by Matt Sheahan
Volvo Noble Marine UK RS400 National Championships. While those that had raced at Mounts Bay before had told those that hadn't about the legendary waves, what they hadn't mentioned was the 50 or so different varieties. In a challenging week for all, the range of sea states and weather had stretched from a whisper of a breeze and left over slop to full-on and frightening white crested growlers with a breeze, no viz and rain to match.
Volvo Noble Marine UK RS400 National Championships 2014
But for day five, Mounts Bay delivered champagne conditions midway between the week's extremes, along with a few more varieties of sea states and wind combinations.
Still battered and bruised from Wednesday's 20-30knot pummelling, the fleet headed out to a new race area to the east of the famous Mount. The decision by the race committee to take the fleet to this new location proved to be spot on.
The first of three races started in a 10-12 knot breeze that didn't really match the sea state, particularly on starboard tack where every fifth wave seemed to have a steep front and vertical back. Stopping the boat was easy, getting it going again was a far tougher task.
By the windward mark it felt like we had carried our boats to the top of the course using the mainsheet and toe straps.
The short stretch from the windward mark to the spreader buoy served up an entirely new sea state based on a washing machine's spin cycle. White chop, waves from everywhere, it felt like the entire fleet had headed off road.
And then came the downhill slide.
The waves suggested that there should be plenty of hiking and surfing but the breeze was holding back making the first two laps a bit of a struggle for all but the lightest crews.
By the third and final round of the first race the breeze had woken up and added a few more knots making the upwind legs a full hike and the downwind slides more fun.
By the finish Nick Craig and Toby 'Tastic' Lewis had led the fleet around the course once again.
Race two saw the conditions perk up a few more notches with some more breeze to match the building swell from the South West. But while the waves were longer the beats were still hard work and the battle for clear air just as intense. Fortunately the downwind slides became more fun too, especially for the extra-medium proportioned crews who had struggled to keep their boats on the boil. (No names, we know who we are!)
Again, Craig and Lewis scored a bullet and sealed their overall win of the championship. But for everyone else there was more to come.
First was a return to a three lap course, race two had been a teasing two lapper. Second was the waves, stretching out a little further to make longer surfs downwind easier. But for some there were bigger surprises in store.
One was for Jim Downer who beat Nick Craig to the finish, but the other was for David Brown and Rebecca Witt (1290) who capsized at the start, (not something they make a habit of), but onto a rather sick looking shark. Rebecca refused to leave the boat and enter the water by hanging onto the gooseneck to keep her feet above the water making life a little trickier for David who was trying to right the boat while convincing her that the shark was dead.
For the rest of the fleet the race was a perfect finish to a boisterous week but there was one more surprise in store - the ride home.
As we headed back towards the Mount the breeze kicked in with a 10knot bonus on top of the 15knots we had got used to making for a full on foam up for the two sail reach home. Some, no names, didn't quite make it without a swim on the way.
Overall, as far as conditions were concerned, the week could not have ended on a better note - sunshine, breeze, another variety of waves and big smiles around the fleet.
