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RS Vareo Inland Championship & Rooster National Tour Event 2 at Oxford Sailing Club

by Tony Bell 8 May 11:26 BST 4-5 May 2024
Competitors in the RS Vareo Inlands at Oxford © OSC

At Oxford Sailing Club we are blessed with a huge expanse of water, plus a large RS Vareo fleet with many differing levels of ability. This weekend the big boys of the RS Vareo community made a welcome return to the club, for this year's Inlands.

The weather forecast was not particularly good for either day, however experienced OOD Miles Roebuck was not going to let that get in the way of his running racing. The weekend consisted of the opens of the K6, 420 and RS Vareo fleets, and he left no one in any doubt he would start at 1.00pm come hell or high water. So no hanging about on the beach you teenagers.

True to his word at 1.00pm precisely the 420s headed off, followed exactly ten minutes later by our own fleet. Apart from a couple of nice gusts, the guys in the metrological department had got it completely correct. I'm not sure that this information was relayed to Howard Astley-Jones, who left the fleet for dead, and blasted away for the first of his multiple firsts over the weekend. He was followed home by the ubiquitous Luke Fisher who had said given the conditions, the event was "open for anyone." A couple of home boats, Max Reid and Tom Laidlar followed them both home.

The second race of the day was as forecast, if not worse, and the racing was canned as soon as the last competitor crossed the line. Another fantastic first for Howard. In a particularly awful point in the racing, a fellow club member said, "we should be using our local knowledge." My reply was that "our local knowledge said we shouldn't have been sailing!!"

On day two, we were greeted by Farmoor looking like a mill pond. Again Miles was not having it. "We start at 10.30am, it's going to fill in." Much to everyone's relief, he was absolutely correct with some inconsistent, but very sailable conditions.

Again through the up and down conditions, Howard seemed to spot a path to the front, and apart from losing out to Luke in race two, made it a clean sweep, winning his first Inlands. It's nice to know your discard is your only second place!

Luke finished in second, with two boat Nick Crickmore in third. Local pride was salvaged be Michelle Collier-Brooks in fourth. Regular Chris Abbott, after some car calamities, managed fifth. Young student Tom Laidlar was the second Oxford boat home.

Many thanks to Miles and the race crew for very efficiently run racing given the weather conditions. Thank you also to Rooster for sponsoring our RS Vareo National Tour. Next week is the Noble Marine RS Vareo National Championship at Paignton Sailing Club. See you there! Event information and entry here.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1st516Howard Astley‑JonesRollesby Broad SC111‑214
2nd621Luke FisherEmberton Park SC2‑32127
3rd162Nick CrickmoreOulton Broad SC‑5235515
4th444Michelle Collier‑BrooksOxford SC‑7564318
5th649Chris AbbottNottingham SC6‑753418
6th359Thomas LaidlawOxford SC444‑7719
7th443Paul NorthMilton Keynes SC‑116711630
8th436Russell HowarthOxford SC‑131086832
9th273Joe GoyderOxford SC8‑998934
10th475Max ReidOxford SC38(DNC)DNCDNC39
11th299Tony BellOxford SC1011109(DNF)40
12th487Nigel FawlkOxford SC‑121211101043
13th321Paul KettleOxford SC9(DNF)DNCDNCDNC51

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