The sun was out and temperatures were high as eleven Heron dinghy crews from around the country contested the National championship at Welton Sailing Club in East Yorkshire. Five races (four to count) were held over the two days, and throughout, despite keen competition in all the races, the atmosphere was friendly and convivial. No wonder that this class endures over the decades.
Race 1 Because of the light and variable breeze from SSE the Race Officer set a simple triangle course.
The well behaved fleet was away first time and soon individual battles developed with positions changing all the time. Stan Lubner was first to the windward mark followed by fellow local sailor Steve Abbott. On the second lap the wind shifted towards the East, making the beat a fetch. after this it was down to boat speed and the pack closed up, with Jim Robinson taking over the lead.
However he had to take penalty turns after a “room at the mark” incident with Stan. This allowed Stan to take a first followed by Steve Abbott. Jim took third after a last moment overtake at the line.
Race 2 The R.O. set a new course after lunch with a steadier F2 Sea breeze. After one general recall the fleet was cleanly away. The first beat was a familiar battle between Stan Lubner and Jim Robinson. This time Jim was the narrow leader at the windward mark. The first long run gave Dave Butler and his crew Hannah Wharram a chance to show their spinnaker skills as they closed up on the leaders. The breeze freshened slightly and Dave and Hannah eventually took the lead, and the race. Jim Robinson was second and Mike and Anne De Saint Paer came through for third place.
Race 3 Sunday morning dawned yet another sunny and warm day in Yorkshire (yes, you read it here first) Race 3 did have a little confusion on the first leg because of a error by the course marker boat, however, the characteristic tolerance and good humour of the fleet allowed racing to continue. It did cost Stan Lubner some time, though he did maintain a lead from Dave Butler and Hannah Wharram for the first lap. Dave and Hannah took the lead on lap two. Stan had another battle royal with Jim Robinson for second place, Jim just coming out on top this time.
Race 4 The breeze was an ideal F2/3 from the East. Several boats were over the line so a general recall was made. On the second attempt all were clear with Dave Butler and Hannah Wharram making the best start and staking their claim for line honours. However it was the ever battling duo of Stan Lubner and Jim Robinson who eventually took the lead on the water. When the single handed handicap was applied the eventual winner was Stan Lubner followed by Dave and Hannah, with Jim Robinson third.
Race 5 After lunch, the final race! It was tight enough at the top of the fleet for those involved to get their calculators out.(or at least their fingers) The wind had increased slightly making it a little more difficult for the single handers on the beat. Dave Butler and Hannah Wharram were well away on the first lap with Stan Lubner second and James Russ third. At the same time Jim Robinson lost ground with a weed incident. So for a time it looked cut and dried… but no, Jim was not detered and sailed superbly back up through the fleet to achieve line honours. This was adjusted to second place after handicap was applied. Stan battled on gamely for third place.
So, after all the calculations were made Dave Butler and Hannah Wharram were declared Champions with 5 points, Stan Lubner was second with 8 points and Jim Robinson was third with 9 points.
All of the rest of the fleet were winners as were the spectators, a great event!