Rome 2K Team Racing Report

02/06/2016

A Royal Thames team consisting largely of Academy members headed to the Circolo della Vela Anzio (Anzio Yacht Club) for the 2016 edition of the Rome 2 Keelboat (‘2K’) Team Racing event over the weekend of 27th - 29th May. With a mixture of experience and new faces to the 2K circuit, the Royal Thames team were looking to hone their skills in this exciting format of team racing. The two boats were helmed by Royal Thames Blue regulars Josh Flack and Arthur Henderson.
 
Racing was, unfortunately, severely curtailed on the Friday by light winds, leaving the competitors to sunbathe in otherwise beautiful conditions. Saturday dawned with significantly more wind; a perfect 8 - 10 knots, and racing began at 9am under the watchful eyes of the umpire team. A large swell, combined with the after-effects of the previous evening’s excellent buffet supper, lead to some testing conditions for several team members! However, once the start gun had sounded, the Thames team switched into race mode.
 
The team opened their account with a convincing win against the Italian Yacht Squadron 2nd team, before a narrow loss to the Dutch team after a mistake on the first beat. As the day progressed, consistent starting and lack of panic around the short course began to pay dividends for RTYC, who won 5 out of 8 races to put themselves in a solid position overnight.
 
Sunday dawned windier still; and racing began after a slight delay with reefed mainsails. Wins against the Italian and German teams brought RTYC within striking range of the leaders, but these hopes were dashed by an agonising defeat to the Irish team from Royal Cork Yacht Club, after an umpire penalty against Flack and co for a finish line infringement. This narrow loss meant that the final race for Thames, against the ‘Rome Race Team’ from the host club, was effectively a straight race for the bronze medal. The pre-start was hotly contested, with a boat from each team over the line near the pin end. However, Thames were able to return more sharply and held a narrow 1, 2 at the first windward. A double cover on the run put Henderson et al into danger, but a neat sweep at the leeward mark secured the 1, 2, which was extended to the finish line with some loose covering and fast sailing.
 
Thus, Royal Thames collected the bronze medals at the prize giving, held overlooking the race area in dropping breeze and beautiful sunshine. The event was won by the current Tour champions, DMTRA (‘The Dutch’), by a single point from Royal Cork, who themselves were just a point ahead of Thames, demonstrating the extremely tight racing that is typical of 2K!
 
Thanks go to 2K Tour Coordinator Bruce Hebbert, the race team, umpires and all the organisers from the Circolo della Vela Anzio! The Academy hope to be back next year to push for the top spot on the podium!
Royal Thames Yacht Club: Josh Flack (C), Arthur Henderson, Josh Adams, Tim Gratton, Francine Counsell, William Reid, Naomi Flack & Camilla Bundy


Royal Thames showing off their bronze medals.