The opening round of the 2003 UK 18 foot Skiff Grand Prix at the Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy one to remember this weekend
Very close racing in superb weather conditions made the opening round of the 2003 UK 18 foot Skiff Grand Prix at the Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy one to remember this weekend.
Saturday saw three different winners in the three races, each sailed in a boisterous but manageable breeze. The weekend started badly for Jon Bennett, Andy Jeffries and Nick Jerkins on ‘Computacenter’ who were leading race one until Andy suffered a dislocated shoulder. Charles Tavner, Ed Clay and Jon Finn on ‘CCA’ then took that race in fine style, and Rob Dulson, Paul Constable and Alex McKinlay on ‘Base1’ not only won the second one, but also were the only finisher as those behind them all failed to pass through the downwind gate. Race 3 was won by Ed Browne, Mark Tait and Lachlan Terrance on ‘Hermes’.
‘Base 1’ was the overnight leader, with ‘Hermes’ lying second and Tim Penfold, James Grant and Will Penfold third on ‘Link Associates’.
The breeze on Sunday was again much to everyone’s liking, but the choice between large and small rigs was difficult. In Race 4, the first of the day, ‘Link Associates’ under their big rig rounded the first mark with a handsome lead, but immediately went down the mine when they turned left for the downwind leg. Andy Richards, Andy Fairley and Tim Davies on ‘Radii’ had been unable to attend on the first day, but now immediately came into their own and took the race handsomely. Having chosen the smaller rig they were never troubled, and were the only crew not to capsize.
Race 5 also went to the on form ‘Radii’ team, with ‘Base 1’ failing to match their first day form by failing to keep their big rig above the hull. However, the ‘Base1’ team pulled themselves together to win the final race, which was enough for them to take the series, to the great delight of Rob Dulson who has won many races of 18 footer sailing, and has now been the outright winner of an event for the first time.
This was a great weekend of high speed Skiff racing, and a fine opener for what promises to be one of the best ever seasons for the class.
Round 2 will take place at Largs on the 17-18 May.
1. ‘Base1’ Rob Dulson, Paul Constable and Alex McKinlay, 12 points
2. ‘CCA’ Charles Tavner, Ed Clay and Jon Finn, 13 points
3. ‘Hermes’ Ed Browne, Mark Tate and Lachlan Terrance, 19 points
4. ‘Radii’ Andy Richards, Andy Fairley and Tim Davies, 22 points
5. ‘Link Associates’ Tim Penfold, James Grant and Will Penfold, 31 points
6. ‘RWO’ Ian Martin, Andy Le Grice and Aaron Bardon, 38 points
7. ‘Onica’ Alan Moss, Martin Davies and Alisdair Hendry, 41 points
8. ‘Computacenter’ Jon Bennett, Andy Jeffries and Nick Jerkins, 45 points