Wayfarer International and UKWA National Championship 2019 at Greystones Sailing Club

by Tim Townsend

Wayfarer International Championship 2019 © Alan Jones
The Wayfarer International Championship takes place every three years and in 2019 was hosted by Greystones SC, Co Wicklow, a few miles south of Dublin. The event was sponsored by Craftinsure, Hartley Boats, Allen Brothers, Irish Ferries and The Beach House, Greystones; and included the UKWA National Championship and the Irish Championship.

The 2016 iteration of the International Championship was held at Heeg in the Netherlands. In that event former Danish Olympic Star representative Mogens Just, crewed by Anders Friis, had prevailed over multiple Wayfarer International and UK National Champions, Michael McNamara and Simon Townsend by just a single point after the two teams had dominated a predominantly light air series. Two years later at the European Championships in Assens, Denmark, McNamara and Townsend retained the European title they had won in 2014 at Weymouth. Once again the competition with Just and Friis had taken the two pairs away from the rest of the fleet and the result might have been closer had Mogens Just been fully fit.

The 2019 International Championship was promising a resumption of this intense racing at the head of the fleet but it was possible there would be stronger competition this year from the rest, led by Andrew and Tom Wilson and Bill Whitney and John Shelton from the UK if the wind was strong and any number of good Danish teams who had been improving during the past few years. Good and experienced Wayfarer sailors from Ireland (North and South) and from Canada and the USA would add to the mix.

Monday 22nd July – After a weekend of measuring and registration racing got under way on with a practice race and Race 1. The forecast was for winds from the south averaging windspeeds (measured in knots) in the teens and topping out in the low 20’s. Numbers were depleted a little in the practice race and there were a number of capsizes and retirements as winds topping out at 24 knots coupled with a confused chop over a swell took their toll.

The practice race and the Idlers Bucket was won by Andrew and Tom Wilson who were laying down an early marker of their form and were followed home by the Danish team of Niels Alslev and Anders Pjetursson, who revel in strong winds, and Bill Whitney and John Shelton.

In their defence, neither McNamara nor Just troubled with the practice race but they both took the stage for Race 1 which was sailed in similar conditions. Just led from the start with McNamara close behind and they finished in that order. Game on.The Wilsons maintained their good form from earlier in the day by completing the podium and sending a message to the leaders not to expect it all their own way.

With the conditions showing no sign of easing the PRO, Tom Rusbridge, made the sensible decision not to run a second points race and sent the fleet home.

On Monday evening there was a welcome social with Irish music and dancing including a guest performer in the band of Danish concert violinist (and W sailor) Meike Fomsgaard.

Tuesday 23rd July – Tuesday dawned still windy and with a difficult sea state which the PRO thought might deter the less experienced or confident racers from racing and a decision was taken to postpone for a couple of hours and see if the wind would moderate which it was forecast to do. Race 2 eventually started at about 1400hrs with a full fleet in attendance and a triangle/sausage course of three rounds was completed in a moderate but slowly softening breeze. The winners of this race by a comfortable margin were Mike McNamara and Simon Townsend followed by Just and Friis. The Wilsons finished third. Race 3 got under way under a black flag in a hiking breeze but by the time the second beat started all but the lightest teams were now underpowered. Bill Whitney and John Shelton had led from the start but as the fleet sailed down the run the wind shut off completely leaving the PRO no option but to abandon that race and racing for the day.

Two days had passed therefore and just two series races had been completed.

Wednesday 24th July – This was designated catch-up Wednesday with up to 4 races planned in a forecast 13-18 knots.

Race 3 was resailed under the previous day’s black flag with a few boats prohibited from taking part under the black flag rule. The main protagonists were at the front again but this time joined by Bill Whitney and John Shelton who seemed not to have been too badly affected by the frustration of leading the abandoned race. The conditions for this race were perfect at the start with most of the fleet enjoying fantastic three sail reaches. The wind built as the race progressed, however, making the reaches on the final lap more challenging. Just and Friis stumbled a little in their challenge at this point because the race was won by McNamara and Townsend followed by the Wilsons. Whitney and Shelton completed the podium with Just and Friis only in fourth place.

Race 4 was sailed in about 20 knots of breeze and the confused sea state had properly returned. This race was led from start to finish by the Wilsons who demonstrated some blistering speed upwind and down. They were followed home by Whitney and Shelton and by Just and Friis. This time it was the turn of McNamara and Townsend to falter somewhat as they finished fourth. A few of the Bronze fleet boats went home in this race and there were a few capsizes and retirements for other favoured teams.