The last challenge was the long haul up the beach at low tide. A proper work out at the end of the day and a good excuse to use the stair lift in the club.
Congratulations to Nick Craig and Toby Lewis for taking an emphatic win.
Results - After day five - Races 1- 8 Overall Sailed: 8, Discards: 2, To count: 6, Entries: 73, Scoring system: Appendix A
|1st||15||Gold||1383||Nick Craig||Tobytastic Lewis||1.0||1.0||1.0||1.0||(2.0)||10.0||6.0|
|2nd||17||Gold||1321||Jim Downer||Jono Price||3.0||2.0||(7.0)||2.0||1.0||94.0||13.0|
|3rd||11||Gold||1435||Michael Sims||Richard Brown||(32.0)||3.0||3.0||3.0||4.0||65.0||18.0|
|4th||23||Gold||1414||Jon Goringe||Nicola Bass||2.0||4.0||2.0||(8.0)||5.0||35.0||20.0|
|5th||69||Gold||1388||Roger Gilbert||James Stewart||4.0||(23.0)||5.0||(74.0 DSQ)||3.0||122.0||25.0|
|6th||19||Gold||1418||Howard Farbrother||Dan Martin||(29.0)||7.0||8.0||5.0||13.0||104.0||45.0|
|7th||3||Gold||1215||Josh Metcalfe||Elaine Jones||(15.0)||5.0||4.0||10.0||10.0||75.0||49.0|
|8th||29||Gold||1342||Jack Holden||Alex Lee||(14.0)||6.0||12.0||13.0||(16.0)||79.0||49.0|
|9th||25||Gold||1407||John Hessig||Nicky Griffin||8.0||8.0||9.0||6.0||(11.0)||78.0||50.0|
|10th||31||Gold||1017||Sean Cleary||Steven Tyner||9.0||9.0||(24.0)||7.0||8.0||113.0||54.0|
|11th||7||Gold||1395||Paul Hilliar||Sam Parker||5.0||20.0||10.0||4.0||6.0||127.0||56.0|
|12th||21||Gold||1432||Keith Bedborough||Steve Dunn||17.0||(28.0)||17.0||12.0||9.0||142.0||67.0|
|13th||13||Gold||1384||Paul Oakey||Mark Oakey||6.0||21.0||11.0||9.0||14.0||217.0||69.0|
|14th||47||Gold||1259||Gareth Flanigan||David Fletcher||(33.0)||(15.0)||6.0||11.0||15.0||118.0||70.0|
|15th||51||Gold||1425||Mike Saul||Demo Dave||13.0||12.0||(27.0)||(23.0)||19.0||124.0||74.0|
|16th||62||Silver||1082||Mark Somerville||Joe Roberts||11.0||11.0||(20.0)||18.0||7.0||137.0||78.0|
|17th||27||Gold||1186||Dave Exley||Joe Hartigan||7.0||16.0||13.0||20.0||12.0||133.0||84.0|
|18th||45||Gold||1161||Ben Robertson||Hannah Robertson||(51.0)||(74.0 DNF)||25.0||16.0||22.0||230.0||105.0|
|19th||71||Silver||1436||Simon Herriot||Tom Maron||10.0||13.0||22.0||(24.0)||(33.0)||162.0||105.0|
|20th||70||Silver||864||Elaine Turner||Sijbrand Jongejans||21.0||(74.0 DNF)||33.0||(34.0)||25.0||232.0||124.0|
|21st||60||Silver||574||Steve Restall||Chris Stubbs||(43.0)||22.0||(31.0)||17.0||20.0||203.0||129.0|
|22nd||33||Gold||1406||Dave Cheyne||Ben Moag||23.0||(74.0 DNC)||(36.0)||14.0||21.0||241.0||131.0|
|23rd||40||Bronze||411||Richard Cain||Barney Dearsly||(30.0)||26.0||(32.0)||21.0||26.0||194.0||132.0|
|24th||41||Gold||1433||Rob Martin||Jan Martin||27.0||30.0||18.0||25.0||27.0||241.0||136.0|
|25th||39||Gold||1326||Nick Martin||Caroline Martin||22.0||(35.0)||14.0||27.0||17.0||215.0||137.0|
|26th||5||Gold||1356||Pete Vincent||Pete Cruickshank||(39.0)||31.0||19.0||26.0||28.0||235.0||141.0|
|27th||66||Silver||1202||Sam Knight||John Knight||24.0||18.0||23.0||19.0||(37.0)||219.0||143.0|
|28th||43||Gold||1203||Richard Gray||Isobel Mitchel||(40.0)||17.0||26.0||22.0||24.0||227.0||149.0|
|29th||65||Silver||1088||Mark Chamberlain||Rebecca Chamberlain||(36.0)||(74.0 DNC)||34.0||28.0||18.0||265.0||155.0|
|30th||57||Silver||725||Bill Kenyon||Andy Dawson||37.0||10.0||28.0||(41.0)||(38.0)||236.0||157.0|
|31st||56||Silver||1290||David Brown||Rebecca Witt||(48.0)||(74.0 DNC)||21.0||15.0||34.0||284.0||162.0|
|32nd||1||Silver||983||Kevin Podger||Heather Chipperfield||31.0||29.0||16.0||(44.0)||32.0||253.0||163.0|
|33rd||35||Gold||1405||Liam Donnelly||Simon Martin||20.0||19.0||35.0||31.0||30.0||244.0||163.0|
|34th||10||Bronze||1109||Richad Mayo||Fiona Mayo||25.0||25.0||(74.0 DNC)||37.0||41.0||329.0||181.0|
|35th||30||Bronze||1344||Nick Bonner||Will Hackney||16.0||24.0||42.0||32.0||29.0||332.0||184.0|
|36th||9||Gold||1390||Andy Hatch||Dan Hawkins||19.0||(74.0 DNF)||40.0||29.0||(45.0)||306.0||187.0|
