by Rob Janering
The third national RS200 Gul Grand Prix event was held at Eastbourne Sovereign Sailing Club (ESSC) over the weekend of 12th and 13th May 2012. With previous events at ESSC having been blessed with champagne conditions, a good turnout of boats arrived and, on the Sunday at least, weren’t let down with clear blue skies, 15 knots + breeze and a gentle swell – champagne sailing.
RS200 Gul Grand Prix 2012 at Eastbourne Sovereign SC
Saturday was a gentler affair however, with race one starting in a shifty and puffy offshore breeze. With most of the fleet being pushed shy of the line by the tide, those who went left early benefitted and so it was Matt Mee/Emma Norris who won, followed home by Chris Catt/Jules Charles in second and Ed Whitehead/Alice Kingsnorth third. The wind then decided to play up and a long wait ensued as a light sea breeze sprung up, the wind turning 180degrees in direction. The fleet lightweights took advantage with Mee/Norris having a stellar day to record 2,1 and lead over night. Behind them, the Rusden brothers took the bullet in race two (before an unfortunate DSQ in race three), just ahead of a charging Catt/Charles, whilst in race three it was Dave Steed/Katharine Lovering second and class newbie Oliver Vidal/Noelle Vidal showing everyone how easy it was in third.
ESSC laid on a great evening of food and music, which everyone enjoyed whilst watching the sunset over the waves. The club should also be applauded for stocking cheap Jagaer bombs as well, which was presumably part of a deal to aid the Eastbourne clubbing scene. It definitely worked…
Sunday dawned bright and still, but the wind was soon building for a classic day. With the tide pushing everyone over the line, the world’s quickest turnaround-of-races-ever PRO pulled the black flag out after the first general recall and the fleet began to behave themselves. In the breezy, wavy conditions the Rusden’s showed everyone a clean pair of heals in races four and five, romping away to win both comfortably. Behind, Caroline/Nick Martin showed the kids how to race, taking second in race four just ahead of Steed/Lovering. In race five, Whitehead/Kingsnorth and then Mee/Norris were closest to the Rusdens.
Going into the final race, only Mee/Norris or the Rusdens could win. Knowing this, Mee sailed the Rusden’s out to the unfavoured left hand side of the course, letting Chris Martin/Eddie Glennie port tack the fleet and shoot into an assailable lead. The Rusdens ground their way back into second but it wasn’t enough, leaving Mee/Norris the overall winners by one point from the Rusdens, with a very consistent Steed/Lovering third.
Top silver fleet boat was that of the Martins, ahead of Wembley’s Simon and Nicky Skinner in second and Maia Walsh/M Wood in third. Claire Walsh/Darren MacMara topped the bronze fleet, beating Chris Bower/Ian Mair’s into second and Phil White/Tom Ripley third.
A great event as always at ESSC, with many thanks to the club for organising it and our great sponsors Gul for the prizes. The next Gul RS200 event is the Sprint Championships at Rutland 26/27 May whilst this weekend, take your pick from Itchenor or Parkstone for the local SEAS or SW Ugly tour respectively.
RS Class Association website