RS300s at POSH 20-21 May 2023, part of Rooster RS300 National Tour
Three intrepid RS300s headed West on the weekend of the 20th & 21st May to represent our class at Paignton Open for Single Handed classes (POSH). With four starts, we were sailing in the fast fleet with our results later cobbled together with the Slow to give an overall result out of 74 entries. Our focus though, was on the Big Prize of the weekend – The battle for our step on the RS300 podium as POSH is one of the traveller series our Rooster RS300 National Tour.
As part of Paignton’s excellent organisation, the weather had been booked: blue skies, sunshine and a good breeze starting at 8 - 10 or so knots though dropping over the day with 3rd race ending up at less than 3 knots. Race one and two were fairly similar with a steady breeze, a few shifts and a good swell. Unfortunately in race one some of Tom’s ropes decided to dissolve in reaction to salt water leaving him with one mainsheet block and one kicker string and then…. what became very apparent, very quickly, was that in these marginal hiking conditions our handicap is a real handicap to performance! The biggest challenge we found were the Phantom Menace – pointing high and going fast! There were legions of them sitting on the start line making finding a clear lane very hard! Luke South made the best of it in races one and two sailing for clean lanes and trying to keep out of trouble. In race two Tom Moore had his first run-in with one Phantom, (who we won’t name) but over the weekend this one played a role in most of our races! Ben Heppenstall unfortunately was squeezed out at most of the starts and with the huge mixed fleet he was unable to find a road out of the quagmire. Race three and the breeze decided to start heading home for the day. Luke managed to stay in touch with Tom after being squeezed out by “that” phantom but Tom found his gears and steadily pulled away for a convincing win.
In the evening the club laid on an excellent curry and joined by the Hadron sailors we enjoyed a few beers in the evening sun discussing the merits of the handicap system and the day’s racing…
Day two dawned with more blue sky and sunshine and the breeze was up! – Unfortunately so was the tide making launching impossible! The delay for the sea to retreat also allowed the breeze to drop back to the now familiar 8-10 knots with a good swell and again the third race going to a sub 3 knots drift off at the close. Race four Luke and Tom came off the line in clear air with Tom above Luke separated by a pack of Phantoms. Luke was able to put the bow down whilst Tom was enveloped by the high pointing Phantoms who throughout the first beat and run made his life a misery. Luke described it like watching a lonely spitfire in a dogfight with a dozen Messerschmidts – Needless to say by the downhill section Tom was buried deep in Phantoms and Supernovas from their earlier start leaving Luke to take his third win followed by Tom and Ben. The fourth race followed a similar story, Luke punched out of the line with good speed and plenty of room to go very hard left paying dividends. The last race was a repeat of race three, though Luke made Tom work for his win this time!
In summary, Luke took the win with four firsts and two seconds, Tom came home with four seconds and two firsts leaving Ben with the third step on the podium. It was clear that getting off a very busy line and getting a clear lane was absolutely key alongside finding space downhill to enjoy the waves unimpeded by Phantoms! It was a fantastically enjoyable and incredibly well run event that should be better supported by our class next year! Next stop on the RS300 Rooster National Tour is Whitefrairs and Ben’s home patch for what’s looking like a great turn out!
POSH Overall results here
Report by Luke South