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RS200 West Country Boat Repairs SW Ugly Tour at South Cerney Sailing Club

by Lorna Glen 18 May 13:20 PDT
Henry Hallam and Ashley Hill take third - West Country Boat Repairs SW Ugly Tour at South Cerney © Lorna Glen

The SW tour may have been the last of the RS200 tours to get started for 2023, but the first event certainly did not disappoint.

With a relaxed 11am briefing and 11:55 first warning signal, the fleet arrived at South Cerney expecting the promised glamorous weather of 8-15 knots and 20 degree sunshine. Unfortunately this was not the case upon arrival, so those who brought coats were very grateful for the extra layer.

The fleet launched into a gentle 5-12knots that stuck around for the whole day. Race 1 got swiftly under way with 1395 team Nigel Bird/Andy Bird, proving that they weren't rusty after the winter, leading the way around the first windward mark followed closely by the rest of the fleet. A simple windward leeward course had been agreed at the briefing, and after the first couple of rounds 1603 pair of Chris Catt/Emma Norris had managed to break through to gain a substantial lead, taking the first bullet of the day.

As with every inland venue, the PRO had some tricky shifts to contend with and decisions to make. Before the start of race 2 the well organised team quickly moved the windward mark and got things back under way. A significant left shift off the line, and increase in pressure, meant that those who had gone right were struggling to fight their way back into the race.

Our 2021 & 2022 Ugly Tour winners Henry Hallam/Ashley Hill in 1621 weren't phased by this, and showed why they belong at the front of the fleet by leading practically the whole way round, extending to a decent gap by the finish.

By the third race it was clear that this was anybody's game with tight racing and close battles throughout the fleet, proving the high standard of the competition. Two of the main place battles were between Henry/Ashley and 1289 pair Cliff/Beck Milliner for 1st and 2nd, and between 1603 Chris/Emma and 1700 team Ben Whaley/Lorna Glen for 3rd and 4th. There was no time to rest throughout the race, and any slip up (especially one involving getting the kite caught on the jib luff) could cost significant distance.

Heading into the final race of the day the sun finally broke through the clouds, but with no clear overall winner there was no time to sit and enjoy the weather. Off the line, a huge right shift allowed 371 team Ralph Singleton/Tristan Sellwood, 1365 John Teague/Naomi Pound and 1078 Merrick Stanley/Victoria Upton to lead round the windward mark.

However, whatever the gods can give they can also take away, and leaders Merrick/Victoria, were caught by Ben/Lorna who managed to sneak through and continued on to take the bullet. Chris/Emma must also get a noticeable mention for their recovery from deep in the pack, up to 3rd, securing them the overall event win.

Welcomed ashore by the promised 20 degrees as forecast, the coats were firmly left in the changing rooms, and shorts were out. The fab South Cerney hospitality was also greatly welcomed by all, with £2.50 burgers and 50p cake! The overall top spot was taken by Chris/Emma, with Ben/Lorna in second, followed closely by Henry/Ashley in 3rd - all 3 boats separated by just 1 point. Huge thank you must go to all the South Cerney volunteers for the warm welcome and such smoothly run racing.

All eyes now turn to our next event at Bristol Corinthian on the 3rd of June. With race officer Arky lined up, known for no nonsense, sharp turn around racing - it is bound to be a great event. This event would make a great warm up for the Southern Champs and Summer Ball, especially being a relatively central location. Entries are now open, and with an early entry deadline of the 31st of May, it's time to get them in!

Overall Results:

PositionSail noHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4Pts
11603Chris CattEmma NorrisNetley SC12‑436
21700Ben WhaleyLorna GlenParkstone YC2‑6316
31621Henry HallamAshley HillRestronguet SC‑61157
41151Jake HardmanAbi TurtleHayling Island SC345‑912
51289Cliff MillinerBeck MillinerCotswold SCRTD32712
61078Merrick StanleyVictoria UptonWarsash SC5‑106213
71365John TeagueNaomi PoundBristol Corinthian YC45‑10413
8317Ralph SingletonTristan SellwoodRestronguet SC77‑8620
91658John HarveySarah MadisonThornbury SC897‑1024
101740Mark OakeyJess SmithCardiff Bay YC9‑1211828
111395Nigel BirdAndy BirdRYA10119‑1130
121341Monty HamptonAva RobertsSCSC128‑131232
131342Sarah GreenDavid GreenLlandegfedd SC111312‑1336

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