RS300 Nationals Day 1 at Clwb Hwylio Pwllheli.
Monday, 10 September 2012
Even if there was a lack of wind at least the sun shone on day 1 of the RS300 Nationals, supported by Volvo, at Clwb Hwylio Pwllheli. The first day saw the usual nonsense in the dinghy park before hitting the water, a large majority of the fleet doing maintenance that could have been done in any of the preceding 51 weeks. Prominent among these was Richard Mare, who began early on filling and fairing his foils. It made all the difference.
And so to the racing. With the wind very nearly hitting 7 knots at times the normal light weather flyers were prominent at the end of the first, shifty, beat, Harry McVicar (Aldenham) leading from Matt Jenkins (Sheffield Viking). Also in the mix were Dave Achers (Emsworth/Thorney) and Andy Pyett (somewhere up North).
By the bottom mark McVicar had extended as Achers and Jenkins became embroiled in what looked like something of a spat.
If the first beat was tense, the second beat was even more so as the leading protagonists split left and right with McVcar trying to control the race from the middle. After a superb (i.e lucky) beat Steve Boyland (Bristol Corinthian) had moved into 3rd place by the top mark behind McVicar and Achers with Matt Sharman (somewhere else up North) also coming into the frame.
On the last set of reaches Boyland got a shift on and overtook Achers and closed up on McVicar. At the finish the leading positions were Harry McVicar, Steve Boyland, Dave Acres, Matt Sharman and Matt Jenkins. Richard ‘Smooth Foils’ LeMare was 20th.
Sadly after race 1 the wind completely disappeared, and so to the bar. McVicar has the overnight lead with Pyett first in the Silver Fleet, Mark Henman (Really far North) 1 point ahead in the ‘Battle of the A Fleets’ and Sheffield Viking currently in 1st Club.
Day 2 of the RS300 Nationals started with 12-15 knots and slightly overcast, I think most sailors thought we were in for a reasonably gentle day, how wrong we were. The 12-15 knots was a thing of the past by the time we got on the water, it was replaced by 19-20 knots, gust of 23 and very large waves (around head height at least). It was going to be a challenging day but a fun one.
Race 1 saw Phil Bishop (Sheffield Viking) start at the pin end, being an elite athlete he hiked for Sheffield and showed the fleet immense pace up the first leg. Hot on his heels (and almost as fit) was Steve Boyland (Bristol Corinthian) who managed to take the 1st mark with Matt Jenkins (Sheffield Viking) in 2nd and Bishop in 3rd. On to the reach, Bishop got under the slightly lighter Jenkins (#teampies), but could he catch Boyland? In short yes! Boyland fell in to windward (for the first but not last time that day) leaving Bishop to take the lead.
The second beat saw Bishop, Beveridge and Boyland all go separate ways upwind with Bishop picking the right way, Beveridge in 2nd and Boyland in 3rd.
Just one more downwind leg and we were home, well for race 2 at least. Bishop got away along with Beveridge, the same could not be said for Boyland who put the nose down in a big way letting Sam Sutton-Reid (Royal Harwich Yacht Club) through to take 3rd.
Race 1 Top 3 – Bishop 1st, Beveridge 2nd and Sutton-Reid 3rd
For Race 2 the wind built a little more, just what we needed. Dave Acres decided he needed a challenge with a capsize on the start line. Fortunately for Dave swimming (Sutton-Reid, Boyland, Beveridge and many more) was the theme of the day for Race 2 allowing him to climb up to third in the end – good word Dave!
As for the rest of the race Beveridge managed to get away from Sutton-Reid, Boyland and Acres (who both should have tacked around the gybe mark – you just can’t). Sutton-Reid managed to hold off a late charge by Acres to take his first 2nd of the event with Acres in 3rd.
Race 2 Top 3 – Beveridge 1st, Sutton-Reid 2nd and Acres 3rd
For Race 3 the wind dropped slightly, not that it felt like it as everyone was so tired. Boyland finally got his act together with some pace upwind taking the windward mark with Acres in 2nd, Beveridge in 3rd and Sutton-Reid in 4th. Places pretty much remained the same for the downwind leg (even though Boyland and Acres did try and go to the wrong mark, fortunately for them they realised in time). Indeed the top four got quite far away from the rest of the fleet.
