International Canoe Worlds 1961
Hayling Island, England
The world championship and the R.C.C. Championships at Hayling Island saw keen internatonal competition
Alan Emus and his highly successful "Shrike II" are now World Sailing Canoe Champions. He took three out of four races at Hayling Island in the series which started on Auguust 25th. There were representatives from the US, Sweden and Germany.
The first race was due to be held outside Chichester Harbour using an Olympic Course, taking in Chichester Buoy as one mark. The wind which had been steady from the S.S.West Force 2-3 freshened in a series of squalls 15 minutes before the start, working up such a big broken sea that canoeing was almost impossible. The whole fleet repeatedly capsized and racing was cancelled.
A course was then set inside the harbour and the race started at 11:50 am. Wind was S.S.West Force 3-4 but a very heavy swell was driving across the Winner Sands which made conditions at the start rather tricky. Owing to capsizes immediately before and at the moment of the starting gun only about half the fleet made a fair start.
First over the line was "Shrike II" (Alan Emus) the recent winner of the American Canoe Challenge, "Crescendo" (Jan Bjerstrom), "Probleme" (Bertil Nilsson) and "Impetuous (John Hunt). Within 200 yards "Impetuous" had taken second place. From then on a great struggle took place between the leaders and "Polly" (Bill Kempner).
By the time the second mark was reached "Impetuous" had taken the lead but capsized after the rounding the mark letting "Shrike II" take the lead. At the start of the second lap the order was "Shrike II", "Impetuous", "Folly" and "Probleme". Results were 1st "Shrike II" (Alan Emus), 1 hr 27 min 19 sec, 2nd "Impetuous"(John Hunt) 1:27:58, 3rd "Folly" (Bill Kempner 1:28:16, 4th "Shrike 1" (John Biddle) 1:35:03, 5th "Kipp" (Tom Christie) 1:35:54, 6th "Probleme" (Bertil Nilsson) 1:36:20.
The second race in the World Championship which started at noon, using an Olympic course laid outside Chichester harbour, was held in ideal conditions. The course included Chichester Buoy as one mark. The wind, S.S.East Force 1-2, steadily freshened to Force 3 and then gradually dropped away again. Twenty-one canoes started. First over the line was the American challenger "Manana III" (Dan Zwart), closely followed by "Folly", "Impetuous" and "Chingachgook" (John Stothert).
At the Chichester Buoy, the first mark, "Hilarity" (Graham Smith) was leading the fleet by 3.5 minutes. Smith, who was one of the British defenders in the recent American Challenge and picked for his unusual ability in light airs, was sailing at his best. Behind him "Impetuous" and "Folly" were fighting hard to catch the leader, but both were loosing ground all the time. At the end of the loop which made the second lap, the positions were unchanged. On the final lap "Folly" passed "Impetuous" and held her lead to the finish.
Results were 1st "Hilarity" 2:22:50, 2nd "Folly" 2:31:03, 3rd "Impetuous" 2:32:11, 4th "Shrike II" 2:34:30, 5th "Shrike I" 2:35:10, 6th "Impala (Ian Willis) 2:38:03.
The third race was due to be started outside Chichester harbour at 12:30 on Tuesday using an Olympic course outside Chichester Harbour. It was postponed because of the very strong easterly wind. A new course was set inside the harbour taking in three buoys - East Head the first mark, Mill Rythe the second and Sandy Point Buoy.
The race started eventually at 1:30, but a General Recall was made and a fresh start at 1:45. Nineteen canoes got away well, the first over the line were the Swedish boats "Crescendo" (Jan Bjerstrom), "Ingentine" (Rune Narfgren), "Cascade II" (A. Neveling, Jnr.).
In the first quarter mile "Manana IV" was in the lead but unfortunately did not see the mark at East Head. This mark is only a small black-and-white buoy with a small damaged flag on the top and was almost submerged by the very big spring tide. This plus the white broken water made the mark almost invisible, especially as all the other buoys previously used were all the same, i.e. very large spheres.
