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RS100 Inland Championship at Chew Valley Lake Sailing Club

by David Smart 1 Nov 2018 19:04 GMT
RS100 Inlands at Chew Valley Lake © Primrose Salt

Memories of that hot summer and mild autumn were distant when the ice was being knocked off the boats on Saturday morning for the nine intrepid sailors battling it out for the postponed Inlands. The fleet may have been small, but you could feel the quality with four of the top ten at the Nationals taking to the water.

The forecast was for a Northerly Force 4, a high of 7 degrees, with some cloud appearing during the afternoon. The event was a one-day affair with 4 races back to back, sharing the course with 25 RS200s. A good test of endurance.

Your correspondent was limited to a view from the committee boat, unable to sail due to a dicky back. Absolutely nothing to do with the freezing conditions and temptation of a warm cabin.

The first race saw a very keen Clive Eplett OCS for the simple reason of not reading the SIs. Eplett lined up with an unused orange buoy in front of the actual start line. At least he returned to start at the back of the pack. The breeze was very shifty (normal for Chew) with regular place changes, but the conditions were tough. That led to some uncharacteristic mistakes across the fleet, in particular a capsize from Steve Lee. Out front was local boy Andy Jones showing a clean transom to the fleet, with Huw Powell revelling in the gusty conditions coming home second. Staggeringly Eplett had threaded his way through the fleet to finish third with Steve Jones fourth and Jeremy Gilbert fifth. Some local knowledge was proving useful in avoiding clumps of weed and some shallows at Nunnery Point. Anyway, this was the excuse given for Greg Booth's uncharacteristic performance in sixth.

Race 2 was extended to four laps to reduce the wait time between races and to bring the fleet through the 200s for a bit of extra entertainment. With Eplett now knowing where the line was, the fleet got away cleanly from the port biased line. Again Andy Jones shot to the front to take another bullet with Powell in hot pursuit again in second. Steve Jones was hanging on to try and chase down Powell in third with Lee starting to show that he his speed in any conditions to claim fourth with Eplett fifth.

Race 3 saw the cloud roll in with a strong sleety squall to test the fleet's resolve. The battle between Powell and Andy Jones was heating up with Powell taking the bullet from Andy Jones in second. Eplett came home 3rd with Steve Jones fourth and Gilbert again fifth. The rest of the fleet fared less well. Booth had been at the front when a moment of blind panic approaching the leeward gate led to a capsize on one of the gate buoys. The air turned blue (not through wind chill) as he succeeded in relaying the buoy 10 metres downwind. Lee also spent considerable time inspecting his hull as the squall decimated the rest of the fleet. Mostyn Evans came past the committee boat to say he had had enough. The endurance trophy went to Simon Geyman, who had also spent time swimming, but nevertheless sat out the squall and waited for the fourth race. He had clearly had his Ready Brek!

Race 4 left it all to play for. Powell knew he had to win. Nothing less would do. Andy Jones talked of possibly sailing Powell down the fleet. The remnants of the fleet got away cleanly with Powell pulling off a pin end flyer on port with the Jones brothers in hot (although actually very cold) pursuit. Huw slowly pulled clear, despite some brotherly team tactics coming into play with Steve and Andy splitting tacks and gybes at every opportunity. At the finish it ended with Powell 1st, Andy Jones 2nd, Steve Jones 3rd and Gayman 4th with the rest of the fleet opting for the hot shower.

The end result was Powell and Andy Jones both ending with 1,1,2,2 so they were only separated by the result of the final race, with Powell taking the RS100 Inlands trophy. Andy was second with Steve Jones third, Clive Eplett fourth and Jeremy Gilbert fifth.

This was the last event of the RS100 2018 Rooster National Tour. The result of the Inlands had a significant bearing on the overall, with Huw Powell sneaking the title by one point from Steve Lee, with Clive Eplett third again only one point further behind. Powell was treated to the prestigious winners medallion!

The fleet was delighted with the warm welcome by Chew members and especially grateful to the Race Officer, Keith Harris, for the rapid turnaround between races. The rescue boats were kept busy and deserve enormous thanks for braving the elements so manfully.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1st508Huw PowellRed Wharf Bay / Netley‑22114
2nd172Andy JonesCVLSC11‑224
3rd130Steve JonesCVLSC‑434310
4th509Clive EplettFrensham Pond353(DNC)11
5th305Jeremy GilbertMBSC585(DNC)18
6th154Simon GeymanDatchett(DNC)7DNF421
7th314Steven LeeRAF YC84(DNF)DNC22
8th523Greg BoothPort Danorwic66(DNF)DNC22
9th526Mostyn EvansTBC79(DNC)DNC26

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