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Magic Marine RS300 Spring Championship at Stewartby

by Steve Bolland on 22 Mar 2016 19-20 March 2016
Startline during the Magic Marine RS300 Spring Championship at Stewartby Water © Jon Finch

I remember when the season used to kick-off in February with the Winter Championship. I also remember it was usually too cold to sail. Over the years the season's opener has sensibly slipped back so it was renamed the Magic Marine Spring Championship this year. It certainly seemed to work, enticing 28 RS300 sailors out of Winter hibernation. Unfortunately the weather gods had failed to take note as there was still a sprightly and chilly Northerly to contend with, but at least you could still feel your fingers.

We were warmed up by the welcome from Stewartby though – tea and bacon sandwiches included in the entry fee and the prospect of home-cooked chilli later.

Dave Acres (Emsworth & Thorney Island), National Champion, brought his brand new boat up country and it was almost inevitable that he would have a coming together with Steve Bolland (Bristol Corinthian), in his clapped out old body boat, at some point. They always want claim the same bit of water at the same time. It happened sooner than anyone thought, vying for first place at the end of the second beat in race 1. Acres came off best, bullying Bolland to the extent of having to go back ashore to re-fix his pintles (after having got upright again). Martin Harrison (Royal Victoria) gained the most, going on to win from Rich Le Mare (Bartley).

After two more races it was looking good for the Midland boys with Bartley sailors Sam Knight and Le Mare holding first and second overall. We all thought they'd been practising all winter until Sam depressed us all by noting that this was the first time back in the boat since winning the Inlands in October.

Back ashore by 3.30pm we sensibly eschewed the open bar until very nearly 4 o'clock – it was clearly going to be a long night, but we're all grown up and sensible now so there were only a few of the youngsters partaking of the almost obligatory round of rums at closing time.

Half of the fleet assembled at the Little Chef for an Olympic breakfast on Sunday morning; I haven't had one of those for years but I can thoroughly recommend them as part of a calorie uncontrolled diet. Meanwhile, Alistair 'Storky' McLaughlin puts so much sugar in his coffee it will soon be attracting sugar tax at the higher rate. Back at the club it was apparent that the breeze had dropped a notch from Saturday and there was definitely more warmth in the air (just more warmth, still not actually warm).

Sam Knight started where he left off on Saturday and took the first bullet of the day and a nice lead overall. However, with Luke Pepper (Hykeham) taking a win in race 5 from Bolland and with Knight collecting a discard there was still all to play for going into the final race.

A 40 degree windshift delayed the start of the final race as the course was reset. What didn't change was the tactical genius of Bolland and Acres who repeated their feat of the previous race on the first beat by going hard left, holding on, holding on, keeping their nerve and waiting and waiting and waiting for the header (just in time) and reaching into the top mark and hoping there was a gap (there was!).

Most of the final race was a battle between Bolland, 'Storky' McLaughlin (Prestwick) and Don 'The Godfather' Skinner (Aldenham). Storky was caught out on the final beat by an outrageous shift and The Godfather took the lead when it matters, just before the finish for his first ever race win.

Many thanks to all at Stewartby involved with running a great event with a terrific turnout hosted by a most amenable club. Next stop is the Magic Marine Sprint Championship at Rutland on 23-24 June. The fleet is repairing to the Wheatsheaf for Saturday night food so go along to the RS300 Facebook Group here if you want to be included in the order.

Overall Results:

PosHelmSail NoClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1Steve Bolland411Bristol Corinthian YC293132211
2Sam Knight335Bartley SC41216614
3Luke Pepper518Hykeham SC366121723
4David Acres544Emsworth and Thorney74453923
5Steve Sallis476Hykeham SC529348828
6Pete Ellis500Stewartby WSC657810531
7Dan Skinner379Aldenham SC881079133
8Alistair McLaughlin490Prestwick SC1329567334
9Rich Le Mare540Bartley SC22814202946
10Martin Harrison481Royal Victoria YC171611161851
11Paul Watson337Bowmoor SC179910121454
12Mark Newton354West Lancs YC1413151541056
13Rich Hargreaves373Stewartby WSC2111189111261
14Rob Jones480Warsash SC9101218241665
15Harry McVicar523Draycote29292925469
16Julian Gunnell479Stewartby WSC20161713141575
17Alastair Wood422Bough Beech SC16152916191177
18Ben Green315Highcliffe SC12121327152577
19Ian Clark527Warsash SC11191119181978
20Dan Treloar417Stewartby WSC19171421211384
21Dan Cowin347Burghfield SC10212117262291
22Robin Jones415Hykeham SC18182320132992
23John Charles384Leigh‑on‑Sea SC15142222222194
24John Peters515Hykeham SC242220242517107
25Mark Taylor336Prestwick SC222019252323107
26Jimmy Ruddiman426Glossop SC232929261720115
27Alan Edwards356Hawley Lake292929232724132
28Marcus Flint530Aldenham SC292924292929140

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