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Ovington 2021 - ILCA 1 - LEADERBOARD

RS600 Pre-Season Training and Coached Racing at Bough Beech Sailing Club

by Will Russell 20 Mar 14:10 GMT 16-17 March 2024

Eight RS600s turned up to work on their technique and skill during the pre-season training and coached racing, run by none other than three-time RS600 National Champion George Smith.

George had planned the weekend in two parts, with Saturday's focus being on practising manoeuvres and races and Sunday focusing on joining in with club racing, with George providing some tips and advice through the races, as well as commentating over GoPro videos.

Saturday started off with nice warm weather, but no wind whatsoever, so it was a good opportunity for those new to the class to have their boats looked at by the more experienced sailors and get tips on things they can make better.

Around lunchtime the breeze filled in enough to get out on the wire, so we headed out to try tacking and gybing on the whistle. No doubt George had us working hard to get the most out of the wind while we had it with plenty of tacks and gybes! A common theme was not planning ahead for the manoeuvres and rushing them due to the pressure of the whistle, but we saw later that once we put it into a practice race, people were generally smoother - the pressure of the whistle does work!

After a lot of manoeuvres and a few swims from those pushing the limits, we headed into lunch to debrief over the GoPro footage which is well worth a view.

After lunch, the sun had disappeared but the breeze had stayed up so we went out to do some short practice races to work on our starts, as well as mark roundings. The races were very simple with a simple one lap windward leeward to begin with, then later progressing to a 2-lap windward leeward where the second windward mark was half the distance of the first. This was a great opportunity for people to really try and push the limits of their boat control to get a tidy start which isn't always easy in a 600 that doesn't really like to stay still. At the end of the day, the group sat down to debrief over the footage captured from the RIB and discuss in more detail the minor tweaks they could make going into Sunday.

Going into Sunday, we had a few more local sailors join us for the full length races with a bigger breeze expected as well. However while we were rigging, the breeze didn't really get much stronger than Saturday but it was still plenty to get some good racing under way.

Race 1 saw Chris Owens in his new shiny Ginger built RS600 attempt a port flyer which took him straight into the lead with loads of wind while everyone else opted for a safer spread out start on starboard. By the time we got to the windward mark, everyone was fairly bunched up with the locals starting to show their knowledge of the water by catching up to Chris. As the wind went up and down, it was important for folks to remember to change gears to keep the power up as well as working the boat hard. We saw Will Russell and Rich Bone both constantly adjusting their kicker as well as moving between the hull and rack to keep the boat steady. However we saw Andy Peake take a bit more of a smoother approach by staying planted in one place but kept the speed on.

10 seconds to go for the start of Race 2 and a huge shift hit the course. Will was very grateful as he had just gybed around after being a tad early for the start giving him another chance. Once the course had been reset, everyone was much closer to the line this time making it harder to get a clean lane. We saw Reese Tryfitt take a storming start with loads of speed and hitting the line perfectly at the go. As we got close to the windward mark, we saw everyone quite close but the locals had got themselves to the top. Once we had got to the end of the first lap, we saw the same sort of order with Andy, Rich and Chris in the top 3, with Nick and Reese not far behind and Will and Tom working their way through the fleet.

On the penultimate lap, Will had worked his way into 4th after starting last with a poor start and slow first beat. After rounding Mark 2, he got a nice gust and shift which he used to soak super low allowing him to make the run in one while the top 3 were putting a gybe in after going left. This saw him catch them up as they rounded back upwind for the line. Going into the final lap, Andy, Rich and Will all tacked at the mark straight for the line, but Will had a tighter rounding allowing him to have a bit more height than the other two. Will was able to use this height to get past Andy and cross just behind Rich as they got to the windward mark. Rich and Will stayed in this order to finish the race but Chris had come back to make Andy work very hard to keep 3rd. As we got onto the bottom reach, the two were neck and neck and it all came down to the final beat to the line. Chris decided it was best to go a few boat lengths before deciding to tack to ensure he would make the line after watching Will and Rich put a tack in before the line, but Andy opted for tacking straight away. While Andy was taking a shorter route, Chris had a lot more speed so it was going to be close! It was literally a photo finish with Andy just edging an inch ahead at the final moment.

Overall Results for the Coached Racing:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2Pts
1st980Richard BoneBough Beech Sailing Club112
2nd901Andy PeakeBough Beech Sailing Club235
3rd728Will RussellGrafham Water Sailing Club426
4th1003Chris OwensPembrokeshire Yacht Club347
5th988Nick LettMedway Yacht Club5611
6th647Reese TryfittBough Beech Sailing Club7512
7th957Tom CaveCalshot Sailing Club6DSQ14

Overall, a very productive weekend at Bough Beech with everyone coming away better than before. Thank you to George for providing the training as well as Sarah Sedden for the photos and videos. We look forward to returning to Bough Beech in the future!

Coming up, we have our first event of the 2024 Rooster National Tour at Oxford Sailing Club on the 6-7th April so look forward to seeing you there!

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