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Roadford Rocket 2017 at Roadford Lake Sailing Club

by Richard Willows 27 Feb 2017 16:52 GMT 26 February 2017

Reports of imminent heavy weather heading south from storm Ewen over Ireland caused the organisers some anxiety, resulting in the start time been brought forward to 11:30am and the race duration shortened to 2 hours.

Quite a number of potential entries felt the long journey would not be worthwhile, but those that took the risk were rewarded with an excellent 2 hr race sailed in conditions that were on the limit for most.40 boats took to the start, with 30 finishers. The south-westerly wind gave up wind and downwind legs the whole length of the reservoir, just under 3 km each way!

Luca Guyon was first away in a laser 4.7 seven minutes ahead of the main start of the Solo of Richard Frost from Sutton Bingham, followed by the Lasers, Supernovas and then a big fleet of RS aeros. Last off were the Foiling Moths of Chris Tilbrook and Dan Ellis,69min later. For the first hour, conditions were moderately manageable, with the laser of Ben Flower, laser radial Chris Jones leading, followed by Peter Barton, Aero 7, and Iain Horlock in the Supernova, with the Solo hanging on, but with the two Fireballs from Portishead closing quickly. The second hour showed the winding increasing with some very tricky gusts particularly at the dam end of the reservoir. The laser 4.7 was overwhelmed crossing the line for the second time, and quite a number of others became casualties.

As the race progressed there was clearly a hectic battle at the front with the laser of Ben flower, the Aero of Peter Barton and the supernova of Ian Horlock swapping places, but by the end of lap 4 the Fireball of Chris and John Gill had moved into the lead, with their clubmates Colin and Derek Jarvis close behind. At this stage, the racing had become attritional, with some capsizing on the beat, others at the gybe marks and others finding the heat downwind too much, but most had some amazing speed sailing in the gusts on the long broad reach down the lake. Chris and John Gill showed exemplary control up wind and downwind, finding good spots to gybe and thoroughly deserved their win. Dan Ellis showed some excellent sailing in his foiling moth, and despite his misgivings over his sail juice PY, might well have been at the front had he not had a tangle with the outer distance mark!

Half an hour after competitors came ashore, the weather closed in with nasty gusts and driving rain, which dampened down spirits a little, but there was a good supply of burgers and hot drinks from the mobile caterer. Many thanks are due to Exe Sails for again sponsoring the event, the centre staff at Roadford Lake Watersports centre for manning the rescue boats, and all the sailing club members who came and helped out on the day, either in reception, in the race box, or sitting in a rescue boat! Thanks also to RS sailing who provided three charter boats, which increased a number of Aeros to 10 on the water. This was the second event in the South West challenge series, the last event being the Wimbleball Beastie on March 19th.

Overall Results:

PosClassSail NoHelmCrewClubPts
1Fireball15083Chris GillJohn GillPortishead1
2Fireball14708Colin JarvisDerek JarvisPortishead2
3RS Aero 72093Peter Barton Lymington Town SC3
4Laser210631Ben Flower Starcross4
5Supernova1092Iain Horlock Exe5
6Hornet2108RichardSamStarcross6
7Phantom14Simon Hawkws Wimbleball7
8RS500518Mike WayAnne WayStarcross8
9RS Aero 71637Greg Bartlett Starcross9
10Laser radial210262chris Jones Sutton Bingham10
11RS Aero 72Ben Rolfe Burghfield11
12Fireball14789Hannah ShowellJames BeerStarcross12
13Rs400727Bob WarrenJack WarrenRestronget13
14Osprey1356Emma StevensonSimon HawksWimbleball14
15Rs4006Dave StocktonPaul BirbeckWimbleball15
16RS Aero 72001dan Bridger Exe16
17Blaze803Hugh Kingdom North Devon YC17
18RS Aero 72134Darren Roach RNSA18
19RS Aero 51312Andrew Frost Sutton Bingham19
20RS Aero 51457David Mahony Lymington Town SC20
21RS Aero 72157Nigel Rolfe Burghfield21
22Solo4901Richard Frost Sutton Bingham22
23Finn603Grant Simmons Starcross23
24Int Moth4501Dan Ellis Yealm24
25RS Aero 72133Kevin Reed RLSC25
26Laser180229Mike Taylor RLSC26
27Redwing249Eric EvansKaren RaymontNorth Devon YC27
28Rs4001097Mark SwanPaul RavenExe28
29Supernova702Bern Harvey RLSC29
30Laser radial197782Richard Heaton Sutton Bingham30
31Laser 4.71Luca Guyon RLSC31
31Laser radial5Billy Kingdom RLSC31
31Int Canoe242Ed Bremner RLSC31
31Rs400411Richard Cain Starcross31
31Blaze797Mike Holmes Paington31
31RS Aero 72146James Clapham Royal Torbay31
31Blaze607Laurence Maunder Wimbleball31
31INT Moth3875Chris Tilbrook Starcross31
31Supernova1061Norman Halstead RLSC31
3129er346Ellie HutchingsEllie PooleRLSC31

More photos are available on the Roadford Lake Sailing Club Facebook group.

Richard Willows, Roadford Lake sailing club.

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