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Rooster 2020 - Impact BA - LEADERBOARD

RS300 Rooster National Tour Round 2 at the Filey Regatta

by Mark Newton 30 May 05:48 BST 21-22 May 2022
Filey Regatta © Pete Mackin

It seemed almost perfect that there were three RS300s attending the Filey Regatta. As is the normal rule with RS300 events, whoever comes third has to write the report... so you can see how that turned out (I should have gone to be earlier on the Saturday night!).

We were all greeted with great conditions on the first day, actual sunshine. Some flip flops and shorts appeared. It was agreed early on that the RS300 handicap needed to be increased. We seem to have to beat a lot of fast boats on handicap and this hiking out is too much like hard work. Shame no one told the person in the yellow boat.

We had pretty challenging conditions at times on the first day. Although Paul Watson decided on the first race to challenge everyone! He managed to sit in the perfect place at the committee boat end, which was probably the best end and pushed the rest of the handicap fleet into No Man's land unless they started below him. To make things worse, Pete Mackin decided it was a good idea to sail through Paul during the race. So much for trying to increase our handicap!

Race two, and somehow, I think I ended in the place where Paul was. Although I wasn't quite as successful at blocking the rest of the fleet. I also sailed up the wrong side of the beats a few times. Paul on the other hand seemed to have a fishing line attached to me and reeled me in. Pete on the other hand just got the shifts right, and with ludicrous boat speed sailed through us both.

Race three - I am bit hazy what happened on the start - they are not that important anyway, and there's a lot of shouting that normally goes on. Needless to say it didn't go well for me. Paul was employing his usual fishing line tactics and managed to make it to the front. Pete had some unusual issues, but managed to sail around the third placed road block.

Saturday evening came and went. As a fleet we took things seriously and refuelled the body, and got an early night. We had an early morning meeting in the cafe to discuss how we could best reduce the competitiveness of our handicap.

Race four was pretty changeable. The race officer had decided that the medium fleet should start before the fast fleet. This meant that we were starting first. I decided to launch early (well 20 minutes before the start). Pete seemed very laid back about it all. Paul said he just didn't want to be sitting on the water waiting for a start for a long time. As per the rest of the weekend Pete managed to get away leaving it for me and Paul to fight it out for the remains. Pete went so quickly that he managed to make it a dead heat with the Merlin.

In race five the wind had wondered what it would be like if we have a port-biased start line, and promptly switched with about 30 seconds to go. I had spotted this and headed down to the pin end. Pete and Paul were late spotting this. Maybe I wouldn't be third. An RS500 and an RS200 had bravely decided to start on port (I wonder if they had been getting some coaching from Bazza?)...I might just get them... and then the wind wondered what would happen if it decided to switch some more...this meant I ended up hooking the pin end buoy and getting the worst start of my life! Paul and Pete managed to get away, with Pete winning the race on handicap (so much for increasing our handicap).

Race six and I thought I had it sorted. I started at the pin end on port, with about five other boats including Paul. Not wanting to get in a shouting match I decided to start to leeward of him. Pete decided he wanted a shouting match though, and started at the pin end on starboard. The Merlin had ideas about joining in too. I just ducked Pete and strangely found myself near him at the windward mark. Had I worked out the secret of Pete's speed? No I just remembered how to sail... but I still couldn't hang onto Pete because Paul had pinched my fishing rod at the start. Although I did manage to just about beat Paul. All too late though and I had to write the report.

A lot was learnt from the weekend. For example when your told that "we can't try too hard or we will have an even lower handicap" don't believe them. Also finishing third is never a good idea as you have to write the reports.

Seriously though, it was a great weekend and thanks to Filey Sailing Club for putting on the event and our ever generous National Tour sponsor Rooster Sailing. Pretty hard racing and pretty funny at times so I can recommend going to Filey in the future... just make sure you don't finish third!

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