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Rooster 2020 - Impact BA - LEADERBOARD

RS800 Rooster National Tour at Stokes Bay Sailing Club

by Joe and Ben Bradley 4 May 17:03 BST 17 April 2021
RS800 Rooster National Tour at Stokes Bay © Georgie Altham /

Despite a pessimistic forecast, the fleet was released on time for racing to start at midday. The wind, unfortunately however, did not want to play ball, resulting in every wind direction in different areas of the course. After waiting patiently for the wind to stabilise, the race committee decided to send the fleet ashore for a postponement, giving everyone time to find some lunch before racing began. After a short wait, a southerly sea breeze filled in and racing commenced.

The first race was characterised by a long port tack and a wind bend to the left. Tom Morris and Guy Filmore managed to cleanly cross the fleet on port from the bias pin end and demonstrated impressive pace to pull away from the boats around them. Due to the long port tack and pin bias, the committee end boats tacked early onto port, giving Tom and Guy a decisive lead as the wind curved to the left.

On the second lap, the fleet had cottoned-on to the wind bend and all sailed up the left side of the beat. By this time, the left-to-right tidal current had started to increase and some boats managed to gain by taking tide into account and sailing beyond what appeared to be the port lay line. Tom and Guy maintained their strong lead with the following pack jostling for positions up the final beat. Second were Joe and Ben Bradley, who were closely followed by Hugh Shone and Fiona Hampshire.

By the start of the second race, the wind speed had dropped slightly and the tidal current had increased, making tide the dominant feature. The race committee had moved the windward mark to the left which, combined with the increased current, made the beat much more square.

The winning strategy of this race was to sail towards the shore for as long as possible, where there was less tide and do several tacks to stay close to the shore as far up the beat as possible. Then, laying the windward mark on port meant spending the minimum time possible in the strongest current. The boats that did this successfully in the first lap were Paul and Peter Jenkins, and Leo Wilkinson and Sam Jones, who were first and second respectively around the windward mark.

Even getting around the windward mark was a challenge with most boats just scraping round as the tide dragged them back. The second lap was an exaggerated repetition of the first lap as the tide became even stronger. The race winners were Paul and Peter who sailed both laps almost perfectly. They were followed by Joe and Ben and then Luke and Emma McEwen.

With boats looking to follow the same winning strategy as the previous race, the beat of the third race started with a drag race into the shallow water towards the land on the left. A small right shift meant that boats on the left were able to hold the starboard tack up the shore resulting in Luke and Emma coming out looking extremely tidy, expertly jumping between the gusts as the South Easterly breeze began to fade. Throughout the beat the beckoning South Westerly sea breeze could be seen approaching slowly the right hand side of the course.

This finally materialised at the end of the beat shortly after Luke and Emma rounded the windward mark, nicely consolidating their already sizeable lead. As the new direction settled, there was a rather large tussle at the spreader mark with the RS800 fleet getting to know the Musto skiffs as the spreader became a gybe mark. The race committee then made the sensible decision to finish both fleets at the end of the leeward mark, calling it a day.

Luke and Emma won the day with their beautifully consistent scoreline of 4,3,1 (discarding their fourth) to jump in front of Paul and Peter Jenkins through countback. After a fiercely competitive day of racing with three different boats copping race wins and the top three all on 4 points net.

Huge credit and gratitude goes to Stokes Bay SC for kindly hosting the event, especially during the current climate. Also some great work from the race officer in running some excellent racing in extremely tricky conditions.

Georgie Altham took great photos of the racing which can be seen and bought here:

Attention now moves to the Salcombe Gin Summer Regatta down in Torbados (26-27 June, Royal Torbay Yacht Club) but don't forget that entry is open for the Noble Marine RS800 Nationals at Castle Cove SC, 9-12 September.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3Pts
11220Luke McEwenEmma McEwenRoyal Lymington YC‑4314
21222Paul JenkinsPeter JenkinsEastbourne Sovereign SC‑9134
31215Joseph BradleyBen BradleyHayling Island SC22‑74
41231Hugh ShoneFiona HampshireSwanage SC3‑425
51144Tom MorrisGuy FillmoreHayling Island SC17(BFD)8
61129Leo WilkinsonSam JonesMaidenhead SC‑8549
7814Ellie CumpstyConnor BanksStokes Bay SC6‑8511
81232Cameron MossDarrol MossLyme Regis SC5‑9611
91224Fred LordLouise GaleCarsington SC76‑813
10=919Luke BurywoodRob BaddeleyStokes Bay SC(DNC)DNCDNC24
10=968Chris HaslamCliff HaslamStokes Bay SC(DNC)DNCDNC24

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