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RS800 Rope4Boats Inland Championship at Grafham Water Sailing Club

by James Penty 5 Oct 2023 12:59 BST 30 September - 1 October 2023
Luke McEwen and Hugh Shone - RS800 Rope4Boats Inland Championship © Paul Sanwell / OPP

On a beautiful Saturday morning, reminiscent of a perfect mid-Summer sail, a gentle breeze and sunshine, we all headed towards the starting area in displacement mode.

In the first race, the fleet split into two groups, with half heading left and the other half going right, making it anyone's guess who would prevail. The shifting winds created a challenging course, but Bryan Ormond and Anna Prescott (1198) skillfully navigated every shift, taking a commanding lead at the first windward mark and sailed into the distance securing first place. Downwind, it was all about finding the gusts and riding them as long as possible. Although most boats favoured the right side of the course at the leeward gate, Martin Orton and Ian Brookes (1204) made a clearing tack heading left which gifted huge advantages securing second place. Luke McEwen and Hugh Shone (1) tried to catch up but settled for third.

In the second race, a bit more breeze filled the course, and all the boats got off to a clean start. Liz Watton and Christopher Williams (1225) displayed exceptional wind-reading skills, leading from the windward mark to the finish. Peter and James Curtis (825) secured second place, while Luke and Hugh (1) maintained their consistency with another third-place finish.

Race three saw some early challenges, with the starboard end of the line being favoured. James Penty and Eddie Grayson (1245) had to tack away to the right, initially losing ground. However, this unpopular move turned out to be a tactical advantage, granting them a substantial lead that they held until the finish. Luke and Hugh (1) secured second place, putting them in the overall lead overnight, with Bryan and Anna (1198) in third.

Sunday morning brought unexpectedly warm weather for October's start, coupled with a steady breeze of 12-15 knots, setting the stage for race four. The fleet remained closely matched, likely due to the steadier winds. As the race unfolded, the right side of the course seemed to offer more breeze. Luke and Hugh (1) claimed victory, followed by Bryan and Anna (1198), and James and Eddie (1245) rounding out the top three.

Race five began with a noticeable port bias, and Martin and Ian (1204) took advantage by winning the pin and heading right into the stronger wind. James and Eddie (1245) led around the windward mark but encountered a mishap (James fell off the back), capsizing and allowing the entire fleet to pass. Luke and Hugh (1) capitalised on this opportunity to secure their second win of the day.

In race six, a well-balanced start line provided an even playing field. Luke and Hugh (1) established an early lead and maintained it throughout the race, securing a perfect score for day two. Blake and Brett Tudor (1043), and James and Eddie (1245) battled for second and third places, respectively.

We look forward to seeing you all at Rutland for the RS End of Seasons Regatta on 4th-5th November - the grand finale of the 2023 RS800 Rooster National Tour!

Entry here... (Get your name on the list early so we can see who is intending to come)

Many thanks to Paul Sanwell/OPP for the photos from the Inlands. Thank you to Grafham Water SC for running a smashing event. Thank you to for their generous event prize sponsorship. Thank you to Rooster for our RS800 Rooster National Tour.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1st1Luke McEwenHugh ShoneRoyal Lymington YC‑3321118
2nd1043Blake TudorBrett TudorBrightlingsea SC564(NSC)2219
3rd1245James PentyEddie GraysonBeaver SC9‑10135321
4th1204Martin OrtonIan BrooksChichester YC25843(DNC)22
5th1198Bryan OrmondAnna OrmondQMSC1832‑10923
6th1225Liz WattonChristopher WilliamsLLSC61‑767626
7th825Peter CurtisJames CurtisGrafham Water SC42‑10741027
8th1224Fred LordLouise GaleCarsington SC7‑9558429
9th1099Alistair HodgsonElla SpainDraycote Water SC8468‑9531
10th1211Rob MawdsleyOscar Morgan HarrisHISC‑107996839
11th1241Stephen BrownPhilip BairstowUllswater YC(DNF)DNS111011751

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