Photo: Royal Southern Academy Match Cup Heat 2 winners (l-r) Ed Dyer, Andy Shaw and George Yeoman. Credit: Colin Hall.
Andy Shaw resumed his winning ways in Heat 2 of the Royal Southern Academy’s Match Cup at the weekend (14-15 April 2012), but not without some crucial start line incidents in key matches.
Held in Laser SB3s on the Solent in cold, and at times shifty northerlies, the wind got up enough for PRO Martin Bedford to call ‘no spinnakers’ in the final flights to prevent the number of niggly damage calls increasing. This proved to be a wise move as the J/80s and SB3s taking part in the nearby Warsash Spring Series broached across the course in spectacular style.
The high ranking skippers, Andy Shaw, Ali Hall and Rob Gullan, soon stood out from the less experienced skippers, Francesco Chivilo (ITA), Allan Higgs and Andy Sinclair. Fresh from winning the recent Volvo Youth Championship in the Spitfire catamaran class, this was only Sinclair’s second match race event. He showed excellent speed and his results got better as he got to grips with the traps laid by the ‘big three’.
In the final flight of the second round robin, Ali Hall had to beat Andy Shaw for a three-way tie with Rob Gullan, but with Hall leading in his approach to the line, Shaw gained a small overlap to leeward and a red flag penalty on Hall put an end to that aspiration. Later in the first vs second play-off, Shaw managed to pull not just one but two penalties on Rob Gullan as they crossed the start line in their second match, going on to win 2:0.
“Very happy,” is how Andy Shaw summed up his feelings afterwards, “and I’m looking forward to the Finals in June. This was also good practice for the Nations Cup – lots of penalties!” Runner-up Rob Gullan admitted, “I enjoyed it, but I’m coming to win the next one!”
Chief Umpire David Battye, who had again held a Rules and Tactics clinic, said as he came off the water, “Phew! A busy day. This was a high standard and the competitors kept the umpire team on their toes.”
The qualifiers from Heats 1 and 2 now meet in the Grade 3 Royal Southern Academy Match Cup Final on 23-24 June when the winner goes forward into the RYA National Match Race Final.
Second Heat Results:
1. Andy Shaw
2. Rob Gullan
3. Ali Hall
4. Andy Sinclair
5. Allan Higgs
6. Francesco Chivilo