Increased turnout

The RS600s saw the biggest fleet for some time at their Oxford Fat Face event

Wednesday April 9th 2008, Author: Debbie Darling, Location: United Kingdom
Even though there was a forecast of cold weather and snow, the RS600 fleet had an excellent turnout of twenty boats, the best for some time. This led to good tight racing throughout the whole fleet

As last year the event was shared with the Contender fleet and a triangle followed by sausage course was set. Day one saw an average of 15 to 20 knots of wind.

Olly Straker was first to the windward mark in race one and kept clear to the end. Ian Marshall port tacked the fleet to be third at the windward mark. Ian and James Sainsbury were to change places several times during the race. Dan Robbins worked his way through the fleet to third only to capsize 100 yards from the finish letting Guy Lonsdale through.

Race two saw Ian Marshall again going for the port flyer had to bail out as the door was closed on him. Dan Robbins was first to the windward mark. At the end of the first reach the pack behind the leading boats caught up and about eight boats were all fighting for the same space to gain an advantage. The next leg saw boats fighting for clear to get clear air on the next beat. Although Olly Straker rounded in fourth he worked the beat to get to the front and proceeded to keep Ian Marshall behind him. Race two saw a front come through with some squalls making some fast off wind legs and plenty of capsizes.

Olly straker was again setting the pace in race three keeping good cover over Ian Marshall. Ian Marshall hit the windward Mark trying hard to catch Olly Straker which let Andy Heissig and Dan Robbins through while he did a 360 turn. Guy Lonsdale was coming to the windward mark on port, failed to unhook on the tack and capsized while the boats piled past, the rest of the race spent working back up the fleet. Olly Straker went on to clinch the top positions with Dan Robbins dropping to fourth after a capsize in the final gybe. This let Ian through to third and Guy Lonsdale a distant fifth

Day two saw a good covering of snow on the ground and all the boat covers, luckily temperatures were not cold enough to freeze the ropes. The sun came out and with winds of ten to 15 konts, a perfect day for sailing.

Race four saw Steve McDonald of Starcross Sailing club had his moment of glory when he showed the fleet how to sail the first beat, leading the fleet round the windward mark. Guy Lonsdale managed to sail over the top of Steve McDonald on the first reach and maintain the lead to the end of the race. Steve McDonald was still third at the start of the next beat. Ian Marshall had to work his way through the fleet to second having been seventh or eighth at the first mark. Andy Heissig pulled through to third. Dan Robbins capsized on the last run dropping to ninth.

At the first mark it was Ian Marshall first in race five, Dave Annan second, Andy Heissig third followed by Dan Robbins and Guy Lonsdale. Olly straker capsized at the start and failed to recover. Dan Robbins got past Dave Annan at the end of a beat, Dave Annan then capsized and Dan Robbins went on to finish third. Guy Lonsdale also capsized just before the windward mark and dropped from fourth to sixth.

Race six saw Olly Straker hitting the form he showed on Saturday again. He went to the left on the first beat, was first to the windward mark showing us the way round to the finish. The breeze picked up with some big winds and swings and constantly changing. Andy Heissig was over the line at the start went back and fought his way back to second. James Sainsbury went from third to fifth in the last 100 yards of the race. Conversely Ian Marshall went from fifth to third at the same time. With one race discarded Olly Straker and Ian Marshall were tied on ten points each.

Our thanks go to Oxford Sailing Club for hosting the event and the race team lead by David Rollinson for providing excellent courses with the swinging wind.


1-Olly Straker - Weston
2-Ian Marshall - Oxford
3-Andy Heissig - Lymingtin Town
4-Dan Robbins - Oxford
5-Guy Lonsdale - Oxford

The Merit prize was awarded to Adam Peak from Alton Water

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