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This weekends regatta was the last in a series of victories this year for Team Styles, now the UK National and Inland Champion as well as winner of Carnac and Texel course racing and 3rd place finish at the F18 worlds. The Grafham event was a great medium to windy regatta, where Styles Nacra Infusion yet again proved it pedigree with 4 out of 6 race victories.

Saturdays racing was staged in a great 10 – 13 knots, double wiring mostly with shifty offshore winds from the South West. The first race was a tight affair to the first mark with 7 boats all getting there at the same time and a good tussle for the lead, after the first lap it was down to Styles and Grant Piggott in second with Luke Yates third. Styles extended for the next few laps to take the gun and the first win of the weekend.

Race 2 and Hugh and Kyle lead from the first cross up the beat and built a commanding lead over Johnathan Worthington in second also on a Nacra Infusion, with Grant Piggott Nacra Infusion third. This changed abruptly when Kyle Stoneham unfortunately hooked onto the elastic on the last downwind leg to the finish and left Styles trying to stop a capsize then recover the kite and sailor, the team dropped from 1st to 9th and Worthington capitalised on the opportunity to win the race.

Race 3 A perfect port end start for Styles and Stoneham in their Infusion, giving them a great jump on the fleet, leading at the first mark and never to be headed! Worthington had another cracking race, with really good speed, Grant Piggott sailed a great steady race to finish 3rd another counting result in tough conditions.

Saturday night the social activities flowed, with the F18, Handicap and Shearwater classes all competing at drinking games, until everyone went down to the Wheatsheaf pub. Sunday dawned with a big breeze forecast and an opportunity to blow away the cobwebs of the night before, needed by some far more than others!

Race 4 Sunday morning and a start in 15 knots with a heavily port biased line, Styles and Stoneham took full advantage of this and charged off on Starboard into the left side for the pressure, and arriving in at the top mark closely followed by Jon Wothington. The wind built steadily through the race, but Styles was never headed and it was then down to the minor placings to duke out for 2 – 3 overall.

Race 5 and another 5 knots increase which made the average wind speed 20 knots. Still a massive port bias on the line and this time Styles played the Joker card with a flying port tack start, then converging on a tight Starbord lay line just rounding ahead of Stuart Gummer and Grant Piggott in third. Styles maintained this through to the finish and Gummer maintained 2nd with Piggott 3rd.

Race 6, just before the start 24 knots was read on the start boat and by the time the gun had gone it was over 30 knots. The fleet was down to 5 boats after a lot of the boats had had gear failure, but this didn’t deter some tight and testing racing, with Chris Sproat and Lewis Crawford in their Viper leading for 2 laps with the places changing a lot behind them. They had a mishap though and just on the last downwind gybe they capsized and lost the race. Gummer sailed a really strong race to pull through and win the race from Styles in second and Piggott in third.

The overall regatta finishing positions ended as follows:
Hugh Styles and Kyle Stoneham, Nacra Infusion
Grant Piggott and Andy Sinclair, Nacra Infusion
Luke Yates and Matt Humphries, Wildcat

Thanks to Grafham water sailing club, and the rest of the regatta organisers, also for Nacra Europe making this possible with their Help, Boskalis for their great support throughout the year. Then to the UK F18 class organisation for making the years regattas come about. There is one last event which is the Weston Cat Open on 6&7 of November, which is the Nacra UK Nationals 2009, please come and join in the fun. I am now off to Sydney for some R&R with my long suffering girlfriend and then a load of Extreme 40 racing over the winter in Hong Kong, then Singapore and final event in Muscat Oman.