Tim Gibson Claims 2011 UK Formula Championship

Duncan Slater
2011 UK Formula Champion, Tim Gibson
2011 UK Formula Champion Tim Gibson, by Alastair Campbell, UKWA

North Sails rider Tim Gibson has claimed the UK Formula Windsurfing title after another closely fought season. The National Cup Series began with a clean win over last year’s champion, Dave Coles, at the 2012 Olympic venue in Portland Harbour. Another couple of events, Minnis Bay in 30-knot winds and not so windy Swansea Bay, saw Tim’s lead over Dave consolidated. A trip up t’North to Bridlington followed for event 4 and saw Dave Coles claw back a point.

Venue 5 brought unusually changeable conditions at Christchurch. The wind on day 1 varied from 12 to 26 knots as the squalls came and went, leaving racers with difficult choices to make over sail size. Tim opted to rig big which led to a tactical retirement from race 2 in order to change down in time for race 3. This would have worked a treat, except that most of the fleet had to bin race 3 after sailing the wrong course! The losers on this occasion included Tim but not Dave! This left Tim with a lot of ground to make up and with only 2 more races over the weekend, the opportunity to recover the situation didn’t present itself. Tim’s seemingly safe 3-point lead in the series was cut down to 1 point, leaving everything to play for with 1 event to go.

The forecast for the finale, back at Portland, looked to be barely racing conditions. This was the chance that light wind specialist Dave Coles was waiting for. However, the North gods were watching and the wind struggled to hit 7 knots all weekend, so no racing! Tim breathed a sigh of relief … UK Formula Champ at last.

For full results, event reports, free advice, and kit for sale, visit www.ukwindsurfing.com

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