Formula Report - Weymouth

7 November 2009

James Briggs reports from the RYA Youth & Masters / UKWA British Open Championships:

Initially all racers were sent afloat when wind on the race course was a steady 10 knots. By the time the first Formula race was due to start, the wind had dropped to a light 6-8 knots. The AP was flown whilst the fleet waited on the water to see if the breeze would return. Thankfully, within 30 minutes, the start sequence was underway with the race being two laps of a box course in 9-11 knots of breeze.

The first start was away clear with Keith Atkinson (GBR56) reaching the windward mark a boat length ahead of James Briggs (GBR848). Completing the downwind section, GBR848 had taken the lead from GBR56 which he then extended until the finish. Jason Clarke (GBR1515) finished in a comfortable third place.

The first attempt to start the second race was abandoned when the wind dropped and changed direction by 20 degrees making the pin end very biased. After a short wait, the second race was successfully away with most of the fleet starting on port and those closer to the pin sailing more the middle of the course area gaining on those on the right hand side of the course.

Tim Gibson (GBR40) was first to the windward mark closely following by GBR848. With the wind freshening to 11-13 knots, a powerful downwind leg saw GBR848 take the lead from GBR40 which he held until the finish. Ashley Barrett (GBR964) successfully led the charge ahead of the pack taking third place.

This saw the end of racing on day one for the Formula fleet as after a short lunch break, the wind soon faded. The second day of racing presented very contrasting conditions with gusts of up to 50 knots through most of the day. There was a slight lull in the middle of the day with the wind dropping to an average of 25 knots which unfortunately only allowed time for kit to be rigged and the course laid prior to the wind returning to storm force again.

The final placings were :

  1. James Briggs (GBR848)
  2. Keith Atkinson (GBR56)
  3. Rich Jones (GBR32)

The full results of the event are available.