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With 25 knots on the way to the start, the RS100s blasted down to their start with a few swims.
Race 1 was port biassed with a clean get-away. Paul Childs tacked early and headed right to take first, followed by Neal Freeman and Huw Powell. Childs had a few swims, knocking him to 3rd. Down the last run it was Ian Turnbull, Freeman, Powell and Childs all very tight. Turnbull capsized as did Childs, leaving Freeman to win.
In race 2, Childs messed up a port flyer, but after a tough beat Jon Holroyd led from Childs and Sam Vaughan. Childs managed to take the lead down the run and hold to the finish. Vaughan finished 2nd, followed by Powell.
The rain fell hard on Weybiza today, prompting many people to rig in very wet wetsuits and full ff-shore gear. 15-20kts from the NE provided some challenging & close racing.
Race I began finally under a black flag wih committee boat bias. At the windward mark, Paul Childs led from Alex Morrison and Neal Freeman. Childs managed to miss the spreader mark of the outer loop (unaware), Morrison went for a dip, so Freeman took the bullet.
In Race 2, another black start saw no victims. Childs led at the windward mark, followed by Olympic 470 hopeful, Stu Bithell and Freeman. The race was very tight with Bithell going for the final reach with his kite up before capsizing just after finishing. Freeman took 3rd.
Rob Jones had a blinding beat in race 3, taking the lead at the windward mark, followed by Freeman and Turnbull. An epic race took place, and, with fatigue taking victims, Freeman proved to be the man, taking the bullet, followed by Jones and with Simon Bennett in 3rd.
After an eventful day, the evening too saw an epic Sprint Champs, with Giles Scott, Paul Goodison, Luke Patience, Hugh Styles, Nick Craig, and Peter Barton taking on the mortals in an epic event close to the shore. If only the sun was out, it would have made for a perfect day!
The final day of the RS100 Nationals dawned with Neal
Freeman having won the 8.4 series, with two races to spare. Despite this he
started tied on the overall leader board with Paul Childs (10.2) on 17 points.
Both sailors knew that a bad day on the water would give the overall lead to
the other person.
The first race was started in a shifty 6kts. After a couple
of re-starts the fleet finally got away under black flag. The line was heavily
biased to port which allowed Rob Jones and Steve Lee to get away cleanly and
round the windward mark first and second. Neal Freeman was 9th and
Paul Childs 15th. This looked like Freeman had taken the overall
series, when he had a storming run to get to third, while Childs struggled to
make his way up the fleet.
On the final lap Freeman had managed to get into the lead
and was holding off Jones but sailed to starboard of marks 5 and 6. Six of the top 10 followed, which meant that
Steve Birbeck was gifted the win by sailing the correct course, followed by
Childs and Richard Keynon in third.
The final race the breeze picked up a little to 8kts. With
another heavily biased port line Jon Holroyd took the pin and tacking early to
clear the fleet. Childs was next away clearing everyone else. At the windward
mark Holroyd led from Huw Powell and Childs. These three held their position
until the last run, where Neal Freeman came from fourth to first. Childs
followed him all the way and managed to take second place.
After a very challenging week with a mix of conditions the
results were decided. With Childs taking the overall first position and the
first 10.2 and with Neal Freeman 2nd overall and 1st 8.4
1st Neal Freeman
2nd Jon Holroyd
3rd Steve Birbeck
1st Paul Childs
2nd Huw Powell
3rd Ian Turnbull