Day 1 of the UK Marblehead Nationals was sailed in perfect Fleetwood conditions with predominantly B & C rigs used throughout the course of the day in a fluctuating westerly wind blowing down the length of the lake.
Our race team led by PRO and local legend Derick Priestly kept racing going at a pace that had some tired legs at day’s end through long courses that took in 3 beats and runs with a short Americas Cup inspired reach to the finish.
Out in front defending champion Gibson had a day where he could do little wrong and went on to record six bullets revelling in the conditions. Both Graham Bantock in 2nd and Martin Roberts in 3rd pushed Gibson hard throughout the day in welcome returns to form for these two skippers with the former combing good fleet management and excellent starts versus the latter showing just how hard an M can be driven in top range conditions.
Others to shine through the day in the leading group were last years Worlds runner up Matteo Longhi from Italy, Yannick Rossignol from France Darin Ballington and Tony Edwards.
Further into the fleet Mike Cooke enjoyed some good races with his new design to see him sat nicely in the top half of the fleet. Newcomers to the class Shaun Priestly and Simon Clark had solid races in borrowed boats and Victoria Gibson showed more than a few experienced hands the way around the course with an upgraded 21 year old design to be in the top 20.
Day 2 sees lighter winds predicted and plenty of opportunity for skippers to shine or fall. Keep following our twitter feed throughout the day for updates.