by Matt Sheahan
Volvo Noble Marine RS400 UK National Championships 2014 - Had there been a vote among the 72 boat fleet as to whether anyone would rather be the race officer for the day it is unlikely that there would have been a single show of hands given the challenging forecast conditions.
Volvo Noble Marine RS400 UK National Championships 2014
After Monday's (Day two) racing had been called off due to the lively conditions everyone was keen to get back into the competitive groove but a forecast of light and variable winds of under five knots along with a big left over swell from the previous day's action was always going to make racing challenging and a long postponement likely.
After three hours drifting around in the waves watching what wind there was circle around the fleet, the race committee abandoned racing until further notice.
That was the cue for an eight knot+ breeze to come in from the East - Sod's Law in the extreme, along with a strength and direction that hadn't been seen on any of the forecasts.
Just as the front runners in the race to the bar and the club deck chairs were setting foot on the beach, the race officer saw an opportunity to turn the fortunes of the day around and called the fleet back to the race area.
The breeze did the decent thing and kept steady as crews turned around and got used to sailing downwind into a head sea and surfing upwind. Just as the fleet got back to where it had started an hour before, (a couple of miles from the sailing club), and had settled into this unconventional routine, the breeze decided to go for a wander and danced from side to side, teasing the race officer and taunting the sailors as the strength dropped too.
Eventually, four hours after leaving the shore in the morning a start got under way but the breeze had another trick up its sleeve. Seeing the pathfinder hobby horsing its way on port towards the expectant fleet that had lined up where they thought the line would be, the breeze went hard right leaving many with the prospect of being stranded to windward of the line. As they turned to head back the pathfinder decided that the potential head to head was a risk not worth taking, even with a guard boat and tacked off. Cue a general recall.
No doubt seeing that the fluctuating breeze was going to cause problems with a gate start the race officer went for a line start. Given that it was now 16.30 and we had yet to get a race in it was hardly surprising that a black flag was hoisted to discourage any monkey business this late in the day.
It didn't and a general recall followed with two boats slapped on the wrists, (James Downer 1321 and Nick Bonner 1344), as their names went up on the naughty step blackboard.
The next start did succeed in getting away for two laps of a modest sized course littered with snakes and ladders.
In the end it was Keith Bedborough who got the best out of a long day and a short race with a convincing win while the race committee also scored with a race on the board, our third of the event so far.
But the fun hadn't finished as the breaking swell on the beach made for a challenging and spectacular return to base. With boats leaping out through the surf it was all-hands on the beach as crews helped each other to get ashore safely.
That, at least, got everyone's vote.
A wonderful trip to the Mounts for a private view of the castle and wine on the terrace with spectacular views rounded off a crazy day.
Wednesday's conditions look like a return to more saucy conditions.
Results after Day three Results - Races oneand two Overall Sailed: 3, Discards: 0, To count: 3, Entries: 73, Scoring system: Appendix A
|1st||15||Gold||1383||Nick Craig||Tobytastic Lewis||Frensham Pond||1.0||1.0||2.0||4.0||4.0|
