Harken 29er Grand Prix Series Bulletin!



Location: Rutland
Date: 21-22nd March 2015
Event Report by
Dan Blight and Rowan Edwards

Following suit with the previous Grand Prix at Draycote we were greeted with a chilly start to Saturday brought by some strong northerly winds, but nevertheless the sailors battled through the rigging to find that they then had to battle the team racers for some space in the already cramped changing rooms.

The strong gusts that had passed through earlier had moderated slightly by the first race but were still pretty fresh, Dan Budden and James Grummet capitalised on this as they used their unmatched boat speed and a good start to take the lead. Dan and James were closely followed by their much lighter rivals Crispin Beaumont and Tom Darling who put in a strong performance in the breeze with Dan Blight and Rowan Edwards overtaking Jamie Smith and Jamie Jobson on the last run to come in 3rd and 4th respectively. The second race was a little breezier and Dan and Rowan managed to get a good start off the pin to take the lead around the windward mark, however Dan and James made use of a good left shift up the second beat to take it from them, a position which they held for the rest of the race. Crispin and Tom continued their good form in the breeze, managing to overtake Dan and Rowan leaving the top 3 positions exactly the same as in the 1st race.

As the day went on the breeze started to ease a little, but this didn't deter Dan and James who managed to complete their hat-trick of victories, while Oli Aldridge and Nathaniel Gordon found their form and took second place followed by Mimi El-Khazindar and Emma Loveridge. The last race of the day saw Oli and Nat pull out some blistering speed to take the victory and finish ahead of Dan and James for the first time that day, which with no sailing on Sunday due to patchy and inconsistent breeze secured them second place overall on count back from Dan and Rowan who finished third in the last race due to Crispin and Tom suffering a trapeze wire breakage which lead to a capsize on the last run. A strong 2nd from Dan and James saw them win comfortably overall; counting 3 first places. A big well done to Mimi and Emma for finishing first girls and also to Bobby Hewitt and Harvey Martin who braved the strong winds to finish first juniors.  

Congratulations to all the sailors and to Rutland sailing club for taking part and making it a great event, and we can now all look forward to the Youth Nationals at Weymouth in a couple of weeks!




Date:17-18thJanuary 2015
Event Report by Oli Aldridge

It was a freezing Saturday morning when the 29er sailors arrived at Draycote. Braving the harsh conditions and numb fingers, the boats got rigged and sailors changed into as many layers of neoprene as they could find! 

The first race of the winter regatta began with a fresh, consistent 7 knot breeze with the sailors going up the left side of the race track making big gains. After a general recall, Oli Aldridge and Nathaniel Gordon started at the pin end and smashed the left side to round the top mark first; but they were no match for the legendary downwind tactics of Elliot wells and Jake Todd. The second upwind was taken by Dan Venables and Paddy Keech, with Bobby Hewitt and Harvey Martin in close pursuit. A quick shout out to Nick Robins and Sam Grade who decided to start a minute early on a black flag!

The wind picked up for race 2 to about 12 gusting 15 knots and Matt Currell and Emma Hattersley won the pin and made a tactical decision to tack early. This played to their advantage as they battled with Dan and Paddy down the final downwind. Matt and Emma just clinched the lead from them with Bobby and Harvey's insane boat speed gaining them another 3rd.

For the penultimate race of the day the windward mark was moved closer to the shore, which made conditions near the top mark very interesting. In form Dan and Paddy gained another bullet followed by Elliot and Jake, with the Welsh, Rowan Edwards and Dan blight in 3rd.

The final race of the day consisted of a fierce battle between Oli and Nathaniel and Felix Crowther and James Cook, clear ahead of the rest of the fleet. James and Felix used their superior upwind height to gain a big lead in the race to win with consistency, Dan and Paddy took third.
The Sunday began with a short onshore postponement due to lack of breeze. The sailors were obviously eager to start as there were two general recalls but the race got away in about 5 knots of wind. The first mark was rounded first by the heavy wind specialists, James Grummet and Dan Budden, followed by William and James Cunliffe who tacked off from the starboard end of the line and skilfully gained a lead on the second upwind. Second place went to James Leetch and Jemima Leedham who were unmatched in boat speed with Dan and James claiming 3rd, showing their prowess in light conditions.  At the end of the fifth race the wind died to nothing with bands of breeze occasionally popping up. The race committee desperately tried to start another race but the temperamental wind disallowed it. Overall it was a great event and well done to all the sailors for coping in such challenging conditions, I look forward to seeing you all at GP2 Rutland in March! 

A big thank you to the sponsors of the event: Harken and Noble Marine, without them the event wouldn't have been possible. 

For the final results list click HERE!


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