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Craftinsure 2021 - LEADERBOARD

RS400 Inland Championship at Grafham Water Sailing Club

by Matt Sheahan 6 Oct 2020 09:23 BST 4 October 2020
Action from the 2018 RS400 Inland Championship at Grafham © Tim Olin /

It would appear that you have to throw a lot of obstacles at the RS400 fleet to stop them from turning up to the Inland Championships. A poor and uncertain weather forecast, a one day event, a long drive, no evening get together, no prize-giving, along with a legal restriction on how many friends you could talk to simply weren't enough reasons to stop 40 teams arriving at Grafham SC for this year's event.

But while the venue and entry list were familiar to many, the shoreside organisation was different. An online briefing, changing in the dinghy park and boats allocated one of seven designated slipways ensured that the fleet did the right thing in the face of the current situation and stuck to the rules - and it worked.

On the water there were some who seemed determined to take this enforced separation even more seriously by doing everything they could to socially distance themselves from the rest of the fleet. Some, like Mike Sims/Mark Lunn (1488) and Nick Craig/Katie Burridge (1500) chose to scorch off the front of the fleet into unspoilt areas of clear air on the race track while others, went for the odd swim to let the bulk of the fleet pass.

But for most of the fleet the racing was everything we have missed this season. Good courses, tricky tactics, close racing and plenty of on the water banter. The Inland Champs was as active and competitive as you would expect and very welcomed by all.

The weather was the hardest thing to figure out. The low pressure system that was sitting over the UK and that had been teasing the Met Office all week as it meandered around the middle of the country, dragging its heels like a teenager on a family shopping trip, was making it very difficult to produce a reliable forecast. A small movement either way looked set to deliver anything from flat calm to 25 knots. The only real facts that could be garnered from the various forecasts that changed by the hour was that this would be a day where sailing to what you saw would be key. Plus, it would rain. And it did, all day. But even that couldn't stop the fleet.

Over the course of four back to back races, (with only one general recall, a miracle in itself), wind speeds ranged from 8-14knots from the south. With the windward mark tucked up towards the shoreline the trees and higher ground did their best to stir up the breeze into a code of puffs and shifts that few seemed to be able to decipher with any confidence.

"I didn't get a single downwind leg right all day," said Nick Craig afterwards. Mind you, with a score line that read 1,5,2,7 many of us only dream of misreading conditions like that.

Craig & Co were being chased hard by Steve and Sarah Cockerill (1489) who were having their own struggle on points at least with Sam Knight/Chris Bownes (1235).

By the end of the four race mini series overall victory went to Mike Sims and Mark Lunn with an impressive and perfectly socially distanced 2,1,1,6.

Yet despite such an impressive performance Simms and Lunn had to settle with the strangest of prize-givings as they were invited to collect their trophies from a table outside the club.

The 2020 Inland Championships were certainly different this year, but it was clear from the comments in the dinghy park that the competitors were extremely grateful for the efforts of all of those behind the scenes, from Grafham Water SC, the title sponsor Rooster Sailing and the RS Class Association, who had held their nerve to make it happen in very difficult and testing circumstances. And if this was how the fleet gets afloat in the current crisis, so be it.

It takes a lot to keep the 400s away.

Overall Results:

PosHelmCrewSail NoClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1stMichael SimsMark Lunn1488Carsington SC211‑64
2ndNick CraigKatie Burridge1500Frensham/Burghfield SC152‑78
3rdStephen CockerillSarah Cockerill1489Lee on Solent SC4‑96111
4thSam KnightChris Bownes1235Bartley SC3‑133511
5thMatt MeeEdd Whitehead1480Burghfield/Parkstone82‑10414
6thHamish GledhillAndy Dawson1511West Riding SC11‑144217
7thJack HoldenRobert Henderson1505Arun YC/Lymington Town685‑1019
8thDave ExleyAlistair Coates1460Leigh & Lowton SC10‑129322
9thJon HeissigNicky Griffin1502Llangorse SC‑1467922
10thWayne FletcherMeg Fletcher1428none5118(DNC)24
11thChris PicklesMatt Sharman1283Bassenthwaite SC94‑161225
12thMartin PentyJames Penty1492Beaver SC12311‑1326
13thBen WilliamsonRichard Brameld1465Ripon S‑19715830
14thBarrie ThorntonNick Hunt1437Scaling Dam SC71017(DNF)34
15thPhilip MurrayNeil Schofield1398Tynemouth SC181513(DNF)46
16thJon WillarsRyan Willars1447Welton SC211814‑2553
17thRichard AshwellTrisha Clancy1509Starcross YC‑2616191853
18thAlex LeonardBen Murrel1321Bassenthwaite SC‑3322122256
19thSimon KitchenAbbi Hooper971Grafham Water Sailing Club‑2019201756
20thCaroline ExleyMartin Spencer1461Leigh & Lowton SC‑2525211157
21stJacob AinsworthKayleigh Roberts875South Shields SC17‑28271660
22ndPeter SnowdonLouise Carr1503Shoreham SC16‑31311461
23rdJoe ScurrahPhil Robinson1383Carsington SC‑2921222164
24thPeter VincentNaomi Bubbles Pound1356Llandegfedd SC‑3220261965
25thMick WhitmoreSarah Whitmore1479Eastbourne Sovereign SC153318(DNC)66
26thStuart HalmanAnna Walsh1453Leigh & Lowton SC‑3023281566
27thDave StocktonSophie Stockton1263Wimbleball SC23‑27242370
28thChristopher EamesRachel Tilley1292Royal Torbay SC2724‑322071
29thStewart RobertsonEmily Robertson844Royal Forth YC1317(DNF)DNC75
30thGeoffrey HoldenBernice Holden1493Locks SC24‑30232875
31stRoss RyanAmy Hinsliff‑Smith1363Notts Counts SC‑3426252778
32ndJack MunnellyDomink Woodcock1192Arun YC222929(DNF)80
33rdMike GreenSophie Green1425Eastbourne Sovereign SC2832‑332686
34thMatt SheahanEllie Sheahan1435Warsash SC‑3534302488
35thSteven BroomfieldJenni Lewis836Lymington Town SC‑37373429100
36thTim Le CouilliardJames Le Couilliard880King George SC313836(DNC)105
37thNeil ParkhurstIan Parkhurst1362Beaver SC393535(DNF)109
38thAndy PowellPaul Caiger‑Watson527Warsash SC3636(BFD)DNF117
39thTom DavidsonCallum Davidson1157West Riding SC(DNF)3937DNF121
40thAndrew HuntMatthew Hunt1382Eastbourne Sovereign SC38(DNC)DNCDNC128
41stGraham TullettNatasha Lister1277Bristol Corinthian YC(DNC)DNCDNCDNC135
41stNick EavesGreg Pace1450Bartley SC(DNC)DNCDNCDNC135
41stIan WatkinsImogen Watkins1043Oxford SC(DNC)DNCDNCDNC135
41stJames Downertbc1385Gurnard SC(DNC)DNCDNCDNC135

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