Fat Face Circuit event at Aldeburgh Y.C.
win to leave overall circuit hanging on the final event
Over the weekend of 7/8th July,
23 RS400s turned out at Aldeburgh Y.C. for the sixth Fat Face Circuit event of
the year and were treated to good conditions and a warm welcome from the host
club. The first race kicked off in 13
knots and sunshine, with an increasing tide pushing the fleet over the
line. Paul and Mike Allen led from the
first mark and went offshore on the downwind, whereas many of their close
competitors chose the inshore route to avoid the tide. However with little or no tidal difference
over the course the offshore route paid handsomely and the Allen’s shot into a
large lead that would never be challenged.
Behind them Giles and Heather Chipperfield and Jon Gorringe/Louise
Hosken came through By the penultimate
lap, Paul Hilliar/Stu Jagger had pulled back and with the Chipperfields
capsizing, went on to take second, followed by Gorringe/Hosken.
Gorringe/Hosken shook of the cobwebs to
lead the second race, hotly pursued by the Allens for the first 2.5 laps,
however the race was to take a bizarre twist.
As the leading pair chased each other upwind out to the port layline,
the wind died and started to shift. The
leaders were then left struggling to make it down tide back to the windward
mark. The biggest winners from this were
Hilliar/Jagger who just snuck around the windward mark in front and held off
Gorringe/Hosken to win the race.
The weather saved it’s most bizarre tricks
for the final race of the day. With a
seemingly consistent 6 knot sea breeze and dying tide, the Allens narrowly led
at the windward mark from Hilliar/Jagger.
However a big black cloud made an appearance and within a minute the
wind had shifted by 120 degrees and built to an exciting 20 knots! Hilliar/Jagger again were the beneficiaries
of this and took the lead. As the race
team heroically struggled to relay the course, the race officer issued
instructions such as ‘Go that way, there will be a windward mark by the time
you get there!’. In the end the placings
were largely unaffected by the change, with the Allens coming in second
followed by Gorringe/Hosken.
On Sunday, the day dawned with sunshine and
a building sea breeze. The first race
was started in 12 knots and a slack tide.
The right hand side paid up the first beat and Hilliar/Jagger led,
followed by the Allens. Hilliar/Jagger
pulled away downwind into a lead that would never be challenged, while the
Chipperfields also attacked downwind and spent most of the race tussling for
second with the Allens. Ultimately
though the Allens showed their class and held on to second place.
With the race officer not hanging around in-between
races and the tide building, many competitors were a little late for the second
start. Gorringe/Hosken led up the first
beat but were just pipped to the windward mark by Hilliar/Jagger, who again
pulled away downwind. The leading two were
never that far apart but Gorringe/Hosken never quite got close enough to engage
the leaders in a battle. The
Chipperfields came in third.
After a postponement, the final race
started with a strong tide under the fleet and 10 knots of breeze. In an incredibly congested windward mark, the
fleet split downwind, unsure whether to soak and stem the tide or go high and
get speed over ground. On the second
downwind with the wind dying, the Allens made the best of it and pulled out a
decent lead, followed by the Chipperfields.
The final run brought more place changing, but the Allens held onto
their lead, with Hilliar/Jagger just beating the Chipperfields.
This left Hilliar/Jagger as winners of the
event from the Allens. The overall Fat
Face Circuit winner will be decided between the Allens, Tom Halhead/Christian
Humphrey and Hilliar/Jagger, with the latter holding a slight advantage going
into the final event at