Light winds for RS 800s

Datchet hosts Fat Face circuit open meeting last weekend

Thursday April 3rd 2003, Author: Heather Chipperfield, Location: United Kingdom
A big high over the UK that was actually centred over Datchet did not deter 18 RS800s from making the journey. No complaints about the rest of the weather though with sun tans all round… in March!

An initial glimmer of hope on Saturday, with the wind looking like it was going to fill in for a moment. The race officer however, sensibly postponed as the lake became calm, leaving the 800 sailors sitting on the beach. Racing was eventually cancelled for the day at 1500hrs with no steady breeze materialising.

Sunday dawned with several people nursing fairly severe hangovers after the celebration of Joe Turnbull’s birthday in the Staines Massive on Saturday night, coupled with the fact the clocks had gone forward and the fact that drinking commenced quite early, it is a miracle that some people got out on the water… I’m sure some wouldn’t have bothered if it was raining, but the sailors were greeted by sunshine and light/patchy 1-8 knots.

Race one was led by Steve Irish and Martin Gotrell, with Chris Hawarth and Stuart Aston in close attendance. The chasing pack included Matt Adams and Mark Rhodes, Neil Ashby and Allan Higgs and Spod Olive sailing with Roz Allen for the weekend and having managed to survive a whole beat without falling through the gap between his further out than normal wings, and the edge of the boat. Gybing earlier rather than later was good on the run and after a shifty next beat and run, Irish/Gotrell took the win with Hawarth/Aston second, Olive/Allen third, and Adams/Rhodes fourth.

Race two started with a pile up at the committee boat as the wind went right and dropped a bit leaving people doing 360s at the committee boat waiting for a gap. At the top mark it was Irish/Gotrell leading from Charlie Coulborn and Nick Bishop, with the usual suspects of Hawarth/Aston, Ashby Higgs and Olive/Allen just behind. Again there was pressure down the middle of the course and after the leaders had gone right down the run, Hawarth/Aston lead again at the leeward mark followed by Ashby/Higgs, Irish/Gotrell, Coulborn/Bishop and James Date and Demo Dave (aka Charlie Merchant) making an appearance. A shifty next beat saw Date/Dave through into the lead proving that increased waterline length and extra momentum can be put to good use on flat water. Down the last run Hawarth/Aston gybed early and overtook Irish/Gotrell and Date/Dave to take the race from Irish then Date in third, with Coulborn/Bishop hanging on to the leaders for fourth.

At this point, the wind completely died and racing was abandoned. The remaining boats were given a finish position on a ranking based on the first lap leeward mark position, and allocated the places from fifth onwards.

Thanks to the team at Datchet Water who made all the right decisions and made for an enjoyable weekend despite the lack of wind.

Helm Crew Club R1 R2 Pts
1 Chris Haworth Stuart Aston BCYC 2 1 3
2 Steve Irish Martin Gotrell Draycote Water 1 2 3
3 James Date Demo dave Stokes Bay 7 3 10
4 Neil Ashby Alan Higgs HISC 6 5 11
5 Alan Olive Roz Allen Stokes Bay 3 9 12
6 Charlie Coulborn Nick Bishop Stokes Bay 8 4 12
7 Ian Martin Claire Booth Datchet Water SC 5 8 13
8 Adam Broughton Andy Pearce Portishead Y&SC 9 7 16
9 Matt Adams Mark Rhodes Stokes Bay 4 13 17
10 Andrew Smith Beck Tobin Stokes Bay 11 6 17
11 Alex Davies Sarah Hughes Draycote Water 12 10 22
12 Mark Pollington Lee Albrecht Burgfield SC 10 14 24
13 Neil Harrison Rich Burlingham Stokes Bay 13 11 24
14 Malcolm Streeton Daler Carr HISC 14 12 26
15 Geoffrey Howison Geoff Howison RGYC DNC 15 34
16 Joe Turnbull Ben Saynor Stokes Bay 15 DNC 34
17 Roger Lewis Oliver Lewis Felpham DNC 16 35
18 Chris Mayhew Mark Stowe RHYC DNC DNC 38

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