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HYS FAST40+ National Championship - Day 2

by Louay Habib 24 Aug 2019 20:41 BST 23-25 August 2019

Unbroken sunshine and steady conditions greeted the second day of the HYS FAST 40+ Nationals, with some significant changes to the leaderboard setting the scene for what is set to be a tight contest in Sunday's finale.

Niall & Olivia Dowling's Arabella has moved up to second place after a day of improving results, with a 7-5-2 scoreline to add to their first day victory. They are, however, tied on 16 points with Steve Cowie's third placed Zephyr after the day's two windward-leeward races and a 12-mile round-the-cans course.

Both boats have leapfrogged ahead of current FAST40+ season leaders Girls on Film, with Peter Morton's team surrendering their overnight second place with a highly untypical 6-7-6 scoreline to finish the day fourth on 20 points, a discard having now come into play.

Niklas Zennstrom's Rán meanwhile continued her imperious form to go clear at the top of the table with three straight wins. This string included an impressive fightback after being OCS - and dead last - at the start of the first race to take a last-gasp win, snatching victory in the last gybe from Tony Dickin's fast improving Jubilee.

"We led all the way and we thought we had Rán at the line," said Dickin. "But that was just our perspective, so that was a bit frustrating to be honest having led all the way round - we will just go back tomorrow and have another go.

"We took a penalty in the second race and that cost us - in this fleet if you make a mistake and pick up a penalty you are going to end up at the back and that's exactly what happened," he said reflecting on Jubilee's 2-9-5 scoreline for the day which saw them finish fifth overall on 21 points.

"We will have to sail well to achieve a podium place at the end as it's very competitive and everyone seems to be on their game, but we will do our best."

Aside from Rán the most consistent boat was Zephyr, posting results of 3-3-4 which included a comeback from eighth place at the top mark in the second race. Skipper Ian Marshall put their current podium place down to the Scottish team's overall high standard.

"It's primarily the crew work which has improved tenfold - they are being consistent now and we are all working as a team, it's all clicking together, we are performing much better and we are all really enjoying it - we are all getting on really well, it's just great fun.

"If we continue the way we are sailing now then we should be OK and hold on to a podium place, but we are not counting anything just yet."

Also in contention for a top-three finish is Arabella. A delighted Niall Dowling said: "We're surprised to be where we are considering our start to the day, but it seemed that a lot of the boats who had a good day yesterday took a while to warm up today - one small mistake and you were out of the back of the fleet.

"Perseverance was the key, and we had a great battle with Elvis, which is a sistership, around the course. It was a great day overall. As for our final position I never take anything for granted - I never look behind me in this racing I just keep looking ahead," he added with a laugh.

Filip Engelbert's Swedish team on Elvis remain in contention for a strong finish with 22 points, while Ed Fishwick's Redshift and James Neville's Ino XXX both enjoyed close racing as a sparkling second day came to a close.

Full results available here.

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