|2nd||69||Gold||1388||Roger Gilbert||James Stewart||4.0||4.0||5.0||13.0||13.0|
|3rd||23||Gold||1414||Jon Goringe||Nicola Bass||3.0||7.0||4.0||14.0||14.0||LC, M, LCr|
|4th||29||Gold||1342||Jack Holden||Alex Lee||Arun SC||5.0||6.0||7.0||18.0||18.0|
|5th||11||Gold||1435||Michael Sims||Richad Brown||Carsington SC||15.0||2.0||3.0||20.0||20.0|
|6th||51||Silver||1425||Mike Saul||Demo Dave||Yorkshire Dales SC||14.0||8.0||8.0||30.0||30.0||GM|
|7th||3||Gold||1215||Josh Metcalfe||Elaine Jones||Y Felinheli||10.0||10.0||11.0||31.0||31.0||LCr|
|8th||25||Gold||1407||John Hessig||Nicky Griffin||Llangorse SC||17.0||9.0||10.0||36.0||36.0||LC, LCr|
|9th||47||Gold||1259||Gareth Flanigan||David Fletcher||Ballyhorne YC||12.0||14.0||12.0||38.0||38.0||M|
|10th||19||Gold||1418||Howard Farbrother||Dan Martin||QMSC||7.0||5.0||30.0||42.0||42.0||M|
|11th||45||Gold||1161||Ben Robertson||Hannah Robertson||20.0||16.0||6.0||42.0||42.0||LCr|
|12th||70||Silver||864||Elaine Turner||Sijbrand Jongejans||Braasmermeer||24.0||12.0||9.0||45.0||45.0||LC, LH|
|13th||37||Gold||1014||Hamish Gledhill||Simon Dowse||West Riding SC||13.0||27.0||13.0||53.0||53.0|
|14th||31||Gold||1017||Sean Cleary||Steven Tyner||Greystones SC||6.0||15.0||35.0||56.0||56.0|
|15th||21||Gold||1432||Keith Bedborough||Steve Dunn||Dalgety Bay SC||11.0||47.0||1.0||59.0||59.0|
|16th||40||Broonze||411||Richard Cain||Barney Dearsly||Starcross YC||27.0||18.0||14.0||59.0||59.0||M|
|17th||71||Silver||1436||Simon Herriot||Tom Maron||Greystones SC||22.0||19.0||19.0||60.0||60.0|
|18th||27||Gold||1186||Dave Exley||Joe Hartigan||Leigh & Lowton SC||16.0||22.0||27.0||65.0||65.0||M,|
|19th||61||Silver||1292||Christopher Eames||Oisin McClelland||Ballyhorne YC||31.0||20.0||17.0||68.0||68.0||Y|
|20th||62||Silver||1082||Mark Somerville||Joe Roberts||Bassenthwaite SC||18.0||13.0||39.0||70.0||70.0|
|21st||60||Silver||574||Steve Restall||Chris Stubbs||Downs SC||25.0||30.0||15.0||70.0||70.0||M|
|22nd||33||Gold||1406||Dave Cheyne||Ben Moag||NDCC||23.0||29.0||21.0||73.0||73.0||M|
|23rd||65||Silver||1088||Mark Chamberlain||Rebecca Chamberlain||Neyland YC||32.0||25.0||18.0||75.0||75.0||LC|
|24th||17||Gold||1321||Jim Downer||Jono Price||Royal Victoria YC||2.0||3.0||74.0 OCS||79.0||79.0|
|25th||7||Gold||1395||Paul Hilliar||Sam Parker||49.0||11.0||22.0||82.0||82.0|
|26th||57||Silver||725||Bill Kenyon||Andy Dawson||Budworth SC||33.0||24.0||25.0||82.0||82.0||GM|
|27th||64||Silver||1370||Keith Willis||Julie Willis||Lymington Town SC||29.0||35.0||26.0||90.0||90.0||M|
|28th||67||Silver||1377||Ivan Burden||Alex Lester||Portchester SC||28.0||31.0||32.0||91.0||91.0||M|
|29th||5||Gold||1356||Pete Vincent||Pete Cruickshank||Bristol Corinthian||55.0||17.0||20.0||92.0||92.0|
|30th||56||Silver||1290||David Brown||Rebecca Witt||QMSC||26.0||33.0||33.0||92.0||92.0||LC|
|31st||43||Gold||1203||Richard Gray||Isobel Mitchel||QMSC||36.0||38.0||24.0||98.0||98.0|
|32nd||66||Silver||1202||Sam Knight||John Knight||Bartley SC||30.0||39.0||29.0||98.0||98.0|
|33rd||9||Gold||1390||Andy Hatch||Dan Hawkins||Datchet Water SC||19.0||44.0||36.0||99.0||99.0||M|
|34th||39||Gold||1326||Nick Martin||Caroline Martin||Lee on Solent SC||43.0||34.0||23.0||100.0||100.0||LC, M, LCr|
|35th||1||Silver||983||Kevin Podger||Heather Chipperfield||Lymington Town SC||46.0||21.0||34.0||101.0||101.0||GM, LCr|
|36th||35||Gold||1405||Liam Donnelly||Simon Martin||Royal North of Ireland YC||35.0||28.0||46.0||109.0||109.0||GM|
|37th||55||Silver||1189||Peter Bennett||Liss Bennett||Datchet Water SC||39.0||42.0||28.0||109.0||109.0||LC, M, LCr|
|38th||52||Silver||1051||Matt Sheahan||Ellie Sheahan||Netley SC||37.0||26.0||47.0||110.0||110.0||M|
