National Championships 2023



3 days of glamour racing with 17 boats for the UK National Championship organised by the Royal Yacht Squadron with Rupert Erskin-Crum as PRO.

 Day 1 began at Cowes Yacht Haven with registration and weigh ins, where one particular youth team came in heavier than expected, thus requiring a morning run donning as many layers as they could find. All the teams made it out into the Solent for the first race in  8-13knts and sunny conditions. Jolly Roger started off strong, taking the first race win with their distinctive Pirate flag on their spinnaker, although I’m not sure how jolly they were as it seems they only have the name Roger on the back of their boat now. It seemed to be a day for the top 3 to show their dominance as third place Exabyte took the bullet in race 2 followed by the winners No Dramas in race 3. The race into the beer fridge began and luckily the key was located, so there was no need to use an angle grinder on the lock this time. After the days racing the Royal Yacht Squadron hosted the Etchells fleet for drinks and supper, thank you to them for a great evening.

 Day 2 showed the aftermath of the previous night’s champagne, racing was postponed on the water whilst waiting for the wind to fill in, providing the perfect opportunity for some hangovers to be nursed. Racing began once the breeze started building, Jolly Roger winning race 4, followed by Exabyte in race 5 and then No Dramas in race 6. It seems this top 3 don’t want to share any of the race bullets with the rest of the fleet. Saturday evening was organised by David Mclean at the island sailing club, with what seemed to be a never-ending supply of captain pizza, a big thank you to David for the evening.

 Day 3 was a big one, with 20-26knts it was a day for big hikes and some soggy bowmen. The conditions tested the boats with numerous breakages, thank you to the race committee for holding racing and allowing teams to fix their boats. Current leaders Jolly Roger began their day with an OCS, whilst No Dramas provided and impressive 1,1,2 score line to take the overall National title with 19 pts, Jolly Roger was 2nd with 20pts followed by Exabyte with 33pts. Well done to Andrew Lawson, Graham Vials and Billy Russell for taking the National title as well as first Corinthian. 2nd Corinthian was Mans Best Friend (Ewan Wilson), 3rd Rocketman (Rob Goddard) and finishing the results first youth boat was Alison (Vita Heathcote).

Thank you to the Royal Yacht Squadron for hosting a great Nationals.