Black Velvet at UK Nationals (Champagne Conditions & Black Flags)

With a forecast of steady pressure from the east increasing to 15 knots as the day progressed, 41 competitors in the Neilson Active Holiday Laser SB3 National Championships left Brighton Marina and headed to the race course with great enthusiasm for what promised to be a fantastic day of racing. Four races were scheduled for today [Friday] following the loss of the final scheduled race yesterday. The fleet is now split, for scoring purposes only, into gold and silver fleets.

Each of the 4 races today was won by a different competitor from the gold fleet; Marshall King (Sponge Bob), Geoff Carveth (Core Elements), David Cummins (Rumbleflurg) and Chris Darling (Darling Associates). 

Catching up with the race winners on the dock, Marshall King’s crew explained how they went hard right in the first race despite Marshall’s concerns, “We told him to keep the faith and we went on to win race 1.”

Sandy Ramus, crew on Carveth’s ‘Core Elements’ explained that he spent last night drinking Jerry Hill’s crew under the table but managed to keep his own head clear to contribute to their win in race 2.

Chris Darling put his race winning performance in race 4 down to his super-star trimmers of Andy Shaw and George Yeomans, who were recently crowned World Student Match Racing Champions, “We were tenth at the first windward mark and by the leeward gate we were first! We then managed to maintain our lead for the second lap, keeping the kids on ‘Rola Trac’ and ‘Spirit of Cape Town’ behind us.”

Unfortunately 14 boats suffered at the hands of the black flag today, with 5 boats disqualified from the third race and 9 boats from the fourth race, including quality competitors Craig Burlton, Geoff Carveth, Mike Budd and David Cummins. Chris Cousins from David Cummins’ Rumbleflurg explained his black flag away by saying, “You’re only as good as the last race you sailed in and we won our last race!”

With 2 races remaining for the 2010 Laser SB3 National Championships, competition tightens at the top of the gold fleet with Andy Oddie leading Jerry Hill by 2 points and Hill leading Burlton by 2 points. In the Silver Fleet, Richard Catchpole leads, with Mark Stokes in second and Stuart Reed third.

Results are subject to protest and can be found at:

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