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2019 FAST40+ One Ton Cup - Day 1

by Louay Habib 19 Sep 2019 20:42 BST 18-22 September 2019

Peter Morton's Girls on Film leads the regatta after scoring two race wins on the opening day of the One Ton Cup. On the water jury Bill Edgerton reported a wind range of 15-18 knots oscillating around 85 and 65 degrees during the three races held.

Niklas Zennstrom's Rán started the regatta in fine form taking the win in the first race but scored 2-3 in the final two races to equal Girls on Film on points, but placed second after countback. Ed Fishwick's Redshift is third after the first day of racing having scored a 5-2-3. In Race Two Redshift led for most of the race but was beaten to the line by just three seconds in a photo-finish with Girls on Film.

Race One: Niklas Zennstrom's Ran won the pin end and managed to hold off a strong challenge from Filip Engelbert's Elvis to tack onto Port and clear the fleet. 42 South chartered for the regatta by Christian Hamilton and Guy Gallon had a cracking first beat to stay with Ran to the top mark. However, Ran pulled away to win the opening race by 90 seconds from 42 South. Elvis was just three seconds behind in third.

Race Two: After a delayed start to shift the course access as the wind shifted left 20 degrees, the FAST40+ fleet bar Rán chose to start at the pin end. Redshift got away well and took a big lead but Girls on Film came back at Redshift on the first downwind leg, as the two leaders jousted gybe for gybe. After an even match on the second upwind leg, Redshift double gybed to lay the finish, whilst Girls on Film judged the lay line to perfection, effectively executing a one-gybe and in, to beat Redshift to the line by three seconds.

Race Three: Tony Dickin's Jubilee was fully wicked up from the start to round the top mark first but a spinnaker manoeuvrer that went wrong put the team out of the top three. Girls on Film was the quickest around the three lap course, taking the gun 36 seconds ahead of Rán with Redshift third.

2016 Laser World Champion Nick Thompson is hoping to return to Olympic competition in Tokyo after placing sixth at the Rio Games, Nick is calling tactics on 42 South.

"I have had a tiny bit of racing on FAST40+ before, but this is my first real experience and they are amazing - awesome boats," commented Nick. "It's good close racing, I am used to boats of similar speed, where it's all very tight, and that's what you get in this fleet. The shifts and pressure today were everything; 25 degree wind shifts and 15-22 knots made it a fruity day, which was good fun. These boats are so like dingies; very responsive to the tiller and twitchy downwind, it's one of the few yachts were you need to tack for every shift. If you get the opportunity to have a blast in a FAST40+, I say take it on."

19-Year-old Rebecca Coles, eighth at this year's 420 World Championship was racing on Steve Cowie's Zephyr for the first time.

"That was awesome the fleet is so tight, super fast and super fun, it was pretty punishing; one mistake and you are down the pan but there were opportunities to get back up there, as it was very shifty today!" commented Rebecca. "I started sailing with the RYA dinghy pathways racing optimist and then 420s, and in the past couple of years I have been getting into yachts. I did my first Fastnet this year and I have been working on Zephyr as a nipper, and today I finally got my chance to sail with the team."

Rebecca has been doing offside trim with North Sails expert Jeremy Smart. "It has been great to learn from him, learning how to set the jib up, and asking questions to learn off the back the experience. It is a big learning curve but I am getting loads from the education."

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