Torbay nationals without the UK squad as they prepare for the Olympics in Athens
The Torbay Nationals was the first without the UK squad for some time as they were out in Athens preparing. This made for competitive sailing amongst the 32 boats entered.
Ed Greig showed his potential as a future Olympian winning 5 of the 7 races showing excellent boats speed and with the ability to rescue his position sometimes from mid fleet starts. His knack of spotting the shifts and to consistently pick the right side of the racecourse both upwind and downwind gave him a substantial lead in the races that he won and his only slip was a 2nd in race 2.
The next three places were a battle between Allen Burrell, Mark Andrews and Tim Carver, which went right down to the wire with the last day’s light and fluky conditions proving costly for Tim. Mark had been involved in a protest which led to him being thrown out of race 2 for a collision with Tim and this and a bad result in the last race cost him second place to Allen who was dynamite when it blew but less consistent when it went light.
Behind these three the battle for the next 5 places was again very close with Russell Ward, Justin Chisholm, Robert Deaves (the last race winner) and Tony Lock all being narrowly beaten by Dave McGregor who at his first nationals was very consistent and deserved his 5th place.
The winds were such that many other faces had their moments for a time but such was the shifting breeze that it was difficult to maintain. The race officer was on the ball and occasionally moved the windward mark to maintain a proper beat; he set good long courses in the middle of the bay. The lines were often tinged with port bias with Phil Laycock claiming the pin on most occasions however Ed Greig managed to win from a series of mid-line starts demonstrating that clear wind and getting the first shift right was the more consistent tactic.
1st Ed Grieg
2nd Al Burrell
3rd Mark Andrews
4th Tim Carver
5th Dave McGregor