By the time Race 5 started the wind was gusting at over 20 knots and the sea state was deteriorating once more (more difficult in both Mike Mac’s and Mogens Just’s views than Monday’s conditions). This time it was Just and Friis who got away at the start and went on to win followed by Mcnamara and Townsend. The Wilsons finished in third to complete a successful day for them. There were more casualties in this race with several boats capsizing on the final run to the finish. Fortunately the support boats were well manned and all teams and their boats were successfully recovered.

With the conditions as they were the PRO chose not to start Race 6 at this time and the fleet was sent home.

Overnight with five races completed and one discard, McNamara and Townsend led the event with 6 points, followed closely by Just and Friis with 7 points and the Wilsons with 9 points. It was looking like the winner would come from one of these, although Whitney and Shelton were lurking not far behind as an outside prospect.

Thursday 25th July – The forecast for Thursday looked marginal at best with 25-30 knots of breeze forecast. The PRO chose to call a lay day leaving battered sailors the chance to recover and/or go sightseeing. Trips to Dublin, to visit the gardens at nearby Powerscourt House or to follow the cliff walk to Bray seemed to be the order of the day.

Friday 26th July – This was the last day of the championship. Another windy day was forecast and with the points so close the top competitors were wanting at least one more chance to seal victory.

The forecast, as briefed, was for winds of 15-20 knots to decrease during the day to 9-11 knots. The PRO indicated an intention to sail three races, possibly the maximum of four, to conclude the event.

As it happened the forecast gentle Irish breeze turned out to be a fruity 15-24 knots with the rough and confused seas we had to deal with all week and only two races were completed before the PRO called it a day. Once again there were several capsizes and retirements

As with Wednesday, races started under a black flag. McNamara and Townsend won Race 6 from the Danes, Bjarne Lindquist and Jan St Nielsen. Just and Friis came third. A broken spinnaker pole and capsize for Whitney and Shelton put paid to their slim chances of victory. The advantage was now with McNamara and Townsend. However, Just and Friis won Race 7 from the Wilsons with McNamara and Townsend completing the podium. With no more races sailed but the second discard kicking in after Race 7 the overall result would be close once again.

When the scores were calculated Michael McNamara and Simon Townsend had done enough to secure the championship from Mogens Just and Anders Friis by just the single point. Andrew and Tom Wilson finished in third place overall after an excellent and consistent set of results. These three teams were a comfortable distance ahead Bill Whitney and John Shelton who held on for fourth place overall pipping Niels Alslev and Anders Pjetursson who had enjoyed an excellent week with a string of fourth and fifth places.

In the UKWA National Championships McNamara and Townsend won fairly comfortably from the Wilsons. Whitney and Shelton completed the podium while Brian and Liz McKenzie finished in fourth place and were the best placed husband and wife team.

The Irish Championship was dominated by boats from the host club and was won by John Turner and Ken Lee from Seamus O’Cleirich and Stephen Tiernan.

The prize giving supper was well attended. Trophies were distributed along with a tally number raffle of sponsors prizes. A key feature of this Championship was the way competitors from different clubs and different countries mixed together off the water and the closing evening’s revelries were no exception. On behalf of the competitors Michael McNamara thanked the host Club, the organisers and the race team for a wonderful week.

UKWA National Championship Overall Results:
If you finished in the top ten at the Wayfarer nationals then enter your Gear Guide information here

