Tensions were running high out on course B for the Radial fleet today at the RYA Volvo Youth National Championships as the final Gold and Silver series got underway seeing a bit of a shake up in the standings. Adding to the importance of the day, the event played host to a royal audience as HRH The Princess Royal, President of the RYA dropped in on proceedings.
Principal Race Officer David Campbell James commented: “It was great to have HRH here today showing her continued support for the event and we are really pleased the conditions allowed us to get her on the water. She was clearly enjoying her time out on the 420 course as she informed us she was going to stay out there an extra 15 minutes to watch the start of their last race."
With pretty steady conditions, 12-15 knots it was a third good day of sailing out in the bay with both course C (420s, Laser Standards, Spitfires) and B (Laser Radials) enjoying some relatively straight forward races.
Cameron Douglas, who had an almost perfect record in the Radial Qualifiers, continued his streak winning race one of the Radial final series. However he dropped a 10 and 18 in the following races. Bleddyn Mon capitalised on the opportunity taking second place in the first, and second races following it up with a win in the third race finishing him at the top of the table. Douglas now lies in second with Lorenzo Chiavarini behind in third. For the girls Rheanna Pavey regained her lead over Sophie McKeeman posting a 27,29 then a 5, clinching her the girls top spot. McKeeman is placed just behind with Sarah Butterfield in third.
Mon commented: “It was a lot tighter today now that we’ve started the gold series and if you didn’t get a good start then you got punished for it. I knew going into the day I needed to just get consistent results as it’s the start of a new series in a way, and not drop any big point but a 2,2,1 is pretty good so I’m really happy with that.
“Tomorrow I’m going to try and keep consistent again so I can get some solid results in the bag – put some more pressure on the other sailors!”
In the Spitfires Adam Butler and Nikki Boniface kept to their perfect form winning all of their day three races, putting them well in front of the rest of the fleet. Rupert White and Michael Conlon started the day as they finished yesterday, posting a 2,2 followed by a 6, seeing them hold on to their second place. Andrew Sinclair and Benedict Harrison sailed consistently ending the day with a 4,4,3 completing the day in third place.
In the Laser Standard class Eifion Mon and Martin Evans, who were tied yesterday, battled it out with Mon coming out on top racking up a 1, 2, 4, Evans with a 3, 5, 8. Stuart Godwin notched up some good results after getting an OCS yesterday posting 5, 1, 2, with the days discard allowing him to rid his OCS and move up the table from twelfth to third overall at the end of today’s racing.
Mike Wood and Hugh Brayshaw stayed consistent in the 420 class finishing in the top three for races six, seven and eight, cementing their place at the top of the 420 table. Tim Gratton and Ed Riley also kept their place in the table at second after posting a 2, 11, 4 discarding their eleventh. In contention for third place were the two top female crews; Joanna Freeman and Hannah Mitchell took the third place spot after finishing first in the last race of the day. The first two races of the day saw bullets form defending champion Rebecca Kalderon and her new crew Katrina Brewer; so another good day for the ladies who lead the way in the 420 fleet.
As a new introduction to this years event GPS tracking has been set up to enable live animation of some of the courses each day. Today saw tracking on the 420, Laser Standard and Laser Radial Gold fleet courses.
In the harbour on course A, Race Officers had more of a challenging day than their colleagues out in the bay with the afternoons shifty winds interrupting the 29ers four races of the afternoon.
The RS:Xs however had three clean races before conditions turned with Sam Sills managing to maintain his place at the top of the table after posting two bullets in his first races and a fourth which he discarded in his last. Striving to knock him off course, Connor Bainbridge also put in a good performance today posting a 1, 3, 4 placing him in second overall and closing the gap between them from four points to one. George Bowles improved on his results in previous days achieving two seconds and a third, despite cutting his foot during one of the races, placing him in third.
With their first race of the day abandoned after six minutes and a postponement of 25 minutes thereafter, the 29er crews were eager to get some results in for the afternoon. The day saw a bit of a shake up at the top of the leader board with Alex Poyner and George Hand, who have lead the class all week, handing the top of the table over to Henry Lloyd Williams and Sam Betten. Lloyd Williams/Batten and Poyner/Hand both discarded sevenths in todays races but having kept it slightly more consistent the last two days, Lloyd Williams/Batten took over the lead with their 2,7,4,2 opposed to Poyner/Hand’s 7, 2,6,4. Alex Mothersele and Hamish Ellis are sitting in third after a good day on the water upgrading yesterdays eighth placing.
Full results here