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RS200 Spring Championship and Rooster National Tour Round 1 at Queen Mary Sailing Club

by Andrew Wishart 20 Mar 13:08 GMT 16-17 March 2024

In a word, shifty. The RS200 Spring Championships at Queen Mary SC were much more a mental challenge than a physical one, with pressure differences and huge shifts deciding the leaders.

In the RS200s the pink boat of Mark Thomas and Alex Ling got off to a flying start, finding an advantage buried deep in the right-hand corner of the first beat to lead by some distance at the first mark. They would never relinquish that lead, although Owen Bowerman and Annabelle Orme did reel them back in somewhat. It was striking how spread out the fleet were in the first race, as the early season rust was shaken off and getting the shifts wrong led to big losses.

In race two the fleet was a lot more closely packed, with Paris Thomas and Marta Uncio Ribera upgrading their third place in race one to a bullet. Matt Venables and Bethan Matthew also came to the fore taking second, despite Venables reportedly being hampered by back pain at the tender age of 28.

In race three it was your correspondent's turn to lead. At the first windward crew and I were cursing the race officer for adding an extra lap to the last race of the day, but to our surprise and delight we managed to extend away. Admittedly that was at least in part due to Owen and Annabelle turning their attention to defence with Matt/Beth and Paris/Marta snapping at their heels.

Overnight it was tight at the top. Paris and Marta edged it on 8 points, but a gaggle of three crews were all tied for second on 9 points. After refuelling in the clubhouse, much of the fleet decamped to the local pub to follow the rugby, catch up on off season developments, and plan for this year's pilgrimage to Mounts Bay.

The promise of more wind on Sunday didn't really materialise, with 7-12 knots greeting the sailors. But those that spent a bit longer than yours truly looking at the forecast realised the defining feature of the day would be the breeze unsteadily but surely tracking right. In the day's opener Mark/Alex, the right-hand corner connoisseurs, were again at the front. This time Owen/Annabelle did reel them in. But by engaging them in the run in to the finish, they allowed a late charge from Nina and me to sneak past the pair of them at the final leeward mark.

I can't really tell you what happened in the next race, but Paris and Marta got back to winning ways while some of us committed repeated acts of self-harm by going left upwind. A mention too for Victoria Hinkovska and Nik Wolfe, who are fairly new to the boat, posting an excellent second place.

Going into the decider Paris and Marta led by a solitary point from Owen and Annabelle. Owen finally upgraded to victory following a remarkably consistent set of results on a tricky weekend. But guess who was behind them - Paris and Marta again proving they had the measure of the conditions and some excellent speed to take second and the regatta by virtue of having two race wins to Owen and Annabelle's one.

Thanks to RO Paul Stainsby and team for setting a great course in testing conditions, Queen Mary SC for hosting, and our EaSEA tour sponsors Sailing Chandlery for the prizes. Thank you also to our RS200 National Championship Tour sponsor Rooster.

Next up is the Waldringfield Easter Egg on 29-30th March. Enter online at

and then Itchenor SC on Saturday 20th April for coaching from Ben Whaley and an open meeting on Sunday 21st April. Entry will be available shortly at

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1st439Paris ThomasMarta Uncio RiberaQueen Mary SC31‑441211
2nd1667Owen BowermanAnnabelle OrmeHayling Island SC2‑5233111
3rd1295Andrew WishartcrewQueen Mary SC5311‑8616
4th297Mark ThomasAlex LingHayling Island SC16‑727420
5th1358Charles WhitakerLucy GatesQueen Mary SC‑104586326
6th1007Victoria HinkovskaNiklas WolfeQueen Mary SC‑98652829
7th740Ben HardenLucy ElleryBurnham SC7‑9875532
8th1452Alistair HodgsonElla SpainDraycote Water SC‑1310964736
9th1604Matt VenablesBethan MatthewSutton/QMSC/RTYC423(DNC)DNCDNC43
10th463Edward JonesRuth LawQueen Mary SC61110911(DNC)47
11th770Douglas StruthMarion HeronQueen Mary SC87‑1311101147
12th849Charlie MuldoonAmy Hinsliff‑SmithBartley SC11‑13111091051
13th909James HobsonO D KieranWarsash/ Looe SCs‑1212121212957
14th288Stephen LemmonAlan PoveyLittleton SC‑14141413131266
15th1478Ben TeagueLibby AskewAbersoch SC(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC85
15th1507Finley SouthonPatrick SouthonBough Beech SC(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC85

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