Thorpe Bay Yacht Club hosted the Hurricane 5.9 SX National championships for 2021. Despite COVID, 28 boats made the start having travelled from all over the country.
Greeted with light variable winds that were set to build on day one, a slight delay saw the boats itching to get on the water. Race one saw Trevor Bawden and Tom Wass edge away with a tight group trading places behind in the shifty conditions. Race 2 saw the the move of the regatta with Dan Tindale and Eloise Smith, who had been able enter that morning after being able to charter a local boat, pulling a port flier showing the fleet a clean pair of transoms earning them the Essex rigging move of the day. Try as they might, the chasing pack couldn’t catch them with Eloise’s father Doug and sister Izzy coming in second.
Race 3 saw continued shifty conditions, this time with Geoff Tindale and Lee Saunders picking the shifts and the gusts to perfection leading from start to finish.
The overnight leader board reflected the shifty conditions in the first three races with Doug and Izzy Smith leading the way. The class also brought in the Pro Am event for 2021 with prizes kindly supplied by Sailing Chandlery. With plenty of new faces and experienced 5.9 sailors in the fleet, the opportunity to help the fleet improve and set up their boats couldn’t be missed before the party started.
Day 2 brought more wind and the fleet were itching to get on the water to make the most of it! Race 4 saw Trevor and Tom get the jump on the first beat with a tight group behind showing plenty of fast close racing with Ben and Kez Cutler-Sharp eventually getting ahead but were not able to chase down Trevor and Tom who took the bullet. Race 5 brought a late night for the race committee with the competitive fleet pushing the line hard at the start. Richie Hanmore and Matt Kimber held on for the win despite gear failure on the last run meaning they had to use the Downhaul cleat to hold the kite halyard up!
Race 6 started to see some tired bodies and mistakes creeping in. It was the Stone trio of Trevor/Tom, Richie/Matt and Jack Tindale/Hugo Bull that brought home 1st, 2nd and 3rd. The overnight leader board showed Trevor and Tom ahead with ever consistent Paul and Robert Palmer not far behind.
Day three brought more gusty and shifty conditions with offshore conditions and light winds bringing snakes and ladders racing. The first race saw Jack and Hugo fending off the local trio of Alex Warrington/Sam Osbourne, George and Ben Warrington and Mark and Myles Mawditt.
The second race saw 4 boats edge away with Jack and Hugo racing Trevor and Tom down the final run with Dan/Eloise and Ben/Kez right on their tail. Halfway down the run the wind switched off and as it returned the mid fleet who went west found themselves right back in the mix twin wiring downwind towards the leaders. Jack and Hugo just managed to hang on with what proved to be a crucial pass at the line as Geoff and Lee pushed Trevor and Tom into third.
For the final race the wind began to settle with Ben and Kez leading the way only to be becalmed and then suddenly capsize as the wind returned with a bang! Mondays wind clearly suited Jack and Hugo as they made the most of the returning wind to lead Richie/Matt and Trevor/Tom home in 2nd and 3rd.
After 9 races with two discards Jack/Hugo and Trevor/Tom both had 16 points each. Both had claimed 3 firsts, 3 thirds and 1 forth as their counting results. There was nothing to separate them other than the final races result (1st to Jack and Hugo compared to Trevor and Tom’s 3rd) which made Jack and Hugo the 2021 national champions.
With huge support from class sponsors Sailing Chandlery, Forward WIP, Andark, M2 Graphics and AW sailboats and event sponsor Essex Rigging, the prize giving saw Trevor and Tom taking the travellers trophy for 2021. The Pro Am trophy went to Mark and Myles Mawditt and Simon and Sophie Boygle who had a great end to the regatta.
Roll on 2022!