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24/03/2018
Winter Championships

RS400 Winter Championship at Leigh & Lowton sponsored by Rooster & Rope4Boats

by Richard Catchpole

 A good turnout of 25 boats made the trip to Leigh & Lowton Sailing Club for the 2018 RS400 Winter Championship. Forecasts of light N to NW winds were understated as the fleet had some good tactical winds with enough pressure to get those early-season hiking muscles warmed up, particularly on the second day. Both days started with a mill pond but filled in to give some great close racing.

The OOD Gareth Williams did a tremendous job to give fair windward-leeward courses throughout the weekend, the black flag made a consistent appearance on Day 2 to keep the fleet tamed after a couple of recalls.

Chris Pickles and Matt Sharman sailed a remarkably consistent series in a tight fleet to win with a race to spare, without having a result outside the top 2 and only winning one race. Considering the fluctuations in results in other parts of the fleet this demonstrated great boatspeed and wind awareness, worthy Winter Champions! Thanks to our sponsors Rooster & Rope4Boats for supporting the event.

Day 1

Richard Catchpole/Gary Coop (Leigh & Lowton) made a great start to the day in shifting breeze, getting a jump on the fleet early on to stretch their lead for a comfortable victory. Chris Pickles/Matt Sharman (Delph) and Dave Exley/Nigel Hall (Leigh & Lowton) came back from difficult first beats to claim 2nd and 3rd.

Race 2 saw Exley/Hall build a commanding lead with Pickles/Sharman in pursuit. Sam Knight/John Knight (Bartley) battled for 2nd place but had to settle for 3rd in the end.

In the final race of the day, Pickles/Sharman made their intentions clear by taking an early lead off a great start and were never headed to the line. Exley/Hall picked up 2nd place to make them runners up overnight (but double-booked for the Sunday so not able to capitalise), while The Knights clocked up another podium position to finish the day in the mix.

 Après Sail consisted of a great club curry and (a few!) scoops. Several rounds of Stump (or Hammerschlagen as it's known in the provinces!) followed before the night wrapped up and sailors found their tents and vans.

Day 2

Clearly the night time activity suited The Knights as they caught the rest of the fleet knapping in the first race of the restart, winning by a clear margin. Pickles/Sharman were in close attendance again, while Catchpole/Coop came through from deep in the pack to pick up 3rd spot.

Catchpole/Coop and Pickles/Sharman had a battle all the way round in Race 5, with Catchpole/Coop taking it on the final lap. Sean Cleary/Annalise Nixon (Oxford) had been improving all weekend and secured 3rd place, holding off the attentions of The Knights.

Going into the last race, Pickles/Sharman had the event sown up by a point, but there was a close call for 2nd with The Knights having to beat Catchpole/Coop by 2 to take it. John Heissig/Nicky Griffin (Llangorse) had saved their best until last after a winter layoff top storm into the lead off a flying start and never be headed. Pickles/Sharman were in their favourite spot of the weekend once again in 2nd. The Knights sailed consistently well again to take 3rd place, but with Catchpole/Coop pulling through to a solid 4th it wasn't enough to change the overall results.

The fleet head to the Rutland Sprints for the next stage of the Rooster National Tour and Bassenthwaite for the next Rope4Boats Northern Tour event.

Rope4Boats voucher winners through the fleet were Howard Green and Terry Oliver, while the prizewinners were rewarded with Rooster neck-warmers, including the furthest travellers Jon Gay/Amanda Henderson all the way from Lochaber.

SailNo HelmName CrewName Club R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 Total Nett
1283 Chris Pickles Matt Sharman Delph SC (2.0) 2.0 1.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 11.0 9.0
1396 Richard Catchpole Gary Coop Leigh & Lowton 1.0 4.0 (7.0) 3.0 1.0 4.0 20.0 13.0
1202 Sam Knight John Knight Bartley (4.0) 3.0 3.0 1.0 4.0 3.0 18.0 14.0
1454 Jon Heissig Nicky Griffin Llangorse SC 12.0 (26.0 DNF) 4.0 5.0 8.0 1.0 56.0 30.0
1150 M Velamail T Brownell Rotherham 7.0 5.0 (19.0) 4.0 7.0 7.0 49.0 30.0
1377 Sean Cleary Annalise Nixon Oxford SC (17.0) 9.0 6.0 8.0 3.0 9.0 52.0 35.0
1465 Ben Williamson Charlie Ticehurst Welton SC 8.0 10.0 10.0 (26.0 BFD) 6.0 8.0 68.0 42.0
1184 Stuart Williams Ross Southwell Army Sailing Association 6.0 (18.0) 5.0 10.0 11.0 11.0 61.0 43.0
1456 Russell Collister June Collister Isle of Man YC (23.0) 6.0 8.0 11.0 15.0 5.0 68.0 45.0
1401 Bill Kenyon Ben Swinson Budworth (20.0) 7.0 12.0 13.0 12.0 6.0 70.0 50.0
1257 Mark Dingsdale Vanessa Evans Leigh & Lowton (18.0) 8.0 15.0 6.0 10.0 14.0 71.0 53.0
828 Cathy Partington Chris Williams Leigh & Lowton 5.0 13.0 (16.0) 15.0 14.0 10.0 73.0 57.0
1460 Dave Exley Nigel Hall Leigh & Lowton 3.0 1.0 2.0 (26.0 DNC) 26.0 DNC 26.0 DNC 84.0 58.0
1363 Ross Ryan Oliver Ryan-Moore Notts County SC 11.0 14.0 14.0 7.0 13.0 (15.0) 74.0 59.0
669 Jacob Ainsworth Kayleigh Roberts South Shields SC 10.0 12.0 (20.0) 12.0 19.0 13.0 86.0 66.0
1191 Louise Mckeand Matt Jenkins LLSC/Sheffield Viking 16.0 17.0 11.0 9.0 (18.0) 18.0 89.0 71.0
1262 Jon Willars Rich Brameld Welton 19.0 (20.0) 9.0 20.0 5.0 19.0 92.0 72.0
874 Jon Gay Amanda Henderson Lochaber Yacht Club 14.0 11.0 17.0 (19.0) 16.0 17.0 94.0 75.0
1453 Andy Couch Mart Couch Leigh & Lowton 15.0 (26.0 DNC) 26.0 DNC 17.0 9.0 12.0 105.0 79.0
1461 Caroline Exley Chester Candish Leigh & Lowton 9.0 15.0 13.0 (26.0 DNC) 26.0 DNC 26.0 DNC 115.0 89.0
1103 Howard Green Mike Baldwin Leigh & Lowton (21.0) 16.0 21.0 16.0 21.0 16.0 111.0 90.0
1133 Lester Mulligan Alan Rogers Yorkshire Dales SC (22.0) 19.0 22.0 18.0 20.0 20.0 121.0 99.0
527 Andy Powell Ian Verso Warsash (24.0) 21.0 18.0 21.0 22.0 21.0 127.0 103.0
1318 Terry Oliver Mark Atherton Leigh & Lowton (26.0 DNC) 26.0 DNC 26.0 DNC 14.0 17.0 22.0 131.0 105.0
1407 Hamish Gledhill Mark Lunn West Riding/LLSC 13.0 (26.0 OCS) 26.0 DNC 26.0 DNC 26.0 DNC 26.0 DNC 143.0 117.0