The 2023 Vortex National Championship


From Yorkshire Dales SC



Nine sailors from as far as Scotland and London descended on Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club for the National Championships. 


Race 1 started in a light 10 knot westerly. Jonathan Lister, Phil Whitehead and Angus Winchester all picked different routes but arrived at the top mark together. Phil's spinni halyard came undone on the run necessitating a pit stop and an early discard. Mick Collins found a band of pressure to pass Angus on the next downwind leg and held second place to the finish behind Jonathan.

A good close start in race 2 with fairly even pressure across the course but Phil stayed hard left and worked the bend around the shore to pop out in the lead at the first mark. Jonathan Lister took the lead downwind with Phil holding second and Angus third at the finish.

The wind went left for race three. Phil and Jonathan port tacked the fleet; Phil just squeezed in front of a line of 14 Contenders, Jonathan didn't and dropped to the back of the fleet. Downwind Angus and Mick passed Phil, only for Phil to find a fabulous lift from the left on the next beat to re-take the lead. Surely this would be Phil's victory? Jonathan gybed off early on the last downwind taking the lead whilst Mick passed Angus for third.

We all retired to the clubhouse and hot tubs with a beer courtesy of the class association. The meal provided by our caterers Karen and Dave was outstanding and an opportunity to catch up on old times and a quick AGM . Definitely the class to join with free entry, free meals , beer sponsored by Nick Fleming’s  Ovenstone microbrewery in Anstruther and a hot tub to provide some well deserved relaxation after 3 races and 4 hours on the water.


Early Sunday morning was cold and damp with a low cloud base and a fresh North Easterly blowing at 20 knots. Phil and Angus the strong wind specialists romped up the first beat. Phil should have led but misjudged his final tack to the mark and was just below the lay-line. Angus found a hole downwind letting Jonathan through, but he managed to capsize on the final gybe (hint - release the kicker downwind in a blow!). Angus kept cool and led for the rest of the race. Jonathan chased hard and recovered from last place after the capsize to second - assisted by Phil capsizing on a tack (hint - release the main sheet when tacking in breeze!). However there was a question mark over whether Jonathan had missed the gate on one lap so he retired letting Mick take second and a very well deserved 3rd and fourth places to newcomers Andy Spencer and Nick Fleming.

The wind eased for race 5, Andy port tacked the fleet and was looking good but Angus found a nice shift on the left. Jonathan found the right shifts on the first downwind leg and held the lead with Mick second and Angus third. Luigi Guarda had travelled all the way from Santa Croce Italy to collect a boat scored a creditable 5th having never sailed a Vortex before this weekend.

A great weekend sailing and socialising. A great result for Jonathan Lister our new National Champ below.