Round up of 1006 Radii UK 18ft Skiff nationals and British Grand Prix at Weymouth 8/5/06
Two races were scheduled for the final day of the 2006 Radii 18ft Skiff National Championship and British Grand Prix in Weymouth. However an almost complete calm kept the fleet ashore for an hour and a half until the promised sea breeze started to fill in from the south-west.
The first race started in an encouraging 7-10 knot breeze. Almost immediately, the increasing cloud cover made its effect felt and what breeze there was veered and faded almost entirely leaving large windless holes over the left hand side of the course. Radii (Andy Richards, Andy Fairley and Alex Tobutt), Barron and Smithers (Peter Barton, Martin Borrett and Ian Turnbull) and Fat Face (Tim Penfold, Matt Alvarado and Will Penfold) made the best job of picking their way around the holes, never more than a few boat lengths apart for the majority of the race. The course was shortened after a frustrating two laps, with Radii leading on the final run to the finish. However, they left their final gybe late. Barron and Smithers, coming down with slightly more pressure saw their opportunity and gybed inside to take the gun at the committee boat end by the smallest of margins.
Despite the best attempts by race officer Lawrence Grimes to start a second race the wind did not stabilise sufficiently and the second race was abandoned and the fleet sent home when the wind died completely early in the first beat.
By this time Radii had already done enough to win the championship with a race to spare. Andy Richards and his crew sailed an incredibly consistent series to count nothing worse than second in their final results winning both the National Championship (for a second consecutive year) and the British Grand Prix by a considerable margin. Special mention should go to supersub Alex Tobutt who only replaced regular crew Dave Richards on the bow at the last minute as Dave was on maternity leave.
Despite an awful final day Rob Dulson, Paul Constable and Alec Mckinlay on Base 1 had already done enough to take overall second place in both the National Championship and British Grand Prix. Barron and Smithers last minute win in the last race was enough to gain them third overall in the National Championship rankings by the narrowest of margins, pipping Fat Face to the podium on count back. However, the inclusion of the Europeans results saw them move down a place in the British Grand Prix ranking with Fat Face’s more consistent results enough to give them third overall in that competition.
UK Nationals final results
1 Radii (Andy Richards) 1, 2, 1, (5), (5), 1, 1, 2 – 8 pts
2 Base 1 (Rob Dulson) 3, 3, 3, 1, 1, (7), 4, (10)- 15 pts
3 Barron and Smithers (Pete Barton) 4, 5, 2, 2, (7) 3, (6), 1 – 17 pts
4 Fatface (Tim Penfold) 2, 1, (5), 3, 3, (5), 5, 3 – 17 pts
5 SELS (Ed Brown) (6), 4, (12), 4, 4, 2, 2, 4 – 22pts
British Grand Prix final results
1 Radii GBR 1, 2, 1, (6), (5), 1, 1, 2 – 8pts
2 Base 1 GBR 3, 3, 4, 1, 1, (8), 4, (12) – 16pts
3 Fatface GBR 2, 1, (8), 4, 3, (6), 6, 3 – 19pts
4 Barron & Smithers GBR 4, 6, 3, 3, (7) 4, (7), 1 – 21 pts
5 GP Covers DEN 6, 4, 2,2, (15), 3, 5, (9) – 22pts