The 2013 Classic Finn National Championship will be held at Roadford Lake in Devon, Saturday 8th June – Sunday 9th June 2012
5-7 May 2012 Finn Festival Falmouth.
From Peter Vinton
5 classics took the rare opportunity to sail alongside the elite and joined the largest fleet ever (87 boats) in the history of the British Finn Nationals, boosted by Olympic teams from all over the world : Mark Belshaw (1973 wooden Taylor) Graham Brookes (1973 wooden Taylor), David Harker (1979 wooden Taylor/Warwick), Ronny Ball (1978 GRP Taylor) and Peter Vinton (1964 Fairey).
All the racing was held out in Falmouth Bay. On Saturday two races were held in a cold easterly on a lumpy sea. At the windward mark on the first lap Peter Vinton led the classics at the back end of the modern boat fleet with David close behind then Mark Belshaw and Ronny Ball. In the second race the wind dropped at the start, making it difficult to work through the left over chop. This gave David and Peter the chance to overtake several of the modern boats before the finish.
On Sunday the wind was forecast to be lower but the conditions were very similar to Saturday. In the last race of the day David went well out to the left, picked up a tremendous lift and reached into the windward mark well ahead to beat Peter for the first time.
On Monday the wind had veered round to the SW and risen. Fewer boats came out to play, allowing David and Peter to line up alongside alongside the top contenders such as Ben Ainslie and Giles Scott. Peter led David up the boat and both were concentrating so hard on driving through the waves that they overstood the mark and freed off to lay it with David close behind Peter. David underestimated the tide at the mark and had to do a turn then he capsized on the run, leaving Peter to sail carefully round the next lap in rising winds to claim the Classic Finn title. Both Mark and Graham had health problems which prevented them taking a very active part but Ronny entered fully into the spirit to the extent of collecting a black flag penalty! We were given an extended time limit so that we had to finish within 30 minutes of the leading boat, but in practice we were finishing about 10 minutes behind, which wasn’t bad although the gap widened a bit in the windy weather on Monday when the Olympians really got going on the downwind legs. It was a real privilege to be able to see the top sailors in action and to take part in such an exciting event.
CLASSIC FINN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS 2011
ROYAL CORNWALL YACHT CLUB, FALMOUTH
from: Mark Belshaw
Eight boats made it down to Mylor Yacht Harbour on the morning of Saturday 12th June for the first day of the inaugural Classic Finn National Championships. The fleet consisted of four wooden and four grp boats built between 1963 and 1983.
Racing was held in the Carrick Roads under the burgee of the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club. Initially, four back to back races had been scheduled for each day, but, with the forecast for Sunday remaining dreadful for a number of days, it was decided to try to complete 5 races on the Saturday and cancel any racing for the Sunday. In the event, this was the right decision, as Sunday dawned wet and windy with mist and fog and squally conditions.
As the boats arrived at the start area, a comment was heard from the committee boat, asking whether the term “classic” referred to the age of the boats, or the helms!
The first four races were held in mainly light but shifty north westerly wind, especially approaching the windward mark under the Trefusis shore. The first race was won by Mark Belshaw in his newly restored 1973 wooden Taylor, followed home by Steve Robinson (1983 glass Vanguard) and Peter Vinton (1964 wood Fairey). The racing was close, and positions changed throughout the race. David Harker (1979 wood Warwick) was very much in contention until deciding to go for a swim on one of the downwind legs – this was later blamed on not being used to sailing in waves!
In race two Steve Robinson sailed home in first place, followed by Mark Belshaw, with Peter Vinton again taking third spot, and race three saw Mark taking a second win, with Steve in second and Peter in third place. Mike Bridgwater was going well, until kicker failure made the downwind legs a bit tricky.
At the start of race four, Mark misjudged the timing to the favoured port end leaving him trailing the fleet over the line, eventually fighting back to fourth place. Peter Vinton sailed a text book race to come in first, with Steve Robinson taking another second place, and David Harker third.
Race five started in similar conditions, with those going to the middle and left of the course coming out on top. Mark Belshaw, Graham Brookes and Ronney Ball rounded the windward mark first, before the wind started to freshen and back quite considerably, upsetting the angles of the legs, turning reaches to close hauled and runs, and the beat to a close reach. As a result the race became rather processional. The race officer, in an attempt to adjust the final leg to a beat, decided to move the finish line. However, as the fleet had become quite strung out by this stage, and with problems lifting the anchor, the committee boat was on the move as the first boats rounded the final mark. With no line to sail for, confusion ensued, and the Race Officer had little option but to abandon the race.
