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RS Fat Face Eurocup, Garda Fraglia vela Riva

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A Grimm Event On Lake GardaÖ After a season of some of the worst sailing conditions know for years, it was with great trepidation that the RS fleet made itís way down to Riva Del Garda for round 2 of the Fat Face Eurocup Circuit. News that the Solos and B14ís had both had poor weeks previously further added to the worries however this didnít stop around 150 making the trip. Those that ever doubted Garda should be ashamed of themselves. The fleet was duly treated to 5 full days of awesome sailing conditions in classic Ora winds. Itís pretty hard not to have a good sail with 25kts and clear blue skies everyday. 17 RS 400ís made the journey down which included a welcome strong contingent from the Navy and one all girl crew. Brave birds indeed! Day one and about halfway up the first beat the majority of the fleet were beginning to wondering why on earth they decided to bring one of the most physically demanding hiking boats to one of the windiest venues. However it wasnít long before the fleet rounded the windward mark and all became clear. A screaming tight reach across to the Ďcalmí side before gybe setting and sailing high and fast back towards the cliffs. He who gets back in the big breeze first wins. It really doesnít get any better than this. The Brothers Grimm, Chris and Matt Bailey, lay down an early marker taking two bullets on the first day with Ian Robson and Sandy Johnson also sailing well to follow up with two 2nds. Graham Forshaw sailed an excellent first race to take a well deserved 3rd. On the second day it was Robsonís turn to stamp his authority on the fleet, taking 2 unchallenged bullets. Graham Bridle picked up a hard fought 2nd in the first race with Giles and Heather Chipperfield filling the spot in the second race. New to RS400ís Stephen Robertson finally made it on to the podium in the second race despite being in pole position at the majority of the windward marks. The Grimms failed to capitalise on their previous days form scoring a third in the first race and sevenths in the second after a stupid capsize. Day three and Robson was still on form scoring another 2 bullets although this time pushed hard all the way by the Grimms who took two seconds. Going into the fourth day and Robson appeared to have thing pretty much sewn up. The Grimms had other ideas though and took the bullet in the first race with Robson following up in second. For the second race Robson who hadnít used either of his discards knew all he needed to do was stop the Grimms from winning. After getting a better start Robson flapped his jib on the Grimms up the first beat . Robson eventually finished 4th with the Girmms in 5th. This left Robson firmly on top of things with the only possible score line that could snatch it for the Grimms being 2 straight bullets on the final day. The Grimms were determined to find and more speed and after conducting an analysis concluded they just werenít drinking enough and a night at the club with free alcohol proved just the ticket for the job. On the final day Robson again got the better start and although he had a significant lead with the Grimms in second he decided to drop back and flap his jib on the Grimms. Robson successfully sailed the Grimms down to fourth. However, at the windward mark the Grimms gybe set and sailed high back towards the cliffs. The other boats all chose the easier right hand side allowing the Grimms through to take the lead where they remained to the finish. Bridle seized on the opportunity to grab a well deserved 2nd ahead of Robson & Johnson. This meant that it was all still to play for in the last race. Robson started well and led to the windward mark but again allowed the Grimms past on the downwind leg from where they sailed off to take an easy final win and the event. Robson took second overall and was very unlucky to lose the event on countback Ė counting 4 firsts and 4 seconds. Special mention should go to RS 400 newcomer Stephen Robertson who, if the races had finished at the windward mark, would have been the easy winner. A fantastic week was had by all that made the effort.
1 GBR 1205 BAILEY CHRIS 12,0 1 1 3 (7) 2 2 1 (5) 1 1 2 GBR 1180 ROBSON IAN 12,0 2 2 1 1 1 1 2 (4) (3) 2 3 GBR 921 CHIPPERFIELD GILES 26,0 4 3 (6) 2 3 (9) 3 2 5 4 4 GBR 573 BRIDLE GRAHAM 31,0 6 (8) 2 4 (8) 4 5 3 2 5 5 GBR 1218 ROBERTSON STEPHEN 33,0 (7) 4 5 3 4 3 (8) 7 4 3 6 GBR 1241 MARSHALL GAVIN 41,0 5 7 (dns) 5 5 6 4 1 (dnf) 8 7 GBR 1243 FORSHAW GRAHAME 52,0 3 9 8 6 6 5 7 8 (dnf) (dnf) 8 GBR 824 CLARK PAUL 55,0 (12) 5 7 (10) 7 8 10 6 6 6 9 GBR 718 HOWES STEPHEN 65,0 (dnf) 11 4 9 11 7 6 10 7 (dnf) 10 GBR 1126 STEWART HELEN 69,0 9 (10) 9 8 9 10 (11) 9 8 7 11 GBR 981 DEAKIN GLYN 76,0 8 6 10 11 10 11 9 11 (dnf) (dnf) 12 GBR 959 GRAWT CLIVE 97,0 11 13 (dnf) (dnf) 13 15 13 13 10 9 13 GBR 1163 SHIRLEY WAYNE 107,0 14 (dnf) (dnf) dnf 12 12 12 12 9 dnf 14 GBR 654 THOMAS ANDREW 114,0 15 14 (dnf) (dnf) 15 16 16 15 12 11 15 GBR 674 SHIRLEY BEN 118,0 10 15 (dnf) (dnf) dnf dnf 14 14 11 dnf 16 BEL 841 MEEUWISSEN LUC 121,0 (dnf) (dnf) dnf dnf 16 13 15 dnf 13 10 17 GBR 653 LONGHURST KATE 122,0 13 12 (dnf) (dnf) 14 14 17 16 dnf dnf
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