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Challenger wins First 40.7 UK Title

by Eddie Mays on 15 May 2008
Fourteen boats took part in the First 40.7 National Championships, hosted by the Royal Southern YC in Hamble. Winner was Gareth Williams and the team on Challenger. Challenger and Love Shack, Tim Spalding and Gareth Lloyd-Jones, both finished with a nett score of 10 points but the Championship went to Gareth Williams on count back.

The high pressure area over the UK meant that sailing conditions were lightl on both days but PRO Peter Bateson managed to get three good, short races completed each day.

Saturday belonged to Gareth Williams and the team on Challenger. With Richard Lovering helming they won the first two races and were 2nd on the longer final race behind Paul Jenkins & the Activ Sail & Power entry Addiction. Tim Spalding and Gareth Lloyd-Jones, Love Shack having been called OCS in Race 1 sought redress from the Protest Committee, won their case and were re-instated to lie 2nd overnight.

With slightly more breeze on Sunday Love Shack seemed to be a little quicker than the opposition and it was her turn to win the first two races of the day. This left the final 'round the cans' race as the decider.

Paul Dentskevich's Euphorix led Love Shack around the top mark with Challenger back in 7th place. Challenger then struck a lonely course out in the middle as all the rest went inshore. Peter French on 'Anticipation' made the best fist of it to take the lead rounding the next mark ahead of Love Shack with Challenger still well behind. Euphorix managed to regain 2nd place from Love Shack and Challenger climbed to 5th.

With six races completed a discard was allowed and this was vital to the overall results. Challenger and Love Shack both finished with a nett score of 10 points but the Championship went to Gareth Williams on count back. Each won two races but Challenger scored an extra 2nd place to tip the balance.

There was also a tie-break for third and fourth places and Paul Jenkins' Activ team edged past Paul Dentskevich by dint of winning the third race, and so Paul won the North Sails trophy for the best newcomer. Gareth Williams also won the Class award for the highest placed finisher who had not had a podium finish in either the 2006 or 2007 Nationals.

First 40.7 - Leading overall Results

1. Challenger, Gareth Williams, 10 points
2. Love Shack, Tim Spalding & Gareth Lloyd-Jones, 10
3. Addiction, Activ Sail & Power Ltd., 17
4. Euphorix, Paul Dentskevich, 17
5. Tarka, Guy Prest, 20.5
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