National Circuit Event at West Oxfordshire Sailing Club – photo © Sam Pygall
The 2023 season so far
The Wayfarer racing circuit began back in April with what is becoming a traditional season current raiser at Datchet Water. A well-attended event of 12 boats saw some close racing at this great inland venue. In the end, winners of the 2022 Finale John Clementson and Mel Titmus continued this form into 2023 curtain raiser and emerged victorious after four close races. The regatta ended up being a one-day event owing to lack of wind on day 2. Andrew and Tom Wilson took the runners-up spot and new team for 2023, Ian Foxwell and Sam Pygall showed some boat speed and completed the podium in first event of the season.
The fleet moved onto West Oxfordshire the following weekend for the second Craftinsure series event. Circuit stalwarts Nigel and Belinda O’Donnell took a maiden circuit victory in testing conditions. Travellers Trophy winners for the last couple of years, it was fantastic to see Nigel and Belinda win their first event on the circuit. West Oxfordshire is a particular test of boat handling on restrictive inland water in common with many clubs that sail Wayfarers every weekend.
Craftinsure Wayfarer Travellers event / Westerns at Parkstone – photo © David Harding / www.sailingscenes.com
Parkstone Yacht Club, a Wayfarer stronghold but sadly absent from the circuit for a few years came back with a bang with an entry of 14 boats which was a good mix of home fleet plus high quality visitors. Continuing a rich vein of form in the first part of the season, John Clementson and Mel Titmus were victorious at this fantastic venue, with Michael McNamara and Simon Townsend in a close second and Andrew and Martin Wilson in 3rd place. The fleet hope to make a swift return to the venue in the future, which also hosts the annual Poole Week, presenting an opportunity for Wayfarer fleet racing in Poole Harbour in the context of a premier south coast racing regatta.
Another venue with a strong home fleet, Medway Yacht Club, held the Easterns in June. The event was sponsored by Craftinsure, Shepherd Neame, Wayfarer Wines, Hartley Boats and Pirates Cave. With impeccable organisation off the water and a strong race management team on the water, the fleet of 15 had a great weekend of racing. Having challenged in all the 2023 events to date, Andrew and Tom Wilson put down a marker for the Nationals by coming home first with a convincing victory, followed by the new team of Ian Foxwell and Sam Pygall in 2nd and Michael McNamara in 3rd. Medway also held the annual Medway Marathon the week before and the Wayfarers had a strong event as is becoming traditional, with Ian Foxwell sailing with Hannah Foxwell finishing 1st, John Clementson and Sam Pygall in the runners-up spot and Richard Stone and Catherine Gore in 3rd.
The UK Nationals, generously sponsored by Hartley Boats, McNamara Sailing and Craftinsure was a well-attended event at Dabchicks Sailing Club on Mersea Island. There was great racing despite some challenging conditions. Well-deserved winners were indeed Andrew and Tom Wilson, followed by Graham Hoy and Rob Haigh in second and Will Powell and Gaskell taking the final podium spot. In a changing of the guard moment, Blackwater Sailing Club took home the top team trophy, with Medway Yacht Club having held this award for many years.
Unfortunately, the Southern Area Championship scheduled in July at Shoreham Sailing had to be cancelled owing to an extreme wind forecast. The fleet hope to return to the club for an event soon which always provides exciting open sea sailing for the fleet. Other events were held successfully at Banbury Sailing Club and Aldeburgh Yacht Club in the first half of the season.
What’s to come in 2023?
The remaining Circuit of the year has a blend of a familiar venue, an up-and-coming circuit favourite and a new location for the Wayfarer circuit.
Blackwater Sailing Club : 2-3 September 2023
Blithfield Sailing Club : 30 September- 1 October 2023
Bough Beech Sailing Club : 11-12 November 2023
The upcoming event at Blackwater Sailing Club is scheduled for the 2nd and 3rd September and promises to be an exciting event. See details on how to register. As with last year, this will be an event co-held with the Snipe fleet which gives a great opportunity to mix and socialise with another fleet. The home fleet, fresh from taking home the “top team” trophy from the recent nationals will be competitive in what was a well-attended and enjoyable event in 2022. Recent club racing has seen 15 boats on the start-line so this promises to be an exciting event.
