Nineteen 29er teams headed to Yorkshire dales, some with drives lasting eight hours for the third Grand Prix of the series and a much needed exam break.
They were met with blue skies but not much wind. The race officer decided upon a one hour postponement in the hope a more consistent breeze would come in early afternoon. Luckily they were right and this happened later on in the day once all boats had launched and the scheduled four races took place. The day consisted of close tactical racing as the lake offered wind shifts and gusts resulting in the top four boats in each race extending greatly into the lead as they were able to take the full advantage. Showing their lake sailing ability and light to medium winds pace Dan Venables and Paddy Keetch were able to dominate the day posting consistent results in the top two and one UFD and were leading overnight. The next day dawned with very different conditions to the first with low lying cloud and twenty five knots of breeze blowing down the lake with sailors knowing this day would be a very different challenge than the first. With the cloud clearing, rigs were adjusted and bacon butties were eaten in preparation for the big day ahead. After a short hold on shore while the course was laid thirteen brave teams ventured out onto the lake while the laser vago sailors looked on in awe. The wind stayed strong throughout the day with the occasional drop in pressure throughout the second race. The insane speed of Daniel Budden and James Grummet allowed them to post three bullets and a third while with a slight disadvantage of speed to their rivals Dan Venables and Paddy Keetch incredibly managed to fight their way to second in two races often because of their clever downwind calls as to straight set or gybe. Due to their consistency on both days of racing Dan and Paddy were able to hold onto the lead and win the event while James and Dan finished up in second. With a massive fifteen point gap between the top two boats and the rest of the pack it was another reminder of the quality of these experienced sailors however the rest of the fleet is sure to train hard and catch up soon. It turned out to be a great event with all eight races completed thanks to the Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club and an experienced race team and I look forward to the final Grand Prix of the series in Grafham where a winner will be decided.