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Words by Alistair Glen; Photos © Keith Callaghan
A fleet of ten Hadron H2s joined their slightly wider sisters, the Merlin Rockets, at Chichester Yacht Club for the joint open meeting on Saturday 23rd March. The day had dawned rather overcast and the first decision of the day was how many layers to risk as the morning chill was bound to be displaced by the heat of combat once racing got under way. During the briefing all the competitors were reminded that they would be faced with one of the biggest tides of the year, the Spring Equinox having just passed, and that would be taking them over the line for the first start. Anyway… enough of that and on to the racing.
A clean first start, in about 10 knots, saw last year’s winner, Ian Dawson (Warsash SC), Alistair Glen (Starcross YC) and Dick Holden (Arun YC), together with Roger Millett from the host club sailing a demo boat, in roughly that order at the first mark. Over the first two laps of a figure-of-eight course Dawson and Glen remained in close order whilst building a small lead over the chasing pack.
It was all to change on the last lap as Andrew McGraw (Northampton SC) chose the path less travelled along the right-hand shore and established a lead at the windward mark that he would hold to the finish. On the last run against the tide, pressure from behind compressed the fleet with Chris Brown (RORC) being the biggest beneficiary, slipping into second place only to be pipped by Glen on the line.
The same recipe for the second race, albeit with a slackening tide, saw Roger Ewart-Smith (Itchenor SC) claim a handsome lead by the end of the first lap, pursued by Dawson and Holden. Unfortunately, your correspondent is unable to add much colour to the account being, as he was, back in a different time zone, spitting feathers! Suffice to say, Dawson slowly reeled in the escapee but Ewart-Smith managed to maintain enough of a lead to take the win. Glen, by this point able to judge the time difference with a watch rather than a calendar, had made steady progress to finish third.
The Race Officer conducted a quick ‘shuffle’ of the course and start line for the third race to accommodate a breeze that was becoming less stable and dropping and a tide that was, by now, ebbing and gathering pace. With five potential winners of the event it was, to borrow an overused cliché, all to play for! Chris Brown got the perfect port-end start but as the fleet worked its way up the left shore, it was Glen who emerged with a healthy lead at the first mark followed by Dawson and Holden. Glen extended his lead over the next two laps, continuing to work up the left shore on the beat.
Just to prove that either shore would have worked, had you been prepared to risk all, Holden and Dawson split tacks at the beginning of the final beat, each taking a different shore, and converged at the end of the beat with no discernible separation! With the wind at the top of Chichester Lake becoming somewhat ‘funky’ (an eminent Merlin sailor’s description), Glen had to concentrate hard to pick his way around the ‘snakes’ and hope that Dawson and Holden didn’t find too many long ‘ladders’.
On the final reach down-tide towards the finish, Holden found a decent sized ladder to leave ‘light wind flyer’, Dawson, in his wake. So Glen held on to win the race, Holden was second and Dawson third. Ewart-Smith, winner of the second race, was, significantly, fourth, some distance back.
Overall, this gave the win to Alistair Glen, second place went to Roger Ewart-Smith whose counting combination of 1,4 pushed the slightly more consistent Ian Dawson with 2,3 into third.
Thanks must go to the team at CYC for putting on a very well run event in a welcoming atmosphere with a particularly warm thank you to all those involved in providing the ‘sailors’ tea’ that greeted us on our return.
Overall Results:
Pos
Sail No
Helm
Club
R1
R2
R3
Pts
1st
126
Alistair Glen
Starcross YC
2
‑3
1
3
2nd
122
R Ewart Smith
Itchenor SC
‑5
1
4
5
3rd
130
Ian Dawson
Warsash SC
‑4
2
3
5
4th
121
Richard Holden
Arun YC
(DSQ)
4
2
6
5th
128
Andrew McGaw
Northampton SC
1
‑8
6
7
6th
127
Chris Brown
RORC
3
7
(DSQ)
10
7th
131
Roger Millett
CYC
‑8
5
5
10
8th
1
Jeremy Pilcher
Weston SC
6
6
(DNC)
12
9th
109
Nigel Cowan
CYC
7
‑10
7
14
10th
114
Adrian Williams
Warsash SC
9
9
(DSQ)
18
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Words by Dave Barker (H2 113) and Photos © Dave Whittle
The Hadron H2 Midlands Championship took place on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th at South Cerney Sailing Club in the heart of the Cotswolds.
As the event drew nearer the forecast looked more and more challenging with a high probability that Saturday would get blown off. Sure enough, when we all arrived it was blowing “dogs of chains” straight down the lake. South Cerney’s state of the art weather station was showing a mean wind strength of 26 knots gusting into the 30’s and occasionally 40. Local H2 helm Richard Leftley bravely went out for a test sail and came back with clear advice that it was just about sailable but not raceable. After some debate and bravado the decision was taken to cancel racing on Saturday but not before the rescue team kindly offered to head out in the cold for any mad types wanting a blast. Richard and I took up the offer along with two RS300’s who we were sharing the event with.
Wow, it was wild. South Cerney now has some new executive bolthole pads built around the (windward) shore and the affected gusts were intense. On Off upwind battling and wild twitchy downwind blasts. Great fun and resulted in some super photo’s but after an hour discretion prevailed and we headed in while still in one piece. Six Nations Rugby, Doom bar and a great curry finished off Saturday.
As forecast Sunday dawned bright, sunny, very cold, and in relative terms a much more manageable 18 knots gusting 25! Racing was on with a planned four short back to back races.

