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Nationals Day 1

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Firefly National Champions, Nigel Wakefield and Emily Saunderson, won the first race of the 64th Championships in Tenby on Sunday with stiff competition from Paul Kameen and Jono Pank. Nigel was National Champion last year, and Paul took the title in 2008.


Jono Pank and Lucy Smith had been leading until the final beat. Victory was wrenched from them when they were forced into penalty turns after hitting Guy Davison and Izzie Bretherton who were approaching on the downwind leg.


It was a frustrating race for many — the wind disappeared on the final reach leaving most of the fleet stranded with the tide stronger than the wind. Some twenty boats were unable to finish inside the two and a half hour time limit. Those far enough ahead – only about ten – managed to finish before the wind died. The rest of the fleet finished about an hour later!


Later at a spirited AGM, the change to the rules for wooden floors of boats was defeated by one vote, with more investigation required. The rest of the new rules were passed unanimously


Former chairman Will Mason, sailing F4000 which he won in the raffle last year, was almost awarded the Duckhams dress for a spectacular capsize in a fit of overenthusiastic gybing when stranded in the doldrums. Tash Lister and Heather Jones, students from Durham and seasoned Nationals sailors, won the Clapometer at the sailing club in the evening for continuing to feel the effects of the night before on the water for most of yesterday. Let’s just leave it at that.


At the time of writing, the fleet was preparing to set out for a two-race day, with blue skies and light winds….