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Crewsaver 2021 Safetyline LEADERBOARD

RS400 Salcombe Gin Eurocup at Yacht Club de Carnac - Overall

by Matt Sheahan 7 Jun 18:08 BST 3-6 June 2022

It's not something you usually wish for but the rain simply couldn't come quickly enough for the extra-medium sized teams in the fleet - it was our only hope of out-performing the lightweight whippets.

According to the forecast, day four was always going to be different from the previous three, largely sun-drenched affairs. Conditions for the final day of racing in Carnac suggested a light sub 10 knot breeze once again as a weak warm front worked its way in from the Atlantic and over the course area, bringing with it some light showers before a series of serious downpours thanks to the cold front that followed in the afternoon. But with showers there was the promise of some extra breeze, albeit with the kind of unpredictable shifts that come with rain.

The breeze kicked off for the first race with around 5-6 knots, easily enough to see a RS400 ghost along had it not been for the short chop that is so characteristic of Quiberon Bay. This made upwind progress hard work for all. Keeping the boat moving through the waves was the key, as was not throwing in too many boat stopping tacks along the way. But come the first windward mark rounding another factor had come into play as the drizzle started to fall, bringing with it enough of an increase in wind strength to plane downhill and double hike for the next upwind leg... just.

But each time the rain stopped, so did the breeze, making it a day of looking for showers rather than shifts.

At the top of the leader board Ben and Roz McGrane (1309) and Chis Eames and Rachel Tilley (1528) were on even points adding plenty of extra pressure to the day, but it was the McGranes who took the upper hand with another win, their fourth, with Eames and Tilley taking third. But with just three points between the pair, the final result could still come down to the last race and as the fleet waited for the start it became clear that the final showdown was going to be anything but straightforward.

Despite several attempts to square up the course, by the time the start gun went the breeze that had been on a slow and steady march to the right all morning decided to do a hop skip and a jump to the left just before the start of the race. Fighting for the pin end of the line on starboard was suddenly pointless as the windward mark could be laid on port. Suddenly the game plan had changed and a clear lane upwind on port was all that mattered. As you might imagine, this shuffled the pack just seconds after the start. The problem was that the breeze was still very light and the chop was just as punishing but this didn't stop the hot shots finding their way to the front of the pack once again. But there was hope in sight for others as an ominous dark cloud worked its way towards the fleet. For the chunky monkeys it couldn't come quickly enough as the land behind disappeared from view thanks to the veil of rain, but what we could see was that there would be plenty of breeze ahead of this shower.

And there was.

The downwind leg might have been a one way street but compared with bobbing around it was a blast.

That's probably not how the front runners saw the situation, but as it had turned out the results had been pretty much sorted as the start gun was fired.

Eames and Tilley were over the line at the start, the McGranes were in the clear and in the lead with a position that handed them the Carnac event overall win. Eames and Tilley were forced to take second.

Behind them Nick Craig and his son Adam had put in an impressive performance in both races to score a 2nd and a 3rd to secure third overall.

And as the winners collected their silverware, minds started turning to just when the deluge that had arrived on time would stop.

The RS400 fleet would like to give a massive thank you to YC Carnac for a superb EuroCup. Thank you also to our generous event sponsor Salcombe Gin.

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

Now we're looking forward to our RS400 Celebration Regatta at the RS Games 29-31 July. Info at www.rssailing.com/rsgames

Then it's the RS400 Noble Marine Nationals at East Lothian YC 8-12 Aug. Info at www.rs400.org/championships/index.asp?eid=2219

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