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RS100s at the Rooster RS Summer Championship at Parkstone Yacht Club

by Andrew Jones 25 Jun 2018 15:22 BST 23-24 June 2018

With the South Coast set to sizzle under a baking sun and high pressure over the weekend of 23-24 June, RS100 sailors from around the country gathered, in hope more than expectation, that the sea breeze would establish itself and provide an opportunity for racing.

Some of the normal circuit names were missing having been either put off by the forecast, or suffering from broken bodies, but nevertheless the remaining fleet anticipated some close tactical racing - so close in fact that exactly what happened in each race has already become a bit of a blur so apologies in advance for the fiction below.

Bang on queue, the first waft of sea breeze started to blow in as the competitor briefing was underway. After a leisurely cruise through Poole harbour, past the millionaires' houses on Sandbanks and successfully navigating beyond the chain ferry, the fleet finally found the right race course and prepared for the first start in around 7-8 knots of breeze.

While most of us "more experienced" sailors fumbled with setting our stopwatches to the three-minute countdown routine, young gun Robert Richardson and father John took advantage and rounded the windward mark ahead of the chasing pack. From there on Robert comfortably defended his lead while further back Brett Aarons was working his way calmly through the pack to split family Richardson, with new to the fleet Nick Heather showing he was going to be a force to be reckoned with in fourth and Daniel Craft fifth.

Race two followed a similar pattern, with no clear advantage to either side of the course either upwind or down, and a fairly steady wind putting a premium of on good starting and minimising errors. Robert again won from Brett and John, although Andy Jones pipped Nick for fourth.

The wind stepped up a notch further for race three and this time first to the windward mark was Andy Jones chased closely by Brett, with Robert a little back in the pack. By the leeward mark however Brett has surfed through to first, with Andy defending from a fast charging Robert, with Nick a little further back being chased by Francis Bucknall and the rest of the pack. The final beat and run proved a cagey affair, with Robert trying to find a way past Andy and Brett, watching from ahead, thankful that he couldn't.

The pin end was heavily favouredfor the fourth race of the day. John decided he liked that end so much he would start right on the pin, but didn't quite account for the strong adverse tide. Andy was the next boat at that end and so won the start to be clear ahead at the windward mark, with Brett leading the pack in second and Robert well back after not quite laying the windward mark and having to duck back in the pack. By the leeward mark things had closed up and it didn't take long on the second beat before Brett was through to the lead. The second run saw Brett surge away, and Nick then also came past after Andy sailed into a patch of weed (or that was my excuse anyway). By the finish, Brett was the comfortable winner, Andy found a way back past Nick, and Robert managed to get to the front of the pack for fourth ahead of a fast improving Steve Jones.

Suitably dehydrated and exhausted the fleet then endured a one and half hour sail home while the wind clocked around against them to ensure that they got plenty of close hauled practice. Still, after a free beer, excellent curry and a band playing in the superb new Parkstone clubhouse all was good.

So to day two, and the forecast high pressure and zero gradient wind proved accurate. As the fleet munched on their bacon sarnies on the clubhouse balcony, discussions centred on the likelihood of the sea breeze coming, the prospect of another long day, the England football match, and what the traffic would be like on the drive home. We know the answer to two of these questions, but have no idea if the sea breeze arrived or how long a day was endured by the other fleets, as everyone decided en masse to call it a day, leaving Brett a well-deserved winner, Robert a very close second, Andy third and Nick fourth.

Thanks to Parkstone for a great event both on and off the water. Our next event on the Rooster RS100 National Tour is the Lord Birkett Trophy in Ullswater followed by theNational and European Championships at the RS Games at WPNSA, both of which promise to be hotly contested, not to be missed events.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1st527Brett AaronsGurnard SC-22114
2nd140Robert RichardsonRoyal Windermere YC113-45
3rd172Andrew JonesChew Valley Lake SC-64228
4th503Nick HeatherRoyal Windermere YC4-54311
5th441John RichardsonRoyal Windermere YC33-7612
6th130Steve JonesChew Valley Lake SC-1076518
7th470Francis BucknallLlandegfedd SC895-1022
8th377Andrew WilsonDatchet Water SC7-88823
9th154Simon GeymanDatchet Water SC-969924
10th302Daniel CraftNetley SC510-111126
11th221Martin WilsonDatchet Water SC-111110728
12th523Greg BoothPort Dinorwig SC(DNC)DNCDNCDNC48
12th509Clive EplettFrensham Pond SC(DNC)DNCDNCDNC48
12th526Mostyn EvansMounts Bay SC(DNC)DNCDNCDNC48
12th492Nick GriffinCastle Cove SC(DNC)DNCDNCDNC48

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