Visiting Blaze sailors compete in Bay

Action from the weekend's sailing - a sailor racing at sea with a cruise ship behind him

Action from the weekend's sailing - Credit: Chris Arkell

Seventy-one sailors took to the Bay last weekend to take part in the Blaze Class Association National Championships.

The sailors of this single-handed high-performance dinghy race arrived on Friday to a grey sky but with winds of 10 knots.

Race officer James Ripley launched the sailors on time and managed to run four races, with Ben Harden getting three wins out of the four.

Sunny skies greeted the sailors on Saturday and after a short delay, the fleet launched as the sea breeze came in.

Sailors at the start of a race

Sailors at the start of a race - Credit: Chris Arkell

Three races were run with a variety of different courses and again Ben took two wins out of three races - effectively winning the championship with a day to spare.

Sunday dawned with another beautiful day but unfortunately the sea breeze did not materialise – the AP & A flags were displayed ending the event.

Ben Harden from Royal Corinthian Yacht Club in Burnham on Crouch was crowned the Blaze National 2021 champion with Eden Hyland from Chase Sailing Club and Ben Pickering, also of Chase Sailing Club, came second and third respectively.

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Local sailor Nick Ripley, from Paignton Sailing Club, came tenth overall.

Paignton Sailing Club commodore Graham Slater said: “It is always fantastic to see visiting sailors compete in the beautiful waters of Tor Bay and we are looking forward to seeing the Blaze fleet again in the future.

"A big thank you to all the members of PSC who gave up their time to make this such a successful event.”

Paignton Sailing Club regularly hosts large championships and, in 2022, are looking forward to welcoming the RS Aero class which should be a big event.