The 2021 season kicks off with a return to the club that hosted our first National Championships in 2017. Warsash SC provides excellent courses and great hospitality, to be kicked off with a training day, supervised by current H2 champion, Ian Sanderson.
Another lovely sunrise over Torbay – but a flat calm. Not good for sailing. The H2 fleet launched on time and spent an hour or so waiting for some pressure – which duly appeared from the south at about 11:30. The final two races took place in a 10 knot breeze amid sparkling seas – superb sailing weather. If Richard Leftley could win the last two races he would be the champion but Ian Sanderson was determined to keep his slender overnight lead. Richard’s windward superiority in a breeze was soon made apparent as he rounded the weather mark in first place, followed by Adrian Williams and Andrew McGaw, with Ian Sanderson trailing in seventh place. Ian made up several places downwind and was second at the leeward mark but he could not catch Richard, who scored his fourth win of the event. Simon Hipkin sailed consistently well for third place, with Ian Dawson fourth.
The 8th and last race soon started in similar conditions to race 7. Again, Richard was first to the windward mark but this time Ian was a little closer. Nonetheless, Richard maintained his lead and at the start of the final run had a 100 metre lead over Ian, followed by Andrew McGaw and Ian Dawson. With just a few hundred metres to the finish, Ian had narrowed the deficit to 50 metres but it seemed that he would have to relinquish his title to Richard. But Fate likes to play tricks – whether it was a gust from astern or Ian finding another gear, the gap narrowed rapidly in the approach to the final mark and Ian reached across Richard’s stern, did a smart gybe and took the inside berth at the mark. Ian rounded ahead of Richard and received the winning gun just 3 seconds ahead of his rival. So after three days, 8 races and several hours of racing, the Championship was won by a margin of 3 seconds. It was a fitting climax to a great event in which all competitors played a full part – there being no more than 3 minutes separating first and last in most races.
Ian Sanderson’s H2’s sail number – 111 now matches his championship wins – 3 in a row.
Special mention must go to Ian Dawson, who finished in third place over all and also won the Grand Master’s Trophy for the first helm aged 65 to 69. In fact he finished ahead of the winner of the Master’s Trophy (60-64) – Andrew McGaw, who finished was fourth. But all competitors sailed very well and almost all finished within shouting distance of the two front runners on occasion.
Back ashore the distanced prizegiving provided multiple prizes for all competitors – thanks to our sponsors, Allen Brothers.
The Hadron H2 Class Association thanks all the volunteers and staff of the Royal Torbay YC who provided us with a great courses and fine hospitality. Special thanks go to PRO Bob Penfold and his team, who always managed to second guess the shifty conditions and set perfect courses. The launching and recovery in a busy harbour was very efficiently managed by Richard Walden – a master of diplomacy and persuasion.
Our National Championships will take place on 11-13 September, hosted by RYA 2019 Club of the Year, the Royal Torbay YC.
Although it is anticipated that numbers will be down on previous years, this event is much anticipated by H2 owners, who have had little opportunity to hone their skills so far this year. The club and facilities are second to none and we can expect a great 3 days’ sailing.
Full details and entry forms are available at https://rtyc.org/event/hadron-h2-national-championship/
The Hadron H2 class was be represented at the Endeavour Trophy ‘Champion of Champions’ event, held over the weekend of 12-13 October at Burnham on Crouch. The event, hosted by the Royal Corinthian YC, was sailed in RS200s – a dinghy which is very familiar to our representative, Jack Holden. Jack came a very close second in the H2 Nationals in 2019 and is deputising for National Champion Ian Sanderson, who has work commitments. Jack’s crew for the event was Sam Mottershead; after the event Jack gave us the following feedback!
“A thank you for allowing me to represent the Hadron H2 at the Endeavour trophy, 2019.
Fantastic event with exceptional competition in which we managed to come home 9th overall which I am really pleased with from a first attempt. From the 8 boats in front of us (16 sailors) 10 were or had been professional sailors.
I always think to myself at a Nationals that if I had a time machine and did the nationals a second time the day after it ended, I would have easily won every race because I would know exactly what the wind was doing. At the Endeavour however, you realise that if you went back a second time you still wouldn’t win because the quality of racing is so high and the front sailors simply wont make big mistakes…Annoyingly!
A surprising number of boats knew the Hadron H2 and had good
things to say about the boat. I think for the relatively short time this boat
has been in existence, it has built a solid reputation and it is becoming known
as a good, well designed and well built boat with tough competition. I think it
is very easy for a boat to get a bad reputation for things like breakages or
level of competition, especially in its early days so don’t take this lightly.
