Ronstan Finn UK National Championship at Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy
Ronstan Finn UK National Championship at Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy
by John Heyes May 18 10:38 PDT
May 13-15, 2022
Ronstan Finn Nationals at the WPNSA © Richard Phillips
A strong turnout of 40 Finns gathered at WPNSA for the 2022 Ronstan UK National Championships. The growing popularity of the class was highlighted by the presence of several top returning Finns, including multiple Endeavor Trophy champion Nick Craig and BFA U23 team graduate Cameron Tweedle.
Friday’s opening races were perfectly organized by PRO Brian Drake in Portland Harbor, with three laps of an appropriately sized championship course upwind/downwind. The conditions were perfect, with a rising breeze of 16 to 20 knots and bright sunshine.
Youth and a strong downwind work ethic won race one as Cameron Tweedle demonstrated his free-pumping technique to take victory from Phantom class champion Andy Couch, with Nick Craig quickly picking up his feel for the Finn in third. Experience and fitness were on display in race two, with his winter training regime paying off for former Laser World Champion Lawrence Crispin, whose downwind pace gave him a big boost. ahead of Cameron and Andy Couch. With only 5 degree offsets to play with, the leaders tended to work the windward turn on the left side of the course below Portland with occasional gains on the right by those wishing to find an alternative route to the wind.
Race three saw many tired legs as the wind picked up to 20 knots plus gusts and despite the Oscars free pumping flag still flying there was little taking of that freedom apart from the top few! True to the developing form book, Cameron took victory on a closing Crispin, with the consistent and much lighter Nick Craig working hard to take third place.
Saturday’s forecast of a light SE to NE shifting breeze proved accurate, so the morning was spent in extensive dinghy park talks about the latest new kit and tuning.
The fierce race committee called the boats to the far end of the harbor for a race at 2 p.m., as soon as the new 7 knot easterly breeze stabilized. The fleet got off to a clean start the first time under the ‘U’ flag, with boats on both sides of the course sniffing out the greatest pressure. Unlike Friday, it was the lighter sailors’ turn to show their ability, Fergus Allen extending a useful lead by hunting down the best of the small laps, leading around the 3-lap course with a clear margin. Lawrence Crispin proved it wasn’t just a lightweight race, to move up to second on the windward tactical stages, pushing John Heyes back into third – winning the photo-finish with a late push on the Kieron Holt line.
A second race quickly unfolded and was again a highly tactical game of chess with many changes of places upwind, as the sailors sought to exploit every little puff, turn and wind change. Nick Craig used all of his multi-class experience to work the pace to lead at the end of the close third, just ahead of Heyes and Kristian Sjoberg. It was great to experience the mutual respect and sportsmanship of top sailors as they allowed themselves to pass each other on the harbour, avoiding overly aggressive moves while doing everything possible to stay ahead of the competition. . On the final downwind, John Heyes played the left of the race, finding a gust useful to pass Craig and take an unexpected victory.
Saturday evening was busy with sailors who came together to speak at the class AGM, where the memories of Ray New and Richard Blowman were shared with great sadness and their contributions to the class were recalled. Outgoing Class Secretary Martin Hughes was honored for his 14 year stint in this important role, his great knowledge and experience will be retained as he has kindly agreed to take on the role of Training Officer for the class .
On Sunday morning, the competitors woke up to rain and a squall breeze of more than 20 knots from the east, an unattractive prospect. As the wind should continue to pick up at lunchtime, the decision was made to schedule only two races during the day. Whether that decision helped or not, many sailors took to the seas in a breeze that was blowing at over 25 knots at the time.
The sixth leg starts and the first at the windward buoy is Lawrence Crispin followed by Simon Percival and Cameron Tweedle. Late in the race, Simon and Cameron lost to Fergus Allan and Kristian Sojberg, who both showed good pace, catching the breeze and waves on the left side of the race.
Cameron reclaimed third place on the next upwind leg, working the right side of the course, but couldn’t catch Kristian or Lawrence, who both excelled in the conditions that had now started to calm down. Lawrence now had a big lead to take the gun for the win as the pitchfork lighting was seen in the distance with the rumble of thunder – perfectly staged!
Given the risk of thunderstorms in the area, Brian Drake made the decision to send the fleet ashore to the safety of the academy. It was then a clear decision to stop the championship, given the weather risks for the developing sailors.
At the presentation, Cameron Tweedle was crowned BFA Finn National Champion, winning the prestigious Sunday Times Gold Cup and first senior – a fitting tribute to Ray New and the BFA’s foresight in fostering the talent of U 23 sailors looking for a way to the championship. Hit. Cameron can now add his name to the illustrious Gold Cup roster, alongside Vernon Stratton, Chris Law, Ian Percy, Ben Ainslie, Giles Scott and many more.
Each competitor received a prize from Ronstan’s generous offering of sailing products, as well as a valuable discount voucher.
