For the fourth consecutive time, the RMW Marine 18 footer team has won the national championship
For the fourth consecutive time, the RMW Marine 18 footer team has won the national championship in Plymouth Sound yesterday, having been made to work extremely hard to retain the title. Skipper Rob Greenhalgh and middle man Dan Johnson have been on the boat on each occasion, but there was a new face in the team this time. With Peter Greenhalgh on 49er duty in Spain, Liam Murray came in to take his place and did a good job. Coming ashore after the racing, Liam said: “I really enjoyed it, but I’m not sure I could do it again. It’s such hard work!”
This has been a tough championship, sailed in testing conditions, and yesterday was the toughest of all. Again some of the heavier teams opted for the No 1 rig, but found that, with winds up to 20 knots and the biggest seas of the event, they had not made the best choice.
RMW Marine began the day with an eight point cushion, but suffered a set-back right at the start of the opening race. A high speed tangle with another boat on the starting line caused them to capsize, and they faced a sizeable deficit when they finally got away to chase the fleet. Worse was to come on the downwind leg when a whisker wire, which must have been damaged when they locked bowsprits with the other boat at the start, parted with a bang and they had no option but to head for the Mount Batten Centre to replace it.
Meanwhile, Rob Dulson, Martin Goodlad and Alec McKinlay on Base 1 sailed a good race to take the first victory of the day, revelling in the conditions under their No 2 rig. Tim Penfold, Matt Alvarado and Will Penfold on Link Associates battled into second place, with Andy Richards, Andrew Fairley and Dave Richards third on Radii.
RMW Marine was back on the course for the second race after a lightening pit stop, and sailed an immaculate race to clinch the championship, with the second discard now coming into effect after eight races. As already said, they had been made to work very hard to win, but had sailed a very good series making best use of their powerful low drag No 2 rig. They were followed home by Radii and Victor Brellisford, James Fawcett and Dave Smith on White Stuff doing their best to tough it out under their big rig.
With the RMW Marine team now able to take the luxury of an early bath just as some heavy rain showers came through, there was still the matter of the the minor places to be settled in the final race. The finishing order was Radii, Base 1 and Hermes, sailed by Ed Browne, Mark Tait and Lachlan Torrance, who must have rued their decision to defend their overall second place with their No 1 rig, and then losing it to Base 1.
The championship had been sailed in the tough conditions that 18 footer sailors enjoy, and, as Rob Greenhalgh said in his winner’s speech, the facilities at the Mount Batten Centre and the organisation by the Mayflower Sailing Club had been much appreciated.
1. RMW Marine Rob Greenhalgh, Dan Johnson and Liam Murray 10pts
2. Base 1 Rob Dulson, Martin Goodlad and Alec McKinlay 21pts
3. Hermes Ed Browne, Mark Tait and Lachlan Torrance 23pts
4. Computacenter Jon Bennett, Andy Jeffries and Nick Jerkins 25pts
5. Radii Andy Richards, Andrew Fairley and Dave Richards 26pts
6. White Stuff Victor Brellisford, James Fawcett and Dave Smith 30pts
7. Link Associates Tim Penfold, Matt Alvarado and Will Penfold 31pts
8. Renewable Energy Charlie Tavner, Ian Mitchell and Ed Clay 51pts
9. Multimarine Dan Fellows, Neil Wiseman and Simon Baker 51pts
10. SP Systems Mike Hope, Justin Biddle and Sandy Wright 72pts