by Matt Sheahan
With plenty of wind, sun, flat water and some close competition, there was little not to like at the RS400 Winter Championships at Grafham. Joining the RS800s and RS600s on the same windward/leeward course added to the high speed spectacle and made for some interesting passes as the fleets threaded their way through each other at high speed.
Saturday's conditions saw a reverse to the forecast wind strength and kicked off with some boisterous gusts nudging the mid twenties which had the fleet screaming downwind in flat water towards the leeward gate. The pace was frantic from the start with long beats allowing everyone to find some clear air.
Fortunately for those whose arms and legs were tiring, or for those who had swum enough for the day, the breeze tapered off to the high teens. But the result at the front of the fleet remained the same whatever the conditions with Nick Craig and Toby Lewis demonstrating what a comfortable winning margin looked like in practice with three straight wins. Joshua and Patrick Metcalfe demonstrated equal consistency with seconds in each race.
Sunday saw summer arrive for the day with the promise of lighter winds, around the mid teens and balmy conditions afloat.
Once again Craig and Lewis kept their results sheet tidy with another three bullets, chased by the Metcalfe's and James Downer and Jon Price - pecking order that followed through to the overall results.
If you were thinking of going but changed you plans at the last minute, now is the time to start kicking yourself and preparing for some tall stories from the rest of us during the next few circuit events.
RS400 Fleet Sailed: 6, Discards: 1, To count: 5, Entries: 11, Scoring system: GWSC Open Meeting (1 course/PY/3 starts)
|1st||RS400||1383||x||Nick Craig||Tobytastic Lewis||Frensham Pond SC||(1.0)||1.0||1.0||1.0||1.0||1.0||6.0||5.0||s100|
|2nd||RS400||1215||x||Joshua Metcalfe||Patrick Metcalfe||Y Felinheli||2.0||2.0||2.0||2.0||(3.0)||3.0||14.0||11.0||s100|
|3rd||RS400||1385||x||James Downer||Jon Price||Royal Victoria YC||(12.0 DNF)||3.0||3.0||8.0||2.0||2.0||30.0||18.0||s100|
|4th||RS400||1251/1418||x||H Farbrother||l Hosilen/D Martin||Queen Mary SC||(12.0 DNC)||4.0||4.0||3.0||7.0||4.0||34.0||22.0||s100|
|5th||RS400||1340||x||Sam Neal||Neil Cooney||GWSC||4.0||5.0||6.0||(9.0)||8.0||6.0||38.0||29.0||s100|
|6th||RS400||1043||x||Ian Watkins||Imogen Whittam||GWSC||7.0||6.0||5.0||6.0||(9.0)||5.0||38.0||29.0||s100|
|7th||RS400||1263||x||Rob Lennox||Ruth Lennox||Barnet Green SC||5.0||8.0||7.0||5.0||6.0||(12.0 DNC)||43.0||31.0||s100|
|8th||RS400||1051||x||Matt Sheahan||Ellie Sheahan||Netley SC||6.0||7.0||(8.0)||7.0||5.0||7.0||40.0||32.0||s100|
|9th||RS400||1342||x||Jack Holden||Ollie Miller||3.0||(12.0 DNF)||12.0 DNF||4.0||4.0||12.0 DNC||47.0||35.0||s100|
|10th||RS400||1275||x||David Hearsum||Ian Hearsum||Hickling Broad SC||(12.0 DNF)||12.0 DNC||12.0 DNC||10.0||10.0||12.0 DNS||68.0||56.0||s100|
|11th||RS400||1407||x||Jon Heissig||Nicky Grffin||(12.0 DNC)||12.0 DNC||12.0 DNC||12.0 DNC||12.0 DNC||12.0 DNC||72.0||60.0||s100|