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RS800s in the RS 30th Anniversary Regatta at Hayling Island Sailing Club

by Lesley Dhonau 28 May 15:54 BST 17-19 May 2024
RS800s in the RS 30th Anniversary Regatta at Hayling Island © Phil Jackson / Digital Sailing

There was much scratching of heads as the clock ticked for the start of the well anticipated RS 30th Anniversary Regatta on 17th - 19th May at one of our best UK venues on the sandy South coast beach of Hayling Island Sailing Club. The forecast was about as light and fickle as you can get - at one point XC weather couldn't even predict a wind direction and just left a gap in the chart.

With the experience of Tim Hancock leading the race team we knew we were in the best hands possible, so we all braced ourselves for light wind harness groin discomfort, lashings of suncream, new jokes to while away the time and rain gear for the slow drenching we were also expecting.

Friday was Masters Day and a chance to fight for geriatric supremacy. In fact there were just three RS800s that took up that challenge including David Kelly and Billy Russell all the way from Scotland. 'Bonnets' off to you sirs! With a single course handicap race there was some good nip and tuck jostling around the course and a tight outcome on points.

Recovering from slightly embarrassingly being beaten over the water by the RS400s in the first race, adjusted handicap results gave the RS800s positions in the second half of the overall fleet - as one might expect for an RS800 on a light wind day. However within their own battle it was Chris Feibusch and Matt Alvarado achieving golden zimmer frame status with Alistair Hodgson and Ella Spain Just beating David and Billy into 2nd place by one point.

Saturday and Sunday saw a good boost of numbers to 15 for the RS800s with yet more geriatrics turning up, including ex RS800 national Champion Geoff Carveth (20 + years ago!) with Lez Dhonau up against much younger blood and smart minds of the likes of Rob Gullen and Tom Partington, Ben Palmer with Bruna de Queiroz, 49ers Jo and Ben Bradley and of course our own class super coach guru leaders Tom Morris and Guy Fillmore. It's great to see lots of good talent and fresh faces to the RS800 class which is spurring the class forward.

Light on our feet the first race finally under way, it was a hunt for the wind and single wiring here and there. With a one lap shorten course finish approaching there was line confusion as the port gate had slipped its way behind the committee boat and was hard to see, resulting in half the fleet having to unwind themselves back round the incorrect starboard gate to make a correct finish.

Some gained, some lost, a few growls but no tears. Line honours went to the Bradley boys who were right on it. The second race was sailed masterfully by Chris and Matt to take the gun, before heading home for sunset beers on the balcony, a sumptuous BBQ and a big night with a great band and some terrible shirts.

A raised eyebrow or two was spotted as day two's 'go afloat' signal was given over a virtually windless bay. However all credit to the race team as, after everyone eventually made it to the line, there was a day of gradually increasing sea breeze until the joy of twin wiring arrived and three races were in the bag to make a full series. There was some great tactical racing and shifting positions, with no one team dominating and only seven points in it across first - seventh overall positioning, so that no one was totally clear until official race results, who had championed.

RS Sailing made a great show of the prize-giving, talking about their incredible 30 year journey that started with the inspiration of Martin Wadhams and Nick Peters on a beer mat in Cornwall to provide solutions and alternatives to some of the designs of the time. Infused along the way by many key people, special mention was made of Greg O'Brian of Purple Marine and Jonothan Lewis who motivated so many youngsters through the RS dream, both of whom are no longer with us, leaving this planet far too early.

There was an impressive prize pot of goodies and vouchers put together from sponsors Rooster,, MDL Marinas, Selden, Kingfisher Ropes, RS Sailing Store, Harken and Allen.

Rob Cullen and Tom Partington took the tallest podium, Tom Morris and Guy Fillmore snapping at their heels in second, and Geoff Carveth and Lesley Dhonau in third. Most coveted prizes were probably for the aforementioned terrible shirts and the grand finale was the 'All Winners Champagne Hose Down (including corked fizzy drink for the juniors). Being that there were 17 classes with various categories of winners.... it was quite a soaking!

It was a remarkable multi class event with every RS class represented. HISC's organisational expertise kept it flowing from start to finish. 277 boats over five race areas with multiple race courses both in the harbour and out in the bay - that's a lot of marker buoys! 800 mouths fed with the fine BBQ nosh and friendships old and new enjoyed. Certainly it was a success in the RS family history.... And not a drop of rain!

Masters Results:

PosSail noHelmCrewR1R2R1R2R1R2R3Pts
11206Chris FeibuschMatt Alvarado2121‑3118
21099Alistair Hodgson1‑33312212
31182David Kelly321223(UFD)13

Overall Results:

PosSail noHelmCrewClubR1R2R1R3R3Pts
112Robert GULLANTom PartingtonHISC2(UFD)53313
21248Thomas MorrisGuy FillmoreHayling Island Sailing Club36(UFD)4114
31187Geoffrey Carvethlezley dhonauHISC‑8416516
41176Joe BradleyBen BradleyHISC126(UFD)817
51204Martin OrtonIan BrooksChichester YC103(UFD)2217
61008Ben PalmerBruna de QueirozHISC11(UFD)21418
71206Chris FeibuschMatt AlvaradoHayling Island Sailing Club51(UFD)7720
8820Bryan OrmondAnna OrmondHISC7539‑1024
91188Nick CharlesDan GoodmanDatchet Water SC12(UFD)45627
101182David Kelly  471111(UFD)33
111099Alistair Hodgson  988‑10934
121218Katy JenkinsArthur BaileyBowmoor699(UFD)1236
131195David BrandLuke RobertsonHaling Island Sailing Club(DNC)10781136
141154Cam Sewartlucy hewitsonhayling island sailing club HISC131110(DNC)DNC50
151046William HomewoodFrances DaubenyLymington Town Sailing Club(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC64

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