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Raceboards @ Rutland

Raceboards at Rutland (from Paul Robinson)

 

It wasn’t a promising forecast- light winds on Saturday and dead calm on Sunday – Well how wrong can a forecast be?

Saturday dawned drizzly but by the time the briefing had finished there was a constant 10 to 12 knots and big sails were the order of the day. In the equipment wars it was the Demon Design VG5 versus the new Tushingham XR, whilst the new Starboard Phantom was abundant but still without the competition of a new Fanatic Cat( expected soon!)

The race officer set a 2 lap P-course with an interesting twist    a downwind slalom style finish to cross the line in front of the beach – spectator friendly racing and Oh the joy of carving a raceboard under pressure!

Race 1 found the 2008 Raceboard champion Rob Kent (Starboard / Tushingham) a little off his usual immaculate start procedure (was he still dreaming of his recent Club Vassiliki holiday?) and that let the resurgent Mark Kay  (Starboard / Demon Design) storm away to nail the first race  with Tom Naylor(Starboard / Tushingham) in hot pursuit finishing second and Rob Kent third.

For Race 2 the wind was increasing and some competitors were changing down from their 9.5m sails although the front guys seemed very comfortable on their “light wind” sails and were definetly going very quickly. Tom Naylor scored the prime position closely followed by Dave Richards (Fanatic / Neil  Pryde V8) in second and Chris Gibson(Starboard / Demon Design)in Third.  This was going to be a very tight event for the front of the fleet (or so we thought at this stage) and the results throughout the rest of the fleet were competitive with lots of private battles going on.

After a short lunch break  Races 3 and 4 saw the wind increase further with recorded gusts of 23 knots – so much for the light wind forecast!

Race 3 had the storming Mark Kay back in front, still on that new “lightwind” 9.5 Demon sail(does he ever change down?), Tom Naylor second and Dave Richards back in third. Race 4 and Mark Kay continued his dominance to make it bullet number 3, Dave Richards second and, with his best result of the day, Andy Mexome on his change down (a 9.5 Andy being of larger frame usually sails with an 11m!)third.  It was reassuring how well the Starboard Phantoms powered through the wind blown chop and they certainly showed devastating speed downwind in the conditions.

After a very tiring 4 races it was time for the Marathon, with the wind direction this was to be in a clockwise direction with all fleets including juniors on the same start line- exciting! Before the start the wind seemed to drop and most sailors went “BIG” on sails, however it was only a lull and the wind came back with vengeance and a shift that encouraged the vast majority of the fleet, apart from formulas, to start on port- to say it was chaotic would be an understatement!  The strong winds caused some to retire early but Mark Kay took an early lead and kept it throughout the 13 mile plus race, fending off a hungry Rob Kent who was closing on Mark right until the finish- close but no cigar- Mark Kay took the Marathon win, Rob Kent in second and Jon White (Mistral /  Neil Pryde) 3rd

And so ended day 1 – 4 races and a marathon blessed with wind, everyone tired but happy!

 

Day 2  dawned breezy and to the sounds of sailors rigging small sails, “just in case” after Saturdays wind and then…..and then….. and then ….the rain came and boy did it rain! Cats and dogs, heavy squalls, hail, thunder and lightning and just not safe to send the fleets out so a long delay in proceedings – however the ducks loved it especially the water collected in Brian Tilburys sail- not so much sail as duck pond!

Finally the weather settled down a bit and 2 light wind races were held in about 6 knots of wind, the lightweights got their revenge with Robert Kent scoring the 2 bullets and Dave Richards two seconds.

This was enough to let Robert Kent sneak in front of Dave Richards in the overall standings to claim 2nd but no one could match the flying Mark Kay for his excellent overall win and dominant strong wind performance.

 

Event Results

1st Mark Kay (Starboard / Demon Design Sails)

2nd Rob Kent (Starboard / Tushingham)

3rd Dave Richards ( Fanatic / Neil Pryde)

 

Rutland Marathon Results

1st Mark Kay (Starboard / Demon Design Sails)

2nd Rob Kent (Starboard / Tushingham)

3rd Jon White (Mistral / Neil Pryde)

 

A great event superbly organised by the midlands region and well done to all racers

Full results at http://ukwindsurfing.com/ 

 

 

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