The Nationals saw light winds for the first two days of racing followed by some breeze for the final day event held at Derwent Water, near Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. Equiom Manx Youth Sailing Squad members Ben Batchelor, Patrick Cope, Alec Cope and Tim Chan sailed in the Sport fleet which had 55 entrants. Erin Murphy and Matthew Perry competed in the 36 boat Pro fleet.
Sport Aid Foundation recipient Ben Batchelor sailed well to finish in the top ten in every race, with 3rd in Race 5, 2nd in Race 7 and the long sought after win in the final race of the series. Overall Ben finished on the podium in 3rd place.
Patrick worked his way up the fleet from 17th overall after the first day to a very creditable 12th overall. Patrick did well to sail consistently inside the top 20 and scored his best result, 5th in the final race.
Patrick’s younger brother Alec had a mixed bag of results from a 40th to 18th and 15th, but the youngster showing great potential and will now be looking to work toward achieving consistent results in the top 20 for next season.
Tim Chan was competing at his first every competition outside of the Isle of Man, having been invited to join the Equiom Manx Youth Sailing Squad at the start of this season. The first regatta is always a tough one and such a learning curve. Tim started with results in the 50s in the first couple of races but with each race his score improved evening finishing 34th in the penultimate race. Overall his finished in 49th place, a good effort from the newcomer.
With the Pro fleet increasing in size with each Championship the competition is getting tougher, lanes of clear air are hard to find and huge gains or losses can be made at marks. Erin Murphy was top Manx boat finishing in 23rd place. Matthew Perry was next in 29th place, both youngsters struggling to find their form in the light and shifty conditions. We’ve had such a breezy summer here I don’t think the Squad have trained in less than 12 knots of breeze all season. This pair have been on top form in training this summer and were flying in the wind and waves here a couple of weeks ago.
A couple of other Manx boats also travelled to the Nationals, Alasdair Kelly was 55th in the Sport fleet and Will Henthorn 36th in the Pro fleet. For Will this was his first ever major championship, he will have benefited from the experience and no doubt will have learned heaps. Alasdair has done a few events in the Fevas with older brother, a former RS Tera World Champion, James Kelly, but I believe this is the fisrt time Ali has taken the helm for a regatta. A huge well done to both Will and Ali for getting out there and taking part, the only way is up from here!
The Squad would like to thank sponsors Equiom for their continuing support. The team would also like to thank the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company for their assistance.