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Volvo Noble Marine RS Vareo National Championship at Weston Sailing Club

by Cheryl Wood 18 Sep 2017 17:27 BST
Volvo Noble Marine RS Vareo National Championship at Weston © Segel Spass

We were invited to share venue with the RS100s this year and between the two fleets managed a total of 50 boats to achieve that real championship atmosphere.

It was so good to have our Nationals back on the sea to get the opportunity to compete in wind and tide over our favourite windward / leeward course scenario. Weston is on the Solent, which is slightly less exposed than an open sea location but avoids the worst of the fickle conditions that can detract from fair racing inland. Along with the on-site camping, value bar and wonderful catering it was perfect for the RS Vareo fleet.

Despite a dreadful forecast, several first-time competitors joined the fleet and enjoyed fantastic racing. There were a whole range of wind strengths across the series and plenty of choppy waters. The race team set separate courses for each fleet with shared start and finish lines, the Vareos using the outer loop. With 9 races scheduled over 3 days and a forecast of near storm conditions on Sunday the schedule was changed to 4,4,1 which was proved to be a great decision when the storm arrived on schedule.

With fair start lines, opinions were split on the beat providing opportunities to make up places or catch up. There were multiple changes of place in each race giving many sailors a chance to lead at least once. There was also some swimming activity not only from the new starters, but also the experienced were caught out occasionally.

The RS100s set off first making for some inter fleet crossing as they returned from the first mark and the Vareos followed up, but no serious incidents and all in good humour. After the Vareos crossed to the outer loop the fleets were mostly separated from each other for the bulk of each race. With adjustment of the two course lengths the race team managed to keep the finishes together and the schedule on track despite the relatively narrow 4 hour window of opportunity to be offshore afforded by the tide.

With all this activity the racing was so close that none of the results were decided until the closing stages with most races having finishes with the top 3 sailors parted by no more than a few seconds. There were individual race wins for Nick Crickmore (off wind flyer), Alan Bassett (heavy wind guru) and Cheryl Wood (Extreme conditions expert) but the bulk of the wins were taken by Luke Fisher demonstrating that consistency across all conditions was required to win over the 9 race series.

Ashore, the fleet welcomed all the newcomers with plenty of help and advice shared to help individuals with boat set up and sailing tips.

As this was also the last event to qualify for the Grand Prix series we were able to wrap up the prize giving for both competitions at once.

Overall Results:

First overall and also Grand Prix Winner – Luke Fisher, Emberton Park
Second overall, first Master and Grand Prix Third – Nick Crickmore, WOBYC
Third overall and first Grandmaster – Alan Bassett, Weirwood
Fourth overall, First lady and Grand Prix second – Cheryl Wood, Pennine
Best newcomer Darren Prior, Langstone
Persistence prize – Mike Dicker, Dell Quay

PosSail NoClubHelmR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9Pts
1st407Emberton Park SCLuke Fisher‑21112111‑38
2nd165Waveney & Oulton Broad YCNicholas Crickmore124‑5342‑5218
3rd247Weirwood SCAlan Bassett‑54221243(DNC)18
4th660Pennine SCCheryl Wood3‑5‑534532121
5th147Langstone SCDarren Prior4334535‑6(DNC)27
6th436Dell Quay SCMike Dicker6666(DNF)664(DNC)40
7th416Warsash SCChris Hughes(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC63
7th547South Cerney SCKevin Weatherhead(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC63

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