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RS700 Rooster National Tour at the RS 30th Anniversary Regatta

by Rob Higgins 24 May 11:14 BST 17-19 May 2024
RS 30th Anniversary Regatta Day 1 © Phil Jackson / Digital Sailing

Next stop on the Rooster National Tour was Hayling Island Sailing Club for the 30th anniversary of RS Sailing.

The fleet were promised Sun, Sea and Wind. After a short postponement and to some amused faces the fleet were sent out into Hayling Bay for a scheduled three races.

Race one: Credit to the race team they didn't hang around and set about putting the four fleets sharing the course into some racing. They may however may have been a bit optimistic about the length of the beat with the blue marks seeming a long way away. The RS700s started third after the RS21s and RS800s so clear air was going to be at a premium. The gun went and the fleet headed up wind in shroud hugging mode. The usual suspects went nicely about their work with 'Pistol Pete' Purkiss dominating the pin end and John Booth going quickly whichever way he went. The right-hand side came in slightly allowing the top seven boats to all round the top mark in a bunch. Matt Conner decided he would give the wing mark a cuddle to allow the rest of the fleet to battle it out. John as quick downwind as he was up took the win with the course being shortened. Rob Higgins used being the last of the close bunch to see most of the fleet had gybed off early and snuck in to take a very lucky second from Pete.

Race two: The fleet had switched from shroud hugging to full mast hugging mode in a dying breeze. Richard Allen who had gone extremely quickly in race one again found his light wind mode and led at the top mark closely followed by John, Rob and Pete. The course was shortened to allow for two laps. Rich and John choosing the left gate and Rob and Pete the right. John made the decision to try and get through the vast wind shadows made by the RS21s make. This allowed Rich to take the lead followed by Rob. John then made an uncharacteristic mistake in trying to gybe off allowing the others to join in the party. Rich didn't learn from the previous race and gybed early which allowed Rob and Pete to drift over the line in front of him. The fleet was glad that the race team put an end to the day and so everyone headed in to join in the RS party.

Race three: After some more postponing and drifting around the wind filled in and the flags went up. The fleet realised that we might need our harness mode and with this Matt Carter's eyes lit up as he saw the opportunity to box Rob out at the committee boat end. However he enjoyed this so much he allowed James Clark to come up underneath him and undo all his good work. John again sailed nicely, and picked his way through everyone from the middle. John led and took the win followed by James and a charging Tom Porter.

Race four: Pistol Pete was back after a quiet race by his high 69 year old standards. He hit the pin end hard... again and flew out of the blocks. He led the fleet around until the last downwind where he was a sitting duck for the charging John. John took the win closely followed by Pete and Matt Carter.

Race five: This was the windiest race of the weekend and some straight legs were even seen. However the story didn't change much. Pete led, got over taken by John on the last downwind to continue his impressive display. Rob limped over the line in third just holding off fellow Chew sailor James Clark.

Congratulations to John Booth who took home a powerful win. The ever impressive Pete Purkiss lived up to his nickname and showed that age is just a number, taking second and the crown of Master's Champion.

Thanks to HISC and RS Sailing for a great regatta. Thank you to Rooster for sponsoring our RS700 National Tour. Next stop on the tour is Lymington Dinghy Regatta 1-2 June.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubSat R1Sat R2Sun R1Sun R2Sun R3Pts
11058John BoothStokes Bay SC1‑41114
21042Peter PurkissBrightlingsea32‑6229
31029Rob HigginsChew Valley Lake Sailing Club21‑77313
4765James ClarkCVLSC4‑824414
51055Tom PorterHISC and ESC5‑635619
61073Richard AllenCarsington SC6356‑820
71068Roland SmithHISC774‑8725
81062Matt CarterLancing SC(DNC)DNC83529
91060Matt ConnerQueen Mary SC85‑99931
101063Elliot BooleyCVLSC99‑10101038
11801Stephen CarrBrightlingsea SC1010‑12121244
12763Sam SimmondsCVLSC‑111111111144

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