Great Britain, World Qualifier at Hunstanton 2009
Report by Keith Byers
This event was scheduled for 6 races over the two days of 15/16 August. Competitors were met on Saturday with wind gusting into a force 6 and large waves coming from various directions making the conditions extremely challenging. Conditions that would prove too much for the RS700 fleet who didn't manage a start.
Race 1 - saw current national champion Terry Curtis 1st round the windward mark and promptly (and uncharactaristically) capsize. Edwards and Fish rounded second together with Edwards forgetting to duck as he tacked resulting in a swim. The main pack of the fleet hurtled towards the jibe mark, close in shore, with trepidation, the first few stalwarts including Jon Fish and Keith Byers successfully jibed but never have so many OK been capsized round one mark - keeping saftey boat crew entertained. During this race the run proved to be very testing with many experienced sailors being caught out by the gusty conditions and large waves. Jon Fish finished in first, closely followed by Keith Byers and Dan Ager third.
Race 2 - continued the days sailing in equally challenging conditions. Fish capsized as the gun went leaving him well back, with Curtis once again rounding the windward mark in first place, hotly pursued by Scholes, Edwards and Byers. Curtis retained his position finishing in first place, Edwards closely behind, capsized on the run letting Byers through into second place with Scholes in third.
Race 3 - won once again by Curtis, with Fish in second place and Gavin Waldron in third. This completed sailing for day 1 - all competitors having the opportunity to swim at least part of the course during the day. Once ashore the fleet took the opportunity to repair damaged gear and unfortunately, for Tony Wood, to pack up due to a broken mast.
Race 4 - racing resumed on Sunday in more moderate conditions, started in a pleasant wind force 3 - 4, with Curtis once again dominating the race from the start. Scholes showing good speed was followed by Edwards and Byers. These placings held until the finish.
Race 5 - saw a duel between Curtis and Scholes for the windward mark and subsequent reaches. Racing continued to be closely contested with big wind shifts a feature catching many sailors out. Final positions were Curtis, Scholes, Waldron and Byers.
Race 6 - racing was much closer due to decreasing wind conditions. Curtis rounded first, followed by Byers, Scholes and Edwards. On the first reach Scholes overtook Byers, and on the subsequent run Edwards slithered through to third. These results held to the finish.
So, following his seventh place at the Worlds in Sweden a few weeks ago, Curtis proved too quick for the rest. A big thanks must go to Hunstanton SC for putting on a great weekends sailing, in particular the race officer, rescue teams who were kept very busy on the Saturday and the onshore crew who ensured we all got off the beach and got back onto the beach safely.
|1||2118||Terry Curtis||Upper Thames||4||1||1||1||1||1||4|
|2||2135||Alex Scoles||Overy Staithe SC||5||3||DNF||2||2||2||9|
|3||2084||Keith Byers||Morecombe & Heysham||2||2||4||4||4||4||12|
|4||2126||Mike Edwards||South Staffs Sailing Club||7||DNF||5||3||5||3||16|
|5||2085||Gavin Waldron||South Staffs||DNS||DNC||3||6||3||6||18|
|7||2134||Julian Burnham||Upper Thames||9||6||DNC||8||6||5||25|
|9||2125||Neil Goodhead||South Staffs||10||8||DNF||7||7||8||30|
|10||2031||Dave Cooper||Overy Staithe SC||8||7||DNF||9||8||10||32|
|11||2123||Andy Turner||Overy Staithe||DNS||DNS||dnc||5||9||7||36|