Please select your home edition
Allen 2018 UK A2030XHL 728x90

Magic Marine RS300 Slalom Championship at Bristol Corinthian Yacht Club

by Steve Bolland & Tim Keen 27 May 2016 15:57 BST 21 May 2016

Report by Steve Bolland

It's funny what pressure does to a man. One minute you're sailing along serenely, then you look across at your opponent, see he's slightly ahead and all hell breaks loose. You begin to use too much rudder in the tacks trying to speed up which inevitably slows you down. You cross over on the reach and look into the whites of your opponent's eyes, hope for a gust downwind, look over again and the pressure mounts...

15 sailors experienced this at the Magic Marine RS300 Slalom Championship at Bristol Corinthian YC last Saturday. There used to be a football saying that 'You don't have to be mad to be a goalkeeper, but it helps'. Likewise for RS300 sailors and it probably helps to be completely unhinged to do it over a restricted 60m slalom course, racing one-on-one, mano a mano, match-racing style.

The fleet was split into 2 seeded leagues for the first round robin series in the morning, racing taking place simultaneously on two adjacent courses in ideal conditions, wind in the middle to late teens in knots. The average race time was around two and a half minutes and moving serenely into the gold fleet for the afternoon racing were Pete Ellis from Stewartby and Steve Bolland from the home club both with a 100% win record. They were joined by Tim Keen and Dave Acres, playing the long game like Italy in major tournaments, starting slowly but hoping to peak later on. Also joining them were Mark Taylor, Paul Watson, George Cousins and Richard Fryer.

With the wind dropping off as the afternoon wore on the silver fleet were experiencing some incredibly close racing – many matches going down to the wire and decided only by the odd second or two. Ian Clark, Stuart Woodger and Dan Treloar did best.

On the gold fleet course, 'Pistol' Pete Ellis initially carried on as he left off in the morning with another three straight wins before coming up against a resurgent Keen. After 7 races each the top four to progress into the semi-finals were Keen, Ellis, Acres and a surprised Fryer who was already dismantling his boat when told.

Two close races saw last year's slalom winner Tim keen and National champion Dave Acres progress to the final. Ellis saw off Fryer in the 3rd/4th place play-off and the scene was set for an extremely close double-length final. Unfortunately (especially for Acres) Keen hadn't read the script and raced away to win comfortably (again).

All that was left was to collect the prizes (locally-sourced cider and cheese, this is Somerset after all) and to thank the race teams (Izzy Savage, Paul Williams, John Teague and Chris Appleton – RS200/400 sailors all) for fitting in a total of 102 races during the day.

Report by Tim Keen

It was the second running of the RS300 Slalom Championships at Bristol Corinthian YC and 15 competitors from 3 countries turned up the battle it out for the magnificent prize of 5 litres of bendyleg cider and smelly cheese.

First obstacle of the day was to get through the briefing and getting everyone to understand the course and that one race with 8 tacks up 2 beats alongside 2 runs would take under 3 minutes.

In the morning's races the 15 competitors were divided into 2 groups to sail a round-robin format to select who would got through the gold and silver fleets in the afternoon.

The silver fleet consisted of Ian Clark, Stuart Woodger, Dan Treloar (camera man), Tom Moore (team Wales/Africa), Ben Green, Alister McLaughlin (one half of team Scotland) and Garry Morris.

The gold fleet battled it out between themselves with early casualties including Paul Watson, Mark Taylor (second half of team Scotland), George Cousins and shockingly Steve Bolland.

The semi-finals were straight knock out between Tim Keen (2015 winner) and Rich Fryer, and Dave Acres and Pete Ellis. Keen beat Fryer and Acres beat Ellis.

In the 3rd and 4th run-off Fryer took an early bath which meant he was disqualified and Ellis went on to the win.

The final between Tim Keen and Dave Acres would be a double length race to decide the champion. It was a bit of a one-sided affair as Keen got the better start and slowly pulled away to win.

The main credits for the weekend go to Steve Bolland and Bristol Corinthian YC who planned and prepared a brilliant event, and to get through 102 starts over the 2 courses like clockwork.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubRound 1 pointsRound 2 pointsSemi-final3rd/4th sail-offFinal
1328Tim KeenSheffield Viking1620Win Win
2544Dave AcresEmsworth & Thorney Island1819Win Loss
3500Pete EllisStewartby Water2119LossWin 
4424Richard FryerGreat Yarmouth & Gorleston1817LossLoss 
5411Steve BollandBristol Corinthian1817   
60George CousinsBristol Corinthian2016   
7336Mark TaylorPrestwick1415   
8337Paul WatsonBowmoor1715   
9527Ian ClarkWarsash1317   
10321Stuart WoodgerPlymouth1517   
11417Dan TreloarStewartby Water1116   
12519Tom MooreOut of Africa1215   
13313Ben GreenHighcliffe1314   
14490Alistair McLaughlinPrestwick1113   
15318Gary MorrisSouth Cerney1311   

Related Articles

One month to go until the RS Games
Over 1500 competitors in 1000 RS boats expected at the WPNSA In just under a month, over 1500 competitors, in 1000 RS boats are expected, from around 30 nations will be descending on Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy for the dinghy sailing event of the year – the 2018 RS Games. Posted on 9 Jul
RS300s at the Rooster RS Summer Championship
A working knowledge of pilates and parkour acrobatics needed A Spring of gentle breezes and too much inland sailing had wrought havoc on this correspondent's well-being; to understand what it is to sail an RS300 in downwind in the light wind requires a working knowledge of pilates, parkour acrobatics. Posted on 28 Jun
RS Games 2018: Early entry discount ends Saturday
707 boats now entered for the massive event at the WPNSA Just a quick reminder for everyone that the early entry discount finishes at the end of this Saturday 30 June. Posted on 27 Jun
RS Games - Social Programme revealed
As entries pass the 500-boat mark As the entries to the UK's biggest ever dinghy sailing event topped the 500-boat mark, the RS Class Association representing the adult fleets has revealed the 'Awesome Social Programme'. Posted on 1 May
RS300 Sprint Championship
Rooster National Tour event number two For England's largest (by surface area) reservoir Rutland Water is a shifty place. Or at least is was during the RS300 sprint championships which were held over the weekend of 21st-22nd April. Posted on 26 Apr
RS300 Spring Championship at Bowmoor
'Jigging for Victory' The RS300 Rooster National Tour 2018 kicked off with the Spring Championship hosted by Bowmoor SC in the Cotswolds. And it was actually surprisingly Spring-like despite Storm Emma having deposited several inches of snow in the surrounding area the previou Posted on 13 Mar
RS Games 2018 Official Launch
A little party at the RYA Dinghy Show The RS Games was officially launched with a little party at the Dinghy Sailing Show on Saturday. Everyone was thirsty; the beer took approximately 30 seconds to disappear! Posted on 7 Mar
Rooster announced as RS Games clothing partner
Less than six months until the massive event in Weymouth It is less than six months until the massive RS Games 2018 get underway with RS sailors from around the world coming to Weymouth to race and party. The team from Rooster will be central to the action. Posted on 18 Feb
2017 RS300 Inlands at Stewartby Water
Originally scheduled for last October, but postponed due to Storm Brian At one time Stewartby was home to the largest brickworks in the world. If you live in the southern half of the country and have a house built in the last century there is a strong possibility the bricks came from Stewartby. Posted on 13 Feb
RS Games 2018
Weymouth and Portland set to burst into life in August One of the world's biggest ever dinghy racing events will burst into life in Weymouth and Portland when the RS Games 2018 kicks off next August. Posted on 29 Nov 2017