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Noble Marine 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Volvo Noble Marine RS400 Nationals at Hayling Island Sailing Club - Overall

by Matt Sheahan 29 Aug 2016 21:36 BST 24-28 August 2016

The RS400 fleet has new National Champions, Paul and Mark Oakey (1441) from Portchester SC.

Throughout a taxing week, where the weather danced around the fleet and provided more snakes than ladders on the open sea courses off Hayling Island, the father and son team were never out of the top ten. Indeed, their discarded scores were an 8th and a 4th leaving four bullets, a 2nd and a 3rd to count.

Such consistency was particularly impressive given the tricky conditions and more erratic scores of many in the rest of the fleet. From reading the light breeze, to understanding the influence of the across course tide and then coping with stronger winds and short steep seas, many enjoyed a range of views in the fleet including some of the big guns who were reminded what thirty odd transoms look like.

But the Oakeys, who are well known for being among the flyweights in the fleet and even refer to themselves as the Hobbits, excelled in all of the conditions. It was of little surprise that they went well in the light but when the breeze got up, as it did on the second to last day of the event, they were still smoking off into the distance and nailing podium results.

But they're not superhuman, as a few at the front witnessed on Day 4 when Paul and Mark tripped up on the last gybe of the last leg of race 6 when they were vying for the lead.

This image of the fallible Oakeys swimming around their boat may well have been in the minds of those chasing them on the overall points on final day as teams awoke to a solid 20 knots plus and a forecast of more to come. If there were conditions that the Hobbits could be caught in, these were surely them.

But as breakfast was digested and boat covers pulled back, the breeze continued to build. Many kept a keen eye on the committee boat and its armada of rescue RIBs as they headed out towards the notorious bar at the entrance to Chichester Harbour. But when they turned back just short of the breaking waves, many suspected that the game was over. One hour later it was and the final day's racing was cancelled.

Despite the disappointment of the last day, the event had been a superbly run and convivial affair with plenty of tales for the bar. The best of which must surely be Ben Robertson's downwind capsize. In a gybe that saw, 'lots of things go very wrong, very quickly', helmsman Ben launched himself to the high side, (as mother Sarah took the leeward side dunking) and made his high jump style bid over the windward gunwale for the centreboard.

Unfortunately, he missed the centreboard and banged his head on the hull. But instead of plunging into the sea his fall was arrested as the mainsheet that had wrapped around his foot left him hanging upside down on the outside of the hull with his head in the water.

"To be honest it took a few hours to see the funny side," he admitted afterwards. Fortunately, the bar inside the club house helped in that respect.

Among the other top tales, that of legendary dinghy gurus and self-confessed pensioners Nick and Rob Martin, who claim that they 'don't tack much because they can't', taking a win on the breeziest of days in the trickiest of last minute gybes that saw younger fitter teams go swimming was as impressive as the grins on their faces afterwards. Finishing 6th overall they continue to be an example to the rest of the fleet.

Throughout the week there were teams that looked like they could be a threat to the Oakeys. Both the Robertsons (1319) from Royal Forth YC and the Martins (1433) from Lymington Town SC were among those who added a win to their scoreline while also appearing to make the family point at the same time.

But it was Jon Heissig and Nicky Griffin (1454) from Llangorse SC, who snatched two wins during the week that were pushing the Oakeys the hardest finishing second overall by 8 points.

But wherever you had finished, the mixed bag of weather, the wide range of entries from across the country and the broadest friendliest bunch of sailors said a great deal about why the 400 class continues to thrive.

More photos from the event can be found here.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8Pts
1st1441Paul OakeyMark OakeyPortchester SC‑41211‑8139
2nd1454Jon HeissigNicky GriffinLlangorse SC‑11217‑1033117
3rd1186Dave ExleyMark LunnLeigh & Lowton SC‑8‑644622523
4th1362James SinclairBen WilcoxEast Lothian YC33355‑7‑13726
5th1202Sam KnightChris BownesBartley SC7‑88‑9355230
6th1433Rob MartinNick MartinLymington Town SC‑1345691‑15833
7th1319Ben RobertsonSarah RobertsonRoyal Forth YC1571146‑33‑1334
8th1189Steve RestallChris StubbsDowns SC‑129‑1522461134
9th1439Kevin PodgerHeather ChipperfieldLymington Town SC6‑11938‑174636
10th1131Ben WilliamsonJon WillarsWelton SC5‑2612157‑2881057
11th1390Andy HatchDan HawkinsQMSC2106‑19‑1913141459
12th1414Caroline WhitehouseJason McDonnellBartley SC91213101712‑30‑2473
13th1356Pete VincentDarren McNamara/Emma HiveyLlandefedd SC15714‑22‑221911975
14th1190Steve JonesAndy HarrisChew Valley Lake SC1016‑18121610‑171781
15th1452Howard EelesWayne HancoxBartley SC18‑23‑2214201171282
16th1017Sean ClearyAnnalise NixonOxford SC1414‑191712(DNC)101582
17th1363Ross RyanOliver Ryan‑MooreNotts County SC1713101313‑23‑211985
18th770Thomas BroatchKaren ThomasLeigh & Lowton SC(DNC)1911211126‑2716104
19th1192Jack MunnellyMark NicholsArun YC1617‑2320231519‑27110
20th836Adam HumphreyJo HumphreyThorney Island SC21151618‑25‑252222114
21st934David SwiftRobert BurgessWarsash SC22‑2717161820‑2321114
22nd971Tom HaslamKaren BaldwinNotts County SC‑26‑30252515221220119
23rd1435Matt SheahanEllie SheahanNetley SC‑27‑28212621181818122
24th1342Max TosettiJenny DouglasQueen Mary SC2321‑2424241420‑28126
25th1450Nick EavesGreg PaceBartley SC2520278(OCS)2424‑29128
26th904Grant BlakeJessica BarkerOxford SC2022‑2927281616‑30129
27th1418Howard FairbrotherLouise FairbrotherQMSC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNC994139
28th1380Richard WharramHannah WharramWelton SC192526231432(DNC)(DNC)139
29th1210Mike PartridgeClaire DavisHISC242420‑29‑26212625140
30th1060Pete PickfordJohn PickfordDell Quay SC281828‑322727(DNC)23151
31st1383Phil RobinsonDave PearsCarsington SC30‑3130‑3331292526171
32nd670Tim HarrisonTor HarrisonNotts County SC‑3229‑312829312831176
33rd915Sean CurtisAndy LyneEmsworth Slipper SC3133(DNC)(DNC)30303232188
34th689Matt WrightGavin KingHISC2932‑34303233(DNC)33189
35th527Andy PowellJon CostinWarsash SC33‑353331343529(DNF)195
36th1019Rob CorfieldTom DobbsDell Quay SC(DNC)343234333431(DNC)198
37th1031John ExcellSimon GoldfarbEmsworth Slipper SC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC234
37th1428James GardnerAnne GardnerHISC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNFDNCDNC234

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