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Burghfield Sailing Club
Hangar Road
Berks RG7 4AP

01189 303 604

Vortex Nationals, 2007

Vortex Nationals, 2007

A weekend at the Vortex Nationals 2007

Our Vortex sailor, Andy Maw, attended the Vortex National Championships at Mayflower SC in Plymouth on the 15th and 16th September 2007.

‘This was my first trip to the Nationals for two years , which was also the last time that I sailed on the sea, so I was both excited by the large sailing area in Plymouth Sound and somewhat apprehensive by the thought of waves and tides. I had read up on wave sailing technique in Yachts and Yachting and worked out that I needed to sail freer than on ‘flat’ water and try and sail in a rhythm that matched the peaks and troughs of the waves.

I went to the Nationals with a target of being about 2/3 of the way down the field " realistic based on previous results " and of beating my old sparring partner Kim Aldis. Unfortunately I was spending so much time trying to perfect the wave sailing techniques that my head was always more inside the boat than out " a very good way to sail backwards down the fleet……
Vortex Nationals, 2007
At the end of a Saturday of force 2-3 winds, I was languishing in 18th place out of 19 boats and I took to my curry at the clubhouse (excellent, by the way) wondering what I was doing wrong.

As always, people were keen to help, the tape measures came out and a change to my mast rake was called for. I also received some good advice on both my trapezing stance and my spinnaker control.

Sunday morning was grey and overcast, with a gusty force 4-5 and some ‘interesting’ waves. Despite a short swim in the first race (spinnaker gybe + wave + gust = swim) I gradually settled down and was overtaking people downwind. I was still not as quick upwind (more work required) but my results gradually improved.

The second race resulted in a 13th; the last race was begun….. and then the Brittany Ferry arrived and ploughed through the middle of the fleet. After the restart, I went on to have a storming race and finished 8th, my best result of the Championship.
Vortex Nationals, 2007
My overall result? Still 18th, but only one point behind the next group above me and ahead of Kim (sorry, Kim).

I had a great time. The club were very welcoming and helped us with launching and recovery, the race organisation was excellent (they did tell us that the ferry ‘never took that route through the sound’) and the Saturday night curry (provided by the club and paid for by our sponsor ‘ASAP International couriers’ was very welcome. Sam Tucker from Mayflower SC took the photographs, but managed to make it all look a lot more serene than it felt at the time. Thanks to them all.

And the biggest surprise? The amount of floating seaweed. All that practice clearing the rudder and dagger boards during the summer was not wasted!

Andy Maw
Vortex 1178 ‘Alien Invasion’

Created on 03/10/2007 07:07 PM by Ian Bullock
Updated on 03/10/2007 07:18 PM by Ian Bullock
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