Peter Fothergill's great event photo gallery is available here to view and buy
Congratulations to all our RS End of Seasons Regatta sailors across their eight fleets for battling the stormy weather on Saturday and the difficult light conditions on Sunday.
We'd like to say a massive thanks to our friends at Volvo for their support of the event! Volvo has a long-standing relationship with sailors via their continued support of British Sailing. Volvo's partnership with RS Sailing means our RS Class Association members can benefit from a generous discount on Volvo's product range, as well as servicing, finance and accessories. Follow the link here to find out more!
Thank you to RS Sailing for providing two £250 vouchers for early entrants and to Rooster for sponsoring our 2019 National Tours. And thank you to Rutland SC for running a fab racing event in the face of very tricky weather.
Our lucky RS Sailing Store voucher winners were RS400 Phillip Murray and RS800 Joe Gallivan.
Special mention must go to our RS End of Seasons Regatta winners:
RS100 Aidan Skinner from Port Dinorwic SC
RS200 David Jessop and Sophie Mear from QMSC
RS300 Peter Mackin from Stokes Bay SC
RS400 Mike Sims and Mark Lunn from Carsington SC
RS500 Peter and James Curtis from Grafham WSC
RS600 Chris Haslam from Hickling Broad SC
RS800 Luke and Emma McEwen from Royal Lymington YC
RS Vareo Luke Fisher from Emberton Park SC
As soon as reports arrive they will be posted here. Simply click on your fleet name to go directly to the report:
RS100 RS200 RS300 RS400
RS500 RS600 RS800 RS Vareo
RS300 End of Seasons Regatta at Rutland SC 2-3 Nov 19
Rutland SC were hosts for this year’s RS End of Seasons Regatta where a lone RS300 (yours truly) was itching to sail. With a schedule of one two-hour pursuit on the Saturday and three handicap races on Sunday, I was praying for bandit weather.
Saturday started with the world pig bladder carrying championship final. England were up against some antelope. The antelope won.
Meanwhile in Rutland; home of the posh, gilet-clad and shotgun wielding geezer, the breeze was up. Gusts up to 38 knots recorded by PRO: windy enough to strip the locks of a short South African. Faced with the prospect of a 2km run in 30 knots, in an RS300 and with a dodgy back, I decided to watch this one from the touchline. The race officer had the same idea and promptly canned proceedings after a short postponement.
Sunday's schedule was revised to four races. With a light-medium forecast, concerns this would be a bit dull were mounting. Not to worry. Clare, our fabulous class secretary, informed me I had some RS600s to play with.
Race one got away in 6-8 knots with the odd gust around 10. I thought it polite to stay clear of the 6s and let them race, but, as I rounded the top mark 10 boat lengths clear of the fleet, I wondered if my cries of "you've all bought the wrong boat!" would have fallen on deaf ears.
As we waited for the remaining fleet to finish, it became clear the RS600s thought the world cup wasn't done yet and decided to host their own final mere metres from the finish. One of their number capsized to windward right on top of his rival: his rig gripping the wing of the other boat like a Welshman on a Kiwi's shorts. (No moons, half or otherwise, were shown). Their tangle lasted long enough for 2 other RS600s to smugly sneak through. Maybe they were Welsh?
Race two was more of the same but with the rugby tactics put to bed. Following the finish there were jeers of "this really isn't RS600 weather" throughout the fleet. I suspected our differing opinion on which route to take up the beats was no coincidence but decided to keep my opinion to myself on this occasion. I feared I might fall victim to further underhand tackles later in the day.
Race three required a re-jig of the course following a hefty right shift, but the fleet got away cleanly in much the same conditions. It was at this point that most of the fleet, myself included, scorned the soul of the person who chose black race buoys, as we buggered of to what we thought was the top mark. Following that balls up, there really isn't anything interesting to say about the rest of this race.
By race four, the conditions were beautiful and the claim that this wasn't RS600 weather was now as far from reality as Scotland's hopes of reaching a world cup final. The 6s were quick upwind but weren't getting away on the reaches and were pretty dull on the run too. I took great pleasure in rolling a 6 on the bottom reach but I gave in to sportsmanship and got out of his way to allow him a good rounding, believing we were being scored separately. The rest of this race was spent dodging 6s tacking without as much as a glance over the shoulder and those who capsized after, presumably, falling asleep at the helm and crash gybing with the board too high for the boom to clear. No time for dozing in an RS300!
