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RS200 Salcombe Gin Eurocup at Yacht Club de Carnac - Overall

by James Williams 7 Jun 19:18 BST 3-6 June 2022
Podium in the RS200 Salcombe Gin Eurocup at Carnac © YC Carnac

The expectation for day three of the RS200 Salcombe Gin EuroCup was much more breeze than the first two days. Depending on the chosen forecast this could reach well in to the 20s in the puffs. The day began in the low teens from the West and the same outer loop of a trapezoid.

Another committee boat bias greeted the fleet for race five. Getting a clean start and keeping the boat moving through the chop upwind was important with James Williams and Sarah Tuppen (1019) managing this best to lead round the first mark and holding on to the finish by soaking hard in the waves. Charlie Whitaker and Nina Luckmann (1358) worked the left downwind well to finish second ahead of Henrik Asplund and Georgina King (1573) looking very comfortable upwind to finish 3rd.

A left shift pre-start in race six caught many out and keeping in clean air and on the right tack was as important as playing the chop upwind as the wind started to increase. With a jury-rigged main halyard, Mark Thomas and Gabi Mascio (297) were quickest upwind in the building breeze, but Charlie and Nina's favoured left hand side down the runs secured them the win ahead of Alex Curtis and Raffi Gracie (1617). The decision of when the breeze had built enough to push the stick downwind was a tricky one for many, particularly with some irregular waves offset from the breeze to contend with.

Race seven, and finally a slightly pin biased line. The breeze had built to the mid to high teens at times so it was definitely high mode downwind. With the sun out this was everything we had been promised about Carnac. Mark and Gabi, and Alex and Raffi used their pace upwind and a favoured right hand side to lead, with Alex and Raffi never looking back for the win. Thomas Paris and Marta Ribera Uncio (439) sailed high upwind and found some great puffs downwind to finish second. Charlie and Nina's luck ran out for the day with a skinny lay line resulting in a few attempts to get round the windward mark from a strong position. They recovered well to finish fifth.

Ample quantities of wine and delicious paella were laid on by the club for the championship dinner on Sunday night, with the snakes and ladders of the previous days a relatively constant discussion topic across all the tables. Unconfirmed stories of finding a bar for 'one more drink' becoming something much more substantial surfaced the following morning.

Monday's forecast of constant rain and mid-teens to mid-twenties breeze was less appealing than Sunday, but two races were held to finish off the event. The first race was much lighter than expected and in a constant drizzle, so keeping pace on through the chop without losing height was difficult given telltales were often stuck to sails. A slight pin bias and a relatively early tack treated James and Sarah well to lead at the first mark. They covered the fleet round the course for the win, followed by Nico Honor and Florence le Brun (1575), and Alex and Raffi continuing their good form from Sunday.

The breeze had veered during the first race so the course was relaid, although this swung back to the original Southerly during the pre-start. The obligatory general recall followed and the race team reset the pin (although jury is out on how much it moved as the line was still pin biased on an identical transit for the next attempt). The course marks were not relaid, so tacking off the pin and sailing fast on port got Nico and Florence to the windward mark first. Most of the fleet began sailing to the wrong wing mark, with Charlie and Nina, and Sarah and James the first to clock the correct bearing to bring them up to second and third. A one way race track meant these positions stayed the same to the finish.

James and Sarah managed to get their noses in front of the pack often enough to win overall, with Charlie and Nina's pace in the breeze securing them second ahead of Nico and Florence. The scorecard hopefully shows how close the racing was with everyone in the top eleven having at least one top five finish. It was great to be joined by two boats from the French fleet as well as two boats from Guernsey, and hopefully we'll see them at some more events in the future. I hope the fleet returns to Carnac, the club looked after us brilliantly and it's an amazing location for an early Summer event (/ holiday!). 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 RS200 Celebration Regatta at the RS Games 30-31 July. Info at www.rssailing.com/rsgames

Then it's the RS200 Noble Marine Nationals at Hayling Island SC 21-25 Aug. Info at www.rs200sailing.org/championships/index.asp?eid=2220

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