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Rooster 2023 - LEADERBOARD

Rooster 2000 class National Championships at Keyhaven Yacht Club

by Claire Lee 22 Aug 2023 18:13 BST 12-19 August 2023
Rooster 2000 class National Championships at Keyhaven © Richard Bowers photography

Keyhaven Yacht Club was delighted to host the Rooster 2000 Nationals for 2023, also sponsored by C'est La Vie, day sponsored by West Country Boat Repairs and supported by Fernhurst Books and Noble Marine. Fondly described by members as "our little club at the end of muddy creek" it was with real excitement that we looked forward to hosting this prestigious event and welcoming our visitors. Much planning, boat shifting and event arranging took place in anticipation of what can only be described as a fabulous week of Fast Family Fun both on and off the water.

There is a good home fleet of regular 2000 sailors based at Keyhaven, and we enjoy some great club sailing throughout the season. As a competitor taking part in the Rooster 2000 Nationals for the first time it was wonderful to do so at our home club and on familiar waters. However, this year's unseasonal breezy August sailing conditions continued to show us what it is made of.

I think it was safe to say that I was not alone in wondering whether I had put enough effort into getting fit and needing to take some deep breaths to keep excited nerves under control!! I was looking forward to the sailing very much but since my brother and I were jumping into the boat together for the first time in well over 30 years it was certainly going to be an interesting ride.

This year the fleet was composed of 47 boats arriving from 24 different clubs or associations from across the country including entrants from Guernsey, Wales and Scotland. By a whisker, the largest fleet came from Weir Wood Sailing Club outnumbering the Keyhaven entrants by 1 and, of course, there was a great showing from the forces boats who are regular competitors in the 2000 fleet.

The event sponsored by Rooster, C'est La Vie Jewellery and West Country Boat Repairs got off to a cracking start with a happy friendly Commodore's Reception to welcome our visitors and to set the scene for the week to come.

The FAST FAMILY FUN ethos of the class shone through all week and fitted perfectly with Keyhaven Yacht Club's own family focus, so it was really special to welcome visitors of all ages with those taking part aging between 8 years old and 90!!

There were crews of all combinations - Mums and Sons, Dad with Lads, Daughters with Parents, Brothers and Sisters, Husbands, and Wives as well as boats crewed by great mates and partners who all teamed up together to take to the water and give it their best.

Saturday was arrival and registration day and despite some unseasonal wet and windy weather the steady stream of hardy sailors arrived to a warm welcome. The preparations made for the visiting fleet worked well and thanks goes to all the Keyhaven members and volunteers, as well as to the competitors, who kindly helped make everything run smoothly, helping each other out wherever and whenever needed.

The racing schedule, to run with 2 races daily from Sunday to Friday and a planned lay day on Wednesday making a total of 10 races in the series, got off to a VERY early start on Sunday morning to make the most of the favourable tides. This saw the club filling up from 6.30am and the first competitors launching at 8.15am, with the first start away smoothly at 9am.

The weather forecast for the week did not fail to deliver and the first two days of racing saw the competition kicking off with winds of 22+ knots and some fairly big gusts to contend with. This made for challenging conditions in the Western Solent with thrills and spills a plenty but with the South Westerly direction we were at least blessed to have a little shelter provided by Hurst Spit to give us flat water to race in.

Consequently the 2000 fleet shook out their Spinnakers, kicked up their heels and downwind speeding had sailors and supporters enjoying themselves... there may have been one or two "unexpected swimming sessions" but most certainly lots of laughs and smiles, back slapping and tales of "exciting moments" to share once everyone adjourned to the bar and the garden for post racing "rest and recovery" in the afternoon.

After the first 2 days and four races successfully staged by PRO Nigel Warbanks and his Committee Boat team, Simon and Katie Horsfield were beginning to build their impressive lead. With a tally of 3 first places and a second place they were certainly demonstrating in style, the way that it SHOULD be done with their bright pink Spinnaker consistently leading the way.

