by Bill Tucker
On the Zhik 29er UK National Championships penultimate day of racing, at Restronguet Sailing Club, Ian Payne and Chris Berry are on the cusp of title success having established a seven point gap to Tom Methven and Rob Lloyd. This gap could be pretty tenuous though as tomorrow still has three races planned and with a beast of a forecast the line between success and failure is wafer thin. For the moment though they have sailed superbly to increase the gap to yesterday’s closest contenders. Owen Bowerman and Morgan Peach are but a point behind Tom and Rob and they have Matt Venables and Will Alloway breathing down their necks.
Owen & Morgan winning R8 - 29er UK National Championships 2012
Today’s results in light winds for all four races were in stark contrast with yesterdays more muscular affair. Biggest gainers on the day were probably Tom and Rob closely followed by Charlotte Hooper and Molly Brown. Sean and Tadgh Donnelly are stitching together a very consistent series and are fifth ahead of aces Ben Batten and Finbar Anderson.
Seventh to ninth has the white hot competition for the Ladies Title. Vikki Payne and Steffi Orton are tie broken from Ben and Fin ahead of them and have 10 pts on Joan Furness and Abbie Page. Ruth Allan and Alice Masterman are only two points adrift having had a storming end to the day racking up a pair of threes.
Rob and Emma Loveridge round out the top 10 and have Jack Hawkins and Chris Thomas stalking them. Two of the Scottish boats appear to have played a blinder by exploiting what may be a lacuna (where did that word come from?) in the SI’s. Both the Hunters and the Kitson Jones’ picked up a five point penalty for failing to tally out but sensibly remembered to ask for permission to race. Under the SI’s these penalties had to be applied to the first race of the day and the pair of them craftily offloaded that penalty by ensuring that race was also one of their discards. Clever scallywags!
In the silver fleet the aforementioned Cameron and Fraser Kitson Jones are locked in a titanic battle with Rob Morris and Tess Allan. These latter two were Fleet Stars of the day but next best performance was from Sarah Alexander and Zoe Dupuy who lie third overnight. Strong Scottish representation in the Silver choccie hunt.
The Welsh are also making noise in the choc fight with strong representation from Llandegfedd and Neyland in fourth and fifth in the forms of Myles Jackson and Gareth Viney and Danieele Rowe and Rachel Tilley. Tom Mitchell and Oliver Scott from Erith staged a magnificent change in form by nailing an eighth and seventh place in the final two races of the day.
By race time tomorrow rain and wind are forecast to have set in. Guru is predicting 23 gusting 32 until early afternoon and then a drop to 15 gusting 20 by mid-late afternoon. But with a last warning signal time limit of 15.30 the drop may come too late. Equally the earlier scheduled start time of 10:30 might be to no avail either due to Neptunes last laugh! Either way, may the best man, woman or child win! All on and a bunch of titles to be won!
Awaiting breeze before R8 - 29er UK National Championships 2012