The beat of the first race set the scene huge solid on / off gusts and swings leading to up and down place changes with the exception of the master Richard who ended up rounding every mark first all day.
Rig set ups varied. I had some static rake, kicker and Cunningham on as hard as I could pull, centreboard up a touch and was out on my toenails all day. I don’t think Richard has even fitted a Cunningham yet!, he still had luff creases, a tight rig and was going for power.
A reach and gybe led to a long broad reach blast down the lake followed by a short base leg reach, another beat then a run down to the start area.
The wind built through the four races along with the intensity of the gusts, so it was very tough racing. Every RS300 capsized at some stage in the day, so there were a few extra obstacles to avoid. Arms and shoulders will definitely suffer after this and it will be some time before Ian’s skin grows back on his fingers.

Richard clearly showed the way around in these conditions. Andrew put him under pressure on race three though and managed to stay within a few boat lengths all race so there is still hope. Andrew and I had an intense battle, swapping places all day and ending up on equal points. I was awarded 2nd place in the end due to having the better final race result. Chris and Ian kept us under pressure though and also had some great close racing, with Ian securing fourth. Chris was a bit shell shocked with the gusts and is looking forward to returning to big seas and stable winds
Congrats to young Max, a South Cerney cadet sailor who sailed the demo H2 admirably in such challenging conditions.
Overall some fabulous close punishing racing, in very difficult conditions. Great race management and course setting and a very welcoming club team with a fantastic galley.
Overall Results:
Pos
Helm
Sail No
Club
R1
R2
R3
R4
Pts
1
Richard Leftley
115
South Cerney
‑1
1
1
1
3
2
Dave Barker
113
Draycote
2
‑3
3
2
7
3
Andrew McGaw
128
Northampton
‑3
2
2
3
7
4
Ian Little
102
Thorpe Bay
4
4
(DNF)
4
12
5
Chris Brown
127
RORC
‑5
5
4
5
14
6
Max Buswell
104
South Cerney
‑6
6
5
6
17

 

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by Keith Callaghan published in Yachts & Yachting on 18 November 2018

The H2 Inland Championship were held at Draycote Water SC on Saturday, November 17th. The event was held in conjunction with day one of the Draycote Dash – the first of the Selden SailJuice Winter Series events for 2018/19.
The H2s were the largest class in the medium fleet. Four races were sailed in brilliant sunshine, tempered by a chilly easterly light to moderate breeze. The big question was whether South Cerney SC member and H2 Class Chairman Richard Leftley had enough breeze to propel his 95kg frame around the course quicker than the lighter helms. Richard had finished third at this year’s National Championships, showing unbeatable speed to windward and, sure enough, he was first at the windward mark in every race. Simon Hipkin, James Oxley, and particularly Dave Barker successfully closed the gap on him on the off-wind legs, only for Richard to squirt away again upwind. Richard made a clean sweep of all four races, but competition was very close in the pursuing pack. Dave and Simon tied on points but the discard worked in Dave’s favour for a well deserved second place. James Oxley, a clubmate of Simon’s, borrowed a boat to finish a creditable 4th. As is usual with major H2 events, every competitor received a prize. As a regular spectator at H2 events I have observed a distinct increase in boat speed throughout the fleet over the last year, thanks to a great training day by Jim Hunt and also the increased opportunities for boat on boat competition. South Cerney SC now have six H2s at the club and the regular competition has no doubt increased Richard’s performance. The Hadron H2 Class Association thanks the SailJuice Series organisers and Draycote Water SC for hosting this event.

Overall Results:

Pos Sail No Helm R1 R2 R3 R4 Pts
1 115 Richard Leftley 1 1 1 1 3
2 113 Dave Barker 3 4 2 3 8
3 131 Simon Hipkin 2 3 3 6 8
4 136 James Oxley 5 2 6 2 9
5 103 Geoff Parker 4 5 4 4 12
6 102 Ian Little 6 7 5 5 16
7 127 Chris Brown DNC 5 DNC DNC 23
8 126 Alistair Glen DNC DNC DNC DNC 27
Hadron H2 Inlands at Draycote - photo © Keith Callaghan
Events

The H2 class association will be at the 2019 RYA Dinghy Show which takes place on 2nd & 3rd March at Alexandra Palace in London. The show is the UK’s premier dinghy sailing event and it will be an opportunity to see the boat and talk with a range of current owners about their experience of owning the H2. Please do come along and visit us!

