2012 Stone SC National Championships
Updated: Feb 20, 2022
🏆 Gary Piper - 2012 Unicorn National Champion
A Fleet of 10 boats participated in the 2012 Championships, which is a 20% increase over the last 2 years. We welcome three new sailors to the Unicorn family, namely Arthur Brooks sailing 186, Owen Cox 1088 and John Moore 1084.
Club Marks Wind Force 2 to 3 SE variable
All the fleet started on Port except Toft which proved to be a bad choice due to the wind shifts off the land. At the first windward mark Piper led the fleet closely followed by Cox and R Taylor. On the next downwind legs Piper extended his lead and both R Taylor and Cox sailed an incorrect course and retired. This allowed Toft who was close behind to move into 2nd place. These positions were maintained for the remainder of the race.
Olympic Type Course Committee Boat start Wind Force 5 to 6 W
The fleet made a good starboard start with Piper, Cox , Rodgers and Toft leading the race at the first mark in the. strong squally wind and an ebbing tide. With a very short course set the downwind legs were fast and furious. The first lap was completed in about 4 minutes, resulting in confusion with another slower class just starting. In the testing sailing conditions, helm weight and sailing skills proved to be an advantage, with Piper, Cox and Rodgers pulling clear ahead. and finishing in that order. A number of boats failed to finish, J Moore capsized, J Mach tangled with the windward mark and capsized, D Taylor nose dived and capsized, R Taylor had a coming together with a Wayfarer and capsized.
Club Marks Wind Force 2 SW.
Piper soon showed his superior beating boat speed in these strong tide conditions and was first round the windward mark by about 50 metres, followed by Cox, R Taylor and Rodgers. Piper extended his lead over the downwind legs but on the beat to the next windward mark he over stood it by a substantial distance taking Cox and Rodgers with him. This allowed Toft to take advantage and the lead. The four leading boats had some interesting sailing on the downwind legs but Toft and Piper extended their lead and had a very competitive race over the next windward legs with both boats leading at different times. On the last reach to the line, Piper finally passed Toft to take the gun and 1st place with Toft 2nd and R Taylor 3rd ..
Club Marks Wind Force 2 to 3 SW
A Port start, against a strong ebbing tide, with variable winds off the shore. resulted in the leading boats being headed out into the tide Rodgers starting a little later, found clear airs along the shore to reach the windward mark first. Rodgers maintained his lead for the next downwind legs, but first Piper, then Cox and R Taylor passed him on the subsequent beats. These positions were held to the end of the race.
Olympic Type Course Committee Boat start Wind Force 4 SW
Port starters reached the windward mark first, led by Piper then Cox, R Taylor and Rodgers. On the next two reaching legs Toft and J Mach joined this group for some exciting close sailing. On the next windward leg Toft suffered a kicker failure and retired. The remaining five boats at the front continued to hotly contest for the lead in trying conditions. Finally Cox outwitted Piper to take his first Championship race win, just ahead of Piper 2nd and R Taylor 3rd.
Olympic Type Course Committee Boat start Wind Force 1 to 2 SW with rain showers.
Fleet made a good starboard start but in the light variable winds the first beat was difficult ,but Piper, Cox and Toft handled the conditions best and had a clear lead over the fleet at the windward mark. These boats maintained their positions over the next lap but a mistake by Toft on the final downwind leg allowed R Taylor, Rodgers and J Mach to pass. Piper took the gun closely followed by Cox 2ndand R Taylor 3rd..
Olympic Type Course Committee Boat start Wind Force 5 to 6 SW
The fleet made a good start into the Blackwater steep short chop which made clean tacking difficult. This factor proved decisive and Piper closely followed by Toft rounded the windward mark first with a clear lead. The next reach was ‘on the limit sailing’ with the bows continually burying in the waves during the force 6 gusts. Piper leading Toft continued to revel in these conditions and gradually pulled away from the remainder of the fleet. Cox and R Taylor caught Toft on the downwind leg and for the next two laps there was a very competitive race between these three boats for second position. Cox had a tiller extension failure but managed a temporary repair with his lower sail batten. During this period Brooks was over powered downwind and capsized. Piper took the gun ,a clear winner, but at the final mark R Taylor was 2nd just ahead of Toft and Cox. Both R Taylor and Toft tacked too soon to lay the finishing line in the strong ebbing tide and an unfavourable wind shift. Cox took full advantage of this and secured 2nd place ahead of R Taylor 3rd.
Club Marks Wind Force 4 to 5 SW gusty conditions
A Port start and with strong gusty winds off the shore made for difficult sailing to the first Mark with Rodgers leading Piper and R Taylor. This group then started to head for the wrong mark allowing Toft and Cox to take advantage and the lead. On the following long downwind leg Toft and Cox reached against the tide in the centre of the course while Piper dead ran across the main tideway and then reached for the next mark against less tide. This proved decisive as Piper arrived at the next mark first. He then demonstrated his sailing skills in these challenging conditions by gradually extending his advantage over the next two laps to take 1st position. The fight for the next two positions was critical to the overall championship results so an interesting close race developed between Cox, Toft and R Taylor. In the end Cox finished 2nd and R Taylor 3rd with J Mach 4th.
Congratulations to Gary Piper the 2012 UK National Champion, winning 7 out of 8 races. His self built tortured plywood constructed boat, with Caws sail number 1100, was once again sailed expertly in all types of wind conditions. Owen Cox sailing 1088 was second, also sailing a Piper built boat, proved that his Catamaran sailing skills from 20 years ago are still very competitive. Richard Taylor sailing 1098 was third, also sailing a Piper boat.
John Moore sailing 1084 in his first championships was competitive but suffered some gear failures and a capsize which affected his final position.
Arthur Brooks sailing 186 an original self build wooden boat from the 1970’s with proctor mast experienced some interesting moments with capsizes and failures of the hulls and trampoline. His enthusiasm is great and with a younger boat will be a good competitor in a couple of years.
Harry Mach sailing GB1 with experimental ‘Shadow’ mast and rig on foam sandwich GRP hulls, sailed confidently all week in the heavy wind conditions but could not finish in the top 6 positions.
The remainder of the fleet had their ‘Good’ and perhaps their ‘not so memorable moments’, but everyone seemed to enjoy the excellent racing and social activities provided by the Stone S C. Once again a great venue and a MUST date for next years diary.