The Hadron H2 class will be represented at the Endeavour Trophy ‘Champion of Champions’ event, to be held over the weekend of 12-13 October at Burnham on Crouch. The event will be sailed in RS200s – a dinghy which is very familiar to our representative, Jack Holden. Jack came a very close second in the H2 Nationals last month and is deputising for National Champion Ian Sanderson, who has work commitments. Jack’s crew for the event will be Sam Mottershead.

Jack Holden with his H2

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HADRON H2 National Championships 2019

The third and final day of the Hadron H2 Nationals at Arun YC, Littlehampton, dawned fine and clear, with a gentle but shifty 8-10 knot offshore breeze. However, this was forecast to falter later in the morning so PRO Dougal Henshall got the fleet off to an earlier start than planned for the two final races of the seven race series.

Close competition in race 4 on day 2 of the Hadron H2 National Championship at Arun ©Keith Callaghan

The dual at the top of the fleet was going to be decided today. Ian Sanderson (2018 champion) and Jack Holden were tied on 6 points each but with the winds lighter than on the two previous days who was going to have the advantage in the prevailing conditions?

In the first race of the day it was neither Ian nor Jack who led the fleet around the first lap. Andrew McGaw (Nottingham SC) took that honour but Ian and Jack belatedly overhauled him to take 1 and 2, with Andrew a creditable third.

The H2s reach to the wing mark in race 3 on day 2 of the Hadron H2 National Championship at Arun ©Keith Callaghan

Thus it came down to the last race: if Ian won, with Jack second, then Ian would win; if the other way round, then Jack would triumph. However, Ian’s time served in the H2 was far greater than that of the talented Jack and his light weather technique proved superior in the last race, giving Ian the Harold Smith National Championship Trophy for the second year running. Ian came a very close second in the first ever champs in 2017 so it is fair to say that he has dominated the class at championship level. But it was clear from the close competitiveness of the fleet that all are learning from his example so I predict that the 2020 championships, to be held at Royal Torbay YC next September, will be a tough call for Ian.

Jack Holden’s performance was equally impressive. He is clearly a naturally talented young sailor (4th in this year’s RS400 Nationals) and was lucky enough to be able to borrow an H2 at the last minute, thanks to owner Geoff Parker’s generosity.

Third place overall went to another very talented young sailor sailing a borrowed H2 – Doug Powell. Doug is a very good OK sailor and could have attended the OK nationals at Abersoch this weekend but the offer of one of Hadron Dinghies’ demo H2s proved too tempting.

Fourth overall (and I know he is disappointed with this result) was HH2CA chairman Richard Leftley. He is a fit and strong chap in the prime of life and his forte is the heavy stuff, but lighter winds on two days coupled with his lack of familiarity with the choppy sea state (he sails at South Cerney SC) proved his undoing.

Fifth placed was Simon Hipkin – the man who builds the H2. He is from same mould as Richard but his successful boatbuilding business takes up so much of his time that he had little practice before the event, which put him at a disadvantage.

One point behind Simon, in sixth place, came Jack’s father, Dick Holden. Dick scooped the Master’s trophy for the first helm aged 60-64. Close behind, in seventh place, was the winner of the Grand Master’s Trophy (65-69 years old) – Ian Dawson. I’ve known Ian since sailing against him in Merlin Rockets in the ’70s. Dick and Ian were very early fans of the H2 and it was great to see them enjoy their racing and do so well.

The final special mention goes to Kevin Connolly (Deben YC). Another early fan of the H2, Kevin is the “father of the fleet”, yet he was undaunted by the severe conditions on the first day and careered round the course until a capsize slowed him up a bit. I am sure he would have righted the boat and carried on but grounding the mast in the shallow water caused it to break, and even Kevin can’t cope with that. Hadron Dinghies came to the rescue with a replacement mast which was supplied and installed by Simon Hipkin within a couple of hours. Kevin completed all the other races in fine style and thus wins the Ulysses Trophy for the first helm over 70.

The H2 Class has been fortunate with its championship host clubs and Arun YC put on a great event for us, both ashore and afloat. Very many thanks, Arun YC. And lastly, we have to thank our very own PRO, Dougal Henshall and his assistants, Jon Thompson and Arun YC’s Paisley Thomson, who provided superb race management in tricky conditions.

