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.
High winds on Saturday compressed Itchenor SC’s Hadron H2 Open Meeting into a three race affair on the afternoon of Sunday 9th June.The course was shared with the International 14 fleet, starting 10 minutes ahead. The 14’s, mixed in with X boats, Swallows, Optimists and other craft in the harbour made a great spectacle. The nine H2 entrants included the current National Champion Ian Sanderson from Keyhaven. Everyone knew Ian to be fast on a windy championship sea course, but would he be fast in the shifty sea breeze on the restricted, tidal reaches of Chichester Harbour?
Well, yes actually. Extremely fast right from the get-go!
PRO Harvey Hillary set triangular courses for the first two races. There was a beat into the tide and across the main fairway. The choice was to tack up the shallows along the East or West bank to dodge the tide, with each side having its supporters and honours largely even. The final race had an extended beat and a slalom home to finish on a line near the clubhouse.
Whilst Ian Sanderson won the event, credit must go to the next three places all filled by experienced racers but who are relatively new to the H2 Class. Chris Brown, who finished second overall (declaring RORC as his home club!) – won the final race. There is a very friendly and supportive atmosphere whenever the Hadron H2’s come together, with many owners planning to support the National Championship at Arun YC, Littlehampton in early September.
The Hadron H2 Class Association thanks Itchenor SC, and especially Ryan Breach, for hosting and organising the event.
Those of you in the North West who are interested in having a trial sail of an H2 are invited to Elton SC, Bury, Lancs, on 27/28 April. If you wish to attend, email Keith Callaghan at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information
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.
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.
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.
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