Heron Dinghy Class Association National Championships on Sunday 3rd July 2016. Held at Welton Sailing Club, East Yorkshire.
The day was bright and sunny with the wind from the South West, blowing force 4-5. The previous day it had been blowing 6-7 with white horses, what an escape! There were eight Heron waiting to launch, three from Yeadon, two from Chipstead in Kent, and the others from Notts County, Huddersfield and Welton.
The first race started with Jon Hunt selecting the port end of the line managing to squeeze between the first single handed boat of Roger Stevenson and Dave Butler in his orange masterpiece, and getting away in front. This lasted for about a hundred yards until Dave Butler and Andrew Molyneux managed to creep passed to windward and beat Hunt to the first Mark. Butler and Molyneux increased their lead from Hunt who also pulled away from the other boats. These were the final positions at the finish.
After lunch with a slightly increase in wind strength all the fleet chose the starboard end of the line, Butler was first away with Roger Stevenson close behind. Stevenson left a gap between himself and the outer distance marker and Hunt squeezed through. However Stevenson immediately luffed up, forcing Hunt to do the same, which slowed him down. There was a chase to the first mark, where Andrew Molyneux rounded first closely followed by Dave Butler. Hunt meanwhile had overtaken Roger Stevenson and rounded in third. On the first beat of the second lap, Butler and Molyneux pulled away from the fleet. Just before the windward mark, Hunt was on starboard and Paul Barne s was on port. There was an almighty bang as Barnes boom hit Hunt’s boom, neither had seen the other! Barns apologised and did turns and then retired as he thought he had damaged Hunt’s boat. Fortunately there was no apparent damage. On the last beat Roger Stevenson managed to get passed Hunt to cross the line in third. However he had to settle for fourth place as he was single handed.
The last race was to be back to back, but with the wind getting up Hunt’s crew decided to revolt and they did not sail. James Russ also did not sail as his forestay had parted. Poor old Mack Pimblett had capsized in the first race and did not sail again. At the start, Butler and Molyneux got away quickly, followed by Paul Barnes and Roger Stevenson. Dave Butler flew his spinnaker which proved too much for Andrew Molyneux and crossed the line first.
A very good, but tiring day’s sailing, which just left the presentation of the trophies and a welcome cup of tea and cake.