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RS100 End of Seasons & re-scheduled INLANDS

    Report thanks to Clive Eplett


    A keen fleet of 11 RS100s gathered at Chew Valley Lake on 17-18 October for the what was, after the wind’s complete no-show at Northampton two weeks before, to also be the Inlands. 


    The forecast was for marginal heat-up winds all weekend. Out on the water, there was a ‘streaky-bacon’ breeze, with different wind-speeds and directions depending which streak you happened to be in at the time. It was not unusual for boats to be on 20 degree-plus different headings across the course. So after a season of mostly stable high-wind events it would be interesting to see how the conditions mixed up the results. Clearly, Chew’s own David-stripy-blue-stripe-Smart was so worried that he had arranged to work on Saturday and be OOD on Sunday rather than risk being beaten on his home water. Just to confuse us all, he had also lent his boat to Steve Jones, which completely threw Greg Booth, David’s daemon (or is it the other way around) in particular. 


    Race 1: Nope, after the first beat, nothing much seemed to have changed with Huw Powell leading around the windward mark as usual. Sadly for Huw, he led most of the fleet into the right-hand corner of doom. Meantime, Mark Harrison, Greg Booth and Clive Eplett gybed off, found better pressure and created a nice gap behind. On beat 2, Clive found a nice fatty-streak taking the lead, never to be headed, although sailing thru 20+ running RS200s on the final beat made things a bit stressful. Greg took second from Mark with Frensham’s Ian Gregory, back after a season’s injury, enjoying the conditions for fourth and Andy Jones fifth. No coming back from over there, Huw observed afterwards. Nevetheless, you could not relax for a minute and the racing was tight throughout the fleet, with lots of place changing, upwind and down. 


    Race 2: It was I-can-hike-all-day-Greg’s turn to hit the front, looking comfortable all the way around even though hiking was hardly required. Pond sailors Ian and Clive were enjoying the conditions too, working their way up to second and third after great tussles with the Chew boys, Andy Jones, Chris Goldhawk and Steve Jones. Greg, whose speciality is forgetting spreader marks whilst leading, passed that particular test, but instead lost count of the laps, deciding it was so much fun in the lead that a fifth lap was warranted. Or perhaps he thought he could win the 200 race too? Ian however, chose to side with the OODs advertised opinion, cooly stealing the bullet. Greg recovered in time to at least to hold second, with Clive third from clearly-going-to-become-a-proper-nuisance-Chris Goldhawk and Paul Luttman.


    Race 3: The line was port biassed this time and with Chris Goldhawk now proud owner of 480, there was no Al Hall to camp on the pin, leaving everyone else with a look-in. With 10 seconds to go, Clive thought he had it nailed until Mark appeared from underneath, sending Clive over early to gybe and try again. The fact Mark was claiming “I’ve never won the pin before” did not cheer Clive up much, truth be told. Neither did the fact he then hit the left hand corner and came out with an unassailable lead. With the breeze up to marginal planing again, Ian was in his element, gradually climbing thru the fleet once more. A great last beat saw him overtake Huw and Clive and nearly catch Mark on the final run. At the finish, it ended up Mark, Ian, Clive Huw then Greg.


    Perhaps sulking after the Welsh rugby teams loss, the wind completely failed to materialise on Sunday. Smartie went out in the committee boat, came back. Whistled. Went out. Came back. At one point, we got excited, seeing someone trapezing on an 800. Then the crew hove into view, trapezing on the opposite side of the boat. Groans. The Chew team decided to inspect the rest of the fleet for new bimbles, notepads and camera’s out, then threatened to set up a website in competition to that of your correspondent. Fact is, they seem in danger of being a too competitive as it is, without learning all the tricks of the trade. Luckily, they are also considering each applying their own wobbly-stripe, so that should doom their prospects for a while. An early lunch, mainly spent trying to persuade Steve Jones to buy a 100 too, given he was already better than Smartie, was followed by the inevitable flags for racing-canned. 


    Three races from a scheduled six means no discards. Consequently, Ian, with his 4,1,2 topped Clive’s 1,3,3 on count-back to become RS100 Inland Champion. Those two Frensham Pond boats on the podium were joined by Greg, two points behind with Mark fourth. Can we have more weather like Saturday's please? And it would benefit your correspondent if Greg could learn to count. Pretty please?



    Full results with the National Tour