Congratulations to Rob Higgins from Chew Valley Lake Sailing Club, our Rope4Boats RS700 Inland Champion 2022!
Huge thanks to all at Chew for putting on such a superb event and thanks to event sponsor Rope4Boats.
Gallery, thanks to Errol Edwards
Chew Valley Lake 22-23 October – Rope4Boats RS700 Inlands and Final RS700 Rooster National Tour event
A good forecast and warm temperatures brought an entry of 18 boats to this stunning location despite the lowest water levels for years. Following the briefing where the Race Officer assured the fleet of the use of the ‘U’ flag throughout, the excitement grew as the fleet launched in a brisk Southerly breeze under dark cloud.
Sadly the cloud passed, and Race 1 got away in light and shifty conditions; however, the locals seemed to like the conditions taking three of the first four places. Rob Higgins, from Chew, showed his mastery of the conditions taking the win, with Matt Carter 2nd and home club sailors Guy Boullenger and Paul Croote taking 3rd and 4th.
Fortunately the wind had now filled in but shifts and gusts were a constant theme. The fleet were now beginning to learn that ‘hitting the corners’ was not an option. Invisible weed at the edges, fishing boats and lines all added to the mix.
Rob Higgins again showed the fleet the way with Nathan Steffenoni finishing ahead of Matt Carter and Pete Purkiss.
Rob again led the fleet only to find that the ‘U’ flag was showing its teeth. With Rob OCS, 1st place went to Matt, with Pete 2nd, Tom Porter in 3rd and Guy in 4th.
Given the threat of thunderstorms for Day 2, the Race Officer kept the fleet on the water for a fourth race. By now the visitors were beginning to get to grips with the challenges, but Rob still showed his mastery with the win, Matt, Pete and Tom following.
By the end of Day One, Rob kept his lead over Matt but with two races to go, an OCS and only one discard, it was all still to play for.
The fleet were treated to superb hospitality that evening.
Competitors arrived early on Sunday to dry weather, following a night of thunder and torrential rain.
With the wind settling to a Southerly direction the penultimate race got away with Matt Carter showing speed and concentration (despite a sleepless night in his van!) to take the win over Rob and Pete, with Roland Smith in 4th. However, the previous day’s lessons seemed to have been forgotten with three boats OCS.
With one race to go, the maths showed that it was still possible for Matt to come out on top; however, with little wind at the start, Matt got buried at the wrong end of the line, allowing Rob and Pete to lead the fleet. The breeze soon filled in with Rob coming out on top, Pete 2nd and Matt recovering to 3rd. Phillip Highfield was 4th and Curtis Drew 5th.
Rob took the overall championship, with Matt 2nd and Pete 3rd. In 4th place was Tom Porter with consistent results throughout. So congratulations to Rob Higgins our 2022 RS700 Rope4Boats Inland Champion!
The sailors expressed thanks to the club for hosting an excellent event. The fleet hopes to return for a repeat event in 2023. Thank you very much to Rope4Boats for generously sponsoring the RS700 Inlands.
The Rope4Boats Inlands was the final event on the Rooster RS700 National Tour. Thirty one sailors battled it out in the five tour events. Congratulations to Pete Purkiss whose consistently strong performance earned him the 2022 RS700 Rooster National Tour Champion title. See the full tour results here
Thank you Rooster for your continued high level of support! Your 2023 RS700 Rooster National Tour calendar will be published soon.
Report by Pete Purkiss