|39th||41||Gold||1433||Rob Martin||Jan Martin||Lymington Town SC||9.0||74.0 DNF||31.0||114.0||114.0||LC, GM,|
|40th||50||Silver||1393||Nick Zammit||Nick||Lock SC||42.0||23.0||52.0||117.0||117.0|
|41st||10||Bronze||1109||Richad Mayo||Fiona Mayo||Lymington Town SC||21.0||32.0||74.0 DNC||127.0||127.0||LC, LCr|
|42nd||38||Bronze||1101||Simon Baker||Ian Craig||QMSC||40.0||40.0||48.0||128.0||128.0||M|
|43rd||54||Silver||1230||Paul McMahon||Laura Houlihan||Howart YC||44.0||43.0||44.0||131.0||131.0||LC, LCr|
|44th||8||Bronze||1043||Ian Watkins||Imogen Watkins||Graham Water||48.0||41.0||43.0||132.0||132.0||LC, LCr|
|45th||2||Silver||1340||Sam Neal||Alayne||Graham Water SC||59.0||36.0||38.0||133.0||133.0||M|
|46th||46||Bronze||630||Peter Craggs||Phil Nelson||York Railway Institute SC||54.0||37.0||49.0||140.0||140.0|
|47th||18||Bronze||979||Oliver George-Tayor||Toria Burton||Locks SC||53.0||74.0 DNC||16.0||143.0||143.0||LC, LCr|
|48th||20||Bronze||877||Phil Britton||Jules Thorne||Dalgety Bay SC||52.0||46.0||50.0||148.0||148.0||M, LCr|
|49th||13||Gold||1384||Paul Oakey||Mark Oakey||Portchester SC||8.0||74.0 DNF||74.0 OCS||156.0||156.0||GM|
|50th||44||Bronze||824||Chris Banner||Ellis Banner||Tata Steel SC||74.0 DNF||45.0||37.0||156.0||156.0|
|51st||16||Bromze||1252||James Alsop||Simon Edwards||QMSC||56.0||50.0||51.0||157.0||157.0||M|
|52nd||53||Silver||1353||Bill Handley||Lynda Handley||St Mawes SC||45.0||74.0 DNF||41.0||160.0||160.0||LC, GM, LCr|
|53rd||28||Bronze||1031||Max Tosetti||Jenny Douglas||QMSC||50.0||74.0 DNF||42.0||166.0||166.0||M|
|54th||48||Bronze||939||Steve Jannering||Chloe Sideris||Maidenhead SC||47.0||48.0||74.0 DNC||169.0||169.0||LC|
|55th||42||Bronze||1270||James Cutler||Andy Trim||Burghfield SC||74.0 DNF||49.0||53.0||176.0||176.0||M|
|56th||63||Silver||1428||James Gardner||Anne Gardner||Hayling Island SC||34.0||74.0 DNF||74.0 DNC||182.0||182.0||LC, LCr|
|57th||73||Bronze||1387||Simon Palmer||Danielle Palmer||Locks SC||38.0||74.0 DNF||74.0 DNC||186.0||186.0|
|58th||59||Silver||1044||Rob Hastings||Neil Calvin||Royal North of Ireland YC||58.0||74.0 DNC||54.0||186.0||186.0|
|59th||14||Bronze||1426||Mike Corduff||Bruce Woodcock||Dabchicks SC||57.0||74.0 DNC||55.0||186.0||186.0||4|
|60th||68||Silver||1275||David Hearsum||Gareth Fay||Hickling Broad SC||74.0 DNF||74.0 DNC||40.0||188.0||188.0||GM|
|61st||30||Bronze||1344||Nick Bonner||Will Hackney||Hamble River SC||41.0||74.0 DNF||74.0 OCS||189.0||189.0|
|62nd||26||Bronze||1287||James Bowman||Sara Roberts||Starcross YC||60.0||74.0 DNF||56.0||190.0||190.0||M|
|63rd||49||Silver||976||Tim Garvin||Ellie Gadd||74.0 DNF||74.0 DNF||45.0||193.0||193.0|
|64th||36||Bronze||1430||Simon Matthews||Penny Matthews||Lancing SC||63.0||74.0 DNF||59.0||196.0||196.0||LC, M, LCr|
|65th||34||Bronze||1328||Steve Peat||Sarah Peat||Starcross YC||62.0||74.0 DNC||60.0||196.0||196.0|
|66th||58||Silver||1337||Graeme Henry||Katie Masterson||St Marys Loch SC||51.0||74.0 DNC||74.0 DNC||199.0||199.0||LC, M, Y|
|67th||32||Bronze||1322||Gideon Ewers||Gilly Ewers||Chitchester YC||74.0 DNF||74.0 DNC||57.0||205.0||205.0||LC, M|
|68th||72||535||Ernie Hatton||Colin Hatton||Weirwood SC||74.0 DNF||74.0 DNC||58.0||206.0||206.0||GM|
|69th||6||Bronze||438||Franco Marenco||Tom Carr||Starcross YS||61.0||74.0 DNC||74.0 DNF||209.0||209.0||M|
|70th||4||Bronze||556||Ross Davies||Clemmy Dymond||QMSC||74.0 DNF||74.0 DNC||74.0 DNC||222.0||222.0||LC|
|70th||12||Bronze||519||Alistair Cole||Julie Cole||Yorkshire Dales SC||74.0 DNF||74.0 DNC||74.0 DNC||222.0||222.0||LC, M, LCr,|
|70th||22||Silver||887||Keith Escritt||Phil Preistly||Yorkshire Dales SC||74.0 DNC||74.0 DNC||74.0 DNC||222.0||222.0||M|
|70th||24||Bronze||1320||Chris Stanton||Louise Hoskins||QMSC||74.0 DNF||74.0 DNC||74.0 DNC||222.0||222.0|