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Leigh on Sea SC - Vintage event

NSCA Solo Class Vintage Championships 8 June 2024 at Leigh-on-Sea Sailing Club

Well well well, it doesn’t seem like a year has gone by since the last Vintage Solo Championships at the Leigh -on-Sea Sailing Club was held, but it is. Again, the club welcomed all visiting vintage Soloists on a fortunate sunny but breezy day. The event on behalf of the NSCA with support from Rooster Sailing is a testament to the quality, robustness and the character of the older solos and there were many of the old boats builders represented throughout the aging fleet, such as Goslings, Threshers, Seven Marines, Don Marines and Holts and more!

A late high tide meant that a late breakfast was on offer and a chance for everyone of the 21 entries, to chat about their boats. A briefing by the PRO Steve Corbet of the day explained the trapezial style course and a 3 minute count down to the start of the three races for the Championship.

A committee boat start was in order and with a strong westerly tide against a moderate west wind, everyone was keen to get going. A clean start and the fleet split into two, one heading for the better tide the other heading to the right. A wind shift favoured the right hand side so it was LSC Commodore Rob Tothill (3958) to lead at the windward mark, leading from Doug Rivers (3961). Closely followed by Alan Roberts (3121) and Cass Monk (3983) from the seaward side. The rest all followed tightly behind. Tothill, Rivers and Roberts all held their places to the shortened course finish but there were many changes within the following fleet.

With a short turn round for race 2 saw many boats suffering from the gusty conditions which was a shame for them after just one race. However, the remaining fleet set off cleanly again and it was past champion Jonny Wells (3994) showing the way around the first windward mark. Many suffered again from the constantly shifting and increasing wind and it was past champion Dave Goudie (4040) who followed Wells and by with the rest of the closely knitted fleet of old boats. At the finish of again a shorten course the fleet were led home by Wells and Goudie and Nick Hann (3875) in third place. There was no clear winner at this point of the championship as seemly everyone has had at least one bad race.

By the time of the third and final race was scheduled the tide had changed, the wind had swung and increased. The fleet were now down to 15 boats. This time Goudie took the lead, with the course favouring the left hand side this time. The top six boats jostled all the way to the finish but it was Goudie who increased his lead and led the diminished fleet home first and to win his second title. Past Solo class committee man Mike Barnes sailed a stormer for second place followed by Matt Tothill (3987) and Wells (4th).

All returned back to the shore with the sun shining, a hot shower and the clubs usual hospitality.

The prizegiving supported by the NSCA and Rooster Sailing was presented by Russel Trudgett, the Solo Class Captain and the LSC Commodore Robin Tothill.

The Oldest boat and furthest travelled prize went to Martin Hampshire (1435), a 1971 GRP Slater Marine boat from Lilliput Sailing Club, Poole.

First LSC boat went to Rob Tothill (3958)

5th place Doug Rivers (3961), LSC, 7 points

4th place Mike Barnes (3847), RYA, 7 points

3rd place Robin Tothill (3958), LSC, 6 points

2nd place Jonny Wells (3994), Essex YC, 5 points

1st place Dave Goudie (4040), Grafham Water SC, 3 points

                And the NSCA Vintage Championship Trophy for 2024

After the prizes were presented Dave Goudie thanked Russel and Robin and all of the LSC for all the hard work which goes into an event.

So another Vintage Championships completed in which saw many of the old boats from all different builders represented and performing to their limits.

Long live the Solo Class.

Colin Walker, 4023

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