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Hyde Sails 2022 One Design LEADERBOARD

RS200 West Country Boat Repairs SW Ugly Tour at St. Mawes Sailing Club

by Henry Hallam 20 May 16:12 BST 11-12 May 2024
RS200 West Country Boat Repairs SW Ugly Tour at St. Mawes © Clare Hallam

The RS200 fleet were greeted by brilliant sunshine and a moderate breeze, forecast to build as the day progressed. Framed by the rolling Cornish hills, iconic St Anthony's Head lighthouse and two historic Tudor castles, the race officer set the course at the mouth of Carrick roads, with a nice long beat towards St Mawes harbour mouth.

This meant battling upwind through the onslaught of punchy chop (created by the wind over tide conditions). This challenged the sailor's knowledge of wave technique and turned the stomachs and blew the minds of lake sailors as they craned their necks up towards the crests of previously unimagined waves. Now, rounding the windward mark, the scene was set for a tremendous blast downwind along the conveyor belt of breeze howling along the Castle shoreline.

An eager fleet (encouraged by the tide) led to several early starters and a general recall at the first start attempt. With the race officer, local expert Nigel Sharp, swiftly acting to get the fleet going again, a more conservative approach was adopted and race one was under way.

Quick up the first beat was pair Hallam & Hill, arriving at the first mark with Williams & Dormenval hot on their heels. Exhibiting their locals knowledge, Brown & Strugnell followed, blasting down the first run in a fantastic gust to extend their lead on the pack behind. After a seemingly strong finish for Hallam & Hill, the pair listened eagerly, however their ears were met with a deafening silence. No finishing horn... A disappointing OCS. Following in behind was a tight gaggle of boats, with Williams & Dormenval still in the lead, followed by Brown & Strugnell with Harris & Goodhead rapidly closing in.

Sweet & Mason used race two as an excuse to show off the results of their winter training: exceptional upwind pace, leaving a trail of glowing embers floating behind them. The increased breeze led to lots of jostling on the downwind and a few hairy moments 'threading the needle' between passing Falmouth working boats and other race yachts in the increasingly busy traffic. Hallam & Hill took first place (this time having started the correct side of the line)! After three tight laps, Milliner & Milliner took second place after exercising some cunning downwind strategy, finishing just ahead of Sweet & Mason with Brown & Strugnell very closely behind.

After a brilliant sparring match on the start line, locals Warren & Hallam stole the pin end in a brilliant display of starting finesse to lead the whole way up the beat. Rounding with a comfortable lead, they led the charge downwind past the castle along the fierce band of wind. The lake sailors had now got the hang of the waves and were driving their 200s increasingly harder to push along in pursuit of Warren & Hallam.

Hallam & Hill were applying pressure, but maximising the gains from a large left shift and gust were Milliner & Milliner who were catapulted into a three-way joint lead. Rounding the leeward gate, Milliner & Milliner had snuck ahead, with Warren & Hallam snapping at the heels of Hallam & Hill in a close second. It was all down to the final downwind. The three kites popped out and the action commenced. Milliner & Milliner extended initially, but Hallam & Hill closed the gap, applying pressure from the inside preventing an early gybe back. After a tense call of the lay line, the critical moment arrived and all three boats gybed off. Who had judged it spot on? Who could find that one extra gust or wave?

On the final reach to the finish, Hallam & Hill took the first position by a matter of inches, with Milliner & Milliner second and Hallam & Warren a close third.

Race four commenced in lighter conditions. The tide had now slackened leaving a wider racecourse for the fleet to explore. Warren & Hallam sailed right a long way in pursuit of a 'secret' eddy. Initially looking strong, gear failure prevented the pair banking their gains. The fleet was tight and positions changed rapidly. Performing well was new sailor in the fleet: Tristan Sellwood. He was really getting a taste for tight racing in the pack after just a few weekends sailing the boat! Hallam & Hill took the win again and Williams & Dormenval, having remembered all the wave sailing tricks, followed in a close second.

