The 18ft Skiff national championship and final event of the Euro Cup took place at Weymouth over the weekend
A glassy calm in Portland Harbour yesterday morning seemed to offer little prospect of the scheduled three races being sailed for the British Open Championship and Euro Cup, but race officer Laurie Grimes was optimistic that a sea breeze would develop, and, sure enough, ripples spread across the harbour at mid-day, allowing the first start to be made at 1 pm.
In order to get the three races in before the cut-off time of 3 pm, short courses were sailed, and the result was what must be some of the closest 18 footer racing ever seen in the United Kingdom.
Good starts and a perfect first beat were pre-requisites for success, and it was Ed Browne, Mark Tait and Lachlan Torrance on Hermes who threw the cat among the pigeons by winning the first two races of the day. At that stage in the British Open, the only boat from the previous day’s three leaders to score well was Yandoo, sailed by John Winning, Euan McNicol and Geoff Beauchop.
However, Rob Greenhalgh, Dan Johnson and Peter Greenhalgh on RMW Marine would not be denied, and they sailed perfectly to win the final race ahead of Yandoo, to take the Open by a single point.
The seven races making up the Open series were also the final seven of the twelve race series for the Euro Cup and, if the RMW Marine team won the British Open by a small whisker, they won the Euro Cup by the equivalent of a very long beard by counting nine first places and one second.
The combined events were sailed in pleasant weather, and, although the winds were never strong enough to get the 18 footers up to their electrifying maximum speeds, the racing was close and exciting.
British Open Championship
1. RMW Marine, Rob Greenhalgh, Dan Johnson and Peter Greenhalgh (GBR) 14 points
2. Yandoo, John Winning, Euan McNicol and Geoff Beauchop (AUS) 15 points
3. General Electric, Howie Hamlin, Mike Martin and Jonni Meers (USA) 25 points
4. Total Recall, Tony Hannan, Cameron McDonald and Greg Windust (AUS) 27 points
5. Omega Smeg, Trevor Barnabas, Chad Freitas and Ed Smyth, (AUS) 31 points
6. Hermes, Ed Browne, Mark Tait and Lachlan Torrance (GBR) 32 points
7. White Stuff, Alistair Richardson, Chris Cleary and Dave Smith (GBR) 42 points
8. Radii, Andy Richards, Andrew Fairley and Dave Richards (GBR) 43 points
9. Link Associates, Andy Rice, Matt Alvarado and Tim Penfold (GBR) 43 points
10. Magic Marine, Alex Tober, Stuart Appleby and Henry Clarke (GBR) 51 points
1. RMW Marine, Rob Greenhalgh, Dan Johnson and Peter Greenhalgh (GBR) 11 points
2. Radii, Andy Richards, Andrew Fairley and Dave Richards (GBR) 32 points
3. White Stuff, Alistair Richardson, Chris Cleary and Dave Smith (GBR) 34 points
4. Hermes, Ed Browne, Mark Tait and Lachlan Torrance (GBR) 35 points
5. Link Associates, Andy Rice, Matt Alvarado and Nick Murphy/Tim Penfold (GBR) 43 points
6. Base 1, Rob Dulson, Paul Constable and Alec McKinlay (GBR) 49 points
7. Magic Marine, Alex Tobut, Stuart Appleby and Henry Clarke (GBR) 57 points
8. Computacenter, Jon Bennett, Andy Jeffries and Nick Jerkins (GBR) 68 points
9. Renewable Energy, Charles Tavener, Ed Clay and Tom Finn (GBR) 75 points
10. Wempe, Flemming Clausen, Thomas Ebler and Darren McKavanagh (DEN) 83 points