|38th||67||Silver||1377||Ivan Burden||Alex Lester||35.0||27.0||41.0||(50.0)||(74.0 DNC)||318.0||194.0|
|40th||54||Silver||1230||Paul McMahon||Laura Houlihan||(55.0)||14.0||29.0||30.0||(49.0)||308.0||204.0|
|41st||37||Gold||1014||Hamish Gledhill||Simon Dowse||12.0||(74.0 DNF)||(74.0 DNC)||74.0 DNC||74.0 DNC||361.0||213.0|
|42nd||52||Silver||1051||Matt Sheahan||Ellie Sheahan||(56.0)||32.0||47.0||40.0||36.0||321.0||218.0|
|43rd||63||Silver||1428||James Gardner||Anne Gardner||28.0||38.0||39.0||42.0||40.0||369.0||221.0|
|44th||8||Bronze||1043||Ian Watkins||Imogen Watkins||(53.0)||(74.0 DNF)||43.0||33.0||35.0||370.0||243.0|
|45th||18||Bronze||979||Oliver George-Tayor||Toria Burton||61.0||(74.0 DNC)||38.0||43.0||42.0||401.0||253.0|
|46th||38||Bronze||1101||Simon Baker||Ian Craig||45.0||37.0||(58.0)||(58.0)||51.0||377.0||261.0|
|47th||64||Silver||1370||Keith Willis||Julie Willis||26.0||(74.0 DNF)||(74.0 DNC)||74.0 DNC||74.0 DNC||412.0||264.0|
|48th||46||Bronze||630||Peter Craggs||Phil Nelson||(50.0)||34.0||49.0||46.0||50.0||369.0||265.0|
|49th||48||Bronze||939||Steve Jannering||Chloe Sideris||(74.0 DNC)||74.0 DNC||15.0||35.0||47.0||414.0||266.0|
|50th||44||Bronze||824||Chris Banner||Ellis Banner||63.0||(74.0 DNC)||44.0||53.0||39.0||429.0||281.0|
|51st||61||Silver||1292||Christopher Eames||Oisin McClelland||(74.0 DNF)||(74.0 DNC)||74.0 DNC||74.0 DNC||74.0 DNC||438.0||290.0|
|52nd||20||Bronze||877||Phil Britton||Jules Thorne||49.0||(74.0 DNF)||(53.0)||49.0||44.0||417.0||290.0|
|53rd||55||Silver||1189||Peter Bennett||Liss Bennett||34.0||(74.0 DNC)||(74.0 DNC)||74.0 DNC||74.0 DNC||439.0||291.0|
|54th||16||Bronze||1252||James Alsop||Simon Edwards||44.0||(74.0 DNF)||48.0||48.0||52.0||423.0||293.0|
|55th||49||Silver||976||Tim Garvin||Ellie Gadd||74.0 DNF||74.0 DNC||30.0||38.0||43.0||452.0||304.0|
|56th||73||Bronze||1387||Simon Palmer||Danielle Palmer||47.0||74.0 DNF||54.0||45.0||46.0||452.0||304.0|
|57th||28||Bronze||1031||Max Tosetti||Jenny Douglas||54.0||(74.0 DNC)||52.0||52.0||54.0||452.0||304.0|
|58th||59||Silver||1044||Rob Hastings||Neil Calvin||46.0||(74.0 DNF)||46.0||47.0||74.0 DNC||473.0||325.0|
|59th||68||Silver||1275||David Hearsum||Gareth Fay||60.0||74.0 DNC||55.0||51.0||48.0||476.0||328.0|
|60th||36||Bronze||1430||Simon Matthews||Penny Matthews||59.0||(74.0 DNC)||51.0||56.0||55.0||491.0||343.0|
|61st||53||Silver||1353||Bill Handley||Lynda Handley||41.0||(74.0 DNC)||74.0 DNC||74.0 DNC||74.0 DNC||497.0||349.0|
|62nd||14||Bronze||1426||Mike Corduff||Bruce Woodcock||42.0||(74.0 DNF)||50.0||74.0 DNF||74.0 DNC||500.0||352.0|
|63rd||26||Bronze||1287||James Bowman||Sara Roberts||(74.0 DNC)||74.0 DNC||74.0 DNC||54.0||53.0||519.0||371.0|
|64th||72||535||Ernie Hatton||Colin Hatton||64.0||74.0 DNC||56.0||55.0||74.0 DNF||529.0||381.0|
|65th||42||Bronze||1270||James Cutler||Andy Trim||58.0||(74.0 DNC)||74.0 DNC||74.0 DNC||74.0 DNC||530.0||382.0|
|66th||34||Bronze||1328||Steve Peat||Sarah Peat||(74.0 DNC)||74.0 DNC||74.0 DNC||57.0||56.0||531.0||383.0|
|67th||32||Bronze||1322||Gideon Ewers||Gilly Ewers||57.0||74.0 DNC||57.0||74.0 DNC||74.0 DNC||541.0||393.0|
|68th||58||Silver||1337||Graeme Henry||Katie Masterson||52.0||74.0 DNC||74.0 DNC||74.0 DNC||74.0 DNC||547.0||399.0|
|69th||6||Bronze||438||Franco Marenco||Tom Carr||74.0 DNC||74.0 DNC||74.0 DNC||74.0 DNC||74.0 DNC||579.0||431.0|
|70th||12||Bronze||519||Alistair Cole||Julie Cole||62.0||74.0 DNC||74.0 DNC||74.0 DNC||74.0 DNC||580.0||432.0|
|71st||4||Bronze||556||Ross Davies||Clemmy Dymond||74.0 DNC||74.0 DNC||74.0 DNC||74.0 DNC||74.0 DNC||592.0||444.0|
|71st||22||Silver||887||Keith Escritt||Phil Preistly||74.0 DNC||74.0 DNC||74.0 DNC||74.0 DNC||74.0 DNC||592.0||444.0|
|71st||24||Bronze||1320||Chris Stanton||Louise Hoskins||74.0 DNC||74.0 DNC||74.0 DNC||74.0 DNC||74.0 DNC||592.0||444.0|
Click here for full results.