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RS200 SW Ugly Tour event at Chew Valley Lake SC 23rd Oct 2021, sponsored by Westcountry Boat Repairs

A challenge was set in the lead up to this seasons final event, by sponsor Pete Vincent of Westcountry Boat Repairs, to get 35 entries. For a regional circuit event, this really is quite a high target, but not for the RS200 Ugly tour! The fleet delivered the goods and exceeding Pete’s challenge, with 36 competitors on the water for this year's Ugly circuit finale at Chew Valley Lake, that is really quite some turnout!

A light start to the day greeted the fleet, with the overcast conditions set to improve throughout the day. Race one began and immediately set the tone for the day, shifts and more shifts, with no position safe on the race course with plenty of snakes to fall back on or ladders to jump through the fleet. The leading boat of Mark Oakey/Jess Smith, were battling for victory with Merrick Stanley/Victoria Upton, until a minor miss reading of the number of laps, secured Stanley/Upton the win, with Chris Catt/Emma Norris in second, John Teague/Naomi Pound third, Henry Hallam/Ashley Hill in fourth and Oakey/Smith now dropping to fifth.

Race two saw the fleet race in more shifty, gusty and tricky conditions resulting in some exceptionally close racing throughout the fleet, with Catt/Norris this time taking the win, from Teague/Pound, with Jeremy Stephens/Lloyd Williams taking third from Stanley/Upton in fourth and local Chew boat of Nick Martindale/Christi Brasher taking fifth.

The third race threw a curve ball at the start, with some large shifts mixing up the fleet, and further big shifts leading to big gains and losses to be had. Capitalising best on the conditions, were Duncan/Lorna Glen, who were picking up the pace in the now building breeze from Stephens/Williams in second. Third place, pushing the stick hard and planning their way through the fleet, were Hallam/Hill, with Oakey/Smith in fourth and Stanley/Upton in fifth place.

Going into the fourth and final race, the event was still wide open, with several boats in the mix for the win, not only for this event, but the overall 2021 Ugly Tour title. The building breeze stretched the fleets legs up the beats, with the downwind legs a marginal choice between planning or soaking. Hallam/Hill firmly in the push the stick camp, took the win, with Catt/Norris in second and the Glens in third place and Teague/Pound on their tales for fourth, from the very consistent Stanley/Upton in fifth.

With the final scores in, Chris Catt/Emma Norris from Burghfield took the win after an exceptionally competitive days racing, with second place going to the Cornish duo of Henry Hallam/Ashley Hill from St Mawes, with John Teague/Naomi Pound from Bristol Corinthian in third place. Fourth place went to Merrick Stanley/Victoria Upton from Llandegfedd/Exe with fifth place going to another Cornish pair, Jeremy Stephens/Lloyd Williams from Penzance.

The Silver fleet was won by the local Chew boat of David Sweet/Anna Mason, from the Thornbury boat of Nick Smith/Hannah Metcalfe-Smith. The Bronze fleet was won by Milly Tregaskes/Taryn Banks from Restronguet, on countback from second bronze boat Reuben/Jo Woodbridge from Chew.

A big thanks to Chew Valley for putting on such a brilliantly fun, friendly and competitive event, the place was buzzing, great to see. It was good to see such a high home entry from Chew, and a large and far travelling Cornish group of boats. Of course this was also the finale of the 2021 Westcountry Boat Repairs Ugly tour, and it went down to the final run! The headline is that we have a new name going on the trophy, with Henry Hallam and Ashley Hill our 2021 Ugly champions! You’ll have to wait later this week for a full roundup report of the series by sponsor Pete Vincent with all the details, needless to say it has quite possibly been our biggest year ever!

John Teague


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