Sailing photos thanks to David Robinson of Arun YC
Prizegiving photos by Trisha Clancy
RS400 Southern Tour at Arun YC 7-8 May
Sponsored by Rooster Sailing and West Country Boat Repairs
After several weeks of no wind anticipation was high for a weekend of breeze to appear, to the disappointment of many, this was not the case!
The day started with clear skies which quickly began to turn to large dark stormy looking clouds. 14 boats were welcomed by Arun Yacht Club. After a 160 degree wind swing the race officer quickly got race one away. The tide was pumping against us upwind and with about 10 knots of wind it proved a longer beat than many expected. As per normal tradition Steve and Sarah Cockerill showed their pace straight off the line and were quickly leading the race with Christopher Eames and Rachel Tilley closely chasing them down. The rest of the fleet were trying to figure out the tide with several boats getting pinned to the windward mark. By the end of the race Steve and Sarah had held the lead with little challenge all the way round.
Race 2 started in around 8 knots of wind but second by second the wind began to drop away. The normal front pack of Steve and Sarah, Christopher and Rachel, Nick Charles and Chris Martin raced into the distance to find on the final downwind the wind did a complete shutdown to become a drifter. Jack Holden and Dan Martin found a lucky gust that carried them from the back of the fleet into second, behind Christopher and Rachel.
In the evening Steve Cockerill was kind enough to provide some race commentary of the day’s racing which was filmed from a RIB and Arun Yacht Club ran a BBQ and many, many drinks were consumed leading to some sore heads in the morning.
Sunday was a much more consistent day in terms of wind strength, but equally as challenging for the race team who were battling a constantly East swinging breeze. Again, the front runners showed their speed, this time with Sam Pickering and Emily Heath reaching the top mark first having considered the tide sweeping them up to the mark perfectly. Unfortunately, after straight setting the breeze randomly filled in from the other side of the course giving those who gybe-set a big advantage. It was Howard Farbrother and Lou Hosken who made use of this and battled it out with Nick Charles and Chris Martin for the win, with the latter showing their downwind speed to take the win.
More wind came in for race 2 with a decent 12 knots filling in for the first beat and many boats stretching their legs for the first time. Jack and Dan rounded first closely followed by Nick and Chris, and Steve and Sarah. Several gybes down the run to stay in the breeze later and it was Christopher and Rachel who came out of top, heading back into the favored side of the course upwind to lead the race home. Steve and Sarah showed their downwind speed off and rolled Jack and Dan to take second.
The wind now more Southerly, with the fleet heading out to sea it was Steve and Sarah who made advantage of this up the beat to take the lead. However, after a gybe set at the windward and the entire fleet going with them, it made it easier for Sam and Emily, and Jack and Dan to make some downwind gains on the other side of the course away from trouble. Steve and Sarah once again held their lead with ease to take the win, and Nick and Chris managed to overtake Jack and Dan on the final beat to take second.
This time it was Steve Restall and Chris Stubbs who took advantage from the start of the race showing some serious speed. They were battling at the front with Nick and Dan and after a long battle started to slip behind but held this to the finish to take second. Nick and Dan won race 4 with a huge lead and celebrated jumping up to second overall on the results after a slightly more taxing first day. Steve and Sarah had done enough to win a tough event even with their final fourth place.
Big thanks to Arun Yacht Club, race officer Paisley Thomson and assistant David Robinson and all other helpers for a great weekend in tough conditions. Thank you to our generous RS400 Southern Tour sponsors Rooster Sailing and West Country Boat Repairs.
Report by Jack Holden
Up on Y&Y here
Thanks to Noah Fitzgerald for the video footage - look pout for some edited clips soon