A total of 17 Finns took part in the qualifier event at Warsash SC this weekend

Bright skies but little wind was the score for the first Saturday of the second qualifier for next year’s major championship which took place at Warsash SC this weekend (3-4 November). A good turnout for the Finn class saw 17 boats competing for the top spot including 10 boats from the local fleet. The race officer did get one race underway at 1400 but abandoned as the fleet was on the final leg. At that time David Mellor was leading with local light wind expert Martin Hutchins obviously having listened at the previous training weekend in fourth place.

Sunday dawned misty with little wind and slight rain. By the time racing got underway at 1100 a northerly breeze of 10 knots had arrive and the fleet got underway first time. The racing was very close with Bart Simpson eventually holding off Dave Mellor and Charlie Cumbley for the lead.

By race two, the breeze had increased to 14 knots and settled. The race officer increased the course length, adding another downwind leg to the inner trapezoid, a fact that was to throw off some of the top contenders. After the first lap the leading group of Charlie, Matt Howard, Chris Brittle and Bart went off on reach while the rest of the fleet went down the second run. Adam Cowling led to the finish while Dave Mellor finished second. Charlie managed to catch back with the back of the fleet to come ninth.

The third race started in similar breeze with Charlie building a large lead over the chasing pack. Dave Mellor secured his third second place to be Mr Consistency and win the event. With no discards those who sailed the wrong course in race two were always going to struggle

This leaves Dave Mellor leading overall in the ranking tables chased by Adam Cowling and Ian Clingan as the fleet heads for Rutland for this year’s final event.

The Sunday racing was a trial for limited pumping. At the recent nationals the fleet concluded that the fitness and technique required to pump the Finn, which allows three pumps per wave, was leaving the non-funded sailors always at the back of the fleet. At Warsash pumping was only allowed from the ratchet block and not one to one from the boom. The results turned out to be much the same and the conclusion from the back of the fleet was that it made the boat a lot less fun to sail and in a decent blow on the sea with good surfing waves it was a real waste not to be able to promote surfing

The British Fleet seem set therefore to support the proposed international ruling of unlimited pumping in winds exceeding 15 knots.

Overall Results

1st Finn 577 Dave Mellor

2nd Finn 15 Charlie Cumbley

3rd Finn 537 Adam Cowling

4th Finn 550 Ian Clingan

5th Finn 589 Luke Chapman

6th Finn 541 Chris Brittle

7th Finn 563 Martin Hutchins

8th Finn 8 Matt Howard

9th Finn 77 Howard Sellars

10th Finn 58 Nick Daniels

11th Finn 4 Mark MacDonald

12th Finn 6 Andrew Simpson

13th Finn 544 Gordon Watson

14th Finn 57 Thomas Grieg

15th Finn 536 Gareth Martel

16th Finn 581 Ian Kay

17th Finn 582 Justin Hyam