Budworth juniors take all at GP14 Youth Nationals
Published 21:30 on 10 Sep 2023
The GP14 Youth National Championships at South Staffordshire Sailing Club provided a weekend of warm and tricky racing on 2nd & 3rd September 2023 with 18 entries from 11 different clubs with many new faces allowed a wide span of ages and some close competition!
Friday set the tone for the weekend with a pre-racing training day. Despite little wind, supercoach Olly led a session on rigging and boat tuning, allowing us all to ensure we were on the correct rake for the days ahead. In the afternoon the boats launched and focussed the session on spinnaker handling, involving some preparatory land drills and new techniques of hoisting and dropping. In the evening, South Staffs provided delicious pasta bake for dinner which was very welcome.
Race 1 day 1 began, catching the last of the morning breeze with Mia and Andy Hateley leading, representing the Youth Helm with Adult Crew category. They were followed by Rosanna Joyce and Siân Baird, just beating Emily Page and Matthew Williams for second place. Moving into the second race, the wind began to drop. Starting the race in very light breeze, the shiftiness of South Staffs was quickly evident when George Jacobs and Jonathan Hill raised the spinnaker during the first beat! After 15 minutes of anticipation, the windward mark was rounded first by Oliver Hateley and Oliver Roger. The conditions were certainly challenging, though expertly navigated by Emily and Matthew who claimed a first and Fin Waterhouse and George Spence who took the silver.
The wind for the third race was similar to that of the second with Emily and Matthew making the tactical decision of beginning the race on the wrong side of the line! A gust from starboard got the race started. Despite their challenging start, Emily and Matthew climbed the fleet to claim a first, with George and Jonathan in second. Overnight standings saw Emily and Matthew in first; Fin and George in second; Rosanna and Siân in third; Harriet Temple and Jack Hodgkins as second mixed; and Jessica Skelding and Zoe Goodden as second Female. Evening meal was a barbecue and, like all the catering, did not fail to impress. The beautiful weather accompanied an evening of bowling and boat racing, and many opted to take a stroll around the scenic reservoir.
Sunday morning provided little prospect of racing: a perfectly still mere disturbed only by the smooth motions of ducks the opposite of what we hoped for! An early lunch allowed the race team to quickly start race 4 whilst the wind lasted. The light breeze allowed for close racing, and the result was Rosanna and Siân first with Emily and Matthew in second. The fifth and final race saw similar wind to that of race 2 and 3, with tricky shifts and gusts. A shift on the line was taken advantage of by Emily and Matthew who successfully completed a port flyer to reach the windward mark in first place and maintain that lead throughout. Breeze built and the end of the race saw perhaps the best conditions of the weekend! The final race was concluded with a first for Emily and Matthew and a second for Fin and George.
Overall results showed first place Emily Page and Matthew Williams (Budworth SC), second place Fin Waterhouse and George Spence (Budworth SC, Ripon SC), and third Rosanna Joyce and Siân Baird (Budworth SC). The first Youth Helm with Adult Crew was Mia and Andy Hateley (South Staffs SC), and the Endeavour prize was awarded to Kyle Timmins and Matthew Gayler (South Staffs SC).
Race report by Siân Baird.