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Noble Marine 2022 YY - LEADERBOARD

2022 Noble Marine RS100 Allen Nationals during the RS Games at the WPNSA - Overall

by Clive Eplett, David Smart & Huw Powell 29 Jul 17:06 BST 24-27 July 2022

Day 3 - They tried to engage my enthusiasm by Marvin the Paranoid Android

I must have a fault in one of the many painful diodes down my left side. My total-deficiency-in-enthusiasm chip seems to have suffered a catastrophic failure. As a result, inexplicably, I found myself actually joining in with the sailing of an RS100 on day three of their National Championship at WPNSA.

If I had any pleasure sensors, I suspect they would have over-heated as a consequence, shutting my whole system down, but one of my many manufacturing faults denied me even that small mercy.

However, the ape-descendants sailing their various RS100s, RS300s and RS600s seemed to be happy, all wearing those hateful ear-to-ear smiles that they do. Even when they when in danger of getting tangled with each other, all was politeness and consideration. Nauseating isn't it?

What's even worse is that, having done this sailing thing, they then added insult to injury and elected me to write about it. Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they're not all out to get me. But, evidently, they actually are.

Whatever, I suppose I should talk about the racing and get this over with for all our sakes.

The earthlings had gotten all excited that today would be their lucky day and they'd be allowed to go and play in the proper waves in Weymouth Bay. I could have told them. Yes, the Bay hates them (I would too but I can't be bothered) - there was little wind there, just slops. So in the harbour it was.

The sun shone. The wind varied around an ideal, they say, 12-15 primitive knot units, but with "interesting" shifts and streaky-bacon fat-and-thin windy bits. They tell me all this is glorious, not that I believe them of course.

In all three races, it was nothing other than extremely close. They were all trying annoyingly hard. I can only surmise their pain processors had not been installed, whereas mine are the only sensors I have that function at 500%. Typical.

Two RS100-ists stood out as having sneakily obtained upgrades denied the others, one called Huw Powell, the other Andy Jones. Yet another, referred to as David Smart seems to have been named ironically, given his upgrade must be a beta release. Sometimes it works brilliantly, sometimes only in reverse.

Although the marketing spiel about my advanced features (if only) claim I have a brain the size of a planet, the salt water might have today bypassed the protective seals and corrupted my RAM. Again. Consequently, the Huw Powell seemed uncatchable in race one, although my party-spoiling function seemed to give him palpitations in the approach to the final gate.

Andy Jones was next. In a first for me, he later said he was cheering me on to catch the Huw Powell. This was a new and strange experience, clearly causing me a short-circuit somewhere.

Consequently race two was very painful for me. Mainly because another time-traveller known as MarkHarrison, beamed forward from the 1950s into second from the HuwPowell. An impertinent, aging whippersnapper (they have two even younger, ballsier editions known as AdamCatlow and DanielWebber) called MattJohnson followed his fourth in race one with a fifth in this one, behind AndrewJones and BetaSmart.

In race three, the last of the day (thankfully, my hydraulics were seizing up) the AndrewJones was most rude and hyper-drived over the horizon. Meanwhile HuwPowell was having an intermittent degaussing issue (or something). My short had resolved itself for the moment but not sufficiently to prevent BetaSmart or HuwPowell from bothering me. But at the last windward mark, having just snuck inside me, the latter hour-glassed his kite and BetaSmart, just behind, gybed off to buy a losing lottery ticket. It transpired a loser's lottery ticket is less bad that an hourglass. SteveJones, a brother to Hyper-driveJones, was next followed by the aging whippersnapper.

When, thankfully, it was all over, at the day's prize-giving, the posing-as-human archangel Clare Sargant awarded the day's Noble Marine/Allen Endeavour prize to CharlieCamm, midfleet to MarkHarrison and winner (excluding the previous ones of HuwPowell and AndyJones) to yours truly. Then she told me I had to relive the whole ordeal and write about it. Some archangel. I knew there had to be a catch.

If humans can be trusted do sums, given I can't be bothered, they reckon this all means the HuwPowell cannot be caught overall and has finally won the 8.4 title after more years trying, he says, than I was left stranded on Frogstar planet B by ArthurDent.

Either way, some will go out and repeat the whole ghastly experience again tomorrow, although I'll probably be rusted solid by then.

***All this with apologies to the genius that was Douglas Adams RiP.
Now go and read The Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy. Please.
***

Day 4

Day three had been hijacked by a Paranoid Android. Would day four suffer the same fate? Top spot was already safely secured by Huw Powell with two races to spare, so he could sit back and enjoy the champagne. However, Andy Jones was mathematically catchable by David Smart, being separated by 6 points, although Jones's speed would suggest it would be a tall order. Meanwhile, the battle for fourth, fifth and sixth places was wafer thin after eight races, with a mere two points separating Tom Halhead, Steve Jones and the fast finishing Matt Johnson.

Race nine showed that BetaSmart (read the day three report!) had enjoyed an overnight upgrade. He won the pin and never looked back, except to hope as many people as possible finished between him and Andy Jones. Tom Halhead was also enjoying the slightly lighter Force two to three, to come in second, giving him a strong lead in the four/five/six battle.

He was followed by Ian Gregory demonstrating his phenomenal pace when the wind isn't blowing dogs off chains. So where was Andy Jones? Smart was counting the finishers as they crossed the line, with Clive Eplett then Mark Harrison then Matt Johnson all getting the better of Jones who finished seventh. Johnson had now overtaken Steve Jones to take fifth. Could he overhaul Halhead in the last race?

Smart and Andy Jones were now tied on points, but with Jones having a better count back with two wins, he was getting very worried by the speed of Smart in the moderate breeze, who just needed a 4th and to beat Jones to snatch second overall. The pistols were drawn...

