Royal Torbay YC, 11-13 September

Report on the final day’s racing.

The start of Race 8 on Day 3

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.

Richard Leftley Crosses Ian Sanderson, Race 7, Day 3

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 and Richard Leftley

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.

Richard Leftley leads up the first beat of the final race.

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/

Hadron H2 National Championships

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!

Jack Holden with his H2

“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 makes mistakes.

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 H2s reach to the wing mark in race 3 on day 2 of the Hadron H2 National Championship at Arun ©Keith Callaghan

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.

The start of race 3 on day 2 of the Hadron H2 National Championship at Arun ©Keith Callaghan

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.

The last run in race 4 on day 2 of the Hadron H2 National Championship at Arun ©Keith Callaghan

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 competitors on day 3 of the Hadron H2 National Championship at Arun ©Keith Callaghan

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.

Overall Results:

Sail HelmR1R2R3R4R5R6R7Pts
1111I Sanderson‑311‑22116
2103J Holden1‑11‑311227
3104D Powell4223RET4‑815
4115R Leftley23‑443‑7315
5136S Hipkin5‑6566‑9426
6121D Holden65‑11‑745727
7130I Dawson8465‑116‑929
8128A McGawRET912‑1383537
9122R Smith779‑105‑121038
10102I Little1087‑1412‑13643
11135M AlexanderDNF1010978‑1244
12131R MillettDNS‑138129101150
13127C Brown(RET)1415810OCS1360
14114A WilliamsRET1214111311OCS61
15137K ConnollyDNC‑15131514141470
16132M Shreeve9‑16‑161616151571
17107M WippellDNF17171715DNCDNC82

by Dick Holden and published in Y&Y on 11 Jun 06:18 BST8-9 June 2019

Hadron H2 Open at Itchenor © Rob O’Neill
 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.

Overall Results:

Pos Sail No Helm Club R1 R2 R3 Pts
1 111 IAN SANDERSON Keyhaven YC 1 1 2 2
2 127 CHRIS BROWN RORC 3 4 1 4
3 122 ROGER EWART‑SMITH Itchenor SC 4 3 3 6
4 102 IAN LITTLE Thorpe Bay YC 2 6 4 6
5 113 DAVE BARKER Draycote Water SC 5 2 7 7
6 109 NIGEL COWAN Itchenor SC 6 7 5 11
7 131 ROGER MILLETT Chichester YC 7 5 6 11
8 121 DICK HOLDEN Arun YC 8 8 8 16
9 107 MARK WIPPELL Itchenor SC 9 10 9 19

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:
Sail No
Alistair Glen
Starcross YC
R Ewart Smith
Itchenor SC
Ian Dawson
Warsash SC
Richard Holden
Arun YC
Andrew McGaw
Northampton SC
Chris Brown
Roger Millett
Jeremy Pilcher
Weston SC
Nigel Cowan
Adrian Williams
Warsash SC