The competitors line up with the National Champion

Ian Dawson, Grand Master Trophy winner at the Hadron H2 National Championship at Arun ©Keith Callaghan

Ian Sanderson, 2019 Hadron H2 National Champion © Keith Callaghan

Overall Results:

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In two weeks time the third Hadron H2 National Championships will be held at Littlehampton, hosted by Arun Yacht Club. Already, the number of entries has exceeded that of last year, so more than half of the entire fleet will be competing. The event takes place over three days with seven races scheduled.

First or last, every competitor will receive a prize, but it’s a law of nature that the younger and fitter helms are more likely to be the front runners on an open sea course. This year there are three age-related new trophies for the older owners: Masters (60-64 years), Grand Masters (65-69 years) and the Ulysses Trophy for helms over 70. The main prize, however, is the Harold Smith trophy, named after the Lancashire businessman who commissioned the Harrier Dinghy from the H2’s designer way back in 1972. The Harrier was Keith Callaghan’s first singlehander design.

The Hadron H2 is an easy boat to sail but a challenging one to sail to its full potential, due mainly to its sophisticated rig. As the class matures it is apparent that more helms are getting the knack, as recent results in handicap events demonstrate. The usual suspects will appear at the front of the fleet on 6-8 September.

The three age-related H2 trophies

The Harold Smith Championship Trophy for the Hadron H2 National Championship.

Ian Sanderson will be defending his title in H2 #111 ‘Shifty Fades Away’ but he will be challenged by Class Chairman Richard Leftley, especially if the wind pipes up. Other strong contenders include OK sailor Doug Powell, who has borrowed a boat for the event, and Michael Alexander – the quiet Scot who has done very well in previous championships. Dick Holden is another who will enjoy stronger breezes and has the advantage of coming from the home club.

There are at least half a dozen others who could put together a winning series of results. One 2018 contender who unfortunately will not be present is Alistair Glen, who finished a close second last year but has a long term shoulder injury.

The host club has organised meals in the clubhouse on Friday and Saturday and a social event on the Friday evening. Early arrivals will also be treated to a fascinating talk by PRO Dougal Henshall on the Thursday evening – the subject: the 1948 Olympic Regatta. Dougal gave us a great series of races last year and is very familiar with the H2 class.

Ian Sanderson in ‘Shifty Fades Away’, Hadron H2 2018 National Champion

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Those of you in the North West who are interested in having a trial sail of an H2 are invited to Elton SC, Bury, Lancs, on 27/28 April. If you wish to attend, email me at keith@hadrondinghy.com for further information.

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Successful RYA Dinghy Show for the Hadron H2

Kevin Connolly’s new Hadron H2 was the star exhibit on the Hadron H2 Class Association stand at the Dinghy Show last weekend. The stand was manned by evangelical H2 owners who were very persuasive in recommending their chosen dinghy to the show attendees.

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RYA DINGHY SHOW – Hadron H2 Class Association is on Stand B36

The Hadron H2 Class Association will be exhibiting Kevin Connolly’s brand new H2 on their stand (B36, in the Great Hall, Alexandra Palace, on 2nd & 3rd March.)
H2 owners will be manning the stand – come over and ask them how much they love their boats!

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H2 Inland Championship at Draycote Water Sailing Club.
Report for Yachts and Yachting  by Keith Callaghan
18 Nov 16:52 GMT 17-18 November 2018

The H2 Inland Championship were held at Draycote Water SC on Saturday, November 17th. The event was held in conjunction with day one of the Draycote Dash – the first of the Selden SailJuice Winter Series events for 2018/19.
The H2s were the largest class in the medium fleet. Four races were sailed in brilliant sunshine, tempered by a chilly easterly light to moderate breeze. The big question was whether South Cerney SC member and H2 Class Chairman Richard Leftley had enough breeze to propel his 95kg frame around the course quicker than the lighter helms. Richard had finished third at this year’s National Championships, showing unbeatable speed to windward and, sure enough, he was first at the windward mark in every race. Simon Hipkin, James Oxley, and particularly Dave Barker successfully closed the gap on him on the off-wind legs, only for Richard to squirt away again upwind.

