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RS200 Winter Series at Royal Harwich Yacht Club - Week 3

by Chris Mayhew 13 Dec 2018 09:49 GMT 9 December 2018

The final Sunday of the RS200 Winter series at Royal Harwich Yacht Club saw another great turnout on 9th December, even with the originally forecast 30-40 knots gusts. Luckily the breeze was strong, but sailable. On shore was slightly sheltered from the wind, but the teams could see - this was going to be fun!

With the runners and riders eagerly waiting the start there were a few updates to the helm crew combinations. Team Family Videlo from Waldringfield had reduced from two boats to one and now the only question was who was going to take the helm? In the end Stephen won the toss and was at the back with dad Ian crewing.

Frances Gifford – the most consistent placed crew from the first two series was nowhere to be seen, not even in a third boat in as many weekends! Charlotte Stewart stepped in to lead the Stewart boat, keeping Tom in shape.

Race 5

Race officer James Skellorn planned a beat upriver with the tide, and run to the start area. With the wind against tide and around 18 knots of breeze the sail to the start was brisk. Some teams needed to freshen up a little, and had to perform a last minute check of their centreboard gaskets. Luckily the day was still not cold for this time of the year (provided you didn't swim all the time).

The start line was tight with a slight port bias, but with the stronger tide at the starboard end it was all tight half way up. Early leaders emerged with the Nunn/Mayhew team keen to finish the series with a good result to remain on the podium. "Young Guns" Chatterton/Nunn were at the front and flying. The chop in the channel was steep for the river with many crews later complaining of filling up and moving aft was the order of the day. The dependable combinations of Krailing/Hunt, and team Composite Videlo were in the mix.

At the top mark kites were hoisted and many elected to head towards the channel for a slightly stronger breeze, but with more tide and chop it was a gamble, and going too far seemed slow. Battles on every gybe were present and it all closed up by the bottom mark. The wind built slightly and some crews were practicing their capsize drills.

The Stewarts were recovering after being mid fleet after the first lap, pulling through to pass Mayhew/Redding and catching the Young Guns. Nunn/Mayhew were performing some bottom inspections which took them out of contention in the leading pack. "Girls Aloud" Bland/Green were as ever full of smiles and flying downwind. Issy Taylor Jones and Harvey O'Sullivan were also getting a little warm and taking a little swim to cool off. Penn/Bell-Jones (...maybe distracted by their Christmas jingles) were in the middle of the fleet after a 360 at the top mark, then a swim as a result.

At the finish it was the Composite Videlo team that took line honours from Krailing/Hunt, with the Stewarts closing in for a good 3rd ahead of the Young Guns. With the Stewarts and Videlos having all their results in the top 4 and Krailing/Hunt with all their results in the top 6 it was going to be a close last race for the series.

Race 6

With a strengthening wind the last race was going to be a good test of boats and crews, and removing any chance of the great support crew from being bored! The course was a repeat and again the line was tight.

The first beat was looking similar to the first race, with the tide still on the end of the flood the chop caused by the wind against tide in the channel was still a factor. Some crews benefited from losing the tide but keeping the boat dry in the flatter water. The shifts were there, but with the stronger breeze choosing to take the good ones was the challenge to minimise the tacks.

At the top mark the consistent 4 top teams were all there except for the absence of Krailing/Hunt who had broken their main halyard to take them out of contention. Nunn/Mayhew were there again with the leaders showing good upwind speed.

The reach was now getting fun with plenty of fast action, with a few swimmers and some teams reluctant to gybe heading for the marina! The flood eased, but the chop still remained and some of the gusts probably touched 28 knots. With the increasing wind and the decreasing tide the lay line for the bottom mark had changed, catching a few teams out on the closure to the mark, some even overshooting.

After a furious 3 laps the Stewarts took the bullet from the Videlos, with Chatterton/Nunn in 3rd and Penn/Bell-Jones in 4th. Mayhew/Redding steady in 5th and Alexander/Orme finishing 6th.

Overall the results were very tight, the top 4 teams finishing within 4 points and a high calibre entry completing a fun series for all. Tom Stewart and crews Frances Gifford and Charlotte took the series.

Jon Stokes – Rear Commodore Sailing presented the prizes and Tom Stewart duly thanked the Race Officers; Support crews and visitors for making this such a fun series. We hope that many more will join next year.

There is still one race to go - Boxing Day Breezer – Start 12:00 – All Welcome £5 entry to charity. See www.royalharwichyachtclub.co.uk

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1st1421Tom StewartFran Gifford/Charlotte StewartRHYC(DNC)(DNC)21317
2nd1673Harry ChattertonDaisy NunnWaldringfield sailing club(DNC)(DNC)124310
3rd786Alan KrailingFran Gifford/Joe HuntWaldringfield sailing club21‑662(DNF)11
4th1447Steve VideloEthan Davey/Ian VideloWaldringfield sailing club(DNC)(DNC)441211
5th1182Andrew NunnNicole MayhewWaldringfield sailing club3655(DNC)(DNC)19
6th1142Ben AlexanderCameron Harris/Elspeth OrmeDeben Yacht Club17‑8‑87621
7th833Issy Taylor ‑JonesHarvey O'SullivanRHYC727‑10DNF(DNC)26
8th1247Cara BlandBea GreenWaldringfield sailing club64‑9‑118DNF27
9th1209Geoff MayhewLucie NunnWaldringfield sailing club55107(DNC)(DNC)27
10th844Chris MayhewJuliet ReddingRHYCRET8‑11‑125527
11th1290Ashley DeatonJames DeatonRHYC43RETDNS(DNC)(DNC)36
12th1155Ian VideloAlyson VideloWaldringfield sailing club(DNC)(DNC)33DNCDNC38
13th1179Archie PennAlex Bell JonesWaldringfield sailing club(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNC6442
14th1149Mark HodgeBecky HodgeWaldringfield sailing club(DNC)(DNC)129DNCDNC53
15th1021George FinchTom HerringRHYC(DNC)(DNC)1313DNCDNC58

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