Thirtyfive boats ventured down to Lee on Solent SC to take part in the 2008 Gul RS Vareo Nationals. Chris Larr was the eventual winner, one point ahead of Alain Sign with Andy Temple in third place a further point back.
The forecast was for a windy first couple of days and the promise of lighter stuff towards the end. It was set to be a great battle of the Salad Dodgers at the beginning with the calorie controlled Racing Snakes playing catch up on the final day.
Day one lived up to the forecast with 15-22 knots coming down the course. The strong tide took the fleet up to the line and off to a clean start. Those who attended the previous days coaching hit the lay lines with precision but half the fleet significantly over stood the first mark.
Chris Larr, Alain Sign and Andy Temple battled it out at the front. Sign and his lack of weight suffered upwind but unleashed blistering performances downwind making Larr play catch up upwind. It was Larr who took line honours with Sign 2nd and Temple 3rd. The next two races saw the three medal contenders swapping results with the Grand Master Kemp Salt scoring a couple of thirds.
Day two was forecast for over 20knts and it arrived in buckets. The P.R.O recorded 32knts and postponed for 2hrs. At midday it was still 20knts and racing was abandoned. The inevitable boat bimbiling and splicing lessons ensued. Junior was kept busy for the rest of the afternoon whilst everyone else headed off to sample the delights of Gosport. The evenings Class meeting passed without bloodshed and everyone headed upstairs for an epic evening. Junior promised dancing girls and delivered. Day Three started with 12-14knts but the Racing Snakes were content with the knowledge that it would drop. Race one got off to a clean start. Those that had done their homework headed inshore.
A 20 degree shift put pay to the homework and many top ten sailors became stuck in the middle of the fleet. Up front Kemp Salt was left smarting after becoming confused with the position of the new windward mark and dropped from 1st to 7th. Andy (The Ringer) Temple picked up a bullet with Larr 2nd and Sign 3rd.
The wind failed to drop and instead picked up to a F5. Strong wind over tide conditions produced the usual Solent Chop leading to many swimmers. Race 2 had the tide push fleet over the line for a General Recall. Cheryl Wood learnt how the resulting black flag works. Once again the usual four suspects dominated the places at the front. The rest of the fleet was starting to tire of swimming resulting in 6 DNF’s and fewer and fewer kites coming out to play.
Race 3 saw the wind pick up again to a consistent F6 and the spring tide now in full ebb convinced nearly half the fleet to head for home. Of the 18 starters only 7 flew kites. Sign picked up his 2nd bullet of the day. It was enough to beat Temple by one point but not enough to beat Larr. Chris Larr claimed the glory in a closely fought championship in testing conditions reclaiming his rightful title. RS Vareo - Final overall positions
1st GOLD 361 CHRIS LARR NORTHAMPTON SC 8pts
2nd GOLD 453 ALAIN SIGN STOKES BAY SC 9
3rd GOLD 200 ANDY TEMPLE BROADSTAIRS SC 10
4th GOLD 510 RICHARD KEMP-SALT BRIGHTLINGSEA SC 17
5th GOLD 140 CHRIS MOORE HAYLING ISLAND SC 31
6th GOLD 373 DAVID FEWINGS BOWMOOR SC 38
7th GOLD 484 NIGEL TINKLER LLANDEGFEDD SC 39
8th GOLD 244 RICHARD WILLOWS NORTHAMPTON SC 46
9th GOLD 5 JIM HOOD CALSHOT SC 46
10th SILVER 540 PAUL HOWELL KING GEORGE SC 51
11th GOLD 550 NICHOLAS CRICKMORE WAVENEY & OULTON BROAD YC 53
12th GOLD 420 KEN MILES SHOREHAM SC 59
13th SILVER 532 KEVIN JONES HAYLING ISLAND SC 71
14th GOLD 173 RORY YARDLEY BASSENTHWAITE SC 77
15th SILVER 511 CHERYL WOOD PENNINE SC 77
16th SILVER 261 MARTYN PETERS LLANDEGFEDD SC 86
17th SILVER 422 ANDY FLITCROFT BOLTON SC 87
18th SILVER 514 PAUL BAILEY CALSHOT SC 89
19th SILVER 533 HAMISH SHEPHERD QUEEN MARY SC 91
20th GOLD 402 SCOTT BUTLER HARDWAY SC 97
21st GOLD 346 GEOFF SHAW ROADFORD SC 99
22nd SILVER 383 NIGEL TEBBUTT HAVERSHAM SC 101
23rd GOLD 262 JEREMY SYMONS LLANDEGFEDD SC 119
24th GOLD 294 CHRIS JORDOUN BURGHFIELD SC 124
25th SILVER 428 GARETH EDWARDS LLANDEGFEDD SC 131
26th SILVER 391 JOHN REGAN LLANDEGFEDD SC 145
27th GOLD 334 ANTHONY PAINE BROADSTAIRS SC 155
28th SILVER 190 JULIAN BROOKE-HOUGHTON CARGREEN YC 161
29th SILVER 534 ANDY SEYMOUR BURGHFIELD SC 170
30th SILVER 156 STEVEN TRIGG BURGHFIELD SC 180
30th SILVER 149 JAMES HAMILTON BURY LAKE YOUNG MARINERS SC 180
30th SILVER 443 ALAN WELSH ROADFORD SC 180
30th SILVER TBC ALEX NEWTON-SOUTHON ROYAL SOUTHAMPTON YC 180
30th SILVER 337 PERHAM HARDING SWANAGE SC 180
30th SILVER 390 MARTIN PHILIPS LLANDEGFEDD SC 180