Sunshine and a promising breeze greeted a healthy fleet of 25 boats for the season opener for the 2016 RS200 SW Ugly Tour sponsored by www.2ndhanddinghies.com at Bristol Corinthian Yacht Club. The promising looking conditions did not disappoint out on the race course, with the conditions keeping the fleet on their toes and heads out of their boats, hunting out the steady bands of pressure and a few wind bends thrown in making for a tactical days racing. Blue skies and sunshine, with the picturesque background of the Mendip Hills, really was the icing on the cake in what turned into one of the best, and most competitive days racing many of us had had for a long time.
The first two races were dominated by the boats of Edd Whitehead/Kate Allam from Parkstone, and Matt Mee/Emma Norris from Red Wharf Bay/Burghfield. Both teams pulling out from the chasing pack and each taking a race win, and a second place. John Teague/Naomi Pound from Bristol Corinthian headed up the pack in 3rd in both the first races, fighting it out with Alistair Norris/Helen Summersgill from Bristol Corinthian and Pete ‘Ugly’ Vincent/Abi Campbell from Llandegfedd/Bristol Corinthian each taking a fourth place.
The third race got away after a shifting of the course by race officer Arky Wainwright as the wind shifted, and a general recall from the overly keen fleet. This time the front pack was tighter at the top mark, and received a shake up when Mee/Norris were pinged for being OCS, giving Whitehead/Allam a chance to get away from the fleet, with the race for second going down to the final run between Norris/Summersgill, Teague/Pound and Peter Eyre/Sam Norman from Parkstone, with Teague/Pound clinging on and Eyre/Norman putting their best result of the day in third position.
Onto the final race, and once again Mee/Norris rounded first, chased by Teague/Pound who both battled to the finish in that order, with Norris/Summersgill putting in their best result of the day in third position, followed by Whitehead/Allam and Liz Teague/Fred Mainwairing from Exe rounding of a consistent day in the front pack.
The fleet came off the water tired, but very satisfied, with what had been a fabulous day on the water, and a great way to start the season. With a tie at the top, and a quick check of the SI’s, Edd Whitehead/Kate Allam from Parkstone were pronounced winners, from Matt Mee/Emma Norris from Red Wharf Bay/Burghfield, and John Teague/Naomi Pound from Bristol Corinthian in third. The top of the Silver fleet was a Parkstone affair, with Peter Eyre/Sam Norman in 8th winning by a point over fellow clubmates Owain Hughes/Ian Mairs, and Bronze fleet was won by 2 points by Pete and Flea Haddrell from Burghfield in 13th with Will Rhodes/Chris Chorlton from Bristol Corinthian hot on their heels. First Youth was Izzy Savage from Bristol Corinthian, and first Junior was Abi Campbell in 7th crewing for the tours namesake Pete ‘Ugly’ Vincent.
Having had such a fabulous day on the water, the fleet are very much looking forward to the next event on the circuit, where we travel to Parkstone in Poole on May 14th, with such a high benchmark for fantastic weather being set, can they deliver the sunshine and breeze? The only way to find out is to join us, see you there!!
Image: Arky Wainwright