Nov & Dec Open Series #7 - 16 and 17 December

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Day 1 Race Report

Twenty-nine of the 31 RS Elites entered for the Zhik RS Elite National Championship made it to the start line on Day 1.

With 20–25 knots of westerly wind over tide, the sea state was epic but after a one-hour postponement the fleet exited Chichester Harbour and made their way upwind to the Hayling Bay start area.

Race 1 got underway at 1 o’clock in 21 knots of breeze, gusting 26 on a windward-leeward course. Current National Champion “Foudafafa” (76 – Mike McIntyre, Simon Childs, Caroline McIntyre) came off the pin end of the start line to build a handsome lead by the weather mark.

The chasing pack could not make any inroads and after two laps “Foudafafa” finished first, “Wombat” (55 – Russell Peters, Greg Wells, Mark Darling) second and “No Riff Raff” (20 – Tom Hewitson, Nigel Bird, Claire Cummings) third.

Race 2 started promptly with “No Riff Raff” leading at the weather mark chased hard by “Foudafafa” and a pack including “Aurora” (84 – David Hitchcock, Mark Allerston, Jill Hitchcock), “Basil” (40 – Roddy Bowerman, Harry Bowerman, Shaun Hopkins), “Lazy Daisy” (66 – Andy Partington, Gareth Edwards, Karen Partington), “Legs Eleven” (11 – Paul Fisk, Martin Grady, Pippa Jubb), “Dirty Dozen” (12 – Andrew Jameson, Tim Peters, James Grant.

“No Riff Raff” held on to their small lead on the run to the leeward gate with “Legs Eleven” taking advantage of a sizeable shift to pull through to second and “Foudafafa” third.

Unfortunately, “Legs Eleven” had been holed in an incident at the first windward mark and was steadily filling up with water.

Meanwhile, “No Riff Raff” and “Foudafafa” battled it out for the lead with “Foudafafa” coming through to win with “No Riff Raff” second and “Basil” third.

The wind was blowing 26 knots with gusts recorded at 31 knots for the start of Race 3. Foudafafa rounded off a perfect day with a third race win, No Riff Raff once again second and Wombat third.

So, at the end of Day 1 and after three races, Foudafafa sits atop the leaderboard on three points with No Riff Raff in second on 7 points and Wombat third on 14 points.

After racing, some tired sailors enjoyed pitch and putt golf on the beach followed by a magnificent barbecue served on the balcony.

Paul Fisk

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