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22 September 2003, 11:53 am
Crew Clothing Take Narrow Victory
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J/24 British Championship
Parkstone, Poole

43 teams contested the J/24 UK National Championships at Parkstone Yacht Club between the 18 and 21 September over an eight race series.
The first day saw a very patchy wind in Poole Bay with big shifts and gusts dominating the racing. Everyone was strangely line shy on the first start so the race went underway cleanly. Rob Libby's 'Jooler' was the earlier leader but was overhauled by Alistair CLARKE helming Bob Turner's 'Headcase' and Mark JARDINE helming Jim Griffiths' 'Crew Clothing' before the finish. Race two saw similar conditions but this time defending champion Stuart JARDINE in 'Stouche' won with 'Crew Clothing' just behind.

The wind was a little stronger for Friday with three races in the day. 'Headcase' started strongly with two race wins but 'Crew Clothing' returned in the last race of the day with a win to stay just one point off the lead going into the weekend.

Saturday saw a number of general recalls and the black flag caught out several boats. Ian BRAHAM'S 'Flagship Flyer' made the most of the morning race to win and J/24 Class Chairman, Phil OWEN in 'Zaphod' took his first ever nationals race victory in the afternoon race. 'Crew Clothing' now had a one point lead over 'Headcase' going into the final race

Sunday dawned with a sea fog hanging over Poole Harbour but the wind was filling in already from the Southwest. Everything was still to play for in the championship race with a straight battle between 'Headcase' and 'Crew Clothing' for the title and the rest of the top places still remarkably close. The fleet was very over-eager with four attempts needed to start the final race. 'Headcase' made better work of this start to take an early lead, but 'Crew Clothing' hooked into a good lift and with some excellent speed climbed the fleet to lead at the windward mark with 'Stouche' second. Positions stayed the same on the run and the committee shortened the course after the second beat as the wind showed signs of switching off completely. 'Crew Clothing' took the winners gun and the team of Mark JARDINE, ISAF's very own Craig MITCHELL, Jim Griffiths, Mike VALENTINE & Cassie RICHARDSON took the championship in the closest J/24 nationals in years. 'Headcase' finished second overall with 'Stouche' third.

In all there were five different race winners in the eight race series with nine different yacht clubs represented in the top ten showing the spread of J/24 sailing in the UK. 'Speedy Bean' won the Westerly division with 'HiJack' second and 16 year old Sam Pearson helming 'Legend' to third.

Overall Top Ten

Pos Boat Name Helm R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 Total
1 CREW CLOTHING Mark Jardine 2 2 4 2 1 2 5 1 14
2 HEADCASE R.Turner/A.Clarke 1 3 1 1 4 4 6 4 18
3 STOUCHE Stuart Jardine 7 1 2 5 3 44d 9 2 29
4 HITCH-HIKER David Ellis 8 8 13 10 2 44d 7 7 55
5 RELOADED Duncan Peace 14 4 6 6 6 8 13 44d 57
6 JUGGS Gavin Watson 20 12 7 3 10 18 3 13 66
7 FUZZY DUCK Ron Lee 15= 9 12 16 9 9 44d 3 73.5
8 FLAGSHIP FLYER Ian Braham 4 15 14 13 18 1 23 11 76
9 RIOT M. Wright 6 5 8 18 16 15 14 44d 82
10 CHAOTIC Nick Phillips 10 6 11 41 5 10 2 44d 85
Mark Jardine (As Amended by ISAF News Editor)
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