United Kingdom

18/05/2002
Gul RS Grand Slam Paignton SC

GUL RS GRAND SLAM, TORBAY, 18/19 May 2002 The second leg of the GUL RS Grand Slam series rolled into Torbay on May 18/19 for a real action- packed weekend. With the RS300, 400, 700, 800 and K6s being run on three courses by the Royal Torbay YC and the RS200 and 600s on a separate course run by Paignton SC there was incident packed racing wherever you looked in Torbay. On Saturday the mean wind was 18-20 knots but with regular big lumps hitting the race courses there were some white knuckle runs for many. Sunday saw almost perfect conditions with a much steadier 12-14 knots allowing almost every boat to enjoy good racing. If this was not enough the RS Racing Ball was held in the Riveria Centre at Torquay on Saturday night with 270 people making it the best ever attended RS Ball. A highlight of the evening was the competition for a Caribbean holiday for 2 racing on board one of their Farr 65s, donated by Formula One Events. Both host clubs responded extremely well to the challenge of running such a huge event with 170 boats spread over the four courses. On the late Sunday afternoon the M5 was full of various RS sailors heading home, totally shattered but very happy. RS600 27 RS600 sailors charged down to Paignton for what was to be an epic weekends racing with the results only decided up the last beat of the last race. Saturday, and as the fleet headed out into the stunning bay bravado and excitement turned to nerves and uncertainty as reality bit; the shifty wind was gusting 25+ knots and many people’s personal Armageddon was only a beat away. Ken Falcons impeccable race management quickly got Race 1 underway and to cries of "bring it on" Alex Southon skylined the fleet leading from start to finish. The trapezoid course saw the 600s at top whack and screaming down the reaches Chunky York's smooth style took him to second with Brain Greensmith third and Andy Peake fourth. Race 2 and Southon was on fire again, leading the boats on the left comfortably and tacking just inside Greensmith coming in from the right. Hitching into an enormous gust the two leaders disappeared away from the fleet down a scarily fast broad reach. Greensmith slipped through on the tricky bear away onto the run but then went for a swimming lesson at the gybe leaving Southern to take a second confident win. Peake climbed up to second with York third and Greensmith fourth. Race 3 and it was that man Southon again but pressurised by a determined Peake the wheels finally came off at the gybe and it was a fish eye view for Southon. Onto the second lap it was Peake’s turn to disappear away to a huge win. Back down the fleet fatigue began to tell and with 50% retirements, boats reversing down the beat after failed tacks and the gybe like an episode of jackass TV the places were anyone’s. Greensmith emerged from the mêlée in second with York third and Pete Sanders wrestling his way up to fourth. Everyone swam, everyone was knackered but what a days racing! Sunday and 2 points separated the top 4 boats. With F7 forecast a worried fleet reassembled on Paignton green expecting round 2 of correction and domination by an RS600. Day1 had taken a few casualties and the usually gung-ho fleet was frantically trying to get their bottom sections out and reef. The main players stuck with the full rigs and with the wind out in the bay actually only F3-4 there were some tears shed under the kiddy rigs. A big shift just after the start of race 4 saw Greensmith and Marshall tack away from the fleet and Greensmith lead round the windward mark comfortably only to park up in a hole across the reach. York hooked a fabulous gust and trapezed straight over the top and was never troubled again. A better course with a longer run made life more interesting behind. Big holes had half the fleet congratulating themselves on their skill and guile whilst the other half counselled their boats in a rage. Greensmith clung onto second but Marshall and Freer were all over him taking third and fourth respectively and Southon fifth. Race 5 was a regular street fight with exceptionally tight racing. With the course closer to the cliffs the right hand corner boys headed for the shore bend whilst the rapid tacking club of Chapman, Greensmith and Bean picked the shifts up the middle. Greensmith got away but then made the school boy error of not going the same way as Marshall down the run; the Spiderman's special powers conjured up a gust from the left and he and his pack were gone leaving Greensmith putting 10p in his parking meter on the right and down to 6th. Marshall, York, Freer and local hood Proctor scrapped away less than boat lengths apart but Southon was finding his form again, stealing an emotional first and now back in the hunt for the title. Freer piped York for second with Marshall fourth and Proctor 5th. The last race and all to play for: York, Greensmith and Southon could all win. With the black flag in force and a minute to go Southon was in irons at the wrong end of the line. Nightmare. As he regained control a bolt of lightening struck him from a clear blue sky and he remembered the chapter Paul Elvstrom had always meant to write: the port tack committee boat start on a starboard biased line, perfect......possessed, he careered down the line on port across a startled fleet and straight on back to the beach for an early bath. York and Greensmith now had to be both 4th or worse for him to win. Greensmith led onto the run but Groundhog Day and York was through on a gust down the left leaving a flustered Greensmith capsizing and letting Dave Nunn through to second. York pulled away working the cliff bend on lap 2 and loosely covering Greensmith right of middle on lap 3. Cranking up the beat on starboard and disaster for York as he was hunted down, molested and capsized by an affectionate port tack RS200 at full tilt with the kite up. After a few choice words and an end to a short but sweet relationship York was upright but back in the pack with Greensmith almost a leg ahead taking the bullet and possibly the regatta. York had to be 3rd and with 5 boats duelling up the last beat his nerve held and he took second by half a length and with it a well deserved overall win. Overall, superb conditions, a strong competitive fleet and a rightful win for Chunky York. Greensmith was second by a point, Southern a further point behind in 3rd then Peake 4th and Sanders 5th. The real stars though were Ken Falcon and his consummately smooth race team who slid the buoys unnoticed round the course as the wind went west and turned the fleets round in impossibly quick times. How much to do our nationals Ken?
