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Returning to a RS800 event for the first time in over 6 years

by Alistair Hodgson 17 Nov 2022 14:19 GMT
RS800 End of Seasons Regatta at Rutland Sailing Club © Peter Fothergill

This Autumn my crew Ella and I entered a couple of RS800 events: the Rope4Boats Inland Championship at Grafham Water Sailing Club and the Harken RS End of Seasons Regatta at Rutland Sailing Club.

For me it was the first time I had done an RS800 event in over six years and for Ella these were her first experiences. I was interested to see that a few names that I remembered from the past were sailing and a few more that I didn't recognise.

Almost as soon as we had stepped out of the car arriving at Grafham a couple of people who were rigging their boats stopped what they were doing and come over to say hello, introduce themselves and tell us what they had lined up to keep RS800 sailors interested and entertained throughout the event.

At the weigh in scales, I couldn't quite remember how it worked, but there were more friendly sailors keen to help us out.

The fleet seems to have shrunk a bit, but the front and middle sections of it seemed at least as fast as they were before. Most of the boats seem to be using crew sheeting for the main sail which is a change, but not all.

Coming off the water there was an opportunity for all the sailors to have a guided tour of the leaders' boat. Tom Morris and Guy Fillmore explained why they had set systems up the way that they had and were more than happy to answer questions and explain things further if required.

Hugh Shone had put a lot of effort into organising entertainment for us all and the rest of the fleets in the evening with extremely entertaining games which went down very well with everyone.

At the Rutland event the experience was very similar. The fleet might be smaller now, but it is more friendly, and very supportive with the regular sailors making a real effort to be encouraging and make everyone feel welcome, resulting in very good and enjoyable weekends away.

Thanks to Rutland for another good event, even if it was only one day of sailing, and a good evening. Also, thanks to the sponsors: Harken for the event and Rooster for the RS300 2022 National Tour.

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