Please select your home edition
Edition
Wessex Resins 2019 - Pro-Set - 728x90

RS300 Spring Open and Rooster National Tour event at South Cerney Sailing Club

by Paul Watson 19 Mar 2019 13:18 GMT 16-17 March 2019
Upwind - RS300 Spring Open © Dave Whittle

Weather forecasts are rarely accurate and should be taken as more of a guide... These were the thoughts I was having whilst loading my windsurfing kit into the car on Saturday morning, before heading to South Cerney Sailing Club for the Rooster RS300 Spring Open.

Fortunately, I wasn't the only person who had chosen to risk the forecast as a group of 11 RS300 sailors gathered to look longingly out over the lake's Mediterranean blue waters, which were covered in white horses suggesting the MET office had got it right and the day would mostly be spent onshore.

Undeterred by the day's racing being postponed, a couple of brave sailors decided to take to the water anyway and get in some practice. There's a video on the 300 Facebook page, so you can judge for yourselves on how it went. The more sensible amongst us went for a windsurf, while the rest took to the club house to start an early attempt to dry the bar out and watch the rugby.

By Sunday the wind had eased enough to run some racing and the Race Officer and his team sent us out for four quick fire, back to back races around the cans. In the process of easing the wind had also swung round a little meaning that we now had the additional challenge of some shifts and mega gusts depending on which of the million-pound holiday homes had their windows open.

In race one it was Steve Sallis who led around the windward mark, sailing normally at Hykeham it is fair to say Steve knows his way around a wind shift. It is also a fair assumption that sailing on a shifty gusty lake means that there will be holes in the wind and leading was likely to be the quickest way of finding them. Unlucky for Steve he found his on the first short run and Paul Watson slipped through and the rest of the fleet bunched up around him.

By the middle of the second lap it was Paul and Steve Bolland, who had caught up from a disappointing first beat (not banging the corner), racing for the win. That was until the final mark where Paul binned it, and in the process of trying to avoid him, so did Steve. Richard Le Mare could hardly believe his luck as he sailed past to take the first race from a recovered Paul 2nd and Steve Sallis in third.

Ben Green showed the fleet the way up the first beat in the second race and made the most of it for the first couple of reaches before finding a similar hole to Steve in the first race on the short run allowing Paul to slip through and take the lead which he would hold on to until the finish. Steve Bolland battled through to take 2nd and Matt Pedlow showed good speed coming in third after some close racing with Ben and Richard.

A shift shortly before the start of race three saw a change in tactic and it was Steve Bolland who made the most of it and managed (just) to Port tack the entire fleet. However, this was soon undone by a mixture of Paul Watson's bang the corner tactic working again and the fact the windward mark had been moved between races but not noticed by all of the fleet. Paul led at the first mark, followed shortly after by Steve B. After couple of laps of close racing it was Paul's turn to sail into the hole on the run allowing Steve to sail past which he comfortably held until the finish. Just behind a battle for third was taking place between Steve Sallis and Richard Le Mare who was fighting hard to keep his overall chances alive. On the final sprint for the line Richard managed to squeeze out a little more speed meaning the event would go down to the final race.

Race four Who would have the energy left to take the title? Had Steve and Richard worn themselves out the day before? I was certainly hoping so. Steve led round mark one, Paul second, Richard should have been third had he not buried the nose and capsized at the mark. Steve should have had it in the bag, after gaining a good 10 boat length lead, but a rogue gust and uncommitted gybed led to his third swim of the day (the second being between races and on top of Richard Hargreaves boat...).

Paul snuck through, Steve recovered to keep the race alive and Richard, who had regained composure, lost it again as his bow disappeared for a second time. Paul and Steve then had two laps of close racing swapping places a couple of times until going in to the second to last run Paul got around safely, turned around to check where Steve was to see him checking his centreboard was still there. Paul then survived to the finish taking the final win from Steve second, Matt third and Ben fourth and final finisher in the last race.

