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RS800 Rooster National Tour Round 2 at Stokes Bay Sailing Club

by Alistair Hodgson 23 Apr 14:50 BST 20-21 April 2024
Going for a dunk during the RS800 Rooster National Tour at Stokes Bay © Tim Olin / www.olinphoto.co.uk

Approaching Stokes Bay Sailing Club looking out through the windscreen it looked as though Summer had arrived. The sun was out, and the trees had plenty of green leaves. Getting out of the car shattered the illusion, stepping into a brisk northerly 8°C. The question was is it windy, or very windy? The general opinion was windy, with those in the know forecasting big holes, and plenty of shifts. They were right.

The first race was a bit of a tussle between Monique Vennis-Ozanne sailing with Hugh Shone, and Bryan and Anna Ormond, with Alistair Hodgson sailing with Ella Spain, much to their surprise working through to third. It was definitely helpful to have a boat 100 metres upwind of you, so that you could see what random wind effect was shortly going to be heading in your direction next.

In race two the wind dropped slightly and if possible, became more unpredictable. Alistair and Ella's surprise increased as they found themselves leading the last downwind leg, only to experience a large hole at the leeward mark which Bryan and Anna as well as Monique and Hugh shortly arrived to share. Having crept around the mark, Bryan and Anna came out in front, and continued to the finish, Monique and Hugh became confused heading up for another lap leaving Alistair and Ella to finish second.

Race three continued in a similar style, with almost every boat unsure about what was going on except Nicholas Charles and Dan Goodman who managed to pull out a healthy lead and maintain it for a while. Much to their distress the last leeward mark hole reappeared allowing Monique and Hugh to reel them in, and lead over the finish line.

After enjoying Stokes Bay Sailing Club's excellent chilli offering, a question and answer session was held with each of the five classes present sending an 'expert' to explain how they had done so well on the day. The general agreement was to keep calm and accept what the wind gods had dealt you, and to keep the boat moving at its maximum potential in whichever conditions that you found yourself in.

Day two produced similar conditions to the previous day, but with a little more wind and not quite as many holes.

Race four produced various stories of misfortune, with Luke McEwen and Cliff Nicholson folding their mast while sailing upwind and three boats suffering the U flag, leaving Bryan and Anna the winners, Alistair and Ella 2nd, with Huw Whitworth and Harry Wilson 3rd.

Race five and Monique and Hugh were now putting on a demonstration of their enjoyment of the windier conditions speeding to 1st. Bryan and Anna chased them to 2nd. Alistair and Ella came through to 3rd after something dramatic happened to Rob Mawdsley and Oscar Morgan-Harris.

By the last race the conditions had started to take their toll. By the first leeward mark the fleet was reduced to only four, but they all arrived together keeping the competition keen. Monique and Hugh then sailed off into the distance leaving the remaining three having a race long battle. The tricky part was avoiding each other's moments. The last downwind leg decided it with capsizes and recovery speed playing their part. 1st Monique and Hugh, 2nd Bryan and Anna, 3rd Alistair and Ella.

Thank you to Stokes Bay Sailing Club for organising a fantastic weekend with hectic racing. Thank you to Rooster for sponsoring our RS800 Rooster National Tour. Next stop Hayling Island SC (HISC) for the RS 30th Anniversary Regatta on 17th to 19th May.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1st1Monique Vennis‑ OzanneHugh ShoneSwanage SC131(UFD)117
2nd820Bryan OrmondAnna OrmondHISC21(5)1228
3rd1099Alistair Hodgso nElla SpainDraycote Water Sailing Club32(6)23313
4th1156Huw Whitwort hHarry Wilsonatchet Water SC74735(RET)26
5th1211Rob Mawdsl eyOscar Morgan HarrisHISC463(F D)DNC428
6th1087Tim PalmerLizzie CulwickSBSC88844(RET)32
7th1188Nicholas CharlesDan Goodma nDatchet Water SC552(DNC)DNCDNC34
8th1241Philip BairstowStephen BrownUllswater679(F D)RETDNC44
9th924Luke McEwenCliff Nicholso nRoyal Lymington YC(RET)RET4RETDNCDNC48
10th1204Martin Ortonlan BrooksChichester YC(RET)RETRETDNCDNCDNC55

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