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Rooster 2020 - Impact BA - LEADERBOARD

RS100 fleet at Salcombe Gin RS Summer Regatta

by David Smart 30 Jun 06:29 BST 26-27 June 2021
Salcombe Gin RS Summer Regatta © www.digitalsailing.co.uk

The excitement was tangible. After months of incarceration, we were finally allowed out to play in Torbay, but could we remember what to do. After the obstacle course of getting your boat onto Torquay harbour quayside was cleared, Mostyn Evans started rigging his RS100 with his RS200 mainsail. The excitement was taking its toll.

Saturday was going to be a light wind day, with a force 2 North Easterly gently ruffling the giant cruise ships anchored in the bay. The fun started onshore with 120 boats from all the RS fleets battling to launch on the small slipway. We ventured out to the distant yellow course with the Vareos and RS600s.

After watching the Vareos start first, the 100s were starting with the 600s on a 2 lap windward leeward course, which meant trying not to start under a 600. A small port bias had the fleet aiming for the pin which was won by Netley's Nigel Wakefield with the light wind supremo Ian Gregory of Frensham Pond close at hand. From this point on it was a one-horse race.

Unfortunately for the rest of the fleet, Gregory had discovered even more light wind speed than before lockdown and rounded the windward mark in glorious isolation a good 100 metres in front of the chasing pack. For the rest it was a case of searching for the pressure and spotting the shifts, which were more plentiful than expected.

The Chew Valley mob of David Smart and brothers Andy and Steve Jones were showing the strength in depth of the fast-growing Chew fleet with Frensham's Clive Eplett showing that too many lockdown pies hadn't slowed him down too much. Andy J led the pack to the mark with Smart close behind deciding to gybe set and bizarrely take a flyer out to the left down the run.

At the leeward mark Andy J remained second (we couldn't see Gregory by now), but Eplett had sneaked up behind to third with Steve J harrying them in fourth. The final beat saw Eplett finding his light wind mojo, getting past Andy J giving a Frensham 1 - 2 at the finish with Steve J finally nipping ahead of brother Andy for 3rd and 4th with Andrew Todd finding some great shifts up the second beat and pressure on the run to claim 5th from Smart.

The second start had a slight starboard bias and the right appeared to be the way to go up the beat for this one lap race. So, there was a fight for the committee boat end with a good start critical.

Smart and Mark Harrison from Gurnard were in the box seat when the gun went and quickly turned right with Harrison finding the pressure to get ahead. Gregory was in hot pursuit, but it was Harrison who rounded first just ahead of Gregory with Smart 25 metres back. Harrison tried to hold off Gregory, but a poor gybe at the leeward mark let Gregory through for the win with Harrison second. Good beats from Matt Johnson (Weir wood) and Nigel Wakefield (Netley) had them in the chasing pack, but Smart held on for third ahead of the yellow kited Eplett with Andy J in 5th.

The third and final race of the day was another 2-lap affair with a starboard biased line. Smart won the committee boat end and set off in hot pursuit of Gregory by going right up the beat. There was a gaggle of boats behind with Johnson and Harrison featuring strongly.

Gregory and Smart led round the windward mark having stretched out a good lead but at the bottom mark a poor drop by Gregory gave Smart a chance, which he failed to take by doing an even worse drop, much to the delight of Eplett who was closing in behind.

The final beat saw Smart protect the right from the ever-growing presence of Eplett. However, Eplett had read the clouds and spotted a left-hand shift, getting close to taking the lead. Gregory held on and took his third bullet with Eplett second, followed by Smart, Harrison, Andy J and Johnson.

The overnight podium was a Frensham lightweight lockout of Gregory and Eplett with Smart in third.

Sunday dawned with a rainy force 5 gusting 7 from the East. While the heavyweights were keen(ish) to get out to challenge the conditions, the race committee sensibly decided that it would be too dangerous for the fleets and abandoned racing by 11:30, leaving the podium as it was.

Gregory yet again proved he is almost untouchable in light airs, taking home the Salcombe Gin top prize, with Eplett and Smart enjoying their runner up cut-glass trophies. Prizes also went to Steve Jones for the Rooster mid fleet fighter with Richard Styles of Wilsonian taking home the hard-won Rooster Endeavour trophy.

Thank you, Royal Torbay YC, for laying on a great event and thanks to Salcombe Gin and Rooster for their sponsorship. It was lovely to be able to get back to regatta sailing again after so long locked up at home.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3Pts
1st259Ian GregoryFrensham Pond SC1113
2nd509Clive EplettFrensham Pond SC2428
3rd277David SmartChew Valley Lake SC63312
4th379Mark HarrisonGurnard SC72413
5th172Andrew JonesChew Valley Lake SC45514
6th130Steve JonesChew Valley Lake SC38819
7th239Matt JohnsonWeirwood SC87621
8th145Nigel WakefieldNetley SC96722
9th360Andrew ToddBala/Chester SC591125
10th206Jon ElmesChew Valley Lake SC1011930
11th372Steve MainNetley SC11101031
12th526Mostyn EvansMounts Bay SC13121237
13th240Richard StylesWilsonian SC12131338

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