For this year's RS200 Nationals, we've asked some of the top names in RS200 world for their tips on the ones to watch at Mounts Bay SC.
This year the event is relatively open. Participants include past RS200 national champions, guest stars from other fleets and stalwarts of the class ready to do battle for the title. However the yellow jersey is not the only prize up for grabs, with a fleet 89 boats entered already, the racing is guaranteed to be close.
We've interviewed some of the top names in the 200 fleet for their top tips about one's to watch, Tour de France style.
General Classification – Yellow Jersey
One of the top bets must be James Peters in his return to the nationals. He is taking a week from his busy 49er schedule to see if he can regain the title he won in 2011. His normal crew (Alan Roberts) is not available so James has used his connections to get no other than Ali Young (Laser radial Olympian). Will this mix prove to be a winner? Reports from the recent one day event at Exmouth say they're looking fast.
To make things interesting Ian Martin (James' 49er coach) and Chloe Martin (Ali Young's training partner and closest rival in the Laser Radial) have entered and already showed us they are a force to be reckoned with by winning the Carnac Euro cup in style.
Ex-national champions, separately, Lee Sydenham and Emma Hivey have teamed up to make a last minute bid for the title. Rumour has that they have done least a weekend's practice and are going quickly, especially when an ice cream is at stake!
We mustn't rule out a winner coming from the regular RS200 circuit sailors. Currently on form and current leaders of the national circuit are Chris Catt and Ally Martin. Hiking may not be their strong point but they have a lot of confidence in their speed down hill!
Matt Mee and Emma Norris have also got to be high up on the favourites list. Also with spectacular downwind pace and bags of cunning, they finished third at last year nationals, and comfortably won the hotly contested Grand Prix event at Hayling Island.
Parkstone's Edd Whitehead and Alice Whitehead have also been on form and should not be discounted.
The Hayling Island event also showed a few other potential winners fresh from their winter training on the south coast.
Tom Morris and Emma Porteous, Dicken Maclean and Hannah Young and Ben Palmer and Kate Gibbs all showing us their stuff for the first time this year. Andy Shaw and Pippa Horne also brought the form they used to win the End of Seasons. Mark Heather and Ed Cowell are proven to be incredibly consistent in all conditions but excel in the windy stuff, so we're expecting to see them up there.
The white jersey competition (for those of you not up on your Tour de France knowledge, it's the young riders category!) has had one standout competitor throughout the Grand Prix series, Feva sailor Daniel Lewis, crewed by dad Martyn. We're also looking forward to seeing Sam Jacklin and Freddie Jones back and ones to watch Felicity 'Flip' Foulds and Lucy Riley.
Polka dot jersey (normally known as the 'King of the mountains' – For this purpose we are calling the potential winners for the windy days)
This is a close one to call. We're sure the previously mentioned laser radial hiking machines will be scarily fast. It'll be interesting to see how they compare to Mark Heather / Ed Cowell, Edd Whitehead / Alice Kingsnorth and Burghfield's Ian Sharps and Ellie Martin who have often been seen battling it out whilst others have been cleaning the bottoms of their boats.
Grey jersey (Ok we're straying a little from the Tour categories but I'm sure the masters would love a jersey right?!)
The grey jersey is also hotly contested. With the man that has been around RS sailing longer even than Pete Vincent finally coming 200 racing this year, we'll see what Mr Peters senior can offer. Other strong contenders in the category are everyones favourite RS supplier and fixer Mike Saul, and Caroline Martin.
The pink jersey competition is also a big deal, with over 10% of the fleet competing. Ones to watch are Charlotte Savage and Claire Walsh, both with massive man levers in the front. Jayne Johnson and Sophie Singleton are always quick and the local knowledge of Mounts Bay past Commodore Pippa Baker also puts her in frame for this competition.
The team prize is often one of the closest competitions. With Hayling Island, Parkstone, Wembley, Itchenor and Burghfield leading their normal charge, the local fleet of Mounts Bay are likely to throw in a few curve balls for everyone to deal with.
It's not too late to get your entries in, chuck the tent in the car and come join the fun.
by Heather Chipperfield
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3:20 PM Wed 31 Jul 2013GMT
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