With a starboard bias for race ten, everyone was gathered at the committee boat, with Jones getting underneath Smart and luffing him to a near standstill. Smart tacked to try to shake off Jones and what ensued was a personal battle on the right of the course. There was much tacking, covering, fake tacks, overstanding, shouting and pleading, enjoyed much more by Jones than Smart.

Everyone else avoided them and went left. However the right paid, so when they finally arrived at the windward mark, Jones was frustrated that the fleet wasn't further ahead.

A momentary lapse also allowed Smart to hook Jones who had to take a penalty, allowing Smart to chase the pack. Up ahead, Eplett showed that there's still life in the old dog yet, taking a deserved bullet, with Matt Johnson showing he's developing some serious speed to take second ahead of Harrison. Halhead held on to fourth to claim fourth overall and stall Johnson's late charge up the leaderboard.

It also meant Smart's dream of second place was sunk below the waterline. Meanwhile, Jones breathed an enormous sigh of relief that his aggressive tactics against a fellow Chew Valley Lake club member had saved his second place. And before that Jones had seemed such a nice chap... One wonders if the two will be talking again before the Inlands at Chew in October.

Back at shore, the champion, Huw, kindly adopted the role of trolley dolly to welcome the returning fleet.

The prize-giving ended with a proper podium, with the top three spraying champagne all over each other. Only then did they wonder what would happen if they were stopped by police on the way home with a strong smell of Eau de Prosecco?

Overall report

On Sunday the RS100s gathered at WPNSA for the UK Noble Marine Allen National Championships as part of the exciting, energetic RS Games 2022 which will draw 1500 sailors to the Academy over a programme of carefully choreographed racing for RS fleets. The RS100 fleet was made up of some long-in-the-tooth old timers who've been in the RS100 since the first days, some fast mid-timers, and a raft of new faces were welcomed.

The ten-race series (best eight results to count) was expertly executed. Every race was three laps. Every race was a targetted 35-40 mins duration. Close racing was guaranteed. Places changed throughout the fleet and usually right through to the finish line. Often the winner was decided only on the last leg of the last lap.

The racing was held at various locations across the harbour. Go left, go left was not always the winning strategy, and tactics needed to be nuanced and put under constant review with shifts and pressure variations experienced across the race track.

On face value, the results might suggest Huw Powell had a walk in the park. The reality is very different. Rarely did anyone lead from start to finish. Huw was often the grateful recipient of an atypical slow beat or a downwind overstand by others, and seemed to ride his luck when the cards fell right (bar a nasty hour glass on the last leg of the last race on the last day). Plus the event was dominated by big breeze where Huw revels.

In fact, the racing was tight throughout the fleet with mistakes punished quickly. Nine different sailors grabbed top three places throughout the series, demonstrating a wide spread of speed. At the end of the event, two Chew Valley sailors took second overall (Andy Jones) and third (David Smart) showing the strength in depth of this RS100 fleet.

The breeze brought out the best in the RS100 - after popping the kite, the fleet would send their boats downhill with big smiles - often in the Weymouth and Portland sunshine and in 12-18 knots of breeze.

Ashore the experienced sailors compared tactics, and happily shared their experience and tips with the less experienced in the fleet. A competitive fleet afloat. A supportive and open community ashore.

The great news from the AGM is that new boats are back in production. There's also an active used boat market. So it's easy for anyone to enjoy asymmetric single handed sailing at its best!

Thanks to our smashing sponsors Noble Marine, Allen, RS Sailing, Rooster and Fernhurst Books. Thanks to WPNSA for hosting us so well. And special thanks to Paul Kimmens our Race Officer and his race team for working so hard to provide such great racing.

Overall Results:

First Master: Andy Jones
1st Lady: Maggie Ayre
1st Youth : Adam Catlow
Young Apprentice: Daniel Webber (Keep it up – you’ll soon be beating everyone)
1st Silver Fleet: Matt Johnson (and now promoted to Gold where you can slow down a bit please)
Endeavour Prize: Jon Elmes
Fidelis Trophy: Mark Harrison
The Tyre of Doom: Clive Eplett (for turning up and not sailing for two days)

PosSail NoHelmClubFleetR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9R10Pts
1508Huw PowellRed Wharf Bay SCGold11211114(DNC)(DNC)12
2172Andrew JonesChew Valley Lake SCGold5‑71223317‑924
3277David SmartChew Valley Lake SCGold22534‑6431‑824
4393Tom HalheadLlandegfedd SCGold34645‑77‑82435
5239Matt JohnsonWeirwood SCSilver‑10‑103674566239
6130Steve JonesChew Valley Lake SCGold63(DNF)53(UFD)8511546
7379Mark HarrisonGurnard SCGold45(DNC)(DNC)DNC5275349
8259Ian GregoryFrensham Pond SCGold‑129486101093(DNF)59
9268Bart BridgenNetley SCSilver7679DNF8(RET)‑138663
10509Clive EplettFrensham Pond SCGold(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNC2624169
11206Jon ElmesChew Valley Lake SCSilver98878‑119‑12101069
12503Adam James CatlowLeigh and Lowton SCSilver8(DNF)(DNC)10DNF121311121189
13238Gavin Austin ThompsonChew Valley Lake SCSilver11DNF9119‑1412‑14141392
14219Maggie AyreCastle Cove SCSilver(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNC91110912105
15445Floris StapelWV BraassemermeerSilver(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNC13UFD15157122
16365Charlie CammCastle Cove SCSilver(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNC1514161314126
17174Daniel WebberWimbleball SCSilverDNF(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNC16RETDNC1615133

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