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Boskalis Team Styles and Van West win 2009 Formula 18 nationals

Parkstone Yacht Club hosted the 2009 F18 nationals over three days this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with a great variety of sailing conditions and some excellent race management.

For the 2009 UK National Formula 18 class Champions Hugh Styles and Ferdinand Van West the event was another major championships win for them in their already successful 2009 season, which has included, winning Eurocat regatta in France, the Texel Dutch Open and 3rd at the F18 worlds.

This weekends event was sailed in Poole bay, and the fleet were treated to a whole hoast of conditions, with a very windy Friday through to a light and fickle wind in the last race today.

There was a good turn out of boats for the regatta 27 boats which included 2 entries from Ireland. Racing in Poole bay provided some good tactical sailing with a south to south south west wind for the Saturday and Sunday, but with some big pressure differences across the race track, and a lot of tide there were a great deal of shifts to take and opportunities to maek gains on the race track.

Friday’s conditons were rather extreme, but Styles and Van West had equally as good a day as Adam Piggott and Guy Filmore, and were first and second over night, with Grant Piggott crewed by Andrew Sinclair third.

Saturday dawned with much less wind and a race to catch up from Fridays missed last race. David White sailing a new NACRA Infusion sailed a great race to win race 3 of the series, and then followed that by winning race 4 as well. John Payne crewed by Matt Hunt claimed second in race 3, with Styles third and then the tables were turned in the 4th race when Styles was second and Payne 3rd. The 5th race went to the dynamic duo of Toby Orpin and Lewis Crawford, who sailed a cat and mouse race with Styles for the 3 laps of that race, third again was Payne. The 6th race went to Styles and Van West, who dominated the race leading from start to finish, with 2nd Grant Piggott and 3rd Payne.

Sunday and around 9 knots for the start of race 7 and after a shifty first beat Styles emerged as the leader at the first mark and worked away on each leg to have a commanding win by the finish, with Jon Worthington crewed by Seb Gruber sailing a really solid second and David White third. The 8th race saw another tricky first beat, with the fleet a bit split, Styles, Grant and Adam Piggott all took a bit of the right side at the bottom of the beat and Stuart Gummer and Jon Worthington the left, Styles managed to work a route out of the right but unluckily for the Piggotts this was not to be the case for them. Styles lead around every other mark and in winning the race confirmed the win of the overall UK F18 National championships with a race to spare, with 2nd Gummer and third David White again. Race 9 was a lighter wind affair and without Styles, who used the last race as discard, it was John Payne who showed the fleet home with Grant Piggott chasing hard in second and third Toby Orpin.
The overall positions:
1st Styles & Van West (NACRA Infusion)
2nd Piggott & Sinclair (NACRA Infusion)
3rd Gummer & Forshaw (Shockwave)
4th White & Jon Sweet (NACRA Infusion)
5th Payne & Hunt (Shockwave)

Many thanks to NACRA UK and NACRA EUROPE who gave Styles and Van West the support with the equipment to do the job, BOSKALIS who support the team with their campaign this year, Gill the clothing to be able to work efficiently out on the water, Holt for the help with the tiller extensions and other equipment, Marlow Ropes for the excellent hard wearing sheerts and halyards, Towergate Mardon for their comprehensive Insurances services, and Tacktick for helping us to keep on the straight and narrow

Please keep in touch and watch this space for the instalment with the next event which will be the Forts race in a couple of weeks and then the focus will be for the Inland Championships in a couple of months in the end of October.

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