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Rooster 2023 - LEADERBOARD

Noble Marine Rooster RS400 National Championships - Days 1 & 2

by Matt Sheahan 2 Aug 2023 20:33 BST
Noble Marine Rooster RS400 National Championships 2023 © Lee Whitehead / Photolounge

In the 29 years since the RS400 was first launched there has been one guaranteed way to draw a crowd when it comes to the RS400 National Championships and that is to announce that it will be run at Mount's Bay.

The Cornish seaside town of Marazion and the Mount's Bay Sailing Club have played host to the event on four previous occasions and once again the fifth in 2023 took little persuasion for the 69-boat fleet to book up their accommodation at the beginning of the year and make plans for the big Cornish gig.

But, unlike previous years, as the event got closer it got harder to predict what kind of a week it would be as the weather forecast models danced around between summer and autumnal conditions.

This twitched those that had spent too long looking at the gloom and doom forecasts of a few days before and assumed that the first day's racing would be blown off. Others had used rose-tinted specs to plan their opening days and were banking on racing as expected. And it was it was this view that won.

When it came to Day 1, light winds and a full complement of races opened the week. But nothing can be taken at face value in Mount's Bay. While the wind barely crept above 10knots all day, the sea state was a much bigger offshore swell that had made no attempt to line up with the new lighter breeze. When this breeze did perk up sufficiently to make its own sea state it did so at a different angle, laying a counter chop across the top, all of which made life extremely difficult when it came to keeping speed upwind.

"It was a really difficult day, and the boat felt horrible all of the time," said Steve Norbury, "I'd take a guess that everybody at some point thought that they were going really slowly upwind. Our approach was to make sure we didn't get wound up by it. We told ourselves that if we thought we were having a bad time, the chances were that so was everyone else."

Defending champions Sam Knight and Chis Bownes (1376) came ashore questioning the focus of their excellent and well attended training session on the day before.

"Having spent so much time talking about how to depower in typical Mount's Bay conditions, we found ourselves struggling to pile the power on instead," said Sam.

The first race had been as tricky for the race committee as it had been for the competitors as the light breeze took a big step to the left under the influence of a big shower that was passing through to the north, making the downwind and second upwind leg a drag race. Sensibly the race officer shortened course at the top of the beat.

In this race it was last years' runners up Christopher Eames and Rachel Tilley (1528) that took the first win.

After a reshuffling of the course Race 2 went the full distance of three laps and while the shifting breeze did its best to raise the anxiety levels of those that had chosen to bang a corner, in the end it was Edd Whitehead and Ben Whaley (1541) that took the win with Sam Knight and Chris Bownes (1376) in second.

With the confusing sea state, shifting breeze and a forecast that didn't play out, the opening day had been a challenging one. This, along with the novelty of a gate start had meant that there were new flag signals to get to grips with too. As one crew said, "I was really missing my tea towel today to decode them."

In this respect Day 2 was at least simpler. With the breeze forecast to be in the teens and with Day 3 looking likely to be blown off, the race committee decided to run three races.

The day started off hovering below the 10knot mark with the occasional puff above. This time it was Ollie Groves and Esther Parkhurst (1526) that took the win with Whitehead and Whaley in second.

As the breeze rose a notch or two so the shrouds came down half a hole for many. By this stage the top of the points table was almost suggesting that there was a pact between the big guns to share the winning love around as Roger Gilbert and Keith Bedborough (1533) became the fourth team to take a win in four races.

"The sea state was really tricky once again," said Roger Gilbert, "The challenge was getting over or around the waves rather than hitting them and feeling like they'd pushed you back, especially off the start line when you're trying to build speed."

By race five a pattern was starting to emerge as Groves and Parkhurst broke the imaginary pact and took another bullet, while Whitehead and Whaley notched up their third second in a row to lead the fleet. Discarding a third also seemed to make their intentions clear.

So, with five races on the board, discards were now starting to come into play as the fleet settled down into this spectacular and challenging venue. As predicted, with wind speeds winds of 35-49knots recorded at Land's End, Day 3 was called off.

But if there was one thing to unite the entire fleet, whatever end of it you were at, it was the unbridled excitement of seeing dolphins on the course and alongside the boats. Those who have been here before had promised it and once again Mount's Bay had delivered straight from day 1 making it easy to see why this venue is so popular.

See also: Playlist of more videos from Lee Whitehead.