Lou Whitman sailed past the buoy for the amount of his lead, about 300 yards, before he saw "Shrike II" turn. He then had to sail back against the tide. This unfortunate mishap put him back to twelth from first place. On the run to Mill Rythe several canoes capsized in the very broken sea, but the position of the leaders, "Shrike II", "Impetuous" and "Hilarity", remained unchanged.
On the final lap "Hilarity" worked up to second position, capsized touching a buoy and retired. "Manana IV" was sailing very well and after several luffing matches worked back to fifth position.
Results were; 1st "Shrike II" 1:33:55, 2nd "Impetuous", 1:35:14, 3rd "Kipp", 1:37:19, 4th "Probleme" (Bertil Nilsson) 1:39:01, 5th "Manana IV" 1:39:14, 6th "Ingentine" (Rune Narfgren) 1:39:16.
The fourth race was held, again using an Olympic type course, outside Chichester Harbour. The start had to be postponed for ten minutes because of the strong flood tide and the light wind from the S.S.West, Force 1. Nearly all the canoes were unable to reach the starting area in time. The race started at 1:35 and the first canoe over the line was the new British designed, fibreglass-built canoe "Chingachgook" sailed by John Stothert. After a fine start and leading for most of the first leg "Chingachgook" lost the wind and the position. "Shrike I" sailing brilliantly held the lead from "Shrike II" for most of the first lap. "Shrike II" managed to sail past on the last leg of the first lap and from then sailed on in very light airs and was never again challenged.
Between the first and second mark the canoes had to ride some unusually big rollers which the strong winds in the night had produced, but although sailing was very slow and difficult none of the canoes capsized on this tricky leg.
There is no doubt that the past weeks have produced some really magnificent sailing. It was a great pity that so few people troubled to view it. At the end of the first lap "Shrike II" was still leading easily, but "Shrike I", "Hilarity", "Squall" (Dick Marks), "Folly" and "Chingachgook" were all very close and fighting hard in almost a dead calm.
On the final lap the wind changed in strength and direction, "Hilarity" was able to take advantage of this and almost reduced the lead held so long by "Shrike II". Emus sailed on to win which now made his position as Champion assured, although there was another race to be held the next day, which will give the placings.
Results were 1st "Shrike II" 2:42:47, 2nd "Hilarity" 2:46:06, 3rd "Squall", 2:52:03, 4th "Shrike I" 2:54:23, 5th "Folly" 2:55:03, 6th "Manana IV" 2:56:08
The fifth and final race in the World Championship started at 2 p.m. using an Olympic type course outside Chichester Harbour. Conditions were the best over the past two weeks. Wind, force 2, with brilliant sunshine made sailing very pleasant, although it was so serious that it is doubtful that the competitors realised this.
First over the line was the American canoe "Manana III" (Dan Zwart), Chingachgook (Peter Nethercott), "Shrike II", "Impetuous" the British Champion. The fleet split into two sections, those on starboard tack headed by "Shrike II" and the port tack group headed by the Swedish canoe "Probleme".
At the end of the first lap "Shrike II" was just ahead of "Kipp" being sailed by John Stothert, as Dr Tom Christie had been called away, which must have been very disappointing for him as he sailed so well during the heavy weather races. "Hilarity" and "Manana III" were close astern. At the end of the loop forming the second circuit the positions of the leaders were unchanged. On the third and final lap, "Shrike II" forged ahead and "Hilarity" passed "Kipp". "Impetuous" and "Folly" were still fighting for position as they had done every day of the Championship.
Results were 1st "Shrike II" 2:15:53, 2nd "Hilarity" 2:16:40, 3rd "Kipp" 2:17:47, 4th "Impetuous" 2:17:54, 5th "Folly" 2:19:14, 6th "Confusion" (Barry Jones) 2:22:21, 7th "Squall" 2:23:03
This report first appeared in Yachts and Yachting Magazine.