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Magic Marine RS300 Open at Warsash Sailing Club

by Steve Bolland 21 Sep 2017 17:00 BST 16-17 September 2017
Volvo Noble Marine RS300 Nationals © Alan Henderson

The lovely Warsash SC was the venue for the latest RS300 Magic Marine Grand Prix circuit event. Competitors were surprised when class chair, Richard le Mare, announced that the event would kick off with an additional dash to the main race area with a Le Mans-style start from the beach.

After much jockeying for position ashore and discussion as to whether certain boats were already touching the water, Le Mare announced there were no rules and wheeled his boat in, causing all hell to break loose. After a two mile rocky run out of the Hamble the winner of the impromptu race was Paul Watson from Bowmoor with some other people 2nd and 3rd.

The forecast for Saturday was for 3-4 knots from all over the compass. Actual conditions were a little better – 6-7 knots (at times) from all over the compass. Races one and two followed a similar pattern with Steve Bolland gaining an early lead and extending away from the fleet only to have his lead curtailed by new pressure coming down on the run. He took both races though with Ian Clark from the home club also having a good day with a 2nd and 3rd. Newby Mark Cooper took a podium spot in race one but highlight of the afternoon was class stalwart Gary Morris securing a 2nd in race two after a nervy final beat to vocal acclaim from the whole fleet.

Unfortunate moment of the day was a huge windshift causing Chris Clarke having to make a trip to A&E after being struck over the eye by a misbehaving boom. Happily he reappeared later on with his boyish good looks barely impaired.

With race three postponed until Sunday as the wind disappeared completely the fleet was treated to a downpour of apocalyptic proportions on the drift back in. Not quite the 'hailstorm from Valhalla' (Draycote 2009 - http://www.yachtsandyachting.com/news/146554/RS300s-at-Draycote) but not far off. On the upside copious quantities of tea and cake were provided once back on shore. I can thoroughly recommend the Victoria sponge, chocolate brownies and chocolate sparkly cake. No doubt the others were equally good.

Saturday evening entertainment consisted of some curious games including hitting nails into a block of wood (surprisingly tricky given the state we were in) and throwing boules at eggs (rather satisfying). The cakes made a welcome return later on and I can also recommend the toffee vodka (hints of chocolate and burnt sugar) that also made an appearance.

The forecast for Sunday was slightly better than Saturday. Unfortunately the actual conditions were not with the breeze still coming from a Northerly aspects with gusts and holes and basically all over the place. As fickle as fudge. You get the picture.

Again Steve Bolland set the pace initially in race three until being cruelly mugged on the second beat after being left out to dry on the left as the wind went right big time. It's not over until the fat lady sings though, right? As Bolland relaxed post-race with a self-satisfied, not to say smug, look on his face after retaking the lead on the short 300m beat to the line, questions were being asked about stripey jerseys and where he had hidden his swag bag such was the extent of the daylight robbery just witnessed. (No laws were broken though, just a private 30 degree lift that no-one else got). You make your own luck in this game.

The subsequent races were marginally more conventional as long as you factored in the understanding that the first lap was meaningless to the final results and that everything hinged on the second beat only. Right generally paid and Dave Acres figured this out better than most to take bullets in two of the three remaining races. Paul Watson had a consistent day with Ian Clarke, Rich Le Mare and Tim Humphries also having good ones. Martin Hutchings had an excellent finish with two 3rd places.

After completion of race six all that remained was the most important race of the day – the race for cake, which would have been won by Acres had he not moored up on the Hamble mud within sight of victory. The Victoria sponge was all mine as a result.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1411Steve BollandBristol Corinthian YC11121(4)6
2528Paul WatsonBowmoor SC4(8)232718
3527Ian ClarkWarsash SC234(10)7521
4544Dave AcresEmsworth SC(DNC)DNC514123
5555Richard Le MareNotts County SC7(9)356223
6333Tim HumphriesPevensey Bay SC56(8)45626
7317Martin HutchingsWarsash SC(RET)4993328
8525Mark CooperBurghfield SC37678(DNC)31
9318Gary MorrisSouth Cerney SC6210(11)11837
10315Ben GreenLymington Town SC851169(RET)39
11353Chris ClarkePevensey Bay SC9(DNC)7810943

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