Saxton by a point

470 squad sailor takes the top spot in the 103 strong line-up at the GUL RS200 Inlands

Tuesday October 13th 2009, Author: Andy Nicholson, Location: United Kingdom
On the 10-11 October an incredible 103 RS200s, including the odd Olympic squad member looking for large fleet practice, gathered at Grafham Water for the 2009 GUL RS200 Inland Championships. National champions Geoff Carveth/Emma Clarke were absent, away winning the Endeavour Trophy (Geoff’s 5th victory in the event, and only the second time a lady has won the Endeavour), so the field was left open for a new champion to be crowned.

Due to the number of entrants, racing took place in flights, with one flight of 25 boats racing the other 3 flights twice. The weather gods had also been informed that lots of people were coming along, and laid on a steady 12-14 knots from the West on Saturday with a stronger (and, it definitely felt) colder 16-23 knots from the southwest going sorthwest on Sunday.

Saturday’s racing saw two stand out performances. Andy/Jill Peters showed that their recent win at the Cherub Inlands was no fluke to record a mightily impressively 1,1,3 score line and take the over night lead. The second performance of the day came from the reunited paring of Ian Pickard/Loopy Mathews, who showed that they had obviously been missing each other greatly (and maybe proves the importance of a good crew!). They blitzed the first two races to take bullets, but had to settle for a 17 in their 3rd race of the day and an overnight placing of 5th. Other top performances came from the ever consistent Ben Saxton/Kate Macgregor with a 3,2,2 to be 2nd overnight and Steve/Rachel Dunn with a 5,2,1 to be 3rd. Mention must also go Tom Morris/Emma Porteous who ran riot in their final race of the day and scored a win with a margin of over half a leg.

Sunday morning saw the fleet wake to the pitter patter of rain on tents and a collective groan of hangover pain following Saturday night’s party and national circuit prize giving. However, the sun soon started to come out and the fleet launched promptly for races 4-6.

Robbie Burns/Vicky Simpson showed the results of a quiet Saturday dinner for 2 in the Wheatsheaf and at least 5 cigarettes per race (don’t you mean per start!) to be star performers on Sunday with a 1,1,3 scoreline, which was enough to give them 3rd overall in the event. However, a battle royal was going on between the Peters and Saxton/Macgregor for top spot. The Peters came off worst when their two flights met, finishing 4th to Saxton/Macgregor’s 3rd in race 4 and then, in race 5, found their 2nd was bettered with Saxton/Mcgregor taking a timely first bullet of the weekend. Going into race 6, both were tied on points. Saxton/Macgregor finished with a 2nd but the Peters luck ran out and, following a few collisions and bad corner banging ideas, they retired, taking 2nd overall and leaving Saxton/Macgregor as the GUL 2009 RS200 inland champions.

Wayne/Deb Fletcher dominated the silver fleet, finishing an impressive 8th overall - surely promotion beckons for these two! Behind them came John Teague/Louise Fisher in 2nd and Christian Humphrey/Noelle Vidal in 3rd.

The bronze fleet was wrapped up by Ben Palmer/Rosie Sibthorp, with Sam Maxfield/Katie Restall 2nd and Emma Johnson/Justin Deal 3rd.

Many thanks go to Grafham Water SC for laying on such a great event and GUL for helping with sponsorship. That’s the last big event of what had been another epic year for the RS200s. It all starts again next year, 2010, with the inlands in February – so time to start training now!

Full results here

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