Mike Holt and Rob Woelfel win UK Nationals
Mike Holt and Rob Woelfel have added the 2017 UK National's to their growing list of wins. Raced out of Hayling Island Sailing Club the 30 boats had a variety of conditions for the 9 race series from 4-30 knots, rain to sunshine. Day one saw a fresh southwest breeze and a big choppy sea. Holt/Woelfel started strong with a 1,2 and Nathan Batchelor and Sam Pascoe pushing hard with a 4,1 and a consistent Andy Smith and Roger Gilbert in third.
Day two was lost to strong wind and rain but day three saw four races sailed in 4-8 knots and damp conditions. Although not the exciting sailing of the first day, the racing was close and exciting. It also saw a change in the leaderboard, with Batchelor and Pascoe moving up to the top with a 1,2,4,1 scoreline, moving two points ahead of Holt and Woelfel's consitent 3,3,3,2 score. Smith/Gilbert closed up in third and incuded a race win in their scoreline of 2,1,7,5.
Day four saw a return of the breeze and some sunshine and all still to play for. Three races were planned and executed, with Holt and Woelfel taking all three and with it the title. However it was closer than that makes it appear with Batchelor and Pascoe pushing them extremely hard. The American team had the speed advantage upwind, but every downwind leg the Batchelor/Pascoe team responded with everything they have to make it nailbiting right to the end. A good final day also saw Ian Pinnel and Daniel Cripps nip into third place ahead of Tom Gillard and Harry Briddon, relegating Smith and Gilbert to the number five spot.
A superbly run event by Paul Carpenter and the race crew at HISC, who as ever ran like a well oiled machine.
Some great picture by Peter Hickson here