On the weekend of 2/3 November the RYA North East Youth Championships ‘ the Big One’ took place at Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club. Alongside a 16 strong 29er fleet with it’s own Northern Championships start, the handicapped fleet competitors included Aeros, RS200s, a Laser and a 420.The event promised to be a highlight of the Northern race circuit and attracted 29er sailors from as far as the South coast and Wales.
Despite record gusts of 109 mph elsewhere in the UK, the sailors in Yorkshire headed for their first start in a light breeze on Saturday, way less than had been predicted despite the forecast that the weather was to be on the edge for Saturday with gusts predicted at 31 knots.
The first race was underway with 2929 (Tom Storey and Ben Willett) taking the first win of the event, with 2700 (Leo Wilkinson and Sam Jones) in 2nd and 3rd going to 2292 (Sian Talbot and Maddy Bristow) from Leigh and Loughton SC with the start seeming to be a critical factor to the result of the race.
Unfortunately the second race had to be abandoned half way due to a considerable lack of wind, which stuck for the rest of the day. During this time many sailors enjoyed the hot tub that was rented for this event. The evening club dinner was followed by a massive Bonfire and fantastic fireworks laid on by the club. Camping was provided at the club providing a really friendly social atmosphere in the evening after racing.
Day two was an earlier start with gentle but sailable breeze, however most of the morning was thwarted by lingering mist on the reservoir. It was now a game of waiting for the fog to lift. Finally at about noon, after yet more enjoyment of the hot tub, the fleet managed to launch, and two races were completed.
Rankings somewhat shifted at the top of the fleet in race 2 with 1902 (Elodie Edwards and Ewan Wilson) taking their first bullet of the event. 2929, Tom and Ben, had a bit of a hiccup scoring a 10th in race 2, and Leo/ Sam went somehow somewhere wrong finishing race 2 close to the back of the fleet. 2696 (Michael and Sam Dyer) grabbed the opportunity to score a 2nd with 475 (Ed Coady and Seb Shilling) finishing in 3rd. Day 2 provided shifty winds allowing for lots of opportunity for gains to be made post-start, however the start was again a critical factor.
In the last race of the event top spot went again to 1902 (Elodie and Ewan), with 2929 (Tom and Ben) in second and 2848 (Maxi Tustain and Ben Ibbotson)coming in at 3rd place. Leading to a shift in the results from day 1.
Final results were 1st for Elodie and Ewan (6,1,1), 2nd Tom and Ben (1,10,2), 3rd Maxi and Ben (8,4,3) with 4th place and 1st all girls crews Sian and Maddie, followed by 5th and 2nd all girls 2507 (Athena Vogiatzi and Maddie Wylie). 6th place went to all Yorkshire team 2819 (Tom Burke / Alfie Cogger). Third all girl team was 2796 (Emma James/Jess Nelson).
The handicap fleet was won by 420 sailors Ellie Clark and Rose Edmonds – congratulations !A big thank you from all the 29er sailors to Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club, the RYA and the organisers for hosting this event. We are looking forward to returning for the Northern Sprints in May and for the event to occur again next year.