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RS400 Rope4Boats Northern Tour Finale at Notts County Sailing Club

by Dave Exley 14 Nov 07:20 GMT 9-10 November 2019
Off the startline during the Notts County RS400 Open © David Eberlin

Flood warnings, cold weather, and on the morning fog and light winds - nothing seemed to put off the 30 boats that arrived at Notts County Sailing Club on 9/10th November for the RS400 Open, part of the RS400 Rope4Boats Northern Tour. Competitors travelled from Shoreham on the south coast, Bassenthwaite, Lochaber, and many other areas in between.

This was the last event in the record attended Tour. 3 of the boats competing were all in with a chance of taking the title: The fog soon cleared, though the wind was calm, obligingly at around noon the wind was just strong enough from the forecast direction in order to get a race under way. The PRO Nadina Lincoln and her Race team set up a trapezoid course across the width of the lake to enable a long enough lap, but which still gave windward leeward racing. Three races were then held back to back.

The first race got away at the second attempt after the Race Team carried out their threat of hoisting the black flag and also lengthening the line. Even then there was little free space with which to wriggle into the front row. The leaders rapidly established themselves, mainly from the starboard end of the line, but with the light wind coming over the hill behind the River Trent, the shifts were brutal in their choice of who should win and who should loose. Somehow the usual suspects ended up at the front, Sean Clearly and Annalise Nixon (Oxford SC) taking the win from Mike Sims and Mark Lunn (Carsington SC). Wayne Fletcher and Martin Cooper (RYA) showed the form that they are well known for and crept up from around 8th position on the penultimate lap to take 3rd at the line.

At the second race start the majority were looking to the committee boat end for salvation and with a right hand shift came through in the final countdown, some were unable to stop themselves from advancing across the line resulting in a "BFD" trip back to the shore to sample Pauline's tea and scones in the galley whilst, the rest of the fleet wiped the sweat from their brows and got stuck into the next start, which this time got away cleanly. The wind remained light (5-7 kts) and with the number of boats on a relatively small course, good mark roundings and clean air were essential to progressing up the fleet. Mike and Mark held off Richard Catchpole and Gary Coop (Leigh and Lowton) these being 2 of the 3 boats who could possibly win the Rope4Boats Northern Tour (Chris Pickles and Matt Sharman (Bassenthwaite SC) being the third contender for Tour glory). Sean and Annalise finished third.

The third race started in a little more wind, and once again Mike and Mark consolidated from a good start with Richard and Gary finishing in 2nd and Sean and Annalise in 3rd. All day racing was very close and competitive. At least the threatened rain held off, though the water level was much higher than normal as the adjacent brook flowed into the lake. Rumours of a Trent Tidal effect were unfounded.

A delicious roast and sweet was served to the competitors courtesy of Pauline, along with the odd pint/ glass of wine and more as the social got under way. Paul Reynolds, the RS400 Fleet Captain hosted a popular quiz which was won by a travelling amalgamation of West Riding and Leigh and Lowton brain boxes. Shots followed a special "Mr and Mrs" Game Show send-off for Sean and Annalise, who are soon to be emigrating to warmer New Zealand shores.

Sunday saw a little more wind and that rare commodity blue sky and sunshine, lifting the spirits.

The fourth race got started still under black flag, but this time with no disqualifications. Nadina and her team now had the full length of the lake to play with in the Northerly 8-11kts and were able to set a long windward leeward course, just what the doctor ordered. This time a tightly packed pin end saw some mis-timing their approach and having to gybe around and then duck more or less the entire fleet. Both left and right paths paid upwind on the first beat, but Richard and Gary were the bravest down wind, hugging the Easterly shore and benefiting from clear air and nice pressure. They extended and took the win staking their claim once again to the Tour Trophy. Sean and Annalise came home in second and Mike and Mark third. The race was completed in good time allowing all to come ashore, or to hove-too observing two minutes silence in remembrance of the fallen. Soon after 11.02, the windward mark was moved left due to a westerly shift and racing was off again with the final two races back to back.

The fifth race saw a split off the start line, with those holding onto the left up the first beat coming out smelling of roses. Unfortunately for them, the top three to this point, all chose the right, and now the race opened up showing some fresh faces at the front. Jon Gay and Amanda Henderson (Lochaber SC) made up for not sailing through the line in race 4 and led around the windward mark, closely followed by Dave Exley (Leigh and Lowton SC) and local favourite Izzy Reynolds. These 2 boats exchanged places during the race, but extended on the rest of the fleet, with Dave and Izzy taking the bullet from Jon and Amanda. Hamish Gledhill and Simon Dowse (West Riding SC) finally got a familiar sniff of the front and came in third.

