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26/07/2004
RS Fat Face Eurocup, Garda Fraglia vela Riva

Thereís something about the RS fleet and Garda. The ĎOraí god always shines on us! 2 years ago and we had a near perfect week, losing only a couple of races to thunderstorms. This year, words cannot describe how good it was. 35 degrees, 3 days of 20 -25 knots, 2 days of 25 - 30 knots and 10 perfect races with 40 RS800ís, and all the other RS classes making the best part of150 boats. Arriving at the boat park every morning to gradually watch the northerly thermal fade away along with everyones hangovers, and then within an hour a 20 knot southerly has arrived, is an experience every dinghy sailor should behold. Tactics? not really, get into the cliffs as quickly as possible, a couple of tacks up the wall in 30 knots of breeze, foot into the windward mark, gybe set, hold it as long as you dare before gybing back to the leeward mark trying not to kebab any 700ís or windsurfers, and praying youíve hit the layline, repeat. Garda is more about boat handling, speed, getting your laylines right, and being able to sail having been locked in a pub til 5 in the morning. Thankyou nice barman from the Loch Ness pub (as you can see we searched far and wide to find a true Italian drinking establishment?!) The Oca Bar as always provided us with many Cubra Libras and acted as a launch pad for everyone to meet at for the evenings carnage. Day one and early morning cloud looked ominous, not as ominous as the alcohol cloud surrounding the boat park after the celebration of Jamie Stewartís birthday the night before, but the Ora cleared all and was on form producing a steady 20 knots gusting more on the course. Chris Haworth and Stuart Aston stamped early authority on the fleet in race one by cruising off into a large lead. 2nd were James Date and Mark Hogan, but on lap two the jib tack decided it didnít want to be attached to the boat anymore and it was home for and early shower. Ronnie Miller and Pete Marshall took 2nd. Matt Adams and John Date also showing good form, systematically demolished most of the fittings on their boat to also record two DNFís. Haworth/Aston sped off in race two also, but split their rudder blade and lost all steerage. A bit of an issue in 20 knots! With all the main contenders limping home with gear faliure Alan Olive and Jane Norris managed a 3,1 scoreline. Ian Martin and Claire Booth had next best performance of the day with a 5,2. Day two. 35 degrees and 25 knots again, oh itís a hard life! Race one and Date/Hogan were back on course after a trip to the local sailmakers to take the first race from Adams/Date with team lard, Jono Ratnage and Max Goulden, coming in 3rd. Haworth/Aston made up for 5th in race one with a bullet in the second race of the day. Date/Hogan took second with Miller/Marshall in 3rd. Day three and surely weíre bound to have some thunderstorms or at least one slightly crap race soon? No? Ok then. 30 knots met the fleet at the start area and it was Adams/Date who showed awesome starting, managing to get away on port first and get to the cliffs first to lead at the windward mark in both races. In race one they held for three laps until the pressure finally got to Matty at the final windward mark with Date/Hogan on their transom. A minor dismount let Date/Hogan through for the win, followed by Adams/Date who recovered quickly, and Andy Jeffries and Allyson Ody. In 3rd. Race two and the same again, Adams/Date leading with Date senior