Tough weekend at Horning
Sailors experienced another tempestuous weekend for the two major events sailed.
Horning, celebrating their 75th anniversary, hosted the Yeoman and Kinsman National Championships over five gruelling races on Black Horse Broad.
The entry of 15, including six visitors from clubs ranging from NBYC to Rutland and Erith, were welcomed by winds gusting to 40mph during both days, and, unsurprisingly, only 10 of the 15 came out for the three Saturday contests. The first race saw the host club's Gordon Jewell opt for a port tack start, unlike the rest, and it certainly paid off as he cleared the fleet to take the lead, but, sad to say, it didn't last, and the well-honed skills of Carl Brady and Guy Coleman (NBYC) overtook them to record the first of their victories by a full leg of the course. The second race produced an identical result.
Sunday's winds, predicted to be lighter, proved anything but, and in near survival conditions 12 boats made it to the line for the third race, although gear failure reduced the fleet to six by the time of the fifth and final event, although this produced probably the closest race of the weekend. Brady and Coleman went on to win the third and fourth races, and secure the Moores Trophy and J & N Trophy for first helm and crew, but in their wake were HSC's Q Stewart and Tony Laughton. They took the Chairman's Trophy for runners-up, thanks to three seconds and two thirds, and the Alan Wheatley Trophy for first non-spinnaker equipped boat (did any actually fly their spinnakers?). Horning's Paul Clarke won the fifth and final race to edge into fourth overall, just ahead of Gordon Jewell, with the lone Kinsman sailed by John Vickers coming in sixth and taking the Kinsman Trophy.
NBYC ruled at Horning, and also at Barton where a dozen YBODS fought it out for the Consortium Cup, 11 staring the two Saturday races close reefed with storm jibs as the south westerly gusted over 30 knots, both being won by Chris Bunn and Nikki Tansley. Sunday proved easier, but there were two retirements from the 12 starters in the third race, which also went to Bunn. Only one reef was required final race, which provided a spot of interest as Bunn, who had again started in dominating form, was headed badly and perforce let Matt Ellis through to take the lead and earn a well deserved victory.