Please select your home edition
Melges 2023 - Melges 15 LEADERBOARD

Sailing Chandlery RS200 Northern Tour at GNAC

by Ben Dearden 10 Oct 2023 13:19 BST 16-17 September 2023
Sailing Chandlery RS200 Northern Tour at GNAC © William Carruthers

Day 1 of the Great Northern Asymmetric Challenge began in a cold and drizzly fashion with many sailors facing the realisation that the brief summer of 2023 had well untruly passed.

However as the competitors arrived and masts went up, the mist over the lake lifted and the sun came out! A short but very useful midday briefing took place outside the race office where those who may not have been as familiar with the SI's as they perhaps should've been learnt of the quirky starting sequence of 4-2-Go which left many "optimum time" watch owners rather baffled. A spreader mark was also added, which in retrospect was a very wise decision.

Due to the Easterly wind direction across the lake the race course was extremely compact, excellent for spectating from the clubhouse, however rather challenging for finding a clear lane out on the race course. Race 1 saw the Scottish boats of Fiona Rigg & Ellen Clarke and Peter Collings & Ali Morrish take the 1,2 and Bass members Phil & Niaomi Smith claim third. The wind picked up slightly for the second race of the day where current Scottish Champion Brendan Lynch & Anna McBestie took the win with Bass boats Phil & Niaomi Smith and Matthew Somerville & Henry Bullen in second and Third. Despite the short course and rather shifty and gusty conditions the first two races ran without a hitch.

The third race saw the first of two black flags for the slow fleet as the difficult starting conditions, by that I mean RS Feva's and 2000s being in the way, lead to a general recall allowing the competitors who paid attention in the briefing the edge as the start sequence changed from a 4-2-Go to a 3-2-Go. The fourth also suffered the same fait however a delayed restart lead to a rather chaotic start as the RS400's where sailing back through the line for their second lap while the slow fleet were in sequence. A breezy final race saw overnight winners Brendan & Anna demonstrate a well-executed Gybe-Capsize on the final downwind and a rather unfortunate pair capsize on the final leeward mark. The standings from the fourth race were as follows Andrew & Alex, Phil & Niaomi, Peter & Ali.

Off the water the sailors recovered from a hard day of racing with an extremely delicious Steak Pie and the wonderful entertainment of the live band 'Out on Bail'. It can comfortably be said that the 200 sailors led the party being the first to enter and last to leave the dance floor!

Sunday saw a much nicer wind direction with it coming almost directly up the lake. The race committee were very keen to make use of this new found space by providing the sailors with a leg-numbingly long beat to the windward mark. Unfortunately the wind didn't hold and the fifth race was finished after the first lap. Brendan & Anna took the top spot followed by Andrew & Alex and Fiona & Ellen.

Much to the relief of the competitors the windward mark was brought closer to the start for the sixth race allowing for a two lap race. The first beat remained challenging, due to the narrow width of the lake, starting too far left posed a problem when it came to sailing back across to the as it was almost impossible to find a clear lane on port. The downwinds weren't immune from difficulty with some sailors choosing to take advantage of the bending wind by the shore and others going for clear air down the centre of the lake. Race six saw Andrew & Alex take first with second going to Brendan & Anna and third place to James & Tom Johnson.

Race seven saw another win for Brendan & Anna with Fiona & Ellen second and Andrew & Alex third while the final race of the weekend went to Fiona & Ellen with Michael & Libby second and Andrew & Alex third.

Overall Third went to Fiona & Ellen, Second to Andrew & Alex and this years RS200 Northern Champion is Brendan Lynch & Anna McBestie. As far as the overall Northern Tour results stand Martin & Barbara Smith are still in the lead with 12 points, Jon & Heather Ward are in second on 18 points with Ben Dearden & Alice Carter close behind on 19 points. However this could all change at Budworth, the final event of the tour as any one of Chris Pickles, Russell Page or Nigel Pepperdine could potentially snatch the win if they decide to make an appearance!

Photo gallery at

Full results can be found here.

Related Articles

Marlow Ropes to sponsor RS200 Nationals
Supplying a generous prize package for winners across the fleet The RS Class Association are delighted to announce that Marlow Ropes are to be title sponsor of the 2024 Noble Marine Marlow Ropes RS200 National Championship. Posted on 21 Feb
Noble Marine RS National Championships announced
Dates and venues announced for the three biggest events The RS Class Association have announced the opening of its three biggest National Championships: Posted on 13 Feb
Announcing RS Class Association Women's Weekends
Encouraging and helping to develop female sailors at Rutland and Lymington events The RS Class Association are keen to encourage and help develop our female sailors, and in particular encourage more women to helm. Posted on 9 Feb
Sailing Chandlery RS200 Northern Tour 2024
2023 saw 130 sailors from 24 clubs battle it out The RS Class Association are delighted to announce that Sailing Chandlery will be continuing their support of the RS200 Northern Tour and will be returning as the title sponsors for 2024. Posted on 8 Feb
West Country Boat Repairs RS200 SW Ugly Tour
Dates and locations have been announced It's been a week of tour and event announcements at the RS Class Association, and yes, this is another one, but it's rather special - it's the longest running regional tour of all the RS Classes. Posted on 23 Jan
RS Class Association Rooster National Tour 2024
With prizes for the winners, mid-fleet heroes and Endeavour sailors for each event The RS Class Association are thrilled to announce that Rooster will continue their sponsorship of the RS100, RS300, RS400, RS500, RS600, RS700, RS800 and RS Vareo Rooster National Tours and RS200 Rooster Championship Tour for 2024. Posted on 22 Jan
Irish RS200 / RS400 Event Calendar for 2024
It's always good to have something to look forward to! As January blues, winter and frostbite racing properly kicks in around the country (with sub-zero temperatures), it is always good to have something to look forward to. Posted on 18 Jan
The Sailing Chandlery RS200 EaSEA Tour is back
2024 curtain raiser at Queen Mary is just two short months away It was a great first year on the RS200 East and South East Area Tour in 2023, with a full program of 39 races delivered by eight fantastic host clubs. All in all, 103 boats and more than 206 sailors took part with great competition throughout the fleet. Posted on 18 Jan
RS Class Association Scottish RS200 training
Designed for the hardiest of sailors The highly anticipated Scottish Winter Try Hard Series, designed for the hardiest of sailors, kicked off this year on December 2nd and 3rd at ELYC, with an air temperature of approximately 2 degrees. Posted on 16 Jan
Stewart Brewing RS200 Scottish Tour 2023
2023 was a big year for the Scottish RS200 fleet 2023 was a big year for the Scottish RS200 fleet, with the UK Nationals coming north of the border to East Lothian in August, but there was also plenty of excitement on our domestic tour, with 5 different winners from the 7 events. Posted on 16 Jan