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RS200 End of Season Championship at Rutland Sailing Club

by James Penty on 11 Nov 2016 5-6 November 2016
RS End of Season Championship at Rutland ©

What a fantastic weekend we had at Rutland Water last week for the RS200 End of Seasons. A great fleet of 20 boats launched in bitterly cold, although sunny conditions, into a stiff 20 knot breeze. We all knew it had the potential to be a good day's racing. The format was 3 races on Saturday with one discard and a non-excludable pursuit race on Sunday that counted for double points, so it was all to play for come the final day.

Race one saw Robert Gullan and Rob Henderson take the lead up the first beat closely followed by the rest of the fleet. A few boats were caught out downwind by big squally gusts and this is where most places were won and lost throughout the day. At the end of 4 cold laps, Ben Palmer and Jo Wright took the win closely followed by Robert Gullan and Rob Henderson in second. Jack Holden and Amy Yeoman third, finishing off the podium positions for that race.

Race two saw even more big gusts and shifts coming down the lake making the downwind legs into a "follow the gust exercise". David Jessop and Claire Walsh mastered the challenging conditions to win race two. However, not too far behind, there was still a mighty battle on for second, with 4 boats all approaching the last leeward gate together at great speed. The inside boat of James Penty and George Stainforth took second with Ian Martin and Lucy Preston taking third.

By race three many sailors were tired and cold, and small mistakes were being made on the race track, there were many capsizes - to check their slot gaskets mid-race of course! Coming out in top position was Robert Gullan and Rob Henderson, which put them in the position of the overnight leaders.

Sunday was also freezing cold, with a wind chill of -1 degrees, and just as windy.

The pursuit race for the RS200s was 1 hour 54 minutes, starting just 6 minutes after the RS Aero 5s. The start was a tricky one as it was practically a reach from the pin end to the first windward mark. The first leg saw Oliver Groves and Esther Parkhurst come out in front with the rest of the fleet biting their rudder blade. During the first lap a few untimely capsizes spread the fleet out. Robert Gullan and Rob Henderson took the lead but they were being hunted down by Ben Palmer and Jo Wright eagerly. As the race went on and the rain started the fleet started to close up again although with just 30 minutes to go, the rain brought some big winds and even more capsize drills. Ian Martin, crewed by Nikki Birrell, started to advance through the fleet in the closing minutes. Ben Palmer and Jo Wright passed them in the final stages to clinch first place in the fleet. Robert Gullan and Rob Henderson took and impressive second, a little further behind in third place were James Penty and George Stainforth.

As the pursuit was double points, this left the overall results as: 1st Robert Gullan and Rob Henderson; 2nd Ben Palmer and Joanna Wright, and in 3rd Ian Martin and Lucy Preston.

In reflection it was an absolutely great weekend especially considering the temperatures. Fantastic close racing in extremely challenging conditions. Rutland SC did a great job of both running the races and running the rescue boats, thanks to all who helped and sailed. Thanks also to Team Volvo sailors John Pink and Nikki Birrell for joining in the fun, and to event sponsors Volvo and Magic Marine.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3PursuitPts
1st385Robert GullanRob HendersonItchenor SC2‑4147
2nd1628Ben PalmerJoanna WrightHISC17‑10210
3rd17Ian MartinLucy PrestonBurghfield SC‑832813
4th1631James PentyGeorge StainforthBeaver SC62‑8614
5th1639Jack HoldenAmy YeomanArun YC3‑1141017
6th1579Josh MetcalfeMillie AlcockY Felinmeli‑9531422
7th1347David JessopClaire WalshGrafham Water SC41‑51823
8th1332Eddie GraysonEmma GraysonBeaver SC‑111061632
9th1538Martin PentyTom PentyBeaver SC10‑12121234
10th1546John McKelvieCharlotte CotterStrangford Lough YC‑14892037
11th13Oliver GrovesEsther ParkhurstBeaver SC79‑112238
12th655Andrew BarnettJo LloydIsland Barn RSC13‑14132450
13th1549Tim SaxtonHolly ScottBurghfield SC56‑7DNC55
14th1600Rheanna PaveyHolly PaveyStour SC1515‑172656
15th985Chay TaylorNiamh DaviesBurnham SC1213‑143257
16th1333Stephen SmithEllie TubmanBeaver SC‑1616152859
17th244Charlie SansomZoe BazenBowmoor SC18(DNC)163064
18th994James GeorgeHarry GeorgeQMSC17(DNC)DNCDNC83
19th1486Nigel SheppardDebbie Thompson‑BrownNorthampton SC(DNC)DNCDNCDNC88
19th1071Sam WallerTim WallerBeaver SC(DNC)DNCDNCDNC88
19th1009Simon ShillakerDan ShillakerHill Head Sc(RET)DNCDNCDNC88

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