30 RS400s at GNAC! Congratulations to Sam Waller and Martin Penty overall winners and to Chris Pickles and Matt Sharman 2nd overall.
Report, thanks to Hamish Gledhill
RS400 Northern Tour at The Great Northern Asymmetric Challenge, Bassenthwaite Sailing Club 17/18 September 2022
Sponsored by TridentUK
The final leg of the 2022 Northern Tour, sponsored by Trident UK, saw the largest entry of the year with 30 RS400s entering the Great Northern Asymmetric Challenge (GNAC) held at Bassenthwaite Sailing Club.
The better than forecasted wind, the great race management, the usual close racing, and the evening entertainment made for a great weekend, with 8 races sailed across two days.
As boats arrived during Saturday morning, those that arrived on Friday night were seen emerging from tents, vans, caravans and possibly from under the odd bush after the Bassenthwaite welcome and hospitality went into overdrive on Friday evening.
After a midday briefing, where the competitors observed a minute’s silence to remember the late Queen Elizabeth II, the fleet was on the water for a prompt one o’clock start. Whilst the forecast was for light wind, the sunny conditions and a breeze that increased throughout the day made for some great sailing.
Sharing the water with the 75 competitors taking part in the GNAC, the RS400 started first in the fast fleet. The 30 RS400s made for a busy start line, spiced up by sharing it with a number of other boats including a VX-One and a Norfolk Punt. The OOD started all races under a U Flag, but after numerous recalls over the weekend, this changed to a Black Flag, which resulted in better behaviour from all concerned.
As Race one got away, it took a while for the sailors to get used to the numbers on the water, as the need for clear air quickly became apparent, and once rounding the windward mark there was no relaxing as the fleet met the slow fleet, including 27 RS200s, coming up the beat. Finally, once round the leeward mark the final challenge was to remember to go through the start/finishing line, which caught a few people out.
Two races were sailed before the fleet headed to the shore for a quick break before two more races were complete. Overnight Sam Waller, who’s normally seen in the pointy end of the boat, with Martin Penty from Beaver SC headed the fleet with an impressive 1,2,3,1. Chris Pickles and Matt Sharman from Bassenthwaite SC were second, having to deal with an OCS in the second race, and Dave Exley and Nigel Hall also from Bassenthwaite SC were lying third. Gary Knott and Amy Hinsliff-Smith from Notts County were lying fourth just ahead of Hamish Gledhill and Ross Southwell from West Riding SC. The competition in the fleet was tight with many boats fighting at the front end of the fleet and the results left many boats in contention, with Phil Murray and Neil Schofield from Tynemouth SC counting a 3rd and 4th and Barrie Thornton and Nick Hunt from Scaling Dam winning the last race of the day.
With fish and chips and an ice cream van, late bar, and live music everyone was kept entertained late into the evening, before waking up to a misty morning. The mist lifted with a similar breeze to day one but without the sunshine. Again, the fleet sailed two races before coming in for lunch, and then headed out for the last two races of the day. However, in the last race the wind dropped off and the rain set in and after finishing only half the fleet, the wind went completely leaving the OOD to no choice other than to abandon the race. Hamish and Ross made the most of the conditions with a 4,2,1, with the ever consistent and impressive Sam and Martin with a 1,4,3 and Chris and Matt with a 2, 1,5. Other notable performance in the day were Martin Spencer and Ness Evans from Leigh and Lowton Sailing Club finishing 3rd in Race 6, and Mr Trident UK, Dave and Jethro Gebhard from Derwent Reservoir SC finishing 2nd in Race 7.
Sam and Martin’s impressive series of results, finishing in the top 4 of every race, gave them the overall win ahead of Chris and Matt, with Hamish and Ross in third.
Sam and Martin were the overall winners of the Great Northern Asymmetric Challenge with Chris and Matt in second overall.
Dave Exley and Sam Waller were winners in the draw for Trident UK vouchers.
At the prizegiving Sam Waller thanked Bassenthwaite SC for putting on a great weekend’s event, with special thanks to Andy Smith and his OOD Team.
The overall prizes for the Trident UK Northern Tour will presented be at the Inland Championships at Grafham on 30th Sept/1st Oct.
Full GNAC Results
Save the date for next year, Sept 16/17