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30/03/2002
Fat Face Eurocup Carnac YC

  • Crewsaver EOS Champs
  • 2012 RS EOS Champs
  • Llandegfedd Open 2013
  • RS 10th Anniversary Ball
  • RS200 Eurocup, YC Carnac, May 2018
  • RS200 Eurocup, YC Carnac, May 2018
Fat Face Eurocup – Carnac, Brittany, 30 March - 1 April RS200, RS400, RS600, RS700, RS800 The RS Eurocup venue, Carnac, has become renowned for its mixed weather, not always clement. The early arrivals this year, however, assumed they had hit the jackpot, when they were met by warm sun, blue sea, and force 3-4 winds. Bliss. A total of 65 boats, made up of 10 RS200s, 14 RS400s, 14 RS600s, 10 RS700s, and 17 RS800s made the journey, mostly from the UK, but with a smattering from Switzerland, The Netherlands and France. Well done to Alan Mackie, who travelled all the way from Scotland! John Callaghan, Eurocup Rep, who had arranged the event, was one of the early arrivals, quickly rigging the Racing Snake, and rushing out for the practice race followed by ‘trips round the bay’. He was almost not the first in the bar. This enthusiasm was rectified during the regatta, however, when he and Danny Girney failed to complete any races. The Racing Snake did make the occasional appearance, helmed by a holidaying Sarah Taylor, initially crewed by Emma Jackson, then Jane Norris, who showed the boat what it is like at the front of the 400 fleet, and showing a clear transom to their respective partners. Carnac YC held a practice race late on Friday. The conditions were perfect – a force 3 wind with sunshine, preparing participants for their first moules frite and beers at the notorious Square Bar. Day 1 racing started early afternoon, with 2 races. The sun still shone, and the wind had dropped to force 2 for Race 1, decreasing somewhat for Race 2. General confusion reigned regarding the course, especially in the 600 fleet, who entirely failed to see the replacement mark boat festooned with flag M, and rounded a random selection of mooring buoys off La Trinite before rejoining the race course. It didn’t make much difference since almost 50% of the 600 fleet were OCS anyway. A class act by all concerned. Other classes managed the confusion slightly better, and all enjoyed a beautiful sail in sun and wind. In the 700s, RS600 guru, Paul Bayliss show that he is a quick learner. Competing in his first 700 Regatta, he pipped Tim Johnson at the finish with Demo Dave Merchant of LDC in third. In race 2, Johnson demonstrated his expertise in light wind often trapezing from what looked like the bowsprit, taking first with Carl Vining in second and Bayliss third. The holiday feeling continued into the evening, with the fleet disappearing to the many excellent restaurants within 5 minutes walk, converging on the Square Bar, with the stalwarts nightclubbing into the early hours in the Whiskey Bar. Steve Dunn was heard to remark that, if the cocktails he had been drinking had had alcohol in them, he would have been slaughtered, moments before falling over …. Day 2 comprised 3 races, sailed back to back. The wind had eased to a gentle force 2, but the sun continued to shine. The start was delayed for almost an hour with most of the fleet anticipating a day sightseeing lighthouses & creperies. However, the excellent Race Officer, Jacques, after finishing the first bottle of vin rouge du R.O, spied a puff, and got one short and 2 reasonable races in before the wind disappeared completely. In the 600 fleet, Ben Willows made a re-acquaintance with his boat after a winter in the Caribbean. He, Roland Emmans and Ian Jubb all went right up the beat to cheat the tide and lead the fleet from there on to the finish, with Ben Willows winning. Races four and five saw consistently tight results from Matt Chapman and Ian Jubb, with multiple place changing and very tight starts, although the race officer did not resort to the black flag. Race 4 in the 700s didn't go Johnson's way as a very tight reach to the finish with Vining on his tail saw Johnson uncharacteristically capsize 10yds short of the finish line. While this was going on, long