10 Rater National Championship 2019 – West Kirby: A thorough Test
The 2019 10R championship hosted by the Birkenhead RS & P Club in conjunction with West Kirby Sailing Club was held on 18/19th July as a foretaste for the 10R and M Worlds to be held at this venue in June next year. The superb West Kirby Marine Lake provided a full range of conditions to fully test this ‘greyhound’ 10R class. Sun and an increasing breeze from the WNW on Thursday were followed by a wet and squally ESE wind on the Friday. The race team headed by Peter Baldwin and Derek Priestley set excellent courses using the length of the lake so competitors were able to walk along the sea wall. The sailing was spectacular and those involved clocked up serious leg miles.
The small but quality fleet enabled plenty of racing in a single fleet. The 5 examples of the Bantock designed Diamond were the most plentiful with 2 each of the Defector by Dave Creed; Sonix by John Taylor and the Brad Gibson designed Trance. Darin Ballington sailed his revitalised and re-finned Bantock Prizm and John Cleave a Squire Kay Partner design.
Racing began with most using B rigs initially and Graham Bantock showed the way. By mid-morning most were using lower rigs and the 10Rs were demonstrating their raw speed especially downwind, a brilliant sight. Some competitors were struggling to keep water and electrics apart. Untypically radio glitches, damaged sails through collision and other problems beset Graham Bantock who by race 8 was already carrying 4 retirements and an 11th. Meanwhile James Edwards scored a row of bullets with his Trance whilst the Defectors of David Potter and Martin Roberts, the Diamond of Henning Faas and the Trance of Duncan Ellis clocked up a string of low scores. After lunch the wind increased further testing boat and rig construction to the limit. Most skippers dusted the cobwebs off their smallest rigs and some began to run out of options. By the end of play on Thursday 17 races were recorded with James Edwards leading the way on 20 points, Graham Bantock had staged a recovery to be second on 43 points with Duncan Ellis 3rd on 61 points.
In contrast Friday dawned grey. Racing got under way as the wind increased accompanied with heavy downpours. The now ESE wind required a longer walk along the sea wall to the start area where a useful launch pontoon had been thoughtfully placed. Conditions, distance from the boat park and the increasing need for time to repair or change rigs combined to slow the racing frequency a little. After lunch the wind began to fall away and the rain thankfully abated. With borrowed radio gear installed Graham Bantock managed a number of wins until once more the gremlins struck. Ultimately his event was undone by too many discards. Meantime the Magenta Trance of James Edwards recorded no retirements and in an almost unassailable points position simply needed to steer clear of trouble to become champion for 2019. He was able to win in style with a final score of 47 from the 29 races allowing 4 discards. West Kirby local David Potter finished second on 100 points and Henning Faas over from Germany was rewarded with 3rd place on 110 points.
This was a great test of the facilities, the race team and the procedures adopted which will assist the planning for the World Championships next year. Our thanks to the race team and all its volunteers, the clubs and West Kirby for another memorable event.
The full results can be found here HERE