The Inland Championships will be held at Blithfield Sailing Club this year which represents a new venue for the Wayfarer class in the Midlands. The hope is that we encourage some of the Northern contingent of Wayfarer racers and use this as a launch pad to further open meetings in the north.
The Finale at Bough Beech on the 11/12 November is always a fun end of the Craftinsure circuit and does offer the bonus opportunity to compete in the prestigious Bough Beech Icicle event during the weekends of January and February the following year. This opportunity has been taken up by a few of the series regulars in recent years, including Guy Marks, John Clementson, Mark Lee and John Goudie. Both the Finale and the Icicle present an opportunity to hone inland water boat handling at a friendly and well-run club. Last year’s winners John Clementson and Mel Titmus will be looking to retain their Bough Beech title, but the racing is always close and competitive at this true test of boat handling skills.
Looking ahead to Wayfarer racing in 2024
2024 promises to be another exciting year for Wayfarer racing with events confirmed at Datchet, Bough Beech, Banbury, Medway and Blackwater. The Nationals will likely be held in at an exciting venue on the South West coast, with details to be confirmed as soon as possible. Other opportunities to race against other Wayfarers include the competitive Icicle Series at Bough Beech, Poole Week, Falmouth Week and Bass Week.
The Class is exploring opportunities to expand geographies and participation with respect to the racing side of the Wayfarer class and any ideas/suggestion in this regard are gratefully received. Please get in contact via firstname.lastname@example.org with any of your ideas.
Wayfarer National Championship at Dabchicks Sailing Club
by Sam Pygall 7 Jul 11:09 BST30 June – 2 July 2023
Wayfarer Nationals at Dabchicks © Tim Wood
Supported by Craftinsure, McNamara Sails and Hartley Boats
The 2023 Wayfarer Nationals, generously sponsored by Craftinsure, McNamara Sails and Hartley Boats were held over the long weekend of the 30th June to the 2nd July at Dabchicks Sailing Club. Originally slated as the venue for the Wayfarer nationals during the Covid-impacted 2020 season where all the Wayfarer events were wiped out, this was a relatively new venue for the Wayfarer Nationals.
Based on recent results on the circuit, this promised to be a close series with many the top performing regular circuit teams in attendance alongside some fleet newcomers with unknown form and a decent amount of wind forecast for the totality of the weekend. These competitors included reigning International, European and National Champions Michael McNamara and Simon Townsend, the consistently strong team of Andrew and Tom Wilson, Shoreham circuit stalwarts Bill Whitney and John Shelton, former national champion Guy Marks, crewed by Katie Seddon, boat builder Richard and Mark Hartley and recent serial open meeting winners John Clementson and Mel Titmus,
Following a Thursday arrival for many of the fleet, the action began in earnest on the Friday with the practice race and two points races held back-to-back. With a fleet of 28 comprising home fleet entries and visiting contingents from Blackwater Sailing Club and Medway Yacht Club, a great competition was in prospect. The wind was in the 16-20 knot range presenting challenging conditions for crews. The fleet were also introduced to a short, steep wave pattern despite wind running over tide, likely caused by the shallowness of parts of the race arena. Front running teams from the get-go were McNamara/Townsend and the Wilsons, with McNamara and Townsend triumphing and earning the “Idler’s Bucket” prize for their practice race efforts. Circuit regulars and recent West Oxfordshire open meeting winners the O’Donnells came a cropper in the practice race, breaking their rudder blade and scuppering their championship.
The practice race formalities over, real championship action began in earnest. The Wilsons made an excellent start in the first race and led at first windward mark with McNamara and Townsend showing good pace in close pursuit. A very rare event transpired with McNamara and Townsend capsizing at a gybe mark, giving the opportunity for the Wilsons to extend their lead going into the second lap. However, McNamara/Townsend are not renowned fleet legends for nothing and recovered well, but then suffered further misfortune through McNamara departing the boat on second beat, before being recovered by super crew Simon Townsend.
The final downwind leg has several strong gusts that had even the Wilsons wobbling but surviving – but did resultin capsizes for front-running Whitney/Shelton team and the Hartleys, which let surprise package and dark horses Graham Hoy crewed by Rob Haigh into second place, and breakthrough team from 2022 Richard Bailey and Ian Curtis to 3rd. Demonstrating amazing powers of recovery despite the setbacks in the race, McNamara and Townsend came through into fourth place. Game on!
