RS 400s at Leigh and Lowton

Light winds and warm welcome for fleet

Wednesday March 26th 2003, Author: Heather Chipperfield, Location: United Kingdom
After all the other RS classes started the Fat Face Racing Circuit the previous weekend it was the turn of the RS400 Fat Face Racing Circuit to kick off on March 22/23 by visiting the home of the largest RS400 fleet in the country, Leigh and Lowton.

The club has traditionally held an RS400 open in March, which has always supplied, good breezes, cold weather, hot competition, very strong home fleet, a warm welcome, good social, food and plenty of beer. Virtually all these factors were in place, including 21 boats from the home club, except for the good breezes and cold weather. Clear blue skies and strong sun had the fleet putting on total bloc in the very smart new changing rooms rather than drysuits. This weather produced a very fickle wind on Saturday with some very large holes. What wind there was went home early and the final race of the day was lost. Prospects for Sunday did not look good with even less wind at 10.30 start time but a more stable wind slowly built so the final races were held in force 3-4. PRO Arkie Wainwright got the bit between the teeth and produced some very smart turn arounds to fit in 4 races in less than 4 hours. With the wind refusing to play ball and come straight down the lake, the start lines were action packed being pushed against a shore and unable to be a huge length. The black flag went up and down like a yo yo and some people seemed to think it did not apply to them.

Class acts of the weekend were Nick Craig and Keith Bedborough who counted three first places and two seconds, plus a magnificent double disqualification in the same race. There is always entertainment when Keith is in town and he did not let us down this weekend; needing to fly to Zurich on Monday morning he managed to loose his passport/bag in a restaurant and gain a black eye in a misunderstanding in an Altrincham nightclub. Despite this they put in a fantastic display of boat handling to dominate. Not far behind was Mark and Sam Littlejohn in their first year in 400’s, who constantly pushed the leaders hard. The final race was a good example as the Craigs/Littlejohns had a very close match race at the front. To show the depth of the fleet and how difficult it was to recover the Littlejohns discard was 21st. In third overall was home club sailors Dave Exley/Nigel Hall who were very consistent counting a whole pile of thirds and fourths, recovering from the total misunderstanding in the first race when they thought the race had been finished very early. Mat Jenkins/Emma from Sheffield Viking in the oldest boat in the fleet scored a convincing win in race 2 to produce a very credible 7th overall.

Other home club sailors Mike Budd/Greebo and Dave Shiel/Paul Heath would have been to the fore in the overall standings if they had not ended up with two black flags each. They were in first and second place in the final race when they were told. Commodore Alan Woosey, during his comedy routine at the prize giving, quite rightly though highlighted the sterling efforts of Tony Woods/ Arline Couch. Unable to sail on Saturday they managed to collect three black flags in four starts on Sunday; a truly awesome performance. A close second in the cock up league were Chris and Matt Bailey, the brother Grimms, who on Sunday were black flagged in race 1, had the kite on sideways in race 2 and were black flagged in race 3; they did not risk joining in race 4.

Such entertainment, when are we going back again?!?!


1 Nick Craig / Keith Bedborough
2 Mark and Sam Littlejohn
3 Dave Exley / Nigel Hall
4 Greg O’Brien / Colin Staite
5 Mike Sharples / Amanda Pierpoint
6 Andy Fox / Simon Birchill
7 Matt Jenkins / Emma
8 Pete Vincent / Pete Cruickshank
9 Chris Gillard / Alan Gibbon
10 Russell and June Collister
11 Louise Mckeand / Chris Jobson
12 Dave Shiel / Paul Heath
13 Cathy and Mike Partington
14 Mike Budd / Mark Greaves
15 Terry Oliver / Mark Atherton
16 Caroline Exley / Arline / Mark Dingsdale
17 Roy Thomason / Laura Woosey
18 Nick Holt / Derek Hill
19 John and Sarah Murphy
20 Neil and Sue Hampson
21 Jeremy Entwistle / Rachael Jones
22 John and Mary Harwood
23 Rob and Liz Stott
24 Adam Hoad-Reddick / Simon
25 Malcolm and Martin Green
26 Ben Kirk / Sarah Runswick
27 Chris and Jane Horne
28 Mark Reddington / Johnny Lynd
29 Chris and Matt Bailey
30 Tony Woods / Arline Couch
31 Howard Garner / Henry Storrer

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