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2021 Vane A - Class Championship

John Taylor

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Day 1 Report

The 2021 (UK) Vane A Class Championship got underway today as 18 skippers arrived at Gosport to compete over 6 days. This Championship as well as the Yachting Monthly Cup are the most prestigious events within the MYA Calendar, both have been competed for since 1932.

This years event has attracted no fewer than 4 World Champions outside of the class, numerous national champions, including experts within the skill of Vane Sailing, plus a mix of new and exciting talent, all of which represent the next generation of skippers.

This year will see a different name on the trophy because the current champion, Graham Butler of Fleetwood was unable to compete this year. So who will be your favourite to win the championship?

Shaun Wyeth - He has to be the favourite for this week. He is sailing on his own lake using a boat familiar to him which has been upgraded recently. Shaun has won this regatta many times and understands the challenges.

Martin Roberts - A world Champion outside of the class, but he has won this event more than once. He will be pushing hard throughout the week. 

Rob Walsh and Peter Stollery - Both skippers are World Champions outside of the class,  but Peter has won the Vane A - Class Championship before. Rob is still yet to achieve this goal but both skippers have capable yachts to win.

Dave Geldard - A past winner of this championship but competing with a new and unfamiliar boat, Matrix which performed well 2 weeks ago at Fleetwood. Dave will pickup points against his rivals, but consistency will be key for him.

Chris Harris - He knows what it takes to win this event, plenty of Vane A-Class experience. He won at Fleetwood 2 weeks ago but has changed his boat for the regatta. 

Or is there another skipper who can raise their game?

Scores will start from tomorrow.

Shaun Wyeth.JPG

Martin Roberts (1).JPG

Peter Stollery and Rob Walsh.jpg

Dave Geldard.JPG

Chris Harris.JPG

A-Class Fleet.jpg



Edited by John Taylor
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Vane A - Class Championship Day 2 Report.

Today switched to fleet racing, in the morning session the skippers from A - Fleet competed against each other. Chris Harris sailing 'Lance/Jouster' continued his good work from yesterday. He consistently sailed very well whilst the rest of the fleet took points from each other. Damian Ackroyd sailing a 'Sir Percy' design also put in a good performance, as he won 3 of the 4 running legs of the course in the morning session. Unfortunately, his momentum was thwarted on a re-sail scheduled tomorrow against team 'Lisa Priestley and Andrea Roberts' , who themselves managed to pick up some important points today.

In the afternoon session, skippers from B-Fleet raced each other, Mark Dicks and Graham Wyeth built on there success from yesterday, again sailing a 'Lance' design which is becoming difficult yacht to beat this week. However, the performance of the day came from the youngest skipper in the fleet, Oliver Stollery (13yrs) sailing the oldest boat of 50yrs 'Clockwork Orange'. Oliver sailed to success taking maximum points from his more famous father and grandfather Peter and Roger Stollery. What a fantastic achievement and one for the family album.

The latest scores are available. Please be aware B-Fleet have completed one round more of sailing, some boats have had a 'Bye' and re-sails are still to be completed.

Please view the short promotional film about Vane Sailing, where you might need to tweak the volume button .

Short Promotional Film Link: 



Day 2 Scores.jpg

Edited by John Taylor
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Day 3 Report

Continuing with fleet sailing, B-Fleet was at the lake side for the morning session. Light and variable winds dominated the early start and at times racing had to be paused by the Race Officer, Mr Derek Priestley. Fortunately, there was only 2 rounds of sailing to be completed which took until lunchtime. Peter Fothergill maintained his challenge and Jacque Cook also picked up important points. After lunch it was the turn of A - Fleet and for them 3 rounds of racing, as well as re-sails from day 2 which still had to be resolved. In the end, most of the leading skippers from both fleets did not have things all their own way, as they all dropped important points.

The biggest mover from today's racing came in Damian Ackroyd sailing 'Sir Percy'. From 17 points which were available to him, (3 sailing rounds, plus a re-sail for 2points) , he collected a total of 12 points. His performance allows him to climb 4 places up the leader board. In addition, the Roberts family went head to head in the regatta, namely Martin and Andrea Roberts (husband and wife). Andrea and team mate Lisa Priestley sailed successfully to claim maximum points against Martin Roberts, I am sure there will be much to celebrate on one side of the family tonight.

Tomorrow the regatta switches to the Yachting Monthly Cup, a knockout competition which will give some skippers an early finish.

Some pictures below are a mix from the last few days.


Day 3 Scores.jpg





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Yachting Monthly Cup Report

The main event took a break today as both fleets were put into a knockout competition. The format of this event is to split the entire fleet into groups of 4 yachts. Skippers are then encouraged to race between themselves in each group, they must race each other twice using the 'Beating Leg'' of the course, before moving to the next skipper within their individual group. Once all yachts have raced each other, the top two successful skippers qualify for the next round of the competition.

The 2nd and further rounds of the Yachting Monthly Cup changes format to a pure knockout competition. Skippers are paired to compete against each other, they must complete two beats with the winner of both races going through to the next round. However, if after 2 races the skippers are drawn with one win each, the deciding race is then resolved with the two skippers racing using the 'Running Leg' of the course, the first boat across the finishing line goes threw to the next round, this format continues until there is one skipper left who wins the event.

So today was a slow start, with very little wind which continuously changed direction and forced skippers to not settle on a base trim or vane setting. Some high profile skippers fell in the group stages and therefore were forced to an early finish. As the south-easterly breeze filled in later in the afternoon Rob Walsh, Shaun and Lewis Wyeth fell at the quarter final stages. Then to the semi-finals and after some close racing, Rob Vice and Dave Geldard were finally sent to the club house, leaving...…..