The second points race of the championship saw playing the shifts pay off versus any choices made to avoid the impact of the tide. McNamara and Townsend got these generally right and claimed the race win but the Wilsons confirmed their front-running performance by taking 2nd, with the Whitney/Shelton team also demonstrating their speed in the conditions with a podium position. After a hard first day, the fleet sailed back to the club for a BBQ and with the Wilsons leading overall, McNamara Townsend in second and new team Hoy and Haigh in 3rd.
Day 2 dawned with much the same wind strength as day 1 but with flatter water, presenting an opportunity for other teams to come to the fore. Demonstrating considerable starting skill and with the Ian Proctor trophy on the line in race three, the Wilsons made a clean getaway and led fleet inshore out of tide which paid off handsomely. Disaster struck McNamara and Townsend when they bent their tiller beyond a quick fix and needed to return to the club for a replacement. This left the Wilsons unchallenged, taking a dominant victory and cemented a strong overall position for the championship. The familiar front-running teams of Hoy/Haigh and Whitney/Shelton came home some way back in 2nd and 3rd.
With McNamara and Townsend continuing to be absent from the racing arena while fetching a replacement tiller, there was close racing at the front of the fleet in the fourth race. Local expert Will Powell crewed by Rob Gaskell demonstrated speed and skill, challenging the Wilsons at the front of the fleet. In addition, Jamie Wheatley and Stephen Wheatley from Aldeburgh Yacht club also came to the fore, leading round the windward mark but ultimately succumbed to John Clementson and Mel Timus who were finding some boat speed in the lighter conditions. With this win, their 3rd from 4 races, the Wilsons put themselves in a great position in the championship overall.
For race 5, McNamara/Townsend returned to the race arena, refreshed, energised and with a new tiller, and proceeded to show the fleet the way around the course. However, in the context of the championship, the Wilsons held off the considerable challenge from the Hartleys and Whitney/Shelton to take a valuable second place. With a formidable scoreline of 1,2,1,1,2 and with only a single discard over the entire series, the Wilsons were in the box seat for the overall championship with McNamara and Townsend now having to carry a DNF in their results. The fleet tucked into a well-deserved fish and chip supper laid on by the club and contemplated the final day of sailing which was forecast to provide no relief from a wind strength perspective.
The first race of final day and the sixth overall had tide under the fleet for the start, resulting in the only general recall of the week and subsequently rewarded with a U flag to keep the fleet disciplined. A clean second start saw circuit front runner regulars John Goudie and Sam Boniface win the pin end, demonstrate good speed upwind and round the windward mark first with a good lead. Goudie/Boniface then impressively held this on the subsequent downwind legs. By the second windward mark, the Wilsons had recovered to hold a small lead over McNamara/Townsend with Hartleys and Clementson/Titmus very close behind. Goudie/Boniface then overstood a mark and dropped behind this leading group which ended with McNamara/Townsend winning from the Hartleys and Clementson/Titmus. Although finishing 4th, the Wilsons had a good counter versus the other front runners in the overall standing.
For race seven, with several boats capsized, the race officer was unable to change the course to reflect a changing wind direction. Clearly showing continued good form on this last day of the championship, McNamara and Townsend got away at the start and built a lead over the fleet. The Wilsons made an uncharacteristic poor start but managed to squeeze past Hoy/Haigh and the Hartleys on the approach to the windward mark for the second time. They then held this to take a crucial 2nd place, with the Hartleys, also having a storming final day in terms of results, coming home 3rd.
Although the Wilsons were now confirmed as the overall champions with a race to spare, the final race was tightly contested to confirm the final standings, with the Bill Hodshon memorial trophy up for grabs for the race winners as an additional bonus. There was a new pairing at the front of the fleet in the form of the aforementioned Whitney and Shelton. Leveraging the strong local knowledge on board, this team took line honours from a charging McNamara and Townsend having overhauled local youngster Nick Evans who had had a storming first beat but was overhauled by these powerhouse teams. Powell and Gaskell took a 3rd in this last race to confirm a podium place overall.
