Allen Wayfarer 2nd at National Championship Allen Wayfarer 2nd at National Championship
Our very own Rob Lyne (Sales Manager) managed to finish a very convincing 2nd place at the recent National Championships at Falmouth.  He narrowly missed 1st place which was won by reigning National Champion Michael Macnamara.  Michael was so impressed by the Allen Wayfarer that he immediately decided to buy the boat. 

Congratulations go to Rob who then went on to become the Wayfarer Irish National Champion.

Written by Michael McKechnie   
Wednesday, 19 August 2009

The Wayfarer ‘Nationals’ took place from Sunday 9th August until Friday 14th August 2009 based upon Restronquet Sailing Club near the Mylor Yacht Harbour, Falmouth. The decision to go to Restronquet was made one year before, after considerable consultation and discussion, both at the Parkstone 2009 ‘Nationals’ and on the UKWA web-site forum.  Most competitors needed to plan their 2009 allocation of holidays around the championships because of the length (6 days).  Consequently many visitors ended up in campsites in order tor reduce the cost of accommodation. 

Wayfarers making their way to the start

Restronquet SC hosted the ‘Nationals’ as part of the dinghy events within Falmouth Week and so there were fast and slow handicap fleets mixed in with the Wayfarers, but the Wayfarers had their own fleet start as ‘Start Three’ off the line.  Racing was based in the Carrick Roads estuary but slightly too far up the estuary and away from the sea. As a result the predominantly northerly winds were fluky in strength and direction. In general the racing was good, close and competitive. Mike McNamara made a good effort to get to the Nationals, coming all the way from Norfolk, and he arrived with the well-known Jesper Friis from Denmark as his crew.  However, he was definitely not the person who travelled the furthest. Peter Sigetty-Boje, the current World Champion, came all the way from Denmark with his second son, Jonathon aged 11, as his crew. Also, Monica Shaefer came all the way from Ireland!

Wayfarers getting ready to launch
Wayfarers getting ready to launch

Other notable entries to the event included Rob Lyne in a brand new aquamarine coloured Hartley. Rob has a good pedigree as a racer having been in an Olympic 470 squad at one time. He has also raced Sydney Harbour Skiffs. Unfortunately he arrived at the Championships without a crew and I was asked, as UKWA Racing Sec, whether I could find him a crew.  Mark, my eldest son, who was on holiday with us at the time and was my own crew during 2008 kindly stepped into the gap and ended up very much enjoying the week.  Rob also arrived at Falmouth with some different ‘thinking’ (at least for the Wayfarer Class) in terms of ‘fit-out’ on his boat. He had barbour-hauler based fairleads for the jib and a twin-spinnaker pole system. Both these approaches were novel and resulted in some interesting discussions in the dinghy park.

Rob Lyne launching the aquamarine
Rob Lyne launching the aquamarine Allen fittings boat.

The racing on the first day, the Sunday, was with a light wind of perhaps force 1 to 2 from the south-west.  Rob Lyne in his first windward leg ever in a Wayfarer was first to the windward mark followed by Mike McNamara and Mike McKechnie.  As Rob tried to work out which rope pulled what Mike McNamara took him to windward with spinnaker up and Mike McKechnie took him to leeward.  Thus the order remained the same all the way to the finish with Liam McGrath 4th and Bill Whitney 5th.  Sadly, the second race on Sunday was abandoned due to lack of wind.

Monday’s racing started with the wind still generally in a west/south-west direction and, once again, force 1 to 2. Mike McNamara dominated the race once again but with Rob Lyne pressing him hard. Mike was covering Rob on every move. In 3rd place was Gordon Harris, 4th Mike McKechnie and 5th Dan Wealthy, who had not been able to race on the first day.  For the second race on the Monday the wind swung around towards the north and unfortunately the windward mark was rather close under overhanging features such as woods and hills and, combined with an unexpectedly fast ebbing tide, it contributed to a certain amount of chaos at the first mark.  Gordon Harris read the conditions better than others and he was away quickly and into an unassailable lead, with Rob Lyne second and Mike McNamara third.  The World Champion, Peter Sigetty-Boje, who for the two previous races had been 'training' an eleven year old son who had never crewed a Wayfarer before, was on this occasion off the line quickly and he finished well up in the results. Unfortunately he was adjudged OCS for that race.

