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RS100 Inland Championship at Chew Valley Lake Sailing Club

by David Smart 26 Oct 2021 10:12 BST 23-24 October 2021
RS100 Inlands at Chew Valley Lake © Errol Edwards

The 2021 Inlands were held at the beautiful Chew Valley Lake SC on 23/24 October. There was a forecast of lighter winds on Saturday, but a Southerly Force 4 gusting 6 expected on Sunday. Saturday was shared with the RS200s, giving sailors a little more to think about as the 100s started second.

Let's explore what 10 things we learned:

  1. Avoiding other boats is important. The 200s coming down the run was a beautiful spectacle of colourful kites. However, finding a way through was challenging. Clive Eplett adopted the strategy of banging the port lay line early to avoid the majority of the fleet. Others followed his lead, mainly because they were almost always behind him.

  2. The wind does not always follow the forecast, especially at Chew. The wind was weird, particularly on Sunday. It never really blew, until the very last race, when a large gust led to much swimming practice. It favoured those who like the lighter winds, who tend to come from Frensham, although it must be said that they're not exactly slouches even when it does blow.

  3. Don't hit things. It is remarkably difficult to see anything through a 100 kite, so one can be completely oblivious to a boat beating merrily towards you. Seeing a boat on its last lap at the front of the fleet (Andy Jones) wrapped up in another boat's kite (nameless!) demonstrated the issue very well, although the language heard may have been a little less than cultured.

  4. Consistency pays. Eplett and Gregory (aka the Frensham fliers) were consistently in the top 3. They ran away with the event, having their own battle at the top for supremacy with three race wins apiece, with Eplett edging the overall by a mere 2 points. They only allowed one other race winner. That was Tom Halhead of Llandegfedd leading the way from gun to gun in the final race, which took him above Powell and Smart in a very tightly fought battle for the final podium place.

  5. Being OCS can have its advantages. Eplett demonstrated this in Race 6 by being well in front of the pin end when the gun went, so went round and ducked the fleet, only for him to pop up at the front again by the top mark, finishing second. Smart had done the same thing in Race 2, finishing 4th. Maybe a new tactic?

  6. Learn from your mistakes. In the last race, Austen Milner of Chew sailed a fabulous first beat to round in fourth place. However the wind was playing silly buggers and shifted left by 40 degrees. He hoisted his kite, only to be blown onto the spreader mark and watch the fleet sail over him as he dropped the kite and tried to beat around the spreader. He won't be doing that again.

  7. Being able to count is important. Mark Harrison was heard in the bar saying how he liked two lap courses with longer legs. Being inland doesn't allow for such luxuries, so we were sailing three laps. In race 5, when Harrison was lying in a hard won third place, he performed a prefect gybe drop, rounding the starboard gate buoy, setting off on his final beat. When checking where the leading two boats were, he realised that they were sailing to the finish line with their kites up. 'Oh ****' was heard across the lake. We now know why he prefers two's hard counting to three!

  8. Sponsors are great. Many thanks to Rooster for their sponsorship. It allows some prizes to be spread around the fleet, with Francis Bucknall of Llandegfedd taking home a Rooster cap for his regular support of 100 events.

  9. The Chew fleet is growing fast. There were 13 local Chew boats taking part. The fleet has grown rapidly in the last couple of years as many sailors are discovering the joys of sailing a high performance hiking skiff. It's great holding events where there is a strong local presence, with local sailors able to learn by sailing with the travelling clan.

  10. Chew is a favourite location. There were friendly welcomes, well managed courses (thanks to the race team led by Bill Chard and Ian Cadwallader), slick mark laying, a beautiful setting and fantastic freshly made food. The 100s plan to return in 2022.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7Pts
1st509Clive EplettFrensham Pond231112(DNC)10
2nd259Ian GregoryFrensham Pond114‑631212
3rd393Tom HalheadLlandegfedd4255‑147124
4th508Huw PowellRed Wharf Bay / Netley75322‑10625
5th277David SmartChew Valley Lake SC542‑854727
6th379Mark HarrisonGurnard sc10‑156346433
7th172Andrew JonesCVLSC8‑99DGA73336.5
8th470Francis BucknallLlandegfedd SC3118411‑13542
9th130Steve JonesChew Valley Lake SC97776‑17945
10th268Bart BridgenNetley SC1261212105‑1457
11th226Simon BennettCVLSC1514109‑168864
12th320Oliver HousemanCVLSC6‑1613149141571
13th441Austen MilnerChew Valley Lake SC1481111‑19181779
14th206Jon ElmesChew Valley Lake SC17‑1817168111281
15th331Nick EdmondsChew Valley Lake SC1120(DNS)1012151381
16th262Jason RickardsCVLSC1610(DNS)1315201084
17th208Darrell SleepStaunton Harold181715(DNF)17122099
18th502Rob MitchellChew Valley Lake Sailing Club1313(DNS)1722161899
19th526Mostyn EvansMounts Bay SC20121615‑212119103
20th313Josh BellCVLSC1919141813(DNF)21104
21st228Richard MoxeyChew Valley Lake SC212118(DNF)181911108
22nd238Gavin ThompsonCVLSC2222(DNF)DNF20916113
23rd218Richard WachBristol Corinthian Yacht Club(DNC)DNCDNFDNC23DNFDNC143

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