Richard Thompson's Black Seal won last week's Melges 24 national championship at Torquay

The 2003 Melges 24 National Championship took place in Torquay from the 5-8 June and was hosted by the Royal Torbay Yacht Club. With a turnout of 25 boats there was a manageable number for the race team to look after, once again being headed by Martin Wells Brown as the PRO.

Conditions over the four days were perfect with most races being run in a South Westerly breeze ranging from 8-20 mph. The last day proved to be the windiest with the breeze further round in the west at about 20 mph which gave ideal conditions for the finale to this year’s championship. Racing was very close with the overall title going down to the wire between Richard Thompson’s Black Seal team and Stuart Simpson’s Team Barbarians. Black Seal held a 1 point advantage going into the last day, but with 2 races scheduled that could have been easily overturned.

After a humdinger of a day’s racing Black Seal emerged as champions after posting a 1,2 in the final 2 races, team Barbarians scoring 2,3 could not do enough and finished 2nd overall 3 points behind. A similar battle was taking place for 3 and 4 th place overall between Nigel Grogan’s team and Richard Stenhouse and his team in the new Devoti boat. Richard had been posting some excellent results throughout the week especially as this was his first outing in a M24, 4 race wins tells its own story but in the end they had to settle for 4th overall after a fairly average last day from their point of view. Nigel Grogan and his team seemed to revel in the windier conditions and posted a 3,4 to finish the event on a high and pull up to 3rd overall.

The Corinthian prize was won by Simon Henning’s White Rabbit team in another extremely close finish from Paul Lovejoy’s The Muts Nuts and Keith Musto in Mustgo.

After racing on Thursday, Friday and Saturday Nigel Young once again ran a North sails de-brief where top performers from the days racing were invited onto a panel to talk to the fleet about how they achieved their days results, with some gentle encouragement from Nigel

So after 4 hard but very enjoyable days racing, Black Seal became the new Melges 24 National Champions after 2 years of finishing as runners up. Full resutls from