RS winter champs
A fantastic turnout of 41 boats made the trip to Derbyshire for the first visit by an RS fleet to Carsington SC for the GUL RS200 Winter Championships. The fleet included boats that had travelled from Penzance and Dublin!! The Club did an excellent job of organising the event with a very friendly atmosphere and some top race management, which saw very good courses, and rapid turn arounds. Someone should have turned the heaters on as it was cold but a very lively wind kept the crews very active. Saturday saw 2 races in a force 3-4, which slowly dropped for the third race. Sunday was full on with force 4-5 regularly rising to force 5-6 as lumps of wind hit the fleet; usually in gybe corner, giving some spectacular downwind action.
The event was in all reality totally dominated by two boats. RS400 National Champion crew for the last three years, James Stewart bought a RS200 in December and for his first outing he thought he would get his 400 helm, Roger Gilbert to crew. This led to much pre race leg pulling and there was still much light hearted banter when the dynamic duo just led round the first mark. They then very rudely disappeared into the distance in a cloud of spray to win by a mile. Most others leading contender’s egos put this down to them getting a lucky patch of wind on the first run but James repeated the story in the second race to again win by a mile. By the time they survived a very patchy first run in the third race to still lead the fleet knew they had been white washed with a Stewart/Gilbert score of 1.1.1. David Giles and Fiona Clark had been the only other consistent performer with a 2.2.3.scoreline.
Ashore most crews wanted to lynch Roger for causing them so much grief by straight leg hiking his way up all the beats.
Sunday, and it seemed that the only thing that had changed was an increase in the wind, as Stewart /Gilbert won the first race of the day in style. Their grip on the championship seemed even more secure with Giles and Clark collecting an OCS. The fifth race was a really close race. Stewart/Gilbert were leading again but with several boats pressing. Giles/Clark took advantage of a big gust to sail over the duo; almost in shock at being overtaken for the first time in the weekend Stewart/Gilbert capsized in the ensuring gybe battle for the layline. Giles/Clark won with Stewart 6th.
Stewart seemed to have sorted that blip out by leading the final race with 2 laps to go. But the expression “it’s not over ‘til the fat lady sings” really came to mind when the outhaul clew on their main pulled out leaving the main un-attached to the boom. Giles/Clark had won the battle for second place and suddenly found themselves in first. With Stewart unable to finish Giles and Clark score of 18.104.22.168.1.1 gave them the championship by one point. The domination of the leading two was shown by the fact that they were 14pts clear of Pete Vincent/Elly Haines in third overall. Vincent and Craig Burlton had prepared well for the event by adopting the text book rule of having crews that had never sailed 200s and with whom they had never sailed. Obviously Elly Haines and Jodi Dyer must be top rate crews to get that pair to third and fifth overall in those circumstances. Defending Winter Champion Jon Lewis and Milly Parsons were 4th suffering from counting a 15th. Slightly lighter weight crew combinations in Ollie Holden/Sarah Freestone and Cliff/Bec Millner scored some notable results in the breezier conditions to claim 6th and 7th overall. First youth Andy Robertson/Emily Howarth sailed a storming last race to finish second and 12th overall.
If 41 boats travel to the Winter Championships in early February then the RS200s are going to have a bumper season when the Fat Face circuit starts at Bristol CYC on March 15/16.
1. Fashion guru David Giles/Fiona Clark Wier Wood 9pts
2. Come on Roger, hike James Stewart/Roger Gilbert Stokes Bay 10pts
3. Bail the bow tank Elly Pete Vincent/Elly Haines Bristol CYC 24ps
4. The quiff Jon Lewis/Milly Parsons Burghfield 29pts
5. Better with bunches Craig Burlton/Jodi Dyer RYA 29pts
6. Just got engaged Ollie Holden/Sarah Freestone Hayling ISC 32pts
7. Cliff Millner/Bec Millner Cotswold SC 35pts
8. Lard power Ian Pickard/Lucy Matthews Bristol CYC 36pts
9 Little RS’s Mason Woodworth/Sarah Allan HRSC 38pts
10. Where’s Trudie? Mike Saul/Sophie Hartley Grimworth 42pts
Gul RS300 Winter Championships, Northampton SC
Saturday 8th of February saw the first instalment of the RS300 circuit for 2003. The RS300 fleet were joined by a similar number of RS600s at Northampton SC.
The first race started under cloudy skies with a gusty force 3-5 blowing straight down the lake. Will Gulliver from the home club started out of the blocks fasted, and had a small lead at the first mark followed closely by the rest of the fleet. This lead was extended until the middle of the second lap when a slight lapse in concentration resulted in a swim. Steve Cook was the first to take advantage of the capsize and the pair were neck & neck rounding the leeward mark with a lap to go. Unfortunately Gulliver consolidated his position to win by about 100 meters from Cook with Bolland finishing soon after in third place.
