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Rooster 8.1 National Championship at Weir Wood Sailing Club

by Steve Cockerill 25 Nov 2014 20:53 GMT 22 November 2014
Rooster 8.1 national at Weir Wood © Ollie Waring & David Dinglesfield

Once again the Rooster 8.1 fleet wondered why we race on a rainy November day – well what else can you do on a dank November day? Despite the conditions, 20 Rooster 8.1 sailors took to the water for the one day battle with the conditions between 2-6 knots.

The one problem and advantage of the 8.1 is that it can turn the worst of days into fun sailing which means the handicap is twisted to the performances in these light conditions.

As the wind was blowing across the shortest part of the lake, the Race Officer opted for a short line to help engage the fleet and to help prevent those 'small' wind shifts from preventing a one tack wonder.

The Race Officer's confidence and judgement was tested even before the first start when the wind shifted so that the fleet could make the first mark from the pin on port. However, 30 seconds before the starting gun, the wind veered to the right. The leading bunch came from the right side of the start line – and those who took the smart shifts were clear ahead of the first mark, David Goddard led enjoying the power of the turbo charged rig and took the line honours from Steve Cockerill and David Binding.

Race 2 Saw again another boat clear ahead, David Binding was once again in his element in the Rooster 8.1. Alan Davis was getting to grips with this oversized rig for the Laser® and finished a close 3rd behind Steve and just in front of David Goddard.

The wind on the lake had a pattern with two major pressure areas – one on the left of the course – and one on the right. Probably due to the topography of the hills around the lake. The one problem was that the start line was closer to the left side of the course and the windward mark with in the middle of the rift hand side of the course.

In race 3 the left side won out. Although Steve started at the pin and was able to cross the fleet, his exit from the left wind to the right wind was this time miscalculated. Sarah who had a great start mid line, ducked Steve and took a later route to the right rounded clear ahead at the first mark. Despite many challenges from the fleet she held onto the lead to win out from Steve, then David Giles who was getting to grips once again with the rig. Some also say that he has a GPS built into his brain and he knows every wind shift on Weir Wood.

Now David Giles had his eye in, he was now leading at the first mark in race 4 with a clear lead on the rest of the pack. On the last downwind, Steve took the little more pressure on the left side of the run to to snatch the inside overlap at the mark and held David off at the line, with Alan David a close third. David was pretty hard on himself after the finish, perhaps he knew that this two points potential difference might end up deciding the winner.

The wind was starting to disappear ahead of race 5 and the pattern of wind, holes and shifts were changing. David Giles was in his element and this time made no mistake taking 1st from David Binding with Alan Davis in 3rd.

The time limit for the last race to start was approaching. The wind was getting almost unassailable and frustrations and sense of humour were starting to get a little frazzled. Perhaps it was the experience of these situations that propelled Alan to his first race win of the series.

The sailors made their way ashore delighted with the series – if not a little concerned that the conditions tempted the sailors into perhaps too much rocking and rolling towards the end of the day. Perhaps next year an IJ might be in order to settle down the excitement. The problem is perhaps compounded by the way the rig loves movement upwind and downwind - small changes of direction can enable the boat to squirt forward with little perceived effort in light winds. A roll-tackers delight.

When the scores were assessed ashore it was apparent that David Giles was also a prophet as well as having in built GPS – as the position swap in race 4 did cost him the event. Alternatively it might also have been the 9th and 5th in race one and two. The fleet enjoyed a free meal whist waiting for the prize giving - which was also sponsored by Rooster Sailing.

Rooster presented prizes in the following categories:

  • Last overall counting all races – Jamie Southwell (Hill Head Sailing Club)
  • 1st Great Grand master – Bill Stean (Weir Wood Sailing Club)
  • 1st Young Apprentice - Matt Greenfield (Weir Wood Sailing Club)
  • 1st Youth and 8th Overall – Cameron Tweedle (Oxford Sailing Club)
  • 1st Apprentice and 7th Overall - Peter Young (Weir Wood Sailing Club)
  • 1st Lady and 6th Overall – Sarah Cockerill (Hayling Island Sailing Club)
  • 3rd overall – Alan David (Oxford Sailing Club)
  • 2nd Overall and 1st Grand Master – David Giles (Weir Wood Sailing Club)
  • 1st Overall – Steve Cockerill (Hayling Island Sailing Club)
The fleet enjoyed the weekend and were amazed that we got racing despite the conditions. Weir Wood were fantastic hosts once again but there were plans to race next year at Oxford – same time of year.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoCategoryHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1st545MasterSteve CockerillStokes Bay SC2221‑5411
2nd567Grand MasterDavid GilesWWSC‑95321213
3rd560 Alan DavisOxford SC43‑733114
4th426Grand MasterDavid BindingWWSC31‑972316
5th563 David GodddardHomeless SC1445‑6519
6th572MasterSarah CockerillStokes Bay SC6101910(OCS)36
7th489 Peter YoungWWSC5‑121187637
8th569YouthCameron TweedleOxford SC116610‑13841
9th549Apprentise ApprentiseMatt GreenfieldWWSC8‑1551112743
10th559MasterGareth EdwardsQMSC‑148101341045
11th577 Duncan LawsonWWSC127‑17614948
12th500 Neil PetersPevensey Bay SC10118‑1291149
13th92MasterSimon BasingtonWWSC71314416(DNS)54
14th561YouthDavid SaundersHill Head13912‑16111560
15th570Great Grand MasterBill SteanWWCS‑1614131481362
16th179 John HamiltonWWSC‑19161515181478
17th566YouthThomas SouthwellHill Head SC151716‑18151679
18th502MasterMark LambdinBradford on Aran17‑191817191283
19th565YouthJamle SouthwellHill Head SC18‑201919171790
20th398Grand MasterChris Spencer‑SmithWWSC2018(DNF)DNCDNCDNC101

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