Nick Craig and Fiona Clark win GUL RS400 Winters

Nick Craig and Fiona Clark won the RS400 Gul Winter championships at Leigh and Lowton Sailing Club over the weekend. The 2008 season kicked into life at a blustery championship, with 26 competitors lining up for the Gul Winter championships.

Following a recall, the first race was led around the first lap by class newcomers Mike Hart and Sally Kilpatrick before they succumbed to the chasing locals Paul & Mike Allen and Dave Exley and Nigel Hall. The leading pair built a handy lead that was just enough to keep them in front of the charging Nick Craig and Fiona Clark.

For the second race, the wind was on the increase, but because it was blowing straight across the lake, it was not at it’s most stable. Paul Hilliar/Stu Jagger took the lead at the first mark and extended enough of a lead that when Craig/Clark finally emerged from the pack, the gap was too big. The Allens took third.

The wind had really built for the third race and Hilliar/Jagger again proved fast in the windy weather to build a handy lead to and win comfortably, this time from the Allens with Richard Marsh/Ash Johnston snatching third at the end.

Sunday was altogether a more quiet affair, with 8-12 knots mostly down the lake. Hilliar/Jagger emerged from a shifty first beat but were overtaken downwind by Craig/Clark, a lead that would never be relinquished. The Allens worked their way through the pack but couldn’t get quite close enough to challenge for second place.

In the next race, Hamish Gledhill/Simon Dowse rounded in the leading group and extended downwind on the first run. They were overtaken by first Hilliar/Jagger, then Craig/Clark, with the leading two having a good tussle. Eventually Hilliar/Jagger fouled Craig/Clark and were left doing penalty turns. This allowed the Allens to close in and take second place but they eventually lost it at the final leeward mark and had to settle for third.

Going into the final race, Craig/Clark, Hilliar/Jagger and the Allens were all in with a chance of winning it but Craig/Clark broke clear early with Dave Jones/Sam Parker and the leading pair were never challenged. Hart/Kilpatrick were the leaders of the pack and earned third place.

Overall, Craig/Clark were deserving winners for their excellent second-day score line of 1, 1, 1. Many thanks to the Leigh and Lowton sailing club, who put a lot of effort into organising the event.

RS400 - Final positions

1 1237 Nick Craig Fiona Clark Frensham Pond SC 3 2 4 1 1 1 6 8
2 112 Paul Hilliar Stu Jagger Bristol Corinthian YC 4 1 1 2 2 4 6 10
3 1155 Paul Allen Mike Allen Leigh and Lowton SC 1 3 2 3 3 27 5 12
4 1186 Dave Exley Nigel Hall Leigh and Lowton SC 2 7 8 5 7 5 6 26
5 1164 Richard Marsh Ash Johnston Elton SC 5 6 3 8 11 9 6 31
6 1014 Hamish Gledhill Simon Dowse West Riding SC 14 4 12 4 4 8 6 32
7 1204 Chris Gowers June Riley Port Dinorwic SC 8 5 6 12 6 7 6 32
8 1275 Dave Jones Sam Parker Port Dinorwic SC 7 25 7 7 13 2 6 36
9 1082 Mike Hart Sally Kilpatrick Port Dinorwic SC 6 8 23 16 5 3 6 38
10 1291 Mike Budd Arline Shiel Leigh and Lowton SC 9 13 5 6 20 12 6 45
11 1264 Chris Hogan Jude Pryde Port Dinorwic SC 12 9 14 14 12 6 6 53
12 1251 Howard Fairbrother Louise Hosten Queen Mary SC 18 10 10 11 8 27 5 57
13 1007 Mark Greaves Alan Woosey Leigh and Lowton SC 17 11 15 9 9 17 6 61
14 1191 Louise Mckeand Chris Bassett Leigh and Lowton SC 11 16 13 10 18 15 6 65
15 725 Bill Kenyon Ben Ditchburn Budworth SC 10 25 16 17 16 13 6 72
16 774 Tim Simpson Jack Banks Leigh and Lowton SC 19 12 11 27 15 19 5 76
17 817 Caroline Exley Mark Baxter Leigh and Lowton SC 13 18 23 20 10 16 6 77
18 1215 Ross Kearney Jane Alexander Northampton SC 15 22 23 19 14 10 6 80
19 1328 Micheal Sims Elliot Banks Carsington SC 16 17 9 21 27 18 5 81
20 770 Alex Morrison Richard Roberts Port Dinorwic SC 20 14 19 18 19 11 6 81
21 1325 John Cooper Becci Wigley Lymington Town SC 24 15 23 13 21 14 6 86
22 1249 Jono Shelley Chris Blackburn Ullswater YC 21 23 23 14 17 27 5 99
23 1121 Henry Maples Seb Cannon Weir Wood SC 26 19 17 24 22 22 6 104
24 1101 Simon Baker Nathan Pinch Queen Mary SC 24 20 18 23 25 20 6 106
25 1285 Roy Thomason Chrise O'Donnell Leigh and Lowton SC 23 25 23 22 23 21 6 112
26 819 Colin Hague Richard Hague Leigh and Lowton SC 22 21 23 25 24 23 6 113