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GJW Direct 2024 Dinghy

RS700 Masters at the RS 30th Anniversary Regatta

by Roland Smith 23 May 13:37 BST 17-19 May 2024
RS700 Winners - Third placed on left is Rob Higgins, centre winner is John Booth, right second place and first master is Pete Purkiss - RS700 Masters at the RS 30th Anniversary Regatta © Digital Sailing

Four grandees of the RS700 fleet met at Hayling Island Sailing Club on 17th - 19th May 2024 for a RS700 Masters open as part of the RS 30th anniversary regatta.

Day One

Day one was sailed as a combined handicap race across RS200, RS400, RS600, RS700 and RS800 Masters fleets on a two lap sausage triangle course in Hayling Bay.

Race One (SE 5 knots): Whilst Pete Purkis showed strong upwind boat speed on the left side of the course, the first beat favoured the right side used by Matt Carter and Roland Smith. This resulted in Pete making the mark just ahead of Matt and Roland who rounded together. Matt demonstrated strong downwind speed closing the gap on Pete. Pete got a gap again upwind with Matt closing to 26 seconds on the two reaching legs. Stephen Carr finished this race in fourth place.

Race Two (SE 6 knots): Matt Carter continued with his tactic of going the wrong way on the beats in race two. So Pete rounded the windward mark in the lead followed by Roland and then Matt. Matt's downwind speed saw him draw level with Roland by the leeward gate, but lose ground upwind. By the wing mark, Pete had a lead, with Matt just behind Roland. Matt overtook Roland, but the leg was not quite long enough for him to catch Pete, who took line honours by 9 seconds.

Day Two

The forecast offered "changeable" conditions that started Westerly at 6am moved through NW, N, NE, E, SE before settling to at 4 knot Southerly for afternoon. The Masters were joined by the main RS700 fleet for windward leeward fleet racing. Two races were achieved in marginal 4 knot conditions where the RS700 struggled to thrive. Matt Carter wisely chose to stay ashore leaving the field clear for Pete Purkiss to secure two more Masters bullets and 3rd overall in the main fleet results.

Day Three

Day three dawned bright, clear and cloudless skies with an 8knt NE. Forecasts suggested the wind would switch to a Southerly sea breeze which arrived on schedule at 1230hrs and built slowly from 6 to 8 knts through the afternoon. The Race Officer was able to squeeze in three, 30-40 minute races allowing the series to be completed in full. Even conditions across the course resulted in some very close racing across the main fleet with little separating 2nd to 8th. In race one, Roland squeezed ahead of the gaggle taking 4th in the main fleet ahead of Pete and Matt, and in hindsight this was the only interruption in Pete's clean sweep of Masters victories.

In races two and three, Pete came back strong taking 2nd in the main fleet to Matt's 3rd and 5th.

Summary

As RS700 Masters winner and 2nd in the RS700 main fleet Pete Purkiss clearly demonstrated that at 69, it is possible to both sail and RS700 and to be competitive.

RS Sailing and Hayling Island Sailing Club provided a great event and got maximum benefit from the conditions provided. Thanks to Rooster for sponsoring our RS700 National Tour.

Overall Results:

PosSail noHelmClubFri R1Fri R2Sat R1Sat R2Sun R1Sun R2Sun R3Pts
11042Peter PurkissBrightlingsea1111‑2118
21068Roland SmithHISC‑332213317
31062Matt CarterLancing224(DNC)32220
4801Stephen CarrBrightlingsea SC‑443344426

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