RS200 Ugly Tour, Rounds 1 and 2
Round 1 - Bristol Corinthian YC
All Photos by Rosey Davies, Exe SC
Round 1 of the 2017 RS200 Ugly Tour event took place at Bristol Corinthian YC on the 18th March. The event, sponsored by www.2ndhanddinghies.com, was greeted with strong winds for the first two races. 24 boats made it to the start line of the first race, and it was Peter Eyre, crewed by Ian Mairs (Parkstone YC) who took the early lead. A missed mark cost them dearly however, allowing Matt Mee and Emma Norris (Burghfied / RWB) to come through to take the race win, followed in by Ed Whitehead and Karen Oldale (Parkstone YC), and Chris Catt & Roz McGrane (Netley SC).
The second race started much like the first finished, with the wind ramping up even more, and Mee, Whitehead and Catt leading the way. Gusts of 33kts were measured throughout the race, which made for some very exciting downwind stretches! This time it was the Whitehead / Oldale partnership who came away with the race win from Catt / McGrane and Mee / Norris in third.
The racing remained intense for the third race, and wind slightly slacked off although not by much! The leaders were revelling the conditions, swapping places around the course, but eventually it was Mee / Norris who pipped Catt / McGrane to the line, with Whitehead / Oldale in third.
It all came down to race with Mee / Norris and Whitehead / Odale on equal points. Eventually Mee / Norris proved themselves as the best on the day in the windy conditions, leading out the decider from their closest rivals who could only finish second. Catt / McGrane cam home third and finished third in the series too.
Round 2 - Exe SC
This Ugly event was joined by sailors taking part in the RS200 Magic Marine National Circuit.
The conditions for the second round of the Ugly were somewhat different from those in Bristol with little more than a light breeze in the estuary of Exe SC. A few familiar faces from the front of the last event came to the front here in race 1 too, including Parkstone's Ed Whitehead, this time crewed by Millie Alcock who came home in second, and Bristol Corinthian's John Teague, crewed by Naomi Pound in third. Round 1 winners Matt Mee / Emma Norris took fourth. The winners for race 1 however were the pair from Itchenor SC, Maria Stanley, crewed by Rob Henderson.
The wind remained light for race two, but Mee /Norris made light work of the challenging conditions and tide, leading out and finishing the race in first. Alistair Norris and Helen Summersgill (Bristol Corinthian) took second and Fred Mainwairing / Liz Teague (Red Wharf Bay / Exe SC) finished third.
It was a day of attrition in the slow conditions, and race 3 was no different. Mee and Norris were on form though and got through to win another race. Whitehead/Alcock got second this time, and the ever consistent Norris/Summersgill came home in third.
On the following day, race 4 was delayed due to lack of wind, but finally they got underway. The delay made no difference to the form of Mee/Norris who stormed to their third win of the event. Stanley/Henderson recorded a second place and Norris/Summersgill came in third.
Race 5 saw Stanley and Henderson hit their straps, reconnecting with their form at the sharp end of the event. They took the race win from Norris/Summmersgill, with Mee/Norris slipping into third.
Again, the final race started with all to play for. Stanley/Henderson got away well, but the fleet were chasing them down. The race was revived by a clever change of course by the race officer, but Stanley/Henderson held on for the win to seal the overall victory. Teague/Pound snuck into second and Whitehead/Alcock finished third. Mee /Norris were only able to finish fifth, meaning they would finish the event second overall, with Norris/Summersgill taking the overall third.