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RS Aero UK Spring Championship at Island Barn Reservoir Sailing Club

by RS Aero UK Class Association 28 Apr 12:39 PDT 23 April 2022

The annual Island Barn RS Aero event would appear to be the most reliably windy over the years and this season's RS Aero UK Spring Championship was no exception for the 27 RS Aeros competing!

Beautiful blue skies and a strong breeze gusting up to 30kts provided a wonderfully exciting day's racing. Whilst the flat water helped, the challenge was in dealing with the ferocity of the gusts, especially when usually accompanied by a shift too. Four races, each three laps and a nice lunch break proved an excellent formula with sailors able to recuperate and refuel over lunch whilst swapping some tips on the best techniques to manage the extreme conditions.

The RS Aero 5s saw Tom Ahlheid (Frensham) continued his winning streak from Burghfield in March to take first with a 3,1,2,1 whilst Abby Hire (Lymington Town) took second matching Tom in the afternoon with a 1,2 to add to her 4,4 from the morning. Third went to Jonathan Bailey (Hunts) and local RS Aero Gareth Griffiths (Island Barn) took fourth after winning Race 1. Iona Willows (LymingtonTown/Dorchester) completed the top five showing potential with a 2,4 in her score line.

The RS Aero 7s were incredibly close with Tim Hire (Lymington Town) and Peter Barton (Lymington Town) finishing every race within a couple of boat lengths of each other. They scored a 1,2 each before lunch and after Tim took Race 3 it was all down to the final race - if Peter could win he would win a tie break.

A better start saw Peter with a comfortable lead over Tim at mark 1. However local sailor Jeff Davison (Island Barn) had not read the script and had a large lead from a righty on the beat. Peter would now also need to catch Jeff as well as keep Speedy Tim behind him! Over three laps Peter caught Jeff and Tim steadily caught Peter, leading to a very close final lap.

With huge gusts down the final run there was always a chance of an overtake but Peter had just enough to defend a narrow lead. Peter took the event with Tim tied to be the closest of seconds, scoring 1,2,2,1 and 2,1,1,2 respectively. Jeff took a solid third with 2,9,3,3. Andrew Rawson (Weston) finished fourth and Paul Halliwell (Island Barn) took fifth showing good form in the strong breeze for his preparations for the RS Aero World Championship in the USA in just two months time.

Thank you to everyone involved at Island Barn Reservoir Sailing Club for an excellent day and to Rooster in supporting the prizes. We look forward to returning!

Race Officer, Mike Jones, did an awesome job all day and forgave the RS Aero 7 fleet for a General Recall in the very first start! Mike commented; "It was a pleasure to officiate this fabulous dinghy class's Spring Championship in a very brisk breeze, with gusts of up to 30 knots. The class has attracted an extremely friendly bunch of skilled sailors of all ages. It was a particular pleasure to see so many teenagers and women enjoying the racing so much.

"The Open was blessed with a great breeze, blue skies, challenging shifts, a brilliant lunch and lots of friendly banter on and off the water.

"A really great advert for dinghy racing. Thank you sailors, mark layers, safety boats, results administrator, photographer, caterers and barmen for giving us the pleasure of hosting a perfect Open Meeting. Do all come again please!"

Next events in the UK RS Aero calendar are the River Champs at Avon SC, Glos, on 7 May, Paignton's POSH on 7/8 May (with Friday training), and in the north the Leigh and Lowton Open on 7 May. Check out the UK Events List.

RS Aero 5 Fleet Results:

1st2077Tom AhlheidFrensham Pond SC‑31214
2nd1566Abby HireLymington Town SC‑44127
3rd3929Jonathan BaileyHunts SC234‑59
4th3175Gareth GriffithsIsland Barn SC173‑811
5th3330Iona WillowsLymington Town SC‑626412
6th3661Graham TribbeckLee‑On‑Solent SC‑965314
7th2214Yana SkvortsovaIsland Barn SC‑757618
8th3853Edward DayReading SC5‑98720
9th1502Elinor O'LearyIsland Barn SC889(DNC)25
10th1589Brendan O'LearyIsland Barn SC1210(DNC)DNC35
11th2113Chris SmithIsland Barn SC10(DNC)DNCDNC36
12th3931Helen BaileyHunts SC11(DNF)DNCDNC37

RS Aero 7 Fleet Results:

1st3597Peter BartonLymington Town SC1‑2214
2nd2439Tim HireLymington Town SC‑21124
3rd4189Jeff DavisonIsland Barn SC3‑9339
4th2890Andrew RawsonWeston SC‑935412
5th3042Paul HalliwellIsland Barn SC456‑815
6th1457Charlie RoomeDatchet Water SC767(RET)20
7th3170Nigel DakinSeafarers SC849(RET)21
8th3669Chris RustPortsmouth SC68(RET)721
9th2786Andy NormanIsland Barn SC1274(RET)23
10th1603Rob AhlheidFrensham Pond SC10‑128624
11th3286John DerbyshireEmsworth SC‑111010525
12th3930Phil BaileyHunts SC511(DNC)DNC33
13th2785John KewleyIsland Barn SC‑141411934
14th3127Adam ThompsonShoreham SC1313(DNC)DNC43
15th2126Graham IlesArmy SA(DNC)DNCDNCDNC51
15th1490Graham PlattHighcliffe SC(DNF)DNCDNCDNC51

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