Minisail National Championships 2014

WHITEFRIARS Sailing Club in the Cotswold Water Park hosted a very international Minisail National Championships over the weekend of July 5/6 and despite competition from Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands it produced a home grown winner in Rupert Whelan of the host club.

Whelan just got the the better of Jonathan Bomford from Cornwall and Frans Stoop from Holland to take top prize in the 15-strong field.

The Minisail is a sailing surfboard, the predecessor of today’s windsurfers, designed more than 50 years ago, and making a bit of a comeback.

The sunshine on Saturday’s race coaching day was punctuated in the morning by heavy, squally showers, but by the afternoon conditions were perfect for learning how to sail fast.

Sunday – race day – saw the fleet out in perfect sunshine, but in winds ranging from nothing to those strong enough to blow the minisail completely flat.

In the first two races, Whelan came out ahead. The third race saw a huge squall come through, and Bomford's rudder snapped in two, ending his race.

Every boat apart from Whelan's capsized, with Tom Moore from Southampton recovering to take second place.

The fourth race saw a depleted fleet, and the boats struggling to sail through the weed which the storm had brought to the surface.

Whelan extricated himself first to take the win and become Minisail National Champion.

Huge thanks must go to the race team at Whitefriars, led by Simon Clark, and to the kitchen staff, led by Kathryn Whelan, who put on some great meals over the weekend.

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RESULTS: 1, Rupert Whelan (Whitefriars); 2, Jonathan Bomford (Mylor, Cornwall); 3, Frans Stoop (Holland); 4, David Argles (Southampton); 5, Tom Moore (Southampton); 6, Ronny De Guyter (Belgium); 7, Julian Niedermaier (Germany); 8, Rob Baker (Sandwell Valley); 9, Paul Rogers (Sandwell Valley); 10, Gill Dyer (Sandwell Valley); 11, Chris Gilchrist (Sandwell Valley); 12, Dean Martin (Belgium).