Pos Fleet Sail No Nat Helm Crew Club Practice R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 Pts
1st Gold 10648 GBR Michael McNamara Simon Townsend Rollesby Broad SC (DNF) 1 1 1 ?3 1 1 ?2 5
2nd Gold 11093 GBR Andrew Wilson Tom Wilson Datchet Water SC ?1 ?2 ?2 2 1 2 2 1 8
3rd Gold 10688 GBR Bill Whitney John Shelton Shoreham SC ?2 ?3 3 3 2 3 (DNF) 3 14
4th Gold 10686 GBR Brian McKenzie Liz McKenzie Medway YC ?4 7 5 4 4 7 ?10 (DNF) 27
5th Gold 10673 GBR David Roberts Tegwyn Tricker Bough Beech SC ?7 ?15 6 (DSQ) 6 8 4 4 28
6th Gold 11012 GBR Tim Townsend Jacqueline Townsend Medway YC ?10 4 7 6 ?8 ?11 6 7 30
7th Gold 11170 GBR Brian Lamb Sam Pygell Wilsonian SC ?6 ?14 8 5 ?11 10 8 5 36
8th Silver 10018 IRL John Turner Ken Lee GSC ?5 (DNS) 13 (DNS) 10 9 3 9 44
9th Gold 10794 GBR Matthew Scott Freddie Scott Norfolk Punt Club ?9 5 18 10 7 6 (DNC) (DNC) 46
10th Gold 10974 GBR Richard Stone Catherine Gore Medway YC (DNS) 9 4 13 (DNS) (DNC) 9 15 50
11th Silver 11183 GBR Mike Weighill Carl Martin Swarkestone SC ?15 (DNF) 14 12 ?17 5 13 6 50
12th Silver 10716 GBR Chas Hammond Mandy Hammond Shoreham SC ?3 (DNS) 10 14 16 4 (DSQ) 8 52
13th Silver 10111 IRL Ciaran Keogh Adam Leddy GSC ?18 13 16 9 (DNS) (DNS) 5 10 53
14th Gold 10947 GBR Stewart Coltart Catriona Coltart Medway YC ?14 6 9 18 5 (DNC) ?25 17 55
15th Silver 10934 IRL Seamus O’Cleirigh Stephen Tiernan GSC ?12 12 11 11 ?13 12 11 ?20 57
16th Silver 11211 GBR Mark Lee Jane Lee Medway YC ?13 10 15 (DNS) 12 ?18 7 14 58
17th Gold 11152 IRL Norman Lee Peter Kennedy GSC ?19 (DNS) 12 7 14 (DNS) 14 11 58
18th Silver 10596 IRL Gordon Jess Rachel Bevan East Down YC ?11 8 19 ?26 18 13 15 (DNC) 73
19th Silver 11282 GBR Nigel O’Donnell Belinda O’Donnell Swarkestone SC ?17 (DNF) ?22 15 15 14 18 12 74
20th Silver 10826 IRL Margaret Hynes Mike Hayes Cullaun ?16 11 ?23 20 ?21 16 19 13 79
21st Silver 11118 GBR John Goudie Ewan Fleming/Evan Dargan Hayes Wilsonian SC ?20 16 17 ?22 19 19 12 (DNC) 83
22nd Silver 11167 GBR Kenneth Underhill Gail Penny Aldeburgh YC (DNS) (DNS) 20 21 ?22 17 16 19 93
23rd Silver 11299 IRL Monica Schaefer Miriam McCarthy GSC (DNF) (DNS) ?25 16 24 21 20.5 18 99.5
24th Bronze 11039 IRL David Lawlor Rachel/Patrick Lawlor National Yacht Club ?21 17 ?29 ?31 27 23 24 22 113
25th Bronze 11129 GBR Paul Hughes Tracey Villa Arun YC ?8 (DNS) 21 (DNS) DNF 15 20.5 16 113.5
26th Bronze 10798 GBR Peter Redshaw Jannette Redshaw Aldeburgh YC (DNS) (DNS) 26 27 26 (DNC) 22 23 124
27th Bronze 11268 GBR Keith Maxwell Karen McCallion EDYC (DNS) (DNS) (DNS) 30 23 20 DNC 21 135
28th Bronze 10935 IRL Margie Crawford Elaine Vogan East Down YC (DNS) (DNS) 24 24 (DNS) DNS 23 24 136
29th Bronze 11000 GBR Liz Feibusch Will Cleverley Orford SC (DNS) (DNS) 31 17 9 (DNC) DNF DNC 139
30th Bronze 1611 IRL Gordon Reid Finlay Reid East Down YC ?22 (DNF) 28 28 29 (DNS) 26 28 139
31st Bronze 11107 GBR Tony Geary Yvette Geary Waldringfield (DNS) (DNS) (DNF) 8 DNS DNS 17 DNC 148
32nd Bronze 10509 IRL Tony Garry Joey Dempsey Bray Sailing Club ?23 (DNF) 30 34 30 (DNS) 28 27 149
33rd Bronze 1846 IRL Damien Brennan Barry Keogh GSC (DNS) (DNS) (DNF) 33 DNF 22 30 26 152
34th Bronze 10803 GBR Jonathan Christie Ellie Christie Aldeburgh YC (DNS) (DNS) (DNF) 19 20 DNS DNC DNC 162
35th Bronze 9159 GBR Tom Morris Greg Morris Queen Mary SC (DNS) (DNS) (DNF) 32 DNF DNS 27 25 166
36th Bronze 10695 GBR John Miller Rosemary Miller East Down YC (DNS) (DNS) 27 29 28 (DNC) DNC DNC 166
37th Bronze 10939 IRL David Nixon Morgan Burgess GSC (DNS) (DNS) (DNF) 23 25 DNC DNC DNC 171
38th Bronze 7038 IRL David Doran Izak Kielmovitch WHBTC (DNS) (DNS) 32 (DNS) DNC DNC 29 DNC 184
39th Bronze 404 GBR Rodney Hall Tony Hill EDYL (DNS) (DNS) (DNF) 25 DNS DNC DNC DNC 189
40th Bronze 6557 IRL Michael Haig Niamh Haig Cullaun (DNS) (DNS) (DNF) DNS DNS DNC DNC DNC 205

