by Kirsten Veenstra
The L26 Nationals were held this past weekend at RCYC ahead of Lipton Cup and the L26 Class showed how well a two day-Nationals can work with good organisation and if the dates are right for the prevailing conditions at the venue.
The event had 13 entries. Race Officer Jon (Spilly) Spillhaus and his wife Erika did an exemplary job of running smooth and efficient races – 7 in total. Saturday saw no wind in the morning and the fleet settled down for some pre-Lipton boat work and a Q&A session with Greg Davis. The wind came up around midday and the Spilly got in three good races, two in an easterly with a third abandoned when the SE came through and a course re-laid efficiently to get a 3rd and last race of the day in – conditions for this race were far more breezy.
On Sunday there was great wind from the beginning of the day and racing started at ten with Spilly giving the fleet four races in a moderate to strong S/SE wind – there could have been more but the sailors were pretty tired after that and came in for an efficient protest and the prize giving with no waiting around from the tired sailors.
There was some excellent sailing from both sailors new to L26s as well as seasoned Lipton sailors. The standard of racing was excellent and the fleet very close over the seven scores races. It was also great to have two all-women crews competing for the first time since 2010 and we look forward to see them sailing in the Lipton Cup.
Greg Davis and Dave Rae and their RCYC team on Coordination did well to take the gold medal, followed by the RCYC Academy Team skippered by young Nicholas Faraday on B&G (sailing for POYC at Lipton Cup) taking the silver and Sieraj Jacobs & Theo Yon and their team on LTC Phoenix from HBYC taking the bronze medals.
A big thank you to Spilly & Erika Spillhaus for a fantastic job as Race Officers, David Hudson and Ian Slatem and the L26 Class for the hard work in organising the event, RCYC for hosting and Morgan Evans and his team for exemplary and efficient mark laying.