by Ian Nolan
RS700 Gul Grand Prix 2011, round four, was held at Hayling Island SC over the weekend of 25th and 26th June.
With both the current in form sailors unable to attend it was a great opportunity for some new faces on the Podium.
The conditions were very imposing as we sailed out for the first race, low ominous clouds 20mph breeze and a very lumpy chop which had been building for several days foretold of another interesting day at the office.
Race one started with 2010 European Champion Alex Southon powering off the line at speed to take a lead which he was able to extend on the second lap and hold to the finish. A big wind shift to the left made the course very lopsided and overtaking more of a challenge. With Alex starting to turn into a dot on the horizon it was left to Simon Letten and Tony Dencher to fight for second place with Tony coming out on top.
The second race started in a slightly moderating wind but the same big waves. This time it was Ian Nolan and Alex who powered up the beat with Alex spotting the lay line better to lead by half a boat length at the windward mark. He held and extended this lead down the run and looked to be going for another horizon job. Mr Nolan managed another soft capsize during the second hoist which allowed Simon Letten and Tony Dencher through. It was all change at the gybe point as first Alex and then Tony capsized leaving Simon to take the win. Ian Nolan misjudged the lay line and had to drop the kite early allowing Colin Dacey to sneak in for second.
The fleet managed a very uncharacteristic General recall in the last race as a result of a very short line and another big wind shift just before the start. The final race got underway at the second attempt with Simon Letten, Alex and Ian again leading off the line. However a softening breeze and another dramatic shift back to the left saw the left hand corner bangers handed a big opportunity. Ian Swann led at the mark closely followed by Jamie Bayliss with Ian Nolan some distance behind. Unfortunately Ian thought he saw a shortened flag on the Committee boat and sailed through the finish taking the next two boats with him. This brought the front of the fleet back together with Tony Dencher, and Simon Letten challenging Ian Swann for the lead with Tony leading at the windward mark. Ian Swann chose the lonely left hand route down the last run which dropped him out of contention leaving Tony to take the win from Simon and Ian Nolan.
Hamish Griffiths was again managing the GPS tracking although this weekend there were some uncharacteristic technical and management problems which resulted in some of the data being unavailable. He still came up with some interesting stats from the event. Top Dog upwind continues to be Ian Nolan who at times was clocking 9kts upwind despite the very lumpy seas. The downwind title went to Colin Dacey who had 500m runs over 15kts in both the second and third races and provided the peak of 16.2 knots. The most distance travelled went to Ian Nolan who put in 59km of sailing and is considering doing the Round the Island next year.
Sunday dawned with breeze but with a heavy mist which kept everyone on shore hoping it would burn off quickly. As predicted by the locals, the harbour had cleared by mid morning leaving the club racers enjoying bright sunshine and a fresh breeze. Unfortunately reports from the bay confirmed that the mist was hanging around so the decision was made to cancel racing for the day. This left Simon Letten with the event win, closely followed by Tony Dencher with Ian Nolan in third.
Our thanks go to HISC for hosting us and for Gul’s continued support.
Next event on the circuit is a return to Eastbourne Sovereign on the 23rd and 24th July. See you there.
|Rank||Tally No||Sail No||Club||Helm||R1||R2||R3||Total||Nett|
|2nd||137||870||Netley SC||Tony Dencher||2.0||4.0||1.0||7.0||7.0|
|3rd||142||993||Snettisham Beach SC||Ian Nolan||5.0||3.0||3.0||11.0||11.0|
|4th||147||758||Grafham Water SC||Colin Dacey||6.0||2.0||8.0||16.0||16.0|
|6th||144||1007||HISC||Alex Southon||1.0||6.0||13.0 DNC||20.0||20.0|
|7th||139||904||Oxford SC||Daniel Azzopardi||8.0||7.0||6.0||21.0||21.0|
|9th||141||984||HISC||Adam Golding||7.0||13.0 DNF||5.0||25.0||25.0|
|10th||140||949||Queen Mary SC||Matt Conner||9.0||13.0 DNC||9.0||31.0||31.0|
|11th||146||766||QMSC||Graham Blake||11.0||9.0||13.0 DNF||33.0||33.0|
|12th||136||841||Queen Mary SC||Hamish Griffiths||13.0 DNC||13.0 DNC||13.0 DNC||39.0||39.0|
UK RS Association website