Hayling Island SC, England * July 19-24, 1992
|When the USWA
that they lacked the manpower and facilities to host Worlds VIII, the
came back to Hayling for a 3rd time. Despite the largest entry ever
visiting entries were away down - perhaps a sign of tough economic
Only 4 Irish, 3½ Canadian, one token Danish crew (living just
of London), and half an American crew, came from outside the UK.
helm, Roger Shepherd, with American crew, Don Parker, making up the
Before things even got underway, UKWA Racing Secretary, Martin Wood distinguished himself by looking after the needs of the boat borrowers in a most selfless way - as Jesper Friis had done in the 89 Denmark Worlds. Martin’s reward for this was to have his perfect start in race 1 punctuated by a shotgun blast from the RC boat which put a new window into his mainsail. And still, Martin finished a fine 10th overall in this hot fleet!
The top racing story, as expected, was the battle of the titans: two-time World champ, Ian Porter going up against Mike McNamara for whom this would be the first Wayfarer Worlds but who had beaten Ian in some recent UKWA Nationals.
When the week brought ideal summer weather and winds mostly in the F3-5 range, Mike Mac and Simon Townsend, two relatively big men, had the advantage of the considerably light duo of Ian Porter and Kevan Gibb upwind. And when the subsequent spi reaches were also pretty tight, the lack of weight again penalized Ian.
The result was six straight firsts for Mike and Simon while Ian and Kevan finally took the "gun" in race 7 after s string of six 2nds. The very fine up-and-coming team of Stuart Rix and Mike Claxton took a clear 3rd - and by 1994, Stuart was poised to win the ‘95 Worlds, having knocked off both Mike and Ian in the ‘94 UK Nats!
Top North American was Uncle Al. But in spite of having ‘Wayfarer Man’, Frank Goulay as crew, and the use of Phil Warner’s excellent wooden Wayfarer MOJO, Al only tied for 18th. There were however, some good signs for Frank and Al who took a solid 5th in race 3 and a 7th that turned out to be an over early in race 6.
A shocking event amidst all the excitement was the sudden death of Wayfarer designer and #1 supporter, Ian Proctor, on the Thursday afternoon. Ian had just been out for a lovely sail on the waters of Chichester Harbour that he loved so much. No parent could have looked after his offspring more lovingly and conscientiously than did Ian with his Wayfarers!
Meanwhile, the 78-year-old Hon. Commodore of the CWA, George Blanchard, continued to defy the passing of time - arthritic hands and all!! He sailed in his 8th consecutive Worlds even though the breezy going was almost too tough for many sailors less than half his age! But even George had trouble hauling out his boat after a day of F6-7 winds. And then he discovered why he had been going so slow: a screw had come out of his keelband and the post-race draining of the bow tank took almost 20 minutes!!
All in all, this was a Worlds that was exciting and lots of fun. One nice touch was the fact that the UKWA invited some of the past Class stalwarts such as Nick and Geoff Hodshon to participate. It was great to sail with them once more! As one of the visitors, I thank the many UK Wayfarers, and especially the buddies, who did so much to make us feel welcome and comfortable in our fine borrowed boats!!!
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