As the final results were calculated, this results in a top 5 of:
- Andrew and Tom Wilson, 13 points
- Graham Hoy and Rob Haigh, 30 points
- Will Powell and Rob Gaskell, 31 points
- John Clementson and Mel Titmus, 37 points
- Michael McNamara and Simon Townsend, 39 points
Other prize winners included:
- First silver fleet – Graham Hoy and Rob Haigh
- First bronze fleet – Henry Townsend and Daisy Lee-Browne
- First female helm – Monica Schaefer
- Pork Pie Perpetual (First female crew) – Melanie Titmus
- Pert Platter (First Husband and Wife Team) – Brian and Liz McKenzie
- First Club Team – Blackwater Sailing Club
- Nipegegi Trophy (first Wayfarer with sail number below 10506) – Henry Townsend and Daisy Lee-Browne
- Dick Notley Trophy (first helm under 21) – Nick Evans
Andrew Wilson, a well-deserved winner of tough championship that presented a test of stamina, endurance and heavy weather boat handling took the opportunity to thank the race team led by Paul Jackson and Dabchicks Sailing Club for hosting the event. Andrew and Tom have won at many venues over recent years but this represented their first championship title together as father and son – a fantastic achievement. This win did represent some significant family history for the Wayfarer and the Wilson family. Andrew was a winning helm back in 1982 sailing with his brother Martin and Andrew’s father also a two-time Wayfarer national champion in 1974 and 1975. A tremendous family legacy in Wayfarer Racing!
The 2023 UKWA Craftinsure Travellers circuit continues later in the month at the Southern Area Championships at Shoreham Sailing Club (15-16 July 2023) and further events at Blackwater, Blithfield and Bough Beech to close out the 2023 Craftinsure Travellers series.
|Pos||Division||Boat Name||Sail No||Helm||Crew||Sailing Club||R1||R2||R3||R4||R5||R6||R7||R8||Pts|
|1st||Gold||Restless||11093||Andrew Wilson||Tom Wilson||Datchet Water SC||1||2||1||1||2||4||2||?9||13|
|2nd||Silver||Jay Jay||10925||Graham Hoy||Rob Haigh||Blackwater Sailing CLub||2||4||2||8||6||?10||4||4||30|
|3rd||Gold||Cologne||11334||Will Powell||Rob Gaskell||Tollesbury Sailing Club||6||5||4||2||?9||5||6||3||31|
|4th||Gold||No name||11101||John Clementson||Melanie Titmus||Chipstead SC||?7||7||7||3||5||3||5||7||37|
|5th||Gold||The Smuggler||11321||Michael Mcnamara||Simon Townsend||Rollesby Broad Sailing Club||4||1||(DNF)||DNC||1||1||1||2||39|
|6th||Gold||11323||Richard Hartley||Mark Hartley||Blithfield SC||13||(DNS)||5||6||3||2||3||12||44|
|7th||Gold||Big Dipper (MH)||10688||Bill Whitney||John Shelton||Shoreham Sailing Club||?22||3||3||11||4||14||10||1||46|
|8th||Silver||Pickle||11305||Martyn Hare||Dave Evans||Blackwater Sailing Club||12||9||?19||9||10||7||9||8||64|
|9th||Gold||Hitch?Hiker||10601||jamie wheatley||Stephen Wheatley||Aldeburgh Yacht Club||5||(DNS)||6||4||8||DNF||7||14||73|
|10th||Gold||Absolute Fiasco||11120||Guy Marks||Katy Seddon||Bough Beech Sailing Club||9||8||?16||7||12||13||12||13||74|
|11th||Gold||Happy Ever After!||11118||John Goudie||Sam Boniface||Wilsonian SC||?24||12||15||16||7||6||19||6||81|
|12th||Gold||Nutcracker||10828||Derek Lambert||Brian Sargeant||(DNF)||13||11||10||13||11||8||15||81|
|13th||Silver||Nomad||11183||Nick Evans||Bill Huntington?Whiteley||Blackwater Sailing Club||17||(DNF)||10||13||17||12||11||11||91|
