THIS weekend’s 2013 Etchells UK Open National Championships in Cowes, has a real international flavour.
The competition, which starts today (Friday) and runs until Sunday, will see previous champions Ante Razmilovic and Shaun Frolich join current champion James Howells, from Wales, and experienced competitors Nils Razmilovic (Singapore) and Jan Muysken (United Arab Emirates).
Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club’s Andrew Millband is principal race officer for the eight-race event.
BRADING HAVEN YC
The start of the club’s autumn series had fitting conditions of sunny intervals, showers and a stiffening west wind.
However, this did not deter 11 boats taking to the water, with six in the fast fleet and five in the Scows.
There were two fast races, sailed over an Olympic-style course. In race one, Roger Herbert took line honours in his Wayfarer ahead of Chris Wilkinson’s Flying Fifteen and Martyn Davies’s Solo. On handicap, Davies took the race, followed by Herbert and Wilkinson.
In the shorter second race, the increasing wind attracted only three boats, with Wilkinson taking the line from Herbert, although on handicap it was Herbert who took the win. Paul Smith was third.
In the Scows, Barry Dyer took the win from Oliver Morgan in second and Graham Sutton third.
A small band of sailors braved the rain for some nice weekend racing.
On Saturday, there were two races for three Redwings and three One-Designs. In the first Redwing race, Peter Grimaldi took line honours ahead of Joe Robertson and Robin Ebsworth. Robertson took the win in race two, with Ebsworth second and Grimaldi retiring.
In the One-Designs, the Mathiesons scored a first and a second, Robin Joy a second and a third, and James Row a third and a first.
On Sunday, new commodore John Harbord-Hamond joined race officers to set a square course for five Redwings.
Bruce Huber and Colin Samuelson had an excellent match race with Huber managing to stay in front throughout. Robertson came third, with Grimaldi fourth and Richard Jessel fifth.
Despite an earlier start, the Wednesday evening racing ground to a halt as the wind died, with no courses completed.
By contrast, Sunday’s action was postponed to wait for a wind which duly obliged to give all classes some exciting sailing by the finish.
The cats were a bit late getting going, but Paul Tanner and Laurie Gustar eventually had a close race on the water and Tony Wyeth got the better of Dave Downer in their usual tussle.
The medium fleet had the tidiest start, with all boats in a neat line at the gun, after which Harry Carter’s RS500 made the running, but it was Mark Harrison’s race on handicap.
Bob Preston led the fast group around, but was not far enough ahead to shut out Graham Deegan. Steve Cole was third.
Robin and Thomas Leather had a comfortable win in the slow group ahead of Ted Blowers and Sam Metcalf’s similar Feva, but they were split in the results by Mike Peddar’s Pico.
ROYAL VICTORIA YC
Twenty-five boats took part in the third and fourth instalments of the Harrison Black Series, in showers with the wind varying from almost a dead calm to a good Force 5 from the west.
In the Oppies, Felix Arthur and Cameron Hook joined in the fun but in such trying conditions the old hands dominated with Haydn Sewell winning the first race ahead of Charlie and Harry White. The second race saw the fleet survive a big squall, and it was the only non-capsizer, Harry White, who won, followed home by Haydn and Tom White.
In the Squibs, ten boats made for a busy start line. The first race was won by the Downers in Panther III, with Outlaw (Jon Evans and Dan Stroud) second and Osprey (Chris Gear and Jerry Westbrook) third. The same three took the places in race two.
The fast dinghies and Laser classes were depleted thanks to Bestival, but still had two challenging races.
In the fasts, the Solo of Derek Stroud won both, with Neil Griffiths and Mark Turner second, and Chris Andrews and his son, Ben, in third.
Dom Mortimer dominated the Lasers similarly, winning both races ahead of the ever improving Sophie Baker and Tom Griffiths in the first, while the second race saw second and third swap.
Only dinghies race this Sunday because of tides, while most of the Squibs are away in Weymouth for the South Coast Championships.