Jason Clarke joins Boards to give an update from the UKWA formula tour stop in Pwllheli.
1st Jason Clarke (Patrik Diethelm, Severne, Z Fins)
2nd Jamie Ingram (Starboard, gaastra, Deboichet)
3rd Dave Coles (Starboard, Severne, Z fin/Virus)
1st Youth Gustavo Takiguchi (Starboard, North, Deboichet)
For many the journey to North Wales is a long one so, with the chance of an extra days sailing due to a good forecast many decided to arrive early to get in some much needed practice or tuning of their equipment.
On that friday the forecasts were correct, the wind was blowing cross offshore and looked to be 11metre weather. We all paired up for tuning runs, everyone ventured out to soon find out that it was a lot windier than first thought. But Dave Coles was smiling with great content as he had cheekily rigged his 10metre and continued to banter on about how comfortable he was. Having learnt from this, training continued on slightly smaller sails until it came to beer ‘o clock.
The wind on saturday blew as the forecast predicted, almost identical to the the friday, if anything at little less. All the formula sailors made great use of there new knowledge and rigged a full quiver of sails, as to not get caught out.
As always there was much debating about what fin this, and what sail that, trying to talk each other in and out of what works best.
But it was now time to hit the water.
Race one saw some great battles up and down the fleet as every sailor must have been chomping at the bit to get a good race in to spur them on, Bob Ingram was fighting hard to keep the young blood from over taking him as Gustavo Takiguchi and James Battye were trying everything to get past.
Both sailing brilliantly and keeping well up there with the fleet. Jamie Ingram having made such an effort fighting it in the top three made the crucial mistake of forgetting the course so had to retire handing the win to David Coles and second place to Jason Clarke.
Race two was very different with the order changing up a bit, maybe some mistakes or poor luck with the shifty winds. at the top Jamie Ingram and Jason Clarke were fighting, with Jamie taking a close 1st and Jason 2nd. Mr Bond made a better race and beat Dave Coles into third. Behind the top 4 the closely fought rivalry of Bob Ingram and Nick Icke were at it again.
Race 3 the closest race of the season with the four sailors Dave, Chris, Jason and Jamie within metres the whole race, until the last leg where rounding the upwind buoy Jamie decided to use the buoy in a bouncy castle like fashion and then the last downwind saw lull in the wind as the remaining 3 gybed. Jason got a swift gust to see him to the finish leaving Chris Bond to beat Dave with a last minute drag race.
Race 4 was an intresting one for both spectators and the sailors involved. Formula starts can get fiesty at the best of times and very close but this one was epic…epicly bad. A keen to start well Tristan Banahan was early to the line and ended up crashing next to the committee boat, as Jamie and Jason were within crossing distance. It ended like dominos, Tristan’s sail hit Jason’s who had a spectacular catapult out the front door, which wiped Jamie Ingram out. This left everyone with a chance to take a good result
However, the grit and determination of Jamie and Jason saw them cross the line over a minute later and catch the fleet fast. Jason finishing 3rd and Jamie fourth unable to catch Dave and Chris who were to far ahead who raced closely for 1st and 2nd.
Race 5 was the last of the day which had much more normal start to the last with everyone crossing the line safely. with many of the same pairings fighting for similar positions, the results finished with Jason taking another win.
Sunday soon arrived but with no great surprises, the forecast was scepticle and the classic beach chill resumed as racing was postponed till the wind arrived.
At around midday the wind shifted and blew through along with some rough sea, described by some as very egg boxy. These sorts of conditions tend to throw a spanner in the works, or did it?
Race 12 came as a surprise as Jason, who sails mostly on a lake due to being so land locked, not proven to be as good as others in these testing conditions came out and won by a good margin.
Furthermore, Nick Icke showed up in full force and was charging round the course with great speed and angle. and the surprise of the day was Graham Baster taking 6th place.
Race 13 was the last of the weekend due to dropping winds and a strong tide making planing very difficult, but this didn’t stop Gustavo Takiguchi taking his second best result of the weekend in some challenging conditions for a relatively new sailor. It was business as usual at the front with Jamie taking first and Jason second, with Dave Coles beating Mr Bond and a closely behind Nick Icke.
With the weekend over and everyone in high spirits after another great event, the formula fleet look to the last cup event in Gosport.
Who will come out on top Jason Clarke, Chris Bond or Dave Coles? Will Nick Icke continue to show his promising pase to keep Bob Ingram at bay?
In the battle of the youngsters it’s James and Gus, and it’s all to be decided with all thrills last event.
Until then the national inland championships at rutland awaits!