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Rooster RS300 Inland Championships at Stewartby Water Sailing Club

by Paul Watson 30 Oct 11:18 GMT 26-27 October 2019
Rooster RS300 Inland Championships at Stewartby © Peter Mackin / www.pdmphoto.co.uk

With a slightly fruity forecast in the run up to the weekend the early decision to postpone all of Saturday's races to Sunday was largely popular. The option was to wake up a little later, watch some Rugby match that was happening and travel in a slightly more chilled manner.

The promise of curry and free beer still attracted quite a lot of the fleet to arrive on Saturday afternoon to bask in the warm and welcoming Stewartby clubhouse. This was an excellent way to start an event, although it may have led to a couple of bleary heads the next morning.

Not only had Stewartby provided curry, beer and breakfast they had also gone to all the effort to remove their reputation as the windiest and coldest place on Earth. PRO for the day Pete Ellis had kindly provided a fairly solid Force 2 with wall-to-wall sunshine. Not only that but he had also agreed to run all of the scheduled races. Six 30 min races back-to-back was the call for the day.

Race 1 showed us that some local knowledge was a good thing as Chef Richard Hargreaves and Matt Pedlow show the fleet the way around the first couple of laps seemingly swapping places regularly while trying to figure out the shifts. This allowed Steve Cockerill to catch up and use his superior downwind tactics to great avail to take the win. Further back the rest of the fleet had had lots of individual battles all finishing comfortably within a couple if minutes of the leaders and in most cases within a couple of centimetres of each other.

Race 2 started with a little more breeze. Paul Watson and Richard Le Mare managed to get up to speed up the first beat to show that low and fast still works on the rare occasion that 2019 would provide us with a windy race. As the race progressed Paul started to stretch his legs and should have had it in the bag. Unfortunately, Steve again provided a downwind masterclass to draw level and then backed this up with a solid final lap to take yet another win.

Race 3 started in a very similar way. This time Paul won the boat end and tacked off early in search of his usual bang the corner tactics. This paid off and he led round the first mark shortly followed by Steve, Matt and head brewer Rich. These four then had four laps of close racing until the final lap where Steve had yet again managed to slip away and Matt and Rich where busy racing themselves so allowed Paul to hang on to second, Richard third, Matt fourth.

In race 4 a new face arrived at the pointy end in the form of Peter Curtis who had apparently be lurking waiting to pounce for the first few races. The wind had now dropped slightly, which meant even closer racing throughout the fleet. Steve continued his winning ways from Matt second, Rich third, Peter fourth. In the middle of the fleet, where Paul had now found himself, silver fleet national Champion Chris Arnell was proving consistently tricky to get past as he works hard to either fight relegation or work his way into the gold fleet (I think the latter is more likely...)

Race 5, Paul 'bang the corner' Watson did exactly this to prove once again tactics are simple. Matt Pedlow's comment of "how did you get there" as I tacked clear ahead at the top mark went to show that maybe the locals didn't really know everything.

Unfortunately, as the race progressed it turned out that actually knowing what the wind was doing (or guessing better than others) would play a big part. The top five changed positions about every ten boat lengths. In the end it was the newfound speed or Peter who took the win, Steve second, Matt third.

Onto the final race, Steve had it wrapped up, but this didn't stop him from taking the lead from the off and having a fairly unchallenged final race. Things were much closer from second to eighth with multiple place changes on each leg of the course. It all came down to the final short run to the finish. The big news being that Matt Butler, who was sailing a boat borrowed from barman Rich, pipped him on the line giving him his best result of the weekend (fourth) and demoting Rich from third overall to fourth. Be careful who you lend your boats to!

With the sailing done it was time for a quick pack up, some hot soup and prize-giving with prizes kindly provided by both Stewartby Water SC and Rooster Sailing. Most notable was the prize for Bailey Coulson-Bland, who not only was sailing his first 300 event but has only recently upgraded from a Topper - a much better shout than the normal pathway!

Steve Cockerill had provided a convincing display to win his first RS300 Inland Championship and thanked the team at Stewartby for a well-run, enjoyable event and Peter Mackin for providing him with the tangerine machine to do it in. A well-deserved win.

Next and final event of the Rooster National Tour is the End of Seasons at Rutland this coming weekend!

Overall Results:

PosHelmR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1Steve Cockerill1111215
2Matt Pedlow34423214
3Paul Watson42254617
4Richard Hargreves217335518
5Pete Curtis76641320
6Chris Arnell105566830
7Rich Le Mare5387101633
8Matt Butler118989438
9Rob Ford871098739
10Rich Fryer6961011940
11Cheryl Wood1313121271054
12Mike Leaver16101111141258
13Ben Heppenstal9111315131661
14Dave Coulson12121413151364
15Emma Pearson14141514121165
16Bailey Coulson‑Bland15151616171779

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