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RS400 Open at Chichester Yacht Club

by Mark Green 11 Apr 13:43 BST 10 April 2021

CYC's first open event of 2021 took place on a particularly cold Saturday morning. The Northerly wind was biting as the 18 competitor boats arrived at the club as part of the Rooster West Country Boat Repairs RS400 Southern Tour.

CYC had taken many precautions to minimise Covid risks to the volunteers and competitors. The normally hectic registration and briefing in the sloop was replaced by calm socially distanced preparations. The Race officer, Nick Colbourne, had recorded a competitor briefing and published it to YouTube and WhatsApp was used to communicate the course. The Competitors arrived and prepared their boats in the car park, with lots of chatter between the competitors who were obviously pleased to see one another after the months of lockdown.

The race officer setup a windward leeward course with the committee boat start line close to the marina channel and the windward mark and spreader toward copperas point. The leeward gate was adjusted carefully to remove any bias.

Race one was against a strong flooding tide, Ian Walker got a flying start from the Pin end and led for much of the beat, but it was Jack Holden that reached the windward mark first, closely followed by Ian and then Nick Craig. As the race continued the leading boats were very closely matched, Jack led the fleet for the first few laps with Nick and then Ian closely following, but after four laps Nick Craig emerged as the leader.

Race two saw the competitors pushing for the line leading to two general recalls before they were eventually able to get away. Once again Ian Walker got a great start taking his favoured pin end of the line, the fleet all raced toward the Marina side of the channel to avoid any effects of the tide and to make the most of the stronger winds on the east side of the course. By the time the fleet reached the top of the course Jack Holden and Robert Henderson had taken the lead, Steve and Sarah Cockerill just held off Nick Craig and Toby Lewis in second, but by the time the boats had passed the spreader and hoisted their spinnakers, Nick had established a slight lead over Steve and was chasing down Jack Holden. The close racing continued for the next few laps, with Nick catching and eventually overtaking Jack to take a second win.

In Race Three, the fleet got away cleanly and headed directly for the slower moving water out of the ebbing tide. This time Nick Craig and Toby Lewis got the best start, timing their approach to the line to perfection and led the fleet with Ian Walker in close pursuit. The fleet tacked in a narrow band hugging the east shore of the harbour. Soon the leading quartet of Craig, Walker, Cockerill and Holden emerged at the head of the fleet, but this time Nick was the first to the windward mark and started to build a lead over the other boats. On one lap Nick Craig and Steve Cockerill both chose to gybe immediately at the windward marks, choosing the east side of the course for the downwind leg, this was clearly a good decision as they both extended their leads from Jack Holden and Ian Walker who chose the centre of the course and the strong tide to carry them south.

After the three races, Nick Craig and Toby Lewis won the series with three wins. Jack Holden and Robert Henderson took second with two second places. Steve and Sarah Cockerill took third with an improving series of 4,3,2. Ian and Emmy Walker finished fourth, followed by Sam Pickering and Emily Heath who had a very consistent series with three fifth places.

After the racers came ashore, the prize-giving was held outside on the steps of the sloop, bottles of wine were presented by Chris Grosscurth, CYC's racing sec and one of the chief organisers of the event. Nick Craig thanked CYC and especially Nick Colbourne for running an excellent race series.

Many more photographs are available on the CYC website.

The next open meeting at CYC is the Optimist Open on the 1st of May. Competitor numbers will be limited, and sadly there will not be a regatta fleet race this year as the club takes steps to reduce the number of volunteers needed to host the event, and reduce any congestion in and around the club.

Next stop on the Rooster West Country Boat Repairs RS400 Southern Tour is Salcombe YC 1st-3rd May.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3Pts
1st1500Nick CraigTobyTastic LewisBurghfield‑1112
2nd1505Jack HoldenRobert HendersonArun Yacht Club22‑34
3rd1515Stephen CockerillSarah CockerillLee On Solent SC‑4325
4th899Ian WalkerEmmy WalkerWarsash SC3‑447
5th1235Sam PickeringEmily HeathChase SC‑55510
6th1399Richard GrayJon DyasQueen Mary6(BFD)612
7th1192Jack MunnellyDominik WoodcockArun YC76‑1113
8th1377Neil BevingtonAlan SkeensLee‑on‑Solent SC8(BFD)715
9th1503Peter SnowdonLouise CarrShoreham SC‑107815
10th1173Joe GallivanSarah BurridgeWeir Wood SC‑1191019
11th1043Ian WatkinsImogen WatkinsOxford SC911‑1520
12th1414Ivan BurdenBlake LattaPortchester‑1481321
13th1152Mike JacotRebecca AllenCYC‑1513922
14th1435Matthew SheahanEllie SheahanWarsash SC1310‑1423
15th1386Nick EllimanRoger EllimanCYC‑12121224
16th836Steven BroomfieldJenni LewisLymington Town SC‑17141630
17th527Andy PowellPaul Caiger‑WatsonWarsash1615(DNF)31
18th1479Mick WhitmoreSarah WhitmoreEastbourne Sovereign SC(DNC)DNCDNC38

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