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21/03/2015
Winter Championship

    RS400 inter Championships – Leigh and Lowton SC 21st/22nd March 2015

    Twenty one boats made up the fleet competing in the RS400 Winter Championships for 2015, held this year at Leigh and Lowton SC. There were fifteen visitors joining the LLSC club boats, some travelling from as far south as Downs SC in Kent and Queen Mary in London, Bassenthwaite SC in the north, Notts County to the east and Llangorse SC in the Brecon Beacons; represenatation from all parts of the UK sailing scene.

    The event was run alongside the RS200 fleet on the Saturday and it was this fleet which ventrured out onto the water first for one race on their own before the RS400 fleet came out at midday for their first race. With the wind generally coming from directions between the north and the north east, (but always having difficulty in deciding which direction it preferred) laying a reasonable windward leeward course was always going to be difficult. The RS200 fleet got their first race in with a wind spend in the region of 5-6 knots but by the time the RS400 fleet joined them, the wind had increased to about 8 knots, giving the Race Officer, Mike Baldwin, some issues with the overall length of the course. The first start got away with only one boat over the line (and subsequently returning) but as the RS200 fleet approached the start line the leaders of the RS400 fleet were completing their first lap. In the event, both fleets handled the situation well and the RS200’s started without incident. At the end of the first lap, the RS400 fleet was led by Dave “The Elbow” Exley, crewed by Nigel Hall (LLSC) in 1186 chased by Paul Allen and Joe Hartigan (LLSC) in 1395 and Michael Sims and Richard Brown (Carsington) in 1435. Over the rest of the race these three fought it out with all three leading at one stage or another but in the end 1395 was victorious with 1435 second and 1186 third.

    The fleets then went in for lunch and during that time the Race Officer issued an amendment to the SI’s , bringing in a shorter start sequence. This proved successful and the afternoon’s racing then proceeded without any further tangles between the fleets. The wind also decided to swing around towards the east slightly so that the length of the course increased, bringing a bigger margin between the fleets. For race 2 Exley and Hall again led the fleet at the end of the first lap, this time chased by Robin Dawson and Phil Davenport (Bassenthwaite) in 1148 and Jon Heissig and Nicky Griffin (Llangorse) in 1407. For the next three laps, 1407 held on to the lead whilst being chased by 1435, 1186 and 1148  but at the finish, Sims and Brown pulled it off to take the finish gun with Heissig and Griffin in second place and Exley and Hall in third.

    As Race 2 of the event finished the wind freshened and swung more easterly and held so the Race Officer began the process of moving the windward and leeward marks together with the pin end to take advantage of the new direction to give a longer course than for previous races. However, as always, the wind had the last laugh and just before the fleets went into the start sequence, it returned to the original direction and the marks had to be returned from whence they came. Eventually Race 3 of the RS400 event got underway and at the end of the first lap it was the all-female crew of Caroline Exley and Jude Allen (LLSC) in 1216 who came through the line in the lead at the end of the first lap followed by Hamish Gledhill and Simon Dowse (West Riding SC) in 1014 and Dawson and Davenport in third place. The wind was playing games with the fleet throughout the race but Chris Pickles and Matt Sharman (Delph SC) in 703 and Gledhill and Dowse mastered these conditions and took first and second place from lap 2 onwards until the shorten course signal went at the end of lap 4. Michael Sims and Richard Brown fought their way through the fleet from ninth place at the end of lap 1 to take third position whilst Caroline Exley and Jude Allen had to be content with fourth place, beating their husbands into fifth and sixth position though!

    During Saturday evening, after a great meal provided by the Leigh and Lowton’s famed galley, there were games to be played and drinks to be consumed and the rumour is that this went on until the late hours of the evening.
    Sunday morning arrived with bright sun but absolutely no wind. The Race Officer launched the AP flag in the hope that a 30 minute delay would allow the wind to fill in. It duly obliged and the fleet launched for a race in a breeze that was continuously swinging backwards and forwards and going up and down in strength. Race 4 of the series got underway about 45 minutes after the original published scheduled time with the previous days fleet leaders of 1186, 1395, 1435 and 703 at the front with positions changing throughout the race. The ladies in 1216 fought their way through the fleet to join the leading boats, taking third place at the end with Pickles and Sharman in 703 taking the bullet and Exley with a somewhat changed Hall as his crew in second place. There was mixed fortunes in this race (and perhaps the drinks and games of the previous evening were to blame) with three boats being penalised for not missing the lap gate at various parts of the race.

    Race 5 began not long after the end of race 4 only to have an over eager, previously well behaved, fleet playing ‘Follow my leader’ so badly 10 seconds before the start signal that there were only 2 boats left on the right side of the line as the start signal was made! A general recall followed and the fleet regrouped to get away to a clean start the second time. Gledhill and Dowse (1016) led the fleet after the first lap and held on until the fourth when Pickles and Sharman took over, having worked their way up from fifth at the first lap. They held onto the top spot with 1016 following them and Richard Catchpole and Gary Coop (LLSC) in 1396, fighting their way from tenth on the first lap scored their best result of the event with a third place.

