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Noble Marine 2012

Volvo Noble Marine RS300 Nationals at Prestwick - Day 2

by Steve Bolland 26 Aug 2017 16:40 BST 24-27 August 2017

Credit where credit's due. For once the forecast was spot on, regarding both the wind and (unfortunately) the rain. Well done Windguru. It quickly became apparent that 12-16 knots from the south kicks up something of a sea state at Prestwick.

Here's a question – why do the waves always look so much bigger and steeper when you're going upwind? The waves were to play a major role in how the races panned out. With the waves slightly offset from the wind direction the beats were difficult with much slamming into the waves on port tack – in my boat at least. Some coped better with this while others fared better in the surfing conditions downwind.

Race 3

Going quickly upwind, Dave Acres arrived first at the windward mark for the third race in a row. However, this was at least partly due to Tim Keen breaking his rudder downhaul on the final tack to the mark. Maintenance Tim, it's all in the detail. Steve Bolland, however, was not far behind and managed to surf through on the first run. These positions stayed the same over the next three laps but with never more than about 10 boat length's separation. Keen recovered well to third with fourth going to Steve Sallis.

Race 4

Race 4 was slightly shorter after the marathon race 3. It was characterised by two things – a large rain squall hitting the fleet on the final beat with a big right shift, and Paul Watson going like an absolute express train upwind. Clearly low and fast is quick in waves but it does require a certain amount of fitness which rules it out for the majority. If his tacking and downwind speed matched his upwind work he would be unbeatable! This was a pretty close race overall – Watson initially led but Acres wriggled though downwind. Acres was then the first to spot the squall and tacked off. Despite this Watson sailed over the top and would have led at the final windward mark had he not almost binned it on the tack. Acres was away and Watson just, just managed to hold off Bolland on the final reach to the line. Paul Rigg had a return to form with fourth.

Race 5

The wind was probably at its strongest for the final race of the day. Again, Acres and Watson were in jet propulsion mode upwind and arrived at the top mark together, followed by Keen and Rigg with Bolland just about finding a gap following a high-risk port tack approach.

The positions remained largely unchanged downwind but there was some compression between the main contenders. For once, left paid up the second beat and Bolland closed the gap on the leaders although it was still Acres and Watson up front. By the leeward mark it was Acres from Bolland by about a boat length and it was game on!

In a final lap of two halves Acres extended his lead upwind with Bolland trying to keep the gap manageable before his favoured downwind legs. Watson was also back in the frame but Bolland took both he and Acres on the stunning first reach, last time around. Unfortunately for Acres, Rigg also had the afterburners on and also came through to leave the positions at the finish as Bolland, Rigg, Acres, Watson, Alistair 'flyweight' Mclaughlin.

Saturday morning, day 3. The rain has stopped but so has the wind. Forecast 9-11 knots from the SouthWest. Hopefully Windguru has under-estimated as it will be painful in that breeze if the chop remains from yesterday. We will see.

Results after Day 2:

PosHelmSail NoClubR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1stSteve Bolland411Bristol Corinthian YC121‑315
2ndDavid Acres544Emsworth & Thornet Island SC2‑32138
3rdPaul Rigg445East Lothian YC‑5154212
4thPaul Watson528Bowmoor SC4‑662416
5thTim Keen328Shefield Viking & Nefyn SC3‑735617
6thSteve Sallis476Hykeham SC‑8548825
7thAlistair Mclaughlin490Prestwick SC948‑15526
8thNeil Beveridge416Prestwick SC6896‑1029
9thMatt Sargent524Thorney Island SC7‑1079932
10thBen Green337Lymington Town SC‑1511127737
11thRichard Le Mare555Notts County SC1091010‑1439
12thThomas Whitehead374Prestwick SC11‑1613111247
13thRichard Hargreave373Stewartby SC12‑1711141148
14thMark Newton354West Lancashire YC14‑1515121556
15thLuke Pepper540Hykeham SC17121416(DNF)59
16thBen Yeats502Chanonry SC‑181316171359
17thPhil Manning386Delph SC16‑1817131662
18thAlastair Wood422Medway YC19‑2018181772
19thMark Taylor531Prestwick SC1314(DNC)DNCDNC77
20thMark Henman450South Sheilds SC201920‑211877
21stMurray McDonald332Prestwick SC‑222121191980
22ndCameron McIntyre383Prestwick SC21‑2319202080
23rdEamonn Rankin521Prestwick SC‑232222222187
24thIan Baillie526 (DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC100

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