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Harken RS200 Inland Championship at Grafham Water Sailing Club

by Will Taylor 7 Oct 22:20 BST 5-6 October 2019
Harken RS200, RS400 and RS800 Inlands at Grafham Water © Tim Olin /

Olympic Silver Medallist Luke Patience and Mary Henderson take a well-deserved win, but they didn't have it all their own way during a closely contested 2 days of racing at Grafham Water.

It was a remarkable fleet of 53 RS200s that gathered at Grafham, with a much-touted lineup including several team GBR sailors, a trio of former RS200 National Champions and the current title holder. The fleet also included visiting national champions from other dinghy classes, keen to get in some practise ahead of next weekend's Endeavour Trophy. As a testament to the broad appeal of the RS200, the lineup featured sailors as young as 12, with one young pairing competing at their first RS200 event; they picked the right weekend, as this was a Championships that delivered on every level.

The weekend started off on a high with Grafham showing the rugby for all those England fans. Shortly after we had our briefing from PRO Peter Saxton, who explained we would be on U flag from the outset and to look out for the shortened course flag (beautifully modelled by fleet model Oliver Turner). However neither of these had much of an effect on the racing with only 4 boats being UFD over the weekend!

Day 1 saw winds of 7-12 knots, and with the majority of the fleet fully powered at points, hard hiking equated to high boatspeed. Race 1 saw a heavily port biased line with two boats caught over, one of those being class stalwart Edd Whitehead sailing with Toby Lewis trying to pull off a port end flyer! The gusts and shifts were apparent from the first beat where falling into holes would be costly with many boats overtaking. The race was won by Luke Patience crewed by Mary Henderson, second was Will and Matt Taylor and third Christian Birrell and Katie Burridge.

Race 2 proved costly for the early leaders, with Luke Patience picking up a 20th to take into day 2. Edd and Toby made instant amends for their race 1 UFD by taking the bullet, second was Murray Hampshire and Jess Hammett and third was Arron Holman and Will Ward.

The final race of the day saw the leading four boats break away from the pack with tight racing right up until the final run. The gun went to Luke and Mary with James Peters and Charlie Darling in second and Will and Matt in third.

Once ashore everyone was very interested to see results as no one had been able to achieve three top tens. The best example of this was Tom Hewitson who after a 6,6,12 thought he would be in the teens was shocked when he realised he was 3rd! Top of the pile were David Jessop and Sophie Mear, rewarded for their 4,4,4, consistency with the overnight lead. Luke and Mary were in second and third; Tom Hewitson, sailing with Lucy Preston.

After a wonderful evening meal from Grafham we had our Annual Awards that were worth mentioning these included Best Male Solo Artist to Most Inventive Accommodation, we hope to see more people attend next year and maybe the 400's and 800's will have awards of their own. We managed to drink the bar dry of beer and generally a very chilled evening catching up with friends.

Day 2 dawned with a bit of rain and more wind than the first day but less than forecast so everyone was questioning whether to drop shrouds or not. As it turned out, dropping the pins was a good move with the breeze picking up through the day from 15 knots to 23 knots. The first race was won by Nick Craig and Emma Clark showing blistering speed in the breeze (ones to watch out for next weekend if the breeze is up), second was Ian Martin and Chloe George who flew down the final run and third Luke and Mary.

The second race was completed in exactly the same conditions with everyone settling into the breezier weather. This race was won by Christian and Katie with James and Charlie in second, followed by Alan Roberts and Arthur Henderson who managed to capsize in the race and still finish in the top 3. Unfortunately after the top 10 had finished PRO Peter Saxton signalled that the final race was abandoned and for the fleet to head back in. Not everyone was happy with this but on the sail in the breeze picked with gusts edging towards and over 30 knots.

The overall results came out with the top 7 boats within 9 points of each other! With the differing conditions this is a testament to the fleet and you had to be able to perform in both strong and light winds. The winner of the Inlands was Luke Patience and Mary Henderson, second was James Peters and Charlie Darling with Will and Matt Taylor completing the podium.

