Team Excellent Win Comer Homes UK Nationals
A 15 - 25kt northerly breeze made for a solid first day’s competition for the Comer Homes Melges 24 UK Championships in Weymouth Bay on Friday 28 September. Competition was very close with the offshore breeze providing plenty of shifts for snakes and ladders games up the beats, and bands of strong pressure making for exciting slay-rides down hill.
The race officer wisely chose to make the most of the perfect conditions and ran four back to back hour long races. After sailing competitors were easing sore shoulders with beer provided by local chandler Bussells before sitting down to the championship dinner.
Team WKD Blue helmed by Ruairidh Scott were early leaders having won two races but the points and competition were close at the top with other victories having been claimed by French team Cote D’Amor helmed by Yannick Le Clech and Team Panasonic helmed by Jamie Lea.
The second day was sailed in challenging shifty northerly to north-easterly breeze of 5-8kts. This provided a whole new set of issues for the fleet after the full power blasting of day one and made for plenty of place changes throughout the fleet.
Four races were sailed with the first victory of the day going to French visitors Cotes D’Armor showing impressive reading of the conditions to claim their second bullet of the series. Unfortunately celebrations were tarnished in race two when they found themselves on the wrong side of a 25 degree shift and reaching to the windward mark amongst the tail enders. Race six was won by the defending champions John Pollard’s Team Xcellent.
By race seven the easterly air stream had established and Jamie Lea helming Team Panasonic showed good boat speed to win by a clear margin. Race eight again went to Team Xcellent who were working their way up the standings to lie in second place overall putting the defence of their title with reach if they could better the impressively consistent performance of frontrunners WKD Blue
It is a measure of the high standard of this fleet that any of the top 4 teams could grasp the championship from the two remaining races.
On the final day of the championships the wind went east and filled providing waves for great surfing conditions in Weymouth Bay. Going in to the last day of the event having sailed 8 races the championship title was still open, but John Pollard's Team Xcellent prevailed over the final 2 hard fought races posting two wins to retain the title.
The prize for the top Corinthian (all amateur) went to Eamon O'Nolan's Team Unlimited with John Gimson steering.
Photos of the event will be posted on Paul Wyeth's website WWW.PWPICTURES.COM.
1. GBR690 - Excellent - John Pollard - (4),4,2,2,3,1,4,1,1,1 - 19 points
2. GBR701 - Blue - Nick Cherry - 2,2,1,1,5,2,(7),2,2,3 - 20 points
3. GBR648 - Team Panasonic - Adrian Peach - 3,1,3,3,4,3,1,4,3,(8) - 25 points
4. GBR435 - Wild Thing - John Gimson - (5),3,5,5,2,5,2,3,4,2 - 31 points
5. FRA193 - Cotes d'Armor - Yannick Le Clech - 1,5,4,6,,1,(13),5,8,7,9 - 46 points
6. GBR546 - Helmut Rises Again - Nigel Grogan - 6,8,6,4,(10),7,6,5,5,5 - 52 points
7. GBR527 - Comfortably Numb - Simon Dobson - 10,(12),7,9,11,4,3,6,10,6 - 66 points
8. GBR340 - White Rabbit - Simon Henning - 9,9,10,8,7,9,(13),7,6,7 - 72 points
9. GBR353 - Madcap - J Hamilton - 7,6,(13),7,8,8,8,10,8,12 - 74 points
10. GBR294 - Blue - Tim Cunliffe - 8,10,11,(12),6,6,12,11,9,10 - 83 points
11. GBR333 - Wicked Feet - Chris Sharp - 11,11,9,10,(12),11,10,12,11,4 - 89 points
12. GBR432 - Crazeology - J Middleton-Stewart - 12, 7,8,11,(13),12,9,9,13,11 - 92 points
13. GBR298 - Mad Max - David Franks - 13,14,(16),16,9,10,11,16,12,13 - 114 points