Paul Bayliss now leads the RS700 national championship at Weymouth

The breeze at breakfast time promised more of the thrills and spills of the previous day’s racing at the RS700 national championship yesterday, but Mother Nature can be cruel sometimes, and a hot sunny day was delivered with the resultant sea breeze fighting the gradient northerly. By the time the sailors hit the shore there was next to nothing, but not before some good, if shifty racing had been held.

Paul Bayliss shot out of the start in race one, was immediately headed, tacked and crossed the fleet. He never looked back to record a significant win. Behind, Carl Vining had the best of the shifts to take an interesting second place following some major place changing in the first half of the race. Andy White must have been practicing his ‘Houdini tricks’ because in an amazing last beat, he came through from obscurity to third, which he held to the finish, with Jason Belben fourth and newcomer to the 700 Jon Gorringe in fifth.

“I must be one of the luckiest sailors on the water” commented Andy White between races modestly. But he proved that there was more to his sailing than luck when he went and won the second race, beating Jason Belben who had led the entire race. “I just took my eyes off him” admitted Belben of his fellow club mate, and who had to be content with second. Carl Vining also had something to prove scoring a third place, ahead of Tim Garvin, and Leigh Albrecht, all three of them inland sailors obviously relishing the light shifty conditions.

Overall now, Paul Bayliss moves into the lead, following a disastrous day by Neil Robinson, who was involved in a collision in the first race, and came unhooked in the second, breaking his tiller extension. It is incredibly tight at the front, with just four points separating the top four. With good days today, any, some or all of Jason Belben, Andy White and Carl Vining, who lie second, third, and fourth respectively could hit the front of the fleet tomorrow. It’s all to play for over four races and two days and it’s plain that the proverbial fat lady hasn’t even cleared her throat yet.