Having arrived at the conclusion that a RS300 is faster than an RS600 on every point of sail bar a beat in 15+ knots and confirmed my theory that RS300s were better in every conceivable way I made my way ashore with a wry smile.
As it turned out, we had been timed against each other and handicapped accordingly. With a scorecard like that, one wonders whether Scotland may have a chance after all.
Thanks go to all involved at Rutland SC for accommodating the small fleets! Thanks to Rooster for their sponsorship of our great 2019 RS300 Rooster National Tour.
We'd like to say a massive thanks to our friends at Volvo for their support of the event! Volvo has a long-standing relationship with sailors via their continued support of British Sailing. Volvo's partnership with RS Sailing means RS300 Class Association members can benefit from a generous discount on Volvo's product range, as well as servicing, finance and accessories. Follow the link here to find out more!
Report by Peter Mackin
Up on Y&Y here
RS400 End of Seasons Regatta
Last Event on the 2019 RS400 Rooster National Tour
A total of 23 teams had entered the RS End of Season Regatta at Rutland Water, many of them leaving home much earlier than normal in order to get to the club in time for the 9am kick off of the Rugby World Cup final.
Leaving home in the dark was made slightly easier with the belief that being able to catch up on sleep later on with an afternoon snooze in a local cinema seemed more likely than any sailing, thanks to the ferocity of the weather forecast.
Yet, as England supporters went outside to grab some air as they took in the huge disappointment following 80 minutes of brutal rugby, there was a hint of disorientation too in the dinghy park with weather conditions that were clearly not as advertised.
Windy, but by no means wild, only the rain had turned up on cue.
But the weather Gods were simply teasing the fleet and waited until those who were prepared to take on the day had got fully kitted up and rigged before unleashing 42 knot gusts across the water.
With such strong conditions a postponement was inevitable and despite the breeze dropping significantly by 2pm, there was no time left to run a two hour pursuit race before it got dark.
Sunday could not have been more different with a wind speed that was typically below 7 knots for much of the day.
The light and patchy breeze from the West danced around the reservoir making life agonisingly difficult for the race committee from the off. And with up to four races scheduled, (to make up in part for the loss of Saturday), the abandonment of the first race after one lap made life even more challenging.
When the opening race of the series did get under way it was Stephen and Sarah Cockerill (1489) who took the first bullet followed by Nick Craig and Oli Wells (1500) and Wayne and Meg Fletcher (8) in third.
The one hour or so pause that followed as the wind decided to mess around once again would have felt much longer had the race officer not kept the fleet busy watching the numerous start sequences for the RS800s who were starting first. With each attempt came a postponement as the breeze either switched off or slipped in from another random direction.
When things did get underway again, the wind strength hadn’t changed much, but the race leader had as Mike Sims and Mark Lunn (1488) took a bullet in both race two and three, no doubt making up for the disappointment of a fifth in the first race.
By now the battle for the top spot had become a needle match between Sims/Lunn and Craig/Wells with both teams on seven points.
And while the final race saw Sims drop down to sixth, Craig had to retire with gear problems. The tie break left Mike Sims and Mark Lunn holding the trophy with the Cockerills in third.
Given that this was the last major class event of the season, the tough competition throughout the fleet seemed fitting for a season which has been fiercely competitive across a wide range of conditions that have often bucked the odds. Good job the RS400 is a class and a fleet that can deal with it all.
Thanks to Rutland SC for hosting us, to RS Sailing for the £250 early entry raffle won by RS400 Phillip Murray and to Rooster for sponsoring our 2019 RS400 National Tour.
We'd like to say a massive thanks to our friends at Volvo for their support of the event! Volvo has a long-standing relationship with sailors via their continued support of British Sailing. Volvo's partnership with RS Sailing means RS400 Class Association members and RS400 boat owners can benefit from a generous discount on Volvo's product range, as well as servicing, finance and accessories. Follow the link here to find out more!
