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Ultra 30 Grand Prix - Guernsey Overall

by Sue Warden-Owen 5 Sep 1999 20:18 BST

HOYA VISION CARE ULTRA 30 GRAND PRIX FINAL REGATTA

Rob Greenhalgh, 21 year old skipper of Team David McLean today claimed victory in both the final Regatta staged in Guernsey and the overall Series of the 1999 Hoya Vision Care Ultra 30 Grand Prix Circuit. The performance of Rob Greenhalgh and his young crew with an average age of 24 years, aboard Team David McLean, has been consistent throughout the three-day light wind final Regatta. Tactical skill and quick decision-making by Greenhalgh has resulted in his ultimate goal to secure the 1999 Hoya Vision Care Trophy.

The third day of racing got underway in Havelet Bay, Guernsey, in east north easterly breeze, 8 knots, which shifted 15 degrees so the course was biased left for first three laps of Race 7. DBS secured a good start in the first race of the day and once again showed their championship class to increase their lead and claim another excellent victory. An exciting race for second place between close rivals, Team David McLean and Star Alliance, skippered by Kevin Sproul set the scene for the final day of racing, with Rob Greenhalgh acutely aware of his need to beat Star Alliance to claim an overall Regatta and Series victory.

Attributing his success to "a lot of hard work and a good crew", Greenhalgh was as delighted as he was surprised to win the Series at his first attempt. Even going into the last day the point situation was sufficiently complex that any one of three boats could have won. According to Greenhalgh, "to win the Series at this event we had to beat Kevin [Sproul] and get a boat in between us and DBS. It was always going to be tricky and had the wind been stronger all the time I think it probably wouldn't have happened."

Race 8 saw an early tacking dual between DBS and Team David McLean , which although hindered both Ultras, a tactical masterstroke by Russell Peters then saw Team David McLean forced to the back of the six-boat fleet. Team Gul made an impressive start to be first at the windward mark, however a problem with the spinnaker allowed Star Alliance to steal the lead. True to form, Russell Peters made good boat speed downwind aboard DBS and were able to round the leeward mark ahead of Kevin Sproul on Star Alliance. Though disappointed at being denied his third consecutive overall victory, Peters felt his team had fought back well from adversity. "Today we did as much as we could have possibly have done, but our mistake was sailing so badly on Friday and Saturday. The crash on Friday was very expensive and not having the boat in good shape on Saturday meant we made too many mistakes."

An early incident involving Team David McLean, Star Alliance and United Airlines before the start of Race 9, indicated the tension as the fleet prepared for the final race of the Series. Kevin Sproul received a penalty for failing to give Team David McLean sufficient water at the start line, which he then failed to take as the race got underway, which led to Star Alliance incurring a second 360 degree turn. This mistake cost Star Alliance dearly and Sproul could only hope that Team David McLean ran into trouble during this Race. Sproul was incensed at the umpires' decision, "we did everything we needed to until the last race. We ended up beating David McLean in seven out of nine races this weekend and in the last race we got a penalty before the start."

Eddie Warden Owen skippering Team Hoya sailed an outstanding final upwind leg, to claim first position at the windward mark which he maintained to the finish.

More information on the Ultra 30s can be found on their website: www.Ultra30.com

Results:

Pos BOATS             SKIPPERS         R7 R8 R9  Pts
pos pts pos pts pos pts pos pts
 1  TEAM DAVID McLEAN Rob Greenhalgh    3  3  3   41
 2  STAR ALLIANCE     Kevin Sproul      2  2  5   38.4
 3  UNITED AIRLINES   Mark Rushall      4  6  4   34
 4  DBS               Russell Peters    1  1  2   33
 5  TEAM HOYA         Eddie Warden Owen 5  5  1   31
 6  TEAM GUL          Jim Hunt         dsq 4  6   16

OVERALL 1999 SERIES POSITIONS BOATS/SKIPPERS

1st TEAM DAVID McLEAN Rob Greenhalgh    21
2nd DBS               Russell Peters    18
3rd STAR ALLIANCE     Kevin Sproul      17
4th TEAM HOYA         Eddie Warden Owen 11
5th UNITED AIRLINES   Mark Rushall      10
6th TEAM GUL          Jim Hunt           7

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