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RS200 Rooster Championship Tour & Spring Championships at Bristol Corinthian Yacht Club

by Will Taylor 21 Mar 2023 17:55 GMT 18-19 March 2023

Event 1 of the 2023 RS200 Rooster Championship Tour took place at Bristol Corinthian Yacht Club over the weekend of the 18/19th March for the Spring Championships.

Most competitors left home either on Friday evening or Saturday morning in none other than torrential conditions, but once all had made their way to Cheddar the skies had cleared with sunshine attempting to break through making rigging an easy task. Although the sun was coming out there was a lack of wind across the reservoir, but the forecast had suggested the wind would fill in from somewhere between the south or southwest. At the briefing our Race Officer for the weekend Arky set out the plan for the day which included the Guinness Flag that was hoisted on the committee boat and once that began to fly, he would make his way out onto the lake to get a course set. As if planned by the time the briefing was finished the Guinness flag was flying and the race team set out on to the water.

With 8 races planned for the weekend and a good forecast for both days the racing was split with 4 races on each day. As the fleet launched the breeze filled in across the reservoir to around 7-10 knots. After a winter of waiting for the first start it was not a surprise when the first race saw a general recall leading to the U-flag making an appearance for the rest of the day. With just 1 victim of the U-flag over the weekend the fleet clearly got the over eagerness out of the way to begin with. The fastest out of the blocks in Race 1 were Edd Whitehead and Anna Horackova, with last minute entries Owen Bowerman and Annabelle Orme proving you can turn up with just an hour to the start gun and still get a good result but probably not recommended if the sail to the course is longer than 5 minutes. In third was Nigel and Andy Bird getting a good start to the event.

Races 2 and 3 followed a similar pattern with shifts back and forth with gusts to keep everyone on their toes. In Race 2 Ben Whaley and Bella Fellows taking the win from Will Taylor and Tom Collyer, followed by Henry Hallam and Ashley Hill rounding out the podium. Race 3 saw Edd and Anna win, with Ben and Bella in second and Henry and Ashley getting another third place. Arky saw that we were ahead of time and with the breeze picking up slightly decided the fleet needed another lap so with 4 laps to look forward all the crews had the energy bars stashed in buoyancy aids or forward hatches. After the 4 laps it was Edd and Anna that once again took the win from Ben and Bella with Will and Tom Rounding out the podium. After 4 races and with the single discard in action it was Edd and Anna winning with Ben and Bella close behind and Owen and Annabelle in third. Back in the pack points were tight with 5th to 10th separated by just 5 points leaving a lot to be gained on the second day.

Once ashore all sailors were able to enjoy the club's hospitality which included on the water action of wing foilers providing thrills and spills before the final games of the 6 nations. After the rugby had finished the food was served and all who booked were treated to a brilliant meal. Having sailed 4 tough races sailors were ready for an early evening to prepare for Day 2.

Day 2 dawned with more sunshine and a slightly stronger forecast with a similar direction it was set to keep sailors and race team on their toes. The breeze averaged 10-15 knots with a few larger gusts meaning most runs saw high and fast planning action. Two boats suffered gear issue with Ben and Bella having the mainsail clew become detached from the outhaul and boom falling off with Merrick Stanley and Victoria Upton suffering the same fate, Merrick and Vic managed to sort themselves whereas Ben and Bella had to seek assistance.

Race 5 winners were Will and Tom who managed to spot the shorten course flag on the committee boat to take the win, followed home by Edd and Anna with Owen and Annabelle catching up through the race to take 3rd. Race 6 and 7 saw Ben and Bella lay their claim for the event taking 2 more wins with Henry and Ashley second and Will and Tom third in Race 6, and Race 7 Matt Venables and Bethan Matthews taking a well-deserved second in front of Stephen and Sarah Cockerill.

The final race of the event saw a show down between Edd and Anna and Ben and Bella each with 3 wins to their name. The wind clearly knew something was happening as just before the first start a large shift came in with the race having to be re-started, then during the race the breeze dropped to 5 knots at points making some very tight racing and large shifts catching anyone who wasn't paying attention out. At the end of the race it was Edd and Anna who snuck through following a tight battle with Henry and Ashley in second and Owen and Annabelle in third.

Overall Edd and Anna had just done enough to secure the event win from Ben and Bella with Will and Tom rounding out the podium. Credit must be given to the whole fleet as most mark roundings saw the whole fleet nose to tail with very little separating those at the front to the back. A big thank you to everyone who helped run the event from the catering staff to the race team and everyone behind the scenes. Then also thanks to Rooster Sailing for sponsoring the Championship Tour, next up on the Championship Tour is the Southern Championships at Itchenor Sailing club on the 17/18th June but with plenty of regional events between then, we hope to see you on the water soon.

Photo Gallery from Axbridge Photography

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8Pts
1st1626Edd WhiteheadAnna HorackovaParkstone/BCYC14112‑5‑9110
2nd1700Ben WhaleyBella FellowsSwanage SC‑4122(DNC)11411
3rd573Will TaylorTom CollyerLymington Town SC‑92‑93134518
4th1621Henry HallamAshley HillSt Mawes SC‑1133‑11826224
5th1667Owen BowermanAnnabelle OrmeHayling Island SC26(DSQ)43‑98326
6th1738Stephen CockerillSarah CockerillStokes Bay SC(UFD)‑866463833
7th1521Matt VenablesBethan MatthewSutton/QMSC/RTYC‑7757‑1072735
8th1365John TeagueNaomi PoundBristol Corinthian YC‑10‑975947638
9th1078Merrick StanleyVictoria UptonLlandegfedd SC/Warsash SC6588‑11‑1010946
10th317Ralph SingletonOliver SingletonRestronguet SC5‑11119611‑131052
11th1740Mark OakeyJess SmithCardiff Bay YC8‑1310107811(DNS)54
12th1395Nigel BirdAndy BirdRYA3124‑1614‑15141259
13th1562Andy Le GriceWilliam Le GriceWarsash SC‑151013135135(DNS)59
14th541Milly TregaskesTaryn BanksRestronguet SC‑14‑1412121212121373
15th1080Rose HallamBenjamin MarsdenSt Mawes SC1315141413‑17‑171483
16th594Freya BrownLily O'HalloranRestronguet SC12‑16‑16151516161185
17th1639Chris HattonAlan HattonSevern SC16‑1715(RET)1614151591
18th1641Will RhodesChris ChorltonBristol Corinthian YC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNC171818DNS110

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