A warm and sunny reception welcomed us at Northern Championships at Carsington SC on 21st & 22nd September. There was just enough wind to provide an enjoyable challenge to the seventeen competitors, fifteen of which were travellers. Fresh from his Nationals success, Stuart Snell dominated proceedings from the onset but the chasing pack were to be never far from his heels.
Sailing the familiar trapezoid course allowed for plenty of overtaking opportunities particularly with the laying of two leeward marks. This offered the protagonists a choice of route on the following beat and places changed frequently throughout the racing in the light and shifty conditions. Tom Gall (Carsington SC) used his local knowledge to best use, only finishing out of the top three on two occasions over the five scheduled races. Thomas Sandal (Grafham SC) proved to be Stuart Snell’s closest challenger with second place finishes in races 1, 3 and 4. He was unlucky not to win one of these with some close finishes. A special mention also goes to Steve Hanby of Beaver SC who managed to prevent Stuart Snell’s clean sweep with a 1st place in the second race on Saturday.
Many of the sailors enjoyed cheap nearby camping and the evening’s live entertainment – a big screen for the America’s Cup racing at one end of the clubhouse and a live band at the other. No doubt there were a few sore heads in the morning!
Day Two provided equally challenging conditions with sunny skies and a Force two breeze which was so variable that it paid to tack on every wind shift. The two boats sailing in the two up mode (Fraser & Grace Manning and Duncan & Nicole Manning) demonstrated that it was a competitive format, being never far behind the leading boats. To the credit of the Race Officers, all races were completed in time for an early pack up and well deserved pint of local ale.
Stuart Snell took the win and retained his Northern Champion crown for the third year running with a masterclass of light wind sailing.
Thanks go to Simon Gillis (CSC Cat Fleet Captain) and his team for organising a great event and we look forward to returning in 2014.
The Class visit Grafham, Stuart Snell’s home waters, on 26th & 27th October for the Inland Championships and final event of this year’s summer series.
Full Series Results available here