ISO Nationals 2012

Highcliffe SC, 15th & 16th September 2012


Rarely does a Race Officer and team get thanks in the opening sentence of a race report, it’s usually a last line afterthought, but the Highcliffe RO and whole volunteer Team get a very well deserved thank-you for their organisation and management of the respective ISO, Buzz and Laser 4000 Nationals last weekend, on and off the water. The turnaround between races was exemplary, no APs, no hanging around – just course set and great racing in the best champagne sailing conditions we’ve had the pleasure since La Rochelle way back in 2006. Absolutely excellent !!


The south westerly beckoned all three fleets out of the Mudeford channel into Christchurch Bay towards the Needles on Saturday morning. The forecast for a good strong breeze producing rollers just right for asymmetric surfing creating eager anticipation !


Race 1 started with everyone close off a classic starboard line with the race leaders steadily emerging at the front. Coming out of retirement, Jonny and Bugsy were close in with John and Juliet at the first mark with Euro Champ Rob and returning crew Barry not far behind in 1022. The other three boats got round in reasonable proximity and up with the kites.


First run was quick in the slack tide and relatively flat water, round in front of the Committee boat and up again with the leaders increasing the gap. 814, the only pond sailors in the fleet, salted the sails to pass the race report up the fleet to the Calshot teams of Colin and Alison,558 and Dave and Rachel, 1002. Tinky Winky threw down the gauntlet to win.


For race 2 both wind and tide increased to start building the waves. Another good start by all this time provided some close crosses making the leaders look a bit harder for the openings up the beat. Faster downwind legs and the grin factor began to kick in. The heavier breeze gave 814 a weight advantage over the Calshot teams up the beat enabling Bob and Gary to pull out a better mid fleet lead and show 1002 their transom. Meanwhile the race leaders continued to make a show of it with a substantial lead over the line.


Further wind and tide strengthening for race 3 increased the downwind grin factor still further with the boats feeling like they were several feet out of the water, with the gusts surging the boats over the surf crests and on to the next wave. Excellent stuff. And the results, same as race 2 with John and Juliet in Tinky Winky continuing the clean sweep.


The wind and tide peaked for race 4 and with the stretching conditions of the first three races, 558 decided enough fun was enough and headed in. Yet again the race leaders set the same pattern – but this time with 1022 pulling off 2nd place. 1002 broke something part way round and headed in, leaving 814 to bring up the rear again – but with the surfing grin factor making it all well worthwhile ! Congratulations to John and Juliet in Tinky Winky who had already won the event with a clean sweep.


A great day’s sailing was then complemented by the Highcliffe Galley crew producing mounds of really good pasta for all three fleets and even catering for the late comers who had to go off to pitch tents. Followed, of course, by some excellent bar service which we felt obliged to keep busy, as you do. More thanks well earned.


Sunday started with a host of creaks and groans from all those stretched muscles from Saturday. Yes, it had been an excellent day ! With just 3 races to go everyone headed out for the 10.30 starting gun to try and make a difference to the rest of the results.


A lighter wind for race 5 was a welcome relief from the full on Saturday conditions to get the crews warmed up again. The race leaders continued their dualing well out in the lead finishing with the same 1, 2, 3 race order. The Calshot crews made up for their race 4 retirements keeping the pond sailors at the back.


With sun up came some more wind for race 6 and back to some modest surfing. This time around Jonny and Bugsy took the lead from the Champs in a dual well out in front of the fleet. In the middle 814 at last found some form to dual with Rob and Barry in 1022 to meet bow to bow at the last mark, with 1022 just squeezing through on the line.


Final race and fatigue was setting in; nevertheless the now familiar race lead played out yet again leaving John and Juliet only a 2nd to discard for the National Champs trophy. Well sailed both.


A final thanks to the beach crew, without whom boat recovery up the beach would have been a real mission.


A great weekend’s sailing was had by all making the 2012 ISO Nationals a memorable event for which the only regret is that the boats sailing the weekend at their home clubs didn’t join us.


Bob & Gary – ISO 814 Cousin Trestec