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Selden 2020 - LEADERBOARD

RS200 Salcombe Gin Eurocup at Yacht Club de Carnac - Days 1 & 2

by James Williams 5 Jun 17:28 BST

A small but perfectly formed fleet of RS200s arrived at Carnac for the 2022 EuroCup at various stages in the days leading up to the event, including the welcome addition of two French boats.

Days one and two both followed similar formats: hang around on shore in the glorious sunshine while the breeze stabilised, launch mid-afternoon, sail two races and make it back ashore for an overdue beer.

In hindsight, the wait ashore on Friday was a great decision from the race committee. Racing was eventually held in a relatively steady Force Two Westerly on the outer loop of a trapezoid in the best breeze of the day. Clear air and avoiding unexpected patches of weed was the key to upwind, soaking as low as possible the trick to gaining places downwind. Both starts were heavily Committee Boat biased and quick splits were seen between those that did and did not make the front row. Felix Crowther and Krystal Law (1262) led at both windward marks and down the reach across to the outer loop. James Williams and Sarah Tuppen (1019) gained from a low mode on the runs to lead from the leeward mark to the end of the races. Ian Martin and Lucy Preston (1603) recovered from mid-fleet first marks to finish second in both races ahead of Felix and Krystal.

The wait ashore on the second day was harder to stomach, but faith in the far superior local knowledge of the race team helped. Some went swimming, others bimbled and the remainder topped up the Carnac tan from four long years away while we awaited our summons from the course. The breeze eventually settled enough for race three in a light Southerly. Once again a boat biased line gave some big early splits with Ian and Lucy showing their pace to lead a tightly bunched pack at the top. An early gybe on the outer loop and a low mode was the way to go on lap one while the windward mark was then repositioned to open up the options again. James and Sarah managed to sneak through on the last run to take a tight race from Ian and Lucy. Charlie Whittaker and Nina Luckman (1358) snuck past Andrew and Sarah (785) on the last run to take third.

A big right-hand shift between races required a re-lay of the course, and the inevitable boat biased line again. The right initially looked good on the inside of the gradually shifting breeze until a small left flick at the top. James and Sarah led from the first mark in a building breeze ahead of some very close racing in the pack behind. Alex Curtis and Raffi Gracie (1617) pulled through well on the last run to snatch second ahead of Andrew and Sarah.

Both Nico Honor and Florence le Brun (1575), and Andrew and Sarah got off the starts well, showed great pace upwind in the tricky chop and will look to challenge for wins in the last two days. With breeze expected to build to fully powered up conditions for all upwind, and marginal planing downwind, nothing is set in stone. With half the fleet all staying in the same house, separate results for the house champions are becoming just as important as the overall.

Fingers crossed for a more stable breeze in the morning to allow us to sample the numerous culinary delights Carnac has to offer in the afternoon (ice cream is high up the list).

Photos and results from all fleets can be found here...

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