The RS100 Stadium Sprint Championship took place on the evening of Thursday 18th August at the RS Games in Weymouth and Portland.
With entry restricted to 16 competitors for the RS100 Stadium Sprint, raced in aid of Cancer Research UK, there was fierce competition for the slots before the racing even began – the list including stars such as Olympic gold medallist Paul Goodison, Finn champion Giles Scott, 470 and Merlin champ Stu Bithell, OK world and RS400 national champion Nick Craig, Olympic hopeful Luke Patience, ex Olympic team member Hugh Styles and multiple class champion Pete Barton.
Four heats of four boats, leading to a four boat final were held on a ten minute course right in front of the slipway and Sailing Academy, with great opportunity for spectators and contemporaries whose cheers and jeers livened up the proceedings - despite the cold and blustery evening - as the sailors got to grips with handling the RS100 while also making fast tactical decisions
There were some great highlights and laughs for all spectators to enjoy, including Paul Goodison showing us how to launch an RS100 by capsizing metres from the slipway (!), 470 Olympic hopeful Luke Patience storming from fourth to first down one run, Finn sailor Giles Scott sat on the side whilst everyone else hiked hard, and some amazingly tight racing which went right up to the finish line. All episodes were suitably supported and bantered from the crowd onshore!
The Grand-Final consisted of Paul Goodison, Mark Harrison after beating Nick Craig by the narrowest of margins in his race, Richard Rot from Holland and the flying Pete Barton. The race itself was a hotly contested affair; with some sailors not being quite as rule conscious as they should have been...you’d have thought an Olympic Laser gold medallist should know better, Paul Goodison! After a close start, with a bit of muscling in at the starboard end Goodison led at the windward mark and built up a big lead. Behind Barton, Rot and Harrison fought it out all the way around the course, with Barton taking second, Harrison third and Rot fourth.
The event was organised in aid of Cancer Research and amazing prizes were generously donated by event sponsors (see list below) for a raffle and the prize giving. This helped raise a significant and still increasing sum - which was surely pushed higher by the glamorous Frances Peters and Nicola Groves putting in a top stint selling raffle tickets. With a great final gesture Paul Goodison auctioned his winning prize, a Gul wetsuit, throwing in a signed Olympic rash vest to get the donation to triple figures.
A second raffle is taking place during the second week of the RS Games with even more fantastic prizes to be won, and will hopefully push the charity total even higher for Cancer Research. If you would like to donate online please click here
There is no doubt we’ll see more of this race format in the future of the RS100 class! Final race positions:
1st Paul Goodison
2nd Mark Harrison
3rd Pete Barton
4th Richard Rot RS Sailing website