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5 May 2005, 03:43 pm
Two Times Winners Come Up Trumps
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British Soling National Championship 2005
Barry, South Wales, Great Britain

The 2005 British National Championship was sailed at Barry Yacht Club in South Wales, Great Britain from 30 April-2 May. The home fleet had eight boats on the water and with six visitors making the trip south from Fleetwood and Scotland.
Saturday arrived but the wind did not. After a delay in launching the visiting boats the wind failed to arrive and all racing was cancelled for the day. This gave plenty of time for the British Soling Association (BSA) to hold their AGM.

Sunday arrived and with it came a very light south east breeze. The fleet took to the water with the hope that the wind may increase. The first race started and current two times national champion, bowman Bryan BOTTEMLEY showed he had no intention of surrendering his crown. Along with helm Mike PRESTON and middleman Ron PRESTON, BOTTENLEY took the opening race from boats helmed by Gary RICHARDSON in second and George BARKER in third.

The second race of the day was started with slightly less wind with the wind dropping as the race went on. Four boats managed to make the finish before the wind shut off and the rest of the fleet were left anchored against the ebbing tide until the time limit ran out. BARKER can out on top taking the bullet in front of Mark FISHER.

Once the breeze had settled the third race started without too much drama. It was easily won by BARKER with RICHARDSON in second and Hugh DAVIES finishing third. The PRESTONs and BOTTEMLEY dropped to fourth but made a strong comeback finishing second in races four and five to give them an overnight lead of one point over BARKER.

On Sunday the first race was again delayed while the committee tried to set a course. The race got away cleanly, with DAVIES first to the windward mark followed by RICHARDSON, FISHER and BARKER in hot pursuit. With PRESTON down the fleet, BARKER was looking good to make an attack on the overall lead. However as the fleet were running inshore out of the tide, the wind went left by 40 degree's and left the leaders struggling to lay the mark. With kites PRESTON and Hamish LOUDON sailed over the fleet and PRESTON went on to win the race with BARKER back in sixth, giving the overnight leaders some room to breath going in to the final race.

With the best breeze of the weekend PRESTON sailed a perfect race to win followed by FISHER and BARKER in third. This gave the PRESTONs and BOTTEMLEY their third national championships in a row. BARKER took second with RICHARDSON third overall.

Matias Collins (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Action from South Wales:©
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