20 June 2012
UKWA Inlands at Oxford - Sat 17 & Sun 17 June:
A seriously ominous weather forecast of 15-18 knots gusting well over 30 fulfilled its promise with a vengeance and only one race was run on the Saturday. The low numbers of finishers compared with the total of entrants shows that those who did complete the race deserved a medal for this alone!
In the Raceboards Mark Kay streaked away and was half a leg ahead by the end of lap one and he finished well in front of James Moon, who alas had forgotten to collect his tally and so despite his efforts collected 5 penalty points and was rewarded with a 7th place. Louis Morris sailed well to take 3rd place - good to see another young man on a Raceboard! In the RS:Xs Matt Barton led Nick Welsh home, despite having sustained a huge chunk deinf taken out of his board in a coming together with a Techno fin. Alas this put paid to Matt's weekend. Tim Gibson came home ahead of Chris Bond, the only two Formula boards to finish, and in the Technos Zed Spencer-Milnes , Alice Butts, Jack Bassett and Dominic Colwell-Hector, all on 6.8s, were the only ones to make it round.
Rigs and boards were tied down and those who had brought short board kit with them enjoyed a fantastic afternoon's blasting.
The LWA Summer Series Event, which was running concurrently with Day One of the UKWA Inlands, finished with only one race being completed.
Sunday however turned out to be a brilliant day in more ways than one, the sun was shining most of the time and the wind maintained 10 - 15 knots with the occasional lull. This gave the Race Officer the opportunity to fit on three races before lunch and two afterwards.
Jamie Ingram, sailing a raceboard, laid down his marker and won both of the first two races but was OCS in Race Three. He finished the day with a 2nd and a 3rd place but as he had not completed the Saturday morning race he had to carry a 28 point penalty, otherwise he would have been almost certainly near the top of the leader board had there been a 7th race, giving two discards.
James Moon also suffered from the lack of two discards, a "navigational error" in the first race found him mistaking the second mark for the windward mark. Harries Ellis was also forced to carry an OCS in Race Four which put paid to her chances of catching Annette Kent for the Ladies' Prize.
At the top of the Raceboard Fleet Mark Kay was unable to hold off Rob Kent who took advantage of the lighter winds to register three bullets. Louis Morris put in a sterling performance - except for the last race which he was able to discard - and he took third place overall. Alan Jackson, now a supervet, which means he has passed the 60 mark, sailed his socks off to take 4th place overall.
Nick Welsh won the RS:X fleet, helped no doubt by the enforced absence of competition from Matt Barton, who was lamenting his damaged board.
Tim Gibson took the honours in the small Formula fleet who managed to get in a total of five races.
In the Technos Robin McAllister on his 7.8 won overall, although he managed only one actual race win. Zed Spencer-Mills (6.8) ran him close and managed two first places, a great achievement on a smaller sail. Lewis Smith was 3rd Techno overall and 2nd 7.8,and Rachel Horton was first girl and 3rd 7.8. Alice Butts was 8th overall and first 6.8 girl. Some fantastic results from these youngsters!
The 5.8 Team 15s joined the main course for the last three races and the winner was Rebecca Kent, by one single point from her great friend and rival Emilia Gibson.
The quality of the racing on the Sunday helped to compensate for the lack of racing on the Saturday, and it was a very weary bunch of sailors who made their way homewards.