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RS800 Noble Marine National Championship at Castle Cove Sailing Club - Runners and Riders

by Hugh Shone 21 Aug 16:10 BST 9-12 September 2021
The RS700 and RS800 Noble Marine National Championships are at Castle Cove SC in 2021 © Hannah Shone

Has anything actually happened since we lined up in Portland Harbour for the last nationals? With very few events to go on in the build up to this one it really is anyone's guess as to who is hot to trot and who is trying to remember which hole the forestay goes in. However, with the awesome Castle Cove lined up as hosts and some added levels of heroic inspiration after watching the sailing and the ping pong at the Olympics I'm sure it will be a classic.

So who is going to prevail? Does it matter? What colour is smaragdine? What's the average weight of a cumulus cloud? Here we go...

OK, so dropping in with Tom Morris (AKA Mozzy Sails) and Guy Filmore (AKA Hard As Nails). Whilst these guys are probably the favourites with their impeccable sailing and a track record of doing the business they do often add a bit of chaos to spice things up. Whether this is mast snapping escapades or an attempt by Guy to cut his own leg off, weird stuff happens.

Alongside the penchant for chaos, this year Tom will be having to deal with the weight of 16.9k YouTube subscribers looking on, after becoming the YouTubers everyman of the America's Cup. He is the now the household name for colourful lines on screens and heavily inferred Dean Barker criticism. If Tom and Guy do prevail we should all prepare ourselves for some unskippable adverts mid speech.

I KID. The channel is fantastic and only 314.1k subscribers behind a channel where a guy called Ben silently sits and smiles at the camera for four hours at a time. I'm not actually kidding this time. Let's all pray for the world. OK back to the matter in hand. If anyone can keep the chaos at bay and keep focus it is the calm and collected influence of Guy. They will be up there. Will they win? Subscribe to Mozzy Sails to find out.

Next in focus we have Luke and Emma McEwen. Dripping in pedigree (disgusting) these two have won it all and then some. Year after year Luke and Emma have been sailing into the distance and making us all look a little foolish in the lighter stuff. I don't know what horrible things Luke says to Emma downwind but she can normally be found sheltering on the spinnaker pole. There is a sit-forwards mode and then there is the McEwen version. They wrapped up the RS Summer Champs earlier in the year and will be eager to add to their amazing CV in the RS800. Between you and me they are definitely ones to watch and will be right up there (not just the spinnaker pole).

Okay dokay Rob Gullan (the Alan Hansan of Mozzy Sails) and NA. Neil Armstrong? Nikolay Alexeyev? Nathan Ake? I'm pretty sure Rob is finding it tough to find a crew after showcasing the largest sunglasses seen on a human being at the Summers. Whoever and whatever he manages to persuade to jump on board despite a week of absolutely no face, let alone eye contact, will likely see themselves (reflected in the glasses) standing on a podium at the end. Rob won the Inlands last year in a mix of conditions and pushed hard at the Nationals last time around so is a decent bet for the pointy end. Please send applications to crew for Rob in the post by the end of August to be in with a chance of winning (please see terms and conditions below).

Can you even call it an RS800 event if Phil Walker and John Mather haven't spent at least one race day in a local spa? The old timers in the 29er are now in danger of becoming class stalwarts in the RS800. Only entering after they were sure Rendezvous would be open, these two are a bit of an enigma. Sometimes fast, sometimes upside-down, often late, they have the capacity to turn it on. As consistent as the Great British Summer time they will be hoping for a heatwave. Such a cringy line. See you at the bar guys.

Hugh Shone and Fiona Hampshire. Bit awkward writing about myself and so I asked Laurie (my one year old son) how he thought we'd do and he did a kind of "raaahaaaroar". I guess that's a good thing? Who knows. After the disappointment of falling off the pace halfway through last year's Nationals the boat has been going great in the breeze with a second at the Inlands and a win at Lymington. Actually not sure if this was the boat or my lockdown belly? Anyway, as long as we don't go above Fiona's daily hoist quota we'll be OK.

Next in from the watering hole of Beaver are James Penty and Eddie Grayson. Clearly formidable on lakes after a smashing result at Garda a couple of years ago, these chaps will be looking to bring it home for the freshwater folk. One expects a mastery of tight turns and quick tacks after a lifetime of trying not to hit the bank. James and Eddie will be looking to re-find their form from the 2019 Euros and will be hoping the water isn't too salty.

There are so many others in the fleet that deserve a mention. Whether its Ralph Singleton and his never-say-die attitude to doing a port flyer no matter what, Cameron and Darrol Moss in the BIG BREEZE, Ben Palmer and Bruna masterminding their way to the front, or will it be the Chris Martin gun show also starring Chris Catt? How will the class newcomers of Maria Stanley and Tom Darling, and Nick Redding and crew do?

So many questions waiting to be answered at the 2021 RS800 nationals. But more importantly, smaragdine is a kind of uninteresting green and the average cumulus cloud weighs 498951.607kg (about 100 elephants). Phew.

Entry to your Noble Marine RS800 National Championship at Castle Cove Sailing Club 9-12 Sept 2021 is still open online. We'd love you to come along and join in the fun! All the information on the event and online entry can be found on the class website.

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