Results after day 2:

PosSail NoCat.HelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5Pts
11541GEdd WhiteheadBen WhaleyParkstone YC31(DSQ)228
21526FGLOllie GrovesEsther ParkhurstBeaver SC531‑7110
31533GRoger GilbertKeith BedboroughDalgety Bay Sailing Club6‑1141314
41528FGLChristopher EamesRachel TilleyQueen Mary SC1‑2626615
51376GSam KnightChris BownesBartley SC8254‑3119
61535GTom HalheadPaul HilliarLlandegfedd SC‑104331020
71479FGLChris WebberNicki WebberPevensey Bay SC2710‑20423
8411GMRichard CainBarney DearslyStarcross Yacht Club48‑18111437
91414SSam WatsonGeoff EdwardsBudworth SC76622(DSQ)41
101398GPhil MurrayNeil SchofieldTynemouth SC‑32121751145
111455FGGarry KnottAmy Hinsliff‑smithNCSC11‑271481750
121400GMJames StewartSam ParkerNetley Sailing Club‑21201112851
131439FOSKevin PodgerHeather ChipperfieldLymington Town SC15108‑272053
141239GPaul CullenMatt SargentWeirwood Sailing Club16‑371223556
151469MSYMartin PowellArun PowellParkstone YC‑30231314959
161481GMHoward FarbrotherJack MunnellyLymington Town(OCS)259191265
171189OSSteve RestallChris StubbsDowns SC916‑5534766
181362GOMike SaulOliver Kentyorkshire Dales149‑26182566
191456GAlex OystonPhilip CowansTynemouth Sailing Club23‑3115131566
201532GMSteve NorburyAndy HillWarsash SC1313‑34172467
211377GMNeil BevingtonAlan SkeensLee on Solent24522(RET)1869
221539FLSSteven BroomfieldJenni LewisLymington Town221923‑331377
231515OSPaul BartlettGreg BartlettStarcross Yacht Club1918‑24212280
241363OSRoss RyanOliver Ryan‑MooreNotts County SC1714‑37322184
251004STom PurdonSam PurdonStrangford Lough‑392425161984
261410FGLJacob AinsworthKayleigh RobertsTynemouth sc282220‑311686
271489MSDavid SwiftRob BurgessWarsash SC27‑403292391
28767CMSChris LarrAbigail LarrDraycote Water20‑3216263294
291513MSNeil ParkhurstIan ParkhurstBeaver Sailing Club‑312829102895
30971FLSSimon KitchenAbbi HooperGrafham Water SC12333125‑34101
311547FMSJohn HobsonRebecca OgdenNotts County Sailing Club‑3715362433108
321524FSStuart HalmanAnna WalshLeigh and Lowton sc352919‑3630113
331530FOSJohn CooperBecci WigleyLymington Town‑3630302826114
34506BAlex ZamariaRob StainesSaltash SC293821‑4327115
351437BFJustin SmithSarah BatchelorTynemouth SC‑5646331529123
36690BJeremy StephensThomas KliskeyPZSC(OCS)4273541125
371503MSNick DanielsMark AitkenWarsash SC342141‑5737133
38880STim Le CouilliardJames Le CouilliardKing George Sailing Club‑5036274238143
391493FLOSGeoff HoldenBernice HoldenLocks Sailing Club33‑43433040146
401427FLMSCarl WhiteheadCarol MilnerFiley S.C2545‑493939148
411184BChristopher SpencerEdward SmithHooe Point Sailing Club‑4541352943148
421325LSJames LoganPhilippa LoganNotts County SC18‑60444942153
43573BLTim StickleyFlorence KerrLymington Town SC5117‑664748163
44762BFYPaul McMeekinJane McMeekinStrangford Sailing Club26535038‑56167
451179BBen MartinDarren CushleyRUYC / Strangford Lough4235‑474446167
461345BFJohn WoolcockGemma ORourkeMount's Bay Sailing Club46‑49404047173
471417BOAndy RitchieMalc RitchieHykeham SC483428(DNC)DNC181
481501BOKen TwemlowGoiz‑Eder Aspe‑JuaristiNotts County41503952‑58182
49877SWilliam FindlayPeter GilmoreStrangford Sailing Club40‑58465845189
501435FOSMatthew SheahanEllie SheahanWarsash SC‑5352424551190
511536BOJonty ChallisNic AllenLee on Solent386653(DNF)35192
521470BMOGareth GriffithsIan PeaceIsland Barn60‑64484836192
531487BOAndrew BraySarah BevingtonLee On The Solent4347‑595053193
541422FGBruce MillsAndrea JarmanWarsash SC4739‑655355194
551430BMYSimon MathewsJack FusseyLancing SC52‑62623750201
561462BFLDennis WatsonNikita WatsonLee‑on‑the‑Solent49‑63524162204
571271SPeter GreigMike GreigMount's Bay Sailing Club‑6355456244206
581521BMAndy powellChril Rolfewarsash‑6554544652206
591287MSJames BowmanAndrew GladstoneStarcross Yacht Club5544‑575657212
601432BMJames AlsopSimon EdwardsQueen Mary SC‑6451615149212
611263FOSDavid StocktonAnna WarrenWimbleball446138(DNS)DNC214
62856BYConor McveighLaurence McVeighStrangford sailing club54‑56515554214
63603BMOMostyn EvansPhil DaviesMount's Bay SC584860(DNF)60226
641324BMRichard WatneyGrant ShoebridgeHISC57‑65565464231
651525BFLOMartin HartMoira HartNotts County Sailing Club5959‑635959236
661294BOMike GrantAlan BirseLargs61‑67646061246
671025BJohn GabbieErin GabbieStrangford Sailing Club625758(DNF)RET248
681201BFLOMatt GreenSharn WardMount's Bay SC66(RET)RET6163261

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