Report by Matt Sheahan (RS400 1435)
Up on Y&Y here
RS600 End of Seasons Regatta
Twelve RS600s attended the RS End of Seasons sponsored by Volvo and Rooster at Rutland Sailing Club. It was a decent number considering the rugby world cup final and the forecast. The dismal performance of the England Team set the tone for a disappointing first day with no sailing due to high winds and then not enough time to run the two hour pursuit race after a postponement. All was not lost though as several went out for a blast, we got a free reusable cup from Volvo (not just any cup!) and a hat from Rooster so we were already taking home more than the rugby team.
Day two was the opposite end of the spectrum with light winds and four races planned. A big day as it was the first time the new “black sails” were up against the old. There seems to be a real buzz about the RS600 fleet at the moment with several sailors in the changing room from different fleets commenting on the increasing numbers, and saying they were on the look out to buy boats. Everyone said they loved the look of the new sail!
Race one saw shifty conditions and some close racing between the top three: Chris Haslam, Richard Smith and Jamie Mawson finishing in that order. They were too far in front for me to give any kind of commentary on their race after a poor choice up the beat sent me to 9th. All was not lost though as I got to witness the close race unfolding in front of me between Alistair Farman and Cliff Haslam who were in 6th and 7th place. Just about to cross the finish line and Cliff decided enough was enough taking on the Aussie win or swim attitude, going for broke but ended up talking to the fish after a collision sent them both into the drink and gained me two places.
The course was shortened for race two due to the dying wind. The reach mark in the first race had now become the windward mark. This threw half the fleet off. Richard Smith was looking to have a decent lead and went hard right with Simon Hibbert. It would have paid but they were sailing to a mark that wasn’t there and they didn’t sound too happy about it. Jamie Mawson pulled away to win the race followed by Chris Haslam and newcomer Luke Hardy who was beginning to show his potential finishing in third position.
Race three and thankfully the wind started to increase. Martyn Barrett was showing some pace with his new sail down the run - well balanced sat on the deck looked good. Luke Hardy took evasive action to stop me going underneath him and the result was Martyn talking to the fish. I was starting to get to grips with the new sail and it felt good. Jamie took the podium again for that race followed by Richard Smith, and Chris Haslam. Simon Hibbert was up to fifth but couldn’t take the pressure and went swimming much to my amusement. I’d got up to fourth in this race and thought time to stop messing about! I think my problem was trying to work out the colour of the lone RS300 that was following us around and where the rest of his fleet was? No doubt planning to join the real heroes of sailing in the RS600 fleet!
Race four and I had finally settled on the colour of vomit and managed to find my concentration. I was off the line next to Jamie and tacked away from the fleet hitting the right side which was looking to pay. I pulled away from the rest of the fleet and had a decent lead into lap two. Chris Haslam pulled some magic out of the hat he was wearing and made a comeback. Seemingly from nowhere he overtook me and started to pull away. It was all to play for between Jamie and Chris after Richard Smith decided to rip out his main jammer in a show of strength. Jamie was coming on strong and rolled me into the last gybe mark finishing second behind Chris.
Equal points but Chris took the trophy overall on count back using the old sail. Jamie was second with a new sail, Richard was third with an old sail and I was fourth with a new sail so it was a real mix.
I think the results went to show that the new sail design has really come good. No obvious advantage, but it’s certainly not slower and damn it looks good!
A great time to be in the RS600 fleet!
Thanks to Rutland SC for hosting us and to our RS600 National Tour sponsor Rooster for supporting us throughout the year.
We'd also like to say a massive thanks to our friends at Volvo for their support of the event! Volvo has a long-standing relationship with sailors via their continued support of British Sailing. Volvo's partnership with RS Sailing means RS600 Class Association members can benefit from a generous discount on Volvo's product range, as well as servicing, finance and accessories. Follow the link here to find out more!
Report by Alex Piggott
RS800 End of Seasons Regatta at Rutland SC 2-3 Nov 19
Final event of the 2019 RS800 Rooster National Tour
With some mighty gales forecasted for Saturday it was great to still see 13 boats make the trip to Rutland SC for the 2019 RS End of Season Regatta. As I meandered my way over, the prospect of sailing was not looking too likely with lorries snaking all over the place, branches being swept across the roads and lashing rain. On top of the weather doing its best to kill me physically, listening to England’s capitulation in the rugby was doing some serious emotional damage. There’s nothing like an apocalyptic storm and national levels of disappointment to flatten the mood!
