Perfect score for Cornish at UK Nationals
Ben Cornish continues his perfect scoreline at the British Finn National Championships with three more race wins after a near perfect day’s sailing at Hayling Island Sailing Club with clearing skies and moderate to strong westerlies providing tasty and testing racing for the 60 strong fleet.
It is turning into a three horse race with Cornish now unbeaten after five races, but Andrew Mills and Hector Simpson a close second and third, having filled the top three places in all five races so far.
It was a day of two halves on Hayling Bay. The wind had turned 180 degrees overnight and the fleet launched with an overcast sky and a stiff westerly. But after arriving in the start area the wind began to significantly ease, with race 3 starting in just 7-9 knots. Ben Cornish led round the top mark from Marc Allain des Beauvais from France and Simon Percival. Andrew Mills had moved into third by the leeward gate, and then into second on the next upwind. Hector Simpson then took third place on the final downwind. By the final upwind the sky had cleared and wind had increased above 10 knots to allow Oscar to be raised for free pumping on the final downwind.
After that the day just got better with clear blue skies and an increasing wind, which topped out at 16-18 knots with fantastic waves. While the upwinds were hard work, the downwinds were pure, simple fun, with large rolling waves giving the 60 Finn sailors a proper taste of Hayling Bay.
Cornish then led race 4 from start to finish, again from Allain des Beauvais and Simpson at the top mark. Allain des Beauvais held onto second place until the final downwind when he was passed by Simpson and Mills. Into the final race of the day and the increasing wind was shifting around and caused a delay as the race team worked to reset the line. When it finally started Mills initially led from Cornish and Simpson, but Cornish took the lead on the first downwind to lead into the finish. Mills took second with Simpson third. A shout out also to Tim Tavinor for an excellent race and a fourth place finish. The reach home around Chichester Bar was the highlight of the day with huge rolling waves and fantastic surfing back to the beach.
After racing the British Finn Association held its Annual General Meeting. The assembled sailors heard of the strong health of the class in the UK, with increasing numbers, the introduction of several initiatives to encourage further growth as well as the establishment of a youth development fund to support the growing number of juniors in the class.
The British Championship is sponsored by GAC Pindar, Zhik, North Sails and Suntouched Sailboats. Racing concludes on Sunday with two more races scheduled, with the forecast showing the strongest wind of the event.
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Results after five races
1 GBR 91 Ben Cornish 4
2 GBR 85 Andrew Mills 9
3 GBR 96 Hector Simpson 10
4 FRA 99 Marc Allain des Beauvais 22
5 GBR 28 Jack Arnell 27
6 GBR 679 Neil Robinson 28
7 GBR 720 Julian Smith 33
8 GBR 635 Simon Percival 36
9 GBR 2 Allen Burrell 36
10 GBR 9 Tim Tavinor 45
Photos by Richard Beasley
Report by Robert Deaves
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