Two bullets for Ben Cornish on first day of UK Finn Nationals
Ben Cornish has got off to a great start at the British Open Finn National Championship at Hayling Island Sailing Club with two race wins in light to moderate winds. Andrew Mills is second and Hector Simpson is third.
The championship has attracted 61 entries from five nations in the biggest UK Finn event in many years. It highlights the growth in the class in recent years and the hard work by the UK committee in promoting the class throughout the UK.
On the beach before racing the day looked set to be a cliché ridden day of glamour and champagne, with brilliant sunshine making Hayling Bay look very inviting. It was everything the fleet had hoped for except the promised 12-14 knots gradually reduced to 8-10 knots with a difficult chop to steer through. The racing, as usual though, remained tight and hard fought.
In race 1 Ben Cornish rounded the top mark just behind one of the overseas visitors, Marc Allain des Beauvais from France, who was the sole OCS of the day. Hector Simpson, fresh from the Silver Cup in Valencia, where he narrowly missed out on a top 10 place, briefly took the lead at the second upwind mark, but Cornish regained the lead downwind for the win. Oscar flag for free pumping remained up for the race. Simpson took second while Andrew Mills, making a return after retiring from competitive Finn sailing last year, crossed in third.
Cornish then led at every mark in race 2. He led round the first mark from Philippe Lobert from France and Mills. Mills had moved up to second by the gate and held it to the finish with Simpson coming through to third.
Simpson also leads the Junior fleet from Jack Arnell in fourth overall.
The British Nationals is leg one of the inaugural Trans-Manche Jean-Jacques Godet Trophy 2015, a combined event with the French Finn Nationals which starts in Quiberon on Monday. A number of British sailors, along with the French sailors here will travel to Quiberon after racing on Sunday.
After racing today most iof the the sailors gathered for a sponsored evening with a Jean-Jacques Godet Cognac tasting session, which a selection of four cognacs explained and then sampled. It all ended well.
The British Championship is spopnsored by GAC Pindar, Zhik, North Sails and Suntouched Sailboats. Racing continues to Sunday with the forecast showing an increasing wind over the next two days.
Results after two races
1 GBR 91 Ben Cornish 2
2 GBR 85 Andrew Mills 5
3 GBR 96 Hector Simpson 5
4 GBR 28 Jack Arnell 11
5 GBR 720 Julian Smith 13
6 GBR 2 Allen Burrell 17
7 GBR 679 Neil Robinson 17
8 GBR 635 Simon Percival 18
9 GBR 567 Martin Hughes 21
10 NED 88 Chiel Barends 23
Full results: http://www.hisc.co.uk/media/66535/finn-nationals.htm
Photos: Richard Beasley
Report by Robert Deaves
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