However, once we had arrived at a very swampy and bog-like Rutland boat park, it actually appeared that the wind was on the edge of sailable - bearing in mind the looming prospect of a monstrous gust due at any moment. Wishing I’d packed some waders and a leaf blower to remove the rapidly growing compost heap of leaves and branches forming on the boat, I slowly rigged whilst it was announced that against all the odds, they were going to go for it! Alas, it was this brave announcement from the race team that then heralded the almighty surge in wind and the lake soon became a boiling mass of white horses. For those that needed further confirmation a sacrificial RS Vareo was released into the wild. I’ve never seen an RS Vareo move so fast (besides those passed on the A1). It was judged that a planing RS Vareo was clearly a sign that it was absolutely hooning and racing was cancelled for the day. Walking plans were formed. We strolled our way around to the dam and were a little gutted to see the wind die to manageable and a number of boats take advantage of a good old romp around the lake in near perfect sunny conditions.
I have to mention Saturday evening after a series of game changing revelations that made the weekend hilarious for most...without going into too much detail the main input themes were:
- Modern Youth
- Cooking at Altitude
- Whistling Kettles
- And a variety of other extra-curricular activities
These themes all culminated in a variety of disturbing outputs as sailors revealed their deepest darkest memories involving:
- Cable Cars
- PGL holiday camps
- MILE HIGH CLUB escapades (blimey)
- Disappointing sticky toffee puddings
- A hugely bizarre interpretation as to what skiing does to your sex life
- Lots of near death and destruction on American road trips.
Darrol Moss also shared his potentially short-sighted marketing strategy for his pub that involves writing negative reviews about his own establishment on Tripadvisor. The purpose? Banter against Head Waiter. Now I appreciate I didn’t pay too much attention during my brief Business Studies A level course but I'm not sure that that technique didn't crop up in the marketing textbook...great bants though.
It is fair to say that we all learned a lot about each other and that no one will be able to look at each other the same way again.
Ok the sailing bit. Sunday. Light and Lakey. Larger than life shifts. Lots of squatting. Many gains to be made and plenty of metres to throw away at every stage of the race. You could never relax (unless you happen to be a McEwen).
It was a pretty intense day actually with 4.5 races (one abandoned halfway), 7 starts and in keeping with the high volume theme, 4 separate prize givings.
The first race which was abandoned saw James Penty and Eddie Grayson leading from Hugh Shone and Fiona Hampshire with a healthy lead over a fleet that was still reeling from an almighty righty. The size of the shift encouraged the race officer to can the race and restart.
Race one proper and the wind was still clocking right. Dan Goodman and Debbie Clarke did well to anticipate this and appeared out of the mist having gone further right than the incumbent Conservative party. It was a great call to spot the still shifting breeze and they smoked around the top mark with a lead from Luke and Emma McEwen. After complaining bitterly about their ability to routinely throw away leads the day before….they were remorselessly hunted down and defeated at the last by Luke and Emma once again. You didn't need to be a killer shrimp on the pro-grip on Dan and Debbie's boat to know that they might have been ruing their fateful comments from the evening before!
Unfortunately I didn’t get a good look at race two as Fiona and I found ourselves in a different timezone from the front of the fleet and I didn’t take my binoculars out with me. It is said that Luke and Emma did win and behind saw a tight scramble in which Ben Palmer and Claire Walsh took second from Cameron and Darrol Moss in third.
Race three and it was all about picking between shifts and squirts of improving pressure. The large pressure differences between gust and lull made the run even more tricky to protect on. After some sparring at the front, Luke and Emma pulled away with Hugh and Fiona in second. Behind saw Chris Dodd and Bryony Meakins surge through to take third.
Race four saw Luke and Emma pull away once again. On the final beat boats converged then split with fine margins altering the state of play all the time. In the end Cameron and Darrol pulled round in second, Hugh and Fiona in third and James and Eddie fourth. I made the fateful comment (later proved to be wrong) that if we came in third in the race then we’d definitely have to write the report and so we should do our upmost to overtake the boys from Lyme Regis AT ALL COSTS. The intention for this comment to motivate and propel us into second sank as miserably as one of Darrol’s high altitude Sticky Toffee Puddings as we were almost instantly overhauled by a charging James and Eddie.
