An Impressive fleet arrived at Northampton Sailing Club for the RS700 Inland Championships. The event was shared with the RS300 and RS600 fleets, the racing was rotated so that the 3s and 6s had 1 race together then came in to allow the 700s to have the whole lake to themselves for a race.
Race 1. The fleet launched and had a rapid downwind sail to the start line with a few early swims proving how tricky the conditions were, and how cold the water was. A very gusty F6+ was blowing straight down the lake, perfect direction for a windward leeward.
Phil Dickinson led the fleet at the windward mark, after tacking across to the right-hand side early on, closely followed by Matt Humphreys. However these two were unable to bear away due to a particularly vicious gust, this gust passed as James Ross arrived at the mark 6 boat lengths further back. Ross was therefore able to bear away and get the inside line on the leaders.
Dickinson gybed first and then had an incident with Humphreys (the latter being on Starboard) both crash gybed to avoid a collision and Humphreys fell in. Ross had also fallen in by this stage and Dickinson led at the bottom mark.
Over the next couple of laps Humphreys reeled in Dickinson to get back within striking distance, and when Dickinson capsized Humphreys over took and led to the finish. Dickinson held on for second with Ross recovering well to finish third.
Race 2. After a short stint in the clubhouse to warm up, whilst the 3s and 6s had their race, battle recommenced with yet more wind! Now extremely challenging conditions, most of the fleet had a dip before the start.
Humphreys led at the windward mark and finished hoisting his kite as the rest of the pack rounded behind him. At this point a particularly large gust hit and decimated the fleet. Ross came out of this best and chased Humphreys round the rest of the course, Dickinson was wiped out but managed to recover to third by the end of the race.
Race 3. In a slightly steadier wind the fleet started bunched at the starboard end, with Ross and Dickinson on equal points and watching each other closely. Humphreys led at the windward mark and extended away to win. Ross also got clear to finish second and Dickinson finished third.
Due to excessive wind no racing was held on Sunday, this left the podium dominated by sailors from Weston SC for the second event running. Matt Humphreys is the new RS700 Inland Champion with James Ross finishing second and Phil Dickinson third.
RS700 - The top 3 were -
1 933 Matt Humphreys Weston SC 1 1 1 3pts
2 938 James Ross Weston SC 3 2 2 7pts
3 820 Phil Dickinson Weston SC 2 3 4 DNF 9pts
Thanks go to the sponsors Gul and to Northampton SC for a well run event.