Results :: Penzance S.C. National Championships (Day 6)
OMG! What an awesome day to close out the Selden Merlin Rocket Championships in Penzance. As competitors arrived at the club on Friday morning, the forecast strong South-Westerly was already established and the wave trains that Mount's Bay is famous for were rolling across the bay with plenty of white water on show under a clear blue sky.
There was much debate as to whether conditions were already on the edge and with the forecast for the breeze to steadily increase, and many prudent teams decided it was too much. Our PRO motored out into the teeth of conditions and confidently radioed in that it was 18 knots and could we all be so kind as to come out and play. 28 boats took up the challenge.
After a black flag general recall that produced no OCS numbers - because apparently all the fleet was over and the PRO felt it unnecessary to spoil the day for all of us - the fleet launched up the first beat in conditions which were sailable but with huge waves to navigate.
The first mark saw the usual suspects of Bithell/Pygall, Craig/Roberts, the McGranes and the already crowned champions Gilbert/Stewart joined by a couple of heavy weight crews, Gorringe/Lewis and Fells/Wells.
The second reach was truly epic; pretty much straight down the waves, with huge holes in water, crews at the back of the bus and centreboards screaming. It was worth the entry fee alone!
As the four lap race progressed and the breeze steadily built, a duel developed at the front between Stu/Tom and Nick/Alan who were boat-for-boat all the way until 100 yards from the finish until Stu and Tom dismounted coming out of a gybe.
Nick and Alan took their first bullet of the week with Ben and Roz, who were going amazingly well for a lightweight team, snatching second from Stu and Tom.
Tim and Oli, thoroughly enjoying the conditions, screamed home fourth ahead of Simon Potts and Ally Martin in fifth, and Mike Simms and Richard Brown closing out an excellent first Merlin Champs in sixth.