A small but select group from across the country travelled to Grafham Water SC for the GUL RS Vareo Inland Champs, an event shared with 300s, 400s and 600s.
2013 RS Vareo Inland Championship at Grafham
The forecast was for a windy Saturday and a calmer Sunday, but as it turned out we arrived to find light shifty wind on the first day.
The course for the weekend was windward leeward, the Vareos sharing the inner loop with the 400s.
Race 1 got underway after a slight delay when the first two fleets were recalled due to a significant wind shift. Nick Crickmore then chose the windier port end and managed to get ahead with a port flyer, maintaining loose cover on the chasing pack all the way round. Everyone missed the fact that there were only two rounds but the OOD kindly sent the rescue boat to finish us at the next windward mark. The finishing order was unchanged in the last beat, although Mark Smith who had been second for most of the race picked some good shifts to closed the gap significantly on this leg.
Race 2 delivered lighter conditions, the fleet split evenly left and right with Simon Collinson establishing a significant lead by the first mark. Killan McCabe closed the gap in second place down the run but then the wind decided to depart for the day so the OOD abandoned before we could finish.
In the evening a choice of meals were laid on followed by beers and on site camping for those who hadn’t quite worked out the summer had finished last week.
On Sunday we were greeted by a significant increase in wind strength, much to the delight of heavy weather expert Collinson. Unfortunately the OOD was required to postpone racing until the wind dropped to within RS rules standards, but we did get started at 12:30, sailing the scheduled three races. There was insufficient time for to catch up for the lost race from Saturday.
McCabe may have regretted electing to use his storm sail – together with less wind as the afternoon progressed, this denied him his chance to prove his military fitness against the others middle aged fatness (and Vareo experience).
Race 3 Crickmore got away first and a match race with Collinson soon developed Collinson showing better upwind speed but Crickmore using an old style kite having the offwind advantage. There were still some decent gusts both up and down wind providing thrills and spills – Smith capsized early on as a result, but managed to get out of the water before the killer shrimp could strike.
Race 4 saw Collinson and Crickmore again changing places throughout but this time Collinson overtook on the last run by picking up more wind on the left hand side, finishing first, leaving it all to play for on the final race.
Race 5 had one more lap than previously, Collinson was out of the blocks first with a 20 second lead at the first mark but Crickmore overturned the advantage offwind to lead again for lap 2 and maintained that lead by multiple cover tacks and extended by the end of lap 2 by splitting right on the run and giving himself two less gybes. The race was not over, as going to windward Collinson powered through from below to the left as the wind swung to take the lead at the last windward mark with just a port biased run to the finish. However Crickmore put in an early gybe this time and after crossing ahead managed to keep powered up for a deeper run to the finish and overall victory.
|1st||RS Vareo||550||Nick Crickmore||Waveney and Alton Broad||1.0||1.0||(2.0)||1.0||5.0||3.0|
|2nd||RS Vareo||622||Simon Collinson||Llandegfedd||(3.0)||2.0||1.0||2.0||8.0||5.0|
|3rd||RS Vareo||572||Mark Smith||Alton Water Sailing Centre||2.0||(3.0)||3.0||3.0||11.0||8.0|
|4th||RS Vareo||319||Killan McCabe||Margate YC||(4.0)||4.0||4.0||4.0||16.0||12.0|
UK RS Vareo Website