International Championship Overall Results:

Pos Fleet Sail No Nat Helm Crew Club Practice R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 Pts
1st Gold 10648 GBR Michael McNamara Simon Townsend Rollesby Broad SC (DNF) 2 1 1 ?4 2 1 ?3 7
2nd Gold 10812 DEN Mogens Just Anders Friis Kaløvig Bådelaug (DNS) 1 2 ?4 ?3 1 3 1 8
3rd Gold 11093 GBR Andrew Wilson Tom Wilson Datchet Water SC ?1 ?3 3 2 1 3 ?5 2 11
4th Gold 10688 GBR Bill Whitney John Shelton Shoreham SC ?3 ?6 5 3 2 5 (DNF) 5 20
5th Gold 11219 DEN Niels Alslev Anders Pjetursson Farum Sejlklub ?2 4 4 5 5 ?6 ?8 4 22
6th Gold 11123 DEN Bjarne Lindquist Jan St Nielsen Ho Bust Sejlklub ?14 5 ?13 6 6 4 2 ?34 23
7th Gold 11031 DEN Christian Elkjær Iversen Jørgen Iversen Farum Sejlklub ?4 ?13 7 7 8 7 4 ?11 33
8th Gold 10908 DEN Christian Milert Hansen Kim Fremlev Larsen Farum Sejlklub (DNS) 7 6 ?9 7 8 ?16 7 35
9th Gold 10787 DEN Jan Kjeldsen Jørgen Binzer Herslev Strand SK ?6 8 ?11 8 ?10 9 6 6 37
10th Gold 11006 DEN Stephan Nandrup?Bus Hans Wiggers Hansen Herslev Strand SK (DNF) 9 8 11 11 ?17 ?35 8 47
11th Gold 10686 GBR Brian McKenzie Liz McKenzie Medway YC ?7 14 10 10 9 13 ?15 (DNF) 56
12th Gold 10673 GBR David Roberts Tegwyn Tricker Bough Beech SC ?10 ?23 12 (DSQ) 13 14 9 9 57
13th Gold 11012 GBR Tim Townsend Jacqueline Townsend Medway YC ?13 10 14 13 ?15 ?18 11 13 61
14th Gold 11170 GBR Brian Lamb Sam Pygell Wilsonian SC ?9 ?21 15 12 ?18 16 13 10 66
15th Silver 10018 IRL John Turner Ken Lee GSC ?8 (DNS) 20 (DNS) 17 15 7 15 74
16th Gold 10794 GBR Matthew Scott Freddie Scott Norfolk Punt Club ?12 11 25 17 14 12 (DNS) (DNF) 79
17th Gold 10974 GBR Richard Stone Catherine Gore Medway YC (DNS) 16 9 20 (DNS) (DNC) 14 21 80
18th Silver 11183 GBR Mike Weighill Carl Martin Swarkestone SC ?20 (DNF) 21 19 ?24 11 19 12 82
19th Silver 10716 GBR Chas Hammond Mandy Hammond Shoreham SC ?5 (DNS) 17 21 23 10 (DSQ) 14 85
20th Silver 10111 IRL Ciaran Keogh Adam Leddy GSC ?23 20 23 16 (DNS) (DNS) 10 16 85
21st Gold 10947 GBR Stewart Coltart Catriona Coltart Medway YC ?19 12 16 25 12 (DNC) ?34 23 88
22nd Silver 11211 GBR Mark Lee Jane Lee Medway YC ?18 17 22 (DNS) 19 ?26 12 20 90
23rd Gold 11152 IRL Norman Lee Peter Kennedy GSC ?24 (DNS) 19 14 21 (DNS) 20 17 91
24th Silver 10934 IRL Seamus O’Cleirigh Stephen Tiernan GSC ?16 19 18 18 ?20 19 17 ?28 91
25th Silver 10596 IRL Gordon Jess Rachel Bevan East Down YC ?15 15 26 ?35 25 20 21 (DNF) 107
26th Silver 11282 GBR Nigel O’Donnell Belinda O’Donnell Swarkestone SC ?22 (DNF) ?29 22 22 21 25 18 108
27th Silver 10826 IRL Margaret Hynes Mike Hayes Cullaun ?21 18 ?31 28 ?29 23 26 19 114
