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{jumi [iRollover/iRollover.php] [2011/nationals][winners: Andy Davis and Tom Pygall]}

Stone Sailing Club: Friday 20th – Sunday 22nd May

Stone Sailing Club hosted our Nationals this year, as they did in 2010. There was a ring of familiarity about the venue. Wind a plenty for the first two days which abated considerably on the last. More materially, we saw the same level of commitment and expertise from the race and shore teams and about which a very successful and enjoyable event was built.

Fifteen boats contested the nationals, including two teams of mixed nationalities, representing seven different Clubs, plus an entry from the Orkneys. Unfortunately Alison and Guy Welch were unable to participate on the last day due to a pressing issue at home and were missed, both on the water and ashore.

The first day was a boisterous affair with winds registering in the upper Beaufort force 4. The wind however was running with the tide and the water was not unduly disturbed. With an eye on a deteriorating weather forecast for Sunday, the race team ran an extra race, making three in total. Snipe newcomers, Andy Davis and Tom Pygall, dominated the first day’s racing; winning all races with considerable ease. Overnight three teams were tied for second place - Alan Williams and Liz Pike, Ian Knight and Graham Hoy and Sue and Steve Roberts, with Ian Marshall and Ewan Harris in close pursuit. There were a few retirements, the most significant of which were suffered by the Anglo-Franco team of Maxim Romain and Pete Wolstenholme.

As forecast, the second day was more windy. The Race Officer ventured out into the estuary to test the conditions and reported that the sea conditions were more disturbed than the day before and the winds quite significantly stronger. Considering the forecast was for the winds to increase further, the Club recommended that sailing be abandoned for the day and an extra race sailed on the last day. The proposal was accepted and which prompted a series of non-sailing events. The younger - and the young at heart - commenced a sailing regatta ashore which included many rules of uncertain origin and interpretation but which required each race to be sailed in close proximity to the bar! A game of rounders was organised on the green with support from local residents. Helms against crews. The first game was won in convincing style by the crews. For the second, the distance between the bases was reduced and which resulted in the opposite result (which might support the view that crews have to be fitter than helms!). After rounders came football. The most visible element of which was the skins team. The result was a triumph for youth with Ashley Smith scoring a hatrick…albeit for the losing team! However, in the final analysis, there were four winners; Luis Martin (best all-rounder), Graham Hoy (barefoot toe-punt specialist) and Team Davis/Pygall (there is no limit to their sporting abilities).

After the sporting events, practically the whole of the fleet lent their support to the repairs being undertaken by Romain/Wolstenholme. The repairs were sufficient to encroach upon the AGM. The solution was obvious. The AGM was therefore held in the dinghy park and contributors often emphasised their views with a flourish of a screwdriver or hacksaw. Of many issues under debate, their was considerable support for Pete Tipler’s presentation in favour of the 2013 Nationals being held in the Orkneys; so plan your holiday the year after next around a jaunt to the Northern Isles.

The evening was a great success. There were stories aplenty, including Luis’ proposals to the attractive barmaid, a YouTube worthy disco dance-off competition between the on-shore sailing racers and more, all lubricated by Highland Park malt whisky donated by Malcolm Tipler.

The third day required an early start – which was not in best keeping with the events of the previous night. However, all made the first race, though a general recall helped for some. The actual start of the first race was marked by a strong tide pushing competitors over the line. It was business as usual for Team Davis/Pygall and who maintained their pace in the (relatively) lighter conditions. Other teams made their presence felt. Brian Gregory and Luis Martin found their true form with a 2nd and a 3rd, whilst Richard and Debbie Marshall demonstrated far too much pace for a relatively inexperienced pairing. Andy and Carol Gibson revealed their normal form with a 2nd in the last race. The race for second place was however resolved in favour of Williams/Pike and who were far and away the most consistent of the fleet after Davies/Pygall. Of the remainder, Team Roberts sneaked ahead of Teams Knight/Hoy and Marshall/Harris. The final results are set our below but fail to capture the good spirit of the event. Team Davies/Pygall were satisfied to take home the majority of the silverware, leaving the prizes, including those donated by DB Marine, to the rest. A new perpetual trophy, the Deadweight Award, was awarded this year in recognition of special skills which were not of positive value to performance. For 2011, three candidates had made a play but the award went to Cecile Gregory for repeated and in one case quite spectacular exits from her boat.

Despite demonstrating all the hallmarks of superhero status, it was comforting to hear that Andy Davis was suffering from sore limbs by the end of racing. However, it transpired this was a reaction to his long innings at the rounders game!

Andy Davis’ acceptance speech noted the warmth of the Snipe fleet and it summed up what is so special about the Snipe fleet.

Steve Roberts
Basil 29611

SailNo HelmName CrewName R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 Nett Pos
29794 ANDY DAVIS TOM PYGALL -1 1 1 1 1 1 5 1
30316 ALAN WILLIAMS LIZ PIKE -6 2 4 2 3 4 15 2
29611 SUE ROBERTS STEVE ROBERTS 5 4 3 6 6 -8 24 3
29164 IAN KNIGHT GRAHAM HOY 7 3 2 -8 8 6 26 4
29501 IAIN MARSHALL EWAN HARRIS 3 6 5 5 9 -10 28 5
29374 ANDY GIBSON CAROL GIBSON 9 5 6 7 -10 2 29 6
29970 RICHARD MARSHALL DEBBIE MARSHALL -11 10 7 3 5 9 34 7
30315 BRIAN GREGORY LOUIS MARTIN 10 -11 9 11 OCS 2 3 35 8
30226 MARK ANTONELLI IAN RUMBLE 2 9 8 9 -13 7 35 9
28461 MAXIM ROMAIN PETER WOLSTENHOLME 4 15 DNF (18 DNC) 4 7 5 35 10
28451 IAN GREGORY CECILE GREGORY 8 7 (13 DNF) 11 OCS 4 12 42 11
30834 ERIC PALLMAN ANITA SCORLEY -12 8 11 11 OCS 11 11 52 12
30227 JAMES PRESTWICH CHRIS NEWSON 13 12 10 10 -14 14 59 13
20557 PETER TIPLER RICHARD LAMBERT 14 15 DNF (18 DNC) 11 OCS 12 13 65 14
27106 GUY WELCH ALISON WELCH 16 DNF (18 DNC) 18 DNC 18 DNC 18 DNC 18 DNC 88 15

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