Gurnard Sailing Club welcomed 60 boats across five fleets to the inaugural Isle of Wight Dinghy Championships last weekend.
On Saturday morning competitors in the Big Cat, Shadow, Fast and Medium Handicap fleets had the opportunity to spread their wings with courses set on each side of the Solent, while the Slow Handicap sailors enjoyed being part of the largest fleet on the water, getting involved with some very close racing in the bay.
In the Shadow fleet current National Champion and rising star, Orion Shuttleworth, pipped his peers to first place. Exhibition sailing by the solo Big Cat was a great spectacle for everyone to enjoy as Dougie Wright fulfilled his need for speed and blasted expertly around the Solent in a Nacra, flying into first place on one hull.
Picture Paddy Lorde’s Laser leads Jane Peckham’s RS Aero
National Champions, Tim and Heather Wilkins, in the RS500, took first place in the Fast Handicap fleet. In the Medium Handicaps classic prevailed over the modern as Mark Reynolds took first place in a Laser after fending off the RS Aeros of Paul Bowen in second and Shaun Kellet in third.
Mirror sailors, Luke and Rafe Bradley, won top spot in the largest of the fleets, the Slow Handicap, with an unbroken string of first places. The father and son team also lifted the Yachts & Yachting trophy for best overall performance
Commodore and Principal Race Officer, Steve Cole, said: “Overall the Championships delivered a fantastic weekend of sailing and socialising, despite challenging conditions on the water. I would like to thank our volunteers for their valued contribution to this event. We really look forward to making more like this happen in future.”
Headline picture The Fast Handicap (pics: Matt Smith)