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RS800 End of Season Regatta at Rutland Sailing Club

by Ralph Singleton 6 Nov 2018 06:28 GMT 3-4 November 2018

The RS800s joined the RS Aeros, RS200s, RS300s, RS400s, RS500s, and RS600s at Rutland for the End of Season Regatta on a weekend where Hurricane Oscar was sent over the water by the Trump administration. In the end the winds were big but not too big to put off the fleet of 100 plus boats.

Saturday started with the now traditional RS pursuit race. The race officer for the weekend explained the course, a P or b course depending how you looked at it with a 2 km beat. A few groans from the non-trapeze boats but the hardy RS800 contingent were licking their lips at the prospects of sailing past 95 boats. The RS Aero fleet had gone through the start line and were already on lap two before the RS800s started. Port tack experts Ralph and Sophie Singleton had wrongly believed the race officer when he said it would be a fetch to the first mark leaving the very obvious port tack flyer to Luke and Emma McEwen, and Peter Barton and Chris Feibusch.

Now the fun started: kites up, accelerate to 20+ knots and hope you can find the gybe mark. However mark W was not to be seen by just about the whole fleet. Peter and Chris ended up on the other side of the lake with a beat to the next mark whilst Ralph and Sophie gave up the hunt half way and gybed back hoping they had gone round the mark but just missed it amongst all the spray. National Champions Tom Morrisand Guy Fillmore gave everyone a head start but were soon chasing down the McEwens. By this time Peter and Chris had given up finding mark W and went for a practice. Hugh Shone and Hannah Tattersall managed to pass Ralph and Sophie and then all four leading RS800s had overtaken the entire RS fleet. Just before the finish after a gruelling one hour and 25 mins Luke and Emma succumbed to a capsize down the tricky two sail reach leaving Tom and Guy to take the victory. After everyone returned to shore Peter reached for the rule book on the basis of not being able to find mark W which Ralph and Sophie finally discovered on lap four almost on the shore after the dry hot Summer had emptied half the lake. Unfortunately for Peter and Chris the rule waving was to no avail.

Saturday night saw the RS800s reconvene at the Wheatsheaf, although on that occasion the RS400s had beaten them to it. A very enjoyable meal was finished off by some excellent cake which Debbie Clark and Dan Goodman had provided for Dan's birthday.

Sunday dawned with some light drizzle and considerably less wind. Three races were planned on a w/l course to be shared with the RS200s, RS400s and RS500s. The wind was very variable which kept racing very close amongst the top seven. Tom and Guy even commented that it was perhaps the closest racing they had had all year. Luke and Emma won the first race from Peter and Chris after birthday boy Dan with Debbie led the fleet round the first mark. Tom and Guy won the second race from Ralph and Sophie who were left frustrated by a bunch of RS200s who had blocked the route out to the favoured right-hand side at time when they had a comfortable lead. So the last race was all to play for. Luke and Emma needed to win the race to win the event. After much place changing amongst the top six it all came down the last run. Tom and Guy went to what had generally been the favoured left-hand side whilst Luke went left of centre and Peter picked up a nice puff down the right-hand side. Unfortunately for Tom and Guy they ran out of wind to finish 3rd and Peter and Chris could not quite pip the McEwens who held their nerve to take the final bullet and the event. Tom and Guy finished second on count back although Sailwave could not cope with the double counting non-excludable pursuit race on Saturday. Ralph and Sophie finished off the podium in third.

Now it was down to RS800 Class Association Secretary Clare Sargent to use all her magic to calculate the results of the Rooster National Tour held over 8 events. Having had a knee op over the winter Luke was a little slow out of the blocks leaving Ralph and Sophie as early leaders after wins at the light air events at Rutland and Datchet. Tim Gratton and Fiona Hampshire cleaned up at Parkstone. Luke and Emma won the other three sea events at Stokes Bay, Beer and Eastbourne (home of the 2019 National Championships and after this year's event renamed "Garda by the Sea"). The McEwens then completed the season in style with wins at Grafham and Rutland to become the Rooster RS800 2018 National Tour Champions. Ralph and Sophie were second, Tom and Guy third, Hugh and Hannah 4th, and Dan and Debbie 5th. Rooster limited edition national tour neck gaitors will be seen by all the best dressed sailors this Winter.

There have been a lot of new boats joining the fleet recently. Francis Peters and Tom Partington could be the team to watch next year after an impressive 3rd at Grafham whilst the Facebook group "RS800 sailing" is active with lots of tips and videos from Tom Morris (this year's national champion) showing all how to buy an old boat, do it up and then dominate the event at Weymouth. For those hardy souls there is the Selden Sailjuice series over the Winter before we all assemble again at Rutland on the 23rd March 2019. 2019 is a Garda year so get a boat, get Tom's YouTube videos, ferry tickets and we will see you all in Torbole!

Finally 2019 will see the 20th anniversary national championship at Eastbourne Sovereign SC 5-8 September. Your correspondent has sailed 14 of those starting at Plymouth in 2004. The RS800 Class Association would like to get in touch with everyone who has competed in at least one event. We are planning a big party and a one day event which will form part of the championships for everyone who wants to relive those great events and can get their hands on a boat. Please contact the Association via the website if you would like to find out more details. Keep the weekend of the 7-8 September 2019 free.

Here's to a great 2019! Look forward to seeing you all next year!

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubPursuitR1R2R3Pts
1st1220McEwen LukeEmma McEwenRoyal Lymington YC41‑516
2nd1144Morris TomGuy FillmoreHayling Island SC2‑3136
3rd1166Singleton RalphSophie SingletonBurghfield SC8‑52414
4th1231Shone HughHannah TattersallCastle Cove SC6‑63615
5th1188Goodman DanielDebbie ClarkStokes Bay SC1046‑720
6th1219Barton PeterChris FeibuschLymington Town SCDNC2‑4228
7th1128Hurney CiaranMel KwanOxford SC12‑88828
8th1224Lord FredGale LouiseCarsingtonDNC‑77536
9th913Howe AdrianWilliams FenellaOxford14(RET)RETDNC38
10th1047Knight AdamOzanne NicoGuernsey YCDNC(DNC)DNCDNC48
10th1171Penty JamesEddie GraysonBeaver SCDNC(DNC)DNCDNC48

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