Magic Marine Solo National Championship 2018 Day 4
Friday, July 27, 2018
This is the Summer that keeps on giving, and for the 104 competitors who have been gradually tenderising in their neoprene insulation, the shadow provided by the Committee boat and PRO Paul Carpenter’s silhouette, impressive as it is, gave no sanctuary from the burning rays. Fortunately, the westerly breeze of 10-14mph kept the fleet from over cooking and three races were completed to get this regatta back on track.
The first race of the day would be race 6 and with two BFD casualties from yesterday’s aborted attempts, Mark Lee and Andrew Voysey sitting it out on the bench/beach, the race was away first time under the black flag, albeit with some port bias, a view not shared by the PRO.
They would not know but there had been a further six BFDs, Kevin Gibb, Leo Dixon and Nigel Davies amongst them.
The left seemed to pay and was probably dictated by the stronger left to right current and a subtle left shift. You don't have to be a genius to see a theme here, don't go right.
Without the ability to look into the future there were many left licking first beat wounds, Richard Lovering the most prominent. First to the windward mark was Guy Mayger with Andy Bayliss and Plate series leader Ritchie Bailey, on leave from the Navy and using a new Solo he has sailed only 6 times, third, his self belief in his ability suitably boosted by my insistence that he sport the Plate series race bib for the day. Godwin, Cumpsty and Nigel Thomas were next around, all three looking to improve their overall result with half the series still to complete. Pete Mitchell, Charlie Cumbley and Tim Law were in the mid teens which was as much of a surprise to them as it was to me while Lovering was deeper than Vince Horey’s wallet. The first lap was completed with the fleet filtering down the run, staying in pressure as the dreaded shadow from the compressed fleet bore down was the trick.
Bailey took control from Mayger and Godwin while Bayliss opted for the less popular gate of the two. Cumpsty followed the main leaders with Robert Gullen continuing to impress in his 13 year old wooden Gosling Solo. The second lap saw Cumbley manage to get back up to 7th, using all his downwind skills to collect a score most of us would consider the pinnacle of our sailing careers. At the front and reminding me of Dettori when he claimed that seven timer at Ascot it was Bailey, who took the bullet and tugged his Plate series bib in ecstasy. I directed my media rib toward him, and primed my Fuji S1 for the flying dismount but alas, there was no splash. Mayger hung on to 2nd and looked very comfortable with a similar HD set up as Bailey while Godwin, Cumpsty and Thomas held formation behind. Oh yes, and Tim Law capsized which may provide a crumb of satisfaction to the Laser fleet in Plymouth where he was supposed to be.
In almost a carbon copy of race 6 the fleet converged on the top mark with this time, Bailey receiving the President’s Beer Token from Mayger and Godwin. Law was 4th and Gullen 5th. Lovering was again eating disturbed air mid fleet while Cumbley and Mitchell were exploring their extensive tactical grey matter for answers in the twenties. Olly Davenport was in the top ten with Cumpsty making ground as the pressure dropped.
The second lap was more dramatic in it’s conclusion than as a visual spectacle, I should mention that my ‘eye’s on’ reporting was slightly hindered by my rib drivers insistence on keeping to an exclusion zone the size of Norway. Cumpsty hooked into a left hand lift which dropped some of the leaders down while Horey and Hicks, which to be honest sounds like an Estate Agency improved to 3rd and 4th with race 6 winner Bailey back up to second, what a day he was having. Cumpsty’s win is a breath of fresh air and shows the Solo is not just an old man’s dinghy. Special mention to early front runners Bayliss and Gullen who, having gone low of the spreader mark, as did the leaders, were convinced by the madding crowd to return and gave away many places. The spreader was not part of the course for the triangle!
Suitably refreshed from his race 6 dowsing it was Law who nailed the first beat with Bailey in an incredible second (why should we be surprised) Steve Ede, Hicks and Davenport. Mitchell was next from entry 100 Iain Mcgregor who had only last night received an unopened bottle of Prosecco and was clearly having an almost champagne moment. Alas the fizz would soon disappear as he was BFD.
Cumbley, and I have had to refer to my overall results as I had forgotten who was leading, was again in the twenties and I wondered if, just maybe he had given too much away at this morning’s impromptu tuning session. We were in the windward leeward course and the downwind were pretty painful so I shifted my bum further onto the padded seat and pulled out another cold drink to satisfy my dry throat.
After two rounds it was Law who had dominated the race and must have been feeling satisfied as he crossed the finishing line…to silence BFD. I whispered directions to my rib driver to steer away from the unlucky blighter, he can look quite angry when he grimaces. To Tim’s defence, he immediately sailed up to the PRO to offer his congratulations on the race management, or that was my perception from just south of the Spinnaker tower. Therefore it was Davenport, who had been slowly working his way up the order who took a surprise win ahead of Pete Mitchell and, astonishingly, Charlie Cumbley. I have yet to enquire as to how he quite did that but I would presume he dropped the kicker a little to present more sail area to the wind, well that is what he said this morning. Bailey’s 4th gave him a 2-1-4 score which I guess he would have taken before kick off and a 5th for Championship Organiser Steve Ede validated his skills in the Solo.
The fleet returned to shore and will convene tonight at 9pm for the daily early bird prize giving. P+B will be one of our sponsors along with C2 Marine and Winder Boats. As a bonus, our newly appointed Vice President Patrick Burns will be given the microphone. My own career as compare may well be short-lived.
Allen Improver Challenge
Allen are sponsoring our Improver of the Day Award and I will be surprised if Richie Bailey is not the winner on Day 4. We will be presenting all the Allen Improver Awards on Friday so please be there.
Magic Marine caps and visors are keeping the sailors focused and protected from the sun but Jarvis Simpson, who won the top prize of the Magic Marine thermal race suit has decided, despite the fleet’s insistence,to wait for a slightly cooler event to show it off.
Publicity (not President)!