Hurricane 5.9 SX Inland Championships at Rutland Sailing Club
The first Hurricane Inland Championships benefited from fantastic weather, great company and the closest sailing seen this year.
The racing proved to be a war of attrition. The phrase "keep your head out of the boat" was more applicable than at any other venue, with massive wind shifts and wind shears testing even the most experienced of crews.
It was clear from the off that the competition was wide open. By the end of Saturday's racing the lead team was John Ready and Angus Roberts (Mersea), after posting two 1sts and a 7th. Pushing them hard was John Tuckwell and Chelsea Furber (Bala) with two 4th's and a 1st, while Geoff and Jack Tindale (Stone) with a 2nd, 3rd 5th and the two dark horses from Starcross of Doug Smith / Jamie King and John Donovan / Eamon Tyrell making up the chasing pack. By the end of racing on the Saturday there was a single point separating the top five places.
Sunday dawned and it was Tuckwell/Furber who were fastest out of the blocks, posting a first place with Nick Moore and Max Oliver in third, having settled in and found their groove. Race five was taken by Ready/Roberts with Moore/Oliver 2nd and Tuckwell/Furber 3rd. The home boat of James Martin and Bridget Vergette (Rutland) had a brilliant start with good upwind pace showing they too could do battle with the best on the front row, despite racing in their first Nationals.
The last race and it was still anyone's event. Tuckwell/Furber blew a mainsheet just after the start which they repaired in time to claw their way back from last to 6th. The Tindale's went on to win the race, followed by Doug Smith / Jamie King 2nd and John Donovan / Eamon Tyrell 3rd.
Special mention goes to Nico Sarolli who had previously only ever sailed as crew on a Dart 18, taking his first outing, competition and Nationals in a Hurricane under the watchful eye of Andy Bedford. It was wonderful to welcome him to the class and see his steady improvement throughout the event.
With the final results calculated it was John Ready and Angus Roberts who won the event with nine points. John Tuckwell and Chelsea Furber were second on 13 points and Geoff and Jack Tindale taking third place only on count back from Doug Smith and Jamie King, after both had finished on 15 points.
All agreed that this had been some of the closest racing for some time and all the competitors finished with big smiles on their faces due to the quality of the racing and the stunning weather. The event has set a good indication of what can be expected at the Nationals in August in Harwich, the home of the Hurricane, where it is expected hotshots from other catamaran classes are expected to attend.
As always thanks goes to Rutland sailing Club for a fantastic and well organised event and the class sponsors of Typhoon (who supplied the prizes), Andark and Insurance4dinghies by Towergate.