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Ocean Elements 2018

RS400 Sprints at Queen Mary Sailing Club

by Simon Baker 11 Mar 2013 13:25 GMT 9 March 2013
RS400 Sprint at Queen Mary © Alex Irwin /

Queen Mary cracked open the gates early on 8th March 2013 to greet the visitors to our second 400 open sprints. This Saturday offered a very civilized 5-6 knots of shifting North Westerley or was it North Easterly Breeze.

The race committee kindly positioned the windward marks away from the club house to limit the shifts to something a little more predictable and introduced the series with a complex briefing as to what would happen in the event of a tie on points. Most were lost with the complexities but had the writer been listening he might have forgone the hard earned fourth place overall and left the write up of this report to someone who understands a bit about sailing.

The fleet of 11 boats was split into four, three flights of three and one of just two boats. Each flight was mixed with another for each of the eight races. Being a kind sort of chap Phil Dickinson listed the names of each flight under their start flags to give them a chance of pretending to know their numeral pennants.

With four races before and after the hot soup lunch afloat, there was no time to be lost and the race committee did a terrific job of getting the racing underway promptly and with no waiting between races either.

With the lack of breeze the visitors were confined to 1342 Jack Holden and Ollie Miller from Arun, Harriett and Jonathan Stone from Montserat YC, and Douglas Clow and Ian Hamilton from Island Barn. The other nine boats were QMSC Sunday regulars.

1203 Richard and Jon between them sailed a commanding eight races with seven firsts and one second. A net score of 6 overall gave then the win. They found the breeze consistently and even when muscled out at the committee boat to trail the fleet, they still clawed their way back up to a first in even that race. So ruthless was their lack of mercy that they denied the writer one of 1101's two chances at a first by some cruel tactical sailing at the final leeward mark in race three. Well done to Richard and Jon.

1342 Jack Holden and Ollie Miller took zero time to acquaint themselves with the local conditions. From the outset they read the lifting port tack that was to be had anywhere between middle and left in the early races. They nailed five firsts and three seconds to sit narrowly in second place on 7 points behind 1203.

1101 Simon and Zoe (out from winter retirement for the day) and 1167 Bob and Isabel Joce had a wonderful tussle throughout the day. It came down to the final race when the writer foolishly clung on to 2nd place and the honour of writing something about the day. The locals are well used to 1101's drivel and will be disappointed by this dumbed down version of events. 1101's concentration is renowned for spanning 13 minutes and no more. That meant that if the leeward mark was reached at 13 mins plus one second the following fleet could enjoy the spoils of the silly mistakes made in minute thirteen. In the last race the final leeward mark was reached at 12 minutes – sorry Bob.

1274 Mike and Josie Adams showed some brilliance during the day grabbing a couple of seconds from nowhere but a broken tiller extension left mike 300cm short and that was reflected in their last six races.

1031 Max Tosetti (local QM Cpt) and Chris Stanton got ever higher up the fleet as the day wore on. Their downwind speed and tactics were second to none and like their performance at Garda 2012 they demonstrated that a few extra stone in a four hundred doesn't make that much difference in displacement mode.

In all, a terrific event.