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Henri-Lloyd - For the Obsessed

UK 29er Allen Grand Prix Series 2022/23 Round 5 at the WPNSA

by Jamie Wilkinson 16 Mar 2023 03:51 PDT 11-12 March 2023
Ollie and Freddie during 29er Allen GP5 at the WPNSA © 29er Class Association

As boats arrived and masts went up at the WPNSA the sailors were greeted with a brisk 6 degrees and lush 20 knots blowing from the SE promising a spiffing day of racing. This thought was spoiled as just before the briefing (sure to be full of good news) it started raining.

Luckily the mood was then raised through the clouds with the awaited return of race officer Ian Bullock. Some sailors from the visiting Irish teams got caught by James most hated thing 'strikes!' As their plane was delayed meaning some only arrived just in time for race 4.

The fleet then slowly migrated out to the 'soon to be' Worlds race course. Race 1 was shortly under way with the 20 knot south easterly holding through the race but this breeze didn't steady as the Bill played a key effect on the day's racing. Race 1 was won by the heavyweights Oscar and Fin with Freddie and Olly on their return taking a second and Charlie and Sam just behind in third.

Race 2 got under way with another returnee to the class Fin Armstrong (European champion, no mean feat that) sailing with Charlie Gatehouse taking the race win after an intense battle with James and Noah and Fin and Oscar pushing them the whole way while just behind 2 boats (not mentioning names) forgot how to give way at a gate with one going for a quick dip and the other just about surfing but they know who they were! Race 3 was another boat speed race with the wind dying out throughout the day with the results showing this as the heavy specialists fell back from the front. However, one thing to note was that there was a theme of the left coming in as well as pin bias as Jamie and Jamie broke into the top three. Race 4 was much the same as race 3 sailing wise however Kuba and Santi kicked the cat out the park after what's to be considered a bit of a blowout 3 races for them and left the fleet behind taking a commanding win.

The evening kicked off with an outstanding meal of a pulled pork burger with potatoes followed up by brownies and cream. After an uneventful meal the actual evening got under way with some karaoke. The performances started slow and were hard to come by but as the evening went on they became quicker and better. With the highlight of the evening being the dads performance of Down under and the Mums performance topped with some exceptional dance moves not all approved by their children. Not to mention the arrival of 2 special guests ramping up the evening with their antics.

Day 2 started with a dry and sunny morning promising nice race conditions starting at 15 knots with a promising building forecast, with another return to the fleet with Cam pairing up with Zeb (can't quite get the pin lay lines) due to Fin being out with an injury. The day started with an obviously pin biassed and left favoured course as shown by the one piece specialists Jamie and Jamie taking their one race win. Race 6 was another race in the dying breeze with the weather turning sour as the rain arrived just before the start making seeing the mark as hard as motivating karaoke performances. However Charlie and Sam obviously have 20/20 vision as they found their way around the course taking the win.

After an uneventful first 2 races race 7 proved to be breaking point with battles throughout the race and the brown hitting the fan at the final gate with 3 boats rounding at the same time leading to Sam and Charlie very honourably and respectfully retiring to save the time of a long winded protest. This in the end lead to Oscar and Fin taking the event win. With Fin and Charlie taking another dominant win, race 8 was another uneventful race with the Irish boat of Ethan and Ben taking the final win of the event.

The final results were all close with the top 6 split into pairs on count back with an event win for Fin and Oscar on tied points with James and Noah. Closely followed by Sam and Charlie tied with Jamie and Jamie with Charlie and Fin tied with Santi and Kuba in 5th and 6th. Some would say "count backs a...". First girls were Annabelle and Maddie in 8th and first mixed were Rachel and Charlie in 10th with first juniors Benji and Toby in 17th.

The class would also like to thank Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy for having the fleet as well as our sponsor Allen for their continuous support.

Full results can be found here.

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