Thistle Crowned 2018 British 6mR Champion

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_e31aThe second and final leg of the 2018 6mR British Championship was hosted by the Royal Yacht Squadron on the weekend of 16 and 17 June.
Saturday’s high tide at 1345 coincided with a south westerly breeze of 25 knots gusting to 35 knots to create an aggressive and particularly large Solent chop which was highly unfriendly to metre boats.  Following consultation with both the 6mR and 8mR fleets the Race Officer wisely decided to abandon all racing for the day.
UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_e31cThe breeze was still strong on Sunday so the Race Officer called an 09.00 briefing and elected to send the fleet east into Osborne Bay and the lee of the Island to protect them from the worst of the heavy south westerly.
Four boats started the first race in 16 knots gusting to 20 with the course laid up into the bay with heavy tide running outside the channel marker buoys. All boats got a good start, with Thistle leading around the top mark and holding this lead from Nancy and Valdai. Unfortunately a broken vang mast fitting forced Melita to retire 
UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_e323The three remaining boats started the second race in a steady 21 knots gusting up to 25.
Nancy sailed an excellent first leg to lead by four lengths from Valdai & Thistle who followed her around the mark neck & neck.
With the wind increasing all the time Valdai sailed well to hold off Thistle (seemingly sailed by nearly all the Richardson family!) and both boats caught up Nancy. As they came into the leeward mark at the end of the first lap, Thistle was forced to release her spinnaker halyard leaving it flailing in the wind all the way up the second beat. At the windward mark the crew just managed to make contact with the spinnaker halyard. This was just as well as rounding the spreader mark the spinnaker was needed immediately to keep up with Valdai, who did not fly one on the down wind leg still but managed to hold off Thistle. While Nancy romped home to victory it was a fight to the line for second place. Valdai took it from Thistle in third.
In the overall standings the British Open 6mR Championship and the Dudley Head Trophy for UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_e316the Classic Championship were both won by Thistle, who claimed victory by just a single point from Valdai. Huge congratulations go to Tom Richardson and his various family crews for putting in such a spectacular performance.

Despite the vagaries of the weather a fantastic championship was had by all. Our thanks to the Royal Yacht Squadron team for hosting an excellent regatta, to the 8mRs who provided great camaraderie as our event partners and to all the 6mR sailors for such terrific competition.

The final results from the regatta can be found at www.rys.org.uk
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