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Volvo Noble Marine RS300 Nationals at Prestwick - Overall

by Steve Bolland 29 Aug 2017 06:45 PDT 24-27 August 2017

Those of you following the report from day two will recall I was rather underwhelmed by the forecast for racing on day three. Unsurprisingly actual conditions defied the forecasters and we had wind into the top of the teens.

Race 6

On two occasions the fleet was pulled over the line early by trigger-happy class chairman Richard Le Mare. I understand the need to sheet in before the gun goes, but not when you're already on the line. We were away at the third attempt with only an individual recall signalled. The fleet breathed a collective sigh of relief when Matt Sargent took the rap and turned back. Unfortunately it was Tim Keen who was OCS.

Alistair McLaughlin had built a crazy lead by the first mark which he retained for the next two laps although he was reeled in somewhat by Dave Acres and Steve Bolland when McLaughlin overstood the second windward mark. Bolland got through at the final windward mark when McLaughlin overstood again. As a local you would have expected him to understand the tides. Bolland won from McLaughlin, Acres just holding off a fast-moving Paul Rigg. Matt Sargent had a great recovery to fifth.

Race 7

For once Bolland had a half decent first beat, led at the first mark and retained this to the finish. He was pushed all the way by Acres, though. Rigg was third with fourth going to Ian Baillie who was beginning to find form despite being able to sail only over the weekend.

Race 8

What was this purple vision before us? For a while we all thought we'd been transported to a parallel universe. Then we realised it was purple-hulled Rich Le Mare winning the pin end and crossing the fleet. Using the McLaughlin windward mark playbook Le Mare then overstood to let a gleeful Bolland through to take the lead. Acres and Rigg were having a tight tussle in the battle for second overall. Rigg also dipped into someone else's windward mark playbook, attempting to repeat Bolland's spurs and stetson inspired port layline approach to the windward mark from Race four. Unfortunately National Champion-sized holes only open for National Champions, especially if it is your main rival who is on the starboard layline. A dizzy Rigg drove hard down the reach and soon made up for his spin. The scene was almost repeated on the next lap when, to the delight of those already on a fat layline Rigg (to leeward) and Acres indulged in a pinch fest to the windward mark. Eventually Rigg tacked out which would have given Acres an easy lead, until the latter got embarrassingly intimate with the mark. Apparently some Scottish wizardry played a part: although the tide was on the flood as it had been the day before, the flow was in the opposite direction! Bolland first, Le Mare second, Paul Watson third and Ian Baillie fourth again.

Consultation of the scoreboard revealed that Bolland had retained his title with his eighth win in total. Looked like the final night was going to be messy.

And so it proved. Curry, Tennent's Lager and Mark Taylor's excellent quiz were the backdrop to the standard attempts by those competitors still fighting for places to nobble each other, aided and abetted by Bolland, wearing the evil grin of a Bond villain and brandishing a bottle of Sambuca. Tim Keen having travelled to the Championships with a very young child, was notably absent from this Cold War worthy session of Mutually Assured Destruction. Thus discussion turned to whether, in those circumstances, feeding a baby a caffeine and energy gel would be an alternative source of sleep deprivation, and whether it could be subject to a Rule 69 Hearing.

Sunday dawned clear, warm and with a very gentle breeze from the southwest. Bolland arrived at the dinghy park early – largely because he'd been persuaded that racing started at 1000hrs. He was also looking less than chipper after the Sambuca-fuelled evening. He had, though, been persuaded to swap boats and try Le Mare's purple machine.

Race 9

About 8-10 knots at best, softening as the race progressed. The new boats might be quick but they can't start. Bolland had a shocker and tacked off to clear his wind. Rigg did the same and they were 1, 2 at the first mark! Rigg took the lead on the first run and never looked back, pulling out an embarrassingly large lead. Bolland managed to hang on to second with McLaughlin third and Acres fourth.

Race 10

Purple boats definitely can't start! Bolland was at least two lengths over and had to return. However the wind was up again and now we'd see just how powerful these new boats are. Baillie led with Rigg, Watson, Acres and McLaughlin all in the mix. Bolland was well into the teens at the first mark.

With four, it could have been five, relatively short laps there was some pretty close racing all round. The waves had returned and the downwind legs were short and fast. Although Baillie retained the lead there was a little reshuffling when the leaders thought they saw a shortened course flag go up after three laps, or it could have been four. Chief loser-outer was McLaughlin.

At the finish it was Baillie from Rigg, Watson and Bolland who had completed his fight back and just about inched past Acres on the last run.

Le Mare's opinion on Bolland's boat was that it's floppy and horrible, not unlike it's driver. Will he be in for a new one next year? One thing's for certain, it won't be purple.

The fleet would like to express it gratitude once again to Prestwick SC whose members went out of their way to give a warm welcome and make the championship a success. Also thanks to the sponsors; Volvo, Noble Marine, The Boatyard at Beer and Forward WIP. We look forward to next year's Nationals which will be part of the RS Games 16-19 August 2018 at Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy.

Wooden Spoon Trophy – awarded to Race Office Paul Gilmore for falling out of the patrol boat on return to shore from the Committee Boat at the end of championship racing and managing to inflate his life jacket!

Congratulations to all competitors and thank you to their shore teams!

Overall Results:

PosHelmSail NoClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9R10Pts
1stSteve Bolland411Bristol Corinthian YC121‑311112‑410
2ndDavid Acres544Emsworth & Thornet Island SC2321332‑114‑520
3rdPaul Rigg445East Lothian YC‑5154243‑71222
4thPaul Watson528Bowmoor SC466246‑83‑13334
5thAlistair Mclaughlin490Prestwick SC‑948‑1552793644
6thTim Keen328Shefield Viking & Nefyn SC37356‑1666‑14945
7thSteve Sallis476Hykeham SC854888‑14‑1071058
8thNeil Beveridge416Prestwick SC6896‑10‑201059760
9thMatt Sargent524Thorney Island SC7‑107‑995988861
10thRichard Le Mare555Notts County SC1091010‑141152‑151471
11thBen Green337Lymington Town SC15111277911‑20‑161284
12thIan Baillie526Dalgety Bay(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNC74461100
13thRichard Hargreave373Stewartby SC12‑1711141114‑17131213100
14thThomas Whitehead374Prestwick SC1116131112101612‑21‑17101
15thPhil Manning386Delph SC16‑181713161212(DNF)511102
16thMark Newton354West Lancashire YC1415151215‑1715‑171116113
17thBen Yeats502Chanonry SC181316171313‑1915‑1915120
18thMark Taylor531Prestwick SC1314(DNC)(DNC)DNC1513142318136
19thAlastair Wood422Medway YC1920181817(DNF)‑21161019137
20thMark Henman450South Sheilds SC201920211819‑231917‑23153
21stCameron McIntyre383Prestwick SC21‑23192020‑2220182222162
22ndLuke Pepper540Hykeham SC17121416(DNF)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC163
23rdMurray McDonald332Prestwick SC‑222121191921‑22212021163
24thGavin Jeffrey437Helensburgh SC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNC1818221820174
25thEamonn Rankin521Prestwick SC232222222123‑24(DNF)2424181

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