Closer Than Close @ The Merlin Nationals

The Merlin Nationals at Lyme Regis 2012

HD Sails came within a whisker of winning the Merlin Nationals Lyme Regis 2012

Andy Davis and Tom Pygall went in to the week as defending champions and certainly put up a good fight. Throughout the week it became clear that it was going to be a two horse race between Andy & Tom and Olympic 470 silver medalist Stuart Bithell crewed by Christian Birrell.

The strong south westerly wind brought big seas, this gave perfect conditions for the majority of the week. Unfortunately, too much wind and huge waves resulted in sailing being cancelled on Monday and Wednesday.

Throughout the week the two boats matched each other point for point resulting in a tie going in to the last day.  Andy and Tom had been more consistent with a score card of 2,2,3,2,2, compared to Stuart and Christian’s 1,1,5,1,dnf. The Merlin Rocket Class sail 6 races with one discard, so going into the last day Andy had to stop Stuart from finishing in the top 4.

Race 6 started with the a force 2-3 in the south west. The race was looking as if the right hand side would pay, Andy was covering Stuart and forcing him down the line, Andy forced Stuart out to the left hand side with the majority of the fleet going right, unfortunately half way up the first beat the wind shifted 35 degrees to the left, favouring Stuart, but both boats rounded the windward mark in the top 7 with Stuart just ahead.  From then there wasn’t much Andy could do as Stuart was covering. The two boats sailed through to second and third, giving Stuart the title by a point.

Geoff Carveth and Graham Williamson finshed third on 25 points, Richard Whitworth and Sarah Bines finished fourth on 37 points.

Certainly another great championship, superbly run by Lyme Regis Sailing Club.Merlin rocket 7329

International Success

HD Sails International Success

Congratulations to Josh Haynes on his international success at the Chocolate Cup in Hungary this summer in his Optimist dinghy.  Josh received the silver medal, tied on equal points with the winner, the Hungarian National Champion, Gyapjas Zsombor, but came second after the tie break rules were applied.

The three day Chocolate Cup event included an Optimist fleet of 99 boats with entries from Slovakia, Czech Republic, Austria, Romania, Serbia, Malta, Denmark, Israel, Hungary and Great Britain.

The eight races included a variety of conditions including thunder storms and Josh commented “I just felt that I had the pace to do well and I know that’s a lot to do with my HD sail.  I’m really pleased I had a great event.  This year has been amazing.”

The IOCA UK National Development Team of eight sailors had enjoyed three days of training prior to the International event at the Spartacus Sailing Club in Hungary on Lake Balaton.  The venue will host the 2013 IODA Optimist European Championship.

Josh has also had previous international success, as he had already picked up his first international trophy earlier this year at the Magic Marine Easter Regatta in Braassemermeer, Holland.

Josh (14) has exclusively used sails made by Andy & Jim throughout his racing career of the last seven years.   He is currently ranked 15th in the IOCA UK rolling ranking.

Josh Haynes wins overall championship of Derbyshire Youth Sailing Series for second year and once again it is secured only after a tie break – this time in Josh’s favour.

Scorpion Nationals Success

HD Sails at the Scorpion Nationals

The first Scorpion Nationals following the launch of HD Sails saw immediate success with Tom Jeffcoate & Harvey Hillary finishing 2nd overall and Andy Mckee & Tarren Jones finishing 5th.

57 Scorpions descended on Paignton for the annual National Championships. With a range of wind strengths racing was incredibly close as demonstrated by how many high scores the front of the fleet had to carry. The exception was Tom Gillard and Ollie Wells who sailed an impressive series to take the overall victory. Behind them Tom & Harvey recorded a series of top 3 results including a dominant win in the breeziest race of the week but a couple of tactical mistakes early in the week left them too much to do to challenge Tom & Ollie for the overall win. At the same time HD sails were halping Andy & Tarren record their best ever nationals result of 5th overall, in the process beating 9 time national champion John Mursell into 6th and 3 time champion Dave Wade in 8th.

After the event Tom said the new sails showed some impressive speed, especially in the breeze and on the reaches and that with a bit more time on the water (the first race was Harvey’s 2nd time ever in a Scorpion) they would be in a very strong position to challenge for more event wins.

HD Solo Champions!

Andy Davis wins the Solo Nationals with a race to spare at Mounts Bay Sailing Club.

The week started off with a light on shore breeze, Andy using the Radial Laminate mainsail with HD custom carbon battens won the start and lead to the windward mark, Andy then went on to win the first race by a comfortable margin, a great starter for the series.

Andy showed great consistency throughout the rest of the week with only having two races out of the top of 4, as the week progressed so did the wind, on the last day Andy only needed to finish within four places of Charlie Cumbley. In the penultimate race Andy rounded the windward mark in the early teens, using superb pace Andy sailed through to 2nd over the three lap race in a 20 knots. This gave Andy the 2012 title, this is the second time Andy has won the Solo Nationals.

A big thank you to Winder Boats for lending Andy a Solo, Andy used the Winder mark 2 Solo and Selden D+ mast.

Check out our You Tube Chanel for video taken by Will Loy at the event.


For more information on our HD Solo sails please contact Andy or Jim on 0121 356 2175