SYS 1 Hour Endurance Race 2023
Sunday 20th February
Report and results by Russ Chilcott

We had 12 entries for this year’s event, up on recent years so hopefully that is a sign of a resurgence for this section. One new entry was Rick who was racing in a SYS event for the very first time with a DF65 boat he had just acquired from the auction.

Just before the start I had to move the entire course so it was running parallel to the ramp as the wind had swung and was coming from a more westerly direction. We raced around an oblong course from the ramp side with the flagged markers as the start, lap counting and finish line in the middle.

Everyone had their boats on the water and were ready to go, so we were able to start a few minutes before 10.15am. Just as the race started the wind dropped away (typical!) which left the fleet drifting along painfully slowly towards the windward markers.

Myself and Alan took advantage of a little wind shift and managed to round first two markers gaining a short lead – unfortunately that did not last too long for me!

By lap 3 Alan had pulled away while I had been caught by a group comprising of Rod, Martyn, Mike, Rick and Kevin all in close company with a small gap back to the rest of fleet. This fleet included John who had an awful first leg and was stuck in last place at one point.

As the race progressed thankfully the wind increased in strength but was always shifting so you could easily and suddenly find yourself in “irons” or drifting backwards!

Before long John had found his racing mojo, avoiding the shifts better than most and started to move through the field. Meanwhile Martyn and Rod moved clear taking up 2nd and 3rd places, with myself, Rick and Kevin battling away for several laps moving ahead of Mike.

By the 30 minute/halfway point John had managed to move right through the fleet and was up into 2nd place, with Alan still holding the lead they started to lap some boats.

In the last 15 mins John found a nice windward tack close to the ramp and passed Alan to take the lead. Alan, ahead of Rod and Martyn held onto their places with a decent gap between all of them.

When the hour race time was up you had to continue to the finish line to record your lap and most importantly the finishing order. The finishing order would separate the places for those on the same lap.
Rod was not too far behind the leading pair but the time was up just as they past but before he got there. So, they were able to go on and complete one more lap.

During their final lap Alan closed the gap on John considerably and they finished only 20ft apart – with John just holding on to win the race. They were the only ones to complete 12 laps.

Rod was one of three skippers clocking 11 laps but being ahead of all others he gets 3rd place. Martyn was 4th and myself a long way back (actually the last to cross the line!) in 5th.

The next 6 skippers all completed 10 laps, 3 of them finishing in order, so I assume they were not too far apart. This group was led by Rick who takes 6th place. A very good result in his first ever SYS race – someone to lookout for in the future.
Mike (7th) passed Kevin (8th) towards the end, with Graham 9th, Nige 10th and Tony in 11th. Keith finished in 12th place having completed 9 laps.

Despite a rather slow start it was another good endurance event with plenty of close racing throughout the fleet. All 12 that started completed the non-stop hour-long race, there were no breakages (I was aware of) or boats tangling together. Well done to all involved!

Having come right from the back of the fleet John (right in photo) is the worthy winner. Congrats to him.

Thanks to Diane (Tony’s wife) for doing the Lap Counting and timing – it is very much appreciated.


Place    Sail No                            laps (finishing order)
1st        60    John Woodman      12  (9)
2nd      34    Alan Barnstable      12  (10)
3rd      69     Rod Butler               11  (1)
4th      46     Martyn Chappell    11  (5)
5th      7       Russ Chilcott            11  (12)
6th     72      Rick Hamerslag      10  (2)
7th     22      Mike Lewis               10  (3)
8th    88      Kevin Roberts          10  (4)
9th    48      Graham Small          10  (6)
10th  18       Nige Wright             10  (7)
11th   93      Tony Hunter            10  (11)
12th    4       Keith Cripwell          9   (8)