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Magic Marine Solo Nation's Cup at Yacht Club de Carnac - Day 3

by Will Loy 15 Jul 20:17 BST 13-16 July 2019
Tim Law wins race 6 on day 3 of the Magic Marine Solo Nation's Cup in Carnac © Will Loy

Following a second consecutive night of fireworks - clearly an arsonist had destroyed the first batch the previous evening - my day started with my 6am mosquito alarm. Unable to disarm my would-be attacker I decamped and headed off to YC Carnac via the lakes.

The sun shone down and a light easterly breeze mottled the reflection across the water and it occurred to me that Monet wasn't really that clever, he just painted what he saw. It then crossed my mind that maybe Picasso did in fact have an eye problem and, had Specsavers been around, the art world would be a better place. With that notion put to bed I arrived at my destination with colourful flags flying healthily and a more comforting buzz around the dinghy park.

Race 6

Wind direction at 090 which was a relief to all those who are still grabbing the fundamentals of their Tactick compasses. The pin end was busier than a Parisian whore house on pay day, and Law made the best of it to round with a reassuringly comfortable lead from Nick Hornsby and the consistent Martin Honnor with Boyce on his transom.

Boyce was in good shape no doubt buoyed by the knowledge that, following an evening of boat maintenance, his rudder was still in place. Cumbley was unfortunately in a spot of bother rounding in the mid-twenties with Butler not too far in front. I bit my already dry lip and cursed to myself that we had loaded his Solo with the burden of two GoPros. Still, the footage would make good watching for us mortals.

The breeze was softening and the run was as enjoyable as a straight shot of Calvados which, incidentally,had been offered to Blake and myself just the previous day by our RIB driver Yannick. I do believe we could have replenished our starving outboard with it.

Law established a large lead over the subsequent lap to ensure his first bullet of the championship and this would move him up to third on countback.

Boyce had got himself into second and this would make him second overall while Hans Duets NED took third and this would keep him as top NED. John Reeke continued to impress with a fourth and Rodrigues completed the international line-up with a five. Cumbley posted his discard and this would keep him at the top of the pile by 3 points.

The wind continued to soften - like a French woman's expression as she looked into her lovers eyes - so the PRO wisely sent the fleet ashore. My drone pilot Blake took the opportunity to sail his father's ship into shore and I watched on with some jealousy as the two swapped places with the finesse of a winning Southport 24 team.

Over a Cafe au Lait I took some time to reflect on the championship so far which is becoming one of the most socially enjoyable in a number of years. That said, we haven't exactly been stellar at the party atmosphere since I and half the fleet were eighteen. The camaraderie of the Solo sailors goes beyond borders and the team at Carnac are indeed experts in the field of race management. The coffee is bien too.

Charlie Cumbley is facing maybe his toughest championship yet since joining the class in 2008, sailing the Boon hull with the North ST1 sail which caused an explosion in laminate sail development. Eleven years later he has multiple titles but maybe this one, if he wins will be his finest.

James Boyce has shown glimpses of talent and has turned the bookies upside down here this week with some stand out performances. Had he not had equipment failure he would be holding a strong scorecard. His father Andrew should be rightly proud of his son's gentlemanly conduct on and off the water. Tim Law needs no introduction and his experience across the world is reaping dividends as the championship heats up while Alex Butler, Martin Honnor and Richie Lovering are also showing great 'big game' attitude. Special mention to Joao Rodrigues who is proving that the Portuguese fleet are one to be reckoned with and he is a huge credit to the country.

My typing was cut short by the sound of a hooter at which point all hell broke loose as the fleet were sent back into the glorious bay for a further race.

Race 7

Wind at 260 and at 8 knots with the prospect of a little more if we were lucky. Cumbley started mid-way down the line, held, then tacked onto the favoured tack, crossing ahead of a chunk of the fleet including Butler and Law. Bailey, Honnor and Boyce were next around with another tight group but Tunnicliffe lost ground ducking transoms as he came into the mark.

I could now provide a blow-by-blow report but I have an evening engagement at the Casino where we will be holding our Magic Marine Class dinner. The thought of seeing Brownie in a tuxedo is too much to miss.

Cumbley took an unassailable lead to the line with Honnor second and Boyce third.

Look at the overall results at www.yccarnac.com/national-solo.html to see where they stand, I need to get into my suit.

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