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CONTESSA 26 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS REPORT 2015.

A very successful National Championships was hosted on the 5th and 6th of September by the Island Sailing Club in Cowes.

The ever increasing interest in racing our Class resulted in 11 entries with several new highly sorted and well sailed boats competing in the IRC Division. This event does however cater for all levels with separate Championships results for the Class Handicap non IRC entries. We also have Divisions for boats sailing with and without spinnakers providing a slightly less intense but equally enjoyable environment.

The IRC Division had 3 races on day 1 and the Class Handicap entrants had 2 races. The day started with a light North westerly breeze and after a short delay, whilst the wind settled to around 8 kts to the satisfaction of Principal Race Officer Phil Hagen and his strong team, the day started. The Class Handicap fleets joined in for races 2 and 3. The format for the day was windward/leeward courses followed by a short round the cans race taking the fleet to a finish off Cowes with the breeze steadily building to around 15 kts at the end of race 3.

In IRC race 1 Meow (Chris Charlesworth) was first to finish with impressive boat speed but subsequently retired following a pre start incident, which awarded the race to the well sailed High Potential (Sarah Bole), followed by Genesee (Euan Kerr and Tom Olden) who have been improving their performance all year, and a well deserved 3rd place to Elinor (Justin and Rupert Houlton) sailing their father’s boat for the first time in IRC.

In IRC race 2 Genesee won followed by High Potential and Applejack (Craig Crossar).

In IRC race 3 Meow was the victor followed by Genesse and Elinor.

During the day in the IRC fleet the battle for the line was so intense it caused both Meow and High Potential to suffer from being OCS.

In race 1 for the Class Handicap fleets with spinnakers Quincy (Bob Coates) followed up on his ISC Class victory in the Round The Island Race with another win.  He was followed by Thousand Knights (Richard Pickance) sailed for this event by Mike Harrison and some of the Jiminy Cricket crew.  In their second race these positions were then reversed.

In the White Sails Division Curvaceous (Deborah Bell and Mark Arnold) took the first of their 3 bullets of the event and were impressively in amongst some of the spinnaker boats in what was their first ever Race.

Although Sundays early morning lack of wind in Cowes and unpromising forecast looked as if racing would be unlikely our top race team managed to get the fleet away. They started in the slack tide region on the Bramble Bank race area in around 6 kts of a north to north westerly breeze and set a round the cans course with various options for shortening course available. After a couple of hours racing the wind in the central Solent dropped and the race was sensibly shortened at Sunsail.  Unfortunately the falling breeze and partial cross tide run caused difficulties for some at the finish. The IRC fleet was won by Meow with a big margin followed by High Potential and Genesse. Thousand Knights finished first in the Class Handicap fleet followed by Quincy and Curvaceous won again in the white Sails class followed by Pericles (Tim Newberry).

The Island Sailing Club ran an excellent Championship for the Class both on and off the water and the quality of racing coupled with the legendary CO26 social fellowship helped to make a great regatta.

The overall results were:

 

             IRC.                                    1) High Potential. 2) Genesse. 3) Meow.

 

             Class Handicap.                    1) Thousand Knights. 2) Quincy.

 

             Class handicap with Spis.       1) Curvaceous. 2) Perilcles (Tim Newberry).

Mike Harrison - Racing Captain