Bright sunshine and lighter winds for Day Two of the Gul RS700 Nationals in Eastbourne 5/6/06
Day two of the championship dawned with bright sunshine and lighter breezes than the previous day. The sailors emerged from their overnight slumber to enjoy a coaching seminar on heavy weather technique by Paul Bayliss. The overnight leaders of the Gold and Silver fleets were then presented with Gul rash vests before the fleet took to the water in a fluctuating force 1-2 breeze.
Race one saw the first general recall of the event and the introduction of the black flag by the ever efficient race committee. The fleet got away cleanly on the second attempt and Mark Nicholson led at the windward mark, sailing his first open event in the 700. Downwind the established names showed their form and Steve Butcher soon blew through to take a commanding lead. Matt Humphries and Paul Bayliss fought it out for second place, with Matt taking it out and Pete Purkiss coming in fourth.
Race two saw Tim Dickinson leading the fleet at the windward mark. Pete Purkiss managed to tack inside a group, which had overstood the layline, to round second and follow Tim to the right hand side of the run. The two leaders gybed simultaneously and Pete managed to roll Tim to take the lead, which he held to the finish. Local hero, Alex Koukourakis fought off a strong challenge from Griff Tanner to take third.
Race three was sailed in a lighter breeze. Paul Bayliss won the committee boat end of the line and was the first to tack to the favoured right hand side of the beat. He led at the windward mark and although closely challenged by Matt Humphries was never bettered. Alex Koukourakis again took third but had to work hard to stave off a strong challenge from Andy Irons.
Once the sailing activities were over, the daily winners in the Gold and Silver fleet were presented with bottles of Gul wine, the fleet took full advantage of the RMW sponsored happy hour before descending en masse on a local restaurant to enjoy the ‘Harken’ Curry night.