Llewellyn, Vigus and Vines win speed trials
Racing at the IP Office SB20 UK National Championships continued today at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy. The Race Committee reviewed the conditions in Weymouth Bay and the fleet waited ashore as the situation was assessed. The decision came that today’s race course would be set in Portland Harbour due to the confused sea state and higher wind speeds in Weymouth Bay. The fleet were released to the racing area where the wind was in the mid to high twenties, from a south westerly direction.
The Race Committee set a perfect course, offering a 0.7 nautical mile beat with two laps, an ideal course for these conditions. The fleet were shy of the line at the start, but it was Hugh Styles, Alison Young and Giles Scott who led by a good five boatlengths at the first windward mark, having chosen the left hand side of the course.
Team Russia rounded second, but Styles and his crew dominated the fleet for the next lap until a spectacular broach on the second downwind leg, provided John Pollard, Rob Smith and Charlie Hook the opportunity to take the bullet in the first race.
A second race was held, in building wind conditions and by the end of the race, many members of the back of the fleet were in survival mode. After the second race, which was won by Team Russia, the fleet were sent ashore for the day.
SB20 class newcomers Alan Harris-Guerrero, Dale Williams and Chris Matthews of Fowey came ashore beaming, they’d had a great day. “Two 23rd positions for us is fantastic! We’ve learnt loads at this event, and we’ve had a really good time. Today’s conditions have been epic.”
“It was a beautiful day on the water,” said Pollard, “Great to sail in the sunshine and we’ve climbed a position in the overall rankings. The Race Committee made the right decision to bring us in after just two races.”
The top speed readings on the Tack Tick units as the fleet came ashore, just showed how fruity today’s racing was. The 'Balls of Steel' award goes to Joe Llewelly, Jerry Vigus and Ben Vines who top the leader board with a high speed of 20.0 knots.
Llewellyn, Vigus & Vines 20.0 knots
Peach, Walker, Batchelor & Mills 18.5 knots
Luka, Zherebtsov, Klochko & Stepanova 19.5 knots
Oddie, Edwards, King 16.3 knots
Entwistle, Mon & Davies 15.5 knots
The weather forecast shows that the wind conditions are due to increase on Saturday, so a decision will be made as to the feasibility of racing at 0900 tomorrow morning.