|14th||Gold||Hercules Hound||10686||Brian McKenzie||Elizabeth McKenzie||Medway Yacht Club||14||(DNF)||8||14||14||16||13||18||97|
|15th||Silver||No Name||11356||Alan Hoy||William Sargeant||Blackwater Sailing Club||?18||11||13||12||11||17||16||17||97|
|16th||Gold||Oyster Catcher||10757||Quentin Strauss||Sarah Burgess||Medway YC||10||(DNF)||22||5||DNC||8||15||10||99|
|17th||Bronze||Finitor||1012||Henry Townsend||Daisy Lee?Browne||Medway Yacht Club||15||10||14||15||15||15||?17||16||100|
|18th||Gold||Coronation||11441||Mark Lee||George Buxton||MYC||8||(DNS)||DNC||DNC||DNC||9||14||5||123|
|19th||Bronze||Pelican||10621||Jeremy Feathestone||Martin Maloney||Marconi Sailing Club||23||14||23||18||18||18||18||(DNC)||132|
|20th||Gold||Intermezzo||11012||Tim Townsend||Jacqueline Townsend||Medway Yacht Club||11||6||9||(DNF)||DNC||DNS||DNC||DNC||142|
|21st||Gold||No name||11432||Richard Bailey||Ian Curtis||Rollesby Broad Sailing Club||3||(DNF)||12||DNC||DNC||DNF||DNC||DNC||160|
|22nd||Silver||The poacher||10648||Monica Schaefer||Patty Kuntz||Greystones SC||(DNF)||DNC||21||17||16||DNC||DNF||DNC||170|
|23rd||Gold||Muffin||10974||Richard Stone||Catherine Gore||Medway yacht club||16||(DNF)||18||DNC||DNC||DNC||DNC||DNC||179|
|24th||Silver||Last Orders||9770||Brian Lamb||Dave Royce||Dabchicks||21||(DNS)||17||DNF||DNC||DNF||DNC||DNC||183|
|25th||Silver||Loose Knots||10614||Mark Penny||Sarah Mason||Medway Yacht Club||19||(DNC)||DNC||DNC||DNC||DNC||DNC||DNC||193|
|26th||Gold||Guinness II||11282||Nigel O’Donnell||Belinda O’Donnell||Swarkestone SC||(DNF)||DNC||20||DNC||DNC||DNC||DNC||DNC||194|
|27th||Bronze||KNOT RUSHIN’||11405||Philip Clarabut||Camilla Hobart?Smith||Medway Yacht Club||20||(DNF)||DNC||DNC||DNC||DNC||DNC||DNC||194|
|28th||Gold||Huginn||11128||Tim Wood||James Shaw||Dabchicks SC ? West Mersea YC||(DNC)||DNC||DNC||DNC||DNC||DNC||DNC||DNC||203|
Congratulations to National Champions: Andrew and Tom Wilson
Full results can be found here
|Rank||Division||Boat Name||Sail number||HelmName||CrewName||Sailing Club||R1|
|1st||Gold||Restless||11093||Andrew Wilson||Tom Wilson||Datchet Water SC||1.0||2.0||1.0||1.0||2.0||(4.0)||2.0||13.0||9.0|
|2nd||Silver||Jay Jay||10925||Graham Hoy||Rob Haigh||Blackwater Sailing CLub||2.0||4.0||2.0||8.0||6.0||(10.0)||4.0||36.0||26.0|
|3rd||Gold||Cologne||11334||Will Powell||Rob Gaskell||Tollesbury Sailing Club||6.0||5.0||4.0||2.0||(9.0)||5.0||6.0||37.0||28.0|
|4th||Gold||No name||11101||John Clementson||Melanie Titmus||Chipstead SC||(7.0)||7.0||7.0||3.0||5.0||3.0||5.0||37.0||30.0|
|5th||Gold||11323||Richard Hartley||Mark Hartley||Blithfield SC||13.0||(29.0 DNS)||5.0||6.0||3.0||2.0||3.0||61.0||32.0|
|6th||Gold||The Smuggler||11321||Michael Mcnamara||Simon Townsend||Rollesby Broad Sailing Club||4.0||1.0||(29.0 DNF)||29.0 DNC||1.0||1.0||1.0||66.0||37.0|
|7th||Gold||Big Dipper (MH)||10688||Bill Whitney||John Shelton||Shoreham Sailing Club||(22.0)||3.0||3.0||11.0||4.0||14.0||10.0||67.0||45.0|
|8th||Silver||Pickle||11305||Martyn Hare||Dave Evans||Blackwater Sailing Club||12.0||9.0||(19.0)||9.0||10.0||7.0||9.0||75.0||56.0|
|9th||Gold||Hitch-Hiker||10601||jamie wheatley||Stephen Wheatley||Aldeburgh Yacht Club||5.0||(29.0 DNS)||6.0||4.0||8.0||29.0 DNF||7.0||88.0||59.0|
