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A Review of Streaker sailing in 2015

40 years ago this month, the very first Streaker was launched by its designer, Jack Holt. A few weeks later the class appeared on the Jack Holt stand at the London Boat Show and orders were taken for complete boats and DIY kits. In the first year, 330 boats were registered and another 400 in 1977. Things were looking great – but this initial enthusiasm was really quite short-lived. By the early ‘80s numbers of new boats had plummeted – just 5 registered in 1982. How amazing, therefore, that we are here in 2015 having celebrated the class’s 40th Anniversary and able to say that this is has been another very good year, just as we’ve come to expect! The Dinghy Show set the scene for the year with the class stand displaying brand new FRP boats from Butler Boats and Rooster Sailing. Various past champions visited the stand and Glen Truswell (Streaker champion in 1998 and ’99) cut the anniversary cake. Then the very next weekend it was the first of the class open meetings and the season was underway. ![Carsington](/gallery/articles/yandy138498.jpg) The Streaker class has a very strong following in the north of England and the northern travellers’ circuit, the Northern Paddle, is very keenly contested. In the south, Streakers are more widely dispersed and the opens don’t get the same high numbers. Even so, the racing is good and the venues offer a lot of variety. This year Ian Bradley had a terrific start to the Southern Paddle by winning races at all the events he went to; by mid-summer he had a comfortable points lead. It was only later in the season that Veronica Falat closed the gap, mostly by going to opens that Ian didn’t get to! In the end, after 12 open meetings in which a total of 42 Streakers took part, Ian was the Southern Paddle winner by 1 point with Veronica 2nd and Mark Langston 3rd. Ian was also busy on the Northern Paddle circuit. With wins at Hornsea, Burwain and Scammonden, he was the early leader but Steve Blackburn gradually got into his stride and the whole series depended on the final open at West Riding in October. Steve came to it with a narrow points lead but Ian could beat him if he won all 3 races; as it turned out Ian won the 1st race but Steve won the 3rd and with it the series. Ian was 2nd overall and Ian Priest 3rd. 81 boats figured in that final results table. One event in each Paddle series also counts as the Southern and the Northern Area Championships. In the south, this was at Burghfield in April and the winner was Howard Frear, with Ian Bradley 2nd. The Northern Championships was that final event at West Riding and James Wilson was the winner, just ahead of Steve Blackburn and Ian. The highlight of the year was the National Championships at Weymouth & Portland in July, sponsored by Noble Marine. ![Carsington](/gallery/articles/yandy138501.jpg) The racing was excellent in breeze that was at least force 4 on all 3 days. It was a close fight at the front of the fleet between Tom Gillard and Ian Jones. Both came to the start of the final race with 3 firsts and 3 seconds – but Ian suffered the blow of being forced over the line and had to come back while Tom gained another win to take the Championships. Ian Jones was obviously runner-up and Ian Morgan was 3rd. It was unfortunate that the Scottish Nationals at East Lothian YC was blown off with no racing at all. However, the Inlands at Northampton in September was a good event. Ian Jones was 1st with Alan Gillard 2nd and Dan Phillips 3rd. The class experimented this year with a smaller regional travellers series running alongside the Southern Paddle in the South East of England. Consisting of 6 open meetings, it was won by Veronica Falat from outside the region with Alan Simmons 2nd and the first of the SE based sailors. The class is really fortunate in having some very good sponsors including Noble Marine, Clamcleats, Butler Boats, Rooster Sailing, Morgan Sailmakers and Wave Clothing. In particular the sponsorship of the two Paddle Series is greatly appreciated. Pinnell & Bax sponsored the Southern series and Sail Register the Northern which meant that at the end of each series a draw was made to see who has won a brand new sail for next year. This year the lucky winners were Peter Withrington for the P&B sail and Ian Bradley for the Sail Register. The more races you sail in, the more raffle tickets you get and so better your chances of winning – as shown by Ian Bradley who also won the P&B sail a year ago! A really good clue to the health of the class is that the major events were won by so many different people using different equipment and representing different clubs. Check out the table below. The class has certainly come a long way in 40 years; the exciting thing is that, while celebrating the anniversary, we keep on looking to the future and planning another busy season for 2016. Winners of major Streaker events in 2015: National Championship - Tom Gillard Streaker 1926, Butler FRP hull with North sail; Inland Championship - Ian Jones Streaker 1920, Rooster FRP hull with Rooster sail; Northern Championship - James Wilson Streaker 1668, Rooster FRP hull with P&B sail; Southern Championship - Howard Freer Streaker 1777, Rooster FRP hull with P&B sail; Northern Paddle - Steve Blackburn Streaker 1881, Butler FRP with Sail Register sail; Southern Paddle - Ian Bradley Streaker 1817, Butler composite with Morgan sail. Report by Veronica Falat

Class Sponsors

RoosterNoble MarinePinnell and BaxSail Register
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