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Rooster 2023 - LEADERBOARD

RS Class Association Scottish RS200 training weekends

by Brendan Lynch 16 Jan 13:35 GMT 2-3 December 2023
Boats practicing rudderless sailing into the sunset - Scottish Winter Try Hard Series © Brendan Lynch

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.

Despite an initially promising forecast, sailors were greeted with glassy waters upon launching. However, after about 15 minutes of drifting, the wind filled in, allowing sailors to engage in various exercises.

During the morning session, our focus was on tacking, incorporating tack-to-cover games and learning from our partners. Emphasizing a pause to establish airflow on sails before flat-pumping the boat proved crucial for better acceleration. After a warm break in the cafe for lunch, sailors regrouped to discuss the morning's experiences and outline the plan for the afternoon, centered around starts.

Various drills, including hunters and hawks, hares and hoverers, and can't leave the box, were executed, culminating in a few regular races to whet the appetite for Sunday's competitive racing.

Sunday's conditions were excellent, with approximately 10 knots of wind from the north. Racing commenced promptly, cycling through six 30-minute races with brief pauses for tactical discussions. Key strategies involved keeping the rig properly powered upwind by adjusting the kicker through puffs and lulls, and shifting crew weight fore and aft downwind to navigate the waves. Calum and Ellen demonstrated mastery of these conditions, securing a well-deserved win.

Results for December:

Calum & Ellen41213112
Fi and Laura15321315
Christine & Morven34134217
Anna & William23542420
Rachel and Ben52455526

The second event, held on January 6th and 7th at ELYC, maintained the momentum. Saturday's focus included morning gybes, afternoon rudderless sailing, and a sprinkle of rabbit starts.

A pleasant surprise was how well everyone adapted to rudderless sailing. Calum humorously remarked, "My gybes were better without a rudder than normal, lol." Tacking proved tricky without a rudder, but crews quickly mastered the technique by backing the jib at the right time. The day concluded with fully rudderless races, providing great fun for all participants.

Day two featured races amid a sizable swell from the previous week. Boats adept at swiftly powering up and depowering in sync with the waves gained an edge, with Fi and Laura demonstrating exceptional adaptability and securing a well-deserved win.

Post-racing, spirits were high, with Fi expressing, "Wow, I can't believe I've enjoyed two days of winter sailing - it's been great!" Newcomer Hamish Taylor, sailing a borrowed boat, was ecstatic, exclaiming, "I just need to buy a boat now! That was some of THE-BEST-SAILING I've done in my life!" - Calm down there lad. I'm sure that our friendly Scottish dealer, Duncan of Sailing Fast, can help you out!;)

Results for January:

Fi & Laura1141321114
Calum & Emilia3323142220
Brendan & Ellen4212212.6620.6
Ewan & Morven2433.4534327.4
Anna & William6554653438
Hamish & Emily7765465545
Rachel &5677777753

Our thanks go out to the RS200 Class Association for their funding, via their Training Grants scheme, and to all the members at ELYC who helped to support these events! We are planning a 3rd event sometime in March, to keep in the loop follow the RS200 Scotland tour on Facebook and we hope to see you on the water soon!

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