News at Whitstable Yacht Club
WANDERER NATIONALS, 21ST & 22ND JULY 2012
Posted: Wednesday, 25 July, 2012
Twenty Wanderers gathered at Whitstable Y.C. on a glorious summer day for their National Championships which was also part of the RYA “Sail for Gold” project. A light and shifty easterly wind and strong flooding tide made Race Officer John Boorman’s task difficult. The tide was a major factor, and those who headed right gained from the easier flow inshore. Tim Robertson, sailing with son Max (10) got the tide right, and with good boat speed took the gun, followed by Paul Yeadon and Liz North, with Gavin Barr and Mark Skipper 3rd. Race 2, the “Sail for Gold” Medal Race was sailed in similar conditions. Philip Meadowcroft and Adam Wickenden won, with Paul and Liz in 2nd and Tim Barr from Rio de Janeiro YC, with Jack Skipper, 3rd. By Race 3 the tide had turned and the start line was bulgy to say the least! Tim Barr and Jack found their boat speed and once ahead extended away from the fleet. Philip and Adam were 2nd and Tim Robertson and Max consistent in 3rd. The fleet then grouped behind “Fish Tickler 3” the Gilson’s Fishery boat with photographer Caroline Evans, and sailed in with union jacks waving. After 3 races only 1 point separated the top 4 boats.
Olympic medals (well they turned out to be made of chocolate) were presented by British Olympic Tornado sailor Dave Williams to: Tim Barr and Jack Skipper (bronze); Paul Yeadon and Liz North (silver); and Philip Meadowcroft and Adam Wickenden (gold). The evening concluded with a barbecue and a sing-song. (“Being a Pirate is all fun and games until somebody loses an…ear…!”).
On Sunday the wind had shifted to the south west, still light, with again a strongly flooding tide. The fleet split after the start, some going right for clear air and some left. The latter turned out to be the correct decision as the wind went 20 degrees left giving a big lift on port tack. Philip and Adam led, closely challenged by Tim Barr and Jack. Chris Barr, sailing with daughter Maddy (11) – who had never sailed before this event – pulled a surprise by taking 3rd place. The series was still not decided. If Tim Barr and Jack won the last race and Philip and Adam were 3rd or more, Tim could still win. He took the lead and was never headed. Philip and Adam languished in 5th but, aided by a luffing match between Tim Robertson and Paul Yeadon, sneaked through to 2nd to take the championship by one point! Special thanks to John and Cath Pollitt for loaning their yacht as a committee boat, following the loss of the much loved WYC committee boat “Slotty Dawes” in the spring gales.
As well as the main prizes listed below, some special prizes were awarded:
The Ted Shephard Trophy for the most improved boat over the series, went to Chris Barr in W1566 with son Jack (13) on Saturday and daughter Maddy (11) on Sunday. Neither had been in a sailing boat before, but both managed to fly the spinnaker!
The first non-spinnaker boat prize was won by Paul Cross and Jeff Leyshon in W1099.
“The Endeavour Trophy”a new prize, was awarded for the last boat to complete all races sailed. This went to Hugh and Ollie Thomas (12), in the extremely venerable W399.
“The Ancient Mariner prize” (sponsored by Age Concern) was awarded to the new Ben Ainslie of the Wanderer class, Philip Meadowcroft, who responded gracefully, bent and creaking as he was in every joint from his day’s exertions. Our 4 young sailors each received a Gold Medal.
Overall results: 1st W1541, Philip Meadowcroft & Adam Wickenden; 2nd W1626 Tim Barr & Jack Skipper; 3rd W1038, Tim & Max Robertson; 4th, W1351, Paul Yeadon & Liz North; 5th W1282, Gavin Barr & Mark Skipper.
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