The daily post racing debrief sessions held at 5pm in the club house saw these experts, along with a panel of experienced coaches and others from the class association very generously sharing their wealth of experience in the form of hints and tips with all those in the fleet along with both photographic and drone video footage from the days racing used to demonstrate what improvements might be made. This feature only further goes to foster friendships and camaraderie amongst the fleet.

Alex Pepper and Cy Grisley, the Event Co-Ordinators from Keyhaven Yacht Club had arranged a full programme of great food and refreshments throughout the week, including the much appreciated post racing ice-cream supplied by Brock Ice and sponsored by West Country Boat Repairs, technical support provided by RS Sailing and shoreside entertainment for all to enjoy in the evenings as well as daytime activities for those whose families had also joined us for the week.

From treasure hunts to guided walks, crafty sessions and castle explorations and, of course, the Quiz Night, all supported by a fantastic band of Keyhaven volunteers and working with local businesses.

Tuesday's racing, with blue skies, sunshine and only a slightly lighter breeze, saw the families and friends join the competitors afloat with the Hurst Castle ferry providing a course-side viewing platform for the supporters. Another great day's racing in fabulous conditions saw another 2 bullets for the leading boat and some stiff competition for those jostling for position in the top spots and throughout the fleet.

By the time the scheduled lay day on Wednesday came around - perfectly timed with very light winds in the forecast - there were plenty in the fleet (me included) very much looking forward to a "Recovery Day." There was a lively buzz in the dinghy park on Wednesday with crews tweaking boat settings, drying damp sailing gear as well as generally enjoying each other's company in the sunshine ashore for a change.

One of the fun parts about racing in a single class fleet is that you soon get to know your closest rivals on the water whatever position in the fleet you find yourself. After three days of racing there are lots of "mini competitions" going on throughout the fleet. The "Champagne Moments" feature where participants are encouraged to make nominations and prizes are awarded daily saw the notable, funny or downright silly activities recognised.

The winning nominated entrants were rewarded with bottles of fizz and once again it was not just those in the top positions who found themselves in receipt of a well-earned prize and a moment of fame or notoriety. Reward was given for "recognising" the Isle of Wight was not France, for capsizing and still not finishing last and even one nomination for the PRO for postponing the start of a race to "wait for the sunshine to appear." All done with good humour and much banter.

The lay day was completed by the holding of the AGM, then a buffet supper and live music for all to enjoy. Another memorable Keyhaven Night.

After the day of rest and general "boat bimbling" or messing about with boats, the fleet reconvened on Thursday for the start of the final two days of racing. The breeze was refreshed too and back up to 15-20knots but now from an easterly direction so that the fleet had the added challenge of slightly choppier waters to contend with.

Team Horsfield bagged yet another two first places thus securing the National Champions title with a day to spare. Paul Cullen and Fresh Abendstern, along with Rob Burridge and Gemma Burridge also manage to hit the top spot during the week, each with a first-place position. Top Keyhaven finishers were Matt Wright and Alex Pepper as well as Edward Webb and Claire Lee who both managed a 3rd place in their best results for the week.

Going into the final day of racing there was still much enthusiasm and after another fantastic day with the last two races completed, the fleet returned to the shore tired and happy. Ten races run and a few bumps and bruises and definitely some well exercised bodies but lots of happy smiling faces. Sails were rolled, rigs removed and covers applied as the competitors awaited the publication of the final results.

There were prizes awarded for many. Gold Fleet and 2023 National Champion winners were Simon and Katie Horsfield with just 8 points. Silver Fleet champions were Matt Larkin and his sons Oliver and William. Newcomer winner was Gerald and Ben Shelley and topping the Junior Family Fleet, Jonathon and Louisa Ching. Our top Youth Helm prize was awarded to Matthew Botten crewed for by Richard Botten. Whooooops, cheers and high fives were in abundant supply.

Weary sailors enjoyed a final night of each other's company and celebrations before the fleet headed home with a great week of racing completed and some great new tales of daring to share, as well as new friendships and connections made and much excited anticipation of meeting up again before too long.

Thanks to all involved.

