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RS200 SW Ugly Tour at Llandegfedd Sailing Club

by Alistair Norris 2 Jun 2019 20:28 BST 1 June 2019

A stunning forecast enticed a fleet of RS200s to Llandegfedd Reservoir, a hidden gem of a sailing club, for the third round of the 2019 SW RS200 Ugly Tour. The tours sponsor Pete 'Ugly' Vincent provided detailed instructions in his 'Ugly Route' to the club, and what a treat it was to crest the brow of a hill in the valleys north of Newport to be presented with a beautiful reservoir nestled in stunning, rolling, green countryside.

Not only were the views breathtaking, but the fleet were provided with free tea and coffee and bacon and hash brown sandwiches (first time for a hash brown in a sandwich, but I can highly recommend it).

So, suitably fed, refreshed and warned of black flag starts for the day the fleet set out planning happily downwind to the start. Unfortunately that was one of the very few opportunities to get on the plane and it was clear the breeze was going to up and down, in and out, and shifting merrily for most of the day.

The first race got away cleanly with Matt and Emma winning the favoured pin end to lead the fleet for the first lap (and the entire race). Fred and Liz showed their pace upwind on the second lap and were just tacking to solidify taking 2nd from Alistair and Helen when Fred inexplicably leapt from the boat for a quick cool down. Liz was heard politely enquiring what he thought he was doing, before they regained composure and kept the quickly catching fleet at bay to keep 3rd from Nick and Max.

The second race seemed as though it could go the same way (except with Fred promising to try harder to say in the boat) and Matt and Emma cleanly won the pin and looked to accelerate away from the rest. The Llandegfedd wind gods decided that would be no fun though and decided to shift and drop, allowing Alistair and Helen to gain on the left and lead around, before copying the example set in race one of shepherding the fleet up and downwind to the finish.

Race three saw a 90 shift left in the start sequence, putting the pin end squarely upwind. Thankfully the race team abandoned the start and quickly shifted the course while the fleet soaked up the sun. Attempt no.2 saw a similar, but smaller, shift left that convinced Alistair (but not Helen) that a port flyer was a good idea, and it worked.... kind of. Also nailing the start were Matt and Emma (again) and Nick and Max and the three boats built a decent lead by the end of the first lap. Unfortunately (depending on your point of view) all three rounded the leeward mark and slowly peeled off the course as they recognised their sail numbers on the OCS board. Elsewhere on the course Pete 'Ugly' Vincent was caught doing a 720 for a minor infringement, followed by a quick dip to cool down and time to admire the fleet sailing away in the sunshine while stood on his centreboard.

With the race opened up there was a riveting three way battle between Alistair Hodgeson & Joanna Worrell, Fred & Liz and John & Bubbles, with each looking like they'd got the right shift or bit of pressure at different times through the race. Ultimately John & Bubbles opened a nice gap from a Fred & Liz and Alistair & Joanna respectively.

So going into the fourth and final race there was a winner takes all showdown between Matt & Emma, Alistair and Helen and John & Bubbles. Matt & Emma and Alistair & Helen got away cleanly and crossed the fleet to head out right and it looked likely we would all follow Matt and Emma round for another race, and event win. The right hand side looked good for a little while, until it really didn't and another of those pesky shifts brought those from the left in to round first (lead by home boat Sarah and Dave Green and Nick & Max). The three fighting for the event were well and truly embedded mid-fleet. John and Bubbles snuck through and got to the leeward mark first following a very tight run, topping the virtual podium, with Alistair & Helen and Nick & Max snapping at their heels for the next two laps. Alistair & Helen got the last shift of the last beat right to take a narrow lead around the last windward mark and held off the attacks downwind to take the race, and the event.

Once ashore the free tea and coffee was added to with tons of delicious cake, allowing everyone to relive their hero to zero moments, and marvel at the hospitality of our host club while sat on the balcony in the sun. Alistair & Helen took the win from John & Bubbles with Matt & Emma in 3rd. Nick and Max showed off their ever increasing pace to win the silver fleet, and Chris & Jenny took home another Bronze fleet trophy.

The next event in the SW Ugly tour is Parkstone on 13th July.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewR1R2R3R4Pts
1st1509Alistair NorrisHelen Summersgill21(OCS)14
2nd1365John TeagueNaomi 'Bubbles' Pound‑53126
3rd1615Matt MeeEmma Norris12(OCS)47
4th418Fred MainwaringLiz Teague3‑92813
5th1145Nick SmithMax Ross47(OCS)314
6th1452Alistair HodgesonJoanna Worrell853‑1016
7th1445Pete VincentVictoria Upton646‑716
8th826Merrick StanleyAnne Horackova‑765617
9th374Chris BakerJenny Wyatt9‑104518
10th1356Sarah GreenDavid Green‑1088925
11th1641William RhodesIan Uglow‑111171129
12th977Paul PritchardClare Horackova‑121291233

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