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RS Aero Spring Championship at Island Barn Reservoir Sailing Club

by Mike Jones 22 Apr 08:54 PDT 20 April 2024
Phil Bailey, winner of the Aero 7s, starting Race 2 during the Aero Spring Championship at Island Barn © / IBRSC

What a pleasure and challenge it is to officiate RS Aero meetings. Pleasurable, because they are a very happy bunch of sailors, they are very good, and more importantly they all start both competitively and all just behind the line. A challenge, because it's really 3 Opens in one; on two different courses; and three starts with a short, three minute count down for each.

The race officer was old enough to remember when open meetings had a 10 minute warning, a 5 minute prep. and a single, long race, (maybe 2 occasionally), with a crate of beer on the committee boat. No such relaxation today.

We had an inner and outer loop course, with 5s, 7s and 9s starting separately in that order, so that all boats finish close together (for quick turn-rounds). The brilliant-idea-colour-coding on the vision panels make class-spotting easy on the mixed class finish line.

The weather forecast chart had very few isobars on it, so it came as a pleasant surprise for all to arrive at Island Barn in a 12 knot breeze, some 18 knot gusts and frequent shifts to make both start line setting and racing interesting.

Enough chat.

Race 1: The seven boat RS Aero 5 fleet got away cleanly, with Jonathan Bailey (Hunts), correctly spotting a favoured pin end, started ahead and led to the finish. Adam Craig (Burghfield) and Helen Bailey (Hunts) had a close tussle for second, with Adam prevailing.

The largest feet, the RS Aero 7s, (15 boats) was led away by Phil Bailey of Hunts, who started with inches to spare in all four races, but not always at the right end of the line; the frequent shifts being quite challenging to all starters. Phil read Race 1 correctly, though, and led from start to finish, with Oliver Holden (Hayling Island) and Andrew Rawson (Weston SC) chasing him hard to the finish.

RS Aero 9s, (the big boys), had, within its 8 boat fleet, the winner of the last three Championships (Peter Barton, Lymington Town) and the much improved Nick Craig (Burghfield). Also in the field were Island Barn arch rivals Gareth Griffiths and Jeff Davison, with new boy Dave Ryder improving weekly. Peter Barton narrowly won the Barton / Craig duel and Craig added to his misfortune by stopping before the finish line, dropping him to third behind a fast finishing Davison.

Attentive readers will have noticed a lot of Baileys above. We had the unusual pleasure of hosting Father, Mother and son Bailey at the meeting, two of them winning their first race, with mother Helen taking a third. Quite a family!

Race 1 finished very quickly so the course was lengthened for all remaining races.

At lunch (and what a great lunch it was - thank you caterers), after two races, Jonathan Bailey (RS Aero 5) and Phil Bailey (RS Aero 7) each led their classes and Peter Barton was on course for another RS Aero 9 win.

Race 3 in the RS Aero 5s saw Jonathan Bailey continue his excellent start line analysis, leading Adam Craig throughout for his third bullet. In the Aero 7s, Oliver Holden's lunch powered him to a 1st, with Andrew Weston 2nd and lunchtime leader, Phil Bailey, 3rd. Fortunes were also changing in the RS Aero 9s. Nick Craig with a 3rd Race win now led the event on countback, so there was all to play for in the final Race 4.

Final Race time. RS Aero 5 overall winner was already settled with Jonathan Bailey on 3 firsts. To rub it in, he won the final Race too.

How about Dad Bailey in the RS Aero 7s? He would win overall with a first but now Oliver Holden could also win overall with a last race first. In the event Race 4 was won by Andrew Rawson, with Holden second, and Bailey fifth. So a tie between Bailey and Holden was settled on countback in Bailey's favour, with Holden second and Andrew Rawson's 3,2,1 gaving him third overall.

And now for the big guns in the RS Aero 9s. Both Peter Barton and Nick Craig would now win overall with a win. Nick Craig started well to lead at end of Lap 2. Peter Barton tried the opposite side to Craig on the last beat, but this only dropped him to third, allowing Jeff Davison to take a last race second on the final lap. Nick Craig was faultless in covering and went on to win Race4 and the event overall.

A great event, with everything decided on the final lap in the RS Aero 7s and 9s, but a very decisive overall win by Jonathon Bailey in the RS Aero 5s.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4Pts
RS Aero 5 Class
1st3929Jonathan BaileyHunts Sailing Club‑11113
2nd1964Adam CraigBurghfield2‑3226
3rd2811Anka StaiteHayling Island Sailing Club42‑5410
4th4465Torquil MorrisonEmsworth Slipper Sailing Club5‑63311
5th3931Helen BaileyHunts SC35‑6513
6th2274Jason NoblePapercourt Sailing Club‑644614
7th1698Caroline BaldwinIsland Barn77(DNC)DNS22
RS Aero 7 Class
1st3930Phil BaileyHunts SC113‑55
2nd4393Oliver HoldenHISC2‑5125
3rd2890Andrew RawsonWeston SC3‑4216
4th2786Andy NormanIsland Barn52‑6310
5th4202Brian StaiteHayling Island Sailing Club43‑9411
6th1585James EberleinHythe and Saltwood6‑74616
7th3305Richard BullockIsland Barn865‑919
8th3596Paul PlayleIsland Barn7‑97822
9th3852Nick AllenPapercourt‑1388723
10th2785John KewleyIsland Barn9(DNF)101231
11th4207Simon PattersonItchenor Sailing Club1110‑131031
12th2191David BaldwinIsland Barn101112‑1433
13th1589Brendan O'LearyIsland Barn‑1212111134
14th2708Colin BristowIsland Barn‑1413141340
15th3669Chris RustBrightlinghamsea SC(DNS)DNSDNSDNS48
RS Aero 9 Class
1st3198Nick CraigBurghfield Frensham‑31113
2nd4396Peter BartonLymington Town SC122‑35
3rd4189Jeff DavisonIsland Barn23‑427
4th3175Gareth GriffithsIsland Barn46‑7414
5th2607David RyderIsland Barn555‑615
6th1463Paul Wright‑AndersonIsland Barn6‑83817
7th3130Rory CohenSCSC(DNS)46717
8th3042Paul HalliwellIsland Barn77‑8519

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