28th Silver 11118 GBR John Goudie Ewan Fleming/Evan Dargan Hayes Wilsonian SC ?26 24 24 ?30 26 27 18 (DNF) 119
29th Silver 11167 GBR Kenneth Underhill Gail Penny Aldeburgh YC (DNS) (DNS) 27 29 ?30 25 22 26 129
30th Bronze 9644 CAN Kit Wallace Jonathan Dart TS&CC (DNS) (DNS) 35 (DNS) 27 24 24 24 134
31st Silver 11299 IRL Monica Schaefer Miriam McCarthy GSC (DNF) (DNS) ?34 23 32 31 30 25 141
32nd Silver 11225 DEN Meike Fomsgaard Franke Anne Jensen Ho Bugt ?17 (DNF) ?38 26 35 30 27 27 145
33rd Silver 11280 CAN Scott Ramsay Les Sherratt Conestoga SC ?30 22 30 36 34 (DNC) (DNF) 30 152
34th Bronze 11129 GBR Paul Hughes Tracey Villa Arun YC ?11 (DNS) 28 (DNS) DNF 22 28 22 154
35th Silver 9648 CAN Robert Wierdsma Samantha Wierdsma Mississauga YC ?25 26 36 ?40 ?38 28 32 32 154
36th Bronze 11039 IRL David Lawlor Rachel/Patrick Lawlor National Yacht Club ?27 25 ?41 ?42 37 32 33 31 158
37th Bronze 10798 GBR Peter Redshaw Jannette Redshaw Aldeburgh YC (DNS) (DNS) 37 37 36 (DNC) 29 33 172
38th Bronze 11268 GBR Keith Maxwell Karen McCallion EDYC (DNS) (DNS) (DNS) 41 31 29 DNF 29 184
39th Bronze 10935 IRL Margie Crawford Elaine Vogan East Down YC (DNS) (DNS) 33 32 (DNS) DNS 31 35 185
40th Bronze 11000 GBR Liz Feibusch Will Cleverley Orford SC (DNS) (DNS) 43 24 16 (DNC) DNF DNF 191
41st Bronze 1611 IRL Gordon Reid Finlay Reid East Down YC ?28 (DNF) 40 38 40 (DNS) 36 39 193
42nd Bronze 11107 GBR Tony Geary Yvette Geary Waldringfield (DNS) (DNS) (DNF) 15 DNS DNS 23 DNF 200
43rd Bronze 10509 IRL Tony Garry Joey Dempsey Bray Sailing Club ?29 (DNF) 42 45 41 (DNS) 38 38 204
44th Bronze 10803 GBR Jonathan Christie Ellie Christie Aldeburgh YC (DNS) (DNS) (DNF) 27 28 DNS DNF DNF 217
45th Bronze 9159 GBR Tom Morris Greg Morris Queen Mary SC (DNS) (DNS) (DNF) 43 DNF DNS 37 36 224
46th Bronze 10695 GBR John Miller Rosemary Miller East Down YC (DNS) (DNS) 39 39 39 (DNC) DNF DNF 225
47th Bronze 10939 IRL David Nixon Morgan Burgess GSC (DNS) (DNS) (DNF) 31 33 DNC DNF DNF 226
48th Bronze 9059 USA Jim Heffernan Mark Heffernan Lake Townsend YC (DNS) (DNS) 32 33 (DNS) DNC DNF DNF 227
49th Bronze 1846 IRL Damien Brennan Barry Keogh GSC (DNS) (DNS) (DNF) 44 DNF DNC 41 37 230
50th Bronze 7038 IRL David Doran Izak Kielmovitch WHBTC (DNS) (DNS) 44 (DNS) DNC DNC 39 DNF 245
51st Bronze 9738 USA John Cadman Patty Kuntz Lake Eustis Sailing Club (RET) (DNS) 45 (DNS) DNS DNC 40 DNF 247
52nd Bronze 404 GBR Rodney Hall Tony Hill EDYL (DNS) (DNS) (DNF) 34 DNS DNC DNS DNF 250
53rd Bronze 6557 IRL Michael Haig Niamh Haig Cullaun (DNS) (DNS) (DNF) DNS DNS DNC DNF DNF 270