Results :: Penzance S.C. National Championships (Day 2)
With two practice races under their belts on day one, both the competitors and race committee were ready and raring to go on day two. Conditions looked ideal with a building ESE and brilliant sunshine.
Out on the race track the race team set a perfectly square line allowing the fleet to get away first time under a U flag. Although the forecast was for 17-21 knots, it never delivered and most of the race was sailed in 10-12 knots but with a building wave set to navigate through. The course was a beauty with great surfing on reaches and runs.
The first beat was pretty even, but there was just a bit more pressure and a few degrees of starboard lift on the right to bring Ben and Roz McGrane round in first, narrowly ahead of Nick Craig / Alan Roberts, Roger Gilbert / James Stewart and Stu Bithell / Tom Pygall all of whom had gone middle left. Taxi and Alex Warren were pulled out at the first mark for being OCS.
The first reach was a key leg with Stu and Tom getting high and then picking a big wave set to plane down over the top of the leading bunch to round the gybe mark clear ahead. From there on they were able to use their pace to keep a loose cover on the chasing bunch. Although there were some pressure variations and 5-10 degree shifts, the quality of the fleet is such that it was very difficult to make progress.
At the line Stu and Tom took the gun, already looking strong favourites for the title. Roger and James battled to second with Ben and Roz completing the podium. Nick and Alan were fourth with Chris Jennings and Pete Horn fifth. Steve Hall and Si Haighton took their best ever Merlin champs results in sixth.
The forecast is for the wind to continue in the SE overnight and build. This should deliver some big waves for what is now a two race day.