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RS600 Inland Championship at Carsington Sailing Club, part of the RS600 Rooster National Tour

by Jamie Mawson 24 Jun 11:35 BST 15-16 June 2024

A small but select fleet of seven RS600s arrived at Carsington Sailing Club for their Inland Championships, sponsored by Rooster. Although small by normal standards, the fleet included National Champion and recent Eurocup winner George Smith and defending Inland Champion Jamie Mawson.

The fleet launched into a light breeze blowing in the opposite direction to the forecast. This eventually died completely and after a long delay with several attempts to get a true beat, race one started in marginal trapezing conditions.

George led at the first mark, to be passed later by Jamie, keeping that order to the finish, followed in third by Will Russell. The top three were all within a few boat lengths at the finish!

Race two was abandoned due to a lightning storm, with the fleet quickly heading ashore for safety. Plans of an early finish soon disappeared when the race committee announced they were going to try for two more races, so we headed out again in a slightly stronger breeze.

Chaos ensued as a violent rain squall hit, with the wind hitting over 30 knots. As George rounded the second mark to head downwind, he got knocked over by the squall. Jamie decided it was best to just keep going in a straight line so he didn't end up in the same situation and wait it out for a good opportunity to gybe. Matt Potter battled the weather with a few wobbles but managed to keep it upright, and Will thought he could head downwind but the boat had other ideas. Jamie won by virtue of staying upright, followed by George and local Neil Cooney. With that, the race committee decided we all really needed our tea, so the fleet headed in to be greeted by pie and peas laid on by the club.

Day two dawned with a slightly steadier wind of around 10 knots, increasing through the day. George made his intentions clear by winning race three and four, followed by Jamie and Matt.

George took race five, and with Jamie forced to retire after a collapsed mast, second was taken by Will who only just got past Matt at the end of the race, with the increasingly consistent Matt in third. Matt and Will often found themselves meeting each other at the bottom mark, with Matt doing a great job of making it challenging for Will to squeeze past before the next beat.

With Jamie out of the event due to his breakage, it was all down to who could get third place. Going into the final race, Will and Matt were on joint points, with Will coming out ahead with his second place from race five. At the start of race six Matt got another flying start and got himself nicely ahead of Will. As we got onto the outer loop, Will was playing catch up and closing the gap to Matt quickly but a wind shift on the lay line of the windward mark meant Will got stuck on the mark and couldn't get round it. Despite this error, Will tried to catch up but Matt showed us his expertise in wind shifts to stay ahead. George showed us another master class and took the win of the race, with Matt grabbing second, Neil third meaning Matt secured third overall.

Congratulations to George Smith for winning the event! We saw some tight racing with two to three boats rounding marks at the same time!

Thank you to Carsington Sailing Club for getting all the racing in despite some very unpredictable conditions. Thank you to Rooster for sponsoring our National Tour. Next up on the calendar is the Noble Marine Nationals at Eastbourne in September - four days of racing with the RS100s and RS300s. One to definitely enter! See www.rs600.org/championships/index.asp?eid=2490

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