Bridlington hosts national sailing championships

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THE Royal Yorkshire Yacht Club hosted the Dart 18 National Championships, a fantastic four-day event which saw some of the best UK and international sailors including previous world and national champions, come to Bridlington

On the opening day, two races were sailed in light winds with former Great Britain Olympic contender John Pierce leading the field with his crew.

The competitors were entertained on the evening by singer Kylie Hudson and fed by local fish and chip shop 149.

Friday again saw the fleet racing in extremely light winds but three races were completed. The results were in and again showed no change to the top position.

Dungarees and straw hats were donned for the hillbilly-style hoedown on the evening with Joe Franks Joinery supplying a barbecue.

The wind picked up slightly for racing on the Saturday with two more races sailed.

The competitors were treated to a champagne cruise on the Yorkshire Belle which took them around Flamborough Head and showed them the fantastic scenery that Bridlington Bay has to offer.

They then went back to the RYYC main clubhouse for a buffet and drink with a view over the harbour.

The wind improved and the last two races on Sunday morning saw the most exciting saling conditions of the competition with a couple of collisions, luckily with no injuries, only damage to boats.

The results also showed a change to the leaders board with previous Dart 18 world champion Tom Phipps and crew Nikki Boniface coming out on top by one point to secure the UK National title.

Pierce and crew Josh Griffiths came in second with previous champions Dave and Louise Roberts coming in third.

Local talent Mat Exon and crew Gary Freeman came top out of the RYYC boats finishing seventh with Des and Fionnuala Barnes also coming in the top 10.

Other RYYC boats finished well with Mike Gomme and Kimmy Hope, Chris Maw and Romayne Bayes, Joe Franks and Dan Wilson, Jay Round and Rebecca Maw, Will and Tony Bell and Chris O’Connell and Leigh Trowsdale finishing 16th, 25th, 28th, 35th, 39th and 49th respectively.

The event was deemed a massive success with the RYYC commodore Steve Stanton and rear commodore Chris Maw giving their personal thanks to the army of helpers who supported the event.

A big thank you went to the event’s biggest sponsor, East Riding of Yorkshire Council, and the other sponsors Eurofit, ABG International,, Windsport International, Kildale Marine, C & M Marine and Joe Franks Joinery.

This event has shown what a great bay Bridlington has to offer for national sailing events which will hopefully lead to many more.