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RS300 Rooster National Tour event 3 at Notts County Sailing Club

by Harry McVicar 5 Jun 21:00 BST 25-26 May 2019
RS300 Rooster National Tour event at Notts County © David Eberlin

This weekend saw eight RS300s travel to Notts County SC to combine our third event on the Rooster 2019 National Tour with the NCSC Spring Regatta.

Saturday morning saw the sailors arrive to a lake looking glamorous but windless. Cheryl Wood was looking the most prepared with a shiny new boat complete with shiny new sail, and Harry McVicar the least, turning up last and deeply hungover already.

Viva Las Vegas. The first start was delayed whilst the wind toyed with the race committee, shifting 180 degrees, filling in, then flipping back just after they'd reset the course. It finally "settled", but the first beat was a total lottery, with each boat seemingly in its own wind direction in about 4knts.

Just as Steve Sallis and Harry approached the first mark, a gust of closer to three times that shot down the course causing a bit of early mayhem.

Harry led Steve from the top of the first beat, with the pack closely bunched behind. After a couple of laps of various snakes and ladders, it all changed as Harry got caught on the wrong side of a back-marker, allowing Steve, Rich Le Mare, and Matt Pedlow to slide past. Over the next lap he caught Matt and Rich, but couldn't catch Steve who took the first win.

For race 2, the wind had filled in to a decent 10knts, and the RS300 fleet were given our own start and own course. Local sailor Ross Ryan also ditched his RS400 to join us. Harry led chased by Steve, with Rich and Matt close together not far behind. Steve got slightly tangled with a back-marking Topper allowing Harry to make a break, and Matt got the better of Rich to take third.

Race three saw the RS300s join the same course as the rest of the open again, but getting our own start, allowing us to follow the RS400s round to not get lost. Harry led, pushed hard by Matt, and Steve took third ahead of Rich.

For those of us who hadn't had enough sailing for the day, we were invited to join in with the team racing series the club was running. Ben Heppenstall's team went unbeaten in their races, Harry and Cheryl's team got thrashed. The other boats were faster, honest...

On Saturday night we were treated to bangers and mash from Pauline's Cafe and a brass band. From 9pm we were on bar serving duty, which Ben found highly entertaining and put in a full shift. Matt also found it entertaining, making a lot of trips, but in the end it was him propping the bar up when a wall-sit challenge emerged and he survived well over 5 minutes, probably closer to 10 (Chris Arnell has the proof). The fleet finally called it a night, last to bed in true RS300 fashion about 1am.

Sunday morning opened with so much wind Ben's team racing saw reefed Fireflys on the plane, and the rest of us pouring coffee and bacon into ourselves. Matt complained about sore legs...

Race four started with a base wind in the low teens, and gusts around 20knts. Through the race this built further, with gusts well into survival territory. Rich led to the first mark, Harry rolled him on the first run and Matt stayed close in third. On the second gybe mark, Rich binned it sending him way down the order and promoting Matt to second, who went on a charge up the following beat to be hot on the heels of Harry. Harry then also got knocked down on a gybe letting Matt take the lead. Harry kept close, and had a last ditch attempt at an overtake that saw him bailing out of a submarine. Steve stayed out of trouble to come third, Rich fought back up to fourth.

By race five the breeze had calmed a bit to a decent force four and we had a three lap sprint around our own course. Harry led, with Steve catching fast on some big downwind puffs, and Rich held third from Matt. Over the weekend, the fleet was given three discards to encourage one day participation. This meant Harry's third win sealed him the weekend.

Three discards also meant Steve and Matt on were equal points, making the final race the decider for the rest of the podium. Matt and Steve had good first beats rounding one and two, Harry spent the race in third, staying out the way to let them battle it out. Gusty conditions meant upwind gains could be lost easily again downwind, so the three stayed close. Steve led the way, with Matt within inches at times.

It all came to a head at the penultimate mark, where a back-marker had the inside, Steve went wide to go around it, and Matt went for a dive up the inside which Steve duly shut the door on. Harry used the resulting chaos to cheekily slip around both to get the inside line to the final mark and take first from Steve, and Matt came in third after doing his turns (tut tut).

With that, the final results sat as this: Harry McVicar, Steve Salis and Matt Pedlow on the podium; Rich Le Mare in fourth; Chris Arnell, Pete Davies and Ben Heppenstall very close in fifth, sixth, and seventh; and Cheryl Wood in eighth once again finishing all the races in good spirits.

So a big thank you from all of us to the team at NCSC, and the event sponsors Rooster, Paintcraft, Flymount, Rope 4 Boats and HB Clarke. It was a great event in some challenging, varied conditions made some super tight racing. We now look forward to our first sea event of the year which will be the RS Summer Regatta at Lymington Town SC on the 8-9 June. Event info and entry to your RS300 Rooster National Tour event number four here:

See also the NSCS event report and pictures by David Eberlin

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3Pts
1st523Harry McVicarDraycote123(DNC)15
2nd451Matt PedlowStewartby Water SC152(DNC)17
3rd476Steve SallicHykeham SC1110(DNC)21
4th555Richard Le Mare 1312(DNC)25
5th393Chris ArnellChristchurch SC1917(DNC)36
6th508Pete DaviesCarsington SC1623(DNC)39
7th339Cheryl WoodPennine SC2233(DNC)55
8th395Ben HeppenstallWhitefriars SC17(DNC)DNC73

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