|10th||Gold||Absolute Fiasco||11120||Guy Marks||Katy Seddon||Bough Beech Sailing Club||9.0||8.0||(16.0)||7.0||12.0||13.0||12.0||77.0||61.0|
|11th||Gold||Nutcracker||10828||Derek Lambert||Brian Sargeant||(29.0 DNF)||13.0||11.0||10.0||13.0||11.0||8.0||95.0||66.0|
|12th||Gold||Happy Ever After!||11118||John Goudie||Sam Boniface||Wilsonian SC||(24.0)||12.0||15.0||16.0||7.0||6.0||19.0||99.0||75.0|
|13th||Gold||Hercules Hound||10686||Brian McKenzie||Elizabeth McKenzie||Medway Yacht Club||14.0||(29.0 DNF)||8.0||14.0||14.0||16.0||13.0||108.0||79.0|
|14th||Silver||Nomad||11183||Nick Evans||Bill Huntington-Whiteley||Blackwater Sailing Club||17.0||(29.0 DNF)||10.0||13.0||17.0||12.0||11.0||109.0||80.0|
|15th||Silver||No Name||11356||Alan Hoy||William Sargeant||Blackwater Sailing Club||(18.0)||11.0||13.0||12.0||11.0||17.0||16.0||98.0||80.0|
|16th||Bronze||Finitor||1012||Henry Townsend||Daisy Lee-Browne||Medway Yacht Club||15.0||10.0||14.0||15.0||15.0||15.0||(17.0)||101.0||84.0|
|17th||Gold||Oyster Catcher||10757||Quentin Strauss||Sarah Burgess||Medway YC||10.0||(29.0 DNF)||22.0||5.0||29.0 DNC||8.0||15.0||118.0||89.0|
|18th||Bronze||Pelican||10621||Jeremy Feathestone||Martin Maloney||Marconi Sailing Club||(23.0)||14.0||23.0||18.0||18.0||18.0||18.0||132.0||109.0|
|19th||Gold||Intermezzo||11012||Tim Townsend||Jacqueline Townsend||Medway Yacht Club||11.0||6.0||9.0||(29.0 DNF)||29.0 DNC||29.0 DNS||29.0 DNC||142.0||113.0|
|20th||Gold||Coronation||11441||Mark Lee||George Buxton||MYC||8.0||(29.0 DNS)||29.0 DNC||29.0 DNC||29.0 DNC||9.0||14.0||147.0||118.0|
|21st||Gold||No name||11432||Richard Bailey||Ian Curtis||Rollesby Broad Sailing Club||3.0||(29.0 DNF)||12.0||29.0 DNC||29.0 DNC||29.0 DNF||29.0 DNC||160.0||131.0|
|22nd||Silver||The poacher||10648||Monica Schaefer||Patty Kuntz||Greystones SC||(29.0 DNF)||29.0 DNC||21.0||17.0||16.0||29.0 DNC||29.0 DNF||170.0||141.0|
|23rd||Gold||Muffin||10974||Richard Stone||Catherine Gore||Medway yacht club||16.0||(29.0 DNF)||18.0||29.0 DNC||29.0 DNC||29.0 DNC||29.0 DNC||179.0||150.0|
|24th||Silver||Last Orders||9770||Brian Lamb||Dave Royce||Dabchicks||21.0||(29.0 DNS)||17.0||29.0 DNF||29.0 DNC||29.0 DNF||29.0 DNC||183.0||154.0|
|25th||Silver||Loose Knots||10614||Mark Penny||Sarah Mason||Medway Yacht Club||19.0||(29.0 DNC)||29.0 DNC||29.0 DNC||29.0 DNC||29.0 DNC||29.0 DNC||193.0||164.0|
|26th||Gold||Guinness II||11282||Nigel O’Donnell||Belinda O’Donnell||Swarkestone SC||(29.0 DNF)||29.0 DNC||20.0||29.0 DNC||29.0 DNC||29.0 DNC||29.0 DNC||194.0||165.0|
|27th||Bronze||KNOT RUSHIN’||11405||Philip Clarabut||Camilla Hobart-Smith||Medway Yacht Club||20.0||(29.0 DNF)||29.0 DNC||29.0 DNC||29.0 DNC||29.0 DNC||29.0 DNC||194.0||165.0|
|28th||Gold||Huginn||11128||Tim Wood||James Shaw||Dabchicks SC – West Mersea YC||(29.0 DNC)||29.0 DNC||29.0 DNC||29.0 DNC||29.0 DNC||29.0 DNC||29.0 DNC||203.0||174.0|
Craftinsure Wayfarer National Circuit Eastern Championship at Medway Yacht Club
Generously sponsored by Craftinsure, Shepherd Neame, Wayfarer Wines, Hartley Boats and Pirates Cave, the Wayfarers returned to the familiar venue of Medway Yacht Club for the fourth event of the UKWA Craftinsure National Circuit which also acted as the Eastern Championship held over the weekend of the 17/18th June. Previous events on the circuit in 2023 had been successfully held at Datchet, West Oxfordshire and Parkstone and so the Eastern Championships were eagerly anticipated.