It is something to be proud of that the class is being well received.
Day 1: A very light wind day, learning the venue while trying to race! LOTS of tide which turned during the six hour day, making things very tricky.
Best bit of the day: Simply being in the mix with
some of the best sailors in the world was enough.
Worst bit of the day: Not being able to go round the
windward mark because of no wind and lots of tide. Very embarrassing. Luckily
we had a silver medallist next to us who was also struggling.
How to have improved: Lose 3 stone, be better at
gaining the little places. It’s the 1 point here and 1 point there that pushes
your result up, not being the fastest boat.
Day 2: A medium, eventually going to very windy
day with lots of tide against you downwind in strong breeze.
Best bit of the day: Watching some of the best
sailors capsize the boat in dramatic style and making you realise everyone
Worse bit of the day: When we dropped the kite and tacked
round because I felt we were going too fast to gybe!!!……… Don’t judge me.
How to have improved: Not being aggressive enough or
willing to take more risk on start lines to try to achieve a better start.
Thank you again for allowing me to represent the class. It
was an honour.
by Keith Callaghan 8 Sep 21:53 BST6-8 September 2019
The third and final day of the Hadron H2 Nationals at Arun YC, Littlehampton, dawned fine and clear, with a gentle but shifty 8-10 knot offshore breeze. However, this was forecast to falter later in the morning so PRO Dougal Henshall got the fleet off to an earlier start than planned for the two final races of the seven race series.
The dual at the top of the fleet was going to be decided today. Ian Sanderson (2018 champion) and Jack Holden were tied on 6 points each but with the winds lighter than on the two previous days who was going to have the advantage in the prevailing conditions?
In the first race of the day it was neither Ian nor Jack who led the fleet around the first lap. Andrew McGaw (Nottingham SC) took that honour but Ian and Jack belatedly overhauled him to take 1 and 2, with Andrew a creditable third.
Thus it came down to the last race: if Ian won, with Jack second, then Ian would win; if the other way round, then Jack would triumph. However, Ian’s time served in the H2 was far greater than that of the talented Jack and his light weather technique proved superior in the last race, giving Ian the Harold Smith National Championship Trophy for the second year running. Ian came a very close second in the first ever champs in 2017 so it is fair to say that he has dominated the class at championship level. But it was clear from the close competitiveness of the fleet that all are learning from his example so I predict that the 2020 championships, to be held at Royal Torbay YC next September, will be a tough call for Ian.
Jack Holden’s performance was equally impressive. He is clearly a naturally talented young sailor (4th in this year’s RS400 Nationals) and was lucky enough to be able to borrow an H2 at the last minute, thanks to owner Geoff Parker’s generosity.
Third place overall went to another very talented young sailor sailing a borrowed H2 – Doug Powell. Doug is a very good OK sailor and could have attended the OK nationals at Abersoch this weekend but the offer of one of Hadron Dinghies’ demo H2s proved too tempting.
Fourth overall (and I know he is disappointed with this result) was HH2CA chairman Richard Leftley. He is a fit and strong chap in the prime of life and his forte is the heavy stuff, but lighter winds on two days coupled with his lack of familiarity with the choppy sea state (he sails at South Cerney SC) proved his undoing.
Fifth placed was Simon Hipkin – the man who builds the H2. He is from same mould as Richard but his successful boatbuilding business takes up so much of his time that he had little practice before the event, which put him at a disadvantage.
One point behind Simon, in sixth place, came Jack’s father, Dick Holden. Dick scooped the Master’s trophy for the first helm aged 60-64. Close behind, in seventh place, was the winner of the Grand Master’s Trophy (65-69 years old) – Ian Dawson. I’ve known Ian since sailing against him in Merlin Rockets in the ’70s. Dick and Ian were very early fans of the H2 and it was great to see them enjoy their racing and do so well.
The final special mention goes to Kevin Connolly (Deben YC). Another early fan of the H2, Kevin is the “father of the fleet”, yet he was undaunted by the severe conditions on the first day and careered round the course until a capsize slowed him up a bit. I am sure he would have righted the boat and carried on but grounding the mast in the shallow water caused it to break, and even Kevin can’t cope with that. He completed all the other races in fine style and thus wins the Ulysses Trophy for the first helm over 70.
The H2 Class has been fortunate with its championship host clubs and Arun YC put on a great event for us, both ashore and afloat. Very many thanks, Arun YC. And lastly, we have to thank our very own PRO, Dougal Henshall and his assistants, Jon Thompson and Arun YC’s Paisley Thomson, who provided superb race management in tricky conditions.