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2014 Footy Gold Cup at Furzton Lake, Milton Keynes

by Roger Stollery 29 Jul 2014 15:26 BST 26-27 July 2014

A great weekend's radio racing was had by all 24 competitors, including 5 juniors, who assembled on Saturday morning from all parts of the UK as well as Switzerland, France and Italy. This annual championship is held in a different country every year and this year was organised by Sailfootyuk now an affiliated MYA Class Association with the help of the 2 Islands Radio Yacht Club. As well as being blessed with good weather, the wind direction on both days was very favourable, even if it was very light and variable at times; this allowed a total of 16 races to be sailed. Not only was the weather hot, but the competition from abroad was very hot indeed!

This was evident in the first few races in a light north-easterly breeze using the biggest rigs. As all the UK rigs are limited in area, Phil Tyler SUI 42 sailing his SLIM design with a bigger rig, was able to win the first two easily. The European superiority was even clearer in Race 3, won by young Hippolyte Bessiere FRA 176 sailing a PROTO, because the first GBR boat finished behind all of our friends from over the water. The situation looked better for the GBR in Race 4, when Rob Vice GBR 41 sailing the ICE, finished 2nd behind Enrico Audizio ITA 34 sailing an ENGI. The wind direction became very unstable and this gave PRO Roger Stollery a real headache resetting the simple windward leeward course on many occasions. When racing restarted after lunch, Enrico could not hold back Claudio Vigada ITA 102 sailing an URCA in Race 5, nor his dad, ex-Olympic and Americas Cup sailor, Gigi Audizio in Race 6. In the final race of the day Phil Tyler won again, from Enrico and Rob, establishing a slim overall lead over Claudio and Enrico.

All competitors, officials and guests retired to a local pub and enjoyed wine and a fine meal with lots of discussions well into the evening including all things Footy and radio sailing.

The wind on Sunday morning was stronger and from the NW, but that too became lighter with direction variation from either the West or the East at times. Before the start of racing, Alfie Hart who had previously been filming the racing from the control area when he wasn't sailing, set a camera on a BOTTLE boat powered by a small Footy rig and with everybody's agreement filmed the first B heat race. This went down well and didn't interfere with the racing.

Phil Tyler continued his winning form by taking Races 8 and 9, with Claudio winning Race 10. Enrico won Race 11 and Jean-Francois Bessiere FRA 124 sailing his PROTO design won Race 12, with Claudio winning Race 13. A GBR winner has not been mentioned so far, but this changed when Alfie Hart GBR 17, won Race 14 with his ICE after a close battle with Rob. This apparent match race at the front of the fleet continued into the final two races, which were both won by Rob and allowed him to claw his way into silver medal position, one point behind Phil and just one point ahead of Claudio who was just two points ahead of Enrico!

This was by far the most competitive of the six Gold Cups held so far and apart from a single protest hearing, the event was sailed in a most sporting spirit. This made it a friendly event with elements of fun and it was good to make some international friends and perhaps catch the bug for a bit of travel next year. The low cost and small size of Footys allows the eager participation of children and families; with young people making up more than a quarter of the entry, the future of the Footy and radio racing looks good.

The boat designs were of great interest, with the Italian designs, developed only during the last 2 years, using up to 330g ballast. This allowed them to carry large, tall and efficient conventional sail plans; the sails were beautifully made using light film and silver/gold satellite film. The ballast is some 15% heavier than the heaviest UK designs, most of which use swing rigs. All of the French hulls were made using diagonally planked balsa, bonded and finished with super glue and weighed only 20g! They used sheet metal foils and large offset pivot Una rigs of a very low aspect ratio set well towards/over the bow. The winning boat SLIM is moulded in carbon and fits into the measurement box diagonally; that too uses a ballast of 300g to counteract the tall offset pivot una rig, again with beautifully made sails. The most extreme design, HOOLIGAN by Gary Sanderson was longer than a foot and fitted in the measurement box both diagonally on plan and in the elevation. The cat rig is high above the deck to operate above the measurement box and did not look very efficient.

At the prize giving Phil Tyler thanked the whole race organising team for setting up and running the event.

Photographs are on the SailfootyUK website, along with the film of the event taken by both Alfie Hart and Xiaojun Yin, www.SailfootyUK.com.

Overall Results: (top ten)

1st Phil Tyler (SUI) SLIM 36 points, Gold Cup and Spillane Trophy winner
2nd Rob Vice (GBR) ICE 37 Restricted Rig Trophy winner
3rd Claudio Vigada (ITA) URCA 38
4th Enrico Audizio (ITA) ENGI 40
5th Gigi Audizio (ITA) ENGI 61
6th Hippolyte Bessiere (FRA) PROTO 65 & winner of the Junior Gold Cup trophy
7th Alfie Hart (GBR) ICE 68
8th Jean-Francois Bessiere (FRA) PROTO 79
9th Hugh McAdoo (GBR) ICE 100
10th Baptiste Galaup (FRA) PROTO 106

Angus Richardson Trophy for most innovative Footy: Gary Sanderson

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