and Hogan playing catch up. This time Date/Hogan were into the lead on lap two and extended away to win. Tom Jeffcote and Toby Wincer showed good upwind boatspeed to be in the chase at the first mark, and then avoided any swimming downwind to come home 3rd. Ratnage/Goulden were the first mast casualty of the day snapping it sailing around inbetween races. Next to go was Haworth/Astonís when their cap shrouds came undone with the kite up. The start of the running total which was to reach 6 by the end of the week! Day four and the relentless socials were beginning to take their toll, but looking up that lake at 1200 is enough to make anyone forget how much their head and body acheÖ! Less breeze than the day before saw the fleet back out in 25 knots. A port flyer in race one of the day and Date/Hogan crossed the fleet and dissappear off into a large lead, followed home by Paul Bartlett with Haworth/Aston nearly stealing second on the line. Race two and the leaders on the first run were Haworth/Aston, Jeffcote/Wincer, Jeffries/Ody. By the leeward mark however it was Date/Hogan who cruised through downwind to take the lead. They disappeared for their 4th bullet in a row. Haworth/Aston took 2nd and Jeffcote/Wincer took their second 3rd place following a 5th in race one. Date/Hogan now topped the leaderboard counting 5 firsts and a second, as the second discard came into play. The final day, and what a day! A steady 30 knots gusting a lot more. For example, going upwind ragging most of the main only to be stopped dead in tracks by 35 knot + gust and have all the jib hanks ripped off the forestay, that is windy! Race one and Haworth/Aston launched themselves into an unassailable lead followed by Adams/Date, Jeffries/Ody and Olive/Norris. Date/Hogan were down the pan after an over conservative start and rounded in the late teens. After 4 laps however they were in sight of the leaders and stole 3rd off Jeffries/Ody on the last run. Jeffries/Ody completed a consistent run of 5 races in the top five including two 3rds, that would see them in the pirzes Haworth/Aston took the win from Adams/Date. The last race and Date/Hogan needed to get round the course in 12th or higher assuming Haworth/Aston took the race win. Things never quite go as you expect them in 35 knots of breeze though. Haworth/Aston were struggling trying to tape their second broken tiller extension in one beat back together re-using tape that was peeled off the broken extension! Date/Hogan cruised off into the lead only to be slowed slightly by the aformentioned jib hanks incident. Whilst Adams/Date slipped through into the lead, battling with Ratnage/Goulden. Date/Hogan rounded the penultimate windward mark, gybe set, only to watch their mast dissappear over the front! With Date/Hogan out of the regatta completely, Adams/Date junior found themselves in the lead, not really knowing how the points would shape up with Haworth/Aston on a comeback with a very dodgy tiller extension. Adams/Date took the bullet in the most challenging race of the regatta and could only wait ashore to see what Hawarth/Aston had got back to. It turned out at the prize giving that Chris and Stuart had got back to 9th, an amazing achievment considering Stuart spent the first beat unravelling tape off the extension to create a slightly shorter Blue Peter special extension for Chris to survive 4 laps in 35 knots of wind with! This was enough to beat Matt and John on countback for the overall victory. A top speech by Chris, who has obviously had