'RS200 Winter Championship 2012 at Grafham SC'
RS200 Winter Championships were held at Grafham Water Sailing Club over the weekend of 10th and 11th March 2012. Normally, when attending a winter sailing championships, it’s a necessity to put on the full length wetsuit or drysuit, winter clothes, snood and woolly hat. You expect to get a little cold but be rewarded with some solid breeze to make up for it, so it’s a trade off.
Not in the RS200 class - this year, 31 boats attended the cunningly re-dated 'Winter' championships and were rewarded on the Saturday with double figure temperatures and wind whilst Sunday saw sun cream and glasses conditions but a forecast of dying breeze.
Given Sunday’s forecast, the PRO arranged for four races on Saturday and expertly delivered, each race lasting 40-45mins and not a general recall in sight (well behaved fleet). The day was dominated by two teams of former 470 sailors, Matt Mee/Emma Norris and the Rusden brothers, James and Will. Mee/Norris reeled off results of 1,2,2 before slightly blotting their day with a seventh whilst the Rusden’s recorded 2,1,5,1 to lead overnight. Behind, racing was tight and place changing constant with the wind being variable in both speed and direction, leading to much place changing downwind as some boats got on the plane whilst others were forced to soak. Ian Sharps/Ellie Martin were best of the rest, nicking the win in race three and counting three other top six places.
After an evening of quality Wheatsheaf food and a pub quiz back at the club, Sunday dawned bright with a gentle six knots of breeze blowing down the lake. After one general recall the fleet got away and after those on the left initially looked good, it was those on the right that led round the windward mark. Mee/Norris and the Rusden’s battled hard at the top of the pack as the breeze began to die during the race, with Mee/Norris eventually pulling away to record their second win of the weekend. However, with the lake now looking very glassy and racing abandoned for the day, it wasn’t enough to take overall victory as the tie for points on the leader board was broken in favour of the Rusden’s, by virtue of them having the better discard. Mee/Norris settled for second and Sharps/Martin stuck in third, despite a last race ninth.
Top silver fleet boat was Matt Giles/Ian Gill, with Julian Bradley/Chloe Sideris second and Pete Vincent/Messy Cotter third. The bronze fleet was wrapped up by Simon and Nicky Skinner, just a point in front of Roy McCubbin/Kirsty McSeveney and a bit further back, Chris Bower/Ian Mairs in third.
A quality start to the season then and many thanks to everyone at Grafham Water SC for running such a good event. Next events for the RS200s is the Island Barn SEAS this Saturday before a trip up north to Draycote, for the start of the national Gul RS Grand Prix series.
RS Association website
by Debbie Darling
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4:51 PM Fri 16 Mar 2012GMT
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