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RS Aero UK Spring Championship at Island Barn Reservoir Sailing Club

by Mike Jones and the RS Aero Class 29 Apr 14:41 BST 24 April 2021

The weather played ball, with a cloudless blue sky all day and a shifty, brisk Force 3-4 wind from the east gusting up to 18kn. Class racing for 43 RS Aeros in these ideal conditions was just what the RS Aero UK Class needed after several months without an event!

The RS Aero Spring Championship 2021 was Island Barn's first major event of the year, coming only three weeks after the end of total club closure, and so a real test of all our systems, volunteers and continuing safety measures.

The Championship was split into three classes: RS Aero 5 (14 boats), RS Aero 7 (22 boats), and RS Aero 9 (7 boats) with 43 boats total - a great turn-out with a good number from the Solent area. Island Barn, the host club had a strong local fleet of 15 boats taking part. Each class had its own start separated in time by 6 minutes. We used two parallel, windward / leeward courses with common start and finish lines. RS Aero 5s and 9s raced on the outer course, with the larger RS Aero 7 Class racing on the inner course. This worked well.

RS Aero 5 Race 1 was won by David Peaty (Draycote), but he later faded down the order with a 6,8,7, allowing Tom Ahlheid (Frensham Pond) to take races 2 and 3, sealing an RS Aero 5 Class win with a last-race second. Jonathan Bailey (Hunts) finished second overall with a closely contested first in the last race. Graham Tribeck (Hillhead) was consistent with a 5,5,4 score line, coming third overall.

The large and very competitive RS Aero 7 Class had no fewer than 5 boats starting prematurely on race 1. Only two returned and so we had three OCS casualties. The Class behaved well for the rest of the day. Simon Geyman (Datchet Water and Lymington) won race 1 (after returning ashore to install his tiller extension after launching!), but faded in the next three races to come third overall. Island Barn's Andy Wishart made up for his OCS in race 1 with a consistently strong 4,2,3 score line to finish runner up to Tim Hire (Lymington) who took first overall in the RS Aero 7s with a commanding 2,2,1 score. Improving throughout the day was recent class newcomer Sam Brackley (Felpham) taking the big win in race 4 - as they say; "you are only as good as your last race!"

With the threat of stronger afternoon winds, the RS Aero 9 class was the smallest with 7 entries. Harry Moffatt's (Hunts) sailing improved throughout, vying for the lead in race 4 and taking third place overall. Chris Hatton (Bowmoor and Lymington) must wonder what he has to do to win an event, because a brilliant 2,2,2,1 score was still not enough to beat Peter Barton's (Lymington) dominance in the 9s with three firsts and a second.

It was fantastic to see so many new faces joining the fleet and several making appearances at the front during the day. Congratulations to everyone on what was a tricky day with some hefty gusts coming in with shifts. The very flat water and the shifty gusty breeze enabled the lighter sailors in each rig size to hold their own, providing a good leveller of body size across each fleet.

Many thanks to Island Barn Sailing Club and all their volunteers for supporting our event and all the extra efforts to deploy a solid covid event plan. With dual winches working efficiently the light-weight RS Aero fleet was whizzed up the bank to their elevated race course in no time, after first receiving a hull and trolley rinse to help control the spread of any invasive species.

Next up on the UK RS Aero calendar is the Lymington Town open on 15th May before the fleet visits Weymouth and Portland for the two day RS Aero UK Southern Championship on 29/30th May.

See also the RS Aero UK Event List 2021

Overall Results:

RS Aero 5
1st2077Tom AhlheidFrensham Pond SC‑31124
2nd3042Jonathan BaileyHunts SC2‑8619
3rd3661Graham TribbeckHill Head SC5‑114413
4th2966David PeatyDraycote SC16‑8714
5th2057Curtis McKayQueen Mary SC‑1147314
6th2214Yana SkvortsovaExeter University63‑11615
7th1502ElinorIsland Barn RSC‑929516
8th2708Maisie BristowIsland Barn RSC772‑1016
9th1566Abby HireRoyalLymYC/LymingtonTownSC45‑10918
10th2551Tristan AhlheidFrensham Pond SC893‑1120
11th1747Andrew CooneyBroadwater SC‑10105823
12th1412Andy GodwinIsland Barn RSC121312(DNC)37
13th2787Carl PittamIsland Barn RSC1312(DNC)DNC40
14th1589Brendan O'LearyIsland Barn RSC1414(DNC)1240
RS Aero 7
1st2439Tim HireRoyalLymYC/LymingtonTownSC221‑65
2nd2922Andrew WishartIsland Barn RSC(OCS)4239
3rd2384Simon GeymanDatchetWater/LymingtonTown15‑12511
4th3174Greg BartletStarcross YC(DNC)110213
5th1891Samuel BrackleyFelpham SC(OCS)85114
6th2786Andy NormanIsland Barn RSC834‑915
7th2890Andrew RawsonWeston SC36‑8817
8th3326Peter ChaplinBurghfield SC4‑77718
9th3170Nigel DakinSeafarers SC6106‑1222
10th2142Tom RussellIsland Barn RSC‑111131125
11th3305Richard BullockItchenor SC912‑15425
12th1603Rob AhlheidFrensham Pond SC799‑1025
13th3043Philip BaileyHunts SC513(DNC)DNC41
14th2100Keith SmaggasgaleBroadwater SC121514‑1741
15th2785John KewleyIsland Barn RSC13‑17161544
16th1463Paul Wright‑AndersonIsland Barn RSC1014(DNC)DNC47
17th2584Christian EvansIsland Barn RSC(OCS)DNC111448
18th2113Chris SmithIsland Barn RSC14‑19181648
19th2504George HoskinsDatchet Water SC151617‑1848
20th1135James SmaggasgaleBroadwater SC(DNC)DNC131349
21st1530Magnus JacksonIsland Barn/Exeter Uni1618‑202054
22nd1813Simon EtterDatchet Water SC17‑20191955
RS Aero 9
1st3597Peter BartonLymington Town SC111‑23
2nd1590Chris HattonBowmoorSC/LymingtonTownSC‑22215
3rd1400Harry MoffattHunts SC‑653311
4th2441Jeff DavisonIsland Barn RSC3‑64512
5th3023Richard WatshamStarcross YC / RNSA44‑5412
6th3175Gareth GriffithsIsland Barn RSC53‑6614
7th1031Stuart PhilbeyDatchet Water SC‑777721

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