Wow!

Howth yacht moves ahead at Old Pulteney 1720 Sportsboat Europeans in Largs - PLUS gallery by Marc Turner

Friday September 3rd 2004, Author: Andi Robertson, Location: United Kingdom
The forecasters promise of a day of solid breezes came to very little on the Clyde off Largs today, and while the 28 boat fleet contesting the Old Pulteney 1720 Sportsboat European Championships set off full of expectation and anticipation, by the second round of the only race to be completed it was clear that the southerly breeze was set on disappearing. As soon as the race was completed the calm descended and after a long wait it was decided to send the fleet back ashore.

Local favourites Ruairidh and Graeme Scott on King Quick, who won the Irish Championships at Cork Week in July, had a better day and escaped to win before the breeze faltered. The Scotts' win moves them up to fifth place.

With 14-16 knots of breeze at the start and a noticeable bias to the start line King Quick were one of the few boats to take the advantage from starting at the left end of the start line but then having enough speed and space to cross the fleet to the preferred right side of the first beat. Achieving this they were first to the windward mark and stayed ahead to the finish.

Along with Andrew McIrvine's Go Ferret they were able to stay in step with the breeze as it shifted to the right on the second beat and faded back to just 4-6 knots. The big wind shift meant the final run was a simple procession.

Taking third place today, working well on their second beat when they passed the Greenhalghs on G&T and Buddy White, Conor Clarke's Howth-based Wow, with Finn sailors Charlie Cumbley steering and Matt Howard on tactics, seized the overall lead of the championships. After four races they lead by 2.75 points from Andrew & Jane McLelland's Splash Test Dummies.

"We are absolutely thrilled to be leading. We will be just playing it a bit conservative, going out to not try to change the world and hopefully we can hang on for dear life," admitted Clarke, the Chairman of the 1720 World Council.

"All in all we had a better day. We had a bit of a match race with Go Ferret at one point but when the breeze shifted on the second beat we were well placed and managed to extend," explained Ruairidh Scott as King Quick moved into fifth place overall. "It is shaping up to be a high scoring regatta but so far the guys on Wow seem to be doing a good job at keeping their points low."

Results:

Race 4:
1 King Quick (G & R Scott, Tarbert),
2 Go Ferret (A McIrvine, Royal London),
3 Wow (C Clarke, Royal Irish YC),
4 Animal/Gul (M Budd, Leigh & Lowton),
5 Martin Reilly Motors (D Maguire, Howth YC).

Overall after four races including one discard:
1 Wow 9pts,
2 Splash Test Dummies (A & J McLelland, Cowes) 11.75pts,
3 Gul/Animal 12.75,
4 G&T (D Greenhalgh, Royal Southern YC) 14pts,
5 King Quick 14.75pts.

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