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RS Aero UK South Western Championships at Salcombe Yacht Club

by RS Aero UK Class Association 5 Oct 03:44 PDT 26-27 September 2020
2020 RS Aero UK South Western Championships © Paul Gibbins Photography

Salcombe delivered a fantastic weekend of racing to an enthusiastic band of 15 RS Aeros to enjoy the end of summer after a disrupted season.

This was the UK Class' 2020 South Western Championships and wonderful blue skies complemented by a medium breeze created great well matched racing. Whilst the northerly wind was unusual it lined up nicely to funnel down Salcombe's ria valley, creating a nice windward leeward course through the various angles of the harbour.

At this year's UK AGM the Class agreed to re-open discussion and trialling of the prototype RS Aero 6 rig to gauge reaction and feedback from a good cross section of sailors. Three RS Aero 6s raced at Salcombe within the mixed RS Aero fleet on a Class recommended PY and had good racing both against each other and as a close match with the RS Aero 7s.

Salcombe Yacht Club had selected a nice neap high tide weekend and whilst the current was ever present it remained relatively well behaved and the fleet enjoyed a good period of quite slack water during the turn. As ever, and especially at Salcombe, variety is everything!

Local Salcombe supremo, Tim Fells, has won Salcombe's Merlin week. He, together with local Solo sailor, Alister Morley, were always ones to watch carefully as they repeatedly darted away from the pack for gains as the frequent opportunities arose. The well versed RS Aero sailors combatted the local knowledge with speed and gear changes. Greg Bartlett (Starcoss) and Peter Barton (Lymington) edged ahead on the long beat towards Kingsbridge whilst the lighter Chris Hatton (Bowmoor) charged back through with his legendary downwind comebacks.

A couple of course errors and a capsize cost Greg dearly. Alister and Peter carelessly cost themselves their discards with a premature start on Salcombe's challenging start line. Ultimately Peter piped Chris by just two points whilst Alister, ever present near the front and learning the RS Aero quickly, took third.

First RS Aero 6 was Andrew (Spike) Daniels (Hayling) in fourth overall. As a slightly smaller sailor he enjoyed the RS Aero 6 and in Saturday's slightly less patchy conditions he scored a 1,3 on PY before slipping a little on Sunday. Caitlin Atkin (Starcross) beat Caroline Driscoll for the ladies award, whilst Tim Fells made experience count to win the Masters title in sixth.

Thank you to Salcombe Yacht Club for their effort to retain our popular event during a difficult period. All the sailors were hugely grateful for a nice weekend racing at their enchanting venue and look forward to returning again next year.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubRigPYR1R2R3R4Pts
1st3193Peter BartonLymimngton Town SCRS AERO 7106521(OCS)36
2nd1590Chris HattonBowmoor SCRS AERO 710654‑5318
3rd1752Alister MorleySalcombe YCRS AERO 710655(OCS)24.511.5
4th63Andrew DanielsHaylng Island SCRS AERO 61097139‑1313
5th3023Richard WatshamStarcross YCRS AERO 71065‑824713
6th1505Tim FellsSalcombe YCRS AERO 710653‑65614
7th3174Greg BartlettStarcross YCRS AERO 7106513(DNF)1216
8th2836James RusdenHighcliffe SCRS AERO 7106594(OCS)4.517.5
9th62Karl ThorneLymimngton Town SCRS AERO 61097788‑923
10th61Caitie AtkinStarcross YCRS AERO 6109769‑111025
11th3342Jack MillerFelpham SCRS AERO 71065‑10710825
12th1746Simon BallantineSalcombe YCRS AERO 71065‑111071128
13th1654Mark LambdinBradford on Avon SCRS AERO 91014‑141261432
14th2204Alan MarkhamUpper Thames SCRS AERO 71065‑1211121235
15th88Caroline DriscollLymimngton Town SCRS AERO 7…65…(DNC)DNCDNCDNC48

Next up for the UK RS Aeros is the UK Inland Championship at Draycote on 10/11th Oct. This includes the re-scheduled RS Aero 9 UK Nationals and both UK Masters and Ladies titles too. It looks set to be a big weekend with 87 RS Aeros now pre-entered, including a nice fleet of 22 RS Aero 9s.

Keep in touch with everything Aero on the Facebook group here.

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