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The Sandy Shell 2023 for RS200s at Hayling Island Sailing Club

by Paul Hammett 17 Oct 2023 13:44 PDT 14-15 October 2023
The Sandy Shell for RS200s at Hayling Island © Cam Stewart

To the uninitiated, the Sandy Shell - a gruelling six sprint races with one discard for RS200s at Hayling Island Sailing Club - is a small town competition. However, for those in the "Know" it's the most prestigious dinghy racing competition in the universe - sitting above the simplistic World Championship to the level of Inter-Gallactic.

This author considers his third "back in the day" as one of his sailing highlights and took the responsibility to run the racing for the day. (He wasn't about to risk challenging the younger generation - even if he were allowed to use his own boat).

So intense is the event that past winners have often avoided the defence of the title to spare themselves the mental and physical challenge it entails. In 2022 the reigning champion Tom Morris preferred the (lesser) Endeavour trophy to the Sandy Shell - which he duly won. This year the reigning champion, James Peters, elected to deal with Olympic duties to miss the event - his 49er also failed to measure as a 200.

Despite James' absence, Morag the 2022 winning boat, would be there again with JJ this time and last year's winning crew sister Jess. Scott Wallis and Murray Hampshire were back from helming a rare British victory in the prestigious British America's Cup. Tom and Charlie Darling long the HISC lead boat at National events were back from sojourns 800 sailing, wingfoiling and decorating new houses respectively. Add to that previous Nationals winners (back in the day) Tom Hewitson and once Cadet superstar Aiden Mitchell and a high quality fleet was set to do battle.

The 20 RS200s launched in 10-14 knots and bright sunshine with a mean wind at 310 but large shifts and pressure differences. JJ and Jess led out in race 1 though were pushed hard by Tommy and Charlie. While in race 2 Murray and Orla took the win from Cam and Georgia, with JJ/Jess 6th and Tommy/Charlie 9th showing how tough it was. After a right wind shift and course change race 3 saw Scott and Emma take the bullet from JJ/Jess and then Murray/Orla.

During race 3 and until race 6 some visiting Sunbeams and X boats from Itchenor periodically joined the fray which added some additional variables to the equation. Some relaxed interpretations of the racing rules from our bigger and heavier friends definately made life exciting.

By race 4 JJ/Jess were in the groove with decent downwind pace and decision making taking races 4 and 5 from Scott/Emma and Tommy/Charlie respectively and unbeknown to them the title. Race 6 went to JJ/Jess from James/Fiona from ISC and Murray/Orla.

So Morag (RS200 880) stepdaughter of renowned (former) HISC Marine Manager Colin Ralph took the title for the second year in a row again with Jess but a different helm and brother JJs first win. Scott/Emma took second overall from Murray/Orla in 3rd to complete the podium. Cam/Georgia pipped Tommy/Charlie to 4th. Itchenor's James Morson and crew Fiona Harrington were 6th.

Another RS200 Hayling season therefore comes to a near close with 20 boats competing closely in bright sun and a good breeze. The Sandy Shell again delivered and for 2024 who knows what might happen - it's an Olympic year after all.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewR1R2R3R4R5R6Total Pts
1st880JJ HammettJess Hammett1‑62111126
2nd1729Scott WallisEmma Baker43125‑62115
3rd1215Murray HampshireOrla Mitchell513‑6632418
4th1634Cam StewartGeorgia Booth725‑9343021
5th1609Tommy DarlingCharlie darling29452‑103222
6th211James MorsonFiona Harrington386‑10423323
7th1716Ollie EvansZoe Nieveen67737‑83830
8th458Gus DixonRuth Allan8129‑13875744
9th1657Tom HewitsonLucy Hewitson104101110‑145945
10th1415Clare WhitehillJo Hewitson‑16101381456650
11th533James CunnisonAlice Smith12‑1712412137053
12th598Aidan MitchellAnna Wells115815‑17157154
13th1235Mike CalvertSophie Harris911111411‑167256
14th297Mark ThomasAlex Ling1313‑14129127359
15th1617Alex CurtisRaffi Gracie1515157‑1697761
17th997Nev WatsonLaurie Callaghan1716161615(DNC)10080
18th689Victor MatthewsEliza Hylands1818(RET)DNCDNCDNC11696
19th1058Paul TwineHugo Morgan‑Harris191918(DNC)DNCDNC11696

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