So, with the top three all having a large result in Race five, there could be no more mistakes. The last race was going to decide the event and the overall Tour results. Any of the top 3 (after race 5) could win the event on the last race, Mike and Mark needed a first or second to win the event, so it was in their hands. However, if Richard and Gary won the race, with Mike and Mark second, Mike would still win the event, but more importantly, Richard would have the last laugh and still win the Tour overall! In the end Sean and Annalise had an ever consistent 3rd place, Wayne and Martin had a well-deserved second place, but Mike and Mark held their nerve and took the race win, and with it the event and also wrapped up the Rope4Boats Norther Tour Title, on count back from Richard and Gary and Chris and Matt - all three boats finishing the Tour on 8 points! Drama!

Mike thanked the race team for great courses and organisation and the club for once again providing a warm welcome.

Rope4Boats provided a random prize raffle for all present. Rope4Boats hats were won by Martin and Moira Hart from NCSC and Ian Watkins and Imogen Watkins from Oxford SC. A £10 Rope4Boats Gift Voucher was won by James and Philipa Logan from NCSC and the £20 Rope4Boats Gift Voucher was won by Mike Sims.

We look forward to the 2020 Northern Tour being as well attended as this year. Thanks to Rope4Boats for their ongoing sponsorship, which is due to continue next year. The 2020 calendar will be published very soon.

More photos on the NCSC website here.

