High winds make for dramatoc opening races at Chernikeeff RYA 49er Gold Series

By all accounts, the opening two races of the Chernikeeff RYA 49er Gold Series were epic. After a long wait ashore as the South coast of England felt the harsh end of a low pressure system which produced winds of up to 35 knots, a slight turn in conditions late in the afternoon to a more manageable 25 knots, still right on the class limit, allowed the race management team to send the fleet out into the lee of Portland Harbour.

Andy and Ian Budgen, the current National Champions, set the standard for everyone else to follow, winning both races in convincing fashion with Andy attributing their success to solid teamwork. “In those conditions the key is always working hard together, especially downwind, as that’s where most people are out of control.”

All five World Class Performance squad boats showed bursts of form to challenge the leading foreign teams in the evidently difficult conditions.