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RS400 Salcombe Gin Eurocup at Yacht Club de Carnac - Day 1

by Matt Sheahan 4 Jun 05:02 PDT 3-6 June 2022
Salcombe Gin Eurocup at Carnac day 1 © YC Carnac

No one seemed too fussed about the long wait ashore on the opening day of the RS Eurocup. Having driven several hundred miles to be there, and in the wake of the past two years where foreign events have been few and far between, most were simply happy to sit on the sea wall, catch up with friends and leave the stress of whether we'd go racing or not to someone else.

When asked at the briefing what the prospects of racing given the light conditions, the race committee simply shrugged their shoulders, a Gallic response based on experience and pragmatism as they pointed to the mill pond conditions out to sea.

But, while the committee boats and mark boats headed out into the course area, the wait for competitors was far longer than most had expected with the fleet eventually heading out to the race course at 1530hrs in a light 4-6 knot breeze.

The first race saw little change in the conditions as the 32 boats worked their way upwind on the first leg of a two lap race. But, while the breeze was fairly steady in direction and strength, the curve balls were delivered out of sight as the proliferation of weed, sitting just below the water's surface clung randomly to centreboards and rudders.

Some were quick to realise what was happening and lifted their boards to clear the clumps from below, others struggled to figure out why their pace and pointing had taken a dive. For one crew, the obstacle was even bigger as they snagged a fishing net that was floating just below the surface.

But for those at the front that had cleared themselves of weed and avoided fishing tackle, Nick Craig and his son Adam (7487) were clearly enjoying the light conditions and took the first win with Ben and Roz McGrane (1309) taking second and Stewart and Sarah Robinson (1463) in third.

The second race of the day looked much like the first with a light 4-6 knot breeze hanging in across the course. And while most of the fleet got away cleanly, one team mistook two guns for three at the start and duly retuned to behind the line as they waited for the general recall process to play out. But as they watched the entire fleet continue up the first beat it became clear that there was no general recall - the only benefit of their mistake was that they now had clear air. As indeed had Kevin Podger and Heather Chipperfield (1439) who had pulled off the perfect start and opening beat to round the first mark in the lead.

When it came to the finish two laps later, Nick and Adam Craig ended up second to Chris Eames and Rachel Tilley (1528) who took the race two victory with Howard Farbrother and Louise Hoskins (1481) in third.

Further down the field there had been a big shake up with plenty of teams scoring single and double figure results in one day. Drawing too many conclusion from the first two races would be unwise, yet what was clear was that getting two races completed late in the day had provided a plentiful new supply of tales and tall stories for dinner after the initial batch of conversation and banter had been used up on the sea wall earlier in the day.

Photos and results from all fleets can be found here...

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