Wells duo best of British
Home crew Chris and Tim Gibbs remain the crew to beat after a weekend of racing at Wells in the British Sharpie Championships.A total of 31 Sharpies lined up for the 2008 national championships, including six top teams from Holland and former European champion from Germany.
Home crew Chris and Tim Gibbs remain the crew to beat after a weekend of racing at Wells in the British Sharpie Championships.
A total of 31 Sharpies lined up for the 2008 national championships, including six top teams from Holland and former European champion from Germany.
Race one began in a force 2 northeasterly in Holkham Bay with a battle between Wells SC clubmates James Case (Rockabye) and Chris Gibbs (Windspiel).
Case held the lead for over an hour before Gibbs slipped by him on the final beat. Meanwhile, a major part of the fleet was 'parked' at the windward buoy unable to make headway as the tidal flow increased and wind died. Only seven boats got home before the 15 minute limit.
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Races two, three and four had no lack of wind. In northwesterlies of 4 to 5 racing took place in the harbour as Wells bar was awash with white water.
Martin Read led race two for a lap. Gibbs managed to power past him but Read held the rest of the fleet to hold second with Job Volwater (Typhoon) third.
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In race three Case got a flying start and won by a comfortable margin from Jan Pieter Braan (Bries). Gibbs pulled through the pack from a poor start to take third place.
Race four saw Gibbs stamp his domination of the fleet with a powerful display to take his third victory. Daan Versteeg (Jan van Galen) took second with Case third.
One highlight of the day was Chris Hardy (Flying Cloud) sailing with his daughter. In Race 2 he suffered a broken tiller extension - being involved with the RNLI he put to shore at the Lifeboat station and emerged for race four with a 'broomstick' extension. Resourceful lads, these lifeboatmen.
Races five and six6 were back out in the bay beginning with a north westerly 2-3 which gradually faded. In race five Case led once more, yet again Gibbs took a flyer from fifth place and found the perfect shift to win the race and confirm him as champion. Case was second, confirming his second overall, with Daan Versteeg third.
The final race saw changes with Bob Curtis (Titania) previously in the 20s picking his way up the first beat to be in second place for much of the race. Klaus Eisenblatter (Bunyip) won by a country mile with Case second and Jerry Clarke third.
The leading protagonists will meet again in Holland in late July for the European Championships.
1 Windspiel (Chris & Tim Gibbs (Wells SC); 2 Rockabye James Case & Jimmy Goodley (Wells SC), 3 Typhoon Job Volwater & Ton van Borkel (WVA), 4 Bunyip K Eisenblatte & S Wussow (SCOE), 5 Jan v. Galen Daan Versteeg & A Mulderij (WVV), 6 Poelsnip Martin Read & Mark Buckton (Wells SC).