Brown family victorious
The final race showdown at the Talisker RS Elite Championships fully lived up to expectation, with five boats in with a mathematical chance of winning and, despite the firmest wind of the regatta, a shifting breeze with significant bands of pressure.
After a short delay while the wind settled and the tension built the fleet got away with the Browns in Aeolus (in the points driving seat) and Wadhams in RSsailing.com lying second dragging out to the left while the Macleans in Elixir lying in third got buried on the line and were forced to tack right for air. At the top mark three of the top five overall led round nose to tail, with John McDowell in Sea Breezes in front, Aeolus second and RSsailing.com third, all coming in from the left in the best pressure therefore choosing to go right at the top of the run.
Further back the pack included Simon Brien’s Kin team (the fifth boat in the hunt) and the Maclean’s who had rounded in 15th with their home championship hopes looking very shakey. This group gybed, fed into breeze and gave the leaders a fight to get back across. By the bottom gate More T Vicar had taken the lead with Sea Breezes, Aeolus and RSsailing all losing places while Kin and Elixir were gaining all the time.
On the second beat Kin was onto a charge and motored into the lead - RSsailing overtook the Browns and Elixir pulled right up to 7th and back into the hunt by the second windward mark. By now smoke was coming out of the calculators. On the final run Aeolus, still in control felt their grip on the trophy slip as a band of pressure above them saw a line of boats, including Elixir, roll over them.
At the final bottom gate Kin led, with several boats between them and the other contenders and had done all they could. RSsailing rounded one place in front of Elixir with Aeolus on their tail and still in a winning position. These positions meant Aeolus was safe and Elixir and RSsailing were tied on points with Elixir lying second overall on counback, so RS elected to let the others tack away and bang left to roll the dice in a last ditch attempt. When they converged close to the line Elixir and Aeolus had called it right crossing ahead in 5th and 6th with RSsailing dropping to 7th on the line.
So, after a fantastic finale to an absolutely nerve wracking championship Aeolus deservedly lifted the trophy with Elixir climbing to second and Kin’s win coupled with RSsailing’s last losing gamble put them level on points with Kin taking third overall on countback.
No one involved will quickly forget this race or this Championship which was so well run afloat, in incredibly difficult conditions, and so hospitably hosted ashore by the Royal Forth YC, with much appreciated input from Talisker whisky.
1st GBR33 Aeolus, Jono, Lynette and David Brown 21pts
2nd 11 Elixir, Shaun, Donald and Ian Maclean 24pts
3rd IRL 61 Kin, Simon Brien, David Gomes, Roger Chamberlain 27pts
4th GBR55 RSsailing.com, Martin and Amanda Wadhams, Paul Fisk, 27pts
5th IRL50 Sea Breezes, John McDowell, Derek Craig Trevor D’Arcy 33pts
6th Momentary Papse, John Patterson, David Kelso, Stephen 43pts