Friday, 23 October 2015 00:00

GBR Inland Nationals 2015. Queen Mary Sailing Club

The Inland nationals and UK end-of-season event held in light conditions was a 3-horse competition between Tyler Harmsworth (ex Phantom Champion) making his first appearance on the circuit, Ben Falat and Tim Garvin; these three were then joined by Paul Birbeck when it was a touch windier on Sunday;  newcomer to the class and sporting that famous Pink Number-9 Gordon Davies, learned a lot about how to sail a D-One.

For Saturday the report was of Light to Medium (F2/F3) winds, gradually veering to the East which however remained NE but shifty for the day.  Sunday a touch windier, reaching F4 but still shifty.

Race-1 saw the fleet totally split right and left up the first beat. Right early seemed good but probably using his local knowledge by searching for a common left-hander a long way up the beat, Tim push away to an ‘unassailable’ lead; however Ben showing both good downwind speed and gybing angles gradually chipped away until the last 50m into the bottom gate where though Tim still led, Ben passed behind on Port, gybed and took inside rights at the gate and with it the finish.

One-up to Ben and with the no-show of the two series leaders, there was the distinct possibility of him taking the Travellers’-2015 Series;  five seconds would clinch that one.

Race two and Tim took a Port-flyer at the start while the other end of the line languished in zero wind;  again apparently unassailable, but with the D-One’s downwind potential Ben once again led at the bottom gate and proceeded to increase his lead. Now well-known for his inability to do basic ‘counting’, GBR-112 was so far in the lead at the last gate that he proceeded up the beat yet again, letting through both Tim and Tyler who were having a read ding-dong and crossed the line overlapped, unable to distinguish between themselves who had actually won.

Equal points to Tim and Ben and now Ben needed at least one more 1st to take the Travellers’.

Race three and Ben was now described as “Devastating” with his downwinds, led by a considerable distance. Four laps in a slightly building breeze had apparently only taken about 32-minutes so time and roundings confused him and for the second time yet again this former Maths teacher set off up a 5th beat;  first = Tim ..... !

After some discussion with the race-team and evidence of lap-times reviewed, one went off disgruntled to his in-car accommodation, while another went off partying with the family.

Day two and again Tim seemed to know which side to play and took another bullet with Ben second. Race-5 really decided the event and overall travellers’; this time Tyler really got the bit between his teeth and Paul Birbeck was challenging as well.  Tyler led for most of the race, and then the big drama ..... as Ben was in the process of overhauling Tyler on the last downwind, Tim who had been a ‘comfortable’ gap behind, then just after hoisting his gennaker received his own personal Black Cloud in the form of an uncharacteristic and local gust, and he just powered high-and-beyond, past the tussling pair ahead, for his 4th win and the event.

The last race was a bit of a damp squib with some going home and didn’t really matter any more except that Ben simply needed that one elusive win for the 2015 Travellers’; again with the wind-strength high enough that Tim could relish, Ben simply could not achieve this.

Inlands Overall results

1st Tim Garvin,  2nd Ben Falat,  3rd Tyler Harmsworth,  4th Paul Birbeck,  5th Gordon Davies