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2000 class at the RS Sprint Championships at Rutland Sailing Club

by Matt Greenfield 2 May 08:07 BST
2000 class at the RS Sprint Championships © Peter Fothergill /

What a great event! Seven races in one day with barely 5 minutes between each race.

The 2000 class is seriously competitive. With sailors who have won ten of the last fourteen Nationals between them, as well as multiple other National championships, the team racing World Championships and the current SailJuice Winter Series champions, this was always going to be a hotly-contested event. It is also a seriously welcoming class. As newbies to the class, we were enveloped in the fun and felt like we'd been part of the class for years.

Storm Hannah put paid to racing on Saturday a few of us sat in the club contemplating a blast for a few hours but decided that cake followed by beer was a better option! As forecast, the fleet woke to near perfect conditions on Sunday with 10-12 knots, gusting into the high teens.

The sprint championships is a no discard, short-course format, using a kind of inverted team racing course with an extra bit on the end beat, reach, run, reach, beat, reach, run, finish, with a short reach back to the start line to roll straight into the next race. Like this...

The whole day was about spotting the gusts and shifts, both of which were frequent and massive. There was place changing on every leg and all the way through the fleet.

Race 1 saw Simon Horsfield & Katie Burridge take the bullet from Jasper Barnham & Serena DeNahlik in second and Rob Burridge & Sarah Burridge in third.

These three dominated the first four races, with a 1,2,3,3 score line for Simon & Katie, 2,1,1,1 for Jasper and Serena and 3,3,2,2 for Rob and Sarah. Kev O'Brien & Jonny McVey were mixing it with these three and pushing hard (too hard in race 1 with an OCS) and put in a couple of 4th places.

In race 5, whilst Simon & Katie had pulled away to a comfortable win, Fiona Tylecote & Steve Tylecote and Matt Greenfield & Tony Greenfield had put the cat among the pigeons and were fighting out for the rest of the podium places until the last mark with Fiona & Steve sneaking inside and taking 2nd.

Race 6 was a really close affair with at least 8 or 9 boats in a proper tussle all the way to the finish. Simon & Katie showed their magic to stay out of trouble and record their third bullet and pull into the overall lead with one race remaining. Rob & Sarah took second, chased to the finish by Matt & Tony with Iain Yardley & Sarah Yardley taking their best result of the weekend in 4th.

After a gut-busting day that never seemed to stop to rest tired legs, the seventh and final race got under way with a general recall. Except the sprints don't do normal general recalls. Instead, everyone has to sail round the ends of the line and start immediately. Carnage. Matt & Tony had spotted the impending doom and dropped from the middle of the line to the pin end and spun round fast. Simon & Katie got away unscathed from the committee boat end.

As for everyone else... well, carnage. The front two pulled out a comfortable lead that they never looked like relinquishing. Simon & Katie extended to finish their event in style. Matt & Tony hung on to take their best result of a second and Rob & Sarah and Jasper & Serena took third and fourth to complete the podium positions overall.

The event was run faultlessly by a great team from Rutland to whom we owe many thanks, not just to the exceptional race management team but also the excellent galley team and shoreside support.

Finally, a personal thanks from us to the 2000 class for taking us in and showing us a great weekend. It's their 20th anniversary this year and they are having a proper festival-like nationals at Tenby in August, encouraging new and old, serious racers, first timers and families based on what we've seen, we'd thoroughly recommend it to everyone!

Overall Results:

PosSail noHelmCrewR1R2R3R4R5R6R7Pts
1st22334Simon HorsfieldKatie Burridge123311112
2nd2321Jasper BarnhamSerena DeNahlik211145418
3rd2458Rob BurridgeSarah Burridge332252320
4th21555Matt GreenfieldTony Greenfield748633233
5th2146Fiona TylecoteSteve Tylecote459529640
6th2204Iain YardleySarah Yardley977784547
7th22619Kev O'BrienJonny McVeyOCS64466849
8th21006Andy McKeeHarry Rowlands586878749
9th22564Helen PhilipsAndrew Philips6105997955
10th2272James MacgregorJenny Macgregor89101011101169
11th22352Mike McEwingImmi McEwing1213111110111078
12th2587Guy BoswellJulie Boswell1112131212121284
13th221563John SmithSally Taviner101114DNCDNCDNCDNC95
14th21405Dan CruseBruce MacDonaldDNC141213DNC131395

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