RS400 Nationals - Day 4
Report - Matthew Sheahan; Photography - Sportography
As crews came ashore after Day 4 plenty were scratching their heads.
On the face of it, the day had looked straightforward.
Starting with 8-10knots from the west for the first race before building by a few knots and backing in the early afternoon. Simple, any fool could remember that.
Indeed, so convinced were we that the weather would play ball that some of us started looking at tidal charts to see if we could extract a few extra gains.
But the reality of Tuesday’s racing was quite different.
The flat water and gentle breeze out in Weymouth Bay may have looked straightforward but at times the shifts and the puffs were hard to get in phase with. In Gold fleet the evidence of this was in the reshuffling of the pack at the front end of the fleet.
James Downer and Jono Price (1385) who had dominated the early proceedings had slipped to 6th overall at the end of the day after posting a 12th and a 10th. After they came ashore they discovered their boat was carrying a worrying amount of water and after rolling her over and inspecting the centreboard case they found signs of leaks leading them to wonder if this was the cause of their lack of pace.
Francisco and Teresa Lobato (1480) had also dropped down the leader board to 3rd overall after their 16th in the second race of the day.
The lead was now held by Stewart and Sarah Robertson (1463) who have been quietly marching towards the front of the fleet. In second place, Dave Exley and Mark Lunn (1460), have been conducting a similar stealth like assault and trail the leaders by just two points.
In Silver it is Kevin Podger and Heather Chipperfield (1439) who command this fleet after posting a 2nd and a 1st today. While in Bronze it is Ben and Finlay Campbell (1474) that hold the top spot, albeit by just one point.
On a more personal note, and in the absence of any theories on which way to go on the race course that delivered results, I spent much of the day wondering and admiring (not) how quick my old boat is in new hands. In both of today’s races the old girl was giving the front runners a hard time, just as she had been to us earlier in the week.
But, as we passed the time between races having idle chats I sailed up to congratulate the crew on their performance only to notice that the original helm wasn’t there. Apparently they couldn’t sail today because they were on a speed awareness course.
With two single figure results in the Gold fleet in a boat that has always been raced and rallied, I think the new helm might be heading that way too.
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