Tasar World Champions Paul & Bronwyn Ridgway
Sandringham Yacht Club members, husband and wife Paul and Bronwyn Ridgway have won the World Championships for the Tasar sailing dinghy held at the Royal Torbay Yacht Club in Torquay Devon England. The fleet included two previous Tasar world champions as well as notable names such as Neville Wittey (Star and Etchells), Steve Cockerill (Lasers), Mike Quirk (505), Hiroaki Sato (470), Nathan Batchelor (J24) and Angus Galloway (420).
The event consisted of 12 races held over five days of racing with two drops. The organisers planned three races per day for three days, then two races on the second last day and hoped that the single race on the last day would be a cliffhanger for the spectators – and they got just what they had planned.
The weather provided a complete range of conditions over the five days – pleasing all of the competitors at least at some stage of the regatta . Day one provided the most maximum conditions that any competitors could remember ever racing a Tasar in (gusting up to 30+). Day three was also heavy, averaging more in the 20 knot plus range. Day two was light with winds around 5 knots and the last two days were around the 10 to 13 knots.
The Ridgways’ skills across the full range of conditions provided them with a scoreline up to the end of the tenth race of 2,3,2,2,5,5,3,4,6,3. This consistent performance then allowed them the opportunity to match race their nearest competitor (who was in the lead with drops) for each of the last two races. In race 11 they locked onto the then current world champions on the start line. With a tight cover in place they matched tack for tack, double tack for double tack and held them back to 22 making their opposition count in their scoreline what had previously been a large discard. With the personal match racing taking place prominently in the middle of the fleet it caused much interest to the other sailors who were trying to race but were still keen to see what was going on.
Going into the last race the Ridgways lead by 2 points, their opponents needing to get into one of the first three places and also make sure that the Ridgways were more than two boats behind if they were going to win. As it was, the Ridgways finished ahead and wrote themselves into the record books.
Other Sandringham members to compete In the event were Pete Ellis and Charlotte Birbeck (8th overall), sailing for the last time under GBR from their old home club. Pete and Charlotte had spent a long cold winter training with the Ridgways under the guidance of coach Brett Young. Not only were they racing in the event but had the added responsibility of Pete being the World President of the Tasar Association and organising the regatta. They will obviously be a force to be reckoned with in the future having improved on their finish in the last worlds of 21.
SYC identity and well known sailor Monica Tonner also crewed for Mark Hughes ( 26 overall). A result that they were pleased with considering that Mark lives in Saudi Arabia and was unable to train.