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RS100 Sprint Championship & Rooster National Tour Event at Rutland Sailing Club

by David Smart 1 May 13:09 BST 27-28 April 2019
RS100 Sprint Championship & Rooster National Tour Event at Rutland © Peter Fothergill /

This is the event that blows away the Winter blues. The theory is twelve races over two days with no discards. However Saturday did more than blow away the Winter blues, with Storm Hannah blowing away any chance of sailing. The Rutland Water team took the easy decision to abandon by midday, much to the delight of all the classes. The RS100 fleet decided the best option for the day was a catch up over a few pints, with a threatened nine races (gulp!) on Sunday.

Saturday rolled out a perfect, if chilly, force four with some traditional inland gusts to be negotiated. With so many races happening, and almost no break from finishing one race to the next warning gun, I'll just summarise the critical moments:

1. Robert Richardson would have been a contender for the event, but a gentle gust in race one snapped a shroud. He thought of carrying on for about five seconds but on looking up at the banana shaped mast, felt an early shower was safer - and a new set of shrouds.

2. Seven races were completed, with five separate winners. Clive Eplett greedily (and undemocratically) won three, with the other race wins going to Greg Booth, Nick Heather, Mark Harrison and David Smart.

3. Greg Booth started fast and was well in front of the pack after three races. However he tumbled down the order as he seemed to lose his marbles as the day went on. This was best shown when David Smart tried to take the lead in race three by passing to windward of Booth on a close reach. Booth luffed hard because he thought it was Clive Eplett above him. Eplett was delighted to pass the two luffers and take the lead while shouting a cheery "Thanks!" In the next race, Eplett tacked hard on what he thought was Booth up the first beat, then had to apologise to a bemused John Richardson. Are Specsavers available to sponsor the RS100 fleet?

4. All eleven boats had their moment at the front. That's the delight of so many short races and closely matched helms. After five races, nobody really had a clue who was in the lead or what point differences there were.

5. The event was won by Eplett who showed great consistency, along with those three race wins. However he finished a mere one point ahead of Smart who had finished on the podium in all bar one race. Eplett later announced that if he'd know the points between him and Smart were so close, he'd have tried a bit harder in the final race. Yeah, right, like he wasn't trying as it was.

6. Mark Harrison, Nick Heather and Booth had experienced more yo-yo style performances, but finished with only three points separating them, with Harrison in third, Heather fourth and Booth in fifth.

7. Simon Geyman received a Rooster aeromesh cap for sixth (mid fleet master, not for tipping it in on the final gybe for what would have been a well-earned third place) with Aidan Skinner receiving the Endeavour trophy of another Rooster aeromesh cap.

Rutland Sailing Club deserve massive thanks and congratulations for turning around seven great races with no significant hanging about between each one. 56 starts in one day across all the fleets!

Clive Eplett took the honours on this occasion, but the fleet will be looking to peg him back a notch at Paignton in two weeks' time at POSH 11-12 May 2019, which will be RS100 Rooster National Tour event number two.

Peter Fothergill's great event gallery is here:

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7Pts
1st509Clive EplettFrensham Pond SC441161219
2nd277David SmartChew Valley Lake SC263233120
3rd379Mark HarrisonGurnard SC357315428
4th503Nick HeatherRoyal Windermere SC524582329
5th523Greg BoothPort Dinorwic SC132657731
6th154Simon GeymanDatchet Water SC676446639
7th441John RichardsonRoyal Windermere SCRET85824544
8th147Aidan SkinnerPort Dinorwic SC998778957
9th122John CharlesLeigh‑on‑Sea SC81DNC9DNC9859
10th208Darrell SleepStaunton Harold SC710DNC109101068
11th140Robert RichardsonRoyal Windermere SCRETDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC84

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