Chris and Tim Gibbs are UK Sharpie Champions

(l to r) Titania (Bob Curtis & Cheryl Crawford), Rockabye, Ghost

A fleet of 31 Sharpies, boosted by one German and five Dutch boats, arrived at Wells Sailing Club to give a memorable and fitting first open meeting at their newly extended clubhouse. Chris and Tim Gibbs sailing Windspiel are the new UK National Champions, with James Case and Jimmy Goodley finishing second and Job Volwater and Ton van Borkel from the Netherlands in third.

The first day's racing in Holkham Bay commenced in a force 2 North Easterly which obliged after the fleet had been towed out. Current European champions, Chris and Tim Gibbs port tacked the fleet from the pin end but were pipped to the windward mark by James Case and Jimmy Goodley.

The two boats kept close company, with Gibbs taking the lead in the failing breeze on the final downtide beat to win. Only seven boats finished within the time limit, with Jerry Clark and Rob Howlett taking third. With the tide now stronger than the breeze, the fleet were towed home.

Saturday's weather turned around with a fresh North Westerly, leaving no alternative than to sail inside the more sheltered Wells harbour. Three gruelling races ensued in drizzle then rain, testing crews & the 1931 designed gaffers to the limit. The Gibbs brothers consolidated their lead posting two firsts and a third.

Martin Read was second in race 2, with NED77 taking third. Case won race 3 with NED8, Jan Pieter Braan taking second. Race 4 saw NED14 take 2nd, Case 3rd. A total of eight capsizes & one broken mast for the day showed that the harbour course was justified and maintaining the traditional skills of bailing with a bucket on a sandy shore!

The last day saw the fleet at sea again after a delay for fog, with a lumpy sea from the previous day and a light force 2 northerly. The prestigious Duke of Connaught trophy, saw Case break clear of the pack after the first triangle, only to do a Lewis Hamilton move, & plough into Kimi Raikonnen (the leeward mark).

Meanwhile the Gibbs brothers showed their class and went from sixth to first on the next beat to tie up their 7th national title in the last 8 years. The final race was won by GER377 by a comfortable margin, obviously in a rush to catch the early ferry, with Case second and Clark third.

Race Officer, OK stalwart Andy Turner did a fantastic job with the backing of the Wells SC team.

Sharpie - Overall Results:

1 GBR125 Windspiel Chris Gibbs Tim Gibbs 1 1 1 3 1 -6 7
2 GBR12 Rockabye James Case Jimmy Goodley 2 3 -8 1 2 2 10
3 NED77 Typhoon Job Volwater Ton van Borkel 5 4 3 7 4 -13 23
4 GER377 Bunyip Klaus Eisenblatter Steffen Wussow -32 9 4 5 5 1 24
5 NED14 Jan van Galen Daan Versleeg Arnold Mulderij -32 2 5 4 3 11 25
6 GBR135 Poelsnip Martin Read Mark Buckton 4 -32 2 6 13 9 34
7 GBR133 Ghost Jerry Clark Rob Howlett 3 -16 11 12 11 3 40
8 GBR132 Liebchen Kiki Spink ?* 6 12 -17 14 7 6 47
9 GBR3 Houri Alex Scoles Cliff Nye -32 6 10 8 9 19 49
10 GBR9 Anna Marie Paddy Spink John Ellison -32 5 13 13 10 10 51
11 NED8 Bries Jan Pieter Braan Jerom Leisveld -32 32 9 2 6 5 54
12 NED62 Fuut Richard Mulderij Alistair Ogle -32 8 6 11 12 25 62
13 GBR116 Northern Lights Peter Scillitoe Terry Norton -32 7 16 16 19 7 65
14 NED135 Krekwakwou Dennis van Vliet Marcel Verlaan -32 32 7 9 8 12 65
15 GBR2 Tela Ben Cracknell Sally Wynne 7 10 12 17 20 -23 68
16 GBR137 All Weather John Fowler Richard Mainprize -32 13 19 21 15 20 88
17 GBR15 Flying Cloud Chris Hardy Noelyn Hardy -32 18 20 15 26 14 93
18 GBR68 James Nunn Henry Burkitt -32 11 21 19 32 16 99
19 GBR78 Redwing Garry Anthony Alan Coe -32 32 14 10 16 29 101
20 GBR96 Tempest Jim McEwan Gunter Durbermerkl -32 17 25 20 21 17 101
21 GBR16 Titania Bob Curtis Cheryl Crawford -32 32 22 22 25 4 106
22 NED138 Harten-Aas Peter van Dorst Jaimie van Dorst -32 14 23 18 27 24 107
23 GBR95 Tern Simon Spink Chris Spink -32 15 24 24 24 22 110
24 GBR129 Madrigal Richard Cracknell William Wynne -32 32 15 23 18 26 114
25 GBR128 Capella Alex Smith Paul Beachell -32 32 27 32 17 21 130
26 GBR76 Anabella Ben Johnson James Henman -32 32 26 32 14 27 132
27 GBR1135 Cymba Richard Major John Pigney -32 32 32 32 22 18 136
28 GBR102 Kelpie C. Bennion W. Bennion -32 32 18 32 23 32 137
29 GBR72 Medea Phil Newman Andy Newman -32 19 28 32 29 30 139
30 GBR111 Southern Cross Charlie Borthwick Tim Ashby -32 32 32 32 28 15 139
31 GBR69 Adventurer Robert Wynne Libby Wynne -32 32 32 32 32 28 156

Assoc website - http://sharpies.org.uk