You know it’s going to be windy when you have to dodge fallen trees on the way to the event, so it was for the Gul-sponsored RS300 Inland Championship at Northampton SC on 1/2 December. No race in less than force 5, real dogs off chains stuff.
Fastest out of the traps in race 1 was Steve Bolland from Bristol Corinthian with Matt Sargent (Royal Artillery) initially snapping at his heels before a capsize put him off his stride. Bolland, too, dumped it in towards the end of the first lap in a real race of attrition. The main beneficiaries of all this were Will Crocker (Emberton Park) and Nick Bolland (Draycote Water) who finished 1, 2 with Steve Bolland recovering third place just before the finish from Phil Underwood (Cotswold).
Showing he’s nobody’s poodle and establishing an early lead in race 2 was once again Steve Bolland. Again he did his best to throw it all away with at least one capsize along with the bulk of the fleet. Brother Nick established a sizeable lead and looked good for a top spot finish until he too inspected the centreboard on the last reach. This allowed Steve Bolland the retrieve the lead, finishing ahead of Sargent and Crocker.
Race 3 was run in slightly less boisterous conditions and the fleet was positively straining at the leash to get going. Steve Bolland again led at the top mark and managed to stay upright for a whole race to score his second race win. He was hounded all the way, however, by Sargent and Richard Le Mare from Draycote.
Sunday was at least as windy as day 1 with the added bonus of grey overcast conditions. Lovely. Race 4 was nothing if not lively with capsizes right through the fleet but showing true bulldog spirit, Crocker won from Nick Bolland and Steve Bolland.
Going into the final heat the race was between Crocker and Steve Bolland to see who would be top dog with both counting two wins and two third places. It was nip and tuck all the way up the first beat until Bolland managed to tip it in tacking for the mark. This allowed Crocker some breathing space which he used to excellent effect, overhauling early leader Sam Sutton and winning an extremely windy race from Sargent, Nick Bolland and Le Mare.
So at the end it was Crocker, a newcomer to the class, earning a well deserved win in punishing conditions. The brothers Bolland were left chasing their tails while the rest of the fleet were left to sit down and lick their… wounds. Fangs for the memory. RS300 - Results
1st 433 William Crocker Emberton Park 6pts
2nd 411 Steve Bolland Bristol Corinthian 8pts
3rd 380 Nick Bolland Draycote Water 11pts
4th 506 Matt Sargent Royal Artillery/Stokes Bay 13pts
5th 426 Richard Le Mare Draycote Water 17pts
6th 31 Phil Underwood Cotswold 19pts
7th 514 Sam Sutton Leigh & Lowton 24pts
8th 437 Jeff Marksz SHSC 28pts
9th 381 Dave Redpath St Mary’s Loch 43pts
10th 354 Mark Newton West Lancs 49pts
11th 321 Tom Ballingall Draycote Water 49pts
12th 513 And Ritchie Hykeham 50pts
13th 328 Tim Keen Sheffield Viking 60pts
14th 451 Stephen Sharpe RAFSA/Aldenham 60pts
Next event is the 2008 Winter Championships at Grafham on 16/17 February.