With insufficient time to put in another race, we all enjoyed an exciting planing reach back to Mylor Harbour. There was just about time to pack boats away, shower and change, before reconvening at the RCYC for a club supper and prize giving, which included vouchers for the first three places donated by series sponsor WAVELOFT, manufacturers of boat covers and accessories based in Falmouth.
With four races completed, results were calculated allowing one discard, resulting in Mark Belshaw being named the winner by the narrowest margin of just one point from Steve Robinson. Peter Vinton took third position, with David Harker in fourth slot.
At the prize giving Mark Belshaw introduced the “Ernie Tiller” Trophy, donated by himself, and to be sailed for on an annual basis at an event in Cornwall. The trophy is in memory of Andy Tyler, local sailor, yachting correspondent and one of the key players behind Falmouth’s successful bid for the Finn Gold Cup in 2012. Unfortunately, Andy died unexpectedly earlier this year, before he could see the results of all his efforts come to fruition. The title of the Trophy refers to Andy’s nickname, which, perhaps not without coincidence, sounds very much like the pronunciation of his name after consuming a number of glasses of fine ale!
We are planning another event for next year to run during the Falmouth Finn Festival which will also incorporate the British Open Championships and Gold Cup. Plans have already begun, and I will post details on the forum as they become available. Meanwhile, please pass on any comments or suggestions to me, and I look forward to seeing as many of you as can make it next year.
|1st||388||1973 Taylor Wood||Helford River SC||Mark Belshaw||1.0||2.0||1.0||(4.0)||8.0||4.0|
|2nd||IRL 11||1983 Vanguard GRP||Saltash SC||Steve Robinson||(2.0)||1.0||2.0||2.0||7.0||5.0|
|3rd||197||1964 Fairey Wood||Staunton Harold SC||Peter Vinton||(3.0)||3.0||3.0||1.0||10.0||7.0|
|4th||475||1979 Warwick Wood||Roadford Lake SC||David Harker||(8.0)||4.0||4.0||3.0||19.0||11.0|
|5th||74||1973 Taylor Wood||Roadford Lake SC||Graham Brtookes||4.0||(8.0)||5.0||6.0||23.0||15.0|
|6th||467||1978 Taylor GRP||Roadford Lake SC||Ronney Ball||(7.0)||5.0||7.0||5.0||24.0||17.0|
|Roadford Lake SC||Andi Wyer||5.0||6.0||6.0||(8.0)||25.0||17.0|
|8th||166||1963 Elvstrom GRP||Bristol Corinthian Yacht Club||Mile Bridgwater||6.0||7.0||(8.0)||7.0||28.0||20,0|
We now have the Notice of Race and Entry Form for the Classic Finn Nationals.
This event is hosted by the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club, Falmouth and will be on the 11th & 12th June 2011
Download: Notice of Race – Classic Finn Nats 2011
Some advance information on the 2011 Classic Finn Nationals
11th & 12th June 2011
Courses will be set in the Carrick Roads, and we will be sailing out of Mylor Yacht Harbour http://www.mylor.com . Boat storage, launching, car & trailer parking will be included in the entry fee.
Outline schedule (subject to confirmation)
Informal gathering RCYC bar for those who have arrived early evening.at 11th:
3 races back to back (about 40min each) starting pm
Club Supper at RCYC evening (included in entry fee)
3 races back to back am. Followed by RIB ferry to RCYC for prize giving, and return to MYH.
5 races out of six to count
This will include all launch and parking fees and Saturday Club Supper, as well as additional prizes. I am trying to negotiate to keep it in the region of £40 per boat (extra Suppers will be available for accompanying guests at cost and if ordered in advance).
More details on the forum – http://classicfinn.org.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=11
Thanks to the BFA we now have the relevant information from the Finn Register to help us define which boats qualify for Classic Finn status i.e built before 1985. The Classic Finn Register can be found here
Classic Finn owners, Graham Brookes and Alan Williams, will be at the 2011 Dinghy show
They will be on the British Finn Association’s stand with a Classic Finn. Find them (and the boat) at Stand G24.
OK…the Finn Forum is now live – click on the link at the top right of this page to go to the forum