Harwich Town Sailing Club hosted the 20th Hurricane SX nationals on the 18-20th of August. 28 boats descended on Essex from as far afield as Devon, Scotland and Yorkshire.

The first race got underway with local boat and class legend Andy Webb sailing with son Fin leading to the first mark. Class newcomer Ben Harris sailing with long time Hurricane crew Izzy Smith showed some superb speed downwind and managed to overhaul Andy & Fin. Ben & Kez Cutler-Sharp recovered from a poor start to sneak through the top of the fleet to second but couldn’t get by Ben & Izzy who took the first win making it a Starcross Yacht Club 1, 2.

In the second race Thorpe Bay YCs Alex Farrell and Alex Warrington pulled ahead off the line with Ben & Kez hot on their heels trying to nudge them into a mistake but it was not to be with Alex & Alex pulling away up the favoured left and side of the beat. Stone SCs Trevor Bawden and Tom Wass tracked the two lead boats closing in but in the end it finished in that order.

The third race saw Ben & Kez starting fast at the pin end and building a gap on the fleet up the first beat which was enough for them to pull away. Behind it was Alex and Alex who narrowly held off Ben & Izzy.

A breezy second day greeted the fleet heading out for 3 races. The first race saw reigning champions Jack Tindale and Hugo Bull from Stone SC gap the fleet up the first beat and then managed to hold on with Richie Hanmore and Matt Kimber chasing them down with Ben & Izzy showing some amazing speed twin wiring downwind!

The second race got underway with a few knots more breeze and a turning tide into a survival challenge. All was on track until a big breeze flattened leaders Jack & Hugo along with 4 others in the top 10 on the second downwind. Julian Reichert & Jeremy Sandford made their way to the front through the wreckage and took the race win from Stones Trevor Bawden and Tom Wass and Grafhams Will Smith and Max McCarroll. With the breeze holding and the chop building as the tide pushed further the third race was abandoned.

Sunday brought some calmer conditions albeit still enough to twin wire. The first race eventually got underway after a very enthusiastic fleet brought several recalls. A slightly offshore breeze favouring the left handside of the course had Richie & Matt enjoying the front. It was a close battle in the top 3 with Dan Tindale & Lee Saunders along with Andy & Finn battling it out upwind through the gusty top end of the course and finished in that order. 

The second race of the day saw a delay as the wind swung to a cross onshore position. This time it was Andy & Finn who spotted the shift with a few minutes to go and pulled a port flyer crossing the fleet. With the sea breeze trying to work and some interesting shifts it was tight amongst those who followed to the right. Dan & Lee managed to sneak by to take the lead on the second lap and held on from Andy & Finn, followed by Geoff Tindale and Hebe Hemming. 

Once again the Hurricane fleet provided tight close racing and enjoyed three days of very good sailing and a great opportunity to catch up with friends off the water. There was a different winner for each of the 7 races, 5 points splitting the top 6, 2 points separating the top 3 and once again the top two were separated on count back. It was however Ben Harris & Izzy Smith who took the trophy from Andy & Finn in second and Ben & Kez in third.

First under 18 Helm went to Eloise Smith and first Veteran went to Geoff Tindale. Stone SC once again won the team prize. On behalf of the committee and sailors a big thank you to the volunteers at Harwich Town Sailing Club who couldn’t have been more welcoming.

Full Results Here

Photos courtesy of Alleycat Photography

Hurricane 5.9 SX Nationals 2023