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RS800 End of Season Regatta at Rutland Sailing Club

by Hugh Shone 5 Nov 2019 14:44 GMT 2-3 November 2019
RS800 End of Seasons Regatta at Rutland Sailing Club © Peter Fothergill

With some mighty gales forecasted for Saturday it was great to still see 13 boats make the trip to Rutland SC for the 2019 RS End of Season Regatta.

As I meandered my way over, the prospect of sailing was not looking too likely with lorries snaking all over the place, branches being swept across the roads and lashing rain. On top of the weather doing its best to kill me physically, listening to England's capitulation in the rugby was doing some serious emotional damage. There's nothing like an apocalyptic storm and national levels of disappointment to flatten the mood!

However, once we had arrived at a very swampy and bog-like Rutland boat park, it actually appeared that the wind was on the edge of sailable - bearing in mind the looming prospect of a monstrous gust due at any moment. Wishing I'd packed some waders and a leaf blower to remove the rapidly growing compost heap of leaves and branches forming on the boat, I slowly rigged whilst it was announced that against all the odds, they were going to go for it! Alas, it was this brave announcement from the race team that then heralded the almighty surge in wind and the lake soon became a boiling mass of white horses. For those that needed further confirmation a sacrificial RS Vareo was released into the wild.

I've never seen an RS Vareo move so fast (besides those passed on the A1). It was judged that a planing RS Vareo was clearly a sign that it was absolutely hooning and racing was cancelled for the day. Walking plans were formed. We strolled our way around to the dam and were a little gutted to see the wind die to manageable and a number of boats take advantage of a good old romp around the lake in near perfect sunny conditions.

I have to mention Saturday evening after a series of game changing revelations that made the weekend hilarious for most.. .without going into too much detail the main input themes were:

1. Sex
2. Drugs
3. Modern Youth
4. Cooking at Altitude
5. Whistling Kettles
6. And a variety of other extra-curricular activities

These themes all culminated in a variety of disturbing outputs as sailors revealed their deepest darkest memories involving:

1. Cable Cars
2. PGL holiday camps
3. MILE HIGH CLUB escapades (blimey)
4. Disappointing sticky toffee puddings
5. A hugely bizarre interpretation as to what skiing does to your sex life
6. Lots of near death and destruction on American road trips.

Darrol Moss also shared his potentially short-sighted marketing strategy for his pub that involves writing negative reviews about his own establishment on Tripadvisor. The purpose? Banter against Head Waiter. Now I appreciate I didn't pay too much attention during my brief Business Studies A level course but I'm not sure that that technique didn't crop up in the marketing textbook...great bants though.

It is fair to say that we all learned a lot about each other and that no one will be able to look at each other the same way again.

Ok the sailing bit. Sunday. Light and Lakey. Larger than life shifts. Lots of squatting. Many gains to be made and plenty of metres to throw away at every stage of the race. You could never relax (unless you happen to be a McEwen).

It was a pretty intense day actually with 4.5 races (one abandoned halfway), seven starts and in keeping with the high volume theme, four separate prize givings.

The first race which was abandoned saw James Penty and Eddie Grayson leading from Hugh Shone and Fiona Hampshire with a healthy lead over a fleet that was still reeling from an almighty righty. The size of the shift encouraged the race officer to can the race and restart.

Race one proper and the wind was still clocking right. Dan Goodman and Debbie Clarke did well to anticipate this and appeared out of the mist having gone further right than the incumbent Conservative party. It was a great call to spot the still shifting breeze and they smoked around the top mark with a lead from Luke and Emma McEwen. After complaining bitterly about their ability to routinely throw away leads the day before....they were remorselessly hunted down and defeated at the last by Luke and Emma once again. You didn't need to be a killer shrimp on the pro-grip on Dan and Debbie's boat to know that they might have been ruing their fateful comments from the evening before!

Unfortunately I didn't get a good look at race two as Fiona and I found ourselves in a different timezone from the front of the fleet and I didn't take my binoculars out with me. It is said that Luke and Emma did win and behind saw a tight scramble in which Ben Palmer and Claire Walsh took second from Cameron and Darrol Moss in third.

Race three and it was all about picking between shifts and squirts of improving pressure. The large pressure differences between gust and lull made the run even more tricky to protect on. After some sparring at the front, Luke and Emma pulled away with Hugh and Fiona in second. Behind saw Chris Dodd and Bryony Meakins surge through to take third.

Race four saw Luke and Emma pull away once again. On the final beat boats converged then split with fine margins altering the state of play all the time. In the end Cameron and Darrol pulled round in second, Hugh and Fiona in third and James and Eddie fourth. I made the fateful comment (later proved to be wrong) that if we came in third in the race then we'd definitely have to write the report and so we should do our upmost to overtake the boys from Lyme Regis AT ALL COSTS. The intention for this comment to motivate and propel us into second sank as miserably as one of Darrol's high altitude Sticky Toffee Puddings as we were almost instantly overhauled by a charging James and Eddie.

Overall this meant that the McEwens took the event comfortably with Cameron and Darrol second (showing a new impressive light wind speed) and Hugh and Fiona in third.

Many thanks must go to Rutland SC for putting on some top-notch hosting and to all the showed up to make a great event. Thanks to Rooster for their sponsorship of our great 2019 RS800 Rooster National Tour. And to RS Sailing for the £250 voucher which Joe Gallivan won for entering the event nice and early!

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1st1220Luke McEwenEmma McEwenRoyal Lymington YC‑11113
2nd1232Cameron MossDarrol MossLyme Regis SC33‑528
3rd1231Hugh ShoneFiona HampshireSwanage SC4‑72410
4th1171James PentyEddie GraysonBeaver SC‑554312
5th1188Daniel GoodmanDebbie ClarkStokes Bay SC24‑7713
6th1043Chris DoddBryony MeakinsRutland SC(DNC)63514
7th1008Ben PalmerClaire WalshHISC628‑916
8th1198Josh AdamsJon CrawfordUBSC7‑116821
9th1014Oliver GrovesSam WallerBeaver SC99‑10624
10th1218George RichardsGregory BrownLymington Town SC8129(DNC)29
11th1238Ciaran HurneyMelanie HurneyOxford SC118‑121130
12th1115Stuart KeeganCapable KayleighDerwent Reservoir SC1010‑111030
13th919Joe GallivanWill RushforthLymington Town SC(DNC)DNCDNCDNC42

We'd like to say a massive thanks to our friends at Volvo for their support of the event! Volvo has a long-standing relationship with sailors via their continued support of British Sailing. Volvo's partnership with RS Sailing means our RS800 Class Association members and RS800 boat owners can benefit from a generous discount on Volvo's product range, as well as servicing, finance and accessories.

Find out more at

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