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Stav Reports From The UK Northern Area Championship
Over the last three days we have seen a variety of weather patterns and wind strengths. This Abersoch based regatta offered unique Dragon conditions, with flat water, a buoyant local fleet and many top international sailors. Nations represented were Japan, Australia, Russia, Ireland and from across the UK, all enjoying the daily on the water and off the water challenges. It was great to see the local “older” Dragons (Abersoch has a fleet policy that prevents any member paying more than £15,000 for their boat so the fleet is largely made up of older boats) competing against the very latest talent and new international boats.
It was most exciting to see local helm Nick Jordan in Sanuk, his 1997 Petticrow, win the first race on Sunday after two abandoned races due to significant wind shifts, against such top opposition. With visiting sailors from the international circuit left in his wake. Nick and his crew of Nick Ansell and yours truly were honoured to keep the main sponsor’s spinnaker of Aberdeen Asset Management for day two (the British Dragon Association’s equivalent of the yellow jersey) after being invited to sail with it on day one.
L-R Stavros, Nick Jordan and Nick Ansell
On day two Julia and Graham Bailey of Cowes sailing Aimee had a fantastic day placing fifth, first and second in the three races. This added to their fourth from day one put them overall leaders going the final day, and the celebrations commenced early. Both Julia, her husband Graham and crew David Heritage revelled in the excellent conditions that Abersoch offered as the wind finally filled in. Which gave the entire fleet three excellent races in sunshine, flat water and perfect Dragon conditions of around 12 knots.
Sailing also very consistently was the top Corinthian team from Burnham of Mike Holmes, Alex Burnett and Matt Young aboard Hands Off. This team really gave the professional a run for their money by also finishing in third place overall. It is great that the Dragons acknowledge the significance of non-paid crew which are the grass roots of our wonderful class. To that end, at each prize giving both the open division, including the professionals, and the Corinthian sailors are rewarded.
Mike, Alex and Matt are pictured below with the Northern Area Champions David, Julia and Graham.
Over the next four days the fleet will increase to 43 and so many more competitors will be trying to win the coveted Edinburgh Cup. The forecast of light winds for the next two days followed by much heavier winds for Friday and Saturday will test both Corinthian and Professional teams. Whatever the outcome this will be one of the most hotly contested Edinburgh Cups of all time. For day to day updates and results keep watching the blog and you can also follow the action on www.edinburghcup.org and the BDA Facebook page.