Back on shore for some tea, lunch and cake by the excellent South Cerney Galley team, who had also provided an excellent meal the night before, prize giving with the best handmade wooden RS300 trophies going (I now have one to match the one my wife won in 2017!) and some Rooster national tour spot prizes for Richard Le Mare (Endeavour, following his final race) and Cheryl Wood (Heroics Having sailed to the point of destroying her boom).

Many thanks as always to South Cerney Sailing Club and Gary Morris for organising the event and to Rooster Sailing for the continued support. Next event is the Rooster RS Sprint Championships at Rutland SC on 27th-28th April: enter online here.

Overall Results:

PosHelmSail NoClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1stPaul Watson528Bowmoor SC 1214
2ndSteve Bolland411Bristol Corinthian YC 2125
3rdRichard Le Mare555Castle Cove SC163 10
4thMatthew Pedlow451S.W.S.C53 311
5thSteve Sallis476Hykeham SC354 12
6thBen Green313Lymington Town SC 46414
7thRichard Hargreaves373Stewartby WSC47516
8thRob Ford351A.W.S.C.78722
9thCheryl Wood339Pennine SCDNF9DNF33
10thBen Heppenstall395Whitefriers SCDNFDNF41
11thGary Morris318South Cerney SC842

Related Articles

RS Classes Strava Distance Challenge concludes
27,087km logged by RS classes, with the 200s winning overall Wow it is clear to see some people have become dedicated Strava users in the past week and have been putting some serious miles down on their bikes, boats or shoes. Posted on 26 May
RS Classes Strava Distance Challenge begins
Fundraising for the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation As a sailing community, we are currently limited by the amount of competition we have, there is virtual racing but this can become repetitive over time. Posted on 17 May
Rooster RS300 Virtual Sprints
A whole lot less travelling than the usual trip to Rutland! In place of our yearly trip to Rutland this year's Sprints, like many other events at the moment, involved a whole lot less travelling. Posted on 1 May
RS300s at Stewartby Water
The somewhat delayed event report Only a week before the lock down, the RS300 fleet returned to Stewartby WSC for the 2020 Rooster RS300 National Tour season opener. The fleet was a somewhat diminished by a fairly fruity forecast and the absence of those already self-isolating. Posted on 18 Apr
RS Sailing Newsletter
Still open and ready to make a splash on the day you get back on the water! The last few weeks have been unprecedented for RS Sailing. We wanted to let you know that we are still open and we're ready to make a splash on your day if you are pining to get back out on the water! Posted on 2 Apr
In conversation with Jon Partridge
From Swallows & Amazons to RS Sailing's co-MD From Swallows & Amazons style sailing on the Norfolk Broads to become the co-Managing Director of RS Sailing, Jon Partridge has risen through the ranks and is deeply passionate about sailing, and in particular the RS Feva class. Posted on 19 Mar
In conversation with Steve Cockerill
An in-depth discussion with the top dinghy sailor and Rooster founder Mark Jardine chats with Steve about his own youth sailing, the changes which happened recently in the RYA Youth system and squads, coaching in the sport, becoming a sailor for life, his own dinghy sailing and a bit about Rooster, the company he founded! Posted on 12 Mar
Alton Water Frostbite Series week 1
51 on the water for the first two races this year With new management at Alton Water Sports Centre, no-one was sure how this popular Frostbite Series would be organised this year, but with some good teamwork a seamless operation was possible. Posted on 10 Jan
RS300 End of Season Regatta at Rutland
A lone RS300 itching to sail Rutland SC were hosts for this year's RS End of Seasons Regatta where a lone RS300 (yours truly) was itching to sail. With a schedule of one two-hour pursuit on the Saturday and three handicap races on Sunday, I was praying for bandit weather. Posted on 5 Nov 2019
Rooster RS300 Inlands at Stewartby
Promise of curry and free beer attracted many to arrive early With a slightly fruity forecast in the run up to the weekend the early decision to postpone all of Saturday's races to Sunday was largely popular. The option was to wake up later, watch Rugby and travel in a slightly more chilled manner. Posted on 30 Oct 2019