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Volvo Noble Marine RS100 Nationals - Runners and Riders

And this year’s sucker of the year goes to your correspondent for not refusing the Chairman’s request to write-up a ‘runners and riders’ for this year’s RS100 Nationals.

 

Apart from the fact it seems as an ideal way to offend the whole fleet before the event starts (I much prefer to wind-up everyone face-to-face) we have lots of new talent for this year’s record entry which means there is bound to be a dark-horse in their somewhere poised to prove how uninformed I am.

 

With 45 pre-entries, all 8.4 rigs, this is the biggest entry for one rig the class has ever had at a championship, so it does promise to be great event.

 

The weather has been a bit eccentric and unpredictable all year. At the time of writing, the long-range forecast is for light winds. This ought not illicit groans from the ex-10.2 sailors and smiles from the lighter-weights, given that probably means it will blow old boots every day. And lo, 24 hours later, I sit down to check this and now we are, allegedly, going to have gales every day. Point proven. Weather forecasts. Pah.

 

Enough procrastination…

 

The Past Champions

Al Dickson, Brett Aarons, Huw Powell.
All have under-performed, compared to their usual high standards, on the circuit this year but tend to save their big performances for the big occasion. Both Brett and Huw have new boats too so no excuses there guys. Conversely, ‘nipper’ Dickson has been getting his excuses in early, claiming he needs a new boat. Yeah, right.

 

Over 12 knots of wind and these three will be there or there abouts. If it’s half that, they are all eminently beatable by others in the fleet and we could end up with a new champion.

 

We should not forget multiple past winner Neal Freeman who has been hiding in Poole Harbour for ages and has not entered – it’s not too late though Neal! If he does appear, the others better look out.

 

 

Contenders (in alphabetical order, calm down)

 

Andy Jones, Chris Goldhawk, Steve Jones

Devastatingly quick on occasion, the big question is will they see it thru? Chris’s catchphrase is “I hate sailing” and these Chew boys have garnered a deserved reputation for sneaking off home, sometimes before the first race has even started. I presume they are not great lottery-ticket buyers, missing the concept behind “gotta be in it to win it”.

 

Clive Eplett

Having grabbed last-minute defeat from the jaws of victory at Como, your correspondent is hoping the conditions require cunning and sneakiness rather than that sitting-out business. In fact holding the event at Frensham Pond would suit me fine. Will be looking for any opportunity to sail Mark down the fleet, as a matter of principle.

 

Giles Peckham

A proven race winner, Gentleman Giles has been hiding his light under a bushel this year. If it’s light he cannot be discounted, as long as his butler gets his boat there, that is.

 

Greg Booth

The hardest hiker of them all, Greg is a force to be reckoned with once he can get his arse over the side, but does not always manage to string a series together. Has rarely missed an event since the boat’s inception so has more miles in a 100 than perhaps all but the Chairman. May also benefit if his Daemon, David Smartie, cannot make it; they are usually too busy racing each other to notice the rest of us. Needs to stay away from sheep in the lead-up.

 

Ian Gregory

My Frensham club-mate was been on a hot streak for a while, winning events for fun (2016 Summers and the first two opens this year) but under-performed at HISC. Has he been sailing his Laser Radial too much and forgotten what the flappy thing at the front is for? I suspect not.

 

Mark Harrison

Giles’ boat-butler never seems to miss an event. Often manages to win a race, usually when it’s windy but results get dodgier when the wind drops. We may have to let him win as a bribe to continue as Class Chairman.

 

Netley Boys

Nils Joliffe seems to be the top gun of the new, super-keen Netley fleet (Huw being the Godfather of course), showing hot form at both Hayling and Lake Como. Keep an eye on him, he’s only gonna get better, damn it.

 

Once he’d worked off his Tuesday hangover (on Friday) at Como, Nick Shuttleworth showed some great pace when the wind came up. Hopefully, he’s bought a new spinny halyard and checked the boat for what will fail on him next. Needs to stay away from bars and booze.

 

The very keen Luke Goble is young, fit and has a high-leverage physique, still on the learning curve, but shows flashes of brilliance. May need to stop being such a lovely fella to get to the top.

Is there another ringer hiding in this rapidly expanding Netley fleet. I would not be surprised.

 

Leader of the Netley gang, Mark Cockerill, seems to have ducked out completely, in favour of spending time on massive floating hotels. Just don’t ask us for room as you steam past Mark, without bribing us with some of that special rum you’ve been smuggling collecting as souvenirs.

 

Robert Richardson

Young gun Robert made his potential clear at the Rutland Sprints, then stuffed us all at the HISC Summers. Fresh from a strong performance at the RS200 Nationals (and a summer of other championships too) he’ll be a pest as usual; heaven help us when he’s filled out and put on another couple of stone. Needs to learn respect for his elders.

 

Steven Lee

The only time England’s football team truly delivered to potential was playing at home in 1966. This year’s champs are at Steve’s home club of Weston. Can he do the same? We may have to insist he sleeps in a tent, not at home in his own bed, to slow him down. Winner of last year’s circuit, he’s perfectly capable of getting his name on the trophy.

 

Special mentions

Mostyn Evans best bet for getting his boat into the chocolates is giving it to wife Pippa to sail.

 

Simon Geyman is perhaps the stand-out sailor in the fleet, famous for his white crash-hat and slot-gasket-inspection obsession.

 

Stewart Hawthorn will be favourite if we have to find a pitch-and-putt again. No sneaking off to play the wife at golf until after racing is over please Stewart.

 

Cindy Doennecke-Herz is coming all the way from Germany to sail, or is it just to add to her stunning collection of sailing bruises? Living proof the 100 is not just for blokes.

 

Tom Powell has got a lovely camper van – he will be even more popular if it rains, so if you are on an iffy cross, waive him past.

 

John Richardson – seems to have passed both nature and nurture to Robert – watch him, he’s canny.

 

If you are entered but not listed above, don’t worry there are four days of sailing coming up for you to stake your claim.

 

Clive Eplett


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