Andy Peake wins Fat Face event at Weymouth 31/8/06
The last of this year’s Fat Face racing circuit events took place over the Bank Holiday weekend of 26-27 August at Weymouth.
A fresh breeze of between 15-20 knots greeted the keen fleet for this final show-down of the 2006 season. In the Gold fleet Andy Peake and Matt Humphreys had taken it to the wire for the top circuit spot while old master, Andy Irons and the well-travelled Andy Holland from Hunstanton were battling it out for the bottom step of the podium. The Silver fleet was even more open with a number of helms needing a good result to complete the series and take the top spot from the current leader Ian Nolan.
The racing got under way in overcast conditions with Irons taking first blood leading at the top mark. However, an oscillating breeze favoured those who gybe-set on the first downwind leg and it was Peake who edged through to gain best advantage closely followed by Humphries and Koukourakis. Peake seemed to have it in the bag until an unforced error saw him uncharacteristically swim leaving the door open for Humphries, now over his ‘mal de mer’, to sail to victory in race 1.
Portland Harbour provided some further testing conditions with gusts being recorded up to 30 knots during the next two races as the breeze failed to settle. Any lead established was never secure and those following always had a chance to make ground. Tim Dickinson picked his way best round the second race course as Peake again managed an unforced capsize. Peake hit the front again in race three and this time managed to stay there taking a commanding lead into Sunday.
Similar conditions prevailed on Sunday morning with the aches and pains from Saturday still fresh in everyone’s minds. Peake made no mistakes out the traps in race four and as hard as Irons tried he couldn’t catch him. Koukourakis and Holland were both on the pace behind the leading pair.
By now a pecking order had been established and with the wind still very much around the same 15-20 knots great sailing conditions continued. Peake once again stamped his authority on race 5 with his Eastbourne under-study, Koukourakis, hard on his transom. Irons held a watching brief in 3rd happy to keep his nearest rival Humphries behind him.
Peake had done enough for the win and also took the 2006 series title without needing the complete race 6. This was just as well as both he and Koukourakis were a little premature on the line which cost the latter dear in terms of overall position. Jon Heissig showed more like his normal form by winning race six while Irons completed his consistent series with another 2nd.
In the silver fleet Paul Hayden appeared to be locked together for most of the weekend with Hayden just edging it by a capsize, to not only take the event prize but the silver circuit overall.
1st Andy Peake
2nd Andy Irons
3rd Matt Humphries
1st Paul Hayden
2nd Ian Nolan