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2nd Day Round 2 18ft Grand Prix UK Calshot     
A gruelling bank holiday weekend concluded in sunshine for Round 2 of the
18ft Skiff Grand Prix yesterday. Eight teams raced for the Holt Challenge
plate in cold, wet and windy conditions for the most part. Team Pica, the
defending holders of the trophy, were given more to think about with new
challenge coming from a variety of directions in the form of teams Ronstan
and team LED.
Sunday saw very similar conditions to Saturday with teams making the trip
over to the race area east of Hillhead. With the North easterly coming off
the mainland, the course was relatively flat but gusty. Crew work had
clearly settled down after the first day of racing as five different teams
posted a top three result. Steve McLean and his team on LED looked like
they had found a new gear, giving Pica some unexpected pressure and forcing
an error resulting in a clear lead for LED down the last run. A late gybe
for LED and wind shift resulted in Pica squeezing through to a controversial
1st place on the finish with boats neck and neck through the line. LED made
their way back to the beach following technical issues. In the 2nd race of
the day it was the Kiddle brothers with new crew Oscar Mead on Gill in 3rd,
Ronstan in 2nd that joined Pica in the top spots with Ronstan clearly
showing they had the potential to challenge Pica's lead. This proved true
as it all came together for team Ronstan in the last race on Sunday when
they posted their first win, pushing Pica into 2nd with Young & Reckless in
3rd. Gill beating Mark Watts' Aftica to 4th Place. As the teams packed up
for the day the sun finally broke through proving a welcome glimpse of
spring weather. Teams converged in Hamble for food and drinks before the
final day of racing.
The hope that the bright skies of Sunday afternoon would continue into
Monday quickly evaporated as teams woke to a wet and windy Monday morning.
At least it was above 10 degrees Celsius. The breeze forecast continued to
strengthen and fleet according chose opted for small rigs. The Race course
was set in the Hill Head area with a start in around 16 gusting 19 knots.
The first lap saw Ronstan take the lead with Pica picking the shifts as the
wind clocked round to the south finally pulling them ahead of Ronstan to get
the first win of the day. Third Carsington, fourth Young & Reckless. The
breeze settling down to a southerly and the rain finally stopped, all was
set for what was to be the final race. With a short start line it was
always going to be busy. Caringston was forced over early by Pica at the
committee boat end whilst the rest of the fleet were away clear. Ronstan,
Pica and LED all showed good speed but it was Ronstan that took early
advantage and stayed ahead to post there 2nd race win of the regatta with
Pica in 2nd, LED in 3rd and Caringston in 4th.
Despite taking their 2nd event win of the 2012 Grand Prix Pica (Stewart
Mears, Tristan Hutt & Jamie Mears) were finally put under pressure having to
count a 2nd place in their usual string of firsts. 2nd place went to new
arrivals, Loch Lomond team Ronstan (Cammy Steele, John Annan & Craig
Hepplewaite) putting in an impressive performance to take a very convincing
2nd place. The 3rd podium position goes to Team Young & Reckless (Mark
Kudlinski, Miguel Andrew and Tom Hill) who's winter training and consistent
effort during the event assured their first podium position in the UK Grand
Prix. The next four places all included at least one race position in top 3
showing how close and mixed the racing is becoming on the UK Grand Prix
The prize giving at the Calshot Activity Centre bar concluded a fantastic
weekend of racing before teams departed for the 1st event of the European
Grand Prix in Balaton, Hungary, which starts on Thursday. We wish all teams
the best for the European Grand Prix and look forward to their return for
the third UK event on the 1st & 2nd September in Sandbanks, Poole, before
the Nationals and last event of the UK & European Grand Prixs in Plymouth on
the 28th/29th/30th Sept.
Many thanks to the Calshot Activity Centre, Principle Race Officer Ed
Browne, his Race Management and Safety teams as well as event sponsors DRisk
and Hyde Sails.
Photos - Tom Barnett (, Declan O'Riordan, Eddie
Class Sponsors - Blue Sheets Marine Directory, Spartan Wetsuits, Ovington
Boats and Action Cameras
Event sponsors - DRisk Risk Management Software and Hyde Sails


Courtesy of Ben Clothier

Posted on Wednesday, May 09, 2012 (Archive on Tuesday, August 07, 2012)
Posted by norbert peter  Contributed by


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