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    Youth vs Experience


    Coniston SC hosted  the fifth event of the RS Sailing sponsored RS200 Northern tour on the weekend of 6th and 7th August; this was the club’s first ever RS200 open meeting.  Despite the strong wind forecast, nine visitors joined the Coniston this weekend with nine visitors joining three home boats.


    The competitors were greeted on Saturday with both sun and a south easterly wind force 3-4 blowing the length of Coniston Water.


    The first race started promptly leaving Keith Escritt & Andrea Clough and Jon & Heather Ward at a significant disadvantage as their boats were still on shore when the start gun sounded.  Martin & Sian Joesbury took an early lead but were slowly ground down by the undoubted boat speed of Ollie Groves and Esther Parkhurst in these conditions.  Ollie & Esther pulled away to win the race with Martin & Sian in second with Martin & Barbara Smith taking third.


    The second race was led at the first mark by Jon & Heather Ward, however Martin and Barbara delayed their gybe and took the lead downwind and sailed away to a clear win.  Ollie and Esther finished second with Martin & Sian taking third.


    The final race of the day saw Ollie & Esther showing their heavy wind expertise to take the win, with Martin & Sian in second and Martin & Barbara in third.


    The fleet finished the day somewhat tired, but with a ballistic westerly wind forecast for the Sunday it was unclear whether there was going to be an opportunity to sail any further races.


    The wind has most certainly increased in strength on the Sunday morning to force 5 plus.  Fortunately the wind was still blowing from a south westerly direction.  The first beat gave the fleet a clear choice of whether to take a long starboard tack out into the strongest wind and lumpiest water or to take a port tack hitch into more manageable wind and water conditions, but with uncertainty over the consistency of the wind.  All the fleet except Martin and Sian took the long starboard tack option.  Martin and Sian took the port tack hitch, picked up a nice shift and sailed away into a clear lead.  The race turned into a battle between Martin and Sian’s canniness and Ollie and Esther’s undoubted boat speed advantage in these conditions.  Every time Ollie and Esther looked to have closed the gap, Martin & Sian managed to find a better routing and looked to have sailed to victory until a final gybe within metres of the finishing line proved their undoing.  Behind the two leaders, there was carnage with boats heading off in all sorts of strange directions and plenty of capsizes to keep the spectators entertained.  Ben Swyer and Mark Slater from the host club sailed really well in the conditions to take second followed by Martin & Barbara in third.


    A sensible decision was made by the Race Officer to bring the fleet in for an early lunch.  Almost simultaneously the wind increased in strength and swung more westerly creating all sorts of challenges sailing back into the shore with even more capsizes on offer for the spectators.  After a very quick consultation between the race officer and the competitors, it was agreed to abandon the remaining races.  This left Ollie & Esther with a clear victory with Martin & Barbara taking second on count back from Martin & Sian.


    In terms of the overall series, Martin and Sian have a one point lead from Keith & Andrea, but with Ollie & Esther now applying real pressure a further point behind.


    Coniston also saw the first of the Ropes4Boats raffles with Martin & Barbara winning a £20 voucher and Jon & Heather winning a £10 voucher.


    The Northern Tour would like to thank RS Sailing for their series support and Rope4Boats for their raffle prizes.


    Jon Ward


    Photos courtesy of Rob Jones

    Class: RS200 Series: RS200's
    Rank Sail No Helm Crew Club Hcap Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Race 4 Nt Pts
    1 1333 Ollie Groves Esther Parkhurst Beaver 1047 1 (2) 1 1 3
    2 1068 Martin Smith Barbara Smith Delph 1047 (3) 1 3 3 7
    3 1606 Martin Joesbury Sian Joesbury Budworth 1047 2 3 2 (6) 7
    4 702 Ben Swyer Mark Slater Coniston Sailing Club 1047 5 6 (7) 2 13
    5 1560 Jon Ward Heather Ward Budworth 1047 (10) 5 5 4 14
    6 968 Keith Escritt Andrea Clough Yorkshire Dales SC 1047 7 4 4 (13/DNC) 15
    7 939 Colin Rawlinson Max Rawlinson Coniston Sailing Club 1047 4 (13/RET) 6 5 15
    8 935 Simon Yates Shellee Bullous Notts County 1047 6 7 (9) 8 21
    9 1118 Erica Caswell Ian Caswell Yorkshire Dales SC 1047 (8) 8 8 7 23
    10 1405 Jude Baird Fred Fuller Loch Ryan Sailing Club 1047 9 10 11 (13/DNC) 30
    11 687 Sam Jones Chloe Slater Coniston Sailing Club 1047 (13/RET) 9 10 13/RET 32
    12 1036 R Ludlam S Ludlam   1047 (13/DNC) 13/RET 13/DNC 13/DNC 39


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