Results :: Whitstable Y.C. National Championship (Day 2)
|Merlin Rocket competitors woke to rain with a forecast of more rain followed by lots of rain as a prelude to a full blown monsoon, thunder, lightning with a hint of Armageddon thrown in. For once the forecasters had it spot on. As far as the wind was concerned, it was going to play a minor role and could best be described as confused. During a 30 minute postponement wind readings of between 90deg and 150deg were registered, often within a few minutes of each other.|
Following the first day's excitement, a black flag on the second start brought the fleet to order and they were away cleanly in a marginal hiking breeze. With the breeze swung left, the smart move was to start near the pin and get on to port early. Local legend Mark Barnes crewed by Philippa Daniels showed that there is life in ageing B14 sailors to hit hard right and round first ahead of his older B14 sparring partner Tim Fells (again ably directed by Oli Wells).
Tim and Oli soon took the lead and were chased by Matt Biggs and John Hackett, renowned for their ability in the light and sniddly. With the wind first swinging hard right on the second beat and then hard left on the third, Tim and Oli defended assiduously to keep their noses in front. However, it all came undone on the second triangle where, with the wind all but disappearing, they were unable to lay the gybe mark and were rolled by Matt and John and the chasing pack.
Matt and John escaped down tide and were able to take a comfortable win as the PRO shortened, probably because he had no idea where the wind would go next.
In a demonstration of young talent coming through the class, Olly Turner and Hamish Kilburn clawed their way through to take second ahead of Chris Gould and Sam Barker. Equally young guns Ben Saxton and George Yeoman, still apparently finding their feet in the Merlin, took fourth to take the overall lead and the yellow jersey from Chris and Pete who were prominently visible not having their best day.
Nick Craig and Alan Roberts recovered from their BFD to get their first counter of the week ahead of the slightly disconsolate Tim and Oli.