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The somewhat delayed RS300s at Stewartby Water Sailing Club event report

by Richard Hargreaves 17 Apr 23:52 PDT 14-15 March 2020
RS300 Winters at Stewartby Water © Gareth Farr & Philippa Netcher

Day One

Only a week before the lock down, the RS300 fleet returned to Stewartby WSC for the 2020 Rooster RS300 National Tour season opener. The fleet was a somewhat diminished by a fairly fruity forecast and the absence of those already self-isolating (or just spending the whole weekend hoarding loo rolls). Day one saw medium breezes of F3 to F5 with some nice gusts to keep it interesting. Glorious sunshine beamed down on the fleet, as they have come to expect at Stewartby, with stronger breeze forecast for the Sunday. The fleet opted to get the most of the weekend's races done on day one so set off from the hard at 1200hrs sharp for four races back to back.

Race one saw Steve Sallis and Harry McVicar in a close battle from the off but with Steve doing just enough to claim the win by a few lengths. Mark Cooper and local Matt Pedlow swapped places every other leg to claim 3rd and 4th respectively. The racing across the whole fleet was tight with the crafty Ben Green using his impressive downwind speed to slip past Richard Hargreaves on the final run to claim 5th.

In an increasingly fresh breeze it looked like race two was going to be the same story again at the front, until Harry suffered an unlucky capsize and rather prolonged swim which left him feeling a touch chilly and under-attired. This left Matt and Mark once again swapping places and allowing Steve Sallis just enough of a gap to squeeze through for the win. The fight in the chasing pack was also tight with Richard and Ben this time joined by Rob Ford to gain 4, 5th and 6th respectively.

A 10 degree shift a minute before the start of race three threw some, but not Stewartby native Dan Treloar who had clearly taken his brave pills. He spotted the now 15 degrees+ pin end bias and took an impressive port flyer across the whole fleet. As the fleet reached windward it became clear that the pin end was clearly the place to be as fellow pin ender Richard Hargreaves rounded first and held the lead for the remainder of the lap, before the ever consistent Steve took an interesting high line on the top reach and blasted over the top to take the lead. Mark and Matt were again not far behind, but Richard did just enough to hold them off to the close to claim 2nd from Steve.

Race four saw Dan Treloar again hit the line at speed after some impressive pre-start manoeuvring. This time he was at the committee boat end and put himself a clear three boat lengths up on the rest of the fleet. Unfortunately for Dan the gun blew three seconds after he crossed the line! And an individual recall ensued. Having also hit the line fast at the pin end Richard and Mark decided that it was probably a good idea to go back too (though the in the bar later the RO asked the pair why they had gone back, having not been over). As it happened this paid with and Richard and Mark taking the clean air on the left-hand side of the beat whilst the rest of the fleet banged right. This saw Richard and Mark round windward in 1st and 2nd respectively thanks in equal measure to some seriously over the top "oh s*** we're at the back" hiking and a lucky wind-shift! Closely behind them were Steve and Matt who rounded next. They had taken the opposite side of the run and passed Mark and Richard to take a lead they held to the end.

Day Two

With a stronger but falling forecast in prospect for the morning of day two, the fleet set off into a good F5 with some interesting gusts!

Race five: After the disappointment of his day one performance, post swim, a considerably better insulated Harry McVicar was back on form, take a hard fought win from Matt Pedlow in 2nd. Steve Sallis sailed to 3rd putting the event win in the bag. This still left all to play for going into race six with only three points between 2nd and 5th.

Race six: When Matt, Harry and Richard took an early lead it looked like it was all over for Mark as he took an impressive swim on the first run and was relegated to the back. But a quick recovery and all that Winter training in horrific weather had clearly paid as on the second beat he claimed back all the places he had lost with his special brand of "oh s*** I'm at the back" hiking. It also helped that Richard recovered from his capsize at the bottom of the reach far less speedily.

Many thanks to Stewartby Water Sports Club for hosting the event. It is great that the fleet were able to race together before lockdown took hold. A big thank you to Rooster for sponsorship of the Rooster RS300 National Tour. The next event will be hosted as soon as safely possible. Check out the RS300 website to keep up to date and follow the RS Class Association on facebook.

Overall Results:

PosHelm / Sail NoR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1Steve Sallis 4761111337
2Harry McVicar 5232DNF551114
3Matt Pedlow 45143322414
4Mark Cooper 52532445315
5Richard Hargreaves 45264234619
6Ben Green 31355766527
7Dan Treloar 54187687735
8Rob Ford 35176878DNF36
9Cheryl Wood 53210DNF10109847
10Dave Coulson 4279899DNCDNC47

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