K1 Nationals 2016 : Lymington

K1 Class Association Nationals 2016 & open 6/7

23rd - 25th September 2016

The K1 Nationals, Lymington, Friday 23rd September – Sunday 25th September.

The Royal Lymington Yacht Club hosted the 2016 K1 Sea National Championships over a 3 day long weekend of September 23-25, ably helped out by Lymington Town Sailing Club.  17 boats entered with two furthest travelled coming down from Windermere.  With a lively forecast for the weekend this was going to be a gruelling 3 days.

Day 1 saw two races get underway in the most moderate conditions of the weekend, a steady F3-4 south-westerly in the mid afternoon.  Ken Kershaw, PRO, set a port handed trapezoidal course to the east of Lymington.  Newcomer to the class, Simon Heusen quickly put down a marker for the weekend even though he was new to sailing K1s.  With a moderate tide flowing west to east there was not much to choose between going left or right up the beat.  Simon rounded the windward mark first closely chased by a pack including local boy Keith Willis, boat designer Paul Handley and K1 stalwarts Mike Deane and Mike Commander.  Four laps later we were to find out just how quick Simon could make a K1 go as he picked up his first win just ahead of Paul.

By the time race 2 came around the tide was ripping westerly out of the Solent which gave the PRO a headache as all boats pushed over the start line early.  General Recall number one closely followed by number two and then the black flag came out.  All bar Dave Pritchett managed to stay safe and the rest of the fleet got away cleanly.  It clearly paid to go left up the beat out into the strong tide.  Mike Commander, having not seen the change of course to starboard rounding thought he was looking pretty coming into the windward mark but quickly realised he’d over stood it as the leading boats converged for a starboard rounding.  Lap two saw more fun and games as some competitors misjudged the strength of the tide and ended up stranding themselves on the windward mark and having real difficulty pushing themselves off the 2 metre inflatable buoy, including Mike Commander and Ray Potter.  Simon finished the day with another bullet pursued closely by Keith.

With a building forecast for Saturday racing was pulled forward to 10.25 for the first warning signal.  This meant competitors launched at pretty much low tide and several had problems grounding on the way out to the course, no doubt compounded by the need to avoid the Isle of Wight ferry leaving just after the fleet launched.  With a warm southerly wind, racing was set with beats almost due south for the whole of the day.  This was going to be a challenging day with winds gusting anywhere between 16 and 30 knots and a huge mixed up sea with waves coming in all directions.  Race 3 saw a change of leader with Dave Guthrie leading the fleet around the course.  Normal service was resumed for the next three races though with Simon cleaning up all three and Keith heading the rest of the pack.  The fleet came home mid afternoon feeling pretty tired only to enjoy the rigours of the Class AGM followed by an excellent dinner in the evening.

Sunday’s forecast was pretty mixed depending on which model you looked at.  In the event it proved to be the most challenging day of all.  Leaving the quayside in a gentle F3 south westerly it quickly built out in the Solent to a F5-6.  With wind against tide the Solent conditions were becoming very testing and not all competitors ventured to the start area, but those that did were treated to some exhilarating sailing.  Simon again got away cleanly to be first at the windward mark followed by Paul Handley, Mike Commander and Keith Willis, which was to be the order at the front for the whole race. That was the end of racing for the day and as PRO then abandoned sailing in light of the conditions.

Overall Simon Heusen from Lyme Regis SC was a convincing winner with Keith Willis of Lymington Town SC second and Paul Handley from Chipstead SC third.  Dave Guthrie from Lyme Regis was first in the Masters (over 60s) and Alf Hawksworth from Carsington SC top Grand Master (over 70s).

All in all a memorable weekend of spectacular sailing in blue sky and sunshine!  Our thanks go to Royal Lymington YC and Lymington Town SC for hosting the event, to Keith Willis for his support as the local contact and to Liam Willis of LM Media for taking some great photos and video of the event.  Liam has produced a short video of some of the action which can be seen on Youtube at https://youtu.be/RcS5nYdHt1w

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More video is here

And here!

Liam, from LW media has a lot more photos, if you contact him, he will supply thumb nails for free, and prints, or full size images for a reasonable fee. Email Liam at LW-Media dot co dot uk