Day One of the HYS FAST40+ Nationals started an hour late but it was worth the wait. Three windward leeward races were held in 10-12 knots from the east with glorious sunshine producing fantastic conditions in the easter Solent. Racing was highly competitive, especially in the last race, which featured a course of six legs, all of less than one mile.
Niklas Zennstrom’s Rán won two of today’s races to lead the championship after the first day. Peter Morton’s Girls on Film scored a 2-2-4 to finish the day in second, and must take a bow for the manoeuvre of the day, pulling off a text-book gybe peel to replace a torn spinnaker. Niall and Olivia Dowling finished the day in style winning the last race to make third after three races. Steve Cowie’s Zephyr scored a 3-6-3 to finish the day in fourth position.
“It was nice to be back out racing and the conditions were good, although we thought there would be less wind initially today,” commented Niklas Zennstrom. “The first two races, we didn’t get a good start and we had to avoid some contact. With the tidal situation, today was all about going right at the start, so it was a busy race track. Rán is a great boat to sail, very responsive and the rudder is so far forward because the boat is so wide, so not very forgiving. So when it all goes well it is very rewarding. We did have one problem with the take down system but the crew recovered the situation very well and we didn’t lose much. With such small margins it is easy to lose places in this fleet, so we had a good result today and we are very happy.”
“We got a great start in the last race, and the crew sailed exceptionally well for that win,” commented Niall Dowling. “I knew we had Rán in second but I never looked back,I left that to Ian (Budgen) and Campbell (Field) who did a great job on the laylines and tactics. After a wet and windy Cowes Week, today was beautiful sailing.”
Ian Marshall on the helm Steve Cowie’s Zephyr was mopping out the bilges after racing today – it’s all hands to the pumps for the Scottish team. “The moral on board was good this morning after the owners’ meeting,” commented Ian Marshall. “There is a great commitment from the owners for 2020, and we showed our appreciation by going out to do the best we could today. We got two good starts for the two podium finishes but got locked out by Girls on Film and Rán for the poor result in Race 2. Our speed seemed very good compared to the other teams today, which bodes well for tomorrow.”
After racing the FAST40+ fleet enjoyed a barbecue at HYS Event Centre, the competition is intense on the water but all the sailors enjoy a good get together, which is very much part of the ethos of the class.Racing at the HYS FAST40+ National Championship continues tomorrow Saturday 24th August, 2019.