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over 8 years ago by Hugh Styles

Top turn out at Datchet F18 TT

Top turnout at Datchet Water 21 & 22 march

The first event of the 2009 Formula 18 calendar this weekend was a resounding success, with 25 boats competing. The sun shone, but the wind didn't really materialise untill the Sunday when the fleet were treated to up to 10 knots of a South Westerly breeze.

Racing was close in the shifty and gusty wind on the Queen Mother reservoir, which is located right under the flight path of Heathrow airport to the West. Saturday saw very light and fickle winds and it was tricky to avoid the big holes in the wind, Sunday was slightly windier but still variable.

Racing was very close in all races, with the lead changing often. Race one went to Hugh Styles and Greg Windle, from William Sunnucks and Fraz followed by Rob Wilson sailing with Ed Barney, in a close finish after four laps. Race two was more tricky with the wind decreasing just before the start to nothing and then zephyrs coming down on one side and then the other at random. Styles and Windle a new pairing for this season sailed a really solid and consistent race, keeping in touch with the fleet and making sure that once in the lead they kept between the opposition and the finish for the victory with 2nd Wilson, 3rd the Brothers Newton.

The last race of the day was even more shifty with the wind coming more from the North west. James and Gillian Power were initial leaders, who favoured the right of the second beat and lost out to Chris Field and Olly, with Styles and Windle hot on their heels. Styles took the lead for a lap and leading at the bottom of the last run got forced right upwind which was fatal. At the finish it was 1st Chris Field and Olly at their first ever F18 regatta in their new Nacra Infusion, 2nd Styles and Windle, 3rd Power and Power.

Sunday dawned with a North Westerly and more wind, up to 10 knots at times, twin wiring. Rob Wilson and Ed Barney lead the first race from start to finish after a massive right shift up the first beat which Styles was on the wrong side of. The Newton brothers were 2nd and Stuart Gummer third, with Styles 4th.

Race 5 and another race of unstable winds, it was anyone's game at the first mark, but Wilson was leading by the bottom of the run and Styles close in pursuit. Styles overhauled Wilson and then held the lead for a couple of laps before mistakenly thinking that there was another lap and instead of finishing with a win on 4 laps went on to complete another lap. This handed the win to Wilson with James and Gillan Power 2nd. This was a costly mistake as the victory would have virtually sealed the overall result for Styles.

In the last race a massive left shift just before the start meant the race course turned into a one tack beat and one gybe run. Wilson sailed a solid race from the first mark to lead all the way, with no passing opportunities, Jonathan Worthington and Sebastian Gruber 2nd and Styles and Windle 3rd.

For the first event of the year the level was good and competitive, with several people leading races. A thoroughly good start to the season, now thoughts focus on the next event, which is in Carsington over the Easter weekend.

Overall Positions:
1st Rob Wilson and Ed Barney
2nd Hugh Styles and Greg Windle
3rd Sam Newton and Brother

A big thanks to Towergate Mardon insurance sponsor of Styles and Windle, they have been a solid and extremely encouraging sponsor for several years now, many thanks and well done to John Tuckwell of Towergate Mardon, who had some star appearances in several races this regatta. Also to all of my other sponsors, Fat Face, Marlow Ropes, Gill, Holt, Tacktick, your help is brilliant and many thanks.

Hugh Styles
Olympic Sailor and Coach
Director Nacra Watersports
Tel +44 7712760524
Email: hugh@hughstyles.com
Skype: hughstyles
WWW.HUGHSTYLES.COM

Sponsors:
Fat Face, Garmin, Gill, Holt, Marlow Ropes, Nacra Watersports, Towergate Mardon Insurance, Tacktick.

Associates:
Sailing Networks

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