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Great Britain, World Qualifier at Hunstanton 2009


15/16 August

Report by Keith Byers

This event was scheduled for 6 races over the two days of 15/16 August. Competitors were met on Saturday with wind gusting into a force 6 and large waves coming from various directions making the conditions extremely challenging. Conditions that would prove too much for the RS700 fleet who didn't manage a start.

Race 1 - saw current national champion Terry Curtis 1st round the windward mark and promptly (and uncharactaristically) capsize. Edwards and Fish rounded second together with Edwards forgetting to duck as he tacked resulting in a swim. The main pack of the fleet hurtled towards the jibe mark, close in shore, with trepidation, the first few stalwarts including Jon Fish and Keith Byers successfully jibed but never have so many OK been capsized round one mark - keeping saftey boat crew entertained. During this race the run proved to be very testing with many experienced sailors being caught out by the gusty conditions and large waves. Jon Fish finished in first, closely followed by Keith Byers and Dan Ager third.

Race 2 - continued the days sailing in equally challenging conditions. Fish capsized as the gun went leaving him well back, with Curtis once again rounding the windward mark in first place, hotly pursued by Scholes, Edwards and Byers. Curtis retained his position finishing in first place, Edwards closely behind, capsized on the run letting Byers through into second place with Scholes in third.

Race 3 - won once again by Curtis, with Fish in second place and Gavin Waldron in third. This completed sailing for day 1 - all competitors having the opportunity to swim at least part of the course during the day. Once ashore the fleet took the opportunity to repair damaged gear and unfortunately, for Tony Wood, to pack up due to a broken mast.

Race 4 - racing resumed on Sunday in more moderate conditions, started in a pleasant wind force 3 - 4, with Curtis once again dominating the race from the start. Scholes showing good speed was followed by Edwards and Byers. These placings held until the finish.

Race 5 - saw a duel between Curtis and Scholes for the windward mark and subsequent reaches. Racing continued to be closely contested with big wind shifts a feature catching many sailors out. Final positions were Curtis, Scholes, Waldron and Byers.

Race 6 - racing was much closer due to decreasing wind conditions. Curtis rounded first, followed by Byers, Scholes and Edwards. On the first reach Scholes overtook Byers, and on the subsequent run Edwards slithered through to third. These results held to the finish.

So, following his seventh place at the Worlds in Sweden a few weeks ago, Curtis proved too quick for the rest. A big thanks must go to Hunstanton SC for putting on a great weekends sailing, in particular the race officer, rescue teams who were kept very busy on the Saturday and the onshore crew who ensured we all got off the beach and got back onto the beach safely.

12118Terry CurtisUpper Thames4111114
22135Alex ScolesOvery Staithe SC53DNF2229
32084 Keith Byers Morecombe & Heysham22444412
42126 Mike Edwards South Staffs Sailing Club7DNF535316
52085 Gavin Waldron South StaffsDNSDNC363618
62122Jon FishWaldringfield142DNSDNSdnc22
72134Julian BurnhamUpper Thames96DNC86525
82130Deryck LovegroveKingsmead6561010926
92125Neil Goodhead South Staffs108DNF77830
102031 Dave Cooper Overy Staithe SC87DNF981032
112123 Andy Turner Overy StaitheDNSDNSdnc59736
122104 Paul Pike CovenhamDNSDNSdnc11111148
132120 Dan AgerWaldringfield3DNCDNCdncdncdnc48
142124Tony WoodsEtherowDNFDNCdncdncdncdnc60