Hard day at the office!
Post date: Aug 21, 2015 9:12:50 AM
Although the forecast was for 15 – 18 knots or close variations to that, the assembled Fireball fleet at the UK Nationals enjoyed slightly lesser winds on Day 3 of the regatta. “Enjoyed” is used judiciously as the fleet were showing all the signs of a hard day at the office. So much so that the AGM of the fleet couldn’t be held due to a lack of numbers! IRO Peter Caxton did his very best to get the fleet away punctually, but the fleet showed too much enthusiasm for starting and black flag starts were the dominant mode of starting. Ironically the last race of the day was the only one that got away cleanly, under a U Flag. Black flags followed by a General Recall signal means there are people to be identified and this evening there are a number of high profile competitors with a large score on their points tally. Some of them are even more uncomfortable with a second high score on their card.
Today’s racing was sponsored by Hyde Sails, represented at this regatta by Dave Hall, who put up prizes for the Gold Silver and Bronze fleets on an all races to count basis.
Given the forecast it appears that most boats went out on a 22’ 6” setting and certainly for the start of the first race that appeared to be in order. However, as the first race progressed the wind eased and 22’8” became the rig of choice. The middle race didn’t have much more breeze, but the last race of the day saw the wind build as the race progressed, so much so that “Oscar” was broken out at the end of the triangle, which formed the middle lap of that race. The building breeze of the last race generated some debate in the dinghy park afterwards in terms of what was the rig setting required.
The big winners of the day were Tom Gillard and Richard Anderton (GBR15127) who took all three race wins – a feat that sees them take the regatta lead. Races 1 & 2 were lead from start to finish and the suggestion is that upwind they have turned the tables on the second placed pair. Christian Birrell & Sam Brearey (GBR15107) also had a good day with a 2, 3, 2, though at the level of performance they are looking at these results won’t be what they wanted. They drop to second place, a point adrift of Gillard & Anderton. In third place overall are Ian Dobson & Ben Ainsworth (GBR15089) a further eight points astern. Fourth overall goes to James Peters & Fynn Sterritt (GBR15129) with Matt Burge & Richard Wagstaff (GBR15123) in fifth.
The first visitors are the French, Remy Theuillier & Mathieu Corruble (FRA 14917) followed by the Irish pair, Barry McCartin & Conor Kinsella (IRL 15114) in seventh and the Czech pairing of Jaroslav Werner & Pavel Winkler (CZE 15110) in seventeenth.
Another three races are scheduled for tomorrow, but with a prize-giving required tomorrow evening, organisers and competitors alike may not want the same length of session on the water as today. However, given the previous day’s loss of two races, today was a bonus in that one race was clawed back and the conditions weren’t as severe as the forecast might have suggested.
Pwllheli also hosts the Welsh IRC Championships this weekend so there will be lost of activity offshore tomorrow, Friday.