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RS200 Sprint Championship at Rutland Sailing Club

by David Jessop 3 May 16:58 BST 27-28 April 2019
RS200 Sprint Championship at Rutland Sailing Club © Peter Fothergill /

What a fantastic format Sprint racing is. Especially when it's held in a pub because it's gusting 45kts outside.

Unfortunately, the weather gods have a twisted sense of humour, and after an Easter weekend of drifting around, we arrived at Rutland to a true-to forecast 25-45kts. There was a murmur of amusement at the briefing, when the PRO said they were recording the 45kt gusts also being at a 45 degrees angle to the gradient wind.

Sensibly, racing was canned for the day, and fleet members dispersed to walk around the lake, while away the hours in the pub, or go trampolining. Marching purposefully around the lake, yours truly was asked for directions by a pair of bewildered cyclists:

"Are we going the right way?"
"Where are you trying to get to?"
"Our car. We don't know where it is."

Sunday was far more promising, with perfect marginal planning conditions, mixed up with a few gusts of the "yeehah!" variety.

As ever, Rutland race management was superb, with an excellent course and clockwork starts. Seven races back-to-back were plenty for my poor aging body, and the racing was brilliant tight and closely fought throughout. We should have more events in this format!

Ollie Groves and Esther Parkurst showed great speed and consistency to take the win, with Olly Turner (fully clothed for once) and Sam Mottershead tied for points with David Jessop and Sophie Mear for second and third.

Thanks to our National Tour sponsor Rooster. We liked the beautiful FOSH stainless steel water bottles as prizes.

We now have a busy month ahead with consecutive events at Wembley, QMSC, Warsash and the EuroCup at Strangford Lough in N Ireland.

See all the event information on the RS200 website here.

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