The 2022 Hurricane SX Nationals took place at Stone Sailing Club, Essex. With 29 boats heading out for 9 races, taking place over three days, an action packed weekend was promised and it delivered!
Fridays racing kicked off with 2021’s runners up Trevor Bawden & Tom Wass sailing a superb start and first upwind, and not looking back. Ben & Kez Cutler-Sharp and Jack Tindale & Hugo Bull started the trend of boat on boat battles over the weekend with Jack & Hugo just sneaking past at the finish line to take 2nd.
Race 2 was a different story with the two Black, Thorpe Bay Yacht Club boats of Harry Boygle & Ben Warrington and George & Howard Warrington getting away on port and getting to the top mark well ahead of the chasing pack. It was Harry & Ben that took the bullet from George & Howard with Trevor & Tom claiming the best of the rest.
Race 3 saw a light drop in breeze with Doug & Izzy Smith leading round the first few laps with Geoff Tindale & Hebe Hemming and Richie Hanmore & Matt Kimber in hot pursuit. The wind turned very patchy on the last lap with plenty of place changes in the final stages with Geoff & Hebe taking the win from Richie & Matt and Doug & Izzy. Friday night brought about the Commodores Reception, live music and a lot of drinks as the Hurricane family let their hair down!
Saturday dawned with a little more breeze and Ben & Kez pulled through to the front chased by Doug & Izzy and slowly pulled out a gap between the chasing pack led by John Ready & Will Powell. Despite pushing to the line Ben & Kez held on to take the race 4 win.
Race 5 saw a heavy port bias and Ben & Kez got away on port and crossed the fleet. However it was Paul and Robert Palmer who got to the top mark first as pressure filled off the shore and despite a huge number of place changes for the top 10 boats they held on to win followed by Ben & Kez.
Starting for Saturdays final race again saw port being the bias and this time 5 boats went for it, picking out gaps and heading up the right of the course on the first beat. It was Ben & Kez who got to the first mark followed a boat length behind by Jack & Hugo and then Doug & Izzy. The top two pulled a small gap as Doug & Izzy saw some equipment failure, until the last lap where as the wind picked up, chasing boats of Dan Tindale & Lee Saunders and Richie & Matt saw the opportunity to split the course. It paid handsomely, as they snook ahead with Richie & Matt taking the win. Thankfully the fleet still had enough energy in the tank for games night in the clubhouse!
The final day saw lighter winds, and some shifty conditions. Race 7 saw Trevor & Tom find their way to the front followed closely by Ben & Kez who both worked their way up the right hand side. However as the wind filled in patches it was Richie & Matt who came through to second behind Trevor & Tom with Jack & Hugo taking third.
Race 8 was a similar story with Richie & Matt this time leading at the end followed by Geoff & Hebe and Jack & Hugo as the rest of the fleet tried to figure out the dying breeze.
A short postponement for race 9 as the wind died and refilled allowed a quick breather before the final start of the weekend. Dan & Lee headed out to the left in the light breeze with Paul & Robert and made the most of the left shift to get to the top mark first with Trevor & Tom chasing them down. Dan & Lee took the win and became the 7th race winner from 9 races.
Overall, despite not winning a race, it was the consistency of Jack & Hugo that took the regatta win by a single point from Richie & Matt, with fellow club mates Trevor & Tom giving Stone SC sailors the top 3. It was a weekend of close battles, multiple photo finishes and a huge amount of overtaking! The regatta was a great success owing to the hard work of Stone SC and the class sponsors Sailing Chandlery, Forward WIP & M2 Graphics and the ever present event support of Andy Webb. Roll on 2023!