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Rooster 2023 - Aquafleece - LEADERBOARD

RS Vareo Rooster National Tour at Oxford Sailing Club

by Paul North 7 Nov 2023 13:51 GMT 21-22 October 2023
RS Vareo Rooster National Tour at Oxford © Sheralyn Crickmore

The weekend of 21/22 October saw Oxford SC host its first RS Vareo Open meeting in recent times. This was the penultimate event in this year's Rooster National Tour.

With an ever-growing local fleet and seven visitors, 15 Vareos took to the water on Saturday morning in a light northerly breeze with some boats being "borrowed" by Vareo virgins to join in the fun.

Race Officer Richard set a nice windward leeward course with a spreader at the top and gate/finish on the other side of the committee boat to the start line. With the wind steadily growing but staying in the same general direction he was able to get us away quickly between each race with very limited waiting around - much appreciated by the competitors.

Sadly, on her home water, Michelle Collier-Brookes picked up Covid just before the event so was unable to compete.

In race one Luke Fisher soon took up the lead after an uncharacteristically poor start to finish well clear of Nigel Tinkler in second having a real close race with Chris Abbott in third. Among the rest of the fleet there were lots of close battles going on with the same boats crossing each other up the beats. For me this is always the joy of open meetings, there's always someone of similar ability/speed to you.

With the wind building a little for race 2, Luke led start to finish with Nick never far behind. Shifts were now becoming more defined and good advantage was to be had with strategic tacking. Nigel was holding third until Max found a particularly good route downwind to take the spot at the finish.

I also had a lucky break on the first lap, after a poor start and first beat I arrived at the windward mark in about 12th. Looking ahead I saw a long line of 11 Vareos, kites up heading out to the right so took a gamble and gybed back to the middle of the course. As a bit puff came through, I gybed again to find I was on the shifted lay line going like a train and arrived in fifth with a big smile!

Alan Bassett retired to repair a broken kicker (that he had replaced the evening before!).

Race 3 saw more wind (and certainly more than the forecast) as we moved into proper hiking mode upwind. Again, Luke showed how it's done, holding the Vareo completely flat and leading start to finish. Again Nick never far behind kept up the pressure, with Nigel and Chris close on each other's heels again.

We won't mention names (as there is some dispute) but the boat with the yellow kite was caught with a big gust right at the drop and ended up almost capsizing right on the leeward mark. This caused a big pile up behind as arriving boats fought to avoid him and allowing Alan with his repaired kicker to find a way round for his best finish of the day.

Once again behind the leaders there were plenty of battles with every place being contended for by two or three people.

Sunday dawned with an unpromising forecast but even that failed to materialise with the lake like glass for most of the morning before the Race Team cancelled at 11.45.

Thanks go to the excellent race and safety teams, to the catering at Oxford SC and of course to our generous sponsors, Rooster.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3Pts
1st621Luke FisherEmberton Park SC1113
2nd162Nick CrickmoreOulton Broad SC4228
3rd190Nigel TrinklerLlandegfedd SC2439
4th649Chris AbbottNottingham SC35412
5th475Max ReidOxford Sailing Club63716
6th273Dan RobinsOxford Sailing Club58619
7th443Paul NorthMilton Keynes SC96823
8th487Mike TruemanOxford Sailing Club871126
9th321Paul KettleOxford Sailing Club710926
10th436Russell HowathOxford Sailing Club1091029
11th247Alan BassettPevensey Bay SC11DNF532
12th299Tony BellOxford Sailing Club12131237
13th359Tom LaidlarOxford Sailing Club13121338
14th285Andy NicholOxford Sailing Club15111541
15th407Serena StewardsonEmberton Park SC14141442

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