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Ocean Safety 2023 - New Identity - LEADERBOARD

Rope4Boats RS200 Inland Championship 2023 at Grafham Water Sailing Club

by David Jessop 4 Oct 2023 09:40 BST 30 September - 1 October 2023
RS200 Rope4Boats Inlands at Grafham Water © Paul Sanwell / OPP

Ever since the RS200 became the boat of choice for the prestigious "champion of champions" Endeavour Trophy, the RS200 Inlands, held at Grafham WSC on the preceding weekend, has been the ideal warm-up regatta for the country's national champions to test themselves against the established fleet. As such, the depth and quality of competition is top tier, and the racing is close and intense.

With a Southerly breeze coming over the village of Perry, the conditions were challenging, with irregular 30 degrees shifts, gusts and holes to contend with on both days, meaning consistency was key - sail clean, pick which shifts to tack on and which to sail through, and avoid getting stuck in a hole.

At the end of day one, nobody had strung a perfect series together; overnight leaders and winners of race one were brother-sister pairing JJ and Jess Hammett from HISC. Most consistent, but not yet hitting their stride with a 6,6,3 were Ben Whaley and Lorna Glen of Parkstone YC, while the veteran SB3 sailor (and 2005 RS200 National Champion) Craig Burlton sailing with daughter Hennie sat 3rd.

Being at the heavier end of the fleet, we were looking forward to the forecast of more wind on Sunday, but the promised 20kts never materialised and we had an even trickier day of marginal planing conditions, still with the same patchy and fickle wind direction. Huge gains and losses were made on every downwind, with the top mark being so close to the windward shore that picking a side was a lottery as the gusts were only visible from a ? of the way down the course.

An impatient fleet and a change in wind direction meant there were a number of black flags in race five, but going into the final race, the event was wide open. Leaders after five races, counting 1,1,2,8 were new pairing David Jessop and Richard Thomas, but with some quick mental arithmetic they knew that JJ and Jess (with 1,3,3,6) and Ben and Lorna (also counting 1,3,3,6) were only one point behind. So, the stage was set for a three-way scrap for the win.

A punchy start from the starboard end saw David and Richard take an early lead, and they rounded the top mark in 3rd with Ben and Lorna right on their transom. JJ and Jess were somewhere in the bunch behind, but with their lightning downwind pace and cunning overtook both boats and stormed ahead. David and Ben closed up on the next beat, but James extended down the penultimate run to take a 10-boat length lead over David who followed to the favoured right, and Ben who rolled the dice and went left.

Slowly, slowly the gap reduced; every cross was a little closer, and approaching the final windward mark JJ led David by a small margin. With a big lull in the middle of the course, Ben had committed to the far left, and every shift swung the pendulum one way then the other. A last-gasp left shift at the top of the course allowed Ben to pop out just at the front of the bunch, with six tightly-packed boats following close behind including James and David.

Somewhere well ahead, Simon and Katie Horsfield became the 5th different winner in six races, but it was Ben and Lorna coming home in 3rd who clinched the event win, followed by JJ and Jess, and then David and Richard. The prize-giving highlighted just how consistent Ben and Lorna have been this year as they swept up all the series prizes, and a big congratulations to them on a well-deserved defence of their Inlands crown. We don't have the space in our house for the trophy anyway... maybe we will next year!

Thank you very much to Grafham Water Sailing Club for hosting a fabulous event, to Rope4Boats for being the generous event sponsor, and to Rooster for the RS200 Championship Tour.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1st1700Ben WhaleyLorna GlenParkstone YC‑66313316
2nd880JJ HammettJess HammettHISC13‑1036518
3rd1564David JessopRichard ThomasGrafham Water SC‑161182921
4th1439Jamie HarrisEllen MainHISC/Netley SC214‑2224729
5th8Craig BurltonHennie BurltonRoyal Southern YC492‑1212633
6th1237Tom AhleidTristan AhlheidFrensham Pond SC713‑1461835
7th1211Brendan LynchEllen ClarkEast Lothian YC19545(BFD)235
8th1699Simon HorsfieldKatie HorsfieldThorney Island SC/RNSA114‑20137136
9th1621Henry HallamAshley HillRestronguet SC172‑18145442
10th439Paris ThomasMarta Uncio RiberaRoyal Thames YC‑1511124111250
11th1635Andrew BarnettLynne RatcliffeIsland Barn RSC5106‑16141651
12th1295Andrew Wishart-QMSC3‑251510151154
13th1716Ollie EvansZoe NieveenSouthampton Uni SC13‑195991854
14th994Dylan CreightonJoseph JonesCardiff Bay/Burghfield SC8‑18167161764
15th1421Ed BradburnHolly EvansSouth Staffs SC218818(BFD)1065
16th1021Cameron HarrisArchie GoodheadWaldringfield SC/OYC121211‑25191468
17th1078Merrick StanleyVictoria UptonWarsash SC97‑2120201369
18th297Mark ThomasAlex LingHISC‑2916915132174
19th1526Ben HazeldineHebe HemmingFrensham Pond SC1022132117‑2383
20th211Jamie MorsonFiona HarringtonSBSC/WWSC‑2517172382085
21st1740Mark OakeyJess SmithCardiff Bay YC2020‑2517101986
22nd433Adam FullerAaron WoolfOrwell YC/WSC/RHYC26242711(BFD)15103
23rd1358Lucy GatesAmy SandersonQMSC27‑297242326107
24th1277Stewart WalkerMartin WalkerYorkshire Dales SC182123‑272124107
25th1617Alex CurtisRaffi GracieHISC2315192924(DNC)110
26th1666Ben DeardenAlice CarterYorkshire Dales SC242324‑261822111
27th1173Emily DavisFlynn DaviesDraycote Water SC14282619(BFD)25112
28th1709Ross SouthwellKatie ByneLLSC/YDSC22262922(BFD)27126
29th1152Jo TribeMarcus CollingbourneBurnham SC‑322728282229134
30th854Bailey Coulson‑BlandGrace MuldoonHaversham SC2830‑31302530143
31st909James HobsonAlex BarkerWarsash SC30‑3130312628145
32nd985Tilly JonesChris JonesWaldringfield SC3132323227(DNC)154

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