Final report in from Mervyn Cook
Congratulations go to David and Margaret Bell who won this year’s Championship and the Scrutton Cup. They sailed a home-built super-light Simpson boat in conditions which, at times, were more like Fleetwood than Gosport! Congratulations also go to Derek Priestley and John Brooks for winning the ‘Auld Mug’ of the Vane A Championship, the Yachting Monthly Cup on Wednesday.
Friday’s forecast was for more normal ‘Gosport’ weather, warm, light to moderate breeze and for once a westerly which, in general, gave an almost true beat. By the afternoon there was enough breeze for some to make the prudent choice of smaller spinnakers. It couldn’t have been better conditions for deciding the eventual winner.
David and Margaret Bell started the day with a single point lead from Nigel Sharp. The next four boats of Shaun and Graham Wyeth, Dave Geldard and C.J Vice, Jacque Cook and Eric Meighen, and Lewis Wyeth and Ray Baker were all within ten points of the first place. With the potential for twenty more points to be won over the day, it was all to play for.
David and Margaret, the eventual winners, scored just enough to stay ahead with 12 points. Nigel had a disappointing day to score only 5, dropping to third overall. Shaun and Graham made a heroic final effort scoring 18 points, to bring them up to second place. Lewis and Ray also fought back with 16 points, giving them fourth overall, and Alan Bell showed his mettle with 13 points, bringing him up to fifth, just in front of Jacque Cook and Eric Meighen. Peter Fothergill and Andy Fernie also had a better day with 13 points, bringing them up to seventh place.
The Johnnies Cup for most points to windward was won by Shaun and Graham, the Wing and Wing for downwind legs was taken by David and Margaret. Lewis Wyeth won the Dennis Lippett Trophy for the first junior competitor and the Little Portugal Cup for the first skipper who has not previously won a national event was won by Nigel Sharp. The Neptune Trophy for the highest scoring team drawn from club teams was won by Gosport team of Shaun, Graham, Peter, Andy and Lewis and Ray. Robert Bell, Lewis and Ray, Peter and Andy won the TOT’s trophy for a team of three drawn at random. Finally, the Four Candles Trophy for the Choppa race was won by Sam Roberts.
The mix of designs at the top of the fleet showed just how successful this ninety-three year old formula remains. David and Margaret’s Lightening design is a lightweight, round to flat sectioned boat with lots of sail. Shaun’s second place Hollom Sir Ivor 52 design is some ten pounds heavier and V’d in section. Third place Nigel’s boat is a traditional, heavy VC2 design by Bill Sykes. Lewis’s recent Hollom Sea The Stars design is a very deep V medium weight hull. Alan, in 5th place, raced a Lightening from the same mould as the winners and in 6th place was another, older, Lightening. The racing was very close and final positions remained open until re-sails were completed and allowances made for byes.
Special mentions must go to the following: the Bell family for building and fettling three superb racing A’s in just a few months; Lewis Wyeth, who at 13 sailed with a level head and formidable skill, has shown that he will be a worthy champion of the future; Jacque Cook, sailing in her first Vane A Championship who became, on the third day, the first lady ever to lead the event; Dave Geldard, and Nigel Sharp, for digging their boats out of storage after decades, and showing some of the younger designs and skippers the way round the lake.
Nearly seventy people sat down to eat and drink at the prize-giving dinner, which this year was held at The Hornet Services Sailing Club. It was a glittering candle lit event, organised by Andy Fernie. The prizes were awarded by Gosport’s President Robert Hobbs,
The Vane A Championship is a unique event. It is magnificent, frustrating, heroic, exhausting, exhilarating, spectacular, historic, ultra-modern, competitive, intense, and just the best test of model yacht design. To paraphrase Charles Dickens ‘it brings out the best in people, and occasionally, it brings out the not so good in people’. But we’ve got to make sure this event continues to thrive, and to reach its centenary in 2023.
The week is a challenge to organise, and almost as tiring for the race team as for the competitors! The club team were superb. It was a real club community event with volunteers from the four radio fleets as well as the vane fleets. Their contribution was recognised by all competitors at the dinner and by many specific comments to the organisers.
Finally, Sue Brown has published a magnificent gallery of photographs of the event, with a link from the MYA website. There are excellent shots of every boat.
In 2017 the Vane A Championship will be held at Fleetwood. See you there.
Full results below:
|Results on Percentage Basis allowing for Byes (if any)||Windward Legs||Downwind Legs|
Mate Margaret Bell
|75.0||71.43||1||99||Shaun Wyeth||57.0||86.36||1||79||David Bell||30.0||71.43|
Mate Graham Wyeth
|77.0||70||2||79||David Bell||45.0||71.43||2||50||Nigel Sharp||28.0||66.67|
Mate George Sharp
|67.0||63.81||3||77||Lewis Wyeth||43.5||65.91||3||81||Robert Bell||28.0||63.64|
Mate Ray Baker
|69.5||63.18||4||42||Jacque Cook||42.0||63.64||4||49||Martin Roberts||26.0||61.9|
Mate David Mathers
|64.0||60.95||5||50||Nigel Sharp||39.0||61.9||5||80||Alan Bell||25.0||59.52|
Mate Eric Meighen
|62.0||56.36||5||80||Alan Bell||39.0||61.9||6||77||Lewis Wyeth||26.0||59.09|
Mate Andy Fernie
|59.0||53.64||7||44||Peter Fothergill||39.0||59.09||7||94||Dave Geldard||24.0||54.55|
|56.0||53.33||8||5||Malcolm Eales||36.0||54.55||8||167||Derek Priestley/John Brooks||22.0||50|
|9||81||Robert Bell||58.0||52.73||9||94||Dave Geldard||33.0||50||8||97||Peter Whiteside||22.0||50|
Mate CJ Vice
|57.0||51.82||10||21||Rob Vice||31.5||47.73||10||45||Damian Ackroyd||20.0||45.45|
|11||167||Derek Priestley/John Brooks
|52.0||47.27||11||49||Martin Roberts||30.0||47.62||10||25||Rob Walsh||20.0||45.45|
Mate Paul Edwards
|52.0||47.27||12||167||Derek Priestley/John Brooks||30.0||45.45||10||21||Rob Vice||20.0||45.45|
Mate CJ Vice
|51.5||46.82||12||81||Robert Bell||30.0||45.45||10||121||Mark Dicks||20.0||45.45|
|14||121||Mark Dicks||50.0||45.45||12||121||Mark Dicks||30.0||45.45||10||99||Shaun Wyeth||20.0||45.45|
Mate Steve Poole
|43.0||39.09||15||10||Anthony Warren||24.0||36.36||10||44||Peter Fothergill||20.0||45.45|
Mate Tomas Walsh
|41.0||37.27||16||97||Peter Whiteside||21.0||31.82||10||42||Jacque Cook||20.0||45.45|
|17||67||Arjan van der Cingel
Mate Eric van der Cingel
|35.0||31.82||16||25||Rob Walsh||21.0||31.82||17||67||Arjan van der Cingel||17.0||38.64|
Mate Lester Gilbert
|34.0||30.91||18||67||Arjan van der Cingel||18.0||27.27||18||5||Malcolm Eales||16.0||36.36|
Mate John Bush
|32.0||29.09||19||45||Damian Ackroyd||12.0||18.18||19||10||Anthony Warren||10.0||22.73|
|20||60||Ray Baker/Josh Dicks||0.0||0||20||60||Ray Baker/Josh Dicks||0.0||0||20||60||Ray Baker/Josh Dicks||0.0||0|