Report from Formula at Mumbles
28 June 2011
Mumbles - Formula report
The 3rd Cup event of the year took place at the Mumbles with a very promising forecast for the weekend. The main news prior to the racing was the absence of Richard Jones whose future on the circuit is under doubt for the rest of the season due to work commitments. Other names were missing too for various reasons so the fleet was not as big as hoped for.
Saturday morning was frustrating - not due to lack of wind but due to lack of visibility. However, the low cloud eventually lifted and racing got underway in gusty conditions with sail sizes ranging from 10m - 12m.
Race 1 - the fleet was half asleep it seemed as everyone got off to a slow start. Chris Bond (KA Sails, Gaastra) tacked early and was 1st to the windward mark. This lead was kept to the bottom gate but he was then passed, after experiencing outhaul problems, by Dave Coles (Severne, Starboard) and Tim Gibson (North Sails, Gaastra). Dave and Tim battled their way upwind together whilst Chris, once again, chose to tack early. Dave was 1st to the windward whilst Chris had regained a place in 2nd spot. Dave seemed to have the race won but Gybed too early and struggled to plane to the finish line. Bond was quick to seize the opportunity and planed passed Dave on the line to claim his first win at a cup event - Dave, in desperation, had thrown his rig forward in attempt to get the mast tip over the line but to no avail. Tim crossed the line in 3rd.
Race 2 saw half the fleet starting on port which lead to some close encounters but no collisions on the start line. The port start proved the successful option as Tim Gibson was first to the windward with Chris Bond close on his tail and Adrian Wallis (Gaastra, Starboard) in 3rd. Those who had started on starboard were some way behind....but not out of it as they profited from a lift after the bottom gate. Dave Coles emerged as the new leader at the 2nd windward followed by Tim and Chris and this remained unchanged to the finish.
Race 3 - A close and dramatic start to this race. Youth sailor, Zak Page was in prime position with Dave Coles and Chris Bond close in his wake - however room was running out as they approached the start line and Dave was the one to suffer cutting in front of Chris causing a collision - this resulted in Dave taking a bath whilst Chris managed to regain control and continue hot on the heals of Tim Gibson. Tim held his lead very skilfully for the entire race, in spite of the efforts of Chris who tried everything in the book to get his 2nd win. Dave Coles did remarkably well to fight his way through the fleet to secure 3rd.
That was it for the days racing and things couldn't have been closer with the top 3 places being tied on equal points. Tim had the lead virtue to winning the last race.
All was set up therefore for a thrilling days racing on Sunday and the forecast looked extremely promising - everyone was looking forward to deciding matters to split the places on a points basis. However this was not to be - the sun was shining but the wind was too light and the fleet was frustrated. The wind did start to build in the afternoon and the flag went up with a steady 10 knot wind blowing. By the time the race started the wind was showing signs of decreasing but there was still enough. Tim got off to a good start followed by Chris and Dave but the wind was still dropping. Dave took the lead and was 1st to the windward and he stretched his lead as the rest of the fleet dropped off the plane. Dave was denied glory as the race was cancelled and no more racing took place. A frustrating end but it was yet another weekend of close, exciting racing. Next race is Bridlington - hope to see you there.
1st Tim Gibson (North Sails, Gaastra)
2nd Chris Bond (KA Sails, Gaastra)
3rd Dave Coles (Severne, Starboard)
1st National 11 - Adrian Wallis (Gaastra, Starboard)
1st Youth - Zak Page (Gaastra, Starboard)