Race 2 started after a small break for lunch, Gulliver was again fast out of the blocks but this time chased by the Bolland brothers and Cook. The wind moderated slightly to a good force 3-4 and this gave some very tight racing throughout the fleet, but again it was Gulliver who had this nose in front when it mattered most (the finish). Followed by Cook and the Bolland brothers coming in 3rd & 4th.
Race 3 The first beat followed the familiar pattern, but increased pressure from astern and some faultless tactics put Steve Bolland in the lead at the leeward mark, slowly but surely he was reeled in by Cook & Gulliver who passed him on the final beat, leaving Gulliver a comfortable first and Cook again second. Chris Mason showed a glimmer of promise at his first major championship by passing a rapidly tiring Bolland into the line to finish third.
Race 4 started the next morning in similar wind strength but from a more northerly direction meaning it was now blowing across the lake giving larger wind shifts and interesting increases in strength. A navigation error away from the first windward mark gave the rest of the fleet a chance to put Gulliver in his place, and at the first leeward mark he rounded second behind Bolland with Simon Reynolds (a past circuit winner) right on his tail, The story has been written before and once again Gulliver put his lard to work, passing all before him, winning but with one of the smallest margins of the weekend. Nick Bolland started his second day well with a second and Simon Reynolds who was regaining past experience third.
Race 5 followed immediately, Gulliver again proved the RS300’s weight carrying capabilities followed by the Bolland brothers, Nick repeating his performance from race 4 with a another second and Steve who had been very fast in earlier races only had swum once to often to be consistent a rapidly improving 3rd.
Lunch followed with time to reflect on the positions, Nick Bolland & Steve Cook had a head to head race off for second and third place
Race 6 started in a similar breeze, Steve Bolland again started well leading around the first windward mark. He was later passed by Steve Cook in a last ditch attempt for 2nd place overall, however Steve Bolland played the percentages and gradually in the final race marathon moved though to take the lead, thus giving him a well deserved 2nd place overall. Cook a man who had pushed hard for first place on Saturday came in 2nd in the race and 3rd overall followed by Simon Reynolds who finally found out which bits of string to pull.
At the prize giving Cliff Shaw was awarded the well deserved persistence prize for finishing every race and improving to a 4th position in the last race
The next event is at Bristol Corinthian on March 15/16- See you there ! !
All the competitors had a really good time, and would like to thank Gul as title sponsors and Northampton Sailing Club and there officials for putting on such a brilliant event. The full result listing is available at: http://www.nsc.i12.com/rs303os.html
1. Will Gulliver Northampton 9pts
2. Nick Bolland Draycote Water 11pts
3. Steve Cook Stokes Bay 13pts
4. Simon Reynolds Whitstable 19pts
5. Chris Mason Draycote Water 23pts
6. Steve Bolland Bristol Corinthian 27pts
7. Cliff Shaw Stokes Bay 29pts
8. Nick Jupp Draycote Water 43pts
Gul RS600 Winter Championships, Northampton SC
Having seen a variety of weather forecasts for weekend, which did not include snow, a select bunch of RS600 sailors turned up at Northampton on 8th February for the Gul sponsored Winter Championships.
First race on Saturday started in a solid F5, the race at the front turning into a match between the lankiness of Matt Chapman against the bulk of Charlie Stowe, Chapman eventually winning. Second race had similar conditions, Chapman using his upwind pace to again take the gun, lightweight Matt Humphreys sneaking into second. The wind eased for the third race and Humphreys stretched away into a substantial lead, just as well as he rolled in on the run but had time to recover with no-one coming
close to challenge.
The wind swung to shifty for Sunday morning, varying between F2 - F5, suiting Humphreys who went away to win the fourth race. The gusts picked up for the fifth race, Chapman returning to the front, Anthony York second, as the rest of the fleet started to show off their gymnastic and swimming abilities.
The last race would decide the overall places, with some exceptionally vicious gusts requiring a sailing style best likened to an octopus falling out of a tree. Humphreys tipped in again while leading, allowing the only boat to stay upright, York, through to win. This proved expensive, as Chapman won overall from Humphreys on countback of race wins, York coming third.
Many thanks to the excellent race officer and his team, and, of course, Gul.
1 917 Matt Chapman CVLSC 9 1 1 2 4 1 6
2 962 Matt Humphreys Weston 9 5 2 1 1 3 2
3 946 Anthony York Northampton 11 3 3 5 2 2 1
4 960 Charlie Stowe Grafham Water 18 2 4 6 3 4 5
5 954 J Heissig Lymington 23 6 5 3 6 9 3
6 642 Nick Wapshott Draycote Water 24 4 7 4 10 5 4
7 901 Paul Smalley CVLSC 34 7 8 7 5 8 7
8 861 Jamie Mawson Ulley 40 9 9 10 8 6 8
9 701 Jono Ratnage Medway 44 10 6 11 7 10 12
10 709 Andy Heissig Lymington 46 12 10 8 9 7 12
11 664 David Prickett Mountbatten 51 8 11 9 11 12 12