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RS600 Rooster National Tour at Lee-on-the-Solent Sailing Club

by George Smith & Mike Izsatt 28 May 2021 10:10 BST 22-23 May 2021
RS600 Rooster National Tour at Lee-on-the-Solent © Amanda Clifford

The 2021 season for the RS600 fleet has started at last!

With previous event postponements and cancellations, the fleet were keen to get out and get going on the open circuit. There were some notable absences on the entry sheet, due to much of life outside of sailing opening up over the last few weeks too, with parents on taxi duty and the Notts County boys sailing Scorpions in their local open.

In the days leading up to the event the main concern was (fortunately) less about variants and local Covid restrictions and more whether the Weather Gods would allow us a window. Fortunately the 90 mph gusts blew through the Solent on Friday and left Saturday for sailing. Sunday remained a doubt on the forecast and as it turned out was not going to be a day for dinghy sailing.

(The racing part of this report is by Mike Iszatt who - in his own words - tried not to look back too much!)

Race 1: George Smith went amazing fast up the first beat, leaving Mike Iszatt, Chris Haslam, and Ian Marshall battling it out for second. Chris with the faintest of touches clipped the windward mark and in accordance with the club, rules had to complete a 360 turn leaving him in 5th Place.

Race 2: The wind died considerably making it a lightweight benefit. Chris & Ian battling it out for the first place, Chris covering well kept Ian at bay and Mike in 3rd could not make inroads. George did really well from a bad start catching up to 4th place.

Race 3 first attempt: The wind died completely, most boats took a turn in the lead! Mike found a breeze and pulled away with Ian and the rest of the lightweights in hot pursuit. Unfortunately, the race was abandoned since Mike had not made the 1st mark within the time limit, being 2 minutes shy.

Race 3 second attempt: Everything was to play for since all the leading boats had beaten each other at least once. In a strengthening breeze George, once again showed amazing upwind speed and with winds now exceeding 25 Knots at times, flew into the lead with Mike & Chris in hot pursuit. George did not put a foot wrong and in clouds of spray completed some amazing gybes in the now rough seas. This victory giving him a well-deserved first place overall. On the final run with winds hitting 27 knots, Mike tacked round whilst Chris took the chance and went for the gybe which he completed with great skill giving him second place in the race and second overall. The leading three boats did not capsize once during this race, but coming ashore was a different story!

The results will show that the day took its toll and the last race was impressive just to finish. There were, as there always are, great battles throughout the fleet and great stories to share in the aftermath.

For me the highlight of the weekend was seeing the Haslam clan and their entire fleet lining up on the start line, with father, Cliff, and son and daughter, Chris and Emily, as well as Amanda Clifford who took some great photos from the beach.

Many thanks to Lee-on-the-Solent sailing club for hosting us in their brand new clubhouse, with a delicious curry on the Saturday night. Thank you to all the volunteers who were kept busy, with plenty on for the rescue boat crew and to the team on the race boat who made a grand job of a tricky set of conditions. Thank you also to the event and class sponsors, to Rooster sailing for some great prizes, and to all those who attended.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3Pts
1st988George SmithBough Beech SC1416
2nd70)Chris HaslamStokes Bay SC5128
3rd951Mike IszattKing George SC2338
4th837Martin HollinworthStokes Bay SC48517
5th654Ian MarshallBowmoor SC32DSQ18
6th933Cliff HaslamHickling Broad SC910423
7th761Jamie WatsonThornbury SC75DNC25
8th95Andy ReadLOSSC67DNC26
9th913Adam WatsonMount Batten86DNC27
10th08)Emily HaslamHickling Broad SC1011DNC34
11th689Calum McPhersonLOSSCDNS9DNC35
12th715Kieran McPhersonLOSSCDNCDNCDNC39

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