1. 946 Anthony York Northampton SC 2.0 3.0 3.0 1.0 3.0 2.0 11.0 1 2. 734 Brian Greensmith Calshot SC 3.0 4.0 2.0 2.0 6.0 1.0 12.0 2 3. 967 Alex Newton-Sothon HISC 1.0 1.0 5.0 5.0 1.0 28.0 13.0 3 4. 9 Andrew Peake Bough Beech 4.0 2.0 1.0 9.0 9.0 4.0 20.0 4 5. 909 Peter Sanders Datchet 5.0 5.0 4.0 28.0 7.0 5.0 26.0 5 6. 870 Paul Procter Paignton SC 10.0 6.0 7.0 7.0 5.0 9.0 34.0 6 7. 654 Ian Marshall Royal Air Force SA 11.0 10.0 8.0 4.0 4.0 28.0 37.0 7 8. 938 Tony Freer Bowmoor 6.0 28.0 28.0 3.0 2.0 3.0 42.0 8 9. 631 Mike Bear Datchet 7.0 7.0 9.0 28.0 10.0 10.0 43.0 9 10. 826 David Nunn Datchet Water 14.0 9.0 11.0 8.0 11.0 6.0 45.0 10 11. 792 Adrian White Mount Batten 8.0 8.0 10.0 11.0 12.0 13.0 49.0 11 12. 917 Matthew Chapman CULSC 28.0 28.0 6.0 6.0 8.0 7.0 55.0 12 13. 944 Roland Emmans Paignton SC 15.0 11.0 12.0 12.0 13.0 28.0 63.0 13 14. 808 Ian Rhodes Northampton SC 13.0 28.0 28.0 13.0 15.0 12.0 81.0 14 15. 756 Neil Cooney Grafham 12.0 28.0 28.0 28.0 14.0 8.0 90.0 15 16. 875 S Hermanson Datchet Water SC 18.0 28.0 28.0 14.0 19.0 15.0 94.0 16 17. 624 Paul Halliwell Queen Mary SC 16.0 28.0 28.0 19.0 21.0 14.0 98.0 17 18. 954 Jon Heissig Lymington Town SC 28.0 28.0 28.0 16.0 17.0 11.0 100.0 18 19. 783 Paul Craig Thornbury SC 9.0 28.0 28.0 15.0 28.0 28.0 108.0 19 20. 893 David Cummins Datchet 28.0 28.0 28.0 10.0 18.0 28.0 112.0 20 21. 749 Ian Martin Datchet Water 28.0 28.0 28.0 17.0 20.0 28.0 121.0 21 22. 930 Rob Chaplin Brunel Uni 28.0 28.0 28.0 28.0 16.0 28.0 128.0 22 23. 937 Elaine Turner Datchet Water SC 17.0 28.0 28.0 28.0 28.0 28.0 129.0 23 24. 900 Ali Wyatt BCYC 28.0 28.0 28.0 18.0 28.0 28.0 130.0 24 25. 934 Simon Morris Datchet 28.0 28.0 28.0 28.0 28.0 28.0 140.0 25 25. 827 Alex Bennett Paignton SC 28.0 28.0 28.0 28.0 28.0 28.0 140.0 25 25. 740 Rob Smith Weston 28.0 28.0 28.0 28.0 28.0 28.0 140.0 25
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