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12/03/2005
Fat Face Racing Circuit Chew Valley Lake SC

  • RS700 Nationals Plymouth 2014
  • RS700 Eurocup, YC Carnac, May 2018
  • RS700 Eurocup, YC Carnac, May 2018
The first RS700 Fat Face event of the year saw an enthusiastic bunch of boats launching onto Chew Valley Reservoir in almost warm sunshine and light breeze. Ten minutes later, for the first start, the sun was gone and a cold gusty wind reminded everyone of the extra layers left in the changing room. Leading at the first mark was a group containing Jerry Wales, and locals Tim Johnson and Tony Freer. Behind, the early starters had the benefit of the largest gust of the day to catch up downwind, and enjoyed the spectacle as it caught the leading group mid-gybe. This left Wales clear ahead, Johnson recovered to second and Leigh Albrecht sailed over the top of Jon Heissig on the final reach to the finish for third, after Ben Cooper lost the place while discussing right of way with a port tack RS800. The wind then started dying and shifting all over the place; the cold being a major topic of conversation while the course was changed. When it did start Johnson got so far ahead he looked to be last, cheering the backmarkers up no end until he finished. Wales and Heissig swapped second for a while with Wales edging ahead for the last couple of laps. Cooper sailed up to fourth with Albrecht fifth. Freer went for a hot shower and pasty, returning for the next start. For Race 3 the wind had become even more erratic, with large holes and shifts waiting to tip the unwary into windward. Johnson and Wales seemed oblivious to the difficulties as they built up a substantial lead. Johnson looked very smooth downwind and pulled away for another win, Cooper third and Nigel Walbank fourth. Similar conditions greeted the sailors on Sunday morning, and those who could start properly and went the right way up the first beat generally built up a large enough gap on the others to stay unchallanged. Wales did this convincingly for the next two races to win the event. The light conditions in Race 4 suited Albrecht who came in second, with Mark Pollington in third. Heissig nearly lost fourth to a late charge from Freer, who unfortunately capsized while trying to reach over the top approaching the finish. Race 5, after windshifts caused a restart, saw Cooper up to second, Albrecht third and Johnson recovering to fourth, back in the running for second overall. Freer again provided the entertainment when his garish spinnaker fought back and refused to drop at the leeward mark. The final race had plenty of place changing, with the front group of Albrecht, Steve Marshall, Pollington, Johnson and Freer easing past each other for the top places. Wales had left them to it at this stage, and ultimately Johnson cruised into the lead by the finish with Freer at last getting his kite under control to pass Albrecht for second, Marshall fourth. Overall, for the Fatface points and some excellent Rooster prizes, it was Wales, Johnson, Albrecht, Heissig and Cooper. Many thanks to Chew Valley Sailing club for the racing and the food, and especially to the race team for coping with the difficult conditions so well.
1. Jerry Wales QMSC 1 2 2 1 1 16 7 1 2. Tim Johnson CVLSC 2 1 1 9 4 1 9 2 3. Leigh Albrecht QMSC 3 5 5 2 3 3 16 3 4. John Heissig Lymington 4 3 16 4 5 5 21 4 5. Ben Cooper Lymington 16 4 3 10 2 8 27 5 6. Tony Freer CVLSC 5 16 8 7 6 2 28 6 7. Nigel Walbank Lymington 8 6 4 5 8 7 30 7 8. Steve Marshall Margam 6 10 7 6 7 4 30 8 9. Mark Pollington Burghfield 9 7 6 3 12 16 37 9 10. David Aston CVLSC 7 9 9 8 10 6 39 10 11. Grahame Sanderson Grafham 11 11 11 12 11 16 56 11 12. Pete Jary Weston 16 8 16 11 9 16 60 12 13. Stewart Speer CVLSC 10 12 10 14 16 16 62 13 14. Paul Craig Thornbury 12 16 16 13 16 16 73 14 15. Ali Wyatt BCYC 16 16 16 16 16 16 80 15
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