Overall Results:

PosBoatSail NoHelmCrewR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9R10Pts
1st 2203Simon HorsfieldKatie Horsfield11212111118
2ndJust One More22607Paul CullenFresh Abendstern22121031022216
3rdThe Good The Petite and The Ugly22713Peter VincentSophie Bentley5341342473328
4thZoomy2355Matt SargeantRoss Southwell84331212948746
5thRarely At Front22631Simon GreenhalghBonny Greenhalgh12813534686848
6thWet 'n' Wicked2458Robert BurridgeGemma Burridge76DNCDNC162194651
7thOKSANA2214Edward WebbClaire Lee111386683OCS7453
8thJuliette21103Adrian StellRoz Stell657OCS1398551558
9th2 Peachy Cheeks22722Jonathan ChingLouisa Ching1318111287539560
10thImp22340Matthew WrightAlex Pepper3125791714610961
11thBit of Blue21349Martin BoydeCarrie Boyde996824111216OCS1081
12th 22658Liam VassDarren Kirkham1571742718249111293
13th 22673Ed DodwellRuben Dodwell10151091752317141393
14thEscape III2085Joe GallivanSarah Burridge411DNCDNC111515111223102
15thWolverine22098Jonathan BaileyMatthew Bailey19101521161011101918109
16thSerefe2947Andy BaylissCarmel Royston1617910152116221517115
17thDr Lavender2204Iain YardleySarah Yardley14202215141318181316121
18thPretty in Pink2397Cy GrisleyAndy Ash‑Vie17161418193222151714130
19thThe Last Jedi22064Matt LarkinOliver & William Larkin202224DNC72313133011133
20th 21003Rory MoppettSarah Seddon18142014182019271622139
21st 22676Matt HartleyIsaac Lucas21193311202427202919161
22nd 2520Richard SmithKaty Seddon2521121622RET38251827166
23rdSwordfish22564Helen PhillipsAndrew Phillips22RET16RET362220142120171
24thWave Hopper/Shifty Lifty21285Matthew BottenRichard Botten26231826232530292321185
25thBoss22734Trevor BradleyRachel Guest29DNC3120211626232730192
26thSweet Dreams2231Gerald ShelleyBen Shelley23312824311937312225203
27thSurprise22547Mark FoleyNigel Foley32341917343517263432211
28th Oliver NorthropWilliam Northrop272525DNC294125213328213
29thJaffa248Charles FelgateCledwyn Griffiths242923223326293231DNC216
30th 21277Jim LedgerKate LedgerRETDNC21192530213026DNC220
31st 22675Baz Palmer‑SmithLou Dicker37272628414028282529228
32ndJust Pottering22696Chris JordanGillian JordanDNCDNCDNCDNC514712DNCDNC230
33rdGeorge21685Tim ReedRob Langley31333625422932372026232
34thRooster22619Mike McEwing 283029OCS322833332824232
35thPatronus2217Edie CarterJeremy Carter38283523262735413531240
36thDragonFly2587Guy BoswellJulie Boswell302630RET383431403234255
37thSmokin'2497Michael RotherJordan RotherRETDNC27DNC303339382433272
38thRonni22639Chris MillsClaire Dalby352434RET40373624DNCDNC278
39th 22700Piers JenningsImogen Cage‑White393232274338433536DNC282
40th 2817Valerie HaguePaul Hague36DNCDNCDNC28364242DNCDNC328
41stVillans2762Paul SmithCharlotte SmithRET3537DNC45424444RET35330
42ndTnT21995John TurnerRob Tarbard34RET39DNCDNCDNC4034DNCDNC339
43rd 22730Dirk MeyerLeif Meyer33DNCDNCDNC3931DNCDNCDNCDNC343
44thMilly on Sea21413David RamsdenPetra RamsdenDNCDNCDNCDNC37DNC3436DNCDNC347
45th 22726Declan McKennaRob ArundelRETDNC38OCS44DNC4139DNCDNC354
46thStealaway21549Tim AnsteeRobin Dent40DNCDNCDNC4639RET43DNCDNC360
47thRhapsody2741Ernie HattonColin HattonOCSDNCDNCDNC35DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC371

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