It was great to welcome all the new faces in the fleet and hope we see them again soon, especially those competing at the Endeavour.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1st1703Luke PatienceMary HendersonRNCYC1‑20131520
2nd1675James PetersCharlie DarlingHISC‑261424222
3rd573Will TaylorMatt TaylorLymington Town SC/Brightlingsea SC2‑24310924
4th1704Christian BirrellKatie Burridge 3168‑18128
5th1659David JessopSophie MearQMSC/Hunts4413‑29728
6th1657Nick CraigEmma HiveyBurghfield SC/ASA‑215511829
7th1440Peter BallantineJo KalderonWessex SC58‑1861029
8th1618Ian MartinChloe GeorgeBurghfield SC1613‑222536
9th1136Arron HolmanWill WardHollowell/Ogston SC73‑15151237
10th1626Edd WhiteheadToby LewisFiley SC(UFD)1287642
11th880Murray HampshireJess HammettHISC‑1729141742
12th1601Jonny McGovernSarah McGovernPort Dinorwic SC‑292379443
13th1633Tom HewitsonLucy PrestonHISC6612‑272044
14th1683Alan RobertsArthur HendersonHISC‑32102411348
15th1667Olly TurnerSam MottersheadStarcross YC137‑23231154
16th629Maria StanelyRob HendersonSalcombe YC/Lymington Town SC‑22152151455
17th1700Ollie GrovesEsther ParkhurstBeaver SC‑2892613856
18th1676Paul CullenVerity HopkinsWeirwood SC81910‑222158
19th1634Cam StewartJoseph BradleyHISC232668(DNF)63
20th1039Tom GoodeyRichard ThomasBroadstairs SC‑24174202465
21st1527Chris TaylorJessica SlaterWPNSA9‑2814261665
22nd1625Karen OldaleJo HewitsonParkstone YC14221712‑2965
23rd1631Martin PentySam WallerBeaver SC1221‑35211367
24th1570Robbie KingBethan MatthewGrafham Water SC10113116(DNC)68
25th1029Nick RobinsOrla MitchellHISC18‑3820172277
26th964Chris ThomasLewis BowenNorthampton SC202716‑311982
27th965Alex SmallwoodCallum FarndenGrafham Water SC11123430(DNC)87
28th1118Greg KellyFaye CaswellYorkshire Dales SC27252519(DNC)96
29th16Chris WebberNicki WebberPevensey Bay SC19181941(DNC)97
30th1617Alex CurtisRaffi GracieQMSC15‑40332826102
31st1403James GossChris WhiteSouth Staffs SC343711‑3825107
32nd91Henrik AsplundGeorgina KingGuernsey YC35‑39362423118
33rd1628Matt FowlerLynne RatcliffePevensey Bay‑3331323328124
34th1452Alistair HodgsonJoanna WorrallRYA25‑43413427127
35th1389Tom Taylor‑JonesMimi ThomasBSC31333035(DNC)129
36th1684Amy BoyleRoisin OhalloranSt Mawes SC37302943(DNS)139
37th1023Andrew KilburnClaudia WilsonRickmansworth SC3035(UFD)25DNC144
38th719Richard HardingTristan HardingFRSC39362748(DNC)150
39th1048Andrew SticklandBecky PearsonThorpe Bay YC38324339(DNC)152
40th1109Ollie JenkinsArchie PrimroseHISC‑4342404230154
41st430Mike CalvertSophie HarrisNetley SC‑4846463231155
42nd1635Andrew BarnettJo LloydIsland Barn River SC42343940(DNC)155
43rd1102Finlany Lomas‑ClarkeSimon Lomas‑ClarkeFrensham Pond SC36413847(DNC)162
44th1707Paul FreelandSharon FreelandLlandegfedd SC40294549(DNC)163
45th939James JohnsonTom JohnsonWindermere School(UFD)4737DNC32170
46th1402Esme BarracoughBen DeardenYorkshire Dales SC44484236(RET)170
47th581Dan WigmoreMatt RhodesGrafham Water SC45454437(DNC)171
48th1253Freddie SuttonTom HirstBroadstairs SC49445045(DNC)188
49th714Oliver JaggerHugh TomkinsGrafham Water SC47504744(DNC)188
50th1653Peter HudsonAdam HudsonGrafham Water SC414948(DNC)DNC192
51st655Andrew DaviesPhil BaumbachCam SC46525146(UFD)195
52nd1428Richard BrownJudith BrownDraycote Water505149(DNC)DNC204
53rd975Matt ThorntonLaura BevanQMSC(RET)DNCDNC50DNC212

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