RS400 Rope4Boats Northern Tour Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubL&LSC WintersBass GNACSouth ShieldsBalaUYC BirkettCarsingtonNotts CountyPts
11488Michael SimsJack Holden / Mark LunnCarsington SC49219292218
21396Richard CatchpoleGary CoopLeigh & Lowton319213338
31283Chris PicklesMatt Sharman / Mark LunnBassenthwaite SC239221558
41377Sean ClearyAnnalise NixonOxford SC592392921211
51460Dave ExleyNigel Hall / Rich Brown / Izzy ReynoldsLeigh & Lowton6922424412
61460Hamish GledhillSimon DowseWest Riding SC1299256814
7874Jon GayAmanda HendersonLochaber Yacht Club11859217921034
81437Barrie Thornton Nick HuntScaling Dam SC9549220929238
91461Caroline ExleyAndy Dawson / Jonny LimebearLeigh & Lowton13929258921238
10875Jacob AinsworthKayleigh RobertsSouth Shields SC92716929101541
11603Alex LeonardBen MurrellBassenthwaite SC929149211922054
121447Jon WillarsRich Brameld/Rachel WillarsWelton SC9292129229111668
131454Jon HeissigNicky GriffinLlangorse SC79292369292108
141465Ben WilliamsonCharlie TicehurstWelton SC892892929211119
151082Mark SomervilleJoe RobertsBassenthwaite SC166792929292121
161428Wayne FletcherMartin CooperScaling Dam SC9292109219926127
171395Peter SNOWDON Louise CarrShoreham Sailing Club9292189210929129
181363Ross RyanOliver Ryan‑MooreNotts County SC1592929292819134
191123Carl WhiteheadCarol Milner/Ben WhiteheadFiley SC92921992381492163
201202Sam KnightJohn KnightBartley SC1092692929292200
211254Phil MurrayNeil SchofieldTynemouth SC9241592929292203
221191Louise MckeandJoe Hartigan / Martin SpencerLeigh & Lowton1492926929292204
231359Richard AshwellTrish ClancyStarcross YC9292929292914207
241112Jon AbbattNicola AbbattUllswater YC92129292149292210
251345John HobsonRebecca Ogden/Lindsay OgdenNotts County SC92929292921218214
261401Bill KenyonBen SwinsonBudworth17159292929292216
271423Jeremy ChildPaul CornishScammonden Water SC20929292239292227
28505Richard Wharram Tod BrameldWelton SC21922392929292228
291325James LoganPhilippa LoganNotts County SC22929292929222228
30725Jason RibyDavid Cooke / Laura BallSouth Shields SC92922092259292229
311069Chris MullhollandCatherine MullollandUllswater YC92149292339292231
321210Martin KnottJon SchofieldRibble SC26929292249292234
331282Keith ESCRITT Andrea CloughYorkshire Dales Sailing Club9292929249292280
341277Graham TulletNatasha ListerRoyal Windermere YC9292927929292283
351351Richard GREEN Bradley GreenYorkshire Dales Sailing Club9292929279292283
361383Joe ScurrahPhil RobinsonCarsington Sailing Club9292929292792283
371189Steve RestallChris StubbsDowns SC9292929292927283
38505Richard BrameldTod BrameldWelton SC9292928929292284
391306Julian MecklenburgClaudio MecklenburgLeigh & Lowton9292929929292285
401467Paul RidgewayBronwyn RidgewayLeigh & Lowton92929210929292286
41810Richard FaheyJonny HollidayTynemouth SC92119292929292287
42847Ian MartinLiam AlcockSouth Shields SC92921192929292287
431150Matt VelamailTim BrownellRotherham SC12929292929292288
441073Jamie ROGERS Neil McLaren 92929292129292288
45664Phil DavenportIzzie HunterBassenthwaite SC92139292929292289
461290Peter TaylorRuary WilliamsonDalgety Bay 92921392929292289
471203Johnny LIMEBEAR Abi MorganWest Riding Sailing Club92929292139292289
48861Gerrard BarronNeil CooneyCarsington Sailing Club92929292921392289
49932Jonathan LyeAmy ClayNotts County SC92929292929213289
501463Stewart ROBERTSON Sarah RobertsonRoyal Forth Yacht Club92929292159292291
51872James CokayneEmily CokayneCarsington Sailing Club92929292921592291
52937Cameron BLAMEY Nathan BradleyIsle Of Man Yacht Club92929292169292292
531293Richard AllenLeoCarsington Sailing Club92929292921692292
541124Robert YeamansNadia YeamansAberdeen & Stonehaven92921792929292293
551029John CunninghamNicky CokayneCarsington Sailing Club92929292921792293
56770Thomas BroachAncel DavisonGrafham92929292929217293
571257Mark DingsdaleVanessa EvansLeigh & Lowton18929292929292294
581395Pete SnowdonJason UptonScaling Dam SC92921892929292294
59754Graham COOKE Mike GalespyYorkshire Dales Sailing Club92929292189292294
60693Tim CresswellPaul HickmanCarsington Sailing Club92929292921892294
61828Chris WilliamsMartin SpencerLeigh & Lowton19929292929292295
62795Tim BirdJulia PadgettCarsington Sailing Club92929292921992295
63630Peter CraggsPhil NelsonYork RI SC92922192929292297
64973David GEBHARD Mrs Jackie GebhardTynemouth Sailing CLub92929292219292297
651336John ParrRichard Mason aka BoggyNotts County SC92929292929221297
661129David WebleyFraser MulfordWormit Boating92922292929292298
67956Joric GEBHARD B RichardsonTynemouth Sailing CLub92929292229292298
681103Howard GreenMike BaldwinLeigh & Lowton23929292929292299
691043Ian WatkinsImogen WatkinsOxford SC92929292929223299
701118Nicolas WoodhouseMiles LilleySouth Shileds92922492929292300
711453Paul HeathAnna WalshLeigh & Lowton24929292929292300
72950Alan ElkintonJohn TailbyNotts County SC92929292929224300
73521Nick HarrisonChris AlbertSouth Shields SC92922592929292301
741157Alistair BanksAnthony WheatleyWest Riding SC25929292929292301
751501Ken TwemlowKathryn Hinslif‑SmithNotts County SC92929292929225301
761445Phil BrittonMike AtkinsonDalgety Bay 92922692929292302
771024Nick KINDON Paul MunroStaunton Harold Sailing Club92929292269292302
78866Paul ReynoldsCath ReynoldsNotts County SC92929292929226302
79750Daniel BARGH Ian TurrelScammonden Water Sailing Club92929292279292303
801121Mark EhlersAsher EhlersNotts County SC92929292929227303
811043Neil MCCORMACK Heather McCormackScaling Dam Sailing Club92929292289292304
821048Martin Hart Moira HartNotts County SC92929292929228304
831122Jeremy CouplandMartin HayhoeNotts County SC92929292929229305
84534Richard TOWER Paul HickmanCarsington Sailing Club92929292309292306
8566Jake WillarsBradley Seaton / Nicola WilarsNotts County SC92929292929230306
861131Erica CASWELL Ian CaswellYorkshire Dales Sailing Club92929292319292307
871133Lester MULLIGAN Jez InceYorkshire Dales Sailing Club92929292329292308
881248Peter DYER Rowena GarnerYorkshire Dales Sailing Club92929292349292310
891041Henry BARNES Grahame SmithStaunton Harold Sailing Club92929292359292311
90536Mark DEXTER Claire DexterCarsington Sailing Club92929292369292312
91730Eilish GRAHAM James MooreBassenthwaite Sailing Club92929292379292313

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