Please select your home edition
Lizard 2020 - LEADERBOARD

RS400 Southern Tour at Emsworth Sailing Club

by Matt Sheahan 4 Sep 2016 14:30 BST 3 September 2016

It may have been a last minute change, but replacing the Rooster Southern Tour Locks SC event with a trip to Emsworth Sailing Club to join in with their annual regatta was a big success. The immaculate and supremely organised club, (where it was said that the ratio of volunteers to the 100 or so competitors was 1:1), welcomed the 400 travellers to their one day, one race event in Chichester Harbour.

A total of thirteen 400s made for a class start within the fast handicap fleet. In a change from the windward leeward style racing that we're used to, the 11 mile course formed a trip around Chichester Harbour in 12-15 knots of breeze.

After a challenging and crowded pre-start that felt more like a Guinness Book of Records attempt to fit the biggest number of boats into a small stretch of water strewn with the widest range of obstacles from moored boats, mooring buoys, shallows, navigation marks and posts, the race kicked off with a long beat down the Emsworth Channel towards the large sailing area within the harbour off Hayling Island sailing club.

From there and with legs and biceps burning from the 20 minute starboard tack south, we bore away for a lively, full hike, bum drenching three sail reach across the harbour before beating back to the west for another triangular lap of the harbour. Once complete, the ride home to the finish line off Emsworth Sailing Club was a perfect, high speed, flat water A-sail blast.

During the two hour race Paul and Mark Oakey did their usual disappearing trick off the front of the fleet raising questions as to whether they just don't like playing with friends on the race course.

In hot pursuit, Mark Mansfield and Mike Thompson (496) from Emsworth Slipper SC and Matt Fowler and Greg Shipley (684) from Pevensey Bay SC were both out to prove that a three figure sail number is just as quick as a new boat in the right hands. Just what Matt and Ellie Sheahan wanted to hear (not) as they chased hard in 1435 to finish fourth.

Once ashore and included in the £15 entry fee, the entire fleet was provided with a hot buffet of sausage rolls and baguettes and chips along with a selection of cakes to rival the Great British Bake Off. I don't normally mention the food in a regatta report, but this was exceptional as was the club's hospitality and appeared to dispel the myth about free lunches.

But there was more to mull over on the way home. Not only did Emsworth SC provide a well run event, but their neighbours Emsworth Slipper SC run their own regatta the following day in which they hold a series of back to back, short course races closer to the club. Combining the two for the 400s could provide a weekend of racing at two of the most elegant and well serviced clubs on the South Coast in one of the prettiest harbours around.

Food for thought for next year? At the very least, the short courses on Day 2 might keep the Hobbits in sight and allow us to find out what makes them so quick.

Overall Results: (top 3)

1st Paul Oakey & Mark Oakey (Portchester)
2nd Mark Mansfield & Mike Thompson (ESSC)
3rd Matt Fowler & Greg Shipley (Pevensey Bay)

Related Articles

RS400s at Burghfield
Rooster West Country Boat Repairs Southern Tour event The forecast wasn't looking too good for Burghfield. However, any time in the boat is a bonus at the moment and a race would give the sails a chance to dry out after Grafham so we headed off down the M4 (plus detour). Posted on 19 Oct
RS400 Inlands at Grafham Water
It takes a lot to keep the 400s away It would appear that you have to throw a lot of obstacles at the RS400 fleet to stop them from turning up to the Inland Championships. Posted on 6 Oct
RS Classes Strava Distance Challenge concludes
27,087km logged by RS classes, with the 200s winning overall Wow it is clear to see some people have become dedicated Strava users in the past week and have been putting some serious miles down on their bikes, boats or shoes. Posted on 26 May
RS Classes Strava Distance Challenge begins
Fundraising for the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation As a sailing community, we are currently limited by the amount of competition we have, there is virtual racing but this can become repetitive over time. Posted on 17 May
Signs of aluminium mast wear
A 5-minute check could save you time and money It's worth giving your aluminium mast a regular check to look for signs of wear which could lead to the mast breaking, causing extensive damage, not to mention ruining any event which you're taking part in. Posted on 9 Apr
RS Sailing Newsletter
Still open and ready to make a splash on the day you get back on the water! The last few weeks have been unprecedented for RS Sailing. We wanted to let you know that we are still open and we're ready to make a splash on your day if you are pining to get back out on the water! Posted on 2 Apr
RS400 class update with Trisha Clancy
A great little video about what they planned for 2020 A great video as Trisha Clancy, representing the RS400 class, outlining what they (hopefully) have planned for the 2020 season, the strong social and sailing scene, and some of the sailors they have competing. Posted on 25 Mar
At-home tips, tricks, hacks and entertainment
Top Rooster Reads in March 2020 We'd like to think that one of the safest places to go at the moment is out on the water. Turn your phone off, kit up, and for a short while at least, let the woes of the world take backstage on your home waters. Posted on 23 Mar
In conversation with Jon Partridge
From Swallows & Amazons to RS Sailing's co-MD From Swallows & Amazons style sailing on the Norfolk Broads to become the co-Managing Director of RS Sailing, Jon Partridge has risen through the ranks and is deeply passionate about sailing, and in particular the RS Feva class. Posted on 19 Mar
Leigh & Lowton Tipsy Icicle week 9
43 boats went out in a westerly and gusty F4 breeze The final weekend of our Tipsy Icicle series, and what looks like to be the last sail for some time, took place on Sunday in yet more breeze for the tired sailors. Posted on 19 Mar