15 boats competed over the two days with several Circuit regulars joining the strong home fleet including reigning International, European and National Champions Michael McNamara and Simon Townsend, Andrew and Tom Wilson, Bill Whitney and John Shelton and recent West Oxfordshire Winners Nigel and Belinda O’Donnell. There was also a very welcome contingent from Blackwater Sailing Club (Steve and George Perkins and Martyn Hare and Dave Evans). Sadly, John Clementson and Guy Marks could not attend but they had the consolidation of winning the Graduate nationals at Northampton Sailing Club over the same weekend (well done John and Guy).
Saturday dawned with a reasonable easterly of around 8-12 knots. This direction did necessitate a lengthy sail down to the race area that caught out a couple of the competitors as the Race team cracked on with the start sequence over a well-set windward/leeward course. The race area was located in Long Reach providing open water for a near perfect arena for the weekends racing. Andrew and Tom Wilson set the tone for the weekend by taking the first bullet of the weekend, followed by Michael McNamara and Simon Townsend who were slightly late arriving to the race arena. Local MYC team and a new pairing on the circuit in 2023, Ian Foxwell and Sam Pygall took the final podium place in the curtain raiser.
The top two (Wilson/Wilson and McNamara/Townsend) swapped places in race 2 to tighten things as the top of the leader board with Foxwell/Pygall again taking 3rd. Behind these consistent pairings, significant place swapping was occurring, highlighting the closeness of the fleet.
This general competitiveness to the racing over the weekend was aptly demonstrated in the third race of the day which probably involved the closest racing on the circuit for many a year and certainly in this author’s recollection. Battling all the way around and never more than a few metres apart with multiple place changes, a virtual blanket finish saw Foxwell/Pygall round the final leeward in first and snatch a win through some judicious covering, followed by the strong Bill Whitney/John Shelton pairing and local MYC legend’s Richard Stone and Catherine Gore in 3rd. The Wilsons pinched a critical 4th place ahead of McNamara/Townsend which meant things were close across the top 3 after the three races.
With a dubious forecast for Day 2, the race team pressed ahead to get ahead of schedule and held a fourth race of the day. The Wilsons got back to the front of the fleet and led from start to finish to get a firm grip on the event. Foxwell/Pygall closed out an excellent first day with a 2nd and Richard and Catherine continued their climb up the leader board with another podium. This mean that overnight leaders were the Wilsons, followed closely by Foxwell/Pygall and McNamara/Townsend.
As per a growing Wayfarer tradition across many of our open meetings, the fleet enjoyed free beer and selection of cakes post the racing which provided an excellent opportunity to debrief on the day’s events. The evening’s entertainment laid on by the Club for competitors included a drinks reception, three course dinner and a quiz compered by Mark Penny.
