Finns at Queen Mary

Phil Laycock reports

Tuesday April 1st 2003, Author: Phil Laycock, Location: United Kingdom
There were 16 entries in a Finn class missing most of the funded sailors who were competing abroad. Fresh from training camp in Palma were the remainder of the squad sailors who had all borrowed boats in order to compete and secure their RYA grants.

On the water jury boats were brought in by the RYA to police rule 42 and it was probably the best behaved and the fairest regatta the Finns have had for some time. 6 yellow flags and two protests made for some interesting debate.

Queen Mary was also the venue for other Olympic classes and it was the same course for the Finns, Europes, 470s. mistrals and 2.4s. The 49ers needed more space and therefore had a separate course. It was fairly tight on the water!

The wind was light and fluky all weekend and was a race officer’s nightmare. The massive shifts made racing a lottery on both days with a small and very congested race course often creating a procession. Having said that it was possible to go from last to first and of course vice versa on any of the beats and therefore races were often decided at the final leeward mark. The bright sunshine was some compensation.

The racing was very close with 4 different race winners and even the top boys had at least one result in double figures. It went right down to the wire with any one of four boats capable of wining the regatta going into the last race.

On the Saturday the first two races were won by Ed Greig and Dave Mellor with several boats including Adam Cowling and Graham Page showing consistently at the front. There was a massive shift off the line in race three with Matt Howard, Howard Sellars and Phil Laycock first to show. The pack closed in and the fleet bunched. Howard, in clear wind, sailed away to cross the line first only to be disqualified later at a protest hearing. Matt Howard came in next to win the race and with a 300-yard gain. On the last beat French sailor Colin De Verdiere secured 2nd. Over night the results were all over the place.

The wind was a little stronger on Sunday but remained very shifty. Even proven pond sailors were cursing.

The morning session belonged to Tim Carver, who with a 1st and 2nd took the regatta by storm and set things up for a final race showdown. Ed Greig also had a good morning with a 3rd and 1st and with a protest between Dave Mellor and Adam Cowling pending from race four it was all to play for. The wind died and the race officer postponed the final race for 30 minutes. When things finally got going Simon Stonehouse, Matt Howard and Phil Laycock broke clear and rounded the first mark in that order. Stoney and Matt tried to cover the fleet as the wind filled in from behind and Phil slipped through to lead at the leeward mark followed by Graham Page and Luke Chapman. Dave Mellor came from last to second place on the final beat and at the final leeward mark got water on Phil and won the race and also the regatta. Adam was third and Tim Carver leading into the last race finished 11th

Results:

Pos Sailor Club Tot
1st Dave Mellor WARSASH SC 15pts
2nd Ed Greig HAYLING ISLAND SC 17
3rd Tim Carver ST MAWES SC 20
4th Matt Howard LEE ON SOLENT SC 21
5th Adam Cowling CLYDE CRUISING CLUB 23
6th Graham Page WARSASH SC 24
7th Phil Laycock GRAFHAM WATER SC 30
8th Simon Stonehouse RUTLAND SC 32
9th Luke Chapman ROYAL TORBAY SC 33
10th David Martin Queen Mary SC 44
11th Colin De Verdiere S.A. BREST 47
11th Howard Sellars WARSASH SC 47
13th Mark Macdonald MENGHAM RYTHE SC 49
14th Christopher Laycock Queen Mary SC 68
15th Kooy Sander GRAFHAM WATER SC 79
16th Russell Ward Draycote Water 82

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