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Home >> Events >> HISC Southerns write-up
19/06/2017 11:35:59

Clive Eplett
Posts: 257
An excellent turnout of 24 RS100s pre-entered for the RS Southerns at HISC on 17/18 June, hoping for waves, wind and perhaps even some sun.

For once, the forecasters got it right, wall to wall sun it certainly was; from our Bracklesham Bay vantage point you could see a packed West Wittering beach grow pinker as the days progressed.

With a sub 10 knot breeze, it was going to be interesting who would come to the fore. 2015 Nat Champ Brett Aarons had a new boat, as did Multiple 10.2 Champ Huw Powell. Is he slimming down for this 8.4 malarky? Conditions looked ideal for the winner of the past two events, Ian Gregory, but after a week at the Laser (excuse the profanity) Radial European Masters would he have forgotten what to do with 3 times as much sail area? Two of the Chew crew were in the boat park, but would they again just have a round of crazy-golf then sneak off home just as the rest of us go sailing.

Nope, not so much any of them. As it happened, the star of the show on Saturday was just-finished-my-GCSEs Robert Richardson with a 3-1-3, leading the 1-2-8 of last year's Nat Champ Al Dickson. Behind, it was tight all the way down, with a single point or count-back being the difference between placings, but those two would need to keep a particular eye on Nils Jolliffe, holding a 2-UFD-3.

Sunday's denouement was lighter and even hotter. After a slow sail out to a committee boat seemingly hull-down on the horizon (equator-crossing tributes to Neptune were hastily being improvised) and a delay for the wind to settle, it was Al who led from the off, chased by Mark Harrison, Clive Eplett and Robert. Second time around, Al decided to round the right leeward gate buoy as if the left-hand one. By the time he'd unwound himself, it was game-over. Meantime, Andy Jones (making your correspondent wish he, Andy, did stick to golf) pressed the turbo button and shot past first Robert, then Clive and Mark, boat-speeding into an unassailable lead. Perhaps regretting his choc-bar predilection, Mark slipped behind those two on the last run, which would cost him overall.

What wind there was then gave up the ghost. The OOD ran another start but we were barely beating the tide so, rightly, three guns were fired, to general acclaim.

This made Windermere-based Robert Richardson RS100 Southern Champion (why did we not check his passport for these "Southerns"?) with a single point separating each of Al Dickson second, then Mark Harrison, Andy Jones, Brett Aarons and Clive Eplett in 3rd to 6th.

The 100s next assemble only a few miles over the Severn Bridge in Llandegfedd on 1-2 July. Last year's event was a corker, with a warm welcome from the keen and capable home fleet and some great racing. Don't miss it, 100 sailors.