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Noble Marine 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Volvo Noble Marine RS800 National Championships in association with Hyde Sails - Overall

by Emma McEwen 17 Sep 2020 07:15 BST 12-15 September 2020

The final day of the RS800 National Championship dawned bright and sunny with the promise of a light North Westerly wind. Just two races were scheduled and most sailors were probably grateful for this after the big four-race day on Monday; seven hours on the water racing in 15+ knots.

For those in the fleet young enough to not need a quiet lie-down after such an intense day's racing, Monday night had seen the only formal social event of the Championship - an outdoor, socially distanced barbecue laid on by WPNSA. Big incentive to be at the barbecue on time was the prize draw for a brand new crispy spinnaker generously donated by Hyde Sails - this was won by a very lucky Rob Gullan. Dinner was tasty and welcome but this was a social very much in contrast to a 'normal' year's RS800 style party - no fancy dress, no limbo, no boom-of-doom, no late night dancing... and on the plus side, maybe a few less sore heads on Tuesday morning!

The wind seemed to be blowing nicely but AP was hoisted before most sailors had even arrived at their boats. We waited ashore as the wind oscillated wildly between South West and North West. A call for tallies and imminent release prompted all to get into kit and hoist sails. And then the wait continued (but now in wet-suits rather than shorts & t-shirts...). Social distancing in the dinghy park was becoming more essential as those staying in their vans were well into day four without a shower.

Finally the wind decided it was going to stick with West as its preferred angle of the day (or at least for now), the Race Officer was happy and the fleet quickly launched for racing in the harbour.

Overnight leaders Tom Morris and Guy Fillmore didn't have too much of a challenge on to stitch up the National title - one top 12 result would be enough - so they must have been fairly relaxed. From 2nd to 6th things were somewhat tighter with only four points separating the teams, so every place in the final races was going to be important.

First race and the start got away cleanly under the U-flag and true-to-form Tom and Guy already had the measure of the fleet part the way up the first beat. They maintained this superior position for the whole race keeping a casual cover on the other boats. Behind them an epic battle was just starting. All the top teams converged at the first mark in the leading pack; Hugh Shone and Fiona Hampshire led Luke and Emma McEwen in on the port lay line having thrown in a defensive tack on them. Rob Gullan and Calum Healey came in from the right and just had the edge at the first mark behind Tom and Guy. Megan Brickwood and Steph Orton, and Phil Walker and John Mather were in the mix too. Most boats headed right down the first run in single-wiring conditions.

On the second beat the boats who headed out hard right found a nice band of pressure and closed in on the leaders who had mostly gone further left. As the left boats made the dash back across to the starboard lay line, this time it was Luke and Emma who tacked on Hugh and Fiona leaving them in a tricky position. Rob and Calum seemed to be safe in 2nd ahead of Luke and Emma but Meg and Steph had made gains on the right and moved into 4th place by the windward. All the lead boats opted to gybe set to head back to this pressure band except for Luke and Emma who sailed on before gybing on their own line. This proved surprisingly lucky and they snuck ahead of Rob and Calum who found themselves in a luffing battle with Meg and Steph near the leeward mark.

The last beat involved intense tacking duels between these three boats with Luke and Emma just managing to hold off both boats at the windward mark as a right shift came through at the top of the beat. They followed Tom and Guy with a gybe set down the run but as the wind continued to veer, Rob and Calum made gains from behind and another light-wind close gybing battle ensued at the bottom of the run - this time it was Rob and Calum who came out ahead as they dropped at the leeward mark to follow Tom and Guy on a white-sail reach to the finish. Luke and Emma attempted to fly their kite to see if they could catch them but more pressure determined this was not a good idea and a hurried drop and sketchy recovery nearly allowed Meg and Steph though too with just a second between them at the line.

A gap back and then a similarly tight fight took place between the next boats; Joe and Ben Bradley sailed a great race to finish 5th just ahead of Phil and John, and Hugh and Fiona.

Tom and Guy had secured their well-deserved victory. Maths was required for the following places. Plenty of time for this as the wind died right off as the fleet tried to follow the committee boat around the harbour for a new course for the next race. Finally with no prospect of a stable breeze, the last race was abandoned and the scores were fixed.

Rob and Calum had improved their position and had now tied on points with Luke and Emma. On count back both teams had the same number of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th & 6th places - so it came down to the final race with Rob and Calum claiming 2nd overall. Meg and Steph held 4th while Hugh and Fiona slipped to 5th. All so close.

