by Jerry Wales
2014 RS700 Volvo Noble Marine National Championships - Early gossip in the dinghy park on day four of the Volvo Noble Marine RS700 Nationals was suggesting that the front runners would be happy if the wind remained under the required four knots for racing to take place. Wales had all but sewn up the event finishing day three on seven points but a customary cock up resulting in a retirement meant he still had to go out on the last day. The race for second was still on with only five points separating Neil Ashby on 18 points from Dave Smithwhite and last year’s victor Robbie Bell both on 23 points.
The RS700 fleet racing in Plymouth Sound
The Mount Batten Centre was the venue for the RS700 National Championships
True to form, Plymouth, the Mount Batten Centre and the folk from Plymouth Youth Sailing delivered another excellent day’s sailing. We were blessed with an oscillating 6 to 8 knot breeze, perhaps a chance for those who favoured the light stuff to take a turn at the front. Race nine was a shootout between those sitting in the top four positions at the end of day three.
Jerry Wales the new RS700 National Champion with Adrian Kemp Commodore Plymouth Youth Sailing and RS700 Class Association Secretary Clare Sargent
Neil Ashby won the start, was first to the top mark and went on to take his second bullet of the event. Behind him second was being fought over by Smithwhite, Bell and Wales with Richard Kennedy in the mix as well. It was only one oscillation that allowed Wales past Smithwhite for second and it was perhaps that extra pasty that dragged Bell back to fourth. Kennedy slipped back to ninth but is definately one for the future, well the distant future. Jerry Wales now had his second National title won and Neil Ashby and Dave Smithwhite and Robbie Bell were safe in second and third and fourth respectively.
The final race could have been an anti-climax but all stayed out. A big shift to the left in the final seconds of the start sequence resulted in significant bias towards the pin. Spod Olive showed why he is a professional coach. He may be lacking time in the boat but he controlled the fleet as only experts do, easily winning the start with that Kennedy bloke close on his hip but holding on to his lane.
Dave Smithwhite wins the Masters silver tankard
Wales got spat out to the right, Ashby was forced out to the left but it was Dave Smithwhite who found a way through the traffic to lead at the top mark followed by the bunch including Olive, Kennedy and Wales. By the finish Wales had managed to luck his way through to the front followed by Smithwhite and Olive.
Overall it was an excellent Championship with a mix of conditions across the four days. The form guide would have suggested that Bell, Ashby, Smithwhite, Nolan, Wales and recently crowned European Champion, Simon Letten would be in the mix and so it turned out. Smithwhite won the Masters trophy. Had luck gone their way Colin Dacey, Ian Swann and Alex Reid who all had moments of glory could have been fighting for the podium.
Richard Wadsworth racing “Punisher” RS700 sail no 720
Man of the event was probably Richard Wadsworth. He was sailing the oldest boat, number 720, and showed good speed when the conditions suited. He had a handful of individual race podiums and finished fifth overall winning the Silver division, but evermore in the Gold fleet.
Richard Wadsworth wins the Silver division silver plate
Success of events are frequently determined by those not doing the sailing. The race team lead by Keith Kendall did an excellent job running the event alongside the RS800s, not always a straightforward task. Stuart Jones, Adrain Kemp and the team from Plymouth Youth Sailing both on shore and in the rescue boats were brilliant. Many thanks to you all.
As always outgoing class Chairman Hamish Griffiths provided the majority of the fleet with GPS trackers, distributing, collecting and downloading each day. We take it for granted but the effort required is immense. Thank you to Hamish, Nikki and Millie. It is worth having a look at the data when you get a chance.
Thank you to our sponsors Volvo, Noble Marine and RS.
Finally an event would not really be a proper event if Simon (current RS700 European Champion) and Richard from RS were not still packing up their kit, the spares van, still dressed in their sailing kit, probably still getting grief from a few of us well after most of us had left. We take that for granted too.
|1st||50||700||1030|| ||Jerry Wales||1||1||1||-2||2||1||1||(22.0 RET)||2||1||34||10|
|2nd||42||700||839||Shoreham SC||Neil Ashby||-6||4||4||-7||1||4||3||2||1||6||38||25|
|3rd||40||700||1019||Hayling Island SC||David Smithwhite||-7||-5||5||1||5||2||5||5||3||2||40||28|
|4th||51||700||875||Snettisham Beach SC||Robbie Bell||5||(22.0 RET)||7||3||7||3||4||1||4||-10||66||34|
|5th||41||700||720||Bristol Corinthian YC/RNSA||Richard Wadsworth||3||8||-10||-10||3||6||6||3||10||5||64||44|
|6th||47||700||1040||Hayling Island SC||Simon Letten||4||6||3||6||4||7||(22.0 RET)||11||14||-15||92||55|
|7th||53||700||1027||Snettisham Beach SC||Colin Dacey||10||7||-13||-12||6||5||2||9||5||12||81||56|
|8th||48||700||1022||Hayling Island SC||Ian Swann||-12||9||2||8||9||9||-11||10||7||4||81||58|
|9th||56||700||802||Lancing SC||Gary Austin||9||(22.0 RET)||6||5||12||-13||8||6||8||7||96||61|
|10th||49||700||910||Graham Water SC||Alex Reid||11||2||8||9||-13||8||10||4||12||-13||90||64|
|11th||38||700||905||Netley SC||Spod Olive||8||10||-12||11||-17||12||7||8||6||3||94||65|
|12th||37||700||959|| ||Jakub Kosvica||-14||11||9||13||11||11||14||(22.0 RET)||13||8||126||90|
|13th||52||700||944||Littleton SC||James Bayliss||(22.0 DNF)||(22.0 DNC)||14||15||14||10||12||7||11||11||138||94|
|14th||46||700||737||Thorney Island SC||Richard Kennedy||13||(22.0 RET)||11||14||15||17||9||(22.0 RET)||9||9||141||97|
|15th||45||700||1023||Snettisham Beach SC||Ian Nolan||2||3||15||4||8||(22.0 DNC)||(22.0 DNC)||22.0 DNC||22.0 DNC||22.0 DNC||142||98|
|16th||44||700||914||Graham Blake||Graham Blake||15||12||16||-17||10||-18||16||12||16||16||148||113|
|17th||43||700||1031||Queen mary SC||Hamish Griffiths||(22.0 DNF)||(22.0 DNC)||21||18||16||14||15||14||17||17||176||132|
|18th||36||700||907|| ||Martin Cvan||17||(22.0 DNC)||18||20||21||15||13||(22.0 RET)||15||14||177||133|
|19th||54||700||820||Lyne Regis SC||James Fuller||(22.0 DNC)||13||20||19||19||16||17||13||(22.0 DNC)||22.0 DNC||183||139|
|20th||39||700||762||Great Moor SC||Adrian Howe||16||14||19||(22.0 RET)||20||19||18||(22.0 RET)||22.0 RET||22.0 DNC||194||150|
|21st||55||700||1020||Royal Navy SC||Stephen Hermanson||(22.0 DNF)||(22.0 RET)||17||16||18||22.0 RET||22.0 DNC||22.0 DNC||22.0 DNC||22.0 DNC||205||161|