We've had a marvellous weekend at the Harken RS Sprint Regatta, part of your Rooster National Tour.
Sailors from right across the country from the RS100, RS300, RS400, RS500, RS Vareo and RS Feva fleets battled it out across twelve short sprint races. It was great to see the RS400 fleet split into four flights on Saturday and Gold and Silver fleet on Sunday.
Well done to everyone for taking part!
Special thanks to the race team for providing high quality sprint racing despite the wind trying to make it difficult by shifting. Thank you to event sponsor Harken for providing generous prize vouchers for the fleet winners. Thanks to Rooster for your limited edition National Tour caps awarded to first place, mid fleet hero and endeavour trophy.
Rutland SC are looking forward to welcoming you back for the RS End of Seasons Regatta on 4-5 November. It will be two days of fleet racing with a big club supper on the Saturday night.
Sailing photos thanks to Malcolm McGregor
Click on your fleet name to take you straight to your report:
RS100s at the Harken RS Sprints, Rutland Sailing Club, 22-23 April 2023
The usual RS100 report writers were squabbling over who would write the best report, so in the interests of fleet harmony, rather than journalistic endeavour, I am now the author. I would like to add that due to a selective memory, some of the below may not be entirely accurate.
Saturday’s forecast was not very promising: 5 to 9 knots from the SW. After a casual time rigging and chatting there was the usual rush to get on the water. I should have paid more attention to my rigging, rather listening to Clive Eplett’s stories of Segwaying around Uluru and RS100 sailing in Australia, because on launching I found the mainsheet wrapped round the boom and the spinnaker sheet under the toestraps. After fixing these schoolboy errors and relaunching and planing to the start, in around 11 knots, I now felt underdressed. Anyway the fleet were away on time and had six, 20 to 25 minute, races back to back in 3.5 hours.
Highlights and Lowlights in the style of David Smart
Mark Harrison led at the first mark in front of Clive Eplett, but was passed by both Clive and Matt Johnson. Matt then made the "schoolboy" error, appropriate considering his age, of missing out the final mark, thus converting his second to a fifth, and promoting Mark, Smartie (David Smart), and Darrell Sleep, in that order behind Clive.
As I finished 4th all I can remember is the finishing order as in the results.
Again a selective memory will stop too much embarrassment, but I do remember Matt charging off to lead followed Smartie picking up a lucky shift to finish second. I managed to gift third to Clive on the last run.
Clive and Matt finished 1st and 2nd, but the real fun was happening behind with lots of place changing with the next four boats, led by Martin Wilson and Mostyn (bionic hip) Evans finishing all overlapped in a bundle.
The highlight was on the last run with Mark setting up a nice overtake on Smartie, by trapping him against the shore, and so taking second. As an aside Matt won with Clive in 4th, followed by Tom Fletcher.
All I can remember is finishing in 4th to be faced with a beat that seemed far too long to get home. In front of me the order was Clive, David and Matt, leaving Clive three points ahead of Matt. Smartie was four points behind in third. Some distance behind was Mark in 4th.
During a get-together at the Wheatsheaf we all received unsolicited advice from Clive on how to improve our results.
Sunday's forecast was for very little wind, and Mostyn decided to quit and start his long journey home. In fact the fleet sailed to the West of the club house to the start in an 8 knot SouthWesterly breeze and got away on time.
After taking on board the above advice Mark, leading at the first mark, gave Clive every opportunity to overtake, but as gentlemen both took it in turns to lead. Clive, feeling generous, allowed Mark to take his first win. After taking an unsuccessful flier, Smartie finished 5th behind Matt and Martin.
In the next race Clive decided he had had enough of being a gent, so won yet another race, leaving the rest trailing in his wake.
With the wind moving to the right the committee boat was the favoured end. This led to some ungentlemently behaviour with Mark persuading Smartie not to barge in at the boat end. With Mark leading at the windward mark and the wind moving right more the tactical options for the rest were reduced. Clive, incensed that he was again looking at Mark's transom, capsized and looked for this apparent lack of speed. This resulted in him finishing 4th.
This turned into a reaching race. The fleet decided unanimously that it was time Smartie won a race, which he did.
The start was delayed while the course was moved. A race followed and all I can recall is the result, Matt finishing ahead of Clive.
12th and final race:
Matt led all the way round, with Clive overtaking Tom Fletcher to finish in second, and the rest someway behind.
So after a frenetic couple of days’ racing, in more wind than expected, the ever-consistent Clive won from Matt, with Mark in third, winning the rights to write this, from Smartie, who I now suspect of sandbagging the last couple of races.
Thanks to Rutland SC for running another successful event, to Harken for sponsoring the event, to Rooster for sponsoring our National Tour, and to RS Class Association secretary Clare for attempting to keep all the fleets in order.
Report by Mark Harrison
Up on Y&Y here
RS300s at the Harken RS Sprints Rutland SC 22-23 April 2023
The Harken RS Sprints at Rutland Sailing Club came with plenty of close racing and good wind, and a bit of sunshine. For me it was my first RS300 event, and my first event in a long time. I was greeted by the friendly fleet who welcomed me with open arms.
