|The RYA National
Daily race reports as published in Yachts and Yachting - compiled by Den Saxton
The 2014 Hornet European championship is currently taking place under the burgee of the Royal Torbay Yacht Club on the English Riviera. Gusty Northwesterly 5-6 and sunshine greeted the 22 Hornets for the first day of sailing.The race officer placed the windward mark inshore under the cliffs for the planned 3 races and got the fleet off and running on the first attempt.
The bullet for race one was taken by Dave Edge and Martin Arnison, closely followed by Dick Garry and Matt McGrath.
Race two saw Rob Larke and Nic Barnes take a left hand flier to lead home from Garry and McGrath.
Larke and Barnes took the final race of the day from Will McGrath and Sam Woolner. So with those results, Rob Larke and Nic Barnes won the day and lead overnight.
The forecast for the day was blustery conditions with intermittent rain showers and they weren't wrong. In the challenging conditions, it was Will McGrath and Sam Woolner who proved that superior weight and strength was the order of the day. Although challenged downwind, they managed to gain enough advantage upwind in all three races to take the bullets. So for the also rans, Rob Larke and Nic Barnes were second in race four and six, with Toby Barsley-Dale and Gareth Russell pushing hard to get a second in race five.The overnight lead remains with Larke and Barnes with McGrath and Woolner just a point behind.
The penultimate day of the Hornet European championship and it's all to play for. The conditions had improved over night for the lighter crews and on approaching the race area, the competitors were greeted with a steady force 4 and calmer seas. The race officer changed the number of rounds to 3 and brought the course in slightly, under the instructions of the class. Will McGrath and Sam Woolner took their fourth win in race 7 closely followed by Rob Larke and Nic Barnes, Dave Edge and Martin Arnison finishing third.
By the start of race 8 the wind had become extremely shifty, the race officer having to move the windward mark several times during the race. Tim Coombe and James Beer produced some cunning moves to lead into the windward mark, but were quickly overhauled by Toby Barsley-Dale and Gareth Russell who went on to take line honours. Coombe and Beer had a tussle with McGrath and Woolner, but held onto second place.
McGrath and Woolner now lead by 2points going into the final 2 races tomorrow.
The final two races of the Hornet European Championship at Royal Torbay Yacht Club - Bright sunshine along with light and variable wind caused the race officer to put a short postponement on race 9 as the wind settled down. Two teams were fighting for the title, Will McGrath and Sam Woolner who had an overnight lead of 2 points over Rob Larke and Nic Barnes. McGrath and Woolner decided to race their own race rather than cover Larke and Barnes, and it paid off. Having won the previous two days racing, they didn't disappoint, taking line honours from Jo Powell and Corin Westley in second and Strangler and Pippa Rogers in third. Larke and Barnes recorded a fifth and were still in with a chance, all be it a slim one.
Into the final race, Larke and Barnes threw the kitchen sink at it, taking the bullet, but there was no shaking off the dominance of McGrath and Woolner who finished just behind them. Tim Coombe and James Beer took third.
Congratulations to Will McGrath and Sam Woolner who are the new Hornet European Champions and will hold the title for two years.The Hornet class association would like to thank Exe Sails, 50 Degrees North, Exeter Solar, McNamara sails and Marchbanks Architectural Design for sponsoring the event, Royal Torbay Yacht Club for hosting the event, and all the competitors who took part in making it a very enjoyable championship.
©The RYA National Hornet Association