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Ultra 30 Grand Prix - Guernsey Day 2

by Sue Warden-Owen 4 Sep 1999 19:31 BST

HOYA VISION CARE ULTRA 30 GRAND PRIX FINAL REGATTA, GUERNSEY

Day two of the Hoya Vision Care Ultra 30 Grand Prix final Regatta saw fickle winds of up to 8 knots from the north east, with the six boat Ultra 30 fleet completing three races in relatively calm conditions.

Race 1 was raced tactically on a very one-sided course in light and shifty conditions. Russell Peters, skipper of DBS worked continuously overnight to repair the damage to his Ultra, caused by the collision during the previous day's racing with Star Alliance. Russell and his DBS crew suffered a disappointing start to the second day of racing in Havelet Bay however, as they were forced to restart having been over the line.

United Airlines, skippered by Mark Rushall, established an early and commanding lead despite a poor start. 25 minutes into the race, the breeze almost died completely although United Airlines were able to maintain their lead and secure Rushall's first victory in the 1999 season. Star Alliance, won a tacking dual with Team David McLean on the last windward leg to claim an encouraging 2nd place. Eddie Warden-Owen and his crew aboard Team Hoya found themselves in last place after a crew member, Nick Bonner, had to free a large amount of weed from the keel, however they managed to recover a 5th placing ahead of Team Gul.

The Race Committee took the decision to relocate the course and at the start of Race 2 Star Alliance was involved in their second collision of the Guernsey Regatta. Star Alliance was penalised twice for two separate infringements in this incident. Russell Peters showed a more familiar performance with an excellent start to a race where tide and wind shifts were all important. Whilst approaching the leeward mark, Team Gul skippered by Jim Hunt failed to give Team Hoya adequate water to round the mark and forced Team Hoya into shallow water and rocks, with Team Gul subsequently receiving a penalty red flag. DBS continued to extend their lead in a more consistent breeze which saw excellent boat speed by Star Alliance, but saw Team David McLean unable to find their impressive previous speed of earlier racing.

The final race of the day witnessed an excellent start by Team Gul, but they were passed by Star Alliance at the first windward mark. Gusts accelerated on the chase to the leeward gate, which saw close match racing between Team David Mclean and DBS. Rob Greenhalgh was acutely aware that in order to win the 1999 season he must claim an overall first, with DBS claiming 3rd place in Guernsey. This was apparent in the competitiveness of their racing however DBS then sailed into a hole, the fleet passed him and fortunately for Rob, Russell was unable to recover finding himself in a most unfamiliar 6th place. Star Alliance dominated in the light conditions and claimed an overwhelming victory in the last race of the day.

Overall regatta points at Guernsey are to be doubled so there is much more to play for at this final regatta, with racing due to commence on the final day, Sunday 5th September at 1330.

Current Standings:

Pos BOAT                                R4 R5 R6  Points
---------------------------------------------------------
 1   TEAM DAVID McLEAN Rob Greenhalgh     3  4  3   29
 2   UNITED AIRLINES   Mark Rushall       1  2  2   27
 3   STAR ALLIANCE     Kevin Sproul       2  3  1   26.4*
 4   TEAM HOYA         Eddie Warden Owen  5  5  4   21
 5   DBS               Russell Peters     4  1  6   16
 6   TEAM GUL          Jim Hunt           6  6  5   11

* Star Alliance was damaged by DBS in Race Two during the first day of the Hoya Vision Care Ultra 30 Grand Prix Guernsey Regatta and unable to finish the race. So for that Race Star Alliance scored 4.4 points, her average of the other five races sailed on the first two days.

More information www.Ultra30.com

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