David Hitcock, Ian Nicholson win K6 national championship at Hayling Island this weekend 15/10/07

“It’s a bit risky” said some when the decision was taken to have the K6 Nationals as late as October, but it was a risk that paid off. Warm sunshine and 10-12 knots of breeze made late autumn feel like late summer for the three-day event at Hayling Island this weekend. The only grey cloud in the picture was Foot and Mouth closing that most rural of sailing venues, Queen Mary, leaving two crews without boats.

All eyes were on defending champions and HISC locals, David Hitchcock and Ian Nicholson, but Paul Fisk, Amanda Wadhams and Heather Chipperfield in Fat Face recorded the first bullet, with Aldeburgh’s Ian Robson in second.

However, what the first race clearly established, was that it didn’t take much of a slip in concentration to loose a good ten places on the water. The ‘tail’ in the fleet was genuinely very short and the battle for anything between 6th and 16th was hard fought with several normal front markers having to adjust to a slightly different view of the fleet. In the final tally, the top 17 boats all had individual top 10 results.

Race two saw a game of cat and mouse between the top HISC boats. Hitchcock and Nicholson were determined to fix their indigestion having had a swallow a 3rd place for ‘starters’. Olympian Ossie Stewart (crewed by Bev Moss), and ex 505 champion Bill Masterman crewed by Dan Mountfield fought hard to add to their pain with regular place swapping. However, the medicine worked, and Hitchcock and Nicholson took race 2 for ‘main course’ and rounded off race 3 for ‘afters’.

On the second day it was Aldeburgh’s Ian Robson (crewed by Sandy Johnson and Simon Tonks) who stamped their authority on both the first races. In the relatively light conditions, their up and downwind speed was particularly impressive being the heaviest crews. Their tails were up going into the round the cans race finishing at the club, but a third bullet eluded them. This race delivered on its reputation of mixing the fleet-up with Carsington’s Stephen Blake and David Lucas commanding a decent lead at the first windward mark.

Peter Kirkby and Richard Barker popped out at the top of the second beat but then made the mistake of asking Hitchcock and Nicholson behind them what they’d like to drink at the bar. Hitchcock and Nicholson powered past early in the two-mile final leg to take the race.

With lack of wind forcing the cancellation of the last race Hitchcock and Nicholson retained their championship title by five points from Ian Robson and crew, with Paul Fisk and crew in third.

Overall Results
1st 155 – David Hitcock, Ian Nicholson (HISC)
2nd 162 – Ian Robson, Sandy Johnson, Simon Tonks (Aldeburgh YC)
3rd 170 – Paul Fisk, Amanda Wadhams, Heather Chipperfield, Sarah (Lymington Town SC)
4th 174 – Ossie Stewart, Bev Moss (HISC)
5th 101 – Bill Masterman, Dan Mountfield (HISC)
6th 126 – Peter Kirkby, Richard Barker (Queen Mary SC)
7th 124 – Fraser Elms, Georgie Smith, Tash Styles (HISC)
8th 112 – Stephen Blake, David Lucas (Carsington SC)
9th 109 – Mark Nicholson, Robin Richardson (HISC)
10th 175 – Paul Ward, Robert Heyes (Itchenor SC)