1720 title with a race to spare

Ricochet wins Nationals in Plymouth

Tuesday June 24th 2008, Author: Becci Eplett, Location: United Kingdom
Ricochet owned by Stephen Forrester-Coles of Holyhead YC was the convincing winner of the 1720 Nationals sailed at Royal Western YC from 19-21 June. Ricochet won all seven races she sailed to tie up the championship with one race to spare.

The 1720 Class is allowing Kevlar sails on a trial basis for this year and the new set of North 3DM Kevlar sails on Ricochet might have been one reason for their dominance. Another undoubtedly was the presence in the crew of the multiple championship winners and 1720 stalwarts, Ruairidh Scott and Shane Hughes from North Sails. This pair joined the ship with a young crew of Tom Forrester-Coles, Ben Pym, Ben Cobley and Max Todd, all of whom were competing at the 1720 Nationals for the first time.

The Championships were held concurrently with the J/80 Nationals and this experiment was welcomed among the competitors at Plymouth as was the race management and hospitality of the Royal Western.

The first day’s racing commenced in sunshine in a SW Force 4-5 with the course set a mile outside the Plymouth breakwater. Ricochet started convincingly, leading from the first mark followed home by Rob Derham’s Merlin from Cardiff Bay. David Geal in White Light came through to third place. The second race saw Ricochet again commanding the fleet with another member of the Cardiff Bay fleet, Roger Dunstan’s G&T taking second from Julian Cook in Oh No. The third race saw Ricochet and G & T in first and second again with Merlin taking third place.

Friday saw lighter, more variable winds & occasional drizzle. Lighter airs meant that avoidance of seaweed was crucial with at least three boats having to do ‘back ups’ during races to clear their keels. The change in wind did nothing to dent Ricochet’s dominance winning all three races. In Race 4 she was followed home by Jamie Watts in Westaway Max and Tom Clay’s Finn M’Coul. Westaway Max also came second in Race 5 with White Light in third. White Light improved to take second in Race 6 from Angus McPhie in Key Yachting.

At the start of Saturday’s racing, it was clear that Ricochet had almost won the Championship but places behind were up for grabs. Westaway Max was 4 points clear of her closest challenger in second but only four points covered the next five boats. The wind was SE Force 4-5 and Ricochet confirmed her dominance by winning the first race from Oh No and G & T. Having won the Nationals with minimum points, Ricochet went home to be sure of first lift out. In her absence the final race was won by Finn M’Coul from Westaway Max and Oh No. The racing all week was close, competitive and friendly as always in the 1720 fleet.


Boat No &Name Owner Club Pts
1 1722 Ricochet Stephen Forrester-Coles Holyhead SC 7
2 1795 Westaway Max Jamie Watts RWYC 23
3 1743 Oh No Julian Cook 26
4 1730 Finn M’Coul Tom Clay Spinnaker SC 31
5 1757 White Light David Geal Sovereign Hbr YC 33
6 IRL1730 Merlin Rob Derham Cardiff Bay YC 33
7 1710 G & T Roger Dunstan Cardiff Bay YC 35
8 1715 Key Yachting Angus McPhie RWYC 46
9 1772 Asidua John Harrington Ballyholme YC 53

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