The 2021 Yachting Monthly Cup Final between Chris Harris vs Peter Fothergill.

The first beat went to Chris Harris. Straight down the middle of the lake as Peter Fothergill was forced to pole off at the bank, loosing momentum in the turn.

The second beat. had both skippers heading towards to top bank again. Peter pulled ahead at the half way point, after a good retrim by his team mate Paul Edwards. In the end it was a comfortable win for Peter Fothergill's yacht, which took the final to a deciding race using the 'Running Leg' of the course.

Both teams decided not to use a spinnaker. At the start of the race both yachts came together which forced a re-sail.

On the bank and preparing to race again, Peter Fothergill chose to use a spinnaker this time against Chris Harris, who's yacht remained unchanged from the previous race.

The final race begins, although Peter Fothergill's spinnaker doesn’t fill properly, he remains ahead of his competitor. Chris Harris pulls closer in the final stages but unfortunately banks near to the finishing line and Peter takes the win by a few boat lengths.

Congratulations to Peter Fothergill and Paul Edwards. The main event restarts tomorrow.


YM Cup 2021 (1).JPG

YM Cup 2021 (8).JPG

YM Cup 2021 (9).JPG

YM Cup 2021 (12).JPG



Edited by John Taylor
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 Day 4 Report

Everyone was in action today as the southerly wind started to increase bringing with it the rain during the afternoon session. It was important for skippers to set their boats up to sail straight down the lake without banking. Therefore, it was all about the straight line speed and if your trim was not accurate enough, allowing your boat to sail to the bank, you were probably going to loose points.

The top skippers in the overall standing continued to make progress, picking up points throughout the day. It was going very well for Shaun Wyeth until he lost a maximum of 5 points against Damian Ackroyd towards the end of the session. This gave Martin Roberts a chance to capitalise which he dually did, and has taken the top spot going into the last day. Team Graham Wyeth and Mark Dicks moved up to third place overall with consistent sailing, but unfortunately both Chris Harris and Peter Fothergill dropped places for the first time this week.

At the other end of the overall standings, Peter Hopkins was having an encouraging period as he picked up points against the skippers near to him in the table. Young skipper Oliver Stollery continues to sail very well during periods and the competition within the Stollery family remains tight. Please spare a moment for all the kids who are sailing with their skippers. Many of them are taking part for the first time and having fun being part of this regatta. Families such as the Preistley's, Wyeths, Roberts and Stollery's are all represented by their youngsters and the potential next generation of skippers to come. Also included is Amber Geldard who has been an important part of the Dave Geldard team. Amber has managed to recover many points for her father, when all seemed lost in races over the course of the week. It is another example of fantastic enthusiasm and the willingness to keep sailing.

Today was all about completing as many races as possible, prior to tomorrows final day and the business end of this regatta. Who's nerve will holdup in the final races to decide this competition, or will there be a late surprise? Bring on Friday.

Some pictures show the various yacht designs. Picture 1 - Clockwork Orange (21), Picture 2 - Ivor 52 (99), Picture 3 - Lance (76), Picture 4 - Lightning (25), Picture 5 - Madaize (49), Picture 6 - Matrix (01), Picture 7 - Mike Dann (34), Picture 8 - New Approach (88), Picture 9 - Reference Point (86), Picture 10 - Minstrel (77), Picture 11 - Sir Percy (101), Picture 12 - Venceramous (02), Picture 13 - Shunt (39)..


Clockwork Orange.JPG

Ivor 52.JPG





Mike Dann.JPG


Reference Point.JPG

Sea the Stars.JPG

Sir Percy.JPG

Venceramous 2.JPG


Day 4 Scores.jpg

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Vane A - Class Championships Day 5 Report / Results

The final day of this regatta saw the wind conditions increase to a gusty 15 mph south westerly. 4 heats were sailed and suddenly points became a premium for the skippers. It didn't matter how messy your trim was, as long as you crossed the finishing line first. Chris Harris and Peter Fothergill tried to make up ground on the skippers above them and took heart as both Shaun Wyeth and Martin Roberts began to drop points, but in the end it was too late.

Team Graham Wyeth and Mark Dicks maintained their 3rd position in the overall standings. So well-done to them. Shaun Wyeth had a re-sail with Peter Stollery which after 4 attempts was finally resolved, but Peter Stollery took the points. This pretty much ended Shaun Wyeth's challenge leaving Martin Roberts on top and claiming the 2021 Vane A - Class Championship.

It has been a fantastic week and all of our thanks goes to Derek Priestley, Jacque and Mervyn Cook and the Race Team of Gosport MYC. Next year Fleetwood will become the hosts of this prestigious event and we hope to see some new faces?

The main prize winners are listed below.

Class Champion - Martin Robert

Yachting Monthly Cup Winners - Peter Fothergill & Paul Edwards

TOTS Team Winners - Peter Fothergill, Damian Ackroyd and Lewis Wyeth

Little Portugal Cup - Lewis Wyeth

Junior Trophy - Oliver Stollery

Neptune Team Trophy - Gosport


Short Film Link: 











Edited by John Taylor
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Great & detailed report!!

Nice pics. 

I commend it to the MYA Racing officer, in lieu of my R. O.'s report so that I can now concentrate on preparations for the forthcoming IOM Nationals at Fleetwood at which I am again to be R.O. !

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