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Cyclops Marine 2023 November - LEADERBOARD
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West Country Boat Repairs RS200 South West Ugly Tour at Chew Valley Lake Sailing Club

by James Williams 17 Oct 2023 08:39 BST 14 October 2023
West Country Boat Repairs RS200 South West Ugly Tour at Chew Valley Lake © Damian Gardner-Thorpe

This year Chew Valley Lake SC hosted the penultimate round of the West Country Boat Repairs sponsored RS200 South West Ugly Tour rather than the usual final round. Even with an ever changing forecast throughout the week in advance this didn't deter a fleet of 20, including 9 home boats, in arriving to some glorious October sunshine and a gentle Westerley breeze.

Westerly is never the most stable direction at Chew, and the view downwind from the clubhouse gave a false sense of a stress free day of racing. The reality for sailors and race management was not so simple, with breeze anywhere from 5 knots to nearly 15, shifts up to 40 degrees and a short burst of heavy rain.

Nevertheless, Ian Cadwallader, Bill Chard & team got away 4 great races with no general recalls, which was no mean feat. I can't remember the goings on in all 4 races as I was concentrating harder on keeping calm and recovering from finding one of the many snakes in each of the races (I suspect I wasn't the only one). Races were 2 lap windward-leewards with a spreader and leeward gate.

Race 1 started in sub 10 knots and a slightly boat biased line. A left shift just after the start caught out the early tackers as the breeze kept going left as we progressed up the beat. Chew boats John Spelman / Rose Hallam and Reuben / Jo Woodbridge were popular leaders at the top, with John & Rose being at the sharp at at mark 1 frequently throughout the day. Unfortunately all day leading at the first mark was absolutely no guarantee of being there at the finish. The left going upwind continued to pay, some learned this and some didn't. James Williams / Anna Mason made a few places on each leg to recover from deep to cross in first ahead of tour leaders Henry Hallam / Ashley Hill and local top dogs Nick Martindale / Derian Scott.

We started race 2 in a similar strength breeze but on a pin biased line. Cliff & Bec Milliner had figured out 'go left' much better than anyone else to lead, although some good breeze on the first run compressed the fleet up again. Some tried pushing the stick in the puff, with partial success. Cliff & Bec retained their lead to finish ahead of the ever present Liz & Fred Mainwaring and Chris & Katherine Martin on their return to the 200 fleet.

We all spotted the rainbows on the final run getting closer and closer, inevitably followed by 20 minutes of rain, gusts and constant shifts. Ian & Bill quite rightly stuck up an AP and waited for things to settle down.

Race 3 started off as the lightest of the day and some of us clearly hadn't learned that left was still the way to go (being on the right on the outside of a rapidly backing and increasing breeze is a painful place to be, regardless of where in the world you are!). Cliff & Bec were still getting it right, followed by Nick & Derian and Chris & Katherine. Behind this trio places were tight and hanging on for the right shift / gust down the last run could gain you a good handful of places.

For once, tacking off the line was definitely the right call following a reasonable left hand shift in the last minute of Race 4's start sequence. The breeze had filled in and most were some between helm & crew perched and reaching for an armful of kicker up the first beat. Nick & Derian sailed flat and fast to lead towards the top mark and the following lap and a half. Ian & Bill's sharp thinking in getting the leeward gate moved a couple of hundred meters right squared the course up from the first run and this time we were to finish at the top of a third beat). Picking the right side of the last leeward gate gained or cost the lead boats, and the left hand side paid again for the final time of the day. James & Anna got the gate and last beat right to come home ahead of Chris & Katherine and the consistent Nick & Derian.

This final beat got James & Anna the win on countback from Cliff & Bec and Chris & Katherine. Caroline Whitehouse & Sophie Downing were always in the mix at the pointy end to win the silver fleet and John & Rose's first beats got them near enough to the front for honours in the Bronze fleet.

Thanks to all involved in running the event, in particular the slick race management & mark layers on a very tricky day. The last event on the tour is at Cardiff Bay YC on Sunday 29th October, so please register your intention to race via the link here. This will also be where our overall tour prize-giving is held, so you'll have to be there to be in with a chance of taking home your very own 'Ugly Mug'!

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1st1019James WilliamsAnna MasonChew Valley1‑6416
2nd1289Cliff MillinerBec MillinerCotswold S411‑56
3rd1727Chris MartinKatharine MartinBurghfield‑93328
4th960Nick MartindaleDerian ScottChew Valley3(OCS)238
5th1621Henry HallamAshley HillRestronguet245‑811
6th1740Mark OakeyJess SmithCardiff Bay‑17511420
7th418Fred MainwaringLiz MainwairingExe SC‑14.5212721
8th1184Caroline WhitehouseSophie DowningBartley876(DNC)21
9th861Duncan GlenLorna Glen 6117‑1424
10th1340Ed HarrisAlex EatonChew Valley109‑14625
11th1233John SpelmanSpelmanChew Valley7‑1391329
12th322Freya BrownJess PattersonRestronguet‑121210931
13th541Milly TregaskesTaryn BanksRestronguet14.58‑151032.5
14th1259John WarburtonGeorgie WarburtonChew Valley11148(DNC)33
15th247Sebastian EdwardsNick CliffordCVLSC‑1610161137
16th1551Izzy CrampStuart jonesHooe Point13‑15131238
17th914Reuben WoodbridgeJo WoodbridgeChew Valley5(OCS)181639
18th1096James BennettEmma Chaning‑PearceCVLSC1816‑201549
19th1586Anna CoxAngus BaileyExe‑1917171751
20th1516Martyn StubbsYvonne SmithChew Valley‑2018191855

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