STUART RIX & QUENTIN STRUASS WIN UK NATIONALS
Twenty boats from four nations competed for the UK Melges 24 National Title over 12 races in Torbay this weekend. With entries from Finland, France and the US as well as all over the UK it was a great regatta with some incredibly close racing.
The opening 3 days produced fantastic sailing in good breezes and with just one day's racing to go "Gill" helmed by Stuart Rix for Quentin Strauss and "Black Seal" helmed by Jamie Lea for Richard Thompson were neck and neck with "The New Barbarians" helmed by Rob Smith for Stuart Simpson and Philippe Legros and his French "Cotes D'Amor" team hard on their heels.
Unfortunately the final day brought very light and shifty conditions and some decidedly marginal racing. Of the leaders Legros found the light airs hardest going ending the day fourth overall. Smith was more consistent but it wasn't quite enough and he ended up third overall by just one point.
Meanwhile for Lea and Rix it was all down to the final race. Rix just had the upper hand in the light airs winning the final two races to take the 2002 UK National Title from Lea by just two points. Always gracious competitors the "Black Seal" team were delighted for Strauss, Rix and their team although they confessed to being a little disappointed at being the bridesmaids yet again.
The Royal Torbay Yacht Club ran an excellent regatta and the UK class will be returning there for more regattas later this year and for their 2003 Nationals.