Seven 18ft Micro class boats comprising 5 Gems and 2 Micro 18s, including Kelmar, a visiting boat from the South Coast, gathered at Manningtree’s Stour Sailing Club, for this annual two-day event, known in the UK as the Micro Worlds and Gem Nationals.
Micro Tonners – the Gem having been designed by Rob Humphreys and the Micro 18 by Stephen Jones – are raced regularly at Manningtree throughout the summer and the club is proud of having what we think is the largest fleet in the country. With a lifting keel and substantial rig, these boats are widely sailed in other parts of Europe and usually raced with a crew of two of three who are often competitive dinghy sailors.
The format for racing on both days was a passage race down the river Stour to Stutton followed by two 2- or 3-lap windward/leeward races and a passage race back up the river to Manningtree. Saturday’s racing was held in a light southerly and Sunday’s in a moderate north-westerly, producing some very close, exciting racing with competitive starts and individual and one general recalls.
The Micro Worlds result was taken from the four windward/leeward races with one discard and the winner with two 1sts and a fourth was Virus, sailed by Rheanna Pavey & Andy Pugh, with Muscle, sailed by Ian Pavey & Chris Bannister second and Urchin, sailed by Will Harvey & Edd Harvey/Ellie Bates in third.
The Gem Nationals result included all the races over the two days with no discard and was won by Will and Edd Harvey/Ellie Bates in Urchin, with Well Done, sailed by Ian Bloomfield & Stef Goodwin in second.
There was also a prize for the winner of the passage race series, counting three of the four races and this was won by Ian and Chris in Muscle with Urchin in second.
Kelmar is off to Belgium (on a road trailer rather than a North Sea crossing) for a European event later in the month – perhaps to be followed in 2019 by more UK representation in European events.
by Jenny Pavey