West Lancashire 2004
I sailed my "Bakers Dozen" in the 2004 RA UK Nationals, and
fortunately the wind gave her a competitive advantage, allowing her to use her
105 "Bakers Bozen" design
Graham Bantock was sailing Vernon Appleton's "Frigate", newly
fitted with the latest SAILSetc 16 kg ballast.
David Hollom was sailing "Nijinski", the
actual towing tank model for an America's Cup design from the 1980's and
well-known in RA circles in the UK. With good reason -- she won most of
her heats and was otherwise leading before several breakdowns finally put her
out of the event.
Conditions were quite punishing for many boats, particularly on
the second day. The entry of around 34 boats and three heats dwindled down
to two heats at the end of the first day, and then was down to one heat and
around 12 boats for most of the second day. The wind was gusting Force 5,
around 11 or 12 m/sec, and most of the boats were running in third suit on the
second day, while the first day saw winds around 8 m/sec and second suit.
Colin Smith sailed his very interesting boat, hard-chined from
amidships, but now with a conventional torpedo bulb and an excellent 80% ballast
ratio, into first place.
Last year's winner, Peter Wiles, ran into a little gear trouble mid-event,
and needed the 19th and final race to give him the three discards necessary to
elevate him into second place, jumping over me at the last.
I finished in third place. Graham Bantock
was sailing neck and neck with Colin Smith for most of the event, but was forced
to retire just before the end of the event with gear failure, and earned 4th place.
Colin Cooper was in 5th.