term Contender Campaigner Nigel Walbank stole first, showing that he will be a real threat once he masters the big blue sail at the front. Johnson recovered his composure and position at the front of the fleet in race 5, getting around the windward mark just ahead of Bayliss and Walbank. With the 800s climbing all over the mid-fleet 700s at the first leeward mark, an unusually dozy Merchant was t-boned by an 800 when he should have given way. Much blue language and some ingested salt water later Merchant recovered his capsize and composure to steal a couple of positions back. In the 400s, Giles & Heather Chipperfield led the fleet out of the tide towards the ‘Dangerous Rockies’ in Race 3, while Phil Jackson & Gerard Baron did the same in the next race. Everyone was winning a race now, while Nick Craig concentrated on beating Sarah! Carnac YC hosted a beer, cider & crepe night, followed by the normal visit to the local hostelries. The writer can’t say exactly what happened, having retired due to peaking too early on the previous evening, but the results the next day were truly horrible …. 2 races were scheduled for Day 3, but the 2nd race was cancelled to ensure that all competitors were off the water in good time to catch evening ferries home. The final race, therefore, was once again in gentle wind, with tactics being the name of the game. Ollie Holden & Sarah Freestone showed the old hands of the 200 fleet a thing or 2 by wrapping up the event on the last day in a very tense finish. Jon Lewis/Paula Hall pulled out into a clear lead whilst Ian Pickard/Laurie Dunn, Steve Dunn/Dottie Cormack, Pete Vincent/Pippa Williams and Ollie/Sarah swapped positions almost every minute giving new permutations on overall victory. Ollie gained the vital water at the last mark to just beat Pete with Ian fourth. This was enough to give them overall victory by a point even though they were blissfully unaware on the water. Lewis and Hall had to settle for second, a point ahead of Ian/Laurie, with Steve/Dottie unusually out of the prizes. RS maestro Pete Vincent starred more in the evenings than the days, only just making the last race at all. In the 400 fleet, ‘the brothers Grimm’, Chris & Matt Bailey, came straight to Race 6 from the nightclub, shot off the start line, led the fleet to the windward mark, then remembered where they were, and slowly & painfully drifted down the fleet to finish 8th. In the 600s it was anyone’s event going into the last race with everyone assuming that Ian “more wind” Jubb would not hold on to his slender lead in such light airs. Tony Freer did his best to claim overall victory with a good lead but could only watch as the fortunes of other prize- contenders varied considerably. Then to the amazement of all, Jubby found otherwise hidden talents, sailed fast down the run and finished third. A disbelieving fleet tried hard to make the scores add up differently but eventually had to admit that Jubby had actually won a light wind regatta. Whatever next? John Callaghan completing all races at an RS event perhaps. The final 700 race saw 6 boats round the windward mark one after the other with fleet youngster Lee Albrecht, 18, showing his upwind ability with first round the mark but moving to 4th by the end. Even sailing newcomer Alan Mackie managed to be just 5th around the top mark, demonstrating that with a bit of effort you can move from a Wayfarer to a 700 in one season! The race finished with Bayliss scoring his second bullet, Walbank second and Johnson Third. The prize-giving was a very Gallic affair, with podium presentations, Easter eggs, and flowers for the ladies! John Callaghan (promoted to RS Chairman by YC Carnac) thanked the club for their excellent organisation & hospitality. A great weekend was had by all, and we all look forward to returning to Brittany next year.
1 HOLDEN Ollie FREESTONE Sarah 2 LEWIS Jonathan HALL Paula 3 PICKARD Ian DUNN Laurie 4 DUNN Steve CORNACK Dottie 5 GILLOW Simon HILL Tracey 6 VINCENT Pete PIPPA Williams 7 DAVIES Matt PATTISON Melissa 8 MATTHEWS Simon MATTHEWS Lucy 9 DAY Babs NASH Prue 10 ENGLISH Martin HALL Matt