a lot of practice at them, thanked everyone at the club who did a fantastic job of looking after us and emphasised the closeness of the racing in the 800ís and the battles that had gone on all week, as it was at Garda two years ago, no- one knew the outcome until it was read out at the prize giving! The 800 is definitely the boat for Garda and we all canít wait to go back. Roll on the Nationals at the end of the month in Plymouth where we should see the numbers top 60 boats, and with more variable conditions in Plymouth and the usual compliment of guests to the class itís going to be even more closely fought! James Date 1080.
1 GBR 1064 HAWORTH CHRIS 30,0 1 (dnf) 5 1 8 (dnf) 3 2 1 9 2 GBR 1050 ADAMS MATT 30,0 (dnf) (dnf) 2 6 2 2 6 9 2 1 3 GBR 1057 OLIVE SPOD 31,0 3 1 7 4 6 4 (10) (8) 4 2 4 GBR 839 DAVIES ALEX 48,0 4 4 8 (dnf) 5 6 (12) 7 7 7 5 GBR 860 JEFFRIES ANDY 55,0 (dnf) 7 18 (24) 3 5 4 4 3 11 6 GBR 934 RATNAGE JONNO 70,0 (dnf) 20 3 8 11 (dnf) 8 6 11 3 7 GBR 956 MARTIN IAN 78,0 5 2 9 7 10 14 (dnf) (dnf) 12 19 8 GBR 907 BARTLETT PAUL 87,0 (dnf) 3 6 5 (dnf) 7 2 11 9 dnf 9 GBR 955 SMITH ANDREW 91,0 (dnf) 12 (22) 10 7 8 7 16 21 10 10 GBR 843 WATSON ROBERT 94,0 (dnf) (19) 10 9 17 12 15 12 6 13 11 GBR 1080 DATE JAMES 95,0 (dnf) (dnf) 1 2 1 1 1 1 dsq dnf 12 GBR 1010 PAGE OLLIE 99,0 (dnf) 9 13 13 (18) 18 11 13 10 12 13 GBR 1065 MILLAR RONALD 102,0 2 (dnf) 4 3 12 19 13 5 (dnf) dnf 14 GBR 1011 ROSS JAMES 110,0 7 8 12 23 (27) 11 16 19 (dnf) 14 15 GBR 1054 DEAL JUSTIN 113,0 (dnf) 10 (dnf) dnf 9 9 9 10 16 6 16 GBR 892 PIKE DAVID 122,0 (dnf) 13 17 11 15 13 (dnf) dnf 5 4 17 GBR 931 JEFFCOATE TOM 123,0 (dnf) 11 19 (dnf) 20 3 5 3 18 dnf 18 GBR 808 TREGASKES DANIEL 138,0 (dnf) 14 (dnf) 15 22 17 18 21 14 17 19 GBR 942 HORNAGOLD EDWARD 149,0 (dnf) 6 11 12 23 16 (dnf) 24 13 dnf 20 GBR 1084 CRITCHLEY MATT 150,0 (dnf) 18 15 19 21 25 17 20 15 (dnf) 21 GBR 929 FURNESS NIGEL 152,0 (dnf) 15 20 14 16 10 25 27 25 (dnf) 22 GBR 909 TAYLOR ALEX 162,0 (dnf) 17 (dnf) 17 14 20 23 dnf 19 8 23 GBR 1046 COULBORN CHARLIE 168,0 (dnf) 5 24 (dnf) 4 15 14 18 dnf dnf 24 GBR 1077 TAYLOR PAUL 170,0 (dnf) 23 21 18 (26) 24 24 25 20 15 25 GBR 864 COATSWORTH ADRIAN 171,0 6 (dnf) 16 16 19 28 19 (raf) 23 dnf 26 GBR 961 KING PHILIP 193,0 (dnf) (dnf) 27 22 29 31 28 23 17 16 27 GBR 919 STEVENS CHRIS 193,0 (dnf) 16 23 20 24 22 22 22 (dnf) dnf 28 GBR 836 BUCHANAN DEREK 199,0 (dnf) 25 25 26 25 27 26 (dnf) 27 18 29 GBR 1072 MCGUIRE JONATHAN 205,0 (dnf) 24 28 21 31 26 27 26 22 (dnf) 30 GBR 967 SMITH JASON 226,0 (dnf) (raf) dnf dnf dnf dnf 20 17 8 5 31 GBR 903 WHITMORE MICHAEL 227,0 (dnf) (dnf) dnf dnf 13 21 21 14 26 dnf 32 GBR 979 HOPPINS CHRIS 227,0 (dnf) 21 (dnf) dnf 30 23 30 15 dnf 20 33 GBR 810 SHRLTON FAWARD 276,0 (dnf) 22 14 (dnf) 35 29 dnf dnf dnf dnf 34 GBR 807 MATHER JOHN 296,0 (dnf) 26 (dnf) 27 34 33 dnf dnf dnf dnf 35 GBR 954 ODELL CHARLOTTE 301,0 (dnf) (dnf) dnf dnf dnf dnf 29 28 24 dnf 36 GBR 926 SHIRES ALASTAIR 310,0 (dnf) (dnf) dnf 25 33 32 dnf dnf dnf dnf 37 GBR 899 MCLELLAN NEIL 318,0 (dnf) (dnf) 26 dnf 28 dnf dnf dnf dnf dnf 38 GBR 809 SMITH WILLIAM 322,0 (dnf) 27 (dnf) dnf dnf dnf 31 dnf dnf dnf 39 GBR 1013 LISTER BEN 326,0 (dnf) (dnf) dnf dnf 32 30 dnf dnf dnf dnf 40 GBR 913 MILNER DAVID 344,0 (dnf) (dnf) dnf dnf 36 dnf dnf dnf dnf dnf 41 SUI 947 COOK JONATHAN 352,0 (dnf) (dnf) dnf dnf dnf dnf dnf dnf dnf dnf 41 GBR 812 READ ALUN 352,0 (dnf) (dnf) dnf dnf dnf dnf dnf dnf dnf dnf 41 GBR 816 POULS KEVIN 352,0 (dnf) (dnf) dnf dnf dnf dnf dnf dnf dnf dnf
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