This year’s Folkboat Nordic National Championship was sponsored by the marine insurance company GJW Direct. Held over the weekend of June 8-9 in the Western Solent, racing was run by the Royal Lymington Yacht Club. The plan was to race in Christchurch Bay on Saturday and then move inside Hurst Narrows for the final two races on Sunday, but the unseasonal strong north-north-easterly breeze made the trip out into the Bay impractical.

Nordic folkboat nationals

The Folkboat Championship prizegiving: (from left) Principal Race Officer Jane Pitt-Pitts, Matthew Jones, Caroline & Stuart Watson.

On Saturday, Principal Race Officer Jane Pitt-Pitts set three testing ‘windward-leeward’ courses near the mouth of Lymington River. With the wind both shifting in direction and varying in speed it was a day of mixed fortunes for many, with places both won and lost in equal measure.

There were race wins for Crackerjack (the Watsons and Matthew Jones), Chris Hills helming Padfoot and Madelaine (Edward Donald). Overnight the lead was shared by Crackerjack and Padfoot with Ado Jardine helming Jeremy Austin’s Tak in third. A good number of very tired Folkboat sailors enjoyed a buffet supper at the club, with wine provided by GJW Direct and the Folkboat Class Association.

The wind had eased by Sunday morning, but was still shifty. It was not a good day for early leaders in either of the two races. Madelaine made a cracking port end start in the first race and led until gear problems at the third mark caused her early retirement. In the last race David Fox sailing Bossa Nova copied Madelaine’s earlier tactic, starting at the far end of the line. Again it paid. He led for the first three legs, but went off course to the wrong mark and this allowed the fleet to pass him as they correctly started up the second beat.

These errors left the three main contenders Crackerjack, Tak and Tagomago (James Harrison) to fight it out for the overall title. Eventually it was Crackerjack who won the final race to take the trophy.

As well as the one-design racing, the class has developed a ‘handicap’ system that allows for the less experienced owners to have a trophy to race for. This year the winners were James Hoare and Graham Coulter on Samphire of Oykel.

Nordic Folkboat Nationals
Overall Results (Top 5):

1st            Crackerjack (Stuart Watson and Matthew Jones)
2nd            Tak (Jeremy Austin)
3rd            Padfoot (Chris Hills)
4th            Tagomago (James Harrison)
5th            Samphire of Oykel (James Hoare and Graham Coulter)