Day one the wind was strong so there was plenty of sitting out up the first beat. Race one Harry McVicar took an early lead with the rest of us following with the battle on for second place. There was lots of covering down the run with some of us experiencing the tippiness of the RS300. The beats were shifty, and places changed many times amongst the fleet. In race two to my great surprise I was first round the windward mark closely followed by Harry. Unfortunately for me at the leeward mark Harry took advantage of my RS300 tippiness, so whilst my boat turned into a submarine, Harry managed to scrape past taking the lead whilst Peter Mackin closed in as we all rounded the mark together. The positions stayed and Harry took the win. In race three Harry took the lead followed closely by Peter and myself. There was plenty of duelling amongst the fleet but Harry got the win again. As we all settled in the racing got more competitive with Peter breaking the winning streak of Harry to take 1st in race four. Race five: the start line started getting a little more intense and this allowed Steve Sallis to take his first win followed very closely by Sam Davy and then myself. I think from memory there was only a few cm in it with all three boats being pushed hard right to the end. Race six is a slight blur but Harry took another win.
Day two: the wind was lighter and very shifty. Lucky for me the conditions suited me better and I took three straight wins. There was lots of covering up the beats with boats split on all tacks, Peter in second and Harry in third splitting tacks just to make it difficult for me! Race ten: the wind had changed direction and what was once a beat was now almost a tight reach. My winning streak came to an end as the start line was filled at the starboard end with boats forcing people over the line which gave Harry another win followed closely by Will Powell and Dylan Collingbourne. Races eleven and twelve: Peter took a strong lead and won both races with the rest of us battling down the runs to make up some places.
Overall the weekend was full of very competitive sailing with not much distance between boats, with plenty of place movements. Thank you to Rutland Sailing Club’s race committee for providing seamless racing. Thank you to Harken for sponsoring the event. Thank you to our RS300 National Tour sponsor Rooster.
Report by Richard Hanby
Up on Y&Y here
Harken RS400 Sprints at Rutland Sailing Club 22-23 April 2023
The Harken RS Sprints came to Rutland over the weekend April 22-23 April 2023 and the RS400s brought 18 boats to the party. With it being a multi-class RS event, there was plenty of boat yard banter and old friends to catch up with. The RS sailing family really is special in that regard.
The first day was all about qualifying for the Sunday Gold/Silver fleet racing and the fleet was split into four groups (red/blue/green/yellow) for six races – each group racing each other twice with races lasting about 25 minutes.
With 8-20 knots of wind, some giant wind shifts and no discards, the racing was super tight but you just couldn’t keep the best sailors from rising to the top and at the end of day one it was Mike Simms and Jack Holden just leading from Ollie Groves and Esther Parkhurst. Those two boats were well clear, with third through to seventh separated by only three points.
Positions at the end of day one were then converted into points for day two.
Sunday arrived with wind outperforming the forecast and being mercifully stable (for most of the day at least). The fleet was now split into Gold/Silver with nine boats in each fleet and the standard of racing was outstanding.
In 6-12 knots Groves and Parkhurst were clearly the fastest boat early doors, winning the first three races and looking dominant with Simms and Holden fast but not close enough. But then the wind shifted right and the course was reset after an abandoned race. With the windward mark set closer into the bay, the final three races saw three different winners and it all went down to the final mark of the final race – Groves and Parkhurst doing just enough to win by a single point.
The top two of Groves and Parkhurst, and Simms and Holden were the class acts of the fleet and were well clear. Third through sixth were separated by only four points! It’s worth reflecting on just how competitive the gold fleet racing was – the top three from the national championships finished 8th, 5th and 4th.
In the silver fleet Steve Restall and Chris Stubbs dominated the early races and did just enough to hold off the consistent Jamie Morgan and Anna-Louise Glendenning on a tie break.
It’s hard to describe just how hectic and close the racing was but also how it was a load of fun. Special mention for the race management from Rutland SC, which was absolutely outstanding. They kept seven fleets rolling around a well-set course without too much inter-fleet interference. Bravo. Thank you to event sponsor Harken and to RS400 national tour sponsor Rooster.
Report by Paul Hilliar
Up on Y&Y here
Great event vid by Sam Knight here
RS Vareos at the Harken RS Sprints Rutland SC 22-23 April 2023
Following a glorious run down the lake to the start area on Saturday there were some interesting wind shifts allowing both Chris Abbott and Nick Crickmore to have some moments of glory between them each having turns in the lead but Luke Fisher sailed most consistently taking the win in all six races. Tied on points with Chris, Nick was overnight second - having secured second place in the last race of the day.
Sunday saw the race area moved, turn left from the shore to an area better suited to handle the forecast clockwise wind change later in the day. Luke sailed too well in race seven and found himself becalmed to the right on the last run leaving Nick best placed to gybe off into the better breeze on the left and get past to take the win.
Luke was back on form for race eight but in races nine and ten the wind started to change slowly as forecast giving rather one-sided beats and runs which suited Chris who took both wins.
Racing was postponed to reset the course at which point Nick opted for an early exit. On restart the wind increased enough to give the advantage back to Luke who took the final two wins.
Overall first Luke, second Chris, and third Nick.
Thank you to Harken for sponsoring the event. As is customary with the RS Vareo fleet, everyone got a prize thanks to the generous National Tour sponsorship of Rooster.
Next up is the European championships In Czech Republic 25 - 28 May. There are 34 entries so far and there is still one of the loan boats left available for another UK sailor to join us – see RS Vareo website for info here
Then it’s the UK RS Vareo Noble Marine National Championships at Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Yacht Club 22-25 June. Entries are coming in fast! Great sea sailing, great club, great fish and chips, right next to Great Yarmouth, lots of sponsor prizes, and four loan boats still available - so why not bring a friend? Info here
Report by Nick Crickmore
Up on Y&Y here