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16/10/2021
RS400 Supercup

RS400 Supercup Tynemouth SC

The RS400 fleet at Tynemouth signed off the season with a 13 boat home fleet taking to the water for 4 sprint races within the harbour, the event was ran with the aim of getting our 15 boat strong fleet all on the water, we did exceptionally well to get 13 out given we are still living with COVID.

This event was to differ from other 400 events ran at Tynemouth, with the aim of not having the usual front runners getting their own way! We did a split start offset by 1 minute, giving the boats that are not that accustomed to being out in front a head start and the guys starting behind a chance to see if they could pick their way through the fleet.

What was great to see was how many regular crews swapped positions and helmed for a race or two, this really shook things up and gave the regular helms a chance to appreciate how hard us crews have to work!

With a strong ebb tide running, Howard Stevenson our PRO set a short windward leeward course in the middle of the river, the current caught a few out and they had to go back. A short 20 minute race was won by Sven Richards & Nathan Batchelor, second was Phil Murray & Neil Schofield, third was Jon & Sally Cooper, who having only sailed a RS400 once had an excellent day on the water.

The second race was on the same course, Sven & Nathan showing great upwind speed to claim another victory, - to be sent to the second start with two bullets. Second place was Andy Brown & Alex Sutcliffe, sporting a brand new set of sails certainly helped in the 4 to 6 knot breeze, in third place was Graham Fraser & Uschi Hermeier who managed to nail the start and sailed a good clean race to hold of the charging pack behind them.

The 3rd race was now a port handed triangle which initially sounded processional but the strong tide played its part to make this challenge for the fleet, Jon & Sally sailed clean and fast to take the win. Second place was our very own RS400 club boat, kindly donated to the Club by Rob Storrar and sailed by John Pitkethly & Ewan O’Keef, John has never helmed a RS400 and managed to get up to speed very quickly, having Ewan onboard certainly made the boat go well. Third went to a young team of Anthony Walton & Phil Cowans proving that the older boats still have the potential to do well.

The last race was a the same as race 3 but an extra lap created a bit more of a spread across the fleet, Andy & Alex taking the win by the narrowest of margins over Pete Wilkes, new to the 400 fleet this year and having never sailed a boat with a spinnaker never mind an asymmetric did exceptionally well to hold the rest of the fleet off. Third went to Phil Murray and stand in crew Jo Baker – her first time  in a 400 as well.

The fleet retired to the club for party games and pizza, oh and a few beers too! It’s been a fantastic first season for Tynemouth’s RS400 fleet, we have adopted the fleet, held our first RS400 open, done training days, had 4 boats compete at the nationals and now boast a 15 boat fleet, this is hopefully going to grow even further, watch this space!

Neil Schofield

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