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McConaghy 2022 - MC63p & MC75 LEADERBOARD

RS200 Sprints at Rutland Sailing Club

by Laura Glover and John Wilson 20 Apr 18:56 BST 2-3 April 2022
RS200 Kites © Don Munro

Nine RS200s arrived at Rutland Sailing Club for the RS Sprints on the chilly first weekend of April.

Overall, it was a weekend of very mixed conditions and consistency and mental resilience to the various ups and downs is what clinched the win for Chris and Nicky Webber from Pevensey Bay SC, following competitive racing and a last-minute protest hearing.

Saturday morning rigging was accompanied by wintery blasts as the RS fleets assembled for the Sprints. The efficient race team from Rutland Sailing Club were on the water early, insistent they would be starting on time and would show no mercy on straggling sailors who had lingered too long over their coffee and bacon rolls! However, the wind did not play ball with this aspiration. As the first gun was due, it reduced from medium conditions down to light, simultaneously backing from North to West. This led to a 45-minute delay while courses were laid and re-laid, and plenty of cold hands.

The wind eventually settled down and the first of the weekend's twelve races got under way. The East Lothian YC contingent of Ellen Clark and Brendan Lynch, and Laura Glover and John Wilson got off to a strong start, enjoying the gusty conditions to give them a first and second respectively. They joked, after the long drive down from North Berwick, that they could have saved themselves the petrol money.

The benefit of the Sprints central location was soon borne out though, as the Pevensey Bay SC pairs Nicky and Chris Webber, and Lynne Ratcliffe and Matt Fowler, got in the mix in races two and three. Race three saw the Webbers battling qualities as they swept past the Weir Wood SC pairing of Fiona Harrington and Ben Webb, to take a third place at the final mark. This led to a protest pending against the Webbers, and, with no discards allowed, it looked for much of the event that the outcome of this protest would be decisive.

The sixth and final race on Saturday finished with a fresh breeze, and a quick blast downwind home. The race was won by the Clark/Lynch paring, following a close race with the Webbers. The overnight positions showed that it was all to play for the following day, with the top three boats all separated by just one point.

Sunday brought medium conditions with mainly light winds, with only occasional large gusts coming through. However, these gusts provided the opportunity for significant overtakes, with large position changes frequently occurring on the final downwind leg. This was most apparent in race ten, where having been pushed back in the pack early on the Webbers showed their mental resilience and took the opportunity that presented itself. They headed right with the chasing pack, taking a shift and a gust, and swept past the two East Lothian boats and Bennett/Harris pair that were battling their way down the left, all three unsuccessfully searching for a gust to get planing on. This gave the Webbers a crucial first place and allowed them to overtake the current leaders Laura Glover and John Wilson, irrespective of the outcome of the still pending protest hearing.

Strong performances in races 11 and 12 clinched the win for the Webbers even when a disqualification in race three was determined, despite a valiant effort from Clark/Lynch, who only finished one point further back after the 12 races were sailed. Glover/Wilson were third, ahead of Ratcliffe/Fowler in fourth. This meant that the top-fleet prizes were shared out amongst the two boats each from Pevensey Bay SC and East Lothian YC. (Shameless plug: East Lothian YC is a beautiful sailing venue near Edinburgh and the RS400 Nationals venue for 2022 and RS200 Nationals venue for 2023! Put it in your diary now;)).

Mid-Fleet Hero prizes went to the Royal Thames YC team of Marta Uncio Ribera and Paris Thomas. The Endeavour prizes went to under 18 team Jacob Lutton and Tom Chapman at their first RS200 event. First under 18 helm prize went to Adam Catlow All received generous prizes from event sponsors Rooster Sailing and Noble Marine, including engraved metal straws, Rooster National Tour branded Rooster Neck Gaiters, and bottles of real ale.

Our thanks to the event sponsors, the race committee and everyone at Rutland SC; and Clare Sargent and the RS Class Association team.

The Scotland RS200 fleet would also like to use this opportunity to thank Trees for Life, a rewilding charity in Scotland with whom we offset the carbon emissions of our sailing activities and associated travel emissions. Should you wish to join this initiative, you can plant a native tree in the RS200 grove here.

See the full results here...

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