Fifteen RG65 sailors finally made it to the starting line for the first race of this years RG65 Nationals. It had been hoped for a fleet of nearly 20 boats, but due to a variety of reasons some boats did not enter, others dropped out at the last minute due to health reasons and Peter Baldwin opted out to run the event as Race Officer.It was a tricky first day at West Kirby for both the sailors and Race Officer alike. After setting up a proposed course prior to the briefing with what appeared to be a steady wind direction, the wind had swung through nearly 90 degrees during the briefing and so had to be reset. This caused a 20 minute delay to the start of racing, which got underway using the outer walkway as the control area. As the day progressed, the 6 to 12 knot wind kept the Race Officer and his mark laying team busy with changes or potential changes after every few races. There were two further major changes in course area and the minor changes continued even up to the final Race (16) which was completed by 18:00hrs, resulting in a slow race pace. by this time the course was now using the Promenade as a control area. A mix of top suit swing rigs and low aspect full sized A rigs were used on day 1 as the breeze varied in strength. The day was rounded out with Graham Elliott sailing an Electronica leading the event, with Spaniard Victor Izquierdo sailing an Ivy in second and Tobias Laux also sailing an Ivy in third. Here are the standings after day 1:Day 2 dawned with 14 knots, gusting 20 from a SSE direction with a forecast set to move this to a Southerly and increase in strength at some point during the morning to be 20 knots with gusts of up to 30. As the wind varied in strength, there were a number of rig changes using B and C rigs, as everyone tried to make the best of the breeze. Sometimes unfortunately boats became over canvassed and racing was temporarily halted for a rig change.At least it was mild in the breeze and there was only a small amount of rain most of it falling during an early lunch break. Course changes today were also minimal as the breeze probably only changed in direction by 20 degrees and so all racing could be conducted from the good vantage point provided by the promenade. Graham Elliott (Electronica) continued where he left off after the first day and had a dominating day winning 9 of the 15 races sailed. There were 4 race wins for Victor Izquierdo (Ivy), plus one each for Rohan Williams (Uno) and Bill Culshaw (Ivy). Tobias Laux (Ivy) also had a very consistent day, but without a win to his name. Unfortunately the combined effects of the strong winds, leaking boats with salt water led to a good number of retirements from racing during the day, so that having started the day with a potential 12 boats racing, by the end of racing there were only 6 boats in each of the last 4 races.The final result gave the Championship to Graham in first, well ahead of Victor in second who narrowly beat Tobias into third place. Full results are below.
First – Graham Elliott (Electronica) 2nd Victor Izquierdo (Ivy) 3rd Tobias Laux (Ivy)
Photos courtesy of Dave Williams, Alan Watkinson and Malcolm Harvey.