The enormous 160 boat fleet that have descended on WPNSA to take part in the RS200 Nationals, sponsored by TridentUK, were treated to a sunny day and some rather light airs racing, the line-up including many sailors from Skandia Team GBR. With the forecast predicting only 4 knots of breeze, the fleet were sent to the other side of the world (otherwise known as the far side of Weymouth bay) and following a long sail were rewarded with two races in an increasing breeze, with both helms and crews hiking by the end.
Race one saw a rather eager pathfinder start a minute early and then on the restart a rather eager fleet cause a pile up, but at the third attempt everyone got away on the gate start. The wind speed and direction was fluctuating across the race course giving it the appearance of a game of snakes and ladders, but Robbie Burns & Vicki Simpson proved to be the superior sailing family by edging out Ian & Chris Martin for the win, with past nationals winners Lee Sydenham & Jane Gilbert in third.
Race two started with a better breeze than the first, allowing the boat to be fully powered up for the first time in the day. Those starting late out of the gate and going right came out smelling of roses and it was the UK’s second best Cherub sailors Andy and Jill Peters who led for the first lap. However, Broadstairs’ finest Tim Ellis/Lucy Preston stormed past and pulled away for the win. The Peters had to settle for third in the end as Stu Bithel/Kate McGregor nicked in at the final mark to steal third.
With such a huge fleet in such light winds, there are plenty of protests to be heard.
Forecast for tomorrow is more breeze and gallons of rain, which should be fun………
Tuesday at the Trident Marine sponsored RS200 National Championship dawned with the wind howling and the rain falling- typical British summertime conditions! However, by the time the fleet started to launch the wind was already beginning to moderate (as predicted by the Met Office) and the sun was doing its best to try and peek out.
The first start of race 3 got away ok but was soon aborted as the wind swung to the left, lifting the pathfinder and leaving the fleet far behind his line. The second start was perfect however and the fleet shot away upwind. Even though the left was looking like the only option, the leaders at the top mark converged from both sides, John Pink & Sarah Hickman rounding just in front of Wayne& Deb Fletcher. It was Chris Catt and Ally Martin who sailed best though, working their way through the fleet into the lead, which they held to the end. Behind, the wind pressure was fluctuating across the course and gave plenty of opportunities for overtaking. Stephen Tiernan & Tim Goodhew with James Peters & Alan Roberts took best advantage of these to finish 2nd and 3rd.
The days second race never materialised unfortunately as the wind fell away completely, causing the fleet to be becalmed and most of them towed in.
Day 3 & 4
After two days of light air racing, the 200 fleet have been treated to two days of 12-20 knots, big waves and sunshine out in Weymouth Bay – the definition of 'champagne sailing'.
Wednesday saw races 4,5,6 sailed (catching up one race from Tuesday) in a breeze that started out at about 12knots and built steadily to a solid 20. James Peters and Alan Roberts showed great form to win the first two races while settling for a third in the last one, putting them firmly in control of the championship. The other podium positions during the day were shared around, with Ben Saxton/Sophie Ainsworth emerging as James’ biggest threat with an 11,3,1 scoreline, Tom Morris/Emma Porteous continuing their great week with a 2,4,7 and Dave Giles/Dave Hivey rolling back the years to take third in the first race. The Martins and Hamish Walker/Emma Clarke took 2nd in races 5 and 6 respectively.
Thursday dawned to a bright blue sky and fleet again enjoyed a delightful downwind sleigh ride out to the start area, blasting under spinnaker for about 45mins. Peters/Alan took out both races, winning the first by a healthy distance before taking the second 'one lapper' by a whisker. Saxton & Ainsworth were second with Lee Sydenham & Jane Gilbert in 3rd in race 7 whilst Morris & Porteous took 2nd & David Jessop/David Rolfe 3rd in race 8.
Tomorrow is looking light a return to light winds, so it’ll be a test of nerves for Peters/Roberts to see if they can conclude the championship and take the title. Leading the silver fleet is Mike Chapman & Lynne Ratcliffe with Thomas Goodey crewed by Richard Thomas leading the bronze.
Day 5 of the championships was a funny old day. The fleet arrived at the dinghy park to find it lashing with rain and the wind howling – most at odds with the forecast of 5 knots and sunshine! However, the rain soon dispersed but also so did the wind, leading to sunbathing, cricket and football taking place instead of any sailing. However, by 2pm the breeze at filled in from the North West to a solid 14 knots and the fleet were released, in order to get one final race in before the 5pm cut off.
As it was likely that there would only be one more race, James Peters/Alan Roberts virtually had the title in the bag. That didn’t stop Ben Saxton/Sophie Ainsworth trying to take the fight to them and they eventually finished the race in 2nd with Peters/Roberts back in 8th – it wasn’t enough though and Peters/Roberts were champions after several years of having to the bridesmaid. Stu Bithell/Kate Mcgregor finished their week on a high by winning the final race as John Teague/Louise Fisher by taking 3rd.
Overall, Saxton/Ainsworth were 2nd and Tom Morris/Emma Porteous a brilliant third. Top silver fleet sailors were the silver fox Mike Chapman/Lynne Ratcliffe with Neil Barrett/Sophie Jones 2nd and Liz Teague/Mark Percival 3rd. Tom Gooday/Richard Thomas are definitely in line for promotion after winning the bronze fleet with a 45th overall whilst Chris Tiernan/Amy Yeoman were 2nd and Bart Bridgen/Alex Sothart 3rd.
Its been a great week in Weymouth, with a real mix of conditions and some really great sailing – just seeing 160 boats on one course was amazing in itself. Many thanks to all the sponsors TridentUK, Harken, Mount Gay and WPNSA for making it possible.
