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RS400 Inland Championship at Grafham Water Sailing Club

by Hamish Gledhill 11 Oct 2018 09:41 BST 6-7 October 2018
RS400 Inland Championship at Grafham © Tim Olin /

The cool temperatures and heavy rain may have deterred a late rush of entries for the RS400 Inland Championships, part of the RS400 Championship circuit sponsored by Rooster Sailing, but the 30 entries who made it to Grafham Water Sailing Club had a weekend to remember. If you had warm snuggly (is that a word?) winter sailing gear, Saturday was a memorable sail in a decent F4/5 gusting plenty breeze.

For those that were digging deep into the corners of their sailing bag for extra ways to bulk out their summer togs, it may have been a slightly less enjoyable experience and a visit to the tour sponsor would be recommended.

The fleet launched for three races on Saturday on the outer loop of a shared course with the RS800s. Each race was started under a 'U Flag, which may have caught the odd boat out over weekend, but it got all the races away first time, which was welcomed in the conditions.

Michael Sims, returning to the fleet for the third time, with new crew Jack Holden from Carsington SC, were soon in control of the first race, and took the win ahead of Barrie Thornton and Nick Hunt from Scaling Dam. Sean Clearly and Annalise Nixon from Oxford SC were third.

The conditions remained constant for the second race, and as with the first race, the boats that explored the edges of the beat rather than the middle were favoured. This time Thornton and Hunt had the better of Sims and Holden, with Jon Willars and Richard Bramfield from Welton SC finishing third.

Sims and Holden were back in front for the third race, taking the win ahead of Cleary and Nixon, with Thornton and Hunt taking third.

The fleet headed in for warm showers with Sims/Holden and Thornton/Hunt showing great consistency in the conditions. Most other crews were carrying a heavy score from some mishap or other and hoping a new day would provide the opportunity to discard a day one score.

In the evening the fleet did what the fleet does best over a good meal a few beers with good company, and for those who wound up in the local pub fun and games with an ironing board, cardboard box and ice cubes. Thanks to Richard Ashwell who sacrificed his dear Grandma's ironing board in the name of sport, and special mention must go to Ross Southwell representing the British Army who can crawl in and around places no-one has been before. More about all that can be found on various social media feeds. Fortunately, everyone made it out alive, and mostly unharmed.

Sunday morning arrived with sunshine, light winds and several sore heads. The fleet headed out for the 10:30 start, with a few more pairs of sunglasses than you'd expect, to be greeted with a 15 minute postponement for the light winds to settle into a steady breeze.

Richard Catchpole and Gary Coop from Leigh and Lowton had studied the forecast and nailed the pin end and headed left to benefit from the backing breeze. Thornton and Hunt followed suit and headed left. Both had to hold their nerve whilst the wind veered temporarily and their strategy looked doomed, but it soon returned to allow them to lead around the windward mark. In the dying breeze Catchpole/Coop took the win ahead of Thornton/Hunt and Sims/Holden.

The fleet were sent ashore in the dying breeze, before racing for the day was abandoned. After the four races Sims and Holden were crowned Inland Champions, ahead of Thornton/Hunt and Catchpole Coop. Hamish and Rachel Gledhill from West Riding Sailing club had pulled through to take a 4th in the last race which was enough for them to squeak into fourth overall ahead of Cleary and Nixon in fifth.

At the prizegiving Michael Sims thanked Grafham Water Sailing Club for a great event.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1st1488Michael SimsJack HoldenCarsington SC1‑2124
2nd1437Barrie ThorntonNick HuntScaling Dam SC21‑336
3rd1396Richard CatchpoleGary CoopLeigh & Lowton SC47‑10112
4th1407Hamish GledhillRachel GledhillWest Riding SC‑1947415
5th1377Sean ClearyAnnalise NixonOxford SC/Tauranga SC3112‑1216
6th1399Richard GrayJon DyasQMSC658‑919
7th1262Jon WillarsRichard BrameldWelton SC53(DNC)1321
8th1414Caroline WHitehouseTony CliffBartley SC‑13105621
9th1235Adam WhitehouseChris BownesWilsonian1194(DNC)24
10th1363Ross RyanOliver Ryan‑MooreNotts County SC98‑131128
11th1435Matthew SheahanEllie SheahanQMSC8166‑2130
12th1465Ben WilliamsonCharlie TicehurstWelton SC‑146111431
13th1340Sam NealMarc WalfordGrafham Water SC101314‑1637
14th669Jacob AinsworthKayleigh RobertsSouth Shields SC7(DNC)161538
15th1072Matt JenkinsEmma JenkinsSheffield Viking SC121215(DNC)39
16th1460David ExleyTodd BrameldLeigh & Lowton SC17‑2219541
17th1184Stuart WilliamsRoss SouthwellArmy Sailing Association(DNC)14121743
18th1272Andy WilcoxHannah WilcoxGrafham Water SC151518‑2348
19th11Sarah AllanGavin StanleyQMSC(DNC)DNC91052
20th1342Max TosettiRichard AdinellQMSC1618(DNC)1852
21st1449Andy WattersonJim WattersonBlithfield SC181917‑2754
22nd1029John CunninghamNicky CokayneCarsington SC201720‑2457
23rd1156Uel WebbSteve WebbN/A2220(DNC)2668
24th1479Mick WhitmoreSarah WhitmoreEastbourne Sovereign SC(DNC)DNCDNC773
25th1450Nick EavesGregBartley SC(UFD)21DNC1973
26th1474Ben CampbellFinn CampbellNorfolk Broads YC(DNC)DNCDNC874
27th1228Andrew JohnsonSarah Humphrey/Alisdair JamesGrafham Water SC24(DNC)DNC2077
28th421Adrian NealTracy NealCastle Cove SC23(DNC)DNC2278
29th527Andy PowellIan VersoWarsash SC21(DNC)DNC2579
30th638Julian BoschJeromy BoschGrafham Water SC(DNC)DNCDNCDNC99
30th1481Howard FarbrotherLouise HoskenQMSC(DNC)DNCDNCDNC99
30th1382Andrew HuntMatt HuntEastbourne Soverign SC(DNC)DNCDNCDNC99

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