Stenhouse leads

With only one day left Richard Stenhouse continues to lead the Musto Skiff UK Nationals

Sunday June 15th 2008, Author: Rick Perkins, Location: United Kingdom
Day three of the Championships dawned with a light north westerly breeze and bright sunshine. Competitors were noticeably slower around the dinghy park after an evening exchanging stories in the club bar. Racing was postponed on the water to allow the breeze to stabilise but three back to back races were held before the wind decided to shut off.

Race eight started cleanly in trapezing conditions with the majority of the fleet charging out to the left where it appeared there might be more breeze under the rogue dark cloud which threatened to ruin the competitors tans. Those who went hardest left came out smelling sweet and leading the pack was Dan Vincent, Bruce Keen, both from Stokes Bay, and Tom Offer from Chew Valley - all fairly clear ahead and those positions were held to the finish.

Race nine again saw the fleet charge left however the pressure turned out to be variable across the course with some big shifts and lulls. Those who choose to go right up the beat gained handsomely at the windward mark and were led by Matt Hollis ( Zhik) by some margin over Simon Dodds and Bruce Keen. Matt defended well despite the testing conditions and increased his lead to the finish and take his first class bullet. Bruce Keen crossed second followed by Andy Peake, Ian Trotter ( Trident) and Richard Stenhouse ( Helly Hansen). Russ Clark finished a credible eighth having also had an excellent first beat.

For race ten the wind had eased to marginal trapezing conditions and saw the fleet pressing the line hard and after two recalls started under black flag. Again hard left paid dividends, although with a shifting breeze called for strong nerves. Dan Vincent proved toughest to come out top at the windward mark followed by a close string of boats which included Dan Dixon, Richard Lovering, Dan Henderson ( AIG Engineering Group) and Nick Hollis ( Zhik). After some close covering in a dying breeze Dan Vincent secured his second win of the day closely followed by Dan Henderson and Nick Hollis, not to be outdone by his brothers earlier result. The remaining places were decided on the final downwind which proved testing for many including the race officer as a large group of boats finished together.

With one day left to run the title is there to won by any of the boats currently in the top ten, which shall make for some interesting racing and tactics in what looks like another day of light breezes.

Results:

1-Helly Hansen, Richard Stenhouse
2-Trident, Ian Trotter
3-Dan Dixon
4-Rooster, Dan Vincent
5-SELS Lifting Safety.co.uk, Graeme Oliver
6-Bruce Keen

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