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11/08/2012
GUL Grand Prix Royal Lymington YC

    RS800 sailors were welcomed to the warm waters and bright sunshine of the south coast by RLymYC and the promise of jam donuts this weekend.  The event started with a warning from the Race Officer, Roger Wilson, “it’s likely to be choppy out there, and when the tide turns it’ll be extra choppy!” – He wasn’t wrong!

    With easterly winds as forecast ‘at the top end of sensible’ navigating the river to get to the start area proved to be the first challenge of the day and certainly provided some good trapeze practice.  By the time the fleet reached the race area, they were already 5 boats down, some getting caught out in the river, others before they had left the dinghy park (Rob and JC!). 

     

    Race 1 got underway promptly, excellent efficiency that the race team displayed all weekend. Up the first beat, the majority of the fleet opted to head out right into the middle of the Solent to pick up the tidal benefits, Laurie Fitzjohn-Sykes and Dan Allin opted to sail in shore in search of flatter waters and hopefully increased boat speed.  Each theory proved to benefit but James Date and Toby Wincer in RWO narrowly led at the first mark from Laurie and Dan.  With nothing to split the majority of the fleet and boats approaching 30 knots in the flat waters by the shore, the first run down proved exciting to say the least.  There were plenty of thrills and spills but although they were poised expectantly at the windward mark and gybe point, the rescue boats reported after racing that all sailors managed get themselves out of trouble. By the first leeward mark RWO still held the lead from Laurie and Dan, with Dan Kilsby and Bart Bridgen in third followed by Luke and Emma McEwen in fourth and Father and Son pairing Dave and Robert Pike in Fifth.  Despite plenty of place changes throughout the race, the finishing order was as above, RWO held the lead comfortably and proved that the form they showed at the Europeans in Garda last month was set to continue.

    Race 1 had taken its toll and only 4 boats remained in the lined up to take the start of race two! With winds gusting 28 knots and the tide now fully charging up to Cowes things were just starting to get interesting! RWO ducked the fleet to start on port and begin their charge out to the right hand side of the course and in to the tide, followed soon after by Dan and Bart and Luke and Emma.  Laurie and Dan were still on the hunt for flat water and headed in shore.  All four boats rounded the top mark within seconds with Luke and Emma leading the way.  Laurie and Dan opted to Gybe out from under RWO and risk the bumpy option downwind, this proved as impossible as it looked and after burying the bow through every wave consistently for 30 seconds they eventually managed to gybe back.  RWO snuck past Luke and Emma up the next beat to take a narrow lead by the 2nd windward followed closely by Dan and Bart in third.  Laurie and Dan had some ground to make up after tripping over a lobster pot up wind and performing synchronised pirouettes off the bow!  By the end of race 2 RWO had established a comfortable 40 second lead from Laurie and Dan who finished 2nd ahead of Dan and Bart in 3rd and the McEwens in 4th who had an unlucky capsize down the last run.

    Race 3 again started with just a 4 boat fleet, this time RWO stated their dominance leading from start to finish. Luke and Emma and Laurie and Dan had neck and neck racing the whole way round with Luke and Emma finally overhauling Laurie and Dan on the dog leg to the finish to take 2nd by 3 seconds, proving the importance of downwind lay line calls!  Dan and Bart finished 4th after taking a swim.

    Back on the shore, there were tales of woe from those whose day had ended early, compounded by yelps of delight from those who made it to the end.  All was soon forgotten though as the serious business of eating donuts and drinking beer got started in the yacht club bar. This was followed by a crawl up the high street making the most of various local establishments along the way!

    Day 2 dawned bright and breezy yet again, this time with the wind from the west and a slightly more manageable 15 – 20 knots.  Most people had managed to patch their boats and themselves up from the day / night before and made it to the start line for race 4.  Andy Jeffries and Allyson Ody led the way off the start line and made the most of the tidal advantage to lead in to the first mark. However they were unable to hold of the big yellow kite of RWO who speared past downwind. The remaining pack were all chasing hard and by the end of the race Dan and Bart were just 12 seconds off the leaders with the rest of the top 5 less than 45 seconds behind that.

    Races 5 followed a similar format, the changing tides and Sunday cruisers providing some interesting tactical choices and windward mark obstacles, however RWO came through to win the event with a race to spare with Dan and Bart again keeping them honest in second.

    Race 6 was therefore a battle for second, Andy and Ally judged the tacks up the shore to perfection 3 beats in a row to take the final race from SP High Modulus in second. Dan and Bart beat Laurie and Dan round the final lap to finish 3rd and giving them a deserved 2nd overall.

    Hats off to RWO who took the biscuit winning Races 1 to 5, they sailed well all weekend and never put a foot wrong, the battle for the circuit continues!

    The Solent provided the perfect playground for the RS fleets this weekend and made for excitingly close racing, on average the top 4 boats in each race crossed the line within 60 seconds of each other – it’s a shame more boats weren’t able to make it! Special mention and thanks to the Race Officer, who judged the course just right with the winner crossing the line in between 45 and 48 minutes in every race and.

    Next event is the nationals at Hayling Island – it’s too close to call at this stage!

    Dan Allin

    RLymYC

    Previous year's results

    2011
    2010
    2009

    Racing

    Please scroll down to see the results of open events.

     

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    Brewin Dolphin Thursday Night Racing
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    Race Abandoned To be sailed...

     

    Monday Evening Dinghy Series
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    Race Abandoned To be sailed...

     

     

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    FBNATS

    Overall Results

    Handicap Results

    Optimist results

    Regatta Fleet
    Main Fleet
       
       
       
    SR

    RS Dinghy Open Results

    RS 600 Fleet
    RS 800 Fleet

     
         
             
             
             
             
             
             
             
             
             
             
             
             

     

     



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