Unfortunately for Beveridge the final gybe mark was a step too far for him letting Sutton-Reid through in to 3rd. At the front Boyland held on for his first race win of the 2012 campaign with Acres in 2nd.
Race 3 Top 3 – Boyland 1st, Acres 2nd and Sutton-Reid 3rd
After 5 races we have 5 different race winners and only 1 point separating the top 5, 2012 is shaping up to be one of the closest 300 Nationals in some time.
Club trophy wise, Prestwick are ahead by 3 points and in the A rig Trophy Henman has the lead over Newton by 2 points.
Day 3 started with a bit of a draft and a few ripples…. Scratch that, it was proper windy and there were huge waves… Another ‘interesting day’ ahead!
Race 1 saw Matt Jenkins (Sheffield Viking) dominate the pin end and therefore the start. Jenkins went left and showed excellent pace (for a little lad) all the way up the beat.
At the 1st mark Jenkins had 1st with Steve Bolland (Bristol Corinthian) in 2nd and Adrian Acres (Emsworth) in 3rd
On the reach Acres went low and showed excellent pace starting to reel the top two in. Even with this excellent pace positions remained the same.
On to the run, Acres gybed early for the more direct but higher risk route with Jenkins and Bolland playing it a little safer. Acres gamble paid off and by the bottom of the run he had moved in to 2nd taking Bolland.
The second reach saw Acres try to go over Jenkins, they side by side, they both went round together - it was beautiful racing. Bolland stayed in 3rd and out of nowhere Harry McVicar ((supported by Harry’s Dad) Aldenham) had appeared in 4th
The second beat split the leaders, Acres and Jenkins went right with Bolland left. At the windward mark it was apparent that left paid with Bolland taking Acres back. Fortunately for Jenkins he held on to 1st.
On to the final downwind leg (of this race at least); Bolland took first down the reach and held on down the run (almost certainly his best run of the weekend). Acres fell in on the run but managed to right quickly to minimise the damage.
It seemed that Bolland could just run away and take the race win; unfortunately it wasn’t to be. Bolland didn't know where the final mark was, missing it, then realising, then trying to turn back and ending up in the water. This left Jenkins to take the win with Acres in 2nd and McVicar in 3rd.
The wind built for the start of Race 2 (and would continue to build for the whole race). Silver Fleet favourite Richard Le Mare (Draycote) won the Starboard end with Bishop and Jenkins on the pin.
The first beat seemed to favour the right and with that Bolland took the first mark, Jenkins 2nd and Bishop just in 3rd (having squeezed inside Le Mare)
On the reach places remained static. The run was ‘a little trickier’, Le Mare stacked it and many others almost did. Bolland managed his 2nd successful run of the day. At the leeward mark Bolland was in 1st, Bishop 2nd and Jenkins in 3rd.
On the second beat Bolland and Bishop went right with Jenkins going left. Even with the split places remained the same as the leaders rounded the windward mark.
So, downwind for the final time that day, now we were so practised this was going to be easy surely? Not so, the waves were bigger, the wind had built to around 26-28 knots – in short the whole fleet found it challenging.
The unbelievably fit Bolland was the first to go, and indeed he set the tone for the rest of the run. Other Capsizes included; Jenkins, Bishop, Acres, Sutton-Reid, pretty much everyone.
29 year old Bishop managed to get it up quicker than everyone else and therefore taking the bullet and his second race win of the week. Jenkins came through in 2nd taking the Day Trophy with Acres in 3rd.
So three days down, one to go. Let’s take stock of where we are.
The club trophy is being lead by Sheffield Viking by 6 points, with one of their boats now out with a broken mast it’s all going to be quite tight on the final day, Prestwick are in hot pursuit.
A rig wise Mark Henman is ahead by 3 points from Mark ‘Sparky’ Newton – Another trophy that is going to go down to the wire.
Overall Acres is in first with a 2 points lead over Bishop who in turn has a 2 points ahead of Jenkins - with only 7 points separating the top five it really is going to be a close for the final day tomorrow.
See General Racing images
Last Updated ( Monday, 10 September 2012 )