All boats across the fleet were enjoying the lumpy waters and strong breeze. All boats finished the races within short succession of each other, all in all a great day's sailing.

Race day two greeted the sailors with a beautifully glassy sea. But thankfully a powerful sun was already high in the sky and promising a strong sea breeze.

The first race commenced on time thanks to a good call from the RO to get the fleet afloat despite the lack of wind. A perfectly consistent breeze had filled in and a tricky beat commenced from the starting area toward Pendennis Castle. Hallam & Hill rounded ahead of Sweet & Mason, who were exhibiting their upwind pace again, displaying consistency across the wind range. Spiezia & Spiezia also had a strong first beat having found an extra lick of speed with their overnight set-up tweaks. With the wind shifting right, the course was turned into a procession, and swiftly shortened.

The second race saw movement of the committee boat and a course set up for a Southerly breeze. Every possible wind condition followed. Tregaskes & Banks nailed the start and led the first lap and a half from a seemingly comfortable lead. Tide was strong, and for the most part, the wind was light. Tense moments occurred with the lead boats becalmed, watching as the boats behind caught up rapidly in 5 knot puffs. Then kites would be dropped as the run turned into a beat.... And then more waiting for wind! In an unfortunate windward mark rounding, Tregaskes & Banks fell foul of the tide and were swept the wrong side of the mark. Hallam & Hill slipped past.

Race 3 commenced as the stable sea breeze fully kicked in. Hallam & Hill were quick up the beat with Sweet & Mason, close behind. Williams & Dormenval were also in the mix, as were Milliner & Milliner. A consistent breeze and even tide across the course led to tight crosses and splits up the legs of the course. With a slight chop present, wave technique came into play also. Milliner & Milliner, with Cliff sporting his favourite tongue-out pursuit face, closed in, with final positions tight on the final run. Hallam & Hill got the final race, followed by Milliner & Milliner and Williams & Dormenval in third. Back in the pack, Stubbs & Smith, having got to grips with the tide, put on a great display of sailing for the last race. The colourful spinnakers finished in a tight pack just off St Mawes castle, before turning to starboard and sailing back in toward the harbour.

Overall, Hallam & Hill finished in first place, with lake sailors Milliner & Milliner and Williams & Dormenval in second and third respectively, showing that sea-sailing can be picked up in just a matter of hours!

A thoroughly enjoyable weekend of sailing was had by all. Many thanks to St Mawes Sailing Club and Roger Boyle for hosting and organising the event, to the volunteer race crew and safety boat drivers for setting up and facilitating the racing and to the sailors for coming down to participate! We look forward to seeing you again.

The next stop on the tour is in Bowmoor on Saturday 29th June, see you there.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7Pts
1st1621Henry HallamAshley HillRestronguet SC(UFD)1111116
2nd1289Cliff MillinerBec MillinerCotswold SC‑622333215
3rd1019James WilliamsChristophe DormenvalChew Valley SC1952(UFD)5325
4th1466David SweetAnna MasonChew Valley SC33462‑11725
5th594Kyle BrownMadeline StrugnellRestronguet SC24‑8772527
6th1340Ed HarrisArchie GoodheadChew Valley SC47‑104510434
7th541Milly TregaskesTaryn BanksRestronguet SC85‑9944838
8th1080Rose HallamBob Warren/ Sam HollingsworthRestronguet SC5‑1031066939
9th1561Bryony SpieziaFrancesco SpieziaRestronguet SC7865(UFD)7639
10th1444Pete AlveyMark EylesChew Valley SC1011‑1211991060
11th1684Matt AngellRose KendleSt Mawes SC11‑121112881161
12th539Kitty O'HalloranEmma SellwoodRestronguet SC9678(DNC)DNCDNC62
13th1516Martyn StubbsYvonne SmithChew Valley SC1314(RET)DNS10DNF1281
14th361Tristan SellwoodWill SellwoodRestronguet SC14151313(DNC)DNCDNC87
15th455Noah CardenJack HareSt Mawes SC1213(RET)DNSDNCDNCDNC89

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