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CoastWaterSports 2014

RS200 SEAS open meeting at Burghfield Sailing Club

by Andrew Wishart & Lorna Glen 16 Oct 2022 22:29 BST 15 October 2022
RS200 SEAS open meeting at Burghfield (showing L-R: Emma Norris, Chris Catt, Emma Hivey, Ian Martin, Sarah Cockerill, Steve Cockerill) © Andrew Wishart

Alongside the RS400s and 500s, a thirteen-boat fleet of RS200s stacked with talent gathered at Burghfield for the penultimate round of the South East Area Series (SEAS). The conditions showed absolutely no respect for the CVs of those assembled, with huge shifts and bands of pressure rolling down the lake constantly reshuffling the pack.

A south westerly breeze which varied between 7 and 22 knots over the course of the day allowed race officer Mark Cooper to set a windward-leeward course extending the full length of the lake. As the largest fleet, the 200s had the privilege of starting first. Fastest out of the blocks was Dave Steed & Chris Martin et al, a team entry in 1728 balancing excellent boat speed with a childcare job share, who escaped from the pack up the first beat and built a substantial lead.

What made it even more exceptional was that that Dave hadn't set foot in a 200 for a decade!

But what the Burghfield gods giveth, they can also take away. Over the course of three laps Ian Martin & Emma Hivey and Steve & Sarah Cockerill were able to work their way into that lead and eventually overhaul Steed et al. It finished Martin & Hivey, the Cockerills, then Steed et al.

I'd love to give you more detail, but both your correspondents were scrapping for the minor places. Yours truly was dealing with a capsize and a brief MOB (unbelievably, two completely separate events), while late arrivals Ben Whaley & Lorna Glen fought their way up through the field.

In race 2 a left shift in the final minute of the sequence saw congestion down at the pin. Newly crowned inland champions Whaley & Glen took a previously uncharted route around the left side of the island at the bottom of the beat and benefited from a clear route to the windward mark to lead the first lap. The Cockerills showed great boat speed to join battle with the leaders at the final windward.

But while the leading pair soaked low on the final run, the pressure was building at the top of the course allowing Chris Catt & Emma Norris and Martin & Hivey to get planing and reel in the leader at pace. The boat whisperer was able to deploy his super strength to cling on and finish first, Catt & Norris slipped through into second, and Whaley & Glen held onto third despite briefly embarking on an imaginary third lap.

Easy launching and efficient catering allowed the sailors to come ashore for lunch, and a welcome chance to catch up with friends and clear the mind after a morning battling with Burghfield's trademark puffs and shifts.

Refreshed, Whaley & Glen followed closely by Martin & Hivey led the way up the first beat of the third race. Marginal planing conditions made the downwind leg tricky, as the crews tried to link up the gusts to stay in high mode. Catt & Norris showed us how that's done, making huge gains to join the leading pair by the time the leaders made it to the final windward.

Martin & Hivey and Catt & Norris split the last run, leaving Whaley & Glen in a tricky middle position. In the end Martin & Hivey took the bullet followed by Whaley & Glen with Catt & Norris third.

The fourth and final race saw significant starboard bias with several boats over the lay line to the boat end and forced to start late. Martin & Hivey, Catt & Norris and Steed & Martin et al, now with Chris Martin on the stick, avoided that fate to make good progress up the first beat.

Burghfield then provided a rigorous test of the fleet's ability to change gears, with the wind dropping right off on the final beat. Martin & Hivey excelled in that challenge to win the final race and the event overall, followed by Steed & Martin et al and Catt & Norris.

Ian and Emma's three bullets from four was no mean feat on such a variable day, and a masterclass in head-out-of-the-boat sailing. The Cockerills proved they are already on the pace in the 200 to finish second overall, with Chris Catt & Emma Norris completing the podium.

Not helped by their late arrival, but also testament to the strength of the competition, Ben & Lorna missed out on the podium by a single point to finish fourth.

Burghfield marks the start of a three-course meal of 200 opens in the South East this October. Next Saturday 22nd October the SEAS reaches its climax at Island Barn, where excellent prizes from Rooster are up for grabs for the series winners. Chris & Emma currently lead the series from Nigel & Ian & Andy Bird, but with two events from four to count, its wide open.

Series standings:

Entry for Island Barn:

For dessert, the following Saturday 29th October Frensham Pond holds its open meeting where a good turnout of home boats is guaranteed.

Overall Results:

ResultSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4Net
1st1703Ian MartinEmma HiveyBurghfield Sailing Club14113
2nd1738Stephen CockerillSarah CockerillStokes Bay Sailing Club21477
3rd1615Chris CattEmma NorrisBurghfield Sailing Club42338
4th861Ben WhaleyLorna GlenParkstone YC73249
5th1728Dave SteedChris MartinNetley/Burghfield387212
6th1602Emma DealEllie SharpsBurghfield Sailing Club695516
7th994Joseph JonesImmy JonesBurghfield Sailing Club9610621
8th1329Trudie FellJuliet CharlesBurghfield Sailing Club8761021
9th785Andrew WishartNina LuckmannQueen Mary Sailing Club1059822
10th1395Nigel BirdAndy Bird51181124
11th519Tom JonesCharlie HowardBurghfield Sailing Club111211931
12th952Paul RobsonAlessandroReading Sailing Club1210131335
13th345Martin LownScott LaddymanNetley Sailing Club13DNF121237

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