18 Foot Skiff UK National Championship day 3 – Challenging conditions

18 Foot Skiff UK National Championship 2011
Eddie Aldrige
18 Foot Skiff UK National Championship was hosted by Watersport Academy in Sandbanks, Poole. The 18 foot Skiff sailors assembled on the beach for the final day of racing on Monday, 29th August.

With sunshine and 10knts of breeze blowing offshore, the Race Officer, Jon Gorringe was able to set an exciting short course with windward marks straight off the beach satisfying the demands of the growing spectator interest during the bank holiday weekend. And there was plenty to race for. Would new arrivals Team Carsington be able to hold on to second with their five point lead on Investec? Could anything stop team Pica lying a comfortable first place? Could Hyde’s recover from the extra points they were carrying due to gear failure on Saturday to find a podium position?

18 Foot Skiff UK National Championship 2011
Eddie Aldrige

Race seven: With conditions becoming ideal in the freshening offshore breeze, Hydesails won the start with Pica and Investec having to tack off to the right hand side of the course. Hydesails played the middle of the course although the right side proved more favourable with Investec and Pica rounding just in ahead. Investec’s form was starting to come back. Positions stayed the same downwind but once around the leeward mark Pica took Investec. The shifty conditions in the top half of the course opened up some tactical opportunities which Hyde’s capitalised on closing the gap and creating a three boat overlapped rounding at the windward mark. A battle ensued downwind as the breeze increased to a gusty 17kts. At the finish Pica came first, Investec second, Hydesails third and Carsington fourth.

Race eight: With the wind shifting during the final stages of the start sequence it was Hydesails who port tacked the fleet at the gun. Investec headed hard right locking into a good left shift to lead round the windward mark. Hot on their heels, Hydesails rolled Investec on the hoist with Pica gybing out to find new pressure. Pica lead round the leeward mark with Hydesails just missing the overlap. Positions remained the same until the final downwind leg where Investec found pressure overtaking Hyde’s. Pica managed to hold off this late charge by Investec to take the bullet. Investec second, Hydesails third and Carsington fourth.

18 Foot Skiff UK National Championship 2011
Eddie Aldrige

Race nine: For the final start of the day Investec and Pica fought each other for the committee boat end with Hydesails favouring the middle of the line. However it was the boys on Rutland Skiff that pulled off the best start. The regatta leaders then started to reel in the Rutland boys. Investec and Pica taking the right hand side of the course, found themselves trailing Hydesails at the windward mark who had played the shifts up the beat. This time it was Pica and Hydesails that found the breeze through the gate with Hydesails gybing to avoid collision with a cruiser allowing Pica to lead at the leeward mark. Investec rounded the mark in second. The leading trio did battle over the next lap with places changing regularly. Having already sailed eight races these final laps tested mental and physical fitness. The three way dogfight allowed Carsington, who had sailed consistently with clear air, close the gap on the leaders. Despite applying pressure on the last lap they couldn’t quite break into the leading pack. On the final leg it was Pica that took the victorious bullet with Investec in second, Hyde sails third, Carsington fourth.

GCC Sailing Championships Day 4 - Sixth GCC Sailing Championships 2014
Icarus Sailing Media

The final scores resulted in a convincing victory for Team Pica (Stewart Mears, Tristan Hutt and Jamie Mears) who continue their season of success. Simon Hamilton, Jon Noonan and Mason Woodworth on Investec just beat Team Carsington into second. As their first 18ft Skiff regatta, Richard Bland, Peter Shaw and Richard Allen of Team Carsington can be very content with exceptionally well sailed third in a wide range of challenging conditions.

A huge thanks to Jon Gorringe and his team at Parkstone Yacht Club, The Watersports Academy and the Sandbanks Beach office for all their help in running this event.

National Championships overall results (one discard):
RankTallyBoatSail NoClubHelm NameCrew NameTotalNett
1st1Pica92RCYC / Stone SCJamie MearsStewart Mears / Tristan Hutt18.09.0
2nd3Investec30Watch Hill YCMason WoodworthSimon Hamilton / Jon Noonan33.024.0
3rd2Carsington40Carsington SCRichard AllenRichard Bland / Peter Shaw34.025.0
4th4Hyde Sails52West Mersea YCJack GroganMike Banks / Sam Caslin46.037.0
5th7HPF43Hayling Island SCSteve McLeanNick Pratt / Simon Eatwell68.059.0
6th8Rutland Skiff29Rutland SCTom HillMiguel Andrew / Mark Kudlinski70.061.0
7th6Aftica / Severn Sails16Cardiff Bay Yacht ClubMark WattsDave Freemantak / Marc Humphries71.062.0
8th5KKT11UKCCOATom KiddleStu Tinner / Matt Kiddle72.063.0

The UK 18ft Skiff Grand Prix leader board is now as follows:
RankBoatSail NoClubHelm NameCrew NameRd1Rd2Rd3Rd4Total
1stPicaGBR92RCYC / Stone SCJamie MearsStewart Mears / Tristan Hutt1.01.01.0 3.0
2ndInvestecGBR30Watch Hill YCMason WoodworthSimon Hamilton / Jon Noonan2.02.02.0 6.0
3rdHyde SailsGBR52West Mersea YCJack GroganMike Banks / Sam Caslin3.04.04.0 11.0
4thHPFGBR43Hayling Island SCSteve McLeanNick Pratt / Simon Eatwell4.03.05.0 12.0
5THCarsingtonGBR40Carsington SCRichard AllenRichard Bland / Peter Shaw7.05.03.0 15.0
6thAftica / Severn SailsGBR16Cardiff Bay Yacht ClubMark WattsDave Freemantak / Marc Humphries5.05.07.0 17.0
7thRutland SkiffGBR29Rutland SCTom HillMiguel Andrew / Mark Kudlinski6.05.06.0 17.0
8thKKTGBR11UKCCOATom KiddleStu Tinner / Matt Kiddle7.05.08.0 20.0

18 Foot Skiff UK National Championship 2011
Eddie Aldrige

18 Foot Skiff UK National Championship 2011
Eddie Aldrige

18 Foot Skiff UK National Championship 2011
Eddie Aldrige

18 Foot Skiff UK National Championship 2011
Eddie Aldrige

18 Foot Skiff UK National Championship 2011
Eddie Aldrige

UK 18 Foot Skiff National Championship 2011
Georgie Clarke

UK 18ft Skiff Association website