In the bag for the Greenhalgh family
Just as in the deciding race for the UK Championship, their title pursuit went to the wire with another showdown with Mike Budd and his crew on Gul after Budd won the first of today's two races.
"We made the decision to go out and try and win the race outright which were fortunate enough to do. We felt we had plenty of speed and made a few little changes to the rig setup. We made a clean start and were able to cross the fleet and then just had to keep an eye on what was happening behind," recalled Rob Greenhalgh. "It's been a pretty tough, close regatta but we did well in the big winds yesterday (Friday) when we just had loads of speed downwind with good boat-handling and we didn't capsize and that always helps."
Sailing with father David, who owns the boat and sister Libby, as well as Becci Eplett and Rachel Larman, the Greenhalgh brothers composed a winning margin of 9.5 points over Budd's Gul.
There was controversial finish for the local Clyde boat, King Quick with Old Pulteney, steered by Ruairidh Scott. They were penalised by the on the water umpire for excessive pumping of the mainsail on the first run. To take their penalty turns they had to drop the gennaker and make their 720 degree turn, dropping from second into the 20s. After having finished fourth in the first race their transgression proved expensive as they finished 10th in the race, dropping from a possible second overall to third.
"We had actually seen them in the first race and it was very obvious that when they had another boat coming down behind them they were doing it and so we had to do something," admitted Chief International Judge Joahn Devocht who administered the penalty.
The 28 boat fleet's patience was rewarded after a long wait for the very light southerly breeze to fill in and settle. As the mist lifted and the sunshine finally picked out the distant hills of Arran, the breeze built to 9-12 knots to allow two good races to be completed.
Top Irish boat is the 2002 European Champions Aquatack. With Maurice 'Prof' O'Connell on the helm they had a consistent finish to their regatta with two hard worn second places, to finish fourth overall.
Results, The Old Pulteney 1720 Sportsboat European Championships:
1 Gul (M Budd, Leigh & Lowton SC)
2 Aquatack (D Faherty, Howth)
3 Team Polecat (Woods/Carveth, Leigh & Lowton)
4 King Quick with Old Pulteney (G & R Scott, Tarbert)
5 G&T (D Greenhalgh, Royal Southern YC);
3 Mad Cow (D Baker, Royal Southern YC)
4 Splash Test Dummies (A & J McLelland, Cowes Corinthian YC)
5 Go Ferret (A McIrvine, Royal London YC).
Overall after 10 races with one discard:
1 G & T 28pts
2 Gul 37.5pts
3 King Quick with Old Pulteney 44.5
4 Aquatack 58pts
5 Wet & Black (P Reilly, Howth YC) 68pts.