Stormforce Coaching SB20 UK National Championships 2016
by Tom Clay
The final day of the SB20 Nationals dawned bright and sunny with a good Force 4 gusting 5 and with the Championship led by four points by James Peters in Uber from Rob Gullan in 3047.
Race seven started in a significant swell as the wind had backed to blow straight into the bay giving fantastic planing opportunities down wind. Joe Llewellyn in Forelle Estates headed right on the first beat to lead at the first mark from Rob Gullan and John Pollard. James Peters in Uber had played the centre to round fourth.
The crew on Charles Whelan‘s Here Comes Bod had an interesting first mark. They were ahead of Radley School‘s Trouble and Strife but Radley surfed down a wave towards them and Charles Whelan and Richard McAdam were caught under the sheet of the Radley spinnaker. When the spinnaker filled, the sheet lifted them off Here Comes Bod into the water leaving a startled Richard Hall alone in the boat.
Ahead Uber overtook John Pollard down the first run and caught Rob Gullan at the leeward mark when Rob’s crew lost the tack line on their spinnaker and had to do an early drop. Joe Llewellyn then led James Peters to the finish followed by Paul Hine‘s Poor Buoy and John Pollard.
With Rob Gullan finishing fifth in Race 1, James Peters needed to finish race eight in fourth or better to win the National Championship with a race to spare. John Pollard went hard left from the start and came into the first mark in the lead from Rob Gullan, Joe Llewellyn and James Peters. With fantastic planing down the waves in bright October sunshine the sailing was superb. In the front four there was no place changing and John Pollard won the race while James Peters won the National Championships with a race to spare.
Race nine was won by Rob Gullan to confirm his second place in the Nationals with Paul Hine‘s Poor Buoy second from Joe Llewellyn and Charles Whelan‘s Here Comes Bod, recovering well after their first race swim. An even more impressive recovery was that of Poor Buoy. In the first race of the Championships they had a broken spreader which forced them to retire from three races and count two scores of 27. In the remaining six races of the Championships they were on average fourth and never below eighth which meant they finished seventh over all.
Congratulations again to Rob Llewellyn and his race team for getting three races completed by 1.00pm to allow early lifting and packing of boats and many thanks to Doug Innes and Stormforce Coaching for their sponsorship for the past three years.