More details: https://www.rya.org.uk/newsevents/news/Pages/Ds-19-dates.aspx

Events

Our 2018 Inland Championship will be held on Saturday 17th November at Draycote (http://draycotewater.co.uk/) in conjunction with the Selden SailJuice Winter Series “Fernhurst Books Draycote Dash”. The H2s will start as part of the main fleet and all races on the Saturday will count toward the Inland Championship; the optional pursuit race on Sunday 18th can be sailed but will not count toward the championship.

Please do enter for the Draycote Dash via the organisers website as entries are now open

Image result for hadron h2 draycote dash

Events

UPDATE 12/10/2018: Event cancelled due to weather forecast

Our next open meeting is scheduled to be held on Saturday 13th October at South Cerney Sailing Club (https://southcerneysailingclub.org.uk/) in the beautiful Cotswolds.  South Cerney has a growing fleet of six H2s at the moment and we look forward to welcoming as many travelling boats as can make it. The Open will consist of four races of 45 minutes each with the first race starting at 11am and two races sailed back-to-back in the morning and two more after lunch. Please do contact Richard Leftley for more details about the event or visit the H2 Facebook page.

We will update this page with more details in the coming days with regard how to enter and logistics for the event.

Notice of Race: SCSC H2 Notice of Race 2018

Changes to SI: SCSC H2 Open changes to sailing instructions 2018

 

Events

This year’s championships took place at Herne Bay SC, Kent, from 7th to 9th September, the full report from Yachts and Yachting.

The third and final day of the Hadron H2 National Championships at Herne Bay SC dawned with a light SSW breeze which steadily increased to 18 knots at times. As on the previous day, the RO opted for a triangular course for races 6 and 7 of the series.

Ian Sanderson’s three wins on the previous day had made him almost unassailable for the championship – but not quite. If second placed Alistair Glen could win both remaining races, with Ian DTP in both, then he might just do it. Alistair set to with a will and his H2 creamed around the course with full intent, flying from wave top to wave top in the short seas. He succeeded in his goal, but Ian was at his heels and finished in second place, thus becoming H2 National Champion. Dave Barker, one of the lighter H2 helms, was also having a great day and came in third. Class chairman Dick Holden found his old form after reconfiguring his spreaders and came home fourth with Richard Leftley in fifth.

And so on to the final race. It might have been an anti-climax after the decisive previous race but it turned out to be a very close race indeed as all competitors were now fully used to the brisk conditions and were determined to give of their best. By some coincidence, the first four places were taken by the overall leaders – in the correct order – Richard Leftley in third and Michael Alexander scoring a fourth place to retain over all fourth – just as last year. The next group of contenders were very close indeed, places 5 to 10 being separated by only 5 points. Dick Holden scraped a seventh in this last race to lead the pack over all.

And so after nearly six hours of racing over 3 days, a dozen and a half rather tired competitors made for shore to de-rig their boats and prepare for the journey home – two of them returning to Scotland.

At last year’s champs, Ian Sanderson was involved in a titanic struggle for number one spot with Paul Smalley. Paul won by the smallest of margins, but this year Ian became the deserved winner of the Harold Smith Championship Trophy – congratulations, Ian, from us all.

But of course there was one more event to come – the prizegiving. Every competitor received a prize, sponsored by Hadron Dinghies, and the top three also received vouchers from Allen Brothers. In addition, there were special prizes for the first helm in the following categories:

Mid life crisis – Age 55-64: Alistair Glen

Prime of life – Age 65-70: Ian Dawson

Super grand-daddy – Age over 70: Kevin Connolly

Too light to sail an H2? – definitely not! (weight under 75kg): Ian Dawson again (he is a healthy but sadly uncommon combination of old and light)

Battlecruiser weight (over 95kg) – Richard Leftley (NB, definitely no flab – all muscle muscle and bone!)

There was also a special accolade for Julian Hines’ Hadron H1, which competed as a special guest of the H2 class. (The H1 is the plywood precurser to the H2 and Julian’s boat was beautifully built by Simon Hipkin a few years ago). The boat sported a striking new flat top mainsail by Ian Morgan.

Special thanks went to Dougal Henshall and his race crew for their impeccable management of the races, carried out in variable conditions of wind and wave.

There was unanimous acclaim for the 57 volunteers from Herne Bay SC who willingly gave of their time to organise the wonderful meals and refreshments, man the rescue boats and race boat, manage the boats ashore and recover them after the racing, and all of the many other things that are necessary to make a successful championship. 57 people – that 3.5 volunteers for each competitor! Thank you, every one – we would love to come back soon if you will have us!