Cup 2 - Christchurch
13 June 2017
UKWA National Championship series
After an early start to the season back in April at Weymouth, the UKWA course racing series continued at Christchurch, near Bournemouth. It was a tale of two days. The forecast promised us a choppy medium strength SW’ly on Saturday, but as the day progressed, this rapidly built, peaking at almost 30 knots in the mid afternoon and leading to some very exciting action.
In the Formula fleet, Chris Bond took the first race of the day, but it was Dave Coles who was the man to beat. He revelled in the breezy conditions to win all the remaining races in emphatic style.
The RSX fleet also saw a dominant performance at the front of the fleet. It was Jonathon Ashworth who won the 4 races, with Erin Watson posting consistent 2nd places, and very close points for those behind her.
In the Techno fleet, event favourite Finn Hawkins left himself with some work to do after sailing the wrong course in the first race, and starting early in the 3rd. Several of others displayed fine form, with three different people winning races. Lachlan Ross was the only one to win more than one race, but Ethan Moody and Mollie Densley-Robins were the most consistent. The points were very tight at the end of the day.
The raceboard fleet was strongly contested, with the lead frequently changing during the races. Andy Gibson enjoyed the coastal conditions and showed devastating speed, especially upwind. Indeed, the windier it got, the faster he was, eventually recording an excellent 2nd place in the final race of the day. It was a close battle between Mark Kay, Louis Morris, and Lewis Barnes at the front. With Mark and Lewis giving a masterclass in upwind speed, whilst Louis had the upper hand downwind, allowing him to win both races in the morning. In the stronger wind conditions of the afternoon, it was more of a survival game, and Mark was unstoppable handing him two bullets and giving him the overnight lead.
Sunday started a little calmer, but eventually, all fleets except Formula were sent out in 4-7 knots of wind. In the extremely light conditions, the strong tide played a very important part. Coupled with the fickle breeze, a lot of tactical decisions had to me made whilst working physically very hard to pump the board around the course. Two races were completed, before the wind died altogether and some rather threatening clouds stopped racing. After a lot of rain however, the wind filled back in, and one last race was completed.
Rob Kent was keen to take advantage of the light winds after a (for him) rather average first day, but it was Lewis Barnes won the first race of the day, followed by Louis Morris and Paul Leone. The three of them continued to sail well, allowing Louis to win the event, and Lewis take a well-deserved third. Unfortunately for Rob, his comeback never arrived, and Mark Kay did enough to take 2nd overall, with Andy Gibson in 4th. Annette Kent had to fend off her daughters, both of whom beat her in a couple of races, but did take the prize of first lady in the end. She’ll have to watch out in the future though!
In the Techno fleet, Finn Hawkins had the perfect comeback, winning all three races to take event victory. James Bulson also had an excellent day, with 3, 2, 2 to take second overall, with Ethan Moody taking 3rd, Mollie Densley-Robins 1st girl, and Oscar Shaw first 6.8.
In the RSX fleet, it was the turn of Erin and Islay Watson to win the races. Josie Spencer, Maya Wylie, and Alysia Gibson also posted some excellent results, but none of them did enough to deny Jonathon Ashworth to take his first event victory.
After a break for GCSE and A-level exams, the series will continue in July as the UKWA heads to Kent and Yorkshire. See you there.
- 1st Louis Morris (Severne/Starboard)
- 2nd Mark Kay, 1st heavyweight and 1st master (Demon/Starboard)
- 3rd Lewis Barnes (Demon/Starboard)
- 1st lady, 7th overall Annette Kent (Tushingham/Starboard)
- 1st youth, 11th overall Rebecca Kent (Tushingham/Starboard)
- 1st Finn Hawkins
- 2nd James Bulson
- 3rd Ethan Moody
- 1st girl 5th overall Mollie Densley-Robins
- 1st 6.8 7th overall Oscar Shaw
- 1st Jonathon Ashworth
- 2nd Erin Watson
- 3rd Islay Watson
- 1st Dave Coles (Severne/Starboard)
- 2nd Tim Gibson (North/Gaastra)
- 3rd Chris Gibson (Gaastra/Starboard)