The competitiveness of the fleet was underlined by Lawrence Crispin, who was only one point behind second place and also won the first Grandmaster title. Nick Craig was 5 points behind in third and won the Masters class and was so back in love with the Finn that he promised to buy a boat!
Kristian Sjoberg won the first Grandmaster title in 6th place and Howard Sellers won the Battle of the Legends in 28th place by one point ahead of Peter Blick and Super Legend Richard Hart.
Newly elected BFA Secretary Simon Percival closed the celebrations by thanking Pete Allam’s event team at the WPSA for an excellent and very friendly event and once again thanked the BFA at Ronstan and The Old Salt Loft for supporting another successful Finnish National Championship. The water judge’s visitor, Sian was so impressed with the attitude of the fleet and the behavior on the water that she had few exchanges all weekend and said that the Finns “were one of the finest classes ever,” and she was looking forward to returning as a judge. once again – praise indeed…
If you finished in the top ten at the Finnish National Championships, enter your gear guide information here
|1||UK||45||Cameron Tweedle||WPNSA||To open||1||2||1||-9||4||3||11|
|2||UK||74||Laurent Crispin||SC Stone||GM||6||1||2||2||-8||1||12|
|3||UK||56||Nick Craig||Burghfield SC||Master||3||4||3||5||2||-8||17|
|4||UK||79||Andy Sofa||Blithfield SC||Master||2||3||4||8||-9||7||24|
|5||UK||2||Allen Burell||Thorpe Bay YC||GM||4||-7||6||7||3||4||24|
|7||UK||86||Fergus Allan||Loch Win SC||GM||-20||8||12||1||11||6||38|
|8||UK||49||James Downer||Gurnard SC||To open||7||9||8||6||-18||ten||40|
|9||UK||635||Simon Percival||Christchurch SC||Master||8||5||ten||13||-20||5||41|
|ten||UK||567||Martin Hughes||Warsash SC||GGM||9||-13||9||11||5||9||43|
|11||UK||61||John Heyes||Warsash SC||GGM||14||16||20||3||1||(DNC)||54|
|12||UK||8||Tim Carver||Warsash SC||GM||ten||12||5||15||12||(DNC)||54|
|13||UK||33||Kieron Holt||Warsash SC||Master||11||22||(DNS)||4||6||12||55|
|14||UK||0||David Walker||Yorkshire Dales SC||GM||16||ten||15||-20||19||13||73|
|15||UK||21||Michel de Courcy||Mengeham Rythe SC||GM||13||11||17||24||-30||11||76|
|16||UK||634||Roger Cerrat||Warsash SC||Master||21||-28||16||17||ten||16||80|
|17||UK||750||Ivan Burden||Mengeham Rythe SC||GM||17||14||13||-34||22||14||80|
|18||UK||679||james cole||Warsash SC||Master||12||15||11||14||31||(DNC)||83|
|19||UK||581||Alex Atkins||Christchurch SC||Master||-22||21||14||16||15||18||84|
|20||UK||51||David Kitchen||Port Edgar YC||GGM||18||20||(UFD)||12||28||15||93|
|23||UK||84||Olivier Murray||Yorkshire Dales SC||To open||25||25||(RET)||21||16||19||106|
|24||UK||1||Sander Kooij||Thorpe Bay YC||GGM||19||17||(RET)||25||26||DNC||126|
|25||UK||13||Romain Khodykine||Mengeham Rythe SC||Master||24||24||(RET)||26||14||DNC||127|
|26||UK||20||Andy Denison||Christchurch SC||GGM||27||18||21||33||34||(DNC)||133|
|27||UK||40||Russell New||Christchurch SC||Master||26||33||22||28||27||(DNC)||136|
|28||UK||777||Howard Sellars||Warsash SC||Legend||34||30||(DNS)||22||13||DNC||138|
|29||UK||34||Pierre Blick||Christchurch SC||Legend||28||32||23||27||29||(DNC)||139|
|30||UK||44||Simon Philbrick||Christchurch SC||Master||29||29||27||23||33||(DNC)||141|
|31||UK||631||Richard Hart||Mengeham Rythe SC||Legend||35||36||26||32||17||(DNC)||146|
|32||UK||47||Tim Newton||Oxford SC||GM||31||27||24||30||36||(UFD)||148|
|33||UK||619||Christopher Barbary||Warsash SC||GM||30||31||28||(UFD)||24||DNC||152|
|34||UK||111||John DeLeeuw||Loch Venachar SC||GGM||(DNC)||23||RET||29||25||DNC||155|
|35||UK||4||Russell District||Hayling Island SC||GGM||(RET)||DNC||DNC||19||21||DNC||157|
|36||UK||18||Jonathan Pike||Mengeham Rythe SC||GM||33||35||25||(DNC)||DNC||20||157|
|37||UK||545||Dick Prat||Bosham SC||Legend||32||34||(RET)||31||37||DNC||173|
|38||UK||66||Robin Barn||Mengeham Rythe SC||GGM||36||(RET)||DNC||35||32||DNC||181|