Thanks to WPNSA for running our Championship at such short notice - for providing a very safe environment and highly professional and sensible race and shore management. Arky and his race team did a great job and thanks go to them and all the volunteers (including RS800 sailors and RS Sailing staff) for manning the rescue and mark laying boats. Although admittedly the class has not visited another club since November last year, WPNSA have topped the leader board for most spacious dinghy park and most awesome boat-washing hoses. The post sailing tally-off-pasta was fantastic too.

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors Volvo, Noble Marine, Hyde Sails, RS Sailing, Rooster and Spinlock for supporting us so well.

Also a special thank you to Clare Sargent for making this event happen - without her determination to find a new venue and pull everything together in a month, we would have missed the most fabulously exhilarating and closely fought four days of racing in near-perfect weather and also the first chance this year to see many of our friends.

To those RS800 sailors who couldn't make it this year, whether due to Covid-19 restrictions or new babies, we missed you! We all hope next year will be back to normal and we can look forward to a big 2021 Nationals at Castle Cove Sailing Club in September, not forgetting the Europeans at Garda in June. We just need someone to sort out a crèche! See you there!

  • Rob Gullan was the lucky winner of the RS800 spinnaker generously donated by Hyde Sails.
  • Endeavour prize: Fin Armstrong and Sam Jones from Royal Torbay YC
  • 1st Silver: Tom Walker and Sam Jones from West Wittering SC
  • Spinlock 1999 prize: Tom Walker and Sam Jones from West Wittering SC
  • Crews' Union Challenge Coin winner: Calum Healey from HISC
  • 1st Master Crew: Emma McEwen from Royal Lymington YC
  • 1st Master Helm: Luke McEwen from RLYC
  • 1st Youth Crew: Ben Bradley from HISC
  • 1st Youth Helm: Joe Bradley from HISC
  • 1st Lady Crew: Emma McEwen from RLYC
  • 1st Lady Helm: Megan Brickwood from WPNSA

Overall Results:

PosFleetSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9Pts
1Gold1144Tom MorrisGuy FillmoreHayling Island SC1‑32(UFD[25])111219
2Gold1124Robert GullanCalum HealeyHayling Island SC4‑65(UFD[25])3261223
3Gold1220Luke McEwenEmma McEwenRoyal Lymington YC6212‑7‑954323
4Gold961Megan BrickwoodStephanie OrtonWPNSA‑97‑932325426
5Gold1231Hugh ShoneFiona HampshireSwanage SC213‑18‑10743727
6Gold1207Phil WalkerJohn MatherHayling Island SC55‑1114‑1136630
7Gold1215Joseph BradleyBenjamin BradleyHayling Island SC7(RET[25])44114‑157542
8Gold1154Cam StewartAlice MastermanHayling Island SC39‑12888129‑1557
9Gold1171James PentyEddie GraysonBeaver SC‑194‑15119510131163
10Gold1232Cameron MossDarrol MossLyme Regis SC‑168‑1414561312967
11Silver825Tom WalkerJames CurtisWest Wittering SC17106(UFD[25])12107(UFD[25])1072
12Silver1203Grace FellTim GrattonNetley SC1411‑1613‑1714810878
13Silver1131Madeleine AndersonTom BallintineWPNSA‑22(RET[25])18761314111483
14Gold1045Claire LaskoEdward DyerHayling Island SC8141351515‑18(RET[25])1787
15Gold88Ralph SingletonMike ChapmanRestronguet SC13‑187(UFD[25])131216141388
16Gold1188Daniel GoodmanDebbie ClarkStokes Bay SC1115‑196‑191911161290
17Silver1129Fin ArmstrongSam JonesRoyal Torbay YC(OCS[25])1610121416‑2081894
18Gold1204Martin OrtonIan Brooks/Alex OrtonChichester YC/Trearddur Bay SC‑181217151817917(DNC[25])105
19Silver1163Tim DickinsonStephenie DickinsonHayling Island SC1513‑221716181915(DNC[25])113
20Silver982Leo WilkinsonToby BloomfieldMaidenhead SC1022810(DNC[25])(DNC[25])DNC[25]20DNC[25]120
21Silver1014Sam WallerMatt RhodesBeaver SC‑2019‑21162020171816126
22Silver1164Russ GibbsEmma PhilipsStarcross YC2117239(DNC[25])(DNC[25])DNC[25]DNC[25]DNC[25]145
23Silver1011Simon ClarkJames FullerLyme Regis SC23212419(RET[25])212119(DNC[25])148
24Silver1008Ben PalmerBruna de QueirozHayling Island SC122020(UFD[25])(DNC[25])DNC[25]DNC[25]DNC[25]DNC[25]152

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