Magic Marine Solo National Championship 2018 Day 5
Friday, July 27, 2018
With a light fickle breeze coming from 90 degrees there was very little ventilation to room 2 of the Dunes block and the head shaped indentation of sweat on my pillow confirmed that had indeed been a hot night. The sound of activity in the boat park focused my attention away from the house fly which, I assumed, was being very sick on my sailing boots. I debagged and exited my palace with the fly not far behind.
My ride for the day was once more aboard the Jury rib and with some Ibiza anthems blaring out over the radio and the sun beating down on us, took me, just for a moment to the coast of Greece. My rib driver repeated and for a moment the faint smell of garlic filled the air to complete my experience.
PRO Paul Carpenter surveyed the battle ground and ordered his team of mark layers to their stations as the warriors arrived…slowly. While the optimism of breeze was high, so was the UK pressure system and though the wind direction had swung to a more normal 185-190 there was not a single cumulus to be seen above the South Downs.
Undeterred, Carpenter sent the troops from the safety of the trench into the gums of the 7mph southerly with a clean start despite a mass at the pin end. Tim Law, first to finish yesterday but BFD was first to the mark from defending champion Charlie Cumbley with Robert Gullan and Scotsman Kev Gibb three and four. The fleet filed down the 0.8 of a mile run while the PRO suggested to his mark layer that a reduction to 0.7 would be a good number for the next beat. Law continued to dominate the race, only slowing so he could get course details from Cumbley who sportingly obliged. Pete Mitchell got him up to third which would be great had his nearest rivals not been ahead. Gibb held for a fourth with Guy Mayger continuing to improve at this regatta in fifth.
There are too many casualties to name and the PRO accepted that there would be losses and for some they were heavy.
There were three OCS but only two were identified, If I knew the third he would be receiving the Jammy Dodger Award this evening. The fleet split with a 60/40 division, 60 year olds went one way and the 40 somethings went the other. Those expecting another left lift were a little surprised to see an armada of starboard tackers coming into the top mark ahead of them and it was Nigel Thomas who judged it to perfection to lead from Ray Collins and Vice President Patrick Burns. The wind carried heavy sighs across the course with the knowledge that Patrick would feast on this accomplishment until the next Hogmanay. Race 9 winner Law reminded us that this was a high calibre championship in fourth ahead of Septimus Series leader John Webster who took us back to the serialism. To be fair, the Class has sailors who continue to race and were once absolute super athletes, that is the pull of the National Solo and I salute you. Cumpsty and Cumbley were deep and I mean they were in the teens, while Pete Mitchell was buried in a whole load of hurt. Mention of early event front runner Richard Lovering who had a slightly better day but acknowledged that more breeze would have helped. I believe there were about 100 other sailors who would concur. Back to the race and as you can gather I am having to utilise every once of information gleaned during this regatta to keep you entertained but there was a chess match going on down the final run and with Law clear in front it was Ellie Cumpsty who delivered the check mate to Collins with James Boyce and Robert Gullan completing the top five.
Full marks to Cumpsty for keeping a cool head with two BFDs in her overall score. She is up to 4th overall with Mitchell and Law on the heels of Cumbley who can not afford a slip up tomorrow on the final day of the 2018 Magic Marine Solo National Championship.
Tonight is Curry night and it will be fabulous as has all the catering this week. I did ask Chef John and his team to come forward to congratulate them but the ex Navy chap explained that he would not even do that for the Queen.
Allen Improver Series
It was Olly Davenport who was the biggest mover from 53rd to 7th on day 2 while after day 3 it was Patrick Burns whose fantastic 29th in race 5 moved him up 14 places. No surprise that Richie Bailey won day 4 where his 1-2-4 scoreline moved him from 26th to 11th. The Improver of day 5 is still to be worked out.
My stay in Dunes 2 has been curtailed and I and my fly have been moved to the less salubrious area of the accommodation. I assume the fumigators have arrived.
Early Bird Draw
HD Sails are providing the Solo Class with a 25% discount on a new Solo mainsail and some HD clothing while C2 Marine have donated 2 carbon Nitestick extensions. We are also giving away a beautiful Milanes Foils centreboard, courtesy of Rob Jenks. Our suppliers generosity knows no bounds and it will be a packed Early Bird prize giving tonight so please enter early next year if you didn’t.
A massive thank you to all our sponsors and especially Magic Marine who have added so much more glamour to this event. We will all be wearing our headwear for the overall prize giving.
There have been a few knocks and scrapes this week but we have the knowledge that Noble Marine Insurance will protect our assets.