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Noble Marine 2022 YY - LEADERBOARD

2022 Noble Marine RS100 Allen Nationals at the WPNSA Days 1 & 2 - part of the RS Games

by Tom Halhead / Andy Jones 26 Jul 2022 16:05 BST
Day 1 - 2022 Noble Marine RS100 Allen Nationals © Digital Sailing

Day 1 (report by Tom Halhead)

With over 400 people out on the water as part of the RS Games the RS100, RS300 and RS600 fleets had to bide their time to kick things off with the RS Feva Worlds racing in the morning and occupying the bulk of Portland Harbour.

Lunchtime approached and there was a little nervousness amongst the fleet as things looked a little spicier than Windguru had it - with the delayed start allowing the merits of various strategies for getting out of the marina to be endlessly critiqued.

Mark Harrison was first to put his money where his mouth was... shortly followed by a couple of litres of Weymouth's finest. This really became the story of the day with a fairly wild downwind ride out to the start-line and conservative sailing and managing energy levels paying dividends throughout the day.

Huw Powell managed this best with two bullets reflecting a consistent speed edge in the 20-25 knot conditions, to leave him wearing the Rooster Yellow Jersey overnight. David Smart pushed him throughout to clock a 2,2 and will be wearing blue, with Tom Halhead hanging on and posting a 3,4 to end up wearing red. Honourable mention (and the wooden spoon) went to Andy Jones who would have been right up there in both races but for a couple of wobbles.

At the Allen sponsored daily prize-giving goodies went to day one winner Huw Powell, mid-fleet sailor Jon Elmes and endeavour for day one to Ian Gregory. Then David Smart hosted a well-attended "Ask the Expert" session with Ian Gregory and Huw Powell offering their views of approaching lighter and heavier conditions respectively, which prompted some good debate that rolled into a class meal at "The Boat that Rocks". Another big day beckons on Sunday with the potential for more moderate conditions for the remainder of the week.

Day 2 (report by Andy Jones)

After yesterday's blast the key questions as day two dawned were:

  1. Would Huw Powell and Dave 'Blue Stripe' Smart continue their day one dominance?
  2. Would Andy Jones remember which way was up? and
  3. Would the 24 knots blowing on the Weymouth weather station abate enough to allow any sailing?
In short the answers were almost, yes and yes. For those interested in the detail read on.

Race three of the championship got away first time in around 11 knots and was led at the windward mark by Andy Jones closely followed by brother Steve with the rest of the fleet in hot pursuit. While the Jones brothers found a snake on the downwind to plummet down the fleet Ian Gregory and Matt Johnson were the big movers to lead comfortably at the leeward gate. As the wind started to build and shift left the fleet shuffled once again on the upwind allowing Andy Jones to come back through and lead home, beating Huw into second and so ending his run of prefect results, with Matt Johnson hanging on in 3rd despite a broken kicker.

After the shuffles of the first race the wind steadied down to a relatively benign force 3 - 4 for race four. Huw and Mr Blue Stripe led over the first lap, but by the end of the 2nd beat Andy Jones had worked through to first, only to lose it with a poor leeward gate choice leaving him vulnerable to the backing wind. Huw led home again followed by Andy and Dave, while behind Steve Jones lost a top five placing to a broken main halyard, leaving the consistent Tom Halhead in 4th.

Race five followed a similar pattern to race four, with Dave and Huw leading from Andy at the end of the first lap but Andy finding a way through on the final beat to take the lead. As they headed downwind, Huw was first to see the wind coming in from the left and gybe off, weaving a path through the fleet of incoming RS Feva sailors crossing the course on starboard, while Andy and Dave desperately tried to hold their kites down to the leeward gate, allowing Steve to nip in for third just ahead of Dave, with Tom in 5th.

At the end of the day Huw is looking good in first overall, while Andy has jumped up the leaderboard to wrestle second from Dave. However, with winds forecast to drop there will be anxious glances in the direction of the lighter sailors in the fleet, with Ian Gregory hoping to make strides up the leaderboard and youth sailors Adam Catlow and Daniel Webber looking forward to conditions more suited to them.

At the Allen daily prize-giving the endeavour prize was awarded to Gavin Thompson, mid-fleet hero to Matt Johnson and day one winner prize was rolled down to second placed Andy Jones. The fleet then went for fish and chips on the beach together.

Results from the WPNSA here...

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