A win for Jerry Wales at the Royal Torbay YC RS300 open meeting this weekend puts him in to the lead of the GUL RS Racing Circuit Series

The GUL RS Racing Circuit hit Torbay in a big way on 16-17 June with three courses spread across the bay. The RS200s and 600s launched from Paignton Beach with Paignton SC running their course. The RS300s, 400s and 800s launched off Torre Abbey Sands in Torquay and the Royal Torbay YC managed their two courses. With the sunshine and fresh breezes of Sunday the boats were a spectacular sight downwind from the shore with multi coloured spinnakers everywhere in the bay.

The weather was some of the most varied imaginable. As the fleets rigged on Saturday morning there was a steady moderate breeze from the north-west. As the fleets launched this wind started to drop and it soon became apparent that something big was brewing to the south of Brixham. As thunder started to rumble under very large, very nasty and very wet looking black clouds, the fleets prepared for a huge downpour. Luckily the clouds took one look at Paignton and rumbled off out to sea causing mayhem with the wind in the process.

Race Officers Ken Falcon, John Haslam and Peter Rumbelow then spent over an hour moving the windward marks round every compass point as the wind continually shifted. Eventually the wind settled down around a mean direction of north-west around a Force 3-4. There were though some big slants and patchs in the wind, which gave some snakes and ladders racing.

Sunday was a lot kinder, the wind stayed in the north-west all day, built slowly so that full on racing took place in Force 4-5 under generally blue skies and plenty of sunshine. It was a blistering good day and many very tired but happy bunnies left after prizegivings at 1600.

Ten RS300s had a very challenging series of races at Torquay as some big lumps of wind gave some very demanding conditions downwind. While the results show that Jerry Wales produced a perfect score of six race wins this does not reflect the true competitive nature of the event. Matt Sargent was a constant threat to the Master and frequently led but was unable to hold on.

Matt Critchley was also always in close contention and his fitness showed on Sunday when he scored three thirds. Critchley also had the misfortune to lead a race but headed for the wrong mark allowing Wales to recover from a capsize. New face to 300 sailing this Spring, David Lapes, is making a quick impression with loads of boat speed scoring a second and a third on Saturday to claim fourth overall. Richard Kemp-Salt and Ben Ward both scored useful results while Graham Sanderson’s third in race one must be his performance in 300s so far.

Special mention must be made of Cliff Shaw who made repeated attempts to port tack the fleet on the start line. Also to Sargent who won the brown pants award for getting round the start mark (also the 300s leeward mark) 10 seconds before the 400s started on a recalled start and then had to work extremely hard to cross the 400 fleet on port.

Counting two out of three events Jerry Wales is leading the GUL RS Racing Circuit with to points, Wil Gulliver is second with three points while Critchley is winning the Matt fight with five points compared to Sargent’s six points. Battle will resume for the 300s at Mumbles in mid July.

Overall Results

1st 4, Jerry Wales (Queen Mary SC)

2nd 443 Matt Sargent (Royal Artillery YC)

3rd 332 101 Damnations Matt Critchley (Stokes Bay YC)

4th 340 Dragonfly David Lapes (Aldenham SC)

5th 440 Gambit Richard Kemp-Salt (Brightlingsea SC)

6th 400 Ben Ward (Beaver SC)

7th 364 Grahame Sanderson (Brightlingsea SC)

8th 390 C M Shaw (Stokes Bay YC)

9th 413 Graham Cooper

10th 344 Steve Middleton (Burghfield SC)