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Results / RS Fat Face Racing Circuit Highcliffe SC - 10/07/2004

The weekend of 10/11th July saw the largest turn out of 400's so far this season for a Gull/Fat face circuit event. Across the weekend 37 competitors took part in what proved to be a very challenging and varied event. Whether it was the excellent venue, the thought of being able to practice 6 gate starts so near to the Nationals or the prospect of sharing with the 200's( for some reason always popular with the younger male 400 sailors) that caused this rush of enthusiasm who knows. Let's hope we can keep up the momentum for the rest of the season. With the weathermen forecasting light winds and rain on the Saturday the conditions predictably were sunny with a force 4/5 from the South West building during the day. In addition to the usual format of 3 races back to back to back on each day the challenge was added of making each start a gate start in preparation for the Nationals at North Berwick in 3 weeks time. With two fleets this meant the race team had to deliver 12 gate starts with no hitches, something they did in progressively challenging conditions as the weekend went on - a fantastic performance by David Campbell-Jones, Arkie and the rest of the team. On a fairly tight course the fleet got away for the first race and Steve Venables/Richard Brown immediately took a lead that he extended on the next lap to make victory look certain. Fate intervened when the main halyard broke allowing the chasing bunch to come through with all the usual suspects in contention. Craig Burlton/Andrew Bensey won with Chris Jennings/ Ed Nickin 2nd and JonGorring/Sam Moore 3rd. Greg O'Brien teaming up with super crew Toby Lewis came in 4th. For the second race the wind picked up a little with rather more 5 than 4 in the gusts which led to some lively moments particularly where the right hand side of the 400's downwind leg over lapped with the right hand side of the 200's up wind leg. Steve Venables having repaired the halyard in between races took the lead which was swapped for a couple of laps with Neal and Paul Freeman. Venables/Brown pulled clear on the last lap leaving the Freemans 2nd and Jennings/Nicklin delivering a consistent 3rd. Stuart Hudson and Clare Cummings having had a 5th in the first race also showed consistency with a 4th in the second. Race three saw a further increase in the wind to gusts of 6 and hulls became as much a feature of the scene as sails for long periods of time. New comers to the fleet this season Paul Hillier and Toby Ashton took the lead from Burlton/Bensey and looked sure of their first win on the Fatface/Gull circuit this season. Unfortunately while leading comfortably they miscounted the laps and went for the finish line one lap early dropping to 16th when they realised their mistake. As Murray Walker would say Burlton/Bensey only had to stay up right to win and sure enough they didn't. Hitting the back of the largest wave of the afternoon they managed a spectacular pitch pole worth 6.0 from any judge dropping to 8th after recovering. The chasing bunch took full advantage with Jennings/Nicklin 1st,Hudson/Cummings 2nd and Mark and Jeremy Littlejohn 3rd. On Sunday the weather men forecast sun and wind so sure enough it rained with the wind light from the North West in what is known in meteorological circles as cyclonic variable and in 400 circles light and shite. For the whole day as each rain front came through ( and there were plenty of them) the wind backed and then dropped. The gate had only been open for about a minute on the start of the fourth race when pathfinder Jon Gorringe decided that discretion was the better part of valour and bailed out in preference to having a hole punched in his boat. A general recall made all the 400 sailors feel a lot more at home and the restart went without incident. With the change in conditions and swinging wind new faces appeared at the front of the fleet and the race was won by Owen Modral and David Ellis with Venables/Brown ( halyard repaired) 2nd and Burlton/Bensey (mast straightened) 3rd. Hudson/Cummings maintained the consistency with a 4th. The fifth race ran much the same as the fourth but big swing to right just after the start left many of the early starters struggling on the left. The wind having shown some signs of promise dropped again and sure enough the rain came down even harder. Hudson/Cummings won showing that strong or light they were on the pace. Hywel Roberts and Richard Sault were 2nd and Modral/Ellis 3rd. The Littlejohns held on to 4th with most of the leading group having to be content with lower top ten positions in the testing conditions. Just before the sixth race the wind come up looking as if we were to get al least one breezy one but almost as the start sequence ran the wind dropped back to it's previous ( lack of) strength. Improving on their previous race result Roberts/Sault took line honours. In 2nd place were Modral/Ellis who with a 1,2,3, on the second day were left to contemplate what might have been had they not broken their wing wangs in the first race and recorded DNC's in races two and three while they were repaired. Duncan Glen and Alan Thilthorpe got 3rd in Duncan's return to circuit after some years absence just to show us he still has it in him. Hudson/Cummings had a disastrous ( for them) 13th in the final race but with the very consistent performance over the previous five they could use their discard and still win the series by a single point. Jennings/Nicklin were second overall having suffered on the second day finding themselves on the wrong side of some of the larger shifts. Burlton/Bensey picked themselves up from their ejector seat performance in the third race to hold on to third over all. A fantastic weekend of competitive racing in varied conditions. Six races with six different winners and tight racing at all times. A dozen or so hard luck stories of what might have been any one of which could have had a bearing on then overall result. Highcliffe had everything. So who will win at North Berwick ? On this weekends form it could be anyone's game. If you haven't done so already beg steal or borrow a 400 and get to Nationals to see how this (High)cliffe hanger ends.
