Murphy’s law was at full strength for the last of the RS400 Southern Area Championships. Having stared chilly enough first thing to have many of us searching for a fleece and possibly a hat as we hitched our boats for the drive to Lymington, we were greeted a couple of hours later by wall to wall sunshine and soaring temperatures making the clothing call for the day one of the trickiest of the season.
Sadly, for the sailors at least, this was the only decision of the day as the weak Autumn sea breeze struggled to do anything more than kill the light northerly gradient breeze. After a couple of hours of waiting the towering cumulus ashore continued to refuse to suck in the breeze as the text books suggested it should.
As many in the 14 boat fleet started to inch their way back towards the river entrance to avoid being drawn out of the Solent on the ebb tide, the race officer pulled the pin and postponed all racing for the day.
Naturally, that was the cue for the breeze to come in, which it did with a glorious 10knot sea breeze.
With no more results to calculate for the Southern Series, Paul and Mark Oakey, who had diligently turned up with the intention of stamping their authority on the class once again, remained overall leaders of the series – well done!
Sunday, Bart’s Bash day, (which was day two of the 400 open meeting but not part of the Southern Series), saw a similar start to proceedings. But this time the breeze did start to build sufficiently to get racing under way by mid morning.
Starting in around six to eight knots of breeze and building to a peak of around 10, the race officer managed to get four races in on the uncharacteristically flat water half way between the Lymington River entrance and Keyhaven to the west. With a strong flood tide the course was a rather one sided affair but what the racing lacked in tactical play it made up for as a test of straight line boat speed.
Competition was tight throughout much of the fleet but particularly at the top with Steve Restall and Chris Stubbs (1189) ending the day tied on points with Jon Heissig and Nicky Griffin (1407), both teams having identical score lines with two firsts a second and a fifth. But as Jon and Nicky had won the last race, they won the tie break. Rob and Jan Martin (1433) took third.
But whether you came away with a prize or not, in the 400 fleet we had all learned an important lesson for the future thanks to us sharing the windward leeward course with the RS800s. If you’re not laying the weather mark on starboard and there’s an 800 in front, don’t panic and tack, just wait until the 800 has caught the mark on their racks and dragged it to leeward for you.
Thanks guys, worked every time!
Rank Class SailNo Club HelmName CrewName Rating R1 R2 R3 R4 Total Nett
1st RS 400 1407 Llangorse SC Jon Heissig Nicky Griffin 944 (5.0) 2.0 1.0 1.0 9.0 4.0
2nd RS 400 1189 Downs SC Steve Restall Chris Stubbs 944 1.0 1.0 2.0 (5.0) 9.0 4.0
3rd RS 400 1433 Lymington Town SC Rob Martin Jan Martin 944 2.0 (4.0) 3.0 2.0 11.0 7.0
4th RS 400 1439 Lymington Town SC Kevin Podger Heather Chipperfield 944 3.0 3.0 (4.0) 3.0 13.0 9.0
5th RS 400 1404 Lymington Town SC Matthew Thomas Steve Nicholas 944 (6.0) 5.0 5.0 4.0 20.0 14.0
6th RS 400 1444 Lee on Solent SC Nick Martin Caroline Martin 944 4.0 (6.0) 6.0 6.0 22.0 16.0
7th RS 400 1 Lymington Town SC Liam Willis Julie Willis 944 7.0 (8.0) 8.0 8.0 31.0 23.0
8th RS 400 744 Simon Cameron Nick Cameron 944 (11.0) 7.0 11.0 7.0 36.0 25.0
9th RS 400 1424 Lymington Town SC John Martin Pam Martin 944 8.0 10.0 7.0 (16.0 DNF) 41.0 25.0
10th RS 400 1051 Netley SC Matthew Sheahan 944 10.0 (11.0) 9.0 9.0 39.0 28.0
11th RS 400 1236 Lymington Town SC Mike Baker June Baker 944 9.0 9.0 (10.0) 10.0 38.0 28.0
12th RS 400 1393 Locks SC Nick Zammit Nick Zammit 944 (12.0) 12.0 12.0 11.0 47.0 35.0
13th RS 400 700 Lymington Town SC Steve Reneaux Sophie Beeton 944 (13.0) 13.0 13.0 12.0 51.0 38.0
14th RS 400 1270 Burfield SC James Cutler 944 (16.0 DNC) 16.0 DNC 16.0 DNC 16.0 DNC 64.0 48.0
14th RS 400 1441 Porchester SC Paul Oakey Mark Oakey 944 (16.0 DNC) 16.0 DNC 16.0 DNC 16.0 DNC 64.0 48.0
by Matthew Sheahan