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4000 National Championship at Rutland Sailing Club

by Richard de Fleury 28 Sep 2018 15:54 BST 20-23 September 2018
A windy view for the 4000 Nationals at Rutland © Richard de Fleury

Sponsored by The Grainstore Brewery, Oakham and Brockleby's, Melton Mowbray

In a break from tradition the 4000 fleet headed inland for the Nationals this year to Rutland SC where the 4000 class bolstered its reputation for providing full-on high quality competitive racing followed by friendly and inclusive post-sailing partying.

Keen to support and raise the profile of some fantastic award winning local businesses that produce some fine examples of the best food products the region has to offer, the event organiser secured sponsorship: The Grainstore Brewery, a micro-brewery based in Oakham, provided bottles of beer to all competitors and Brockley's provided the region's best artisan Melton Mowbray pork pies to all competitors who achieved podium positions to munch on their trips home.

A week out from the event and the forecast was grim - storm here, storm there and gusts up to 75Knots! Nevertheless, the 12 boat fleet was undeterred and arrived on Thursday set for a windy event.

Day 1 – Winds relatively light but, forecast to build significantly throughout the afternoon.

The race management team wasted no time proposing an extra race to get ahead and did a cracking job getting racing underway quickly with the minimum amount of fuss. Race 1 and 2 went smoothly with some very close racing. Race 3 – start light winds; arrival at the top bear away and bang! The wind arrived so, in an instant we went from sitting in to full wiring. Oh, and did I mention the massive wind shift creating an interesting race almost fetching the top mark and trying to carry the kite to the bottom. The increase and shift in wind did cause some interesting capsizes at the spreader mark but collisions were avoided. Race 4 – having relocated the race course to account for the wind shift the 4th race got under way in stronger, but very shifty winds. All was going well until the bottom mark when the whole fleet decided to have a swim at the same time prompting the RO to abandon and head for home.

Social – Tim Litt (and wife Patsy) our local 4K member had organised a top notch social programme to ensure the fleet were well taken care of every evening after sailing. Night 1 was a trip to Oakham for a pub meal followed by discounted entry into the comedy store event being held in the Grainstore Brewery; an outstanding day of sailing followed by food, fine beer and jokes from nationally recognised stand-up comedians.

Overnight the wind topped 50 Knots and wreaked havoc in the camping field with a caravan awning being blown over clean over a caravan at 4am. Good news though all the boats were unscathed!

Day 2 – Wind: Too much! Forecast to build. Although Tim did threaten to go for a sail, but decided to save his mast and crew for the rest of the event.

As the wind did not want to play ball the fleet spend the day fettling boats and helping our newly reformed Scottish fleet to get their settings up to scratch having found they were slow on day 1. The bar was occupied with cake, tea, beer and splicing lessons to replace any frayed looking wires and ropes. No excuses now for breakages!

Social – A three-course BBQ, wine and beer. Yes, a full banquet and giant chess to boot or at least while everyone was able to tell what piece was what! Thoroughly stuffed the fleet partied on to the small hours of the morning.

Day 3 – Wind looking good! A nice 12-15 Knots building through the day.

The race management team elected to start the 4000 fleet early and get a couple of races in before the other fleets joined us for their weekend open. Yes, 5 races planned for the day - going to be a long day. Once again, the racing was very close with different leaders on different laps. There was a lot of chopping and changing as different sides of the course paid off on different laps due to the wind swinging round. This provided some very close finishes with some places being decided on the finish line. It did appear that local knowledge was invaluable with the local boats regularly finding the quickest routes. By the last race the wind was now getting a little stronger than forecast but, providing excellent sailing conditions. Arrival on shore – phew! Made it through all 5 races, but absolutely wrecked.

Social – Hear this! Hear this! A fine dining experience in the local hotel! Following a productive AGM a well behaved fleet arrived and tried to look like we were allowed in beside the wedding for a fabulous 3 course meal. Questions of 'is my bread on the left or the right?' were quickly overtaken by who cares there is a glass of wine here! After a great night the fleet turned-in in preparation for the final day!

Day 4 – Wind looking good again! No longer forecasting to build to 75 knot gusts, now much more sensible 30 knot gusts.

Great news! The race team set out to run four races to pick up the missing race. Much like day one the wind in the first 2 races was light to moderate moving into trapezing conditions. Once again, the racing was close and any mistakes punished making route selection particularly important. Race 3 saw a significant increase is the wind strength and a large swing changing to full wiring and full on fun. The increase caught a few of the crews out and saw them having more swims. Some being within meters of the finish watching as all their hard work was undone! Race 4 was a fairly brutal finish for tired crews but was rewarding with strong but relatively stable conditions in full sunshine providing picture perfect fun and a few more capsizes.

Social – well more the prize giving than anything else but, when did you last get a Melton Mowbray Pork Pie and a Grainstore beer for a prize! They only need polishing off once and no need to return it next year! Although Steve please bring back the trophy it doesn't taste as good! Congratulations to Steve Tylecote and Simon Knatchbull for the win!

On behalf of the 4000 fleet I would like to thank our Sponsors, Rutland SC and the race management team for a fantastic event and for getting all 12 races in despite a lost day. Also, thanks to Tim and Patsy Litt for the social programme and for organising the event sponsors.

Points of note:

  • Don't ever believe the weather forecast. There is a lot to say for the 'rock on a string forecast' on the day.
  • The fleet is improving with close racing throughout the fleet.
  • Great to have a full packed social programme.
  • Great to reconnect with our Scottish fleet. Roll on next year's trip to Royal Tay YC!

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9R10R11R12Pts
1st4281Steve TylecoteSimon KnatchbullRSC1‑211111‑4111110
2nd4701John ReynoldsFran HowellGrafham SC33‑55234‑6232330
3rd4546Tim LittHarry LittRSC2132‑74‑63463634
4th4588Matthew ReynoldsPierandra ContaGrafham SC‑6‑8433551355539
5th4343Neil HeffernanJo MorrisonQMSC(DNS)466‑9632644243
6th4423Trevor PeirceBenoitSNEL(DNC)(DNC)DNC442257210DNC62
7th4571David PhilpEwan PhilpRoyal Tay YC562787789‑106(DNC)65
8th4572Richard de FleuryCrewYorkshire Dales SC458858(DNF)(DNC)577DNC70
9th4218Kevin ReedMark StitsonRoadford Lake SC77791298789(DNC)(DNC)83
10th4674Kenny WatsonJason HackettR Tay YC8991010119(RET)10119(DNC)96
11th4600Alexander CrampCharlotte HeffernanGrafham SC(DNC)(DNC)DNC116DNCDNCDNC12884101
12th4467Martin BurgessTom BurgessBough Beech(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNC1110109111211RET113

Date for the 2019 Diary

Eurocup and UK Nationals 2019 – Royal Torbay YC 30th July – 2nd Aug 2019 - Have you got a 4000 in the garden that needs to go sailing? Here is your opportunity to get it out and join us close to home.

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