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Noble Marine 2020 - LEADERBOARD

RS600s during the RS End of Season Regatta at Rutland Sailing Club

by George Smith 9 Nov 2018 11:12 GMT 3-4 November 2018
RS600s during the RS End of Season Regatta at Rutland © Peter Fothergill / www.fothergillphotography.com

There was quite a buzz leading up to the last event, in what has been a fantastic 'comeback' season for the class. A few notable absentees made way for some new to the circuit faces and all were welcomed by a breezy, busy and well organised Rutland Sailing Club.

Launching proved the first challenge of the day with an off shore breeze full of RS600 toppling gusts. The quick sail to the start line of the pursuit race gave an appropriate preview of what was to come with the RS600s immediately on the plane, dodging traffic and potentially quite scared.

With control lines jammed on full and mainsails ragging the fleet got away, some 23 minutes after the RS Aero 5s to chase those already racing round the half lap of the lake. Ian Jubb made the best of the start and the first small hitch to the windward mark rounding just ahead of George Smith with Alex Piggot chasing hard. Navigational confusion ensued with the tiny water proof maps, provided by the sailing club, rendered useless by the speed and spray of the first run. The fleet headed to the middle of the lake in search of the passing mark which would later be found much closer to shore as a result of the annual tidal ebb.

The first three names were the same at the leeward mark however the order had shifted. The bottom reach was another fast and furious ride on the edge of control for everyone in the fleet. The edge of control proved to be a fast way to travel as the first fleet to fall to the front runners were the RS300s. The next fleet on the list were the RS400s who were easy pickings uphill but proved very fast in the conditions on the long run.

The two hour race was hard graft given the conditions and the attrition rate was understandably high. The fleet became relatively spread out amongst the traffic of other classes. Hats off to all who finished in one piece especially to Ian Jubb who wasn't his usual bar propping self, due to man flu, and to Mark Healing who battled around the course in what is one of his first circuit appearances.

The fleet retired to the shore, most barely able to pull boats up the slipway and the club did a cracking job of putting on food and stocking the bar.

Sunday dawned with a drizzling mist, some sore heads and a very different prospect with a light and shifty breeze. The first of three back to back races was a tense affair without the excitement of trapezeing, most were left hugging the foredeck. Ian Marshall showed the most guise and cunning to climb the most ladders, dodge the most snakes and most importantly avoid the slow moving herd of RSAeros. Michael Iszatt steered his famous yellow most to a close second followed by a very respectable 3rd for Mark.

The breeze fortunately started to build for race two. The committee boat end was unusually hotly contested; even more unusual were turns for Michael after trying his luck and having the door shut hard by Alex. This marks a step change in the quality of the racing from last season where starts were certainly less competitive. The whole fleet were now powered up towards the windward mark and George Smith made the best of the first beat to sneak around just in the lead. The reach however was still a 'sit in job' and allowed the wide winged of the fleet to pressure those pushing a bit more water. Again RS Aero dodging was the name of the game and mark roundings were the make and break of your race. National's race winner and easily the fleet's youngest Chris Haslam showed the same form to sneak to the front ahead of Ian and Alex.

So the points were tight going into the 3rd race with three who could potentially still win although no-one in the fleet knew that as the pursuit race was a double point affair and beyond our maths skills. Again the start was hotly contested and again George rounded the windward mark in first just ahead of Chris whose high risk crash tack at the windward mark cost him the potential lead. Michael, Alex and George all battled hard to get to the front and stay there. Ultimately it was Michael who made the best of the last run to take a well-deserved win. George had done enough to hold onto 2nd place which as maths would have it was also enough for the win overall. Alex a close 3rd, secured 2nd overall as reward for a season of hard practice in the boat.

It certainly was a weekend of two halves with survival Saturday and a sedate Sunday! A big thank you to Rutland Sailing Club who clearly put in a lot of work and effort to host the challenging 103 boat pursuit race and some quality fleet races too. Thank you too to Rooster sailing who kindly sponsored the national tour this year and offered up very generous prizes and support.

The final thank you is to all of those that have helped get the class back on their feet this season: the class association, sponsors, the committee, especially Ian Montague and to those that keep coming back to sail, what is undoubtedly a great boat.

Here's to an even better 2019 season! See you on the water maybe even in a BRAND NEW RS600!

Watch this space.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubPursuitR1R2R3Pts
1st988Smith GeorgeShoreham2‑6428
2nd900Piggott AlexNotts County SC6‑43312
3rd654Marshall IanOxford SC and RAFSA1012‑513
4th877Healing MarkBrancaster Staithe SC1236‑721
5th885Hibbert SimonNotts County SC8‑88622
6th951Iszatt MichaelKing George SCRET2‑5127
7th676Jubb IanHISC4(DNC)DNCDNC28
8th670Haslam ChrisHickling BroadsDNC‑71429
9th957Potter MattNotts County SCDNC57‑836
10th933Haslam CliffHickling Broad SCDNC9‑10942
11th647Barrett MartynRutland SCDNF‑1091043

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