Gul Scorpion National Championships Day 4

So 5 races down,  and a few people hoping for their Tues night hangovers (Haines night assisted) to go unpunished by a more moderate day,   but apparently not – as the forecast and morning trip to seafront showed the expected 15-20+ knt WSW had arrived.

After a breezy sail out, everything calmed down and rigs went up as the clouds moved away and a bit of absentee sun dropped in to say hi, and it looked like we’d start in a 1-2. As it turned out, rigs dropped back again and after a customary postponement and a black flag second go – the first beat was to the liking of big wind boys Dave & Gav who led round first mark.

As race 6 reached mid point, the run started to get proper exciting with more of the 20+ coming through and some sets of nearly big Monday proportion rollers, this caused some collateral incidents, including Tim & Mike  and Chris & Alex both having lay-downs, helping Tom & Tim extend their lead. Although busy at the end of run – no-where near as many as the last reaches – where the breeze had reached it max for the day – 25+ (obviously cocktailed with some greyness and rain as is now norm), and the gybe mark had a lot of hulls facing the sky followed by a screaming white sailed drag to mk3 and finish. Dave & Gav held onto score a great 5th, Andy & Chris collected their discard with a 4th, and Steve & Jerry would have starred with a 3rd – but instead BFD!  Their 3rd went to Pete & Simon, with Chris & Alex 2nd and Tom & Tim with a comfortable win.

After use of the tiniest children’s general recall flag followed by second black flag – race 7 started in 15knts and confused seas, but not without some davit related incident for the Haymans at the back end of the committee boat. The 15knts built as only some of the fleet went generally right, but those some came out in good shape at mark 1. Team Castle Cove were smiling starting the first reach with Sandra & Kate in 4th and Rob & Mikey in 3rd (report writer may be in 1939!),  again following Tom & Tim out front.  Still plenty of big lumps to surf down and plenty of big wind patches and lower patches, all of which Rachel and Hannah negotiated well to score a great 7th. Right up at the front Steve & Jerry managed to get their noses in front but Tom got past on the last beat to give him two bullets for a good day at the office, with Andy & Chris in 3rd. Some tight finishes with tired bodies trying to adjust as the wind gave up towards the end of another tough day and – the sun came back out!  Now very tight at the top, results provisional – but lots to play for as we head into Fancy Dress Thursday.

Today’s Special Mentions………..

Simon Holden and junior crew Arch Hawkins had a stonking first beat in Race 6 in the old war horse Bottyburp The Barbarian (1936). Arriving at the windward mark amongst the runner and riders of this years National Championships. Simon & Arch are now reeling in the current Bronze fleet leader Carl & Shellie Jones (2029).

Our other mention goes to Sandra Smith & Kate Gurner sailing Popsy (1852), replicating the performance of Simon in Race 6. In Race 7 they headed up the right hand side of the course to come into the windward mark in 4th. Finishing in a respectable 20th to lift them into 29th overall.

Well Done To Both!!!!

The Nationals has now developed in to a tightly contested three boat race. After two bullets from Tom Jeffcoate & Tim Hartley (2037) they sit top of the pile seperated by a single point from Chris Turner & Alex Hayman (2004) and Andy McKee & Chris Massey (2026).

There are mini battles taking place all the way through out the fleet, Rachael Rhodes and Janet Richie are currently separated by 5 points for the leading Lady Helm

The Bronze Fleet is also looking like it is going to have a very interesting Day 5 with challengers stacking up and reeling in Carl & Shellie (2029).

Report By Rob Smith

Video By Steve Crabb of Looe Sailing Club and can be seen here