Patrick Clarke (RSC officer i/c safety boats), Peter Sigetty-Boje (current World Champion) and Rob Lyne

For Tuesday there were similar wind conditions with great variations in the performance and results of some people hence why, when Rob Lyne recorded his first race win in the second race of that day (Race 5) Mike McNamara came 10th.

On Wednesday battle-royal continued at the front between Mike McNamara and Rob Lyne, and Rob Lyne secured another win in the first race with Mike McNamara in second.  In the afternoon it was the other way around. Unfortunately, it was discovered later on that evening when the results came out that Rob Lyne was OCS in the first race of the day.  This effectively removed all chance that he and his crew had of gaining first spot overall, unless Mike McNamara made some major mistakes in the remaining races.

On Thursday the planned ‘Harbour Race’ took place. There were a multitude of marks in the harbour and all the way up and down the Carrick Roads plotting a zig-zag course across the main channel and the tidal stream.  On some occasions there was very little wind but on others there was a force 1 to 2 and, when it came in, it was generally from a north to north-west direction.  Unfortunately, once again, the race officer popped the windward mark under some overhanging land features and the result was a lot of shouting and hand-waving when the front-runners reached the first mark. Rob Lyne ended up windless, roughly on port tack, stuck to the windward mark with absolutely nothing that he could do about it and with numerous starboard-hand boats bearing down on him with the volumes turned up! Eventually several boat-huddles and muddles were resolved and the fleet was on its way, streamed out across the entrance to Falmouth harbour.  It was a glorious sunny day and, with spinnakers flying, the Wayfarer fleet was a nice sight to see from ashore. The front runners were once again Mike McNamara, Peter Sigetty-Boje and Brian Lamb with Bill Whitney in close contention and Gordon Harris not far behind.  Brian Wilkins and Mike Pearce were also well up.  Rob Lyne was nowhere to be seen and, once he had unglued himself from the windward mark, was slowly working his way up the fleet.  It was a slightly processional race but with good opportunities for tactical over-taking manoeuvres when the wind and tide allowed.   There were some significant place changes during the race, up and down the fleet, but also stories of massive gains followed by the same number of places lost when the wind died. The most exciting event was reserved for the end of the race involving the front runners. Michael McNamara and Peter Sigetty-Boje were close to the finish but windless, with Brian Lamb and Rob Lyne creeping up on them.  Eventually all four of them were very close to the line, Brian Lamb was in fact in third place but a puff of wind came along and it eased him over the line into first place, closely followed by Mike McNamara in second and Peter S-B in third, with Rob Lyne fourth.  All four boats crossed the finish line within twenty seconds of each other after a three hour race. Gordon Harris was in a well-deserved fifth place and catching all the leaders at the end. With a few hundred yards more there might have been a completely different result.  Such are the vagaries of sailing.  However, it had been a glorious day and many in the fleet regarded the Harbour Race as the best race of the week.

Friday was the last day and the wind went back to the south-west accompanied by cloud and drizzle. Both races were dominated by Michael McNamara but with two newcomers to the second-place slot:  John Goudie had a well-deserved second place in the first race and locals, Robin and June Barker, gained a second in the final race to finish off the week.  Overall, it was a successful week of racing, perhaps not quite up to national championships standard in terms of the length of each race, but the results speak for themselves. The conditions were difficult and those who could master the shifts and variations in the wind and the tide did well.  Michael McNamara was a well-deserved National Champion and special mention needs to be made of good performances by Brian Lamb, who ended up third overall, Liam McGrath and John Goudie.  Also, particular thanks need to go to Liam for acting as the local liaison person with Restronquet Sc during the planning phase.

Mike McKechnie
UKWA Racing Secretary
18th August 2009
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