2004 Nationals - Restronguet SC (29th - 31st May)

34 boats attended the Guy Cotten Iso Nationals held at Restronguet Sailing Club over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend. The host club did an excellent job both on and off the water, even providing the perfect combination of sunshine and wind over the course of the three days. The sailors proved once again what a friendly and sociable bunch the Iso Class is, and coupled this with some really close, competitive racing. There were 5 different race winners in eight races, and going into the final day any of the leading 6 boats could theoretically have snatched the title.

Day 1 saw 3 races completed in very variable conditions and brilliant sunshine. Defending champion Pete Lindley and crew Annie Smith in Team RWO took race one, with returning ex-champion Mike Speller and Simon Northrop in Team Sandy Bags taking race two and Jonathan Wells and Bugsy in Neil Pryde taking race three. However, SmartNav sailed by Ian and Katie Keam-George finished second in all three races to hold a comfortable overnight lead after a protest against them was dismissed.

The glut of protests (most unlike the Iso fleet) was surely only an attempt to delay the AGM until enough beer had been consumed to make it enjoyable, but chairman Bob Ladell sensibly decided to postpone it to the following night. The Saturday social saw an entire pig devoured and the bar run dry, but our hosts were equal to the challenge and managed to find further supplies.

The more consistent wind conditions on the second day saw Ross Ashton and Chris Burch in Tempting Fate hit form, with a 2, 6, 1 scoreline despite a snapped main halyard in race two. This performance took Tempting Fate into second place overall behind SmartNav, who despite a couple of mediocre races won race two to keep the pressure on. But the fact that SmartNav recovered from last place to 8th in race three following a crash tack, capsize, collision, near drowning and 720 degree penalty just goes to show the sort of form they were in. The first race of the day had been taken by Team Sandy Bags who were suffering from inconsistency but were still in with a shout.

The AGM was held outside for the second time in three years, which is a format we must persevere with as it offered some spectacular views! One or two people seemed to have their eyes closed, however, and clearly weren't paying attention. The new committee duly elected we all set off for a river cruise and Cornish pasty (and more lager).

The final day dawned wet and windy, with some talk of cancelling racing and much calculating of all the ifs, buts and maybes. But in the end the final two races were completed in around 20-25 knots, and a sparkling performance by SmartNav dashed everyone else's hopes when they closed with two firsts. Neil Pryde finished strongly to clinch second place with a 2, 3 scoreline and Team Sandy Bags climbed three places to third overall with a 3, 2 scoreline.

Most spectacular capsize of the day came from Henry Metcalfe & Chris Webber in Please Don't Drop Your Aitches, when Henry fell out the back on a three sail reach, nearly skewering Ian Keam-George with the bow-sprit and lucky not to be skewered themselves by Tempting Fate who was close behind.

Many thanks to Restronguet Sailing Club for being excellent hosts, and to Guy Cotten for providing some fantastic prizes.


Full Results Here....


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