Pos Sail No Helm Crew Club R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 Pts
RS400 Fleet  -  Sailed: 6  Discards: 1  Ratings: PY
1 1211 Stuart Hudson Clare Cummings Spinnaker 5 4 2 4 1 13 16
2 1238 Chris Jennings Ed Nickin Burghfield 2 3 1 14 6 5 17
3 1215 Craig Burton Andrew Bensey RYA / Northampton 1 5 8 3 7 4 20
4 1059 Steve Venables Richard Brown Shustoke DNF 1 4 2 8 8 23
5 1174 Mark Littlejohn Jeremy Littlejohn Lancing 6 10 3 9 4 14 32
6 771 Duncan Glen Alan Thilthorpe Parkstone YC 10 8 7 5 9 3 32
7 1121 Paul Hillier Toby Ashton Oxford 7 6 5 16 5 9 32
8 1216 Hywel Roberts Richard Sault Parkstone YC 15 12 6 15 2 1 36
9 1228 Greg O'Brien Toby Lewis Bartley 4 11 14 11 11 6 43
10 1212 Neal Freeman Paul Freeman Parkstone YC 8 2 12 13 15 16 50
11 1016 Jon Gorringe Sam Moore Parkstone YC 3 7 10 12 18 21 50
12 1240 Tom Halhead Simon Fell Bristol Corinthian 19 9 17 7 13 7 53
13 1225 Paul Bowen Shaun Kellett Gurnard SC 9 15 9 17 12 11 56
14 1221 Owen Modral David Ellis Ullswater 17 DNC DNC 1 3 2 61
15 429 Ian Hannah Maclean Mathew Bell Royal Forth YC 12 13 DNC 6 23 10 64
16 1241 Gavin Marshall Anna Robinson Aldeburgh YC / RNSA 16 18 DNC 8 14 18 74
17 1182 Phil Jackson Gareth Ayre Parkstone YC DNF 20 13 23 19 12 87
18 1205 Chris Bailey Matt Bailey Bartley 13 17 11 27 27 DNC 95
19 589 James Downer Jess Olden Gurnard SC 27 16 15 22 20 22 95
20 1056 Steven Joslin Nathan Pinch QMSC 18 19 DNF 30 17 15 99
21 1201 Bill Handley Lynda Handley Swanage 11 21 DNC 19 24 27 102
22 1217 John Cooper Becci Wigley Lymington Town 21 28 DNC 18 16 19 102
23 1219 Mark Reddington Phil Scott Bartley 14 23 16 25 29 DNF 107
24 1220 Andrew Freeman Rod Clayton Parkstone 26 14 DNC 24 25 20 109
25 1073 Adam Oliver Sandy Johnson Aldeburgh 20 24 20 21 26 26 111
26 796 Stephen Tubby Gareth Jenkins Leigh-on-Sea 24 22 19 31 32 23 119
27 824 Paul Clark Tom Griffiths Brighton SC 29 26 18 28 30 24 125
28 941 Mark Sollars Gayle Turner Burghfield DNF 25 DNC 20 21 28 132
29 1134 Howard Fairbrother Louise Woshen QMSC DNC DNC DNC 10 10 DNC 134
30 1199 Peter Warburton Tim Sands Lee-On-The-Solent DNF DNF DNC OCS 22 17 153
31 58 Chris Goswell Chris Gardener Burghfield 25 DNF DNC 26 28 DNF 155
32 735 Rob Jones Liz Jones Weston 23 27 DNC 32 DNF DNC 158
33 602 Andrew Harris Madelieine Harris Chew Valley Lake SC DNF DNC DNC 29 31 25 161
34 522 Christopher Hitchman Stuart Roberts Bartley 28 DNC DNC 34 35 DNF 173
35 528 Roy Stevens Louisa Stevens Thorney Island 22 DNC DNC DNC DNC DNC 174
36 1147 John Elder Adrian Robins QMSC DNF DNC DNC 33 33 DNF 180
37 594 Paul Alban Naser Robert Allan Swaffield Spinnaker DNF DNC DNC 35 34 DNF 183
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