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Zhik 2024 March - LEADERBOARD

Zhik 29er UK Nationals and Eurocup at Pwllheli Sailing Club - Days 1 & 2

by UK 29er Class Association 4 Aug 2015 15:47 BST 1-6 August 2015

Day 1

The 2015 29er Nationals set in the beautiful estuary of St George's Channel, at the fantastic new Pwllheli Sailing Club Centre, started yesterday with typical Welsh Weather of brilliant sunshine and heavy rain. 127 boats from 19 countries including boats from as far as India, Argentina, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Brazil, spread out and enjoyed the great new facilities.

As the fleet set out, the beautiful views of Snowdonia in the distance, a Scottish piper saluted them out to sea in stirring form. The unforecasted rain passed away leaving clouds and sunshine, moderate but inconsistent wind which meant inconsistent starts and even once the wind had settled, marked shifts in direction. The day went to the youngsters with the lead at the end of 4 races going to UK boat James Hammett and Ben Todd from Hayling Island, both only 15 years old! They sailed consistently well over the day netting 16 points. Closely followed by Danish boat Carl Emil Baad and Jakob Precht Jensen with 17 points. Third place with only one more point were New Zealand boat Tamryn Lindsay and William McKenzie. Overall the Brits and the New Zealanders were looking strong with 4 boats each in the top 20.

A long day on the water ended with Dolphins swimming amongst the boats as they returned to shore.

Day 2

The second day of the Nationals Qualifying Series looked like a dream for the heavier boats. 15 gusting 20 knots with lumpy seas. Piped out to sea again by our Scottish piper, 105 boats headed for the racing area. A few of the lighter crews struggled with the gusting wind once they had left the shelter of the launching area and quickly returned to shore. Thanks to Jim Dabson from a grateful boat, when he stripped to the waist to assist as they came ashore having lost their centreboard and mainsail.

By 1pm situation on the race course was looking lively with some fantastic performances putting the Antipodeans in the ascendancy. Two boats from New Zealand's Murray's Bay Yacht Club fought for first and second place with some amazing race results: James Wilson and Oscar Gunn triumphed in first place overall with a 2nd, 2nd, 1st, 2nd. In second overall Jackson Kent and Nick Egnot Johnson sailed a 4th, 1st, 2nd, 1st. Overall Third place to Australians John Cowley and Simon Hoffman with 5th, 1st, 3rd, 3rd.

Scudding clouds and increasing sized waves and wind saw a steady stream of boats retiring, a few with minor injuries and breakages. Still, 70 boats started the final race of the day to complete an fantastic day of racing in exciting conditions in the excellent waters off Pwllheli.

Those that stayed out sailed superb races in the challenging conditions of the later races. Brit boat James Grummett and Dan Budden sailed a great day, moving to 8th position overall with a 1st, 2nd, 1st and 8th.

There were some exciting rescues from the Rescue Boats as they went to help those boats who had capsized in the tricky conditions. Also heroics from boats who broke parts and had to make it back in. Special mention to Brit boat Piers Nicholls and Sam Grade who snapped their spinnaker pole in the third race, came ashore to find a replacement and returned just in time to make the fifth race and see their best result so far!

A special Thankyou to all those helpers on the water who worked in difficult conditions to keep our sailors safe!

Day 3

Wave battered and weary sailors were back at the club by 9.00am today with winds of up to 30mph howling round the building. At the 9.30am briefing there was a 2 hour postponement. A rib recce established a very confused sea state with waves as high as the day before with a 3 metre average. Sailors waited half in anticipation and half in trepidation. But finally at 12pm with winds unabated and defying the forecast, racing was abandoned for the day. This somewhat predictable announcement was met with a spontaneous round of applause by the sailors. Time to rest, mend boats, race go karts and share stories of the previous day's adventures!

Hoping for some more sensible summer weather tomorrow.

Results so far can be found here.

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