Richard made a clean sweep of all four races, but competition was very close in the pursuing pack. Dave and Simon tied on points but the discard worked in Dave’s favour for a well deserved second place. James Oxley, a clubmate of Simon’s, borrowed a boat to finish a creditable 4th. As is usual with major H2 events, every competitor received a prize.
As a regular spectator at H2 events I have observed a distinct increase in boat speed throughout the fleet over the last year, thanks to a great training day by Jim Hunt and also the increased opportunities for boat on boat competition. South Cerney SC now have six H2s at the club and the regular competition has no doubt increased Richard’s performance.
The Hadron H2 Class Association thanks the SailJuice Series organisers and Draycote Water SC for hosting this event.

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Photos Taken at the H2 Nationals

Click on the H2 sail number to browse the photos of that boat at the Herne Bay Nationals

Above: Geoff Parker sailing H2 #103 ‘Ghost Ship’ at Herne Bay

Group photos

















H1 #21

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The Hadron H2 2018 Inland Championship will be held on Saturday 17th November at Draycote Water SC (http://draycotewater.co.uk/) in conjunction with the Selden SailJuice Winter Series “Fernhurst Books Draycote Dash”. The H2s will start as part of the main fleet and all races on the Saturday will count toward the Inland Championship; the optional pursuit race on Sunday 18th can be sailed but will not count toward the championship. More details to follow soon!

Image result for hadron h2 draycote dash

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This year’s championships took place at Herne Bay SC, Kent, from 7th to 9th September, the full report from Yachts and Yachting.

The third and final day of the Hadron H2 National Championships at Herne Bay SC dawned with a light SSW breeze which steadily increased to 18 knots at times. As on the previous day, the RO opted for a triangular course for races 6 and 7 of the series.

Ian Sanderson’s three wins on the previous day had made him almost unassailable for the championship – but not quite. If second placed Alistair Glen could win both remaining races, with Ian DTP in both, then he might just do it. Alistair set to with a will and his H2 creamed around the course with full intent, flying from wave top to wave top in the short seas. He succeeded in his goal, but Ian was at his heels and finished in second place, thus becoming H2 National Champion. Dave Barker, one of the lighter H2 helms, was also having a great day and came in third. Class chairman Dick Holden found his old form after reconfiguring his spreaders and came home fourth with Richard Leftley in fifth.

And so on to the final race. It might have been an anti-climax after the decisive previous race but it turned out to be a very close race indeed as all competitors were now fully used to the brisk conditions and were determined to give of their best. By some coincidence, the first four places were taken by the overall leaders – in the correct order – Richard Leftley in third and Michael Alexander scoring a fourth place to retain over all fourth – just as last year. The next group of contenders were very close indeed, places 5 to 10 being separated by only 5 points. Dick Holden scraped a seventh in this last race to lead the pack over all.

After nearly six hours of racing over 3 days, a dozen and a half rather tired competitors made for shore to de-rig their boats and prepare for the journey home – two of them returning to Scotland.

At last year’s champs, Ian Sanderson was involved in a titanic struggle for number one spot with Paul Smalley. Paul won by the smallest of margins, but this year Ian became the deserved winner of the Harold Smith Championship Trophy – congratulations, Ian, from us all.

IAN SANDERSON. H2 National Champion, 2018.

But of course there was one more event to come – the prizegiving. Every competitor received a prize, sponsored by Hadron Dinghies, and the top three also received vouchers from Allen Brothers. In addition, there were special prizes for the first helm in the following categories:

Mid life crisis – Age 55-64: Alistair Glen

Prime of life – Age 65-70: Ian Dawson

Super grand-daddy – Age over 70: Kevin Connolly

Too light to sail an H2 – definitely not! (weight under 75kg): Ian Dawson again (he is a healthy but sadly uncommon combination of old and light)

Battlecruiser weight (over 95kg) – Richard Leftley (NB, definitely no flab – all muscle and bone!)

There was also a special accolade for Julian Hines’ Hadron H1, which competed as a special guest of the H2 class. (The H1 is the plywood precurser to the H2 and Julian’s boat was beautifully built by Simon Hipkin a few years ago). The boat sported a striking new flat top mainsail by Ian Morgan.

Special thanks went to Dougal Henshall and his race crew for their impeccable management of the races, carried out in variable conditions of wind and wave.

There was unanimous acclaim for the 57 volunteers from Herne Bay SC who willingly gave of their time to organise the wonderful meals and refreshments, man the rescue boats and race boat, manage the boats ashore and recover them after the racing, and all of the many other things that are necessary to make a successful championship. 57 people – that 3.5 volunteers for each competitor! Thank you, every one – we would love to come back soon if you will have us!

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