Tasar’s Windy Nationals at Whitstable

8th, 9th and 10th July 2016

Strong winds and gusts of up to 35 knots proved challenging for the 52 sailors who braved the water for the 2016 Tasar National at Whitstable Yacht Club last weekend (8-10 July). However, a little determination and a lot of impromptu on the water repairs saw 26 boats battle it out in a fast and furious weekend of sailing.

The first day of racing saw the least wind of the series and a good start for Liz and Roger Pescod who won the first race after starting 3rd off the line. Whilst Constantijn Udo and Jan Slotemaker, one of the two Dutch crews to sail in this year’s competition, managed to secure an easy win with a lead from the start in the second race.

On the second day, despite starting in 6th and lying only 3rd around the last gybe mark, strong gusts causing the two leading boats to capsize allowed Rod and Maureen Porteous time to wear round before heading down the reach to steal the win in the 3rd race. Although being one of the boats hit by the gust, impressively, Neil Spagagna and Steve Gustice managed to limp over the line to 9th position with a 45o bend in the top 3 foot of their mast.

With only 11 boats still out on the water (some without full rigs) and the wind speed continuing to increase, racing for the day was abandoned.

On the final day, the first start was brought forward to take advantage of lighter winds and the Porteous crew continued their success to take the next two races. Unfortunately, the final race had to be called off due to the repeated deterioration in conditions.

Overall results, after 5 out of the 8 races were sailed with one discard, were:

1st – Rod & Maureen Porteous

2nd - Constantijn Udo & Jan Slotemaker

3rd –Neil Spracanga & Steve Gustice

4th – Liz & Roger Pesdoc

5th – Stephen Nation & Julie Puckett

Junior Cup – Luna Schutte

Ladies Cup – Liz Pescod

Rolling Pin and Masters Plate - Rod & Maureen Porteous

Grand Masters Plate - Constantijn Udo & Jan Slotemaker

Black Horse Trophy (Club Team) - WSC

In his winner’s speech, Rod said that in spite of the tough conditions, the good courses, stiff competition and great sportsmanship from the rest of the Tasar fleet made for brilliant racing as always. Big thanks are owed to Race Officer, Tom Bruton and the rescue boat crew as well as the food and catering team and event organisers.

Sailors are now looking forward to the Tasar Nationals at Pothpean, Cornwall next year and the World Championships taking place in Gamagori, Japan in 2018.

Ella Gibson (CSC)