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Gul RS800 Inland and Spring Championship at Grafham Water Sailing Club

by Sophie & Ralph Singleton 21 Mar 2016 06:49 GMT 19-20 March 2016
Prize winners in the Gul RS800 Inland & Spring Championship at Grafham Water © Clare Sargent

The rescheduled Gul RS800 Inland and Spring Championships started off feeling more like the Winter Champs with a chilly Northerly force 3-5. Fifteen boats had assembled from far and wide, including Ullswater in the North and Eastbourne in the far South.

Race 1 was pretty intense with the local team of Tim Saxton and Murray Hampshire leading the way for 3 laps with the Singletons in hot pursuit, both making the most of the port shifts. With Roger Phillips and Will Crocker catching up into 3rd, the Singletons gybed off on a puff down the last leg to come through to take the gun at the finish.

Roger and Will dominated the next two races with two wins with Luke and Emma McEwen hard on their heels with two 2nds. Team Eastbourne were just behind with Andy and Allyson Jefferies 3rd in race 2 and the Paul and Peter Jenkins 3rd in race 3.

Close competition on the water was rounded off by an evening watching an even more tense match of rugby, drinking the odd pint and praying for some warmer weather on Sunday. Cheers all round as England won the Grand Slam.

Sunday started off with light airs and sunny skies. The near 50 degree wind shifts meant the windward mark was moving around the course faster than some of the boats!

Race four was an tight battle to find the best shifts. The Singletons lead the way from start to finish to take their second win with Luke and Emma in 2nd and Tom Jeffcoate and Mark Hogan in 3rd. Team Datchet was having a good morning with Dan Goodman and Debbie Robertshaw in 4th.

Dan and Debbie and Tom and Mark showed the way at the start of race 5 but a big port shift and a change of course shook things up a bit with the Singletons, McEwens and Jeffries popping out at the top of the last beat again by playing the left side. With all 3 boats looking like they were laying the leeward mark the Singletons thought they had it in the bag. But when the wind filled in again from behind Andy and Allyson pulled through in the gybing battle between all three boats in the last 100 yards to take their first bullet of the event. The warm weather also saw class Chairman Chris Feibusch and Jeremy Williamson cleaning the bottom of his new boat as he approached the final leeward gate! So there may be a little more to this helming game than some crews believe!

With the top 3 tied on 9 points going into the last race the pressure was on. Tim and Murray spotted some good wind on the right side of the course and they took the advantage along with the Jenkins and the Jeffries whilst Roger and Will and Luke and Emma battled it out on the left hand side. By the end of the last run Roger and Will had pulled up to 2nd behind Tim and Murray to take the title, with the Jeffries in 3rd, leaving the McEwens and Singletons wondering "what if...".

The Race Office Peter Saxton and his team did a great job of keeping the course true despite some huge shifts. A big thank you must also go to Grafham Water Sailing Club for their warm welcome. The class is in great shape with 4 different race winners and last year's National Champion sailing on home waters finishing 5th. So the fleet heads off to Lac du Der for Easter for the first Euro Cup event and then Stokes Bay SC on 16 -17 April for the second Magic Marine Grand Prix event.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1st1204Roger PhillipsWill CrockerEmberton Park SC311‑74211
2nd1220Luke McEwenEmma McEwenRoyal Lymington YC‑72223413
3rd1166Ralph SingletonSophie SingletonDatchet Water SC1‑8512615
4th1212Andy JeffriesAllyson JeffriesEastbourne Soverign SC43(DNC)81319
5th1203Tim SaxtonMurray HampshireGrafham Water Sailing Club2585‑9121
6th1057Tom JeffcoateSi Hibbert/Mark HoganNotts County SC5643‑131331
7th1195Paul JenkinsPeter JenkinsEastbourne Soverign SC993‑137533
8th1144Daniel GoodmanDebbie RobertshawDatchet Water SC13‑14645735
9th1010John WarburtonJames ClaphamChew Valley Lake SC/Royal Torbay YC‑141011661144
10th1186Chris FeibuschJeremy WilliamsonHayling Island Sailing Club1177‑1411945
11th1099Alistair HodgsonCharlotte HeffernanRYA‑151210912851
12th1043Chris DoddBryony MeakinsRutland Water SC121191010‑1452
13th1146Martin OrtonIan BrooksChichester YC8(DNC)DNC1281054
14th121Phil WalkerJohn MathersWimbledon Park64(DNC)DNCDNCDNC58
15th1215S BrownPhilip BarristowUllswater YC10131211‑141258

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