Overall this meant that the McEwens took the event comfortably with Cameron and Darrol second (showing a new impressive light wind speed) and Hugh and Fiona in third.
Many thanks must go to Rutland SC for putting on some top-notch hosting and to all the showed up to make a great event. Thanks to Rooster for their sponsorship of our great 2019 RS800 Rooster National Tour. And to RS Sailing for the £250 voucher which Joe Gallivan won for entering the event nice and early!
We'd like to say a massive thanks to our friends at Volvo for their support of the event! Volvo has a long-standing relationship with sailors via their continued support of British Sailing. Volvo's partnership with RS Sailing means our RS800 Class Association members and RS800 boat owners can benefit from a generous discount on Volvo's product range, as well as servicing, finance and accessories. Follow the link here to find out more!
Report by Hugh Shone
Up on Y&Y here
RS Vareo End of Seasons Regatta at Rutland SC 2-3 Nov 19
Final Event on the 2019 RS Vareo Rooster National Tour
Saturday 2 Nov saw the start of the combined RS fleets End of seasons Regatta at Rutland Water. High winds were forecast for lunchtime day one and sure enough just as the RS Vareo fleet started to launch the gales arrived. Fortunately for some of us the postponement siren went just before our feet left terra firma but Mike Drencher and Cheryl Wood in their eagerness had already blasted out into the angry waters. They fought to make it back to shore with the rest of the RS fleets’ encouragement and racing was abandoned for the day. So everyone retired to the bar somewhat earlier than expected.
By way of contrast day two dawned with very light winds. Race one got underway with Nick Crickmore taking an early lead with the rest of the fleet close behind. Luke Fisher managed to ride a huge lift up the right-hand side of the second beat and managed to hold his lead to the end, followed by Nick, Cheryl, Mike and Alan Bassatt. In race two Alan had a great start and led for the first lap but was unlucky to get caught by Nick and Luke to finish third with Mike in fourth. By the end of a hard-fought race three which Nick dominated, it was down to final race to decide the overall results. The first two boats were never far apart in the final race with Luke just managing to hold off Nick to the finish but just behind them, Alan and Mike rounded the final mark together with only a 40m tight kite leg to the line, with Alan just managing to prevail.
Overall, we had some great close racing, well organised by Rutland Sailing Club with the help of Clare and the RS race team. A huge thank you to the RS Vareo Groupies for once again providing us with beer and cakes. We also had our annual Rooster National Tour prizegiving. As ever in the RS Vareo fleet, everyone gets a prize, thanks to the generosity of our sponsors Volvo, Rooster and RS Sailing. Unfortunately Alan missed out on the big one by a gnat’s whisker and Cheryl couldn't stop to collect her special prizes but there was plenty of glass wear, travel mugs and hats for all. See the RS Vareo 2019 Rooster National Tour results here
We'd like to say a massive thanks to our friends at Volvo for their support of the event! Volvo has a long-standing relationship with sailors via their continued support of British Sailing. Volvo's partnership with RS Sailing means RS Vareo Class Association members can benefit from a generous discount on Volvo's product range, as well as servicing, finance and accessories. Follow the link here to find out more!
On Saturday afternoon, over a selection of quality local ales, before proceeding to the fleet Christmas dinner and pig tossing competition, the fleet confirmed the main events for 2020:
9-10 May POSH Regatta at Paignton SC (much enjoyed Nationals venue last year)
12-14 June Milton Keynes SC Inlands - including training and practice sessions
Mid July 3 day National Championships at Itchenor Sailing Club
7-8 Nov RS End of Season Regatta at Rutland SC
We have also already received invitations from our continental RS Vareo friends to their main events:
12-13 Sept Czech Skiff open - Nove Mlyny Lake
19-20 Sept Czech Nationals - Brno
3-4 Oct Open Dutch Skiff Trophy - La Bruinisse, the Netherlands.
Fancy trying an RS Vareo? The fleet now have loan boats available at all the UK and European events and at our winter training venue Oulton Broad SC. Contact Nick Crickmore via the RS Vareo Class Association web page here
Report by Luke Fisher