Two races were scheduled for the Sunday to close out the open meeting. Initially, The wind was close to non-existent, so towing was required to get the fleet to the same racing arena as Saturday. The flat calm was eventually broken when the wind did fill in and continued to build from the south. The course was shifted to the sausage-triangle configuration which offered some alternative downwind tactics but familiar faces were at the front again. The Wilson team took another bullet in race 5 and put themselves in a great position for the weekend overall. Following some close racing, Stone/Gore pipped Foxwell/Pygall on the line with McNamara/Townsend coming 4th. Sunday entrants only John Goudie and Sam Boniface showed some form by coming 5th.
The final race of the championships was held in the strongest winds of the weekend and with the added addition of a westerly component. The triangle added some extra thrills with the fastest spinnaker sailing of the weekend but presenting some opportunities for it to go horribly wrong. The Wilsons confirmed their dominance of the weekend by taking the final gun of the weekend, winning with a tremendous demonstration of Wayfarer sailing skill. Craftinsure sponsor Mark Lee, crewed by George Buxton, made a fantastic start in the last race, powering off the line and leading at the windward mar. This team gave the Wilsons a run for their money for two of the four laps before succumbing and eventually being reeled in by the McNamara and Townsend team, but still finishing a very creditable 3rd place for their best result of the weekend.
After six races and one discard, the results were decided. The Wilsons showing their class with a comprehensive victory, including 4 bullets over the series. The other two individual racing winning pairs, Foxwell and Pygall and McNamara and Townsend made up the podium, with local team Richard Stone and Catherine Gore making it a great open for Medway with two boats in the top four.
On behalf of the visitors, Andrew thanked everybody at the Medway Yacht Club for their hospitality, but especially the race team led by Jamie Blair, for a wonderful weekend of sailing. Again, thanks must also go to the event sponsors, Wayfarer Wines, Craftinsure, Hartley Boats Pirates Cave and Shepherd Neame.
The next event on the Craftinsure National Circuit is the National Championships to be held from the 30th June to the 2nd July at Dabchicks Sailing Club where a number of teams will be looking to do well and capitalise on good form in the first half of the season.
|1st||11093||Restless||Andrew Wilson||Tom Wilson||1||2||?4||1||1||1||6|
|2nd||11170||Brian’s Boat||Ian Foxwell||Sam Pygall||3||3||1||2||3||?6||12|
|3rd||11321||The Smuggler||Mike Mcnamara||Simon Townsend||2||1||?5||4||4||2||13|
|4th||10974||Muffin||Richard Stone||Catherine Gore||5||?10||3||3||2||5||18|
|5th||10688||Big Dipper||Bill Whitney||John Shelton||4||4||2||7||6||(DNF)||23|
|6th||11441||Coronation||Mark Lee||George Buxton||?9||5||6||5||7||3||26|
|7th||10686||Hercules’ Hound||Brian McKenzie||Liz McKenzie||?11||7||10||6||8||4||35|
|8th||11305||Pickle||Martyn Hare||Dave Evans||7||9||11||8||?13||9||44|
|9th||11282||Guiness II||Nigel O’Donnell||Belinda O’Donnell||6||12||7||?13||10||10||45|
|10th||10757||Oyster Catcher||Steve Perkins||George Perkins||12||6||?13||10||9||8||45|
|11th||11405||Knot Rushin’||Philip Clarabut||Ed Hobart?Smith||8||8||9||?12||11||11||47|
|12th||11012||Intermezzo||Tim Towsend||Jacqueline Townsend||10||11||8||9||12||?13||50|
|13th||11118||Happy Ever After!||John Goudie||Sam Boniface||(DNC)||DNC||DNC||DNC||5||7||60|
|14th||10614||Loose Knots||Mark Penny||Sarah Mason||13||13||12||11||(DNC)||DNC||65|
|15th||11315||Wild Thing||Mike Pimm||Peter Dilley||?14||14||14||14||14||12||68|
Eastern Championships at Medway YC 17-18 June 2023
MYC hosted a wonderful weekend with Fish & Chips or a Steak dinner on Friday and a delicious Wayfarer meal on Saturday followed by a super quiz by Mark Penny.
Sincere thanks to Jamie Blair who organised the racing, and his assistants on and off the water.
Full report and details to follow.