    Discussions over lunch centred on the state of the wind and what the afternoon’s sailing should comprise of, especially as the morning’s delays and restarts meant that the programme was now behind schedule. It was agreed that one race only would be run and, in the event, this was a wise decision as the wind dropped away to nothing after the afternoon’s race had finished. Positions in this race again changed lap by lap and in the end the finish sequence was 1014, followed by 1435 (who had retired in the previous race) and then 703. These results were enough to give the Championship win to Chris Pickles and Matt Sharman followed by Michael Sims and Richard Brown with Dave “The Elbow” Exley and Nigel Hall/Louise McKeand third place. Caroline Exley and Jude Allen were first all-female crew in sixth position.

    Sailwave results for RS400 Winter Championships LLSC at 2015

    RS400 Winter Championships LLSC

    Results are final as of 19:47 on March 23, 2015

    Overall

    Sailed: 6, Discards: 1, To count: 5, Entries: 22, Scoring system: Appendix A
    Rank Fleet Boat Class SailNo Club HelmName CrewName Rating R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 Total Nett
    1st RS400   RS400 703 Delph SC Chris Pickles Matt Sharman   (4.0) 4.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 3.0 14.0 10.0
    2nd RS400   RS400 1435 Carsington Michael Sims Richard Brown   2.0 1.0 3.0 6.0 (19.0 DNF) 2.0 33.0 14.0
    3rd RS400   RS400 1186 LLSC David "The Elbow" Exley Nigel Hall   3.0 3.0 5.0 2.0 (13.0) 4.0 30.0 17.0
    4th RS400   RS400 1014 West Riding SC Hamish Gledhill Simon Dowse   5.0 10.0 2.0 (18.0) 2.0 1.0 38.0 20.0
    5th RS400   RS400 1395 LLSC Paul Allen Jo Hartigan   1.0 6.0 6.0 4.0 4.0 (23.0 DNC) 44.0 21.0
    6th RS400   RS400 1216 LLSC Caroline Exeley Jude Allen   (12.0) 9.0 4.0 3.0 6.0 5.0 39.0 27.0
    7th RS400   RS400 1148 Bassenthwaite SC Robin Dawson Phil Davenport   7.0 5.0 (12.0) 7.0 10.0 6.0 47.0 35.0
    8th RS400   RS400 1407 LLangorse Jon Heissig Nicky Griffin   14.0 2.0 7.0 (17.0) 7.0 7.0 54.0 37.0
    9th RS400   RS400 1396 LLSC Richard Catchpole Gary Coop   10.0 8.0 (13.0) 9.0 3.0 9.0 52.0 39.0
    10th RS400   RS400 574 Downs Steve Restall Chris Stubbs   6.0 (11.0) 9.0 10.0 8.0 11.0 55.0 44.0
    11th RS400   RS400 725 Budworth SC Bill Kenyon Andy Dawson   8.0 15.0 (16.0) 11.0 5.0 8.0 63.0 47.0
    12th RS400   RS400 1290 Queen Mary SC David Brown Rebecca Witt   9.0 7.0 11.0 13.0 9.0 (23.0 DNC) 72.0 49.0
    13th RS400   RS400 1053 Glossops SC Tony Woods Lisa Woods   17.0 13.0 10.0 5.0 11.0 (23.0 DNC) 79.0 56.0
    14th RS400   RS400 1131 Welton SC Ben Williamson Charlie Ticehurst   13.0 (18.0) 8.0 15.0 17.0 13.0 84.0 66.0
    15th RS400   RS400 1082 Bassenthwaite SC Mark Somerville Joe Roberts   16.0 14.0 14.0 8.0 14.0 (23.0 DNC) 89.0 66.0
    16th RS400   RS400 1363 Notts County Ross Ryan Amy Hinsliff-Smith   15.0 17.0 17.0 (19.0) 12.0 12.0 92.0 73.0
    17th RS400   RS400 1091 LLSC Stuart Belfield Beth Belfield   (21.0) 19.0 20.0 12.0 15.0 10.0 97.0 76.0
    18th RS400   RS400 1196 Fiddlers Ferry SC Peter Snowden Chris Mountain   18.0 16.0 18.0 14.0 16.0 (23.0 DNC) 105.0 82.0
    19th RS400   RS400 1298 LLSC Martin Parker Liam Parker   11.0 12.0 15.0 (23.0 DNC) 23.0 DNC 23.0 DNC 107.0 84.0
    20th RS400   RS400 532 Notts County John Hobson Kathryn Hinsliff-Smith   19.0 (21.0) 19.0 16.0 18.0 14.0 107.0 86.0
    21st RS400   RS400 866   Paul Reynolds Cathy Reynolds   20.0 20.0 21.0 (23.0 DNC) 23.0 DNC 23.0 DNC 130.0 107.0
    22nd RS400   RS400 1166 LLSC Steve Dawson Kay Tickle   (23.0 DNC) 23.0 DNC 23.0 DNC 23.0 DNC 23.0 DNC 23.0 DNC 138.0 115.0



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