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Wadsworth lays down gauntlet in RS700 Snetfest at Snettisham Beach SC

by Colin Dacey on 5 May 2017
RS700 SnetFest boats launch Joanne Dacey
Snettisham Beach Sailing Club hosted the opening event of the 2017 RS700 Magic Marine Grand Prix with a fantastic event held over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Unfortunately the planned Friday night shakedown sail had to be cancelled due to lack of wind but this did not dampen the spirits of the 11 visitors and four local boats from renewing their friendships in the time honoured fashion in the warm and newly renovated clubhouse.

Day one of the event proper dawned with clear skies and a gentle easterly breeze producing an unusual flat sea. In these marginal trapezing conditions there were large gains to be made in finding the most pressure over the best tide conditions. Clearly local knowledge paid dividends with Colin Dacey of the home club leading the pack overnight with a 1,2,2 score closely followed by 2013 National Champion, Robbie Bell also from the home club with a 2,4,1 with, the always fast in all conditions, and RS700 stalwart, Pete Purkiss from Brightlingsea S.C. with a 4,1,6.

The day was rounded off with an excellent meal provided by S.B.S.C. new caterers followed by live music by local group “Goz” where the competitors eased their partial trapezing aching muscles with some energetic dancing. Class Chairman, Richard Wadsworth also impressed the gathering with his dead eye skill in hitting a nail with the sharp end of a brick layer’s hammer, after consuming many beers, in S.B.S.C’s new, aptly named “Hammer and Nail” game. Clearly a skill he practices in the Navy!

Day two, another bright early morning greeted the bleary eyed sailors, but this time there was a lot more wind! An easterly F4-5, gusting 6, again produced an uncharacteristically flat sea just perfect for high speed RS700 sailing. There were plenty of capsizes for the SBSC rescue teams to keep them busy with more than usual swims from ex-champ Bell who would have probably won the event if he had managed to stay upright more. In the end the day belonged to Richard Wadsworth, who despite problems with a slippery kite halyard cleat, showed his skill in the strong wind to score a 1,1,2 closely followed by local Ian Nolan who was going faster with each race and showing blistering upwind speed at times, scoring a very creditable 3,2,1. Third on the day was the ever consistent Bell with a 2,4,3.

When all the scores were added up it was Richard from Stokes Bay and RNSA who done enough to win the event with 10 points. Equal on 12 points each were Colin Dacey and Robbie Bell from the home club, with Bell securing the runner’s up spot by virtue of a one point advantage on discard.

After the prize giving the fleet retired to the club for another splendid two course Sunday lunch, followed later in the evening, a typical freestyle Snettisham Beach BBQ watching the sun dip below the West Wash coast horizon. Not quite south of France probably, but not far off either.

For those who stayed for the club racing on the Monday were rewarded with another sparkling sail in a fresh F4-5 producing some very close racing, the results didn’t seem to matter as the quality of the sailing was so much fun, pretty normal for Norfolk.

As usual thanks to all the volunteers that gave up their time to make the weekend so enjoyable, John Eaton and his RO team, Mark Charnley and his rescue team and those who worked in the bar, galley, and those behind the scenes. Mention also to our SpeedSix our equipment sponsors for the RS700 Nationals for providing stylish footwear to those of us who had already entered the RS700 Volvo Noble Marine Nationals to be held at Stokes Bay SC 21-24 Sept 2017.
The next event on the RS700 Magic Marine Grand Prix is the RS700 RS Sailing Summer Championship at Hayling Island S.C. 17-18 June. – Already booked my slot, see you all there.

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