Bubb second at Solo Chrono 6.50

More success for British Mini sailor

Tuesday July 8th 2003, Author: Alex Haworth, Location: France
Over the weekend, British Mini sailor Nick Bubb aboard Kenmore Property Group/John Merricks Sailing Trust continued to prove his worth in this class, by finishing second verall in the class' Solo Chrono 6.50 out of Lorient.

The format for this event is quite unique. The 6.50 long Minis are sailed solo on a Round the Island-style course from Lorient around Ile De Groix - in either direction - and then back to Lorient. Competitors choose their start time and race against the clock. The course is repeated once a day for three days with standings based on total elapsed time.

"I saw the front coming over and thought I would take advantage by leaving earlier than the others," said Bubb of his lap on Friday. "It wasn’t as good tidally but the wind was better. I decided to go south round Groix (having left Lorient through the North channel) so that lost a bit of time but it was the right decision. There was the usual rock hopping session - it is inevitable if you want to do well in the race!

"The wind worked well for me with a big header down the final run which I sailed in one gybe. The others couldn’t get as deep and had to gybe all the way down. The last leg was totally manic as we headed up into Lorient: a tight reach with the big kite doing 12 knots and trying not to lose it. The manoeuvres went really well today, especially getting the kite down at the end!”

On day two Bubb started at the same time as the highly rated Fred Duthil. "I pulled away up the first leg with a touch more speed and then the pilot decided to stop working!" recounted Bubb. "It was a crucial moment and I spent 10 minutes trying to sort it out and keep the boat going. Fred got his gennaker up earlier and managed to catch me. We were level but he took the lead playing the wind a little better. Frustrating, but that is solo sailing – reliability is everything. We got our second podium of the weekend and were 10 minutes in front of the fleet overall.”

The final race was held in lighter conditions. "We knew the race would run out of time but we went out there hoping the sea breeze would kick in. It filled and I had an epic solo match race with Duthil. I was concentrating on speed testing and manoeuvres and am really pleased with how it went. We were 100 yards apart all the way round.

"With the wind in the northwest there was some intensive tacking upwind and we seem to have really got it sorted - I guess you could describe it as a controlled wipe-out went it goes right!

"The last leg was magic: a big downhill slide, pumping on every wave trying to get the edge. We both went the right way and I am really pleased with our speed. The short leg up to the finish was just crazy, everyone totally overpowered broaching out all over the place. Overall we have built on our consistency this season and developed the boat speed as well. This was a good warm up for the Demi-Cle.”

With a scoreline of 3-2-2 Bubb finished second overall. Next weekend he will be taking part in the Open Demi-Cle two hander with Richard Woolf, the owner of his Mini.

Results:

1. Frédéric Duthil All Mer 2 7 :18 :32 - -
2. Nick Bubb KENMORE / JMST 2 7 :38 :44 0 :20 :12 0 :20 :12
3. Pascal Doin ASNQ 2 7 :47 :14 0 :08 :30 0 :28 :42
4. Eric Defert Amiral de Bretagne 2 8 :15 :00 0 :27 :46 0 :56 :28
5. Jérôme Dixneuf 2 8 :19 :55 0 :04 :55 1 :01 :23

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