A total of 21 Vareos made the trip to Lee-On-Solent for three days of racing for the GUL national championship

The Varoe came of age with its first national championship on the sea and real competition throughout the fleet. A total of 21 Vareos made the trip to Lee-On-Solent for three days of racing for the GUL National Championships in varied conditions, sharing the course with 22 RS300s last weekend.

Saturday saw a Force 2 from the south-west. Sunday was a glorious day with an easterly building to a good Force 4 by the end. Monday was grey with a Force 3 from the north off the shore giving very patchy conditions in the race area. Race Officers Graham Child and Keith Rogers made excellent use of the conditions and turned races around smartly.

The varied wind conditions had no affect on Jon Lewis; fresh from 4th place overall at the GUL RS200 Nationals he won every race leading round six out of seven first windward marks. He had really worked out how to control the leech up wind to produce speed through the Lee chop so he powered away from the fleet after a series of immaculate starts. But his real secret was to power the boat up downwind to gain speed before looking for depth. In the first six races the only person who looked like beating him to the first mark was Luke Fisher in race 5. In the final race Robin Sanders, Richard Kemp Salt and Pete Vincent did lead Lewis round the first mark. Vincent even led Lewis round the first leeward mark and had the cheek to cover him up the second beat before Lewis pulled clear on the second run.

Behind Lewis the racing was very tight with Luke Fisher just winning the fight for second overall by a point from Carl Whitehead. Luke was more consistent and a real force up wind; Carl at times was blisteringly quick downwind with Richard Oliver in fourth never far behind. Martin Barrett scored 5th overall and was also first Master. Jonathan Briggs (Winsford), Richard Kemp Salt (Brightlingsea), Dave Machin ( Netley) and Chris Froelcih (Burghfield) all featured well at times to show that the overall standard is now improving.

With Jon Lewis and Pete Vincent running a coaching morning and much free flow of information on how to control the rig and sail the boat the vast majority left Lee on Solent not only having had three days great sailing but also have gained a lot of very useful information.