Results :: Whitstable Y.C. National Championship (Day 3)
With bright sunshine and a healthy southwester blowing down the Swale estuary, conditions were looking glamorous for race 3 of the Selden Merlin Rocket championships at Whitstable. As the fleet hit the water the breeze picked up to give a scorching reach out to the starting area, with a few teams getting a refreshing early swim in.
The fleet was augmented by the return of defending champion Stu Bithell from Rio and he soon set about reminding the fleet of his talent by storming up the first beat to take the early lead. Nick Craig and Alan Roberts rounded second and, in an act of bravado, popped their kite when everyone else was two sailing, allowing Stu and Tom to get clear away.
As the race progressed a number of rain showers passed over the course pulling the breeze around, meaning that, while the left was a the banker option there was enough out on the right to keep people interested.
Behind these two, third to tenth was closely contested. At the line Ben and Roz McGrane just did enough to hold off Roger Gilbert and James Stewart by a nose. Battling through to fifth were Tim Fells and Oli Wells who in so doing have done enough to take the overall lead and the dubious privilege of wearing the yellow jersey.
Race one winners Chris Jennings and Pete Horn bounced back from their yellow jersey 35th to cross in sixth place. Ben Saxton and George Yeoman will be pleased to see the back of the ‘jersey of doom’ after a shredded mainsheet and a gybe mark swim left them battling into the teens.