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RS400 End of Season Regatta at Rutland Sailing Club

by Matt Sheahan 5 Nov 15:42 GMT 2-3 November 2019
RS400 End of Seasons Regatta © Peter Fothergill

A total of 23 teams had entered the RS End of Season Regatta at Rutland Water, many of them leaving home much earlier than normal in order to get to the club in time for the 9am kick off of the Rugby World Cup final.

Leaving home in the dark was made slightly easier with the belief that being able to catch up on sleep later on with an afternoon snooze in a local cinema seemed more likely than any sailing, thanks to the ferocity of the weather forecast.

Yet, as England supporters went outside to grab some air as they took in the huge disappointment following 80 minutes of brutal rugby, there was a hint of disorientation too in the dinghy park with weather conditions that were clearly not as advertised.

Windy, but by no means wild, only the rain had turned up on cue.

But the weather Gods were simply teasing the fleet and waited until those who were prepared to take on the day had got fully kitted up and rigged before unleashing 42 knot gusts across the water.

With such strong conditions a postponement was inevitable and despite the breeze dropping significantly by 2pm, there was no time left to run a two hour pursuit race before it got dark.

Sunday could not have been more different with a wind speed that was typically below seven knots for much of the day.

The light and patchy breeze from the West danced around the reservoir making life agonisingly difficult for the race committee from the off. And with up to four races scheduled, (to make up in part for the loss of Saturday), the abandonment of the first race after one lap made life even more challenging.

When the opening race of the series did get under way it was Stephen and Sarah Cockerill (1489) who took the first bullet followed by Nick Craig and Oli Wells (1500) and Wayne and Meg Fletcher (8) in third.

The one hour or so pause that followed as the wind decided to mess around once again would have felt much longer had the race officer not kept the fleet busy watching the numerous start sequences for the RS800s who were starting first. With each attempt came a postponement as the breeze either switched off or slipped in from another random direction.

When things did get under way again, the wind strength hadn't changed much, but the race leader had as Mike Sims and Mark Lunn (1488) took a bullet in both race two and three, no doubt making up for the disappointment of a fifth in the first race.

By now the battle for the top spot had become a needle match between Sims/Lunn and Craig/Wells with both teams on seven points.

And while the final race saw Sims drop down to sixth, Craig had to retire with gear problems. The tie break left Mike Sims and Mark Lunn holding the trophy with the Cockerills in third.

Given that this was the last major class event of the season, the tough competition throughout the fleet seemed fitting for a season which has been fiercely competitive across a wide range of conditions that have often bucked the odds. Good job the RS400 is a class and a fleet that can deal with it all.

Thanks to Rutland SC for hosting us, to RS Sailing for the £250 early entry raffle won by RS400 Phillip Murray and to Rooster for sponsoring our 2019 RS400 National Tour.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1st1488Michael SimsMark LunnCarsington SC511‑67
2nd1500Nick CraigOli WellsFrensham/Burghfield SC232(DNC)7
3rd1489Stephen CockerillSarah CockerillStokes Bay SC145‑710
4th8Wayne FletcherMeg FletcherRYA3‑127111
5th1235Sam KnightChris BownesBartley SC72‑8312
6th1418Howard Farbrother Queen Mary SC6‑84212
7th1377Sean ClearyAnnalise NixonGreystones SC/Tauranga SC45‑6413
8th1355Philip MurrayNeil ScholfieldTynemouth SC11‑1310526
9th1503Peter SnowdonLouise CarrShoreham SC8109‑1627
10th1359Richard AshwellTrisha ClancyStarcross YC10712‑1329
11th971Simon KitchenAbbi HooperGrafham Water SC9911‑1729
12th1345John HobsonRebecca OgdenNotts County SC156‑17930
13th1447Jon WillarsTodd BrameldWelton SC12173(OCS)32
14th770Thomas BroatchAncel DavisonGrafham Water SC13‑1514835
15th1363Ross RyanGoizeder AspejuaristiNotts County SC‑1814131239
16th1681Peter CurtisJames CurtisGrafham Water SC‑1616161042
17th1450Nick EavesGregBartley SC‑2011191444
18th875Jacob AinsworthLiam AlcockSouth Shields SC14‑19151544
19th1043Ian WatkinsImogen WatkinsOxford SC17‑21181146
20th1435Matthew SheahanEllie SheahanNetley SC19‑20201857
21st640John BarracloughJames BarracloughShropshire SC‑2118212059
22nd527Andy PowellJon CostinWarsash SC‑2222221963
23rd1287James BowmanJonathan CarrStarcross YC(DNC)DNCDNCDNC72

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 RS400 Class Association members and RS400 boat owners can benefit from a generous discount on Volvo's product range, as well as servicing, finance and accessories.

Find out more at rssailing.com/volvo-rs-affinity-scheme

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