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Noble Marine 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Noble Marine Allen RS300 National Championships at Brixham Yacht Club - Day 3

by Peter Mackin and Chris Brook 12 Sep 13:10 BST 9-12 September 2021
Noble Marine Allen RS300 National Championships day 2 © Gareth Fudge

Gold fleet report by Peter Mackin

The forecast for day three suggested a lighter breeze, welcomed by many. Paul Watson, who was no doubt encouraged by the slightly stronger winds than expected, managed to get the first wooden spoon nomination of the day, with a swim on his way out.

Watson got his act together in the end, relishing the 15 knots across the race area and taking a bullet in the first race of the day. This race was close from start to finish. I lost track of what happened - it would be easier to get a hamster to break enigma than recall the place changing from this race! Watson led from McVicar, Bolland and Acres. McVicar putting together what would be his strongest day of the series.

For race 8 of the championship, the wind dropped slightly, shifts got bigger and holes in the course we're to be avoided. Much of the fleet opted for the left hand side, anticipating a prolonged left hand shift through the day. The first beat proved tricky, Ben Heppenstall led from Steve Sallis and Pete Mackin at mark one. Heppenstall had worked hard on the favoured left side to come out on top. Flatter water meant the runs were a little tricky too; some opting to head straight at the next mark, others to try and surf what little chop was available. The top 3 were still close round the following laps with Heppenstall making the most of the shifts and leading the approach to the final windward mark. Electing to tack above Mackin for the lay line proved costly though and Pete snuck through to leeward and defended the rest of the lap to finish ahead of Heppenstall, Bolland, Acres and Sallis.

Race 9 was slightly breezier, (I think?). Another very close race from start to finish. McVicar sliced through the fleet to take and his first bullet of the championship, followed some distance behind by Mackin. Acres followed in third, bettering his 10th in the previous race and crucially finishing ahead of Bolland, who came across the line in 6th. This meant two points separated the leading pair of Bolland/Acres going into the final race of the day. The fact this was potentially the last race of the series added to the pressure.

The final race of the day got away clean in 12-15 knots. The left hand side had been the order of the day, but on this race more than most. Boats that had taken a risk on the right hand side after a bad start arrived at the top mark quite unhappily, much so that I have no idea who got there first! At the front, Martin Harrison, Watson and McVicar had a good scrap over the full length of the race, noone every really breaking free. Bolland and Acres were inseparable, rounding the final windward mark together behind Rob Ford who was sailing brilliantly. Harrison took the bullet from Watson, McVicar and Ford. As for the series-leading pair, Bolland led at mark 3 with Acres a boat length or so behind. Dave tried to get above Bolland along the bottom reach but it wasn't enough. A few luffs were sufficient to break any overlap and secure 5th place ahead of Acres.

The scores on the doors show Bolland ahead (clearly there's no such thing as too much running). Dave Acres 3 points away and Watson a further point behind. With 3 boats in with a shot of the title going into last race and 6 boats with a shot at the podium, this championship had been exceptionally close - something that has become a habit over recent years in this fleet.

Back in the bar and tucking into a fish and chip supper, many hoped that the breeze wouldn't materialise for the final day which looked very light. Anticipating a slow and painful sail, if any, some elected to pack the boats early and get a front row start for the inevitable scramble for trailers in the morning. Let's see what the next day brings...

Silver fleet report by Chris Brook

The third day at the RS300 nationals brought some fantastic sailing conditions.

Initially forecast with just 9kts of breeze the fleet were greeted with substantially more. Around 15 knots of breeze and relatively flat water made the four race day idyllic conditions. Contending silver fleet in my first nationals on the RS300, these conditions allowed for some great use of all the skills the more than welcoming fleet have been sharing with me over the past two days.

Power reaches and really hardworking beats were the highlights of the day. The first legs weren't always straight forward but with a backing breeze the left generally paid. Playing the waves seemed to accelerate the downwind legs followed by the second power reach of our trapezoid course.

Two days of wind gusting up to and occasionally above 20kts provided the perfect preparation to today's conditions but now with the occasional lighter spot called for some very different skill sets and this showed in a set of the results that really upended.

With the help of fellow competitors racing in this great class I've managed to improve my results on the 300 but hats off to Ben Heppenstall who whilst contending silver fleet, managed to score a second place in race 3!

In the best conditions of the four day competition we managed to complete four races, bringing our total to 10 races.

Brixham yacht club have been an awesome host of the event and I've thoroughly enjoyed learning the rs300.

All that remains is to see if the 3kts forecast presents or if there is more wind to host the last race of the competition.

Results after Day 3:

1st411Steve BollandBristol Corinthian YC322(OCS)1133‑6520
2nd544David AcresEmsworth/Thorney Bay SC21322‑64‑103623
3rd528Paul WatsonY Felinheli551(OCS)421‑94224
4th556Peter MackinStokes Bay SC4‑74155512‑727
5th523Harry McVicarDraycote Water SC‑11‑107534241329
6th481Martin HarrisonRoyal Victoria YC1383‑1537‑115131
7th351Rob FordAlton Water‑128667988‑12456
8th305Richard Le Maretbc8459876‑1311(RET)58
9th476Steve SallisHykeham SC‑999498958‑1161
10th537Chris BrookLeigh SC‑1711‑1312101010710878
11th395Ben HeppenstallWhitefriars SC6‑14141113‑1614271279
12th457Sam DavyHykeham SC7‑17117‑16141669979
13th354Mark NewtonTISC1013128111211‑16‑161087
14th503Rich PackerBristol Corinthian YC1412101312‑171214‑1513100
15th519Thomas MooreColemere SC16(RET)(DNC)10141313151314108
16th321Greg BartlettStarcross YC136(RET)(DNC)611DNCDNCDNCDNC112
17th422Alastair WoodColemere SC1515(DNC)14‑171515121415115
18th532Cheryl WoodPennine SC‑18161515‑181817171716131

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