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Rooster 4000 National Championship at Stone Sailing Club

by Alex Cramp 1 Sep 2017 13:03 BST 19-22 August 2017

An enthusiastic fleet arrived at Stone Sailing Club looking forward to a good event. Many of the class were visiting Stone for the first time and liked what they saw and enjoyed the warm reception. The UK boats were joined by sailors from France and even the ISO fleet.

The day started with 15-17 knots of breeze and a challenging short chop. The first race saw the boats cross the start line at pace heading for the shore trying to avoid the tide. The "who dares, wins" approach didn't pay for Alex Cramp & Charlotte Heffernan as they ran aground, signalling for the rest of the fleet to tack off. By the third race the water was flatter, but strong wind specialists Michael Duflos & Nicolas Saillard had mastered the conditions to comfortably win all three races.

Day 2 was lighter with crews wiring upwind, but sailing different angles downwind as the wind strength fluctuated. The varying wind strength made deciding on routes through the tide an interesting challenge meaning there were big opportunities to both gain and lose on different legs. Nevertheless, John Reynolds & Fran Howell enjoyed the lighter conditions taking two bullets whilst Neil Heffernan & Jo Morrison prevented them from taking the last one by leading from start to finish.

Day 3 was lighter still with the wind blowing across the tide and seemingly increasing lumps of seaweed to steer around. The first race of the day saw a general recall, with Richard & Jo de Fleury nailing a port tack flyer on the restart and leading most of the race until they were pipped by John & Fran towards the finish. Beating the tide became increasingly tricky with most (not all) helms learning quickly to give the leeward mark a wide berth and leave it till the last moment to drop the kite. The tide was certainly dictating the route around the course. As the following day was expected to be light winds an additional 4th race was sailed which had some added interest as the Race Officer was forced to move the windward mark after the second lap to accommodate the moving wind and increasing tide. This threw the race open for the last 2 laps while everyone learnt the new course. Tim & Harry Litt sailed a good race to take the last bullet of the day, but ultimately experience paid and John & Fran won the title convincingly with 2 races to spare.

The final day dawned, and as predicted, there was barely a breath of wind. The race officer did her best and held out until 1pm, but finally abandoned to the relief of most allowing the sailors satisfied after 3 days of excellent racing happy to pack up early.

A special mention should go to ISO sailors John & Juliette Gill who had a great event sailing the boat properly for the first time having borrowed it the week before. They used their local knowledge to good effect and learnt a lot about how different a 4k is to and ISO. They certainly showed some good speed at times were able to mix it with the fleet and get some good results. If anyone else is interested in borrowing a boat for an event then get in touch with us as we have some available.

Congratulations to John and Fran who took the title and many thanks to Stone Sailing Club for running an exemplary event, the exceedingly generous catering team and the Cherub sailors who as ever were great company and very entertaining.

Next up is Poole Yacht Club 23-24th Sept and then Brightlingsea 7-8th October. So still plenty of fun to come this year!

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9R10Pts
74588JOHN GILLJULIET GILL 666‑885844(DNF)47

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