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4 June 2002, 01:46 pm
RMW Marine Unbeaten in Four Heats
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RMW Marine, photo: Peter Danby

European 18 Foot Skiff Championship
Carnac

Two further heats were sailed yesterday in conditions that can only be described as perfect for 18 foot Skiff racing. A westerly breeze of 16 to 20 knots with a relatively flat sea provided extremely fast sailing in brilliant sunshine.
In fact, these are precisely the conditions that the 18 footer sailors love, and why they are always so keen to come to Carnac.

Each team had to face a difficult decision regarding the choice of rig, and the majority opted for the No 1. There is, in fact, a crossover zone in which the No 1 and No 2 rigs provide approximately the same speed on the water, and today's conditions were in that category. However, there is more to it than that, and probably the most crucial factor is that, if you capsize when the boats are travelling at the speeds they were in today's conditions, the opposition will be about a leg ahead by the time you are able to right your boat. This came into play to a greater extent in the day's second race when the breeze had built to a genuine 20 knots, and tiredness also came into the equation.

Even some of the leading teams lost several places by failing to keep the hull below the sails, but Rob Greenhalgh, Dan Johnson and Jonny Meers on 'RMW Marine' kept their No 1 rig under perfect control to win both heats with a magnificent display of high speed Skiff sailing. Behind them, John Winning, Jack Young and Euan MacNicol on 'Yandoo-d'Albora Marinas' also sailed very well, if a little less spectacularly, under their No 2 rig, and took a fourth and a second place.

Howie Hamlin, Mike Martin and Chris Cleary on 'General Electric-US Challenge' chose their No1, and took second place in Heat 3 but dropped it on the first lap of Heat 4 to spoil their afternoon with twelfth place. Tony Hannan, Cameron Macdonald and Greg Windust on 'Total Recall (using No 1) had a third and a fifth, while Andy Richards, Steve Mitchell and Dave Richards on 'Radii' (also using No 1) finished fifth and fourth.

Rob Dulson, Paul Constable and Alec McKinley, using their No 2 rig on 'Base 1' did themselves a power of good in the standings by finishing sixth and third, while Toby Collyer, Stephen Holmewood and Keith Willis on 'Helly Hansen' (No 2 rig) made the catch up of the day having started last in Heat 4 after needing to make repairs ashore between races, and sailed through much of the fleet to take sixth place.

Heat 3 results:

1. 'RMW Marine' Rob Greenhalgh, Dan Johnson and Jonny Meers, GBR
2. 'General Electric-US Challenge' Howie Hamlin, Mike Martin and Chris Cleary, USA
3. 'Total Recall' Tony Hannan, Cameron Macdonald and Greg Windust, AUS
4. 'Yandoo-d'Albora Marinas' John Winning, Jack Young and Euan MacNicol, AUS
5. 'Radii' Andy Richards, Steve Mitchell and Dave Richards, GBR
6. 'Base 1' Rob Dulson, Paul Constable and Alec McKinley, GBR

Heat 4 results:

1. 'RMW Marine' Rob Greenhalgh, Dan Johnson and Jonny Meers, GBR
2. 'Yandoo-d'Albora Marinas' John Winning, Jack Young and Euan MacNicol, AUS
3. 'Base 1' Rob Dulson, Paul Constable and Alec McKinley, GBR
4. 'Radii' Andy Rishards, Steve Mitchell and Dave Richards, GBR
5. 'Total Recall' Tony Hannan, Cameron Macdonald and Greg Windust, AUS
6. 'Helly Hansen' Toby Collyer, Stephen Holmewood and Keith Willis, GBR

Overall position after 4 Heats with a discard:

1. 'RMW Marine' 0 points
2. 'Yandoo-d'Albora Marinas' 8.7 points
3. 'General Electric-US Challenge' 14 points
4. 'Total Recall' 21.4 points
5. 'Radii' 26 points
6. 'Base 1' 27.4 points
Rob Dulson/News Editor
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