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Rooster 2020 - Impact BA - LEADERBOARD

RS500s during the Rooster RS Summer Championship at Parkstone Yacht Club

by James George 29 Jun 2018 15:01 BST 23-24 June 2018
RS500s at Rooster RS Summer Championship © David Harding /

The six RS500s hit the water at 11am on Saturday for a leisurely sail out of beautiful Poole Harbour, tacking down the harbour past Harry Redknapp's house and helicopter before reaching the spectacular Poole bay and Sandbanks Beach. A swift spinnaker leg to the race course in the building sea breeze was a perfect beginning to perfect "champagne" conditions.

The race officer was swift to get things organised and with a 3,2,1 go sequence, the RS100 and RS300 fleets were quick away showing good upwind tactical racing was to come.

The RS500s started with a close fleet tight on the start line. 561 (Harry and James George) had the starboard end with 1631 (Ian and Ben Fryett) at port sandwiching the other four boats so close you could have walked across the fleet.

A fast first upwind leg in about 12 knots. 561 and 614 (Richard Powell and Karen Matthews) tacked off early to head to the starboard side of the course in search for extra wind. Mark one was reached first by 1631 with 561 right on the transom in second and 614 and 508 (Ian "I hike the hardest" Mairs and Abi "flat wire" Campbell) in third and fourth.

Spinnakers up it was those who got planning who would get the advantage. 561 gybed off taking the starboard side solo while the majority opted East side. This was the sensible option as David Harding was right there to capture the fantastic downwind sailing of the fleet (fantastic shots Mr Harding!).

With the start finish line being a prohibited area, this forced the fleet wide with a few taking gybes to clip the pin versus stay on for the lay line. The wide split meant no one would know the gains or losses until meeting at the leeward mark. 561 (Harry and James) made the mark first planning in on starboard two lengths ahead of 1631 with 508 and 614 hot on their heels. There was no room for error as the top four boats fought it out up wind pulling away from 709 (Peter and Karen Matthews) in fifth (Peter and Jack Fussey) in sixth.

The second and third laps saw 1631 and 561 extend their leads over Richard and William in 614 and the fleet to finish after three laps with 561 in first, with 1631 closely following in second and 614 (Powell and Schofield) in third.

Race two was a very close start once again, all boats taking long trapesing legs upwind thanks to a strengthening breeze. 561 wrongly came in to the mark on port losing top spot to four boats led by 709 (Mathews and Mathews) with 1631 (Fryetts) and #hikeharder 508 in third. Downwind the fleet split more evenly with 709 leading the charge out west for the starboard side followed by 561 #Teamgeorge.

The leeward mark was a close affair with the boats all planeing in to round with 1631 at the top of the pack. The second upwind saw a straight shoot out with boats in tacking battles in the top four spots, 561 gained a place to round behind 1631 and 709. Once again #teamgeorge to the West side of the course to plane in the now lumpy eaves downwind gaining to round the leeward mark in second place behind 1631.

The final lap saw a close fought battle with 1631 gaining on 561 upwind with 561 gaining back downwind. A contentious mark rounding probably requiring video replay in the order of the World Cup offside replays saw #teamgeorge had entered the three boat zone ahead of the Fryetts meaning a sneaky step in to first place for 561. The finishing was incredible close within only a second or two separating 561 in 1st from 1631 second and 709 (Matthews and Matthews) taking third to open up the mix.

Race three began with a slightly adjusted course as breeze strengthened and moved right. More lumpy waves out to the left definitely held back 561. 508 was first to the mark with the incredible flat boat controlled perfectly by Abi and Ian. 1631 (Fryetts) was second round with 709 (Matthews) close behind. 561 fell in to a broach and capsize with the kite up but quickly recovered to lose two spots and see the championship open up once again.

1037 (#teamFussey) and 614 (Powell and Schofield) stepped in the third and fourth positions plaining off to port. With all the points being close, you could feel there was a real sense of tension in all the boats to push the boat speed hard whilst soaking deep where possible in the now reasonable wave base. Harding took full advantage of race three to get some more shots of the RS500s bouncing over the waves with fully powered kites racing towards the Leeward Mark.

Once again the race was to be concluded on the final downwind with 561 in the spirit of do something different once again took the West side (Starboard) and 508 (Ian and Abi) and 1631 (Fryetts) go East. 1631 slipped past 508 in the gybe to take first place, however with a step back in the breeze, the powered up 561 of #teamgeorge was now fully on the charge on Starboard looking to steal before the three boats. Gybing just ahead of 1631, 561 snuck in to first place at the mark once again and took the bullet on the line after some very close tacking.

The final race, lighter breeze, tired crews (nearly six hours on the water) beating sunshine, out of water! This was going to be a hard ground out battle. 561 took a mid couse upwind which was not to pay at the mark seeing them round the windward mark in fifth place as the starboard layline boats rolled them. 508 rounded first looking dominant in the incredible fast and flat boat. 1631 hot on their heels, 709 (Matthews) and 614 (Powell, Schofield) in third and fourth and the Fussey boys in 1037 in a very close sixth. The fleet was tight for the first downwind leg which was now in light airs and inducing planing was difficult.

Once again the majority set off East with 709 being first to gybe on to port followed by 561. Little played out by the first leeward mark so the second upwind was all to play for. 1631 was now clear ahead in the lead with 508 in second and 709 in third. 561 had moved up to fourth. The final lap saw a close fought battle between second, third and fourth place, with 561 picking off 709 in the early part of the last leg and just sneaking ahead of 508 at the final mark of the day. However, it was a masterclass of RS500 sailing by Ben and Ian Fryett in 1631 which saw a convincing win by a considerable distance.

With no racing on Sunday, this was to conclude the championship. In summary, brilliant sailing on a well managed race course by the PRO and his team. Tight starts, upwind tacking battles, close mark roundings, fast downwind, beautiful surroundings and wonderful sunshine. It was truly champagne sailing. We're all excited to be heading to the RS Games and look forward to seeing you there...

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1st561James GeorgeHarry GeorgeLymington Town SC111‑23
2nd1631Ian FryettBen FryettWelsh Nomads‑22215
3rd508Ian MairsAbi CampbellBristol Cornithain YC‑443310
4th709Peter MatthewsKaren MatthewsLancing SC‑534411
5th614Richard PowellWilliam SchofieldLocks SC3‑55513
6th1037Peter FusseyJack FusseyLancing SC‑666618

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