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RS300 End of Seasons Regatta at Rutland Sailing Club

by Peter Mackin 5 Nov 2019 08:41 PST 2-3 November 2019
RS300 End of Season Regatta at Rutland © Peter Fothergill

Rutland SC were hosts for this year's RS End of Seasons Regatta where a lone RS300 (yours truly) was itching to sail. With a schedule of one two-hour pursuit on the Saturday and three handicap races on Sunday, I was praying for bandit weather.

Saturday started with the world pig bladder carrying championship final. England were up against some antelope. The antelope won.

Meanwhile in Rutland; home of the posh, gilet-clad and shotgun wielding geezer, the breeze was up. Gusts up to 38 knots recorded by PRO: windy enough to strip the locks of a short South African. Faced with the prospect of a 2km run in 30 knots, in an RS300 and with a dodgy back, I decided to watch this one from the touchline. The race officer had the same idea and promptly canned proceedings after a short postponement.

Sunday's schedule was revised to four races. With a light-medium forecast, concerns this would be a bit dull were mounting. Not to worry. Clare, our fabulous class secretary, informed me I had some RS600s to play with.

Race one got away in 6-8 knots with the odd gust around 10. I thought it polite to stay clear of the 6s and let them race, but, as I rounded the top mark 10 boat lengths clear of the fleet, I wondered if my cries of "you've all bought the wrong boat!" would have fallen on deaf ears.

As we waited for the remaining fleet to finish, it became clear the RS600s thought the world cup wasn't done yet and decided to host their own final mere metres from the finish. One of their number capsized to windward right on top of his rival: his rig gripping the wing of the other boat like a Welshman on a Kiwi's shorts. (No moons, half or otherwise, were shown). Their tangle lasted long enough for 2 other RS600s to smugly sneak through. Maybe they were Welsh?

Race two was more of the same but with the rugby tactics put to bed. Following the finish there were jeers of "this really isn't RS600 weather" throughout the fleet. I suspected our differing opinion on which route to take up the beats was no coincidence but decided to keep my opinion to myself on this occasion. I feared I might fall victim to further underhand tackles later in the day.

Race three required a re-jig of the course following a hefty right shift, but the fleet got away cleanly in much the same conditions. It was at this point that most of the fleet, myself included, scorned the soul of the person who chose black race buoys, as we buggered of to what we thought was the top mark. Following that balls up, there really isn't anything interesting to say about the rest of this race.

By race four, the conditions were beautiful and the claim that this wasn't RS600 weather was now as far from reality as Scotland's hopes of reaching a world cup final. The 6s were quick upwind but weren't getting away on the reaches and were pretty dull on the run too. I took great pleasure in rolling a 6 on the bottom reach but I gave in to sportsmanship and got out of his way to allow him a good rounding, believing we were being scored separately. The rest of this race was spent dodging 6s tacking without as much as a glance over the shoulder and those who capsized after, presumably, falling asleep at the helm and crash gybing with the board too high for the boom to clear. No time for dozing in an RS300!

Having arrived at the conclusion that a RS300 is faster than an RS600 on every point of sail bar a beat in 15+ knots and confirmed my theory that RS300s were better in every conceivable way I made my way ashore with a wry smile.

As it turned out, we had been timed against each other and handicapped accordingly. With a scorecard like that, one wonders whether Scotland may have a chance after all.

Thanks go to all involved at Rutland SC for accommodating the small fleets! Thanks to Rooster for their sponsorship of our great 2019 RS300 Rooster National Tour.

Overall Results:

PosClassSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1stRS300556Peter MackinStokes Bay SC111‑43
2ndRS600670Chris HaslamHickling Broad SC23‑416
3rdRS600810Jamie MawsonNotts County SC‑42226
4thRS6008Richard SmithWilsonian SC353(DNC)11
5thRS600900Alex PiggottNotts County‑875315
6thRS600868Luke HardyNotts County SC74‑8718
7thRS600919Wayne HancoxGrafham Water SC‑1167518
8thRS600907Matt PotterNotts County5‑126920
9thRS600885Simon HibbertNotts County69‑12823
10thRS600648Alistair FarmanGrafham SC9‑1010625
11thRS600933Clifford HaslamHickling Broad SC(DSQ)891128
12thRS60047Martyn BarrettRutland SC10‑11111031
13thRS600932Tom PowellNorthampton SC(DNF)13DNCDNC41

We'd like to say a massive thanks to our friends at Volvo for their support of the event! Volvo has a long-standing relationship with sailors via their continued support of British Sailing. Volvo's partnership with RS Sailing means RS300 Class Association members can benefit from a generous discount on Volvo's product range, as well as servicing, ¬finance and accessories. Follow the link below to find out more! www.rssailing.com/volvo-rs-affinity-scheme

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