Ian Atkins' BOATS.COM Triumphant(Cardiff, Wales, UK)- The Tacktick Suunto J/80 UK National Championship was hosted by the Cardiff Bay Yacht Club and was presided over by PRO David Cairncross. The fleet were greeted by more breeze on Saturday morning than they had enjoyed over the previous two days of the Championship; a blustery 15 to 23 knots blowing from the cold North East. Going in to the final day only seven points separated the top three at the Championship; BOATS.COM, ELLE S'APPELLE and PURPLE HAZE.
Race Seven was won by JUST DO IT, helmed by Terry Palmer. Having mastered their downwind big breeze sailing at the Spi Ouest Regatta at Easter (alongside 92 other J/80s) the JUST DO IT squad had been hoping for something a little more fruity than on the previous two days, and were duly rewarded. Tom Phipps and Kelvin Matthews sailing for the British Keelboat Academy finished second and Ian Atkins took third place in BOATS.COM.
Having had a couple of frustrating days at the Championship, Kelvin Matthews, sailing with Tom Phipps for the British Keelboat Academy, went on the record on Friday when he said 'We've not yet put in our best performance at this event'. Delighting in the heavier breeze, British Keelboat Academy duly went out on Saturday morning and nailed the second race, Race Eight of the series. In second place was STEP TOE (one of the four boats entered by the charity Toe in The Water) and Ian Atkins settled for a safe third, enough to win him and his team from BOATS.COM the Tacktick Suunto J/80 UK National Championship with a race to spare. Nice one all; Ian Atkins on Helm, Rob Lark on Tactics, Dan Brown on Trim and Karen Schwerdt on 'Pit and making everything happen'. The final race of the championship, Race Nine, was also won by BOATS.COM; a fitting finish to a consistent and impressive campaign. The final results saw Ian Atkins team on BOATS.COM sailing to only sixteen points, followed by Thor Askeland's ELLE S'APPELLE with twenty five points and lying third was Scott Cole sailing PURPLE HAZE just eight points back.
It was heartwarming to see the teams sailing for TOE IN THE WATER charity do so well, with three of the four teams finishing in the top ten. The TITW charity aims to encourage and rehabilitate injured servicemen and women through the sport of sailing. The "top Toe" was STEP TOE in sixth, followed by LITTLE TOE in eighth and TIP TOE in ninth-- good show there gang! For J/80 UK Nationals info Photo credits- Tim Wright