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RS Vision Open at Herne Bay Sailing Club

by Matt Hogben 21 May 2008 08:08 BST 17 May 2008
Challenging conditions for the first ever RS Vision open at Herne Bay © Matt Hogben

In a building NE wind, 9 RS Visions assembled at Herne Bay in Kent for the first ever RS Vision open. Some boats had arrived on the Friday night to take advantage of the hospitality offered by the Herne Bay Club members. The curry was very well received.

With all 7 boats from as far a field as Oxford, Hants and Bucks rigged on the prom at 10:00, the sailors were ready for a rigging and reefing masterclass run by Dan Jaspers and Matt Hogben, with the decision having been made by the group to reduce the sail area on all boats.

The group then assembled inside for a formal intro to the club and a race breefing led by Dai Griffiths, the OOD. Many of the RS Vision owners, who do not normally race, used this opportunity to learn more about the rules and all competitors went away with added knowledge.

12:15 saw the start of the first of the four proposed 2 lap races. With Vision 609 capsizing on the line at the Gun the scene was set. Ist to the windward mark was Vision 509 closely followed by 782 in hot pursuit. With 5ft swell and 20 knots of breeze the 2 laps were completed in a shade under 30 minutes.

The second race got underway with 3 boats having retired at the end of race 1 and with the wind touching 25 knots the decision to reef the boats was much applauded. Vision 782 took the lead on the last leeward leg as 509 tried to gybe and failed to power out of the manoeuvre, capsizing and allowing the rest of the fleet bar 1 to slide on by, 782 using the opportunity to tack instead of gybe. A tactic that payed dividends.

Race 3 was started after the OOD asked all competitors if they were happy to continue and with a full house of thumbs up, what was to be the last race got under way. At the start it was 509, 878 , 610 and 782 who sailed for the wrong mark before realising where the rest of the fleet was headed. Windward mark number 1 saw the 4 boats come together for the closest racing of the day, with some awesome downwind surf proving challenging for those covering to windward. 28 knots would normally have proved too much for most boats but the Visions dug their heels in and seemed at home in the breaking waves. During the final lap 509 halved the length of their mast after inverting in the shallowing water of the Bay. This let 878 and 782 past to dual to the finish as the remaining competitors limped for the slipway.

With a seamlessly organised beach swell recovery process that defied belief, the Visions gathered together on the Promenade to share stories and compare results. A fun day had by all.

Overall Results:

1st 782, Dan Jaspers & Freya Sanders, 2,1,2
2nd 878, Maggie Childs & Andrew Pennifold, 3,2,1
3rd 509, David Lloyd & Steven Lloyd, 1,3,DNF

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