Top 50 results:
|1||James Peters||Alan Roberts||-11||-8||3||1||1||3||1||1||8||37||18|
|2||Ben Saxton||Sophie Ainsworth||8||-26||4||-11||3||1||2||2||2||59||22|
|3||Thomas Morris||Emma Porteous||13||-14||-46||2||4||7||4||3||6||99||39|
|4||Stuart Bithell||Kate MacGregor||-29||2||10||14||-15||10||6||10||1||97||53|
|5||Ian Martin||Chris Martin||2||-33||-18||5||2||16||7||9||12||104||53|
|6||Hamish Walker||Emma Clarke||4||-54||31||-40||9||2||15||7||5||167||73|
|7||Dicken Maclean||Hannah Young||12||9||12||-30||14||15||-29||4||9||134||75|
|8||Mark Heather||Edward Cowell||6||-34||29||-38||10||8||16||11||4||156||84|
|9||Ben Palmer||Amy Seabright||-31||7||19||13||19||4||-58||17||13||181||92|
|10||Christian Birrell||Matt Johnson||-67||17||15||-31||6||6||9||30||15||196||98|
|11||Chris Catt||Ally Martin||30||-68||1||8||18||30||-42||8||18||223||113|
|12||Lee Sydenham||Jane Gilbert||3||-32||17||26||29||24||3||-47||11||192||113|
|13||Edd Whitehead||Katy Nichol||25||4||7||16||-26||21||26||14||-46||185||113|
|14||Nicholas Charles||Roz Allen||20||-48||5||-53||30||11||24||12||14||217||116|
|15||Andrew Peters||Jeraldine Peters||-56||3||26||4||-41||41||13||22||10||216||119|
|16||David Giles||Jane Hivey||38||-56||23||3||25||12||17||6||-40||220||124|
|17||Robbie Burns||Vicki Simpson||1||21||22||37||-64||32||14||5||RAF||356||132|
|18||Charlotte Savage||Michael-John Gifford||18||-96||-35||22||13||20||12||27||24||267||136|
|19||Martin Boatman||Samantha Boatman||23||-117||-84||34||7||5||22||20||29||341||140|
|20||Jonny McGovern||Sarah Williams||-43||35||8||-64||31||9||34||24||7||255||148|
|21||Ian Sharps||Ellie Martin||16||-61||16||19||-82||13||47||15||34||303||160|
|22||Tim Ellis||Lucy Preston||-68||1||45||10||17||22||27||-75||47||312||169|
|23||Andrew Walsh||Nicky Macgregor||-69||22||-73||15||50||37||10||13||22||311||169|
|24||Matt Mee||Emma Norris||33||-69||24||35||20||17||23||DSQ||17||398||169|
|25||Tim Saxton||Claire Lasko||37||11||34||-51||22||27||-40||26||16||264||173|
|26||John Pink||Sarah Hickman||45||-67||6||21||23||14||28||38||-70||312||175|
|27||Stephen Tiernan||Tim Goodhew||14||-66||2||6||36||55||38||-61||27||305||178|
|28||Frances Peters||Eilidh McIntyre||9||23||32||-50||35||23||18||40||-60||290||180|
|29||James Stewart||Eluned Stewart||34||38||-41||33||8||-48||30||21||20||273||184|
|30||Ben Ainsworth||Rachel Williamson||15||-51||20||39||27||34||31||29||DNC||406||195|
|31||Mike Chapman||Lynne Ratcliffe||22||6||-67||12||54||25||DNC||46||32||424||197|
|32||Steve Davis||Kate Davis||10||-79||42||7||45||-50||32||44||23||332||203|
|33||John Teague||Louise Fisher||36||-78||-59||46||16||31||56||16||3||341||204|
|34||Josh Flack||Tom Brophy||61||-77||57||18||5||18||11||DSQ||35||442||205|
|35||James Ellis||Rory Caird||17||-93||21||49||32||26||-68||43||19||368||207|
|36||Ian Pickard||Lucy Matthews||52||18||-85||28||33||-75||5||49||30||375||215|
|37||Mike Saul||Meg Fletcher||27||41||11||23||-65||DNC||65||23||36||451||226|
|38||Sophie weguelin||Marry Rook||26||66.0 RDG||9||-82||-81||28||39||31||42||404||241|
|39||Steve Janering||Renata Sapazinskaite||57||-107||39||-86||11||33||54||18||31||436||243|
|40||Robert Style||Eddie Glennie||19||-80||44||29||51||43||21||-56||37||380||244|
|41||Caroline Martin||Nick Martin||60||19||-107||24||12||64||19||DNC||58||523||256|
|42||Dave Evans||Lucy Macgregor||50||10||53||27||DSQ||-93||25||53||41||512||259|
|43||David Steed||Katherine Lovering||35||28||30||43||39||-56||-62||34||53||380||262|
|44||Pete Vincent||Trudie Fell||24||25||55||17||70||-94||55||DNC||45||545||291|
|45||Thomas Goodey||Richard Thomas||-97||-83||72||55||53||19||44||28||21||472||292|
|46||Christian Humphrey||Noelle Vidal||65||-85||-119||42||55||29||8||48||54||505||301|
|47||Neil Barrett||Sophie Jones||-88||44||37||32||44||39||57||55||-63||459||308|
|48||Thomas Wright||Helen Wightman||41||-99||76||20||42||-83||53||51||26||491||309|
|49||David Jessop||David Rolfe||-114||-122||86||45||21||58||43||25||33||547||311|
|50